This morning I want to preach on the subject of why we are Baptist. In a day when a lot of churches are removing Baptist from the name of their church and a lot of people would question, “Hey, why is your church even called Faithful Word Baptist Church? Why don’t you call yourself just Christian or just remove that all together and just be called the Church at 10B or something like that?” I’m going to explain to you why it’s important that we are Baptist and why we are not part of any other denomination and basically where these other denominations come from and what’s wrong with them. This sermon should really nail things down in regard to being a Baptist as opposed to just going to whatever Christian church, non-denominational church or Presbyterian, Methodist or whatever. These are important things that we need to understand as Baptists.
Starting in Matthew chapter number three here we find the word Baptist in the bible. It’s used 15 times to describe one person, John the Baptist. It says in verse number one, “And those days came, John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judaea.” Jump down to verse 13. It says, “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John to be baptized of him, but John forbad him saying I have need to be baptized of thee and cometh thou to me? Jesus answering said unto him, suffer it to be so now for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus when he was baptized went up straight way out of the water and lo the heavens were opened unto him and he saw the spirit of god descending like a dove and lighting upon him and lo a voice from heaven saying this is my beloved son and whom I am well pleased.”
We see of course, and if you would flip over to John chapter one, we see of course that John the Baptist derives his name from the fact that he is baptizing people. This is the first time that we see the concept of baptism in the bible. In the old testament there’s no mention of baptism, but john the Baptist comes on the scene and he’s baptizing people. One thing what I want to point out about what you saw there in Matthew chapter three is that it says that when Jesus was baptized he went up straight way out of the water. That shows that he went down into the water and he came up out of the water. Of course the same thing is found, you don’t have to turn there, but in Acts chapter eight, when Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch it says in verse 38, “And he commanded the chariot to stand still and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
We see that this baptism is a baptism by immersion. I’m going to get to that a little bit later in the sermon, but this isn’t just a sprinkling or a pouring of the water. It’s someone going down into the water and coming up out of the water in both Matthew three and in Acts chapter eight. Look at John chapter one verse 29. It says, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him and said, behold the lamb of god which taketh away the sin of the world. This is him of who I said after me cometh the man which is preferred before me for he was before me. And I knew him not, but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore my come baptizing with water. John bear record saying I saw the spirit descending from heaven like a dove and it abode upon him. And I knew him not, but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, upon whom thou shalt see the spirit descending and remaining on him the same is he which baptizeth with the holy ghost. And I saw and bear record that this is the son of god.”
Again, the next day after John stood and two of his disciples and looking upon Jesus says, “He walked, he sayeth, behold the lamb of god” and the two disciples started to speak and they followed Jesus. Here John the Baptist is pointing people to Jesus. Let me point out that John the Baptist didn’t say, “Hey, I’m the guy that’s taking away the sin of the world by baptizing” because baptism does not save you. Baptism has nothing to do with salvation. That’s why he didn’t say, “Alright, come be baptized that you might be saved.” No, he pointed at Jesus and said, “Behold the lamb of god which taketh away the sin of the world.” That’s why again later in Acts chapter 19 the bible’s going to tell us, you don’t have to turn there, but in Acts chapter 19 verse four referring back to this the bible says, “John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance saying unto the people that they should believe on him which should come after that is on Christ Jesus.”
The one that came after Jesus Christ is who they’re supposed to believe on and that’s what’s going to take away the sin of the world, believing unto lord Jesus Christ, not getting baptized. Also think about this, if baptism saved you, if baptism was a way to wash away your sins as is thought by some then why would Jesus be baptized? Jesus didn’t have any sin. Why would Jesus get baptized? He didn’t have any sins to wash away. Why would he go through the motions of that? The truth of the matter is that Jesus was baptized in obedience to the father because he said to John the Baptist, “Suffer it to be so now for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.” It had to do with being righteous and fulfilling the word of god and being obedient to the father. He set that example of obedience toward the father by being baptized, not a washing away of saying he had no sin.
He was just obedient and setting that example and baptism is symbolic. The bible calls baptism a figure and when we say that something is figurative we mean that it stands for something else. It’s not literal, but it’s figurative. When baptism is described in the bible as a figure it’s referring to the fact that it is symbolic of the death burial and resurrection of Christ which is why people go down into the water when they’re baptized. Baptism does not save, but it is figurative of what does save. When we go down in the water and come out representing the death, burial and resurrection, that represents what saves us, the resurrection saved us, but baptism is only figurative there, not literal. Therefore a person could be baptized and go to hell if they don’t believe in Jesus Christ or a person could believe on Jesus Christ, not get baptized and they’re still on their way to heaven. Of course, the thief on the cross and many others come to mind.
Where did I have you turn, John chapter one, right, where we saw more about John the Baptist. Just a couple of pages over to John chapter three, just to find a little more about this person, John the Baptist. Why would we take that name of Baptist and put that on our church in 2015? Why would we take that name? A lot of people would say this, “It’d be more scriptural to be called Christian.” That’s what some people will say. Let’s talk about the term Christian briefly. There’s nothing wrong with the term Christian of course. It is a biblical term. It’s used three times in the bible. I think most people probably think it’s used more than that. If we were to ask people, “How many times you think the word Christian is used in the bible?” they’d probably think it’s used a ton. Actually the term Christian is only used three times.
It’s never a term where god is pronouncing that name upon his people or telling people, “Hey, this is a name for you to call yourself. This is a great name for your church, be called a Christian.” In fact the term Christian is a name that was put on them by their enemies. It was something that they were called first at Antioch. I’ll just read these for you, you don’t have to turn there. In Acts 11:26 the bible reads, “And when he had found them he brought them unto Antioch and it came to pass that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church and taught much people and the disciples were called Christians at Antioch.” This isn’t something that Jesus instituted or that Peter, James and John instituted. This is something that a little later in their missionary work they’re in Antioch, that’s when people start calling them Christians. The second time this is mentioned is Acts 26:28, when Agrippa, an unsaved man says, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” You’ve almost talked me into becoming a Christian.
Then the third and last mention of the word Christian is in First Peter chapter four verse 16 when the bible is telling us about people being persecuted for the cause of Christ. He says, “If any man suffer as a Christian let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify god on his behalf.” Again, the term Christian is in the context of persecution because that is what the outside world is referring to believers as, Christians. He’s saying, “Hey, if you suffer as a Christian that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Glorify god if you’re being persecuted for being a Christian. Again, I don’t want you to misunderstand me. There’s nothing wrong with the term Christian. I use the term Christian to describe myself. When I go out [inaudible 00:09:17] I often ask people, “Are you a Christian?” as just an opening line to start the conversation.
There’s nothing wrong with that term Christian because the bible says we shouldn’t be ashamed to be called a Christian. We shouldn’t be ashamed to suffer as a Christian, but to say that Christian is the only appropriate term to describe ourselves by is ridiculous since it’s only used three times and it was used by the world to describe Christians in pretty much all three instances if you study these instances. To say that that’s the only term and that’s the term that we should do and we need to replace the term Baptist with Christian doesn’t really hold water scripturally.
The term that the bible uses to refer to the believers more than anything else is the term the saints. That is the biblical term that comes up over and over again to describe a Christian, they’re called a saint. The Catholics have ruined that term by applying it just to certain people, the mother Theresas of this world and all of their other mythical magical characters of their cunningly devised fables of the past 2,000 years and all the weird magic and miracles and stigmata and things that were associated with that. The term saints is a biblical term that we should take back. A lot of people misunderstand a lot of scripture because they’ve forgotten what the term saint means. That’s a whole another sermon of itself, but that is the common term that is used over and over and over again, the saints. Most common.
Then you also have, we as believers are referred to as brethren, brothers and sisters in Christ because of course god is our father, we’re saved and so forth. Then we have John the Baptist. Why call ourselves after John the Baptist when people in the bible weren’t called Baptists? You don’t see that plural term. Let’s look at some things about John the Baptist. First of all let me remind you that John the Baptist was referred to by Jesus Christ as the greatest man who ever lived. Jesus said, “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist. Notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
Look down at John chapter three and verse number 22. The bible says, “After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea and there he tarried with them and baptized. And John also was baptizing and Aenon near to Salim because there was much water there and they came and were baptized.” Again, this proves right here that they’re not baptizing by sprinkling, because why would you need to go to a place where there's much water in order to baptize someone by sprinkling. That makes no sense. You could just take a glass of water and do a little baptizing.
It reminds me of when my wife and I went to Kiwanis park a few weeks ago and there were one of these weird protestant type religions over there that were baptizing somebody and they brought the person to Kiwanis lake where there is much water there. Then they sprinkled him out of a little dish of water. What is the point of traveling to this place of water and I was so tempted to just grab that person and just dunk that person in Kiwanis lake and give them a true baptism, but it was a baby. Then I was like, “I’m not going to dunk a baby in the lake,” but of course we’re going to get an infant baptism later in the sermon and what’s wrong with that.
The bible says they went to a place where there was much water there. That’s where John was baptizing. It says in verse 24, “For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto john and said unto him Rabi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan to whom thou bearest witness, behold the same baptizeth and all men come to him.” Stop right there. This is why it’s important to read the whole bible and not to take scripture out of context. You could get the wrong idea if you stopped reading in verse 26 when the Jews are telling John the Baptist, “Hey, Jesus is baptizing.” Isn’t that what they’re saying?
It says that he to whom thou bearest witness behold the same baptizeth and all men come to him. There’s a lot we can learn about interpreting the bible from this verse. Number one, when Jews are coming up to John the Baptist and saying stuff that doesn’t mean it’s true because when people are talking in the bible sometimes they’re saying things that are false. We have to go with what the narrator of the bible is telling us. That is the truth, what the holy ghost is teaching. The Jews that are coming up to John and talking, they get this wrong and the bible clarifies it.
The first thing we learn is number one, when unsaved people and unbelieving people or even saved people who are just speaking off the cuff in the bible, we can’t just automatically believe what they say is true. Number two, the importance of getting the context and reading the whole bible, because if you jump down to chapter four verse one, let’s see what the narrator says. “When therefore the lord knew how the Pharisees had heard …” What are the Pharisees hearing? Again, this is more hearsay, not actually what’s happening, but just what people are saying, the Jews are saying, what the Pharisees are hearing. When the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, but look what the narrator clarifies for us in verse two. “Though Jesus himself baptized not but his disciples.”
It’s very important to note that Jesus did not baptize anyone, did he? They are going around saying, “Oh yeah, the same baptizeth.” No, he didn’t. Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John only in the sense that he’s the leader, but the bible says very clearly in verse two that Jesus himself baptized not but his disciples. Stop and think about this for a minute. Who baptized the disciples? John the Baptist. All the men went to John the Baptist and were baptized. Not only that, but if you remember two of Jesus’ disciples, it specifically told us in chapter one that we read and if you would just flip back there, because I want to really drive in this point, it’s very important.
In John chapter one verse 35 it says, “Again, the next day after John stood and two of his disciples.” These are two of John’s disciples that have been baptized by John the Baptist, “and looking upon Jesus as he walked he sayeth,” verse 36, ”Behold the lamb of god and the two disciples heard him speak and they followed Jesus.” These are two of Jesus’ 12 disciples. They’re baptized by John the Baptist. Then when Jesus has his ministry and is reaching even more people than John had Jesus isn’t doing the baptizing, is he? It’s the disciples. Basically if you think about it, John the Baptist is where it started. He baptized people in the beginning. He was called by god, he was specifically commissioned by god to baptize with water.
He says, “I baptize with water, he that cometh after me, Jesus, is going to baptize with the holy ghost and with fire.” John was commissioned by god to baptize. That’s why he’s called John the Baptist 15 times. He was sent to baptize. He said, “He who sent me to baptize with water.” Then the people that he baptizes, the disciples, end up following Jesus and becoming that early that early first church and then they baptize people. Basically John baptizes people who baptize everybody else and that’s how it came down in succession there of one person baptizing the next to the next and so on and so forth. Everybody follow?
Let’s go to John chapter three here. It says in verse 27 where we left off, “John answered and said a man can receive nothing except it’d be given to him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness that I said I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before you. He that hath the bride as the bride groom, but the friend of the bride groom which standeth and heareth him rejoiceth greatly because of the bride groom’s voice. This my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all. He that is of the earth is earthly and speaketh of the earth. He that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he had seen and heard that he had testified and no man receiveth his testimony.”
“He that hath received his testimony had said to his seal that god is true, for he whom god had sent speaketh the words of god for god giveth not the spirit by measure unto him. The father loveth the son and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the son hath everlasting light and he that believeth not the son shall not see light, but the wrath of god abideth on him.” Let me ask you this, according to the passage that we just read, is John the Baptist lifting up himself, saying, “Hey, everybody needs to follow me. I’m the leader here. I’m the one …” No, he’s doing quite the opposite. The Jews are coming to John the Baptist trying to make him jealous saying, “Hey, this guy is baptizing more people than you are.” What John the Baptist’s response is? “He must increase. I must decrease. He is of heaven, he’s above all. He is the lord. I’m earthly. I’m just speaking the words of god. The only reason I’m filled with the spirit is because I’m preaching god’s word.”
The emphasis is not upon himself. He’s always pointing people to Jesus and always putting all the emphasis towards Jesus. Why would this person, John the Baptist, be our role model? Because of the fact that just as Jesus in the form of obviously god the father sent John the Baptist to baptized he has also sent us to baptize because at the end of the gospel, Matthew for example, he says, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and the holy ghost and teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I would command to you.
When we call ourself Baptist it’s not that we’re lifting up John the Baptist and following John the Baptist. What we are saying is that we have the same mission that John the Baptist had. We are following in the same footsteps of John the Baptist because we’re not calling ourself a Johnist, we’re calling ourself a Baptist because of the fact that one of the great things that separates us from false religion today in 2015 is baptism. I may get into that more as we go. John the Baptist was sent to baptize. He pointed people to Jesus. He pointed people that they’d be saved by believing in Jesus. We’re following in those safe footsteps and in that same ministry, which is where we derive the term Baptist for our church.
What is so significant about baptism or out of all the terms in the bible why would we choose the term Baptist to identify by? We could take the term Christian that’s used three times in the bible, that was used by the world to describe believers. We could call ourselves saints. We could call ourself all manner of things. Even the term Nazarene is biblical. The bible talks about some of the enemies of the disciples, calling them the sect of the Nazarenes. Jews to this day will often refer to Christians as Nazarenes, as a derogatory moniker for them. Why Baptist, why use the name Baptist?
First of all let me explain to you the importance of having a name in general. A lot of people would say, “Just don’t call it anything. Just call it the church at Tempe or just Faithful Word Church or just Bible Church or just Church of Jesus or whatever.” Here’s the problem with that. We are living in a world with eight billion people in it and we're living in a city with four million people and there are thousands and thousands of churches just in our one city alone. If all the thousands of churches are just calling themself Christian, community church, church at Tempe, church of Phoenix, the problem with that is it would make it very difficult to find a bible believing church if they’re all just going by a generic name.
Think about that. How would you know? You’d have to sit there and try church after church after church. Look, even amongst Baptists there’s such a variety amongst those who use the name Baptist, even when you’re within the scope of being Baptist you still have to go through hundreds of churches just in the phoenix area alone. Then you can narrow it down to independent Baptist because we don’t want to be part of a denomination. By the way, our church is truly non-denominational. We are not part of any denomination. There’s no Baptist denomination we belong to. We’re not southern Baptist or North American Baptist or general association of regular Baptist or Baptist bible fellowship. No, we are independent Baptists.
A lot of the churches who say, “Oh, we’re non-denominational,” it’s actually a lie, because if you look up in the phone book those same churches that are going around saying, “We’re non-denominational,” they’re members of assemblies of god denomination or members of the southern Baptist convention or members of other denominations that are controlling them and basically they’ve just taken the name off. They think that if they take the name off that suddenly makes them non-denominational, when in reality they’re part of a denomination. They’re not truly independent churches.
You say, “Well why do they claim to be non-denominational or why did they take the name out of the sign and so forth?” Because some people’s goal is not to make it clear what they believe. I believe that we should be just open and exposed about who we are and not try to hide what we are. Have you noticed that some false religions constantly try to hide what they are? For example a lot of Seventh Day Adventists don’t go around saying, “Hey, we’re Seventh Day Adventists.” I remember when I was a teenager there was a guy on TV in Sacramento called Doug Bachelor that’s the chief apologist of the Seventh Day Adventists but he doesn’t talk much about the fact that he’s a Seventh Day Adventists because he tries to get his foot in the door with you first just with his smooth words, try to get you on board before you realize that he’s getting you into a cult of the Seventh Day Adventists.
Other people like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, “Oh, we’re bible students. We just want to have a bible study with you.” They don’t just come out saying, “Hey, we’re Jehovah’s Witnesses” and so forth. They’re ashamed of what they are. A lot of these Pentecostal churches, they don’t want to say, “Hey, we're assemblies of god,” or southern Baptists don’t want to say, “Hey, we’re a southern Baptist church.” They hide what they are because they basically want to just bring everybody into the church. You say, “Pastor Anderson, don’t you want to bring everybody into the church?” No. What would be the point? If everybody’s in the church it’s not church anymore. It’s the world now.
The whole point of church is being a congregation of born again baptized believers. That’s the whole point. What would be the point of us getting together and assembling here today and filling this building with people who believe nothing like us? It would defeat the whole purpose. The whole purpose of church is to get together with other likeminded believers who believe like us. We can have unity because we all agree the basic doctrines. Look. Of course we don’t agree on everything. If you talk to different people in this church they’ll say, “Well I disagree with pastor Anderson on X, Y and Z. it’s not like everybody just believes the same and everybody’s just … and everybody just agrees on everything and has the same beliefs.
Everybody is a little different, but on the important issues, on the main doctrines we’re likeminded. We have fellowship. We have unity. We get along, not because we’re putting aside doctrine, but we get along because we have the same doctrine and the same final authority of the King James bible so that if there is a question of doctrine we can with the holy spirit within us and the King James bible in our hand come to an agreement because we have the same spirit and the same word of god and we can have unity. How could we have unity with people that are on one of these modern twisted corruptions of the bible like the NIV or the New American Standard. There’s not going to be unity. We don’t even have the same source document here. We don’t even have the same rule that we’re walking by of the word of god. How could we have unity with baby baptizers and sprinklers when we don’t believe that? That’s a key important doctrine.
The whole point of church is to state what we believe, assemble with people that we believe. Frankly the reason that that sign says Baptist is so that people will know what we believe. If we were to take Baptist off that sign then basically people aren’t going to know what church we are. Then what’s going to happen? A whole bunch of unsaved people, a whole bunch of people with goofed up doctrine are going to come in here and our church is going to completely change because it’s just … just bring everybody in. No. You say, “Well don’t you want everybody to be saved?” The bible teaches to go out and get people saved. He said, “Go ye there for in all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” He didn’t say bring the whole world into your church that they might be saved. He said go out into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
He says, “He that goeth forth and weepeth bearing precious seed shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him.” The sheaf is the already harvested finished product that you then bring in. Bringing in the sheaves, not bringing in the seeds and the seedlings, but bringing in the sheaves my friend. The point of putting Baptist on the side, you say, “Well is it a sin not to have Baptist on the sign?” Of course not, because sin is the transgression of the law and there's no law in the bible that says, “Hey, call yourself Baptist,” but the term Baptist is a biblical term and it’s been chosen for a specific reason, to set us apart from the false teachers and the false churches of this world because at least if we put up Baptist …
You know what Baptist represents in people’s mind? The final authority of scripture, baptism by immersion of people that are already saved. Baptists don’t baptize babies. Baptists don’t baptize by sprinkling. Baptists believe in the eternal security of the believer. Even if there is a great diversity amongst Baptists and all kinds of different types of Baptists that are more conservative or liberal, that are more fundamentalist or more progressive, at the end of the day at least there are certain things that you know about a Baptist church. Just when you see the term Baptist you say, “Okay, at least I know that they’re baptizing by immersion after people are saved. At least I know they’re going to believe in the eternal security of the believer and at least give lip service to the fact that salvation’s by faith.”
There are churches that are better than others that have the name Baptist, but at least it gets you into the ballpark of what you’re looking for whereas if we just called it Christian that pretty much tells people nothing. Think about it, if we just call our church Christian church that tells people nothing about what we believe because who calls themselves a Christian? Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Methodists, they’re all calling themselves a Christian. It’s too broad of a term. Even Baptist is broad. That’s why we always make a point, hey, we’re independent Baptists, we’re fundamental Baptists, we’re King James only independent fundamental Baptists. We’re King James only independent fundamental soul winning Baptists.
You start stacking up these terms. Why do we stack up all these terms? Because we want people to know who we are. Because when I go out looking for a church I don’t want to go to some church that’s preaching the NIV. I don’t want to go to some baby baptizing church. I don’t want to go to some church that doesn’t believe that the scripture is the final authority and doesn’t take the word of god as the literal truth and verbal inspired word of god. I don’t want to go to a church that doesn’t believe in the eternal security of the believer, it believes you can lose your salvation. That’s why I’m going to look for a Baptist church.
Now you say are there churches out there that are good churches that are not called Baptist? Yes, but guess what, the exception proves the rule. Most of the time when you go outside of that label Baptist it’s a jungle out there. You’d have to go through so many messed up … if you start doing the Christian church, bible church, you’ll find good ones, but you’ll also have to go through a lot of junk to get there. It just makes it easier … Why even put Faithful Word in front of it? Why not just call it Baptist church? Why? We’re identifying it. This isn’t just a Baptist church. This is a certain Baptist church that has a unique name. There's only one Faithful Word Baptist church in Tempe, Arizona and that’s an identifier.
It’d be like, “Why don’t I just name all my kids George Forman. These are my kids, George, George …” sorry about this, Chrissy, I’m not trying to get on you about all your kids being named Chris, or at least several of them. George, George, George, George and George. Was George Forman violating scripture when he named all of his kids George? Was he in sin? Who thinks that was a dumb thing to do to name all his kids the same name? Who thinks that’s not very practical?
Again, it’s not saying that, hey it’s wrong to name all your kids George. It’s just that George, George, George, George, George, George, lunch is ready. Chrissy calls his kids different names, so I’m not getting on him. I’m saying, if we just call everything just church … Hey, we’re not generic this morning. This isn’t just church. Who cares where you go to church. You just go to the one that’s near you. No, you go to Faithful Word Baptist church. You don’t just go to any old church. If you’re living in some other city you go looking for a Baptist church and find one that’s independent and you find one that’s King James and it’s soul winning? Why? Because all churches are not created equal, that’s why.
I remember when I first started this church I knocked on somebody’s door and they laughed at me. I said, “Yeah, I’m starting a Baptist church.” She knows there is a Baptist church right across the street.” Yeah, except you know what, laugh it up because that church is the church you’re already laughing at because it’s a joke. Because that church is a joke I’m starting a new one. I was sent out from an independent Baptist church in California that’s not a joke. I’m bringing a church here that’s not a joke. That’s the whole point, that’s the idea. Why are we called Baptist? Not because you have to be Baptist to be right with god. The point is that it just, it’s wise. It makes sense and it follows the biblical principle of what Jesus tells us in the ear we should preach on the house top and not hide under a bushel and try to dissimulate and deceive about who we ware and sneak in through the backdoor like a thief and a robber. We want to walk in the front door like the shepherd of the sheep and say, “Hey, let’s just tell everybody who we are.
Again, Baptist is a broad term, but it’s not as broad as Christian and at least if you put independent Baptist in front of it you narrow it down further and you get in the ballpark of what’s right. Why is this thing of baptism such a distinguishing mark of being a bible believing Christian in 2015? Why is the issue of baptism such a big issue? Because the arch enemy of true bible believing Christianity as far as the number one apostate church in this world over the last 2,000 years is the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church is the number one gigantor just apostate false faith Christian church in this world. What’s the biggest one? The biggest phony church in the world, the biggest cult in the world, and the reason I call it a cult is because they put man above god and they say that that man overrides what the bible says.
The pope. By the way, they worship that man, the pope. They literally get on their knees before him. They literally kiss his big toe, did you hear me? They kiss the pope’s big toe. In fact throughout the middle ages certain really powerful kings and nobility had the privilege of kissing the pope’s hand when they meet him. If you went to the pope and the pope’s holding his hand out like this for you to kiss his hand, you must be one of the great kings of the earth because everyone else had to get on their knees, bow down to him and kiss his toe. That’s not a joke. This isn’t just hyperbole up here, just joking, hey, kissed the pope’s big toe. No, literally they kissed the pope’s big toe for hundreds of years. That was the only way to greet him. He’s not going to give you a handshake. He’s not even going to let you kiss his hand unless you’re some great royalty and nobility. No, you’re going to get on your knees and kiss his feet.
That’s worship. When you’re bowing … see, in the bible when they try to bow down to the apostles the apostles are picking them up off their feet, saying, “Hey, don’t bow down to me. I’m a man like you are. Get up off your knees.” Whereas the pope is just … as he’s being worshiped and adored. You know that if he landed his plane at Sky Harbor Airport there would be a lot of people out there to worship him and they’d want to touch the hem of his garment and they would want to bow down to him and they would love to kiss his big smelly, ugly toe. They would love it, they would. They would like, “Oh, I would never wash this mouth again.” It’s cultic.
Think about it. What if people acted that way about a Baptist pastor? Think about it. What if people had pictures in their house of a Baptist pastor, they’re lighting a candle in front of him and when he shows up they’re getting on their knees, they’re kissing his big toe. People would not even hesitate to say that’s a cult. They wouldn’t even hesitate, just immediately, wow, and they’d say that’s an extreme cult. Extremely cultic behavior. What if they said, “Hey, what if that Baptist pastor, hey, if you follow me on Twitter you’ll get to heaven.” That’s what pope Francis said, that he’ll get you out of purgatory sooner if you follow him on Twitter? Did anybody read that in the news? Put up your hand if you read that. He literally said, “Time off your sentence in purgatory if you follow me on Twitter.”
Everybody, I want you to pay close attention because this morning’s sermon is really important. This is something that people are forsaking today and they don’t even understand why it’s important to be Baptist an why we shouldn’t all just unite with all Christians and all just get along and put aside our differences. You know why? Because differences matter. Jesus said, “I’m not come to send peace on earth.” He said, “I came to bring division. The word of god is quick and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
God’s word brings division. When god spoke in Genesys one he divided the light from the darkness, he divided the waters above the ferment from the waters below the ferment. He divided the dry land from the sea. He divided male and female. He is a god of division and he does not say, “Oh, everybody just unite and put aside.” No, he says be united around the truth. Unity is not ignoring the fact that we believe totally different doctrine. It’s when we get on the same doctrine from the bible. You can’t ignore salvation by works. You can’t ignore baby baptism. You can’t ignore baptism by sprinkling.
Let’s focus in on why this issue of baptism is an issue that makes its way into the name of our church because it’s so important. We want to say, “Hey, everybody, just want to make sure you know we are going John the Baptist style, not roman catholic style is what we’re saying.” The Baptists are a group of people who’ve always been in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. They’ve always been diametrically opposed to the Roman Catholic Church unlike Protestantism which is basically protesting certain things about the catholic church, but wanting to stay catholic. We want to stay catholic, but we’re protesting. We’re putting up a … No, we're not protesting because we're just not catholic.
There are people today who are today in their doctrine in many ways and call themselves a Baptist, but in general Baptists have been in opposition to Catholicism and that is what distinguishes Baptists whereas protestants could be called catholic light. In many ways Protestantism is catholic light. If you talk to a true protestant theologian, somebody who actually knows what it means to be a protestant, they’re not even offended by the term catholic. They’ll say, “I’m catholic, we’re catholic.” They’ll admit that freely.
What is it with the Roman Catholic Church? The Roman Catholic Church, one of the main distinguishing marks of roman Catholicism is of course the name catholic, which what does the name catholic mean? Universal. The big overarching doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church is the teaching of a universal church as opposed to churches. Instead of believing in multiple churches, plural, which by the way, the word churches is used more than the singular word church in the bible, just so you know. Just saying that scores of times it says churches. You’ll go off [inaudible 00:38:54] there’s only one church. Okay, explain to me the word churches. Over and over and over and over and over again, the churches of Galicia. Paul went around confirming the churches. Why? Because there are multiple churches, not just one church.
This catholic church is claiming, hey, there’s only one church. One universal church and then of course they have what, the universal pastor who is who? The pope is their universal pastor. The difference with what we believe is we don’t believe in a universal church. We believe in individual churches. We believe in separate independent churches as congregations. We’ll get into that a little bit more. But the other big thing about the catholic church that just screams out that it’s false doctrine is this thing of sprinkling babies because it’s just so diametrically opposed to god’s word. They teach salvation through the sacraments and one of those sacraments is “baptism” where they sprinkle babies with water.
Let me explain to you that the roman Catholics are not the only people who believe in this thing of sprinkling babies. You know who else believes in it? Most of the protestants, virtually all of the protestants. They came out of Catholicism and in reality if you ask them they’ll tell you, “We never came out of Catholicism.” Here’s what they say, “Rome left us. We’re the real Catholics.” I just had a protestant guy tell me that recently. They’ve hung on to this false doctrine that they got from Rome which is this sprinkling of babies instead of actual baptism. Who believes in sprinkling babies? Just the Lutherans, the Presbyterians, those who call themselves reformed, Dutch reformed, etc. The Episcopalians, church of England, Presbyterians, these people, Methodists. They sprinkle babies.
You say where is this coming from? Go to Romans six, I just want to show you a few places on this. I don’t want to spend too much time on this just because I’m running out of time as it is. Where does this baby sprinkling come from? When Jesus was baptized he came up out of the water. When John the Baptist baptized he went to a place where there was much water there, not so he could use two drops of it, but because he wanted to dunk people underwater, there has to be much water there to dunk somebody under it. It’s before plumbing and running water, you had to go to a place like the river Jordan to dunk people in. Then we see of course in Romans six, look down at your bible there in verse three, “Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his depth. Therefore we are buried with him.”
Let me ask you this. Is sprinkling similar to burial? No, but he says “We’re buried with him by baptism into death that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the water. Even so, we also should walk into this light for if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” If baptism is a likeness or figure of the resurrection then it would make way more sense if we were buried with him in baptism and then raised up, which would be coming under the water and coming out of the water. When you bury someone you don’t just sprinkle dirt on them. You pour a little dirt on their head and call it buried? The birds are going to love that one. A little bit of dirt, a little sprinkle. No, that’s not baptism. Baptism represents the death burial and resurrection of Christ. What does sprinkling represent? Nothing. It’s a false pagan, wicked doctrine. It has nothing to do with scriptural baptism.
If you want to know where this comes from go to Colossians chapter two. First of all the whole baptism by sprinkling has zero basis in scripture. A lot of false doctrines, they’ll at least take a scripture and twist it. This is one of those ones where they don’t even have a scripture to twist. It’s just out of nowhere, made up, false doctrine. Infant baptism, of course, they do have a scripture that they lean on for infant baptism. Baptism of infants, because sprinkling and baptizing babies go hand in hand in most cases and I’ll get into the exception in one moment. What you have to understand is that false doctrines 99% of the time have a scripture that they lean on. That scripture never comes right out and says what they want it to say.
Do you understand what I mean by that? A false doctrine never has a clear verse that just explicitly says, “Hey, baptize babies,” because if so then the bible would be filled with contradictions. No, false doctrine never has a clear scripture. It always has a scripture to lean on, a supporting scripture taken out of context and misused, but I never has a clear explicit scripture. This is the verse that I’ve been most often confronted with by the baby baptizers of this world, by the protestants of this world, when they want to justify baptizing babies. If you look at their catechisms of John Calvin an Martin Luther and the people that they look to that taught this stuff who are all Catholic priests to begin with, that later broke off or whatever. Remember, according to them, you know what Martin Luther said? “I never left the church. The church left me.” They never broke off anyway in the first place.
This is the scripture they’ll point to because here’s what the baby baptizers say. Baptism is the new circumcision. Who’s heard of this argument before? Wow, no one. I guess you need to go out and give the gospels to some protestants. I’ve talked to them over and over again. They’ll say basically, because how else could they justify baptizing a baby? The main argument is baptism is the new circumcision and the old testament, they circumcise what? Babies. In the new testament we’re going to baptize babies. I know it’s a stretch. I know baptism and circumcision are real different, but that’s what they say. This is the verse that they get that from. Let’s show both sides and show you where they’re getting this from
Colossians two verse eleven says this, “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands.” Let me say this, is the bible teaching a spiritual circumcision that’s not physical? Absolutely. It says, “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ. Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” What they’ll say here is that see, verse 11 says circumcision and verse 12 says baptize, so therefore circumcision and baptism are the same thing and baptism’s the new circumcision.
Here is the thing that they’re getting wrong. We don’t have to wonder what the new circumcision is because the bible tells us over and over and over again, even already in the old testament, what it means to be circumcised of heart. We don’t have to wonder about it because all throughout the old and new testaments there’s talk of a circumcision made without hands. Just to turn to one place go to Philippians three. But while you’re turning to Philippians three let me remind you of the verse I reminded you of so often which is Romans 2:28 which says … Good night, the page is missing from my bible. This is an old bible that has pages ripped out unfortunately. Here we go.
Romans 2:28, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly, either is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh, but he is a Jew,” listen carefully, “which is one inwardly. And circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Let me ask you something, is baptism taking place in your heart or is it outward? Baptism’s outward. He says that the circumcision not made with hands is not outward, it’s in the heart and in the spirit. Not only that, but in Romans 2:29 he says, “Whose praise is not of men but of god.” Let me ask you something, could baptism bring the praise of men? It’s outward. People are seeing it. You’re doing it before men. The bible says that the spiritual circumcision of the heart is inward. It’s not outward. To say baptism is that circumcision, wrong. Baptism is not the spiritual circumcision. Look what the bible defines as the spiritual circumcision.
Philippians 3:3, “For we are the circumcision, which have been baptized,” is that what it says? Is that what it says? No. It says in Philippians 3:3, “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” According to the bible what it means to be circumcised of heart is when you rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh, meaning that your faith and trust is in Jesus Christ, not in your own flesh. Your faith is in Jesus and you’re worshiping god in the spirit. That’s what it means to be circumcised of heart. It’s by faith. Does faith take place in your heart? Of course, faith is in the heart, but does baptism take place in your heart? See, it doesn’t make any sense folks.
Actually what Colossians two, 11 and 12 is doing is in verse 11 it’s talking about being saved, circumcised of heart meaning that you rejoice in Christ Jesus, have no confidence in the flesh and then verse 12, what follows faith in Christ? Baptism. He’s saying in verse 11, you’ve been saved and in verse 12 he’s saying you’ve also been baptized. He’s not equivocating the two. He’s not saying circumcision is baptism or salvation is baptism. Wrong, false, but that is the main verse. In fact if you want to just go to Wikipedia and type in infant baptism the verse that they keep bringing up is Colossians two, 11 and 12, Colossians two, 11 and 12. Like I said, I was just talking to a Dutch reformed guy who pulled out his bible because I said, “Show me that in the bible that baptism is the new circumcision.” Where did he take me?
He took me to Colossians two, 11 and 12 and said, “There it is right there.” I said, “You know what it says? Buried with them in baptism, in your proof text.” I said, “You're taking me,” because he looked at baby Stephen and said, “Oh I bet he’s not even baptized. I bet you haven’t even baptized baby Stephen,” because my family was there. I said to him, “You know what? None of your kids are baptized,” because this guy had adult children, he had children of all ages and he said, “Your baby is not even baptized. Shame on you.” I said, “Shame on you, none of your family’s baptized. You’re not even baptized because sprinkling is not baptism. You’re going to pontificate how my baby isn’t baptized?”
In reality the bible clearly teaches that before we are baptized we must believe in Christ, because the bible says in Acts chapter eight, “What doth hinder me to be baptized,” what’s stopping me from being baptized? The bible says, “If thou believest with all thine heart thou missed.” That means if you don’t believe with all your heart you may not. How can a baby believe with all their heart? They can’t do it. They don’t even know their right hand from their left. If thou believest with all thine heart thou missed. I’m running out of time, but wanted to quickly show you a little bit about why it’s so important to be a Baptist and where these false denominations come from and what’s wrong with them. I’m going to draw a little chart on the whiteboard over there. I know some of you are maybe sitting where you can’t see the whiteboard, but that’s okay. You can just listen to what I’m saying. I’m not going to go too crazy with it. If you want to relocate you can.
I’m going to write it over here. You may not be able to see it, but you can listen. I’m going to verbally go through it. Let me just show you where the modern denominations come from and I only have a short time to do this. If we start at the top with false Christianity, the number one apostate church throughout history, we would start out of course with that which is Roman Catholic. Then in 1054 AD we have a split off from that, what’s known as the great schism, AD 1054 and this is where your orthodox comes from. When we talk about orthodox, sometimes known as east orthodox, this could be Greek orthodox, Russian orthodox, any of that eastern orthodox religion.
The big separation between these two is that these roman Catholics do the sprinkling. The Greek orthodox, they still baptize babies, but they dunk them. They do it by immersion. You say why are they dunking the babies? Here is why, because these people that are orthodox, they actually speak Greek and they know that in the Greek new testament the word Vaptiso means to dunk underwater, to immerse. They’re not going to buy into a baby baptism because they speak the original language of the Greek. They’re not going to listen to these people over here that are just deceiving the ignorant, saying, “Oh baptism, that’s just a sprinkling.” That’s the split and they split over other issues too, but honestly I hate to say it, but these two aren’t that different. They split over baptism. They split over a few other issues. Still a lot of funny hats. Still a lot of idolatry. Still a lot of long clothing. Still infant baptism, just two styles of infant baptism.
One thing that this group over here has going for them is the right bible. The orthodox believers of Romania, Russia, Greece, whatever, they actually have a textus receptus based bible. They have a preserved bible that’s passed down whereas these people over here, the Roman Catholics, they have their own corrupt bible. This is your Vaticanists and Sinai Atticus crowd. This is where the NIV and … watch New World or the bible versions where we show the connection here with that. That’s AD 1054.
In the 16th century, the 1500s, we have what’s known as the protestant reformation. In the protestant reformation you have men like Martin Luther, which is where we get our Lutherans. Martin Luther was a Catholic priest that said, “I never left the Catholic church, they left me.” Sure, he didn’t like some things about the Catholic church, but he kept a lot of the bad things about the catholic church like infant baptism, like trans substantiation which means that when they eat the bread and drink the wine it’s literally the body and blood of Christ, not symbolic. That’s in Martin Luther’s own catechism if you go back and read his own writings. Martin Luther also teaches that baptism’s part of salvation, it’s part of having your sins forgiven and so forth. That’s the Lutherans.
Then you have another major reformer known as John Calvin. John Calvin is where you get your churches that have the name reformed in them. They’re looking to John Calvin. Dutch reformed, French reformed, the Hungarians have a Calvinist reformed movement there. You’ve got your Lutherans, you’ve got your reformed or Calvinist. Then over here you’ve got your Presbyterians and the Presbyterians go back to a guy by the name of John Knox in Scotland. Pretty much the same doctrine of John Calvin, but John Calvin’s in Switzerland. John Knox is over in Scotland, you’ve got the Presbyterians.
Then you have another group during this protestant reformation of the 1500s known as the Church of England or we’ll just call them Anglican. The Church of England was started by Henry the 8th. Henry the 8th wanted to divorce his wife. The pope would not grant him that divorce, so he broke up. In the real early days of the Church of England their doctrines were pretty much identical to the Roman Catholics, but throughout the course of the 1500s a lot of people within the Church of England started pulling them further and further away from the Catholic church to where by the end of the 16th century they were a lot different than the Catholic church, but here’s the thing, they never got all the way away from it. They still hung on to some of the doctrines of mama up here. You’ve got your Anglicans.
Then also you have a movement of … Look, don’t get real strict with me on this chart. This is a simplification. Obviously it would take many hours and days and weeks to go into every little twist and turn and detail. I’m trying to simplify this and just make it easy to understand and generally this is true, what I’m saying. This is a basic … Obviously we could go into every detail, but I’m just giving you the basics here. Out of the Anglicans you’ve got movements from England like the Puritans and the Quakers coming out of that movement. By the way, you know why they’re called Quakers? Because like an earthquake they go like … That’s what an earthquake does, because that’s what they do. It’s demonic, it’s weird. That’s why they were called Quakers because they don’t call themselves Quakers. They call themselves what? Yeah, we need this sermon. Society of friends. If you talk to people that say they go to the friends church or the society of friends they are Quakers.
The Puritans. The Puritans want to purify the Church of England. A lot of people would lift these people up as, “Oh yeah, these guys were great. The Puritans were awesome.” It has puritan in the name, but here’s the thing though. These were the type of people like … we still have these people today, because there’s nothing new under the sun. These are the people that think everything’s pagan. Wedding rings are pagan, circles are pagan, triangles are pagan, squares are pagan. These people are just overboard, no musical instruments. We can only sing acapella which is obviously biblically ridiculous since the bible praises the use of musical instruments. We need to come and sit on a wooden stump and listen to a five hour sermon and no fun allowed and stuff like that. That’s this group right here. Everything’s wicked, everything’s pagan. Nothing’s okay.
Then from the Anglican, when the Anglicans came to America the Church of England doesn’t sound that cool when you’re in America and you’re not in England. Then they change it to Episcopalian. If you want to know who the Episcopalians are, they are Anglicans. Today this has evolved into one group of Episcopalians amongst blacks known as the African … actually before I get to the African Methodist Episcopalians let me say this. There was a guy by the name of John Wesley who was one of these guys, Episcopalian, and then he said we need to get back to more biblical methods, so he became a Methodist Episcopalian which obviously eventually they dropped the Episcopalian and just became known as Methodist.
Then we could go down further and there’s a church called an AME church. Who’s ever heard of churches that are called so and so AME church? That stands for African Methodist Episcopalian. Why would you put the name of a nationality in your church? I thought we’re all of one blood. I thought the god’s house’s supposed to be the house of prayer for all nations. What if we had like, we're white Baptists or Caucasian. We’re Caucasian Baptist. We’re European Baptist. No, it should just be for all nations, but this group, African Methodist Episcopalian is an AME church, that’s what that stands for.
Then we've got over here, if we come back to these people over here of the Puritans, then they evolved into the Congregationalists. Again, this is a simplification, but they got into your Congregationalists and then during the 1800s you have all these movements of these ecumenical revivals. It’s where the non-denominationalism started coming in of, “Hey, all these denominations are wrong. We need to get back to the bible and so forth,” but there are a lot of false teachers that sprung up during that second great awakening. Out of these type of people Methodist type people, Congregationalist type people especially you have all of these cults spring up in the 1800s, the cults.
What do I mean by the cults that came out of these groups? We have of course, and I’m running out of room on my board here, but we have of course what are the major cults? Mormons, 1830. You’ve got your Seventh Day Adventists. You’ve got your Jehovah’s false Witnesses and you’ve got of course the Campbellites. The Campbellites today are known as the Church of Christ and the distinguishing thing about the Campbellites was they said, “Well baptism’s by immersion, but you have to be baptized to be saved.” They still hung on to that saved by baptism thing from mama up here or great grandmother as it were, but they said, “Well it’s by immersion, but you have to be baptized to be saved.”
Of course this guy, Joseph Smith, he didn’t want to be baptized by anybody so he baptized himself. Later he changed the story and lied. When you’re baptizing yourself you have a problem because if you can’t anybody on the planet that agrees with you, you might be starting a cult. If the holy spirit’s always been around, the bible’s been around, why are you having trouble finding anybody that believes like you? Because you're a cult leader, that’s why. This guy baptized himself. Later he lied and said, “Well me and my buddy baptized each other.” It wasn’t as weird as you’re making it. No, he literally baptized himself. Maybe even beat himself up a few times, I don't know.
That’s these people, all of your cults. The Campbellites today are known as Church of Christ. That’s your duck dynasty hero, that long haired hippy that you idolize. He believes that you have to be baptized to be saved. He’s a follower of this Campbell cult leader from the 1800s. Then you’ve got over here the Congregationalists merged or evolved into what today we know as the United Church of Christ. Don’t confuse the Church of Christ with the United Church of Christ. United Church of Christ is Obama’s denomination. Enough said. The United Church of Christ here in Phoenix has a big picture on the outside, they had a banner up that literally has a picture of a man and a woman, two men and two women saying, “It’s all fine.” It says literally, “We’re on the side of love” and has a rainbow flag. That should tell you something about these people right here.
This shows you where your basic denominations of today have come from, doesn’t it. Can somebody think of a denomination that I haven’t really covered? Throw it at me. Let me tell you where it came from. Anybody? We’re covering the big ones, the Lutherans, the reformed church. By the way there’s people that call themselves reformed Baptist. This is who they’re really following. They’re 99% reformed and 1% Baptist. These phony reformed Baptists, but you’ve got the Lutherans, the reformed, the Presbyterian, the Anglicans, the Episcopalians, your Methodists, you want to know where they came from? Of course, the Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Campbellites are all a bunch of cult members. Then you’ve got the super liberal United Church of Christ over here and so on.
Where did it all come from? It’s all a spinoff of this and it all has a lot in common with this right here. Then a separate line that’s not a part of this family tree is Baptists. Baptist is just a catch all name that has been applied to people who aren’t part of this family. Not part of this group. Not protesting things in the Catholic church. Not trying to purify the Catholic church and fix it, but the people that said, “It can’t be fixed. We don’t want anything to do with it.” It’s just independent people that are just independently with separate churches doing their own thing, never were part of this, don’t want to be part of this. Don’t want to fix this because you can’t fix it. It’s of the devil. That shows you where these come from.
Look, you see why it’s important to be Baptist? Because you don’t want to have anything to with the Roman Catholic Church. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather approve them. We don’t want to be connected with the Catholic church in our family tree. I’m out of time, but let me just say a few things in closing. The protestants today and the Roman Catholic chant something called the apostle’s creed. This is something that they all unify around, the apostle’s creed. Here’s what they say when they recite the apostle’s creed. By the way, I’ve been to protestant churches and I was there when they quoted this and when they recited this.
I believe in one god, father almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. Then one lord Jesus Christ, this all chanting type thing. By the way the bible says not to use vain repetitions. Anyway, they say, so far so good, they believe in one god. Everybody agree with that? Yeah, one god, maker of heaven and earth, amen. One lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of god, begotten of the father before all ages. That part’s a little bit doctrinally problematic, but it’s another sermon. Light of light, true god of true god, begotten, not created, of one essence with the father through whom all things were made. So far everything’s good to go.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven and was incarnated by the holy spirit and the virgin Mary and became man, sounds good. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried. On the third day he rose again according to the scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the father. He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will have no end and in the holy spirit the lord, giver of light, who proceeds from the father who together with the father and the son is worshiped and glorified who spoke through the prophets and one holy Catholic and apostolic church.
What? And you’ll be in a Presbyterian church, a Methodist church, a Lutheran church and they’ll recite this and say, “We believe …” Look, there are different versions of this. Most versions of this say that Jesus Christ descended into hell. This one leaves that out for some reason because a lot of people are getting away from that doctrine in our modernistic era. Throughout history that’s what most people will believe. That used to be in the creed. There are different versions of this and in most versions it says we believe in the holy Catholic church. This one says we’re glorifying god in one holy Catholic church. This is what they’re saying. What am I saying? It all goes back to that same fountainhead of wickedness of the Roman Catholic Church, 313 AD, emperor Constantine and so on and so forth.
Why is it important to be a Baptist? Because Baptist churches aren’t part of that corrupt lineage. They don’t have that corrupt doctrine. Sadly some Baptist get influenced by the protestants and influenced by the Catholics, but in general it’s the one that tells people the most that we’re not part of that group, we’re not part of these people. I wish I had time to preach to you the error of the universal church, but suffice it to say I’ve done many sermons on it. I covered in the revelation series in chapters two I believe, but suffice it to say that the word church according to the bible means congregation or assembly. We’re not assembled with all believers my friend. We’re only congregated with 100 and some people here today. We’re not congregated with every person.
The problem with believing in this universal church where they say, “Everybody who’s saved is part of the church.” The problem with believing that is that it leads to applying scriptures about unity in the church to saying let’s unify with all believers. Let’s be Catholic. Let’s be universal. Let’s all be united and. In reality that’s not what god wants us to do because the bible says we should have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather … First of all in a lot of these denominations the people aren’t saved. They don’t believe in salvation by [inaudible 01:08:11] Not only that, but even amongst those that are saved the bible says that we should withdraw ourselves from every brother that walked disorderly and not after the tradition which he received of us.
The bible talks about we should cast people out of the church that are into fornication or whatever, first Corinthians. Okay, well what if it’s a universal church, how do we get rid of that? It’s an assembly. People say, “Well the church is the body of Christ. There’s only one body.” Wait a minute, the bible says that Christ is the head of the church as the husband is the head of the wife. Is there only one wife? Is there only one husband? No. When the bible says the husband is that of the wife, what is he saying? Every husband is the head of his wife. It’s not just that there’s only one. When the bible says Christ, the head of the church, he’s saying look, if it’s a biblical church Christ is the head of that church.
I don’t even have to prove it to you because I could show you 80 some scriptures that say churches. Churches. There are local bodies and it’s our job to join ourselves with the local body, a local church, and be a part of that assembly or congregation, not just as ethereal invisible Catholic universal church. I don’t believe in it. It isn’t biblical and again, it would take a whole sermon to prove that because there’s a ton of scripture to go over on that. We could go through all the verses they try to use to teach that it’s universal and refuted all the scripture, but suffice it to say that that name Baptist is going to stay on that sign as long as I’m the pastor. Let’s [inaudible 01:09:47] and have a word of prayer.
Father we thank you so much for your word lord. We thank you for John the Baptist who pointed people to Jesus, who baptized people scripturally. He’s really the first guy to baptize anybody. The Baptist. Lord help us to be Baptists lord. Help us to go out and preach that people should believe in Jesus just like John did. Help us to baptize people underwater just like John did and help us have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of the Roman Catholic apostate church and all of its children that have way too much in common with their mother, grandmother or great grandmother the Roman Catholic Church. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.