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Is the Dominion Mandate Biblical?

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
February 23, 2024 5:10 pm

Is the Dominion Mandate Biblical?

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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February 23, 2024 5:10 pm

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The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. We'll talk about the Dominion Mandate today, and then phone lines are open. You've got questions. We've got answers. It's time for The Line of Fire with your host, biblical scholar and cultural commentator, Dr. Michael Brown. Your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. Call 866-34-TRUTH to get on The Line of Fire.

And now, here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome, welcome to The Line of Fire. Yeah, phone lines are wide open. You've got questions.

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That's what we do, what we do. Okay, I want to start with this question. What is the so-called Dominion Mandate and is it part of the Great Commission today?

What is the so-called Dominion Mandate and is it part of the Great Commission today? So, we know Genesis 1, very familiar words, on the sixth final day of creation, beginning verse 26 of Genesis 1. And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness, they shall rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the birds of the sky, the cattle, the whole earth, and all the creeping things that creep on earth. And God created man in his image, in the image of God, he created him, male and female, he created them. God blessed them and God said to them, be fertile and increase, fill the earth and master it.

Right? Fill the earth and rule over it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and all the living things that creep on the earth. And the Hebrew is, it is to, first to rule over it, to master it, and then to subdue it. So, this is part of the Hebrew verb radu, from radah, so this is to, again, to master it, and then to, what comes after that, to subdue it.

There's no question, these are words about taking over, these are words about taking control, there's no ambiguity in the Hebrew, you read a hundred different translations, they'll basically say it in a similar way, there's no ambiguity. So, with the creation of Adam, who is man, and then mankind, humankind as a whole represented there, the creation of Adam and Eve, there is a commission now, fill the earth, so be fruitful, multiply, save children, now you fill the earth. That's why there's just this drive in human beings to live and to thrive and to reproduce, it's part of the way we were made by God, part of our mission, it's just natural to us, fill the earth and subdue it. So, we are to conquer the planet in that sense, we are the alpha species on the planet, and now we are to subdue, so the animal kingdom, so that's what the human race has been doing over the centuries.

So, that's what's been happening, right? Well, there are some who teach that this is now fleshed out today through the Great Commission. So, Matthew 28, beginning in verse 18, as Jesus speaks to his disciples, right? Matthew 28, 18, all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always to the end of the age. So, there are some who teach that the dominion mandate given to Adam in the New Testament, in the Old Testament, excuse me, in the book of Genesis, is now transferred over to believers in the New Testament, and that through the gospel we are to subdue, through the gospel we are to take dominion, through the gospel we are to conquer the earth.

I do not believe that for one split second. I do not believe, number one, that there is any equivalency between Genesis 1 and Matthew 1. Genesis 1 is what it is, and it's what human beings have been doing since we got here. We've been multiplying, we've been filling the earth, and then we've been subduing it.

We've been working it so that it produces what we need it to produce. We subdued the animal kingdom, and that was part of the physical calling that human beings continue to walk out. It is a totally separate calling now to bring the gospel to all nations. Number one, this is not about subduing people. I think we all agree on that. It's not about bringing people under our dominion.

God forbid that we think like that. You know, Islam does not mean peace. Islam means submission. The goal of Islam is to bring the world into submission to Allah and his will and his law. So that would be the Islamic version of the Great Commission to bring the entire world under the dominion of Allah and his law. We want to bring believers under the dominion of the Lord Jesus.

We are all submitted to him. But there's no sense that we are going to now go and impose our religion on others and subdue them. Now, I'm not saying that your average person believes in the dominion of the man and believes that at all.

They would not put it in those words either. But there is this concept that somehow we are to, through the gospel, take over a society and then somehow make it Christian, whereas the gospel is changing hearts' lives through service, proclamation of the gospel, being salt and light. And then whatever change comes, it comes.

If it affects millions of people, if it affects ten percent, seventy percent, let those effects work themselves out. It's very different than we are going to take over or take dominion. You say, but it says to make disciples of the nations.

Right. What does it say next? Baptizing them. Do you baptize nations or do you baptize people? You baptize people. There are two ways to read these verses. One is by preaching the gospel to people in different nations, you make disciples of the people in all nations. Another way to read it is you actually disciple nations.

I do not believe that's the right reading of Matthew 28. I respect Christian friends that say, well that's what happens through the gospel, not through taking over, but through the Christianizing of a country, through the gospel, you disciple the nation. I understand that. It's not a dominionist idea in terms of we're going to take over and impose something.

I get that. However, however, I don't believe it's what the text is saying. Again, you don't baptize nations, you baptize people. It means making disciples of people in all nations, which is a perfectly valid way to understand the Greek and I would say historically the way it's largely been understood.

You might say to me, Dr. Brown, I can't believe what you just did. You completely misrepresented the dominion mandate. You made it as if Christians in the New Testament are supposed to take dominion over other people and we don't believe that for a second. Okay, then don't use the term dominion. Don't use the term dominion mandate because it's very confusing and it's very misleading.

And just say we want to evangelize people but also impact nations with the gospel and the more people respond to the gospel and the more Christians are raised up to have influential places in society, the better for the society. Great. Wonderful. Praise God. I'm with you on that. Just don't call it dominion. It is the wrong word to put on it.

It's an off-putting word, especially with so much hyper-Christian nationalism and various racial supremecisms that are vying for national attention. Let's emphasize the cross. Let's emphasize service. Let's emphasize sacrifice. Let's emphasize changing hearts and by changing hearts we can change minds. We can change laws.

We can change society. 866-344-TRUTH. Let us go to the phones.

We will start in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Emmanuel, welcome to the line of fire. How are you? God bless. You're doing well. Thank you, sir.

I respect a lot of your work. I had a Bible interpretation of a verse and the cross and I just wanted to get your take on it and see if it was theologically correct. When Jesus was on the cross and he says, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? The way I interpret that, that in that moment since the sins of the world was coming upon him, there was a separation of presence between the father and the son. And the reason I came up with that conclusion is because the Bible says that he paid for our sins and the wages of sin are death and we know in that context death is not a physical death, it's a spiritual death, a separation between you and the father. So I would assume that when he's saying he's dying for our sins, he's paying the penalty for that moment.

He's tasting death for a moment for the whole world. But I want to see what your take and your perspective on that is. Yeah, Emmanuel, first you've thought it out in a logical way and your position can make biblical sense and there are many who would hold to that view. There was just not a weird, heretical or cult-like view. The way I might nuance things just a little bit. We know that the final word Jesus says on the cross is, Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Right? So there was a sense of communion with the father. There was a sense of looking to him when he says to the thief on the cross, today you'll be with me in paradise.

It was not that he was in a forlorn state of separation. The biggest thing is this, we know that God is God and there can be no disjuncture in God. So we know that the spirit of God does not actually experience death or Jesus in his spirit doesn't experience death because he's God. This is something that happens in his body.

He dies. However, you could say that at that moment, as the weight of the sin of the world was upon him, that the conscience, presence of God at that moment, the fellowship reality at that moment, the sense of nearness at that moment, he felt as if forsaken and spoke those words, one, so that we go to Psalm 22 and look at it and see it as a prophetic Psalm, and two, to convey that, that at that moment he did feel the weight. So God remains God at all times. The Father, Son, and Spirit remain God at all times. There's no disjuncture like at a certain point.

Oh, they split. That's not God. That's not his triunity. So what you're saying, I think, is exactly that, that the consciousness of the felt presence of God was not there at that moment, which is the reality of the sense of him taking the sins of the world on our shoulders. Now, there may be someone that's going to call in in a week and tell me, Dr. Brown, that's heretical. How dare you support that? No, I think that's a very valid way of reading it, very poignant.

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We've got a full line open, 866-348-7884. You know, it's an old question, did Jesus die spiritually? Well, if you say some believe he suffered in the netherworld and that was a spiritual death that he suffered. But we know again that God cannot suffer just juncture within himself.

That God is one. And it's not that there's separation in the Godhead. So the question would be, on the cross, did Jesus experience a sense of separation? Was the conscious presence of God taken from him that he had always walked with and lived with?

Sure, you could make that argument. The weight of our sins had that sense of separating the conscious presence of God. But just like in our own lives, the Holy Spirit is in us. We may not be conscious of his indwelling, but he's there. There are times we're deeply conscious of fellowship with the Spirit, Jesus being with us.

And there are times we're not, and yet he's still with us. So in the case of the Father and Son, you would understand that the Son always walked in intimate communion with the Father his entire time on earth. And that this was something that Jesus, as a man, experienced and lived with. And now, as a man, suffering, the pain as he's suffering hanging on the cross, the agony of crucifixion, that's physical pain. Your spirit does not suffer physical pain, it's his body suffering physical pain.

So as a man, the sense of the conscious presence of God not being there, that could absolutely be what happened as the price of our sins and as a striking testimony to what sin does and to what he was bearing on the cross. 866-34-TRUTH. Let's go over to Charlotte, where are you in South Carolina? Katie, welcome to the line of fire. Hello, Dr. Brown.

Yes. Hey, this is Kathy. So, thank you for taking my call. And I will be as brief as possible. I believe it was last Friday, at the very end of the show, you didn't have a chance to get on all the calls and you referred someone to some previous work you had done, articles as well as videos regarding women in ministry and women speaking in the church and such. And so I went to those and got a lot out of that.

And I wanted to share something that a number of years ago, I read from commentator, Adam Clark. This is in the one scripture in 1 Corinthians 14. I know there are a number of them that raise questions, but this is the 1 Corinthians 14, which we know that chapter talks about prophesying as opposed to having a message in tongues and, you know, bedifying the whole church. And so it speaks a bit about prophesying. And then it gets to the towards the end in verse 29, let two or three prophets speak and let the others judge. If anything is revealed to another that sits by, let the other first that the first keep silent, for you may all prophesy one by one and that all may learn and all may be encouraged.

The spirit of the prophets are subject to the prophets. And of course, as we know earlier in the letter in chapter 11, he gives women the instructions on how to prophesy and pray in church, which of course raises the question about the next verse. Let your women remain silent in the churches.

They are not permitted to speak. They're commanded to be under obedience, as the law also says, if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home. And so, Adam Clark had, I thought, an interesting thought here, and that is that the New Testament churches were likely patterned after what the people were used to, which would have been the system in the Jewish synagogue. And we see in the Gospels, as well as the Book of Acts, that in the synagogue, and definitely weigh in on this after I get done sharing what he said, but the synagogue, you would have someone come in and you could have a leader in the synagogue who would say, do you have something to share? Or Jesus was given a book to, like Isaiah, to stand up and read. And then after there would be a reading or something that was shared, and then there would be discussion, even perhaps debate. We definitely see that in Nazareth with Jesus, and people would be giving them their perspective. Well, here we have the spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophets, let the others, you know, basically the prophets saying, was this from the Lord, how much of this was from the Lord, etc.

And at that point, Adam Clark is saying, at that point in the meeting, this would be a good place for the women to not interject and get involved and just, you know, it could be, there might be somewhat of a debate going on, and this could be a good time for the women to keep silent. That was his perspective on trying to put those scriptures together. Yeah, so I appreciate the perspective.

I don't think it's right, though, but I appreciate the perspective. Adam Clark was a great Methodist commentator. His works are still read, you know, hundreds of years later, as you just evidenced. So, number one, we do agree that Paul's already set parameters for women prophesying and praying in a meeting, in a gathering, which would have been a house meeting, but that was where church met in the house. So he's already said this, so he can't be contradicting that a few chapters later.

That's self-evident, so now what do we do with it? It's more likely that it reflects the fact that the custom was for men to sit on one side of a room or a meeting and women on the other, and that because of the culture of the day, women received less education than men, and there was the possibility as teaching and instruction was going on that women were, because it says if they have a question, let them ask their husbands at home. So that it was creating disruption in the service where someone's teaching and the women are asking across the room, their husbands asking questions, be silent, ask at home. That would fit, and it wouldn't restrict whether a woman could teach or prophesy or minister at all. It would just speak to if you have questions, wait till you get home, because it's disruptive this way.

That works perfectly well. Now, there are some who argue that that whole section, let women keep silent in the church, etc., that that was actually a question from the Corinthians, that elsewhere, like Paul will say, food for the body and the body for food, or all things are lawful, and he responds, well, not everything is edifying. In other words, there are questions or issues that the Corinthians had that Paul just quotes without putting, because we don't have quotations in the ancient Greek or Hebrew, so the ancient Greek here, that if we were doing it, we put it in quotes. Like, what you're wondering about this, here's my answer. He just says it and then responds. So, for example, all things are lawful. That's their word. He goes, yeah, but not everything edifies, you know?

Yeah, food for the body, the body for food, yeah, but God will destroy both. So, they have their comment, and now here's the response. So, some have argued, as long as this is, that they're now saying, hey, Paul, this is our position. Is this right? Women should keep silent, etc., and then he responds like, what? What are you talking about?

Where'd you get this from? That's not my own position, but there are those. I mean, whole books have been written to try to argue for that, and it is an interesting view, and some even claim there's a very minor Greek punctuation mark that reinforces that. So, with all appreciation to Adam Clarke, no, I don't see that as what's being taught, but when I discussed it with my colleague, Professor Craig Keener, one of the world's foremost New Testament scholars, he was reading some book of ancient Greek rhetoric or something, and the light went on for him in the same way, in terms of these were the kinds of things that happened, and in terms of, you say, how would it apply today? Well, if we had the same culture today, where women were less educated, and sitting on another side of a building, and in the middle of the teaching, saying, hon, could you explain that? Who is Moses?

What is that? I don't know, what did he just say? It's like, let the woman keep silent. So, we don't have that cultural equivalent today in our meetings, and therefore, we're not trying to silence women. We're just saying, what's the proper context? Women clearly can speak, can minister in all different ways, they can prophesy the questions about women in leadership, and those are separate but interesting questions, but certainly, women could deliver messages, and speak, and share the gospel in all different settings, and within the body.

There's no restriction on that, and 1 Corinthians 14 must be put in the context of these other passages. Alright, we will be right back on the other side of the break. 866-348-7884. Hey friends, Michael Brown here, my delight to serve as your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. We are living in such urgent times today, friends, that all of us are in the line of fire.

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Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome back, friends, to the Line of Fire. You know what's really neat? It's something I really enjoy. It's so meaningful to me. I'll be out speaking, and often I don't get to interact with folks face-to-face after service or before service just because it's a big crowd, and so I come in, speak, and then leave just the way it is, or I have to go right to the airport.

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And hey, it's a biblical principle that he was taught in the Word, share all good things with his teacher. If we've been a blessing and help and support to you, this is a way that you can say, hey, we want to sow back. All right, to get on the phone with us now, 866-34-TRUTH. Let us go to Phoenix, Arizona. Welcome to The Line of Fire. James. Hello, Dr. Brown. Hey. Thanks for taking my call.

Sure. In short, my question is, you know, do you have to believe in the inerrancy of the Bible? But a little more detail with that is just because for years now I've been studying like the textual criticism of the Old Testament and New Testament, mainly the Old. And, you know, seeing all the variants, the scribal immedations, you know, some texts that were admitted, some texts that were added.

You know, that kind of got me, you know, feeling a little weird about everything. And I was just wondering, you know, how does that affect the inerrancy of the Bible? And do you have to believe in the inerrancy of the Bible? Because it looks like there are clearly a lot of errors in the Bible.

And then I guess on top of that, I guess it's kind of like a twofold question. It would be like, you know, some of the contradictions, some of the contradictions are very, you know, are easier than others. Some of them are very, very difficult to reconcile, and that's just where my question stems from, is, you know, how do you have to believe in the inerrancy? Right, so when we speak of inerrancy, we all understand as biblical scholars and students of the word, we all understand that in the multiplied thousands and thousands of manuscripts that we have of the Hebrew Bible and the Greek Bible, so the Old and New Testaments.

Of the multitude of translations into other languages, especially the earliest ones, the Septuagint and the Vulgate and the Peshitta, and then the various Targumim, the Aramaic translation paraphrases, and then other verses that followed. We have this massive wealth of evidence, and within any one text, for sure, there are some errors as they've been transmitted, and there are some texts that seem to contradict each other. So, someone who believes in inerrancy believes that in the original manuscripts, right, so as written in the first manuscripts, it was without error, not just in without error in terms of what it teaches about God and faith and obedience, but without error in terms of if it said that 3,061 people died in this war, then that's how many died in that war. And if it said that this happened in this historical period, that's what happened.

So, in other words, it's inerrant in whatever it asserts, right? Now, you can say Genesis 1 is about theology versus science, so we can debate interpretation, but the first thing is to recognize it's a faith statement because we don't have the original manuscripts, right? That's the thing, it's a statement of faith because we all know that in the manuscripts as we have them that there's some contradictions or some apparent errors, so textual criticism does its best to get to the original.

Now, let me just say this on a pastoral level for everybody out there. Having studied these things intensively over the years, my focus has been Old Testament textual criticism more than New Testament textual criticism. I can say without question, without contradiction, that the Bible is the best preserved collection of books by far from the ancient world, in certain cases a hundred to one, in other cases a thousand to one, in terms of witnesses, preservation, accuracy.

So, for example, because the, and I'm going to answer your question very straightforwardly at the end about what I believe you have to believe to truly believe the Bible, okay, but I want to expand on this for everyone's sake, and obviously you've dug deep, so I want to go deeper with my answer. So, the custom in Judaism was if a copy of the manuscript got too worn out, or a copy of a sacred book, so a biblical manuscript or prayer book or something got too worn out, the book that they were using, the codex in the actual book got too worn out, that it would be stored like in the back of a synagogue, what was called the Geniza, a storage room, or it would be buried, so basically the old copies disappeared. You didn't have them anymore. Maybe you'd find something like the Cairo Geniza and they'd find all these old manuscripts and books and things like that.

Otherwise, you wouldn't have them. So, the oldest complete copy of the Hebrew Bible is the B. Leningrad 19A manuscript, which is from a little over a thousand years ago. So, it's about a thousand years after the time of Jesus.

That's the oldest one we had. The Aleppo codex is often considered more authoritative, even more accurate, but some of that was burned and lost in the war against Israel in 1948, stored in Aleppo, Syria. Be that as it may, when you now have parts of the Hebrew Bible, you have many, many attestations from the Dead Sea Scrolls, much of the Hebrew Bible found in manuscripts in the Dead Sea Scrolls, so that's a thousand, eleven hundred years earlier than the Leningrad manuscript. What's striking is if you look, for example, at the Isaiah B Scroll, which reflects the Masoretic tradition, in most cases it is letter for letter, identical to manuscripts a thousand years later, twelve hundred years later. So, in other words, there has been very careful scribal preservation of the text, and because we have this abundance of witnesses, instead of having little evidence, we have massive amount of evidence. When I read the Scripture, even reading in an English translation, I read with a tremendous confidence that I'm reading God's Word, and that there may be a minor detail here or there where there's debate, or what appears to be a contradiction, like in Numbers, this account says it was twenty thousand that died, this account says it was two thousand that died. Those discrepancies don't bother me at all, and as I've looked at major contradictions over the decades, sometimes I'll just let them sit until I can get an answer that makes sense rather than try to force it to work. All that being said, now, to answer your question, it is a matter of faith to say that the original manuscripts are inerrant because we don't have them.

So, that's where we start. It is essential as believers that we must recognize the infallibility of Scripture in everything it declares for our lives. In other words, in order to be saved in right relationship with God, a true believer, we must believe the biblical record of who Jesus is, we must believe the biblical record of how he died and rose, we must believe the biblical record that there's no salvation outside of him, we must believe the biblical record that there's one God and one God only, we must believe the biblical record about sin, etc., etc., etc.

Can we say, well, I think that the original author of Chronicles was just copying some contemporary accounts and those accounts maybe didn't have every number correct. You're not going to go to hell for having that question, but it will open up the door. If you don't hold to inerrancy, it opens up the door to, well, where do you draw the line?

What's accurate, what's not accurate? So, for me as a matter of faith, I believe that the original manuscripts were inerrant in all that they taught and conveyed. However, rather than debating that, I would simply ask someone, whatever the Bible tells you about Jesus, how to live, how to be right with God, what God requires of you, everything essential for life and Godness, do you believe that it is 100% God's word, trustworthy, infallible, unshakable? If someone says yes, well, you can certainly be saved and hold to that while we debate whether there's a copyist error with a number here or whether the author of Kings was just using historical accounts from his day and may have had a number discrepancy. That to me is a side issue, but my own position, I do hold to inerrancy, but it's a faith position. What I can say for sure is what we know has been preserved and given to us as to how to live for God, I'll give my soul, my life, I'll stake everything I have on it, my eternity on it. So I hope that answers your question.

Sorry for the extra time and answer. You know, I say, you know, because it's in the Bible, I believe it, you know, sometimes it's like some people, you know, have these questions like, you know, do you believe that the, you know, the God called the sun that stands still in the sky, you know, that mean he had to call the whole entire universe. That's how it's recorded. That's how it's written. I don't understand how it worked out, but I believe that it happened and that the day was lengthened.

How God did it, I don't know. I believe that. Right. So the same page. And then it's like, well, how do you explain this contradiction in the number died in war between Chronicles and Kings? I don't worry about it.

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These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It's the line of fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the line of fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown.

Hey, friends, welcome back to the line of fire. Michael Brown, delighted to be with you. 866-34-TRUTH, number to call. Hey, a shout out to our friends at Trivita, our co-sponsors.

If you want to find out some great wellness supplements, I use them daily, go to trivita.com, trivita.com. The code you use is BROWN25. Okay, we go to Rich in Louisiana. Richie, welcome to the line of fire.

Yes, sir, Mr. Brown. I was calling about curses and things like that that are in the Bible. And the reason I say that is I believe some of my sins might affect other people. Hey, Rich, when did you call in last? I called in about a week ago. Yeah, I thought we chatted a couple days ago and I was trying to help in that regard. Remember, I encourage you, the nature of what you're talking about, you really need to go and talk with a local pastor or leader, okay? It's not that I don't want to help, but what you started to talk about, the nature of it, you really need to go to a local pastor, leader, sit down with them, okay?

So please do that. That's the best way that we're going to deal with some of these issues because I know they were pretty serious. All right, let's go over to Jim in Acworth, Georgia.

Welcome to the line of fire. Hey, doctor, how are you? Doing great, thanks. I am really honored to be speaking to you. I really love listening to you and I love reading about you.

I'm from New Jersey, you're a Long Island guy, so I have that connection with you. Oh, yeah. My question is this. I recently heard, I was raised Catholic, became a Christian when I was 50 years old, and I went where I was, as I understood it, baptism became a, you know, baptism as a Catholic, as a little baby, but then I learned later on in my studies that water baptism was more a, not I want to call a ritual, but more out of obedience and showing or symbolic. And yet now I've learned also from another point of view that water baptism, and I have to be kind of careful the way I nuance this because it's not used to get us into heaven water baptism, but it's water baptism has a definitive purpose of removing our old sinful self, so it actually is, it is necessary to enter heaven, not for salvation, if you can understand that nuanced difference that I've encountered. I'm trying to understand it myself.

Hang on, explain the nuance first. If it's not necessary for salvation, but it's necessary. I'm using a wrong term for not salvation but when you're saved. That begins a process of sanctification water baptism is this new theology that I heard is that water baptism is used to remove the old sinful self, which cannot enter heaven. You can't go into, you can't, you can't be saved and yet still have this old sinful nature, hanging around with you God can't let you into heaven. And that's what water baptism removed so that's why it's critical that you not only say the sinner's prayer or the prayer or the surrender except Jesus had the Holy Spirit come and live inside you, but you have to get rid of that old man. And that's what water baptism does and I've really struggled trying to trying to figure this one out on my own by studying different Bible and, and I thought you're a great source and I just you know I really love listening to you I thought maybe you'd be helpful. And it just was weird that today's subject I didn't think it was going to tie into my question, but it actually did because it's part of the Great Commission.

Right. So, baptism is required for believers, and is something essential in our lives, but I absolutely reject that theology, that is through baptism, that you get rid of your sinful nature. Number, number one, when we were born again we were born again we were born to you. At that moment, we, we are transferred from the column of guilty to innocent. At that moment, we are, we are transferred from the column of unrighteous to righteous. We go from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. We become children of God, whereas we were formerly children of the devil.

Right? So, that, that is absolutely clear and definite in terms of the new birth. And if we confess Jesus as Lord, believe in our heart, God is raised from the dead, we will be saved.

That's number one. Number two, baptism symbolizes the dying to the old and living to the new. Just as Jesus died and rose, so this symbolizes it, that we are now dying to the old and rising to the new, and it symbolizes the washing away of our sins going under the water. Romans 6 lays it out most plainly. But that doesn't get rid of a sinful nature or sinful desires, we now must consider ourselves dead to sin. So, Paul writes in Romans 6, look, how can you live in sin any longer? Don't you realize you died to it when you were baptized? You died to sin, now you live to God, so therefore consider yourselves dead to sin.

This is something we do for the rest of our lives. We grow in grace, we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, and we continue to draw near to Jesus, and hopefully as the years go on, our sanctification grows, but it's never that sinful nature or sinful tendency disappears. Let me read to you, for example, from Colossians, the third chapter, okay? So this is Paul writing to believers, presumably, and he's already talked to them about being baptized, so these are baptized believers, alright? So here's what he says, beginning in verse 1, if then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God, when Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. So remember, these are baptized believers he's writing to. Then he says this, put to death, therefore, whatever is earthly in you, sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness which is idolatry.

On account of these, the wrath of God is coming, and these you too once walked when you were living in them, but now you must put them all away, anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices, and have put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. So it's telling you, as a baptized believer, to put to death the things that belong to that sinful earthly nature, to say no to that, and to take on the new nature.

So this is something that we have to consciously do. So my self consciousness is, I'm a redeemed believer, I'm a saint, not a sinner, I'm a child of God, I have a new nature, and yet as long as I live in this world, in this body, with temptation and sin, I have to say no to those things. There are some who believe in what's called baptismal regeneration, that you're saved until you're baptized.

This is kind of almost that position, but it's not biblical. So again, if you study Romans 6, when we were baptized, that was the outward symbol of us dying to sin and not living to God, and yet we still have to make a daily decision to say no to sin, no to the flesh. Now, the only way that there could be an issue of salvation and baptism is if someone refuses to be baptized. You cannot be under the lordship of Jesus and refuse to obey an essential command. So I would question if someone really knows the Lord, and they say, I don't care what he says, I'm not going to be baptized, well you obviously don't belong to him.

Here's the other question. You know lots of believers, I'm sure, over the years. So we're not talking about someone baptized as an infant, we're talking about someone baptized as a believer, right? So are they now suddenly different? Are they like, well everything changed?

They're not sitting anymore? So the very fact this has caused you some confusion and perturbed you a little bit is a further evidence it's not biblical, it's not what scripture says, so just leave it. Can I ask you, one of the examples that was used, and when you read it it makes sense, like when Philip is given the mission of going and speaking to the eunuch from Egypt, or Ethiopia, I think it's Ethiopian, and he explains what would have been then, the Old Testament, they didn't have the New Testament, so he's explaining the Old Testament aspects to him. And then the eunuch seems to accept all that, and then he goes, hey look, there's water, let's go get baptized.

They use that as a, well why would he have said that if it wasn't a requirement? Because he was probably a God-fearing Jew, or a God-fearer, if not a Jew, a God-fearer, otherwise he was a God-fearing Jewish convert or just Ethiopian Jew, and he's thoroughly familiar with it, they're all familiar with immersion. In other words, this is a sign of repentance. Ritual immersion was a sign of repentance. When Peter preaches it, repent and be baptized, everyone in the name of Jesus, for the forgiveness of sins, that was not some new thing, like what? What's that? We never heard of it. You could do that multiple times in a year, you know, so of course it was common, it was known, it was part of Judaism, and in fact if you officially became a convert to Judaism, you would be baptized.

So it was symbolic, it was representative, but it doesn't change the inside, it is an outward sign and an outward confession, and the going under and coming up symbolizes dying with Jesus to sin and rising in newness of life, and the water symbolizes washing and cleansing. Hey remember, if you're not getting our Frontline newsletter, sign up today, go to TheLineOfFire.org, you'll be blessed, you'll be thrilled, you'll be encouraged, you'll want to share it with others. TheLineOfFire.org, sign up today. Another program powered by the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-23 20:12:58 / 2024-02-23 20:34:10 / 21

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