The Weekend Word

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106 Responses

  1. Jean says:


    Perhaps you would comment on one other aspect of John’s baptism: The temple system already had the sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins. John appears to be undermining the temple system by providing for the forgiveness of sins through his baptism. Was the temple system so corrupted (like the Essenes thought) that it was no longer legit?

  2. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t think the temple sacrifices forgave sin as much as you made you offering to God to cover you until Yom Kippur.
    What John is offering is a whole new thing. It is not an adjustment to an old system – baptism is all new and for a new purpose.

  3. Em again says:

    #2 excellent point to hang onto – and speaks to the criticisms that are made of the sacrifices being the same thing that the pagan religions did to appease their gods
    it seems to me that those temple sacrifices, carried out according to God’s instruction, acknowledge personal sin and i suspect that the priests were skilled as surgeons in bleeding out those animals – no aspect of it could have been called a religious orgy – i have a mental picture of something very solemn and methodical – serious and sorrowful

  4. JoelG says:

    “but that it is actually God who repents us.”

    How does this happen? Is it his Goodness and Grace that leads us to repentance? Does The Holy Spirit lead us to repent?

  5. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So we don’t get lost in the weeds, the service system for all practical purpose was rendered finished at the birth of Jesus. God is not working on a renovation program to bring back a wandering nation. He is / has cut them off and all the world will begin over under entirely new rules.
    It comes later in the chapter at the baptism of Jesus.

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    As I mentioned in the article – no direct communication for 400 yrs and what are the first prophetic utterance from a prophet? As Michael used to shout at me and Alex — “ENOUGH!!!

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    JoelG – if you read the 3 passages I listed (I just gave the ch not the verses) but you will see in each that it is indeed God who repents us. I remember but not the address in Jeremiah where theKJV translates “turn me Lord and I will be turned.

  8. Jean says:

    Another way to look at it is through the bondage of the will. We will things according to what seems pleasing and agreeable to our mind. That is our will. The natural man does not desire God, although he serves many false gods, who offer things which are pleasing to the flesh.

    In order to desire that which the natural will despises, the Holy Spirit must turn the will supernaturally to desire God. We experience the effect, but do not always recognize the cause without some catecheses.

  9. JoelG says:

    Thanks guys

  10. Jean says:

    Later in Matthew, Jesus will give us the brutal truth:

    “When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.””
    Matthew 19:25-26 ESV

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    To be clear the verses from my v 6 notes – that the passages say it is God who gives and God grants – repentance. We do not do our own repentance.
    A 5:31
    A 11: 18
    2 T 2:25

  12. Em again says:

    #11- i know that this is an assertion (God does everything) that is near and dear to you…
    the one thing that your assertions have not explained to me… is how that doesn’t make us zombies… i know that it is God that works in us both to will and do… do you mean to state that we just walk along, minding our own business/nothing and we get zapped – voila – look at me i just got Christianized?

    perhaps, when there’s time you can explain how and why the above doesn’t make us “zombies”

    there does seem to be lots of ways to confuse the how-to of being reconciled to God – courtesy of the devil (IMHO)

  13. Em, I don’t know the mechanics of how it works. I pointed to the scriptures that say it is God who repented us.
    I do know this – when someone is rebellious against God in this area, the law verses say “ok, go repent yourself to me.’ As Jean pointed out above, our will is bound and we cannot.- and that is where the law leaves you — with a command that you cannot fulfill – you cannot repent yourself.

    Now, the gospel (and this is where I always call for folks to put in the effort to properly distinguish between the law and the gospel) – so the Gospel verses always with a capital ALWAYS tell us what Jesus has already done for us. The verses I pointed to, well they tell us what God has already done for us — as the verses clealy say, he has given us and he has granted us repentance.

    Myself, well I like the gospel way better. So if that means that in this area I was zombie like, well how am I to argue with scriptures – I was zombie like when God repented me.

    But what should I call someone who is working at repenting themselves? Help me out and tell me how you repented yourself in a non zombie like action.

  14. Also, when you say “i know that this is an assertion (God does everything) that is near and dear to you…” what does it mean?
    1.) that you do not think God did everything … with the definition of everything being everything?
    2.) or that even if he did do everything it is not near and dear to you?

  15. Em again says:

    well, i won’t sidetrack on your #14 it’s a bit flossy IMHO – however…

    ” tell me how you repented yourself in a non zombie like action.”

    i don’t know how God created me for starters… blowing on mud? so i can make some latitude for your phrase asserting that God also “repented” me…

    and i think we do absolutely, totally 100% agree that we cannot, in any way shape or form, redeem ourselves – nor do i think that our efforts sustain that redemption

    what i read is that God does work on our hearts, bringing us to repentance – but that repentance is our response – it is a RESPONSE TO the work that God does – repentance is not applied to us, burned into us or screwed into us … well, maybe it is – dunno

    what is a work of God AFTER repentance is the infusion of Christ into us and IMX this is not all at once or static – we have God given tools to enable focusing and confessing and learning and yielding (as i learn) and growing

    that’s another subject … this is getting too long

    those caps don’t mean i’m shouting – don’t know a way to emphasize what i type here

    the old saw that in negotiating, he who speaks first loses is applicable here as i’ve lain myself open to your slice and dice – but you asked and the question was one worthy of an answer IMHO – even though my brain shuts down promptly at noon daily

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, the scripture I posted, what do they say?
    All I am saying is what they say. In fact I can say them an amen them at the same time.

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    My wife and I are out fishing. I am having better success typing on my phone than I am fishing.

  18. I wish we still had an Open Blogging page.
    While everyone is in church, I am out fishing again with my wife. While she fishes I read. Read this and thought it was important.

  19. Michael says:


    We may bring it back.
    I simply don’t want to be online anymore than I have to be and I don’t want to moderate strife at all.
    Losing it has restricted people, though…and I may need to rethink the matter.

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well if you bring it back I promise not to argue with anyone — regardless how wrong they maybe. 😉

  21. Em again says:

    Michael, beware of #20 – remember MLD’s stand on our total depravity 🙂

    so much of what we hang our hats on is what we think (or in my case have been taught) that harmonizes scripture with doctrine; which doctrines are, in turn, built by interpreting scripture…
    IMV-there is much to be said for seeing us, like the 12 disciples, as distinct types of personality profiles and God may just use His word(s) in some miraculous way to fit us all in – square holes for square pegs and round holes for round pegs, but all made of the same non negotiable wood, er… material?
    MLD, maybe try casting from the other side of the boat? – but it’s nice to have a good wife who provides for you – hope you folks enjoy a good fishie lunch

  22. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, I used to cast from your side of the boat for 25 yrs. All dead fish.
    Doctrine is not this way for some and another for others no matter how nice we wish to play. God either repented us or he didn’t…but it is not both. Baptism saves or it doesn’t but it can’t be both.

  23. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    But what God does is not dependent on what we do. So he can save who he wants for whatever reason he wants.

  24. Em again says:

    MLD, it would scare me to death – quite serious – if one day you posted a comment to the effect that, “by George, Em’s got it right and I’ve got it wrong.” stay the course that keeps you close to Him… as will I … and I thank you and Michael for letting me post my comments here

    God sure can “can save who he wants for whatever reason he wants.” that’s a little loosie goosie, but not too far out there 🙂

    i love that you and Mrs. MLD spent Mother’s Day fishing, BTW

  25. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, Perhaps we don’t disagree too much and perhaps it is some of your wording. But when you say God can do what he wants with salvation and you say you agree- well I would think we are OK and then you add it is looser goodie and then follow up that it isn’t that far out – what am I to make of that?

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Auto correct is miserable. Should read loosie goosie.

  27. Josh the Baptist says:

    God might repent you.

    Theoretically, one could give proof texts supporting either side of that argument.

    Practically, I can tell you that if God repents you, it’s going to feel exactly like you are repenting. So….I’m not sure this one matters in the real world.

    (Of course, for MLD it REAALLYYY matters, and I’m the worst kind of scoundrel for thinking different. But honestly people, if you’ve ever repented and nothing changed in your actions, you didn’t repent.)

  28. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, I answered a question above and someone challenged my answer so I provided the verses. So actually it must have been REAAAALY important to that person.
    But I will not take offense at your very Roman Catholic thoughts.

  29. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jeans answer to this at #8 fully explains why we cannot repent ourselves – which also plays into the fact that there are no requirement to enter God’s kingdom other than God telling you to go in.

  30. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – Above I explained both sides through the law / gospel perspective. Read above- I did present both side.

    On another note, what do you think of the article I posted?

  31. Jean says:

    I’m a little concerned when people appear comfortable with the idea that the Bible offers multiple truths on matters of salvation. There was a time when God’s Word was not yes and no.

  32. Em again says:

    #31 – point well taken if one is comfortable with more than one way into the Kingdom, they need to be called out – at least for clarification…

    i am comfortable that the Bible does offer multiple truths on matters of salvation – However, those truths must all agree… if one is convinced that God repents them, they should not compromise… on the other hand if one, such as myself, thinks that repentance is my affirmative response to God’s call to so do and i do – and i have done so – repent – the repentance is done… pray for my soul, if you must, but tread lightly on accusing one such as myself of not having been repented and therefore, not “saved” by God

    have fun with that sentence structure 🙂

  33. Em again says:

    BTW – before baptism, there were weeks of Presbyterian catechesis – after which they deemed me fit to receive my sprinkling … as i recall the SBC accepted me as redeemed, but not properly baptized – water! we need more water! i honor them both for their honest differences and do not doubt the efficacy of either (the second trip under was for family unity) and i asked for God’s indulgence … He told me His grace was sufficient to cover both tribes

  34. Jean says:

    “if one, such as myself, thinks that repentance is my affirmative response to God’s call to so do and i do – and i have done so – repent – the repentance is done…”

    Does this render God’s call just an offer on the table? How does the dead raise himself?

  35. Steve Wright says:

    I’m a little concerned when people appear comfortable with the idea that the Bible offers multiple truths on matters of salvation. There was a time when God’s Word was not yes and no.
    That’s either one of the most arrogant or one of the most insulting things ever written on this blog – can’t decide which. Maybe both.

    The idea that the Christians on this board are in substantial disagreement as to the “truth on matters of salvation” because some don’t see eye to eye on every jot and tittle of the mechanics is insulting. Maybe it’s time to get off a Christian blog and float around out there in the real world to see what real false beliefs look like.

    The idea that these jots and tittles have not been debated for 2000 years by far more scholarly individuals than have ever frequented this board is rather ignorant, and the arrogance comes in when one thinks their view is the end-all, be-all.

  36. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jean – When you were saved you felt like you were making a choice. Same every time you’ve repented. It felt to you just like choosing to repent. When you became a Lutheran, it felt to you just like you had made a choice. Now, you can say in retrospect, if you like, that it was God who really made those choices, and it only felt that way to you. I can respect that. If you say none of it even felt like a choice, I’ll just call you a liar. So, really. We’re all in the same boat here. Stop drawing lines and speaking down to people. Nobody on this thread thinks that there is any way to salvation outside of Jesus Christ. If you have to have a perfect understanding of how it all works in order to be saved, then we’re all going to hell.

    MLD – AS always, this is well done. (Sorry for the earlier accusation, it was Jean who condemned me the Hell this time 🙂 )

    And even as I read it back again, I’m not even sure that I disagree with the repentance part, just maybe you are using it slightly different than I’m use to.

  37. Steve, perhaps you need to read the comments and not just one comment. Jean is not arguing against differences of opinions — and neither am I. What we find astonishing is that folks would say to the effect – both opinions are true and in the end it doesn’t matter.

    When Josh says “Practically, I can tell you that if God repents you, it’s going to feel exactly like you are repenting. So….I’m not sure this one matters in the real world.”
    One I do find it odd that you both used the same term “in the real world.”

    Ao, it doesn’t matter if God repented you or if you repented yourself as in the end it will feel the same and in some spectacular way “the the real world” in does not matter.

    So I will present a similar phrase, saying, diddy – “It doesn’t matter if I think God saved my or if I saved myself because in the end it will feel the same and “in the real world” it does not matter.

  38. Josh the Baptist says:

    Mld, when you turn from a particular sin, does it require you to perform any action? Say gluttony. Do you have to drop the fork or does God show up and knock it out of your hand?

    If you tell me God shows up and knocks it our of your hand, again, I’ll just assume you are a liar.

  39. Josh – did you read the article? Did you read the scripture passages? or are you basing your argument on the comments.
    This is an issue – I try to base my comments on the article or on questions asked about the article. You seem to come in mid game for a different purpose.

    Here is why I ask – you seem to be speaking of 2 different kinds of repentance. When you ask me about after salvation and gluttony (and I do want to know how you knew I was sending my last post to you a couple of hours ago from the dining table at Applebees ) is very different than the repentance called for by John to salvation because the Kingdom of Heaven is near.
    This is the repentance I am speaking of. – not the repentance required of me caused by the large bowl of 4 cheese mac.

  40. Josh the Baptist says:

    Read the article more than once, but I do respond to comments as well. Jean’s are often ludicrous, and require someone to answer them.

    I told you, I think the article is good and that are probably using the word repent in a different way than I am used to hearing.

  41. Em – its odd that you would say “but tread lightly on accusing one such as myself of not having been repented and therefore, not “saved” by God ”

    After I say that there is no qualification to enter God’s Kingdom other than God’s call.

  42. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD- I think Em was responding to another of Jean’s ludicrous comments.

  43. Josh – let’s stay with the initial repentance John the B is speaking of in these verses and apply the 3 verses I listed in the article (the exact addresses are in my # 11 – do you not think that is the most appropriate way to understand THAT repentance vs. my required repentance for stuffing myself tonight – and in light of Jean’s #8?

    This is all I am saying and the point I am making (in total) – for entrance into the kingdom of heaven you must be repented – Much like Jesus spoke of in John 3 – the you must be born again stuff. I am sure you will agree that we do not born again ourselves, especially as the term seems to indicate that we must be born from above (and I will add for my own view – not by anything we do nor through any cooperation we may provide.) I do not understand why anyone would then think they were then also capable of their own repentance..

  44. Josh the Baptist says:

    I agree with you on being born again, I’m just not sure I’ve heard repentance used in the way you are using it.

  45. Josh I understand – but did you read those 3 passages? What do you think they are saying if not what i am saying? I will admit, I read through a Lutheran lens, but I cannot image that an SBC guy would not come to the same conclusion based on those passages.

  46. Josh the Baptist says:

    Yes, I read the passages. I believe that God grants repentance. That doesn’t seem quite the same as saying “God repented me”. Again, I wouldn’t use the word that way. I would use “grant repentance” every time.

  47. Ok, I will just say this as a parting comment – in Acts 5:31 it seems that God with one saving motion is both giving repentance and forgiveness of sin.
    I will except that as the Lutheran view only.

  48. Josh the Baptist says:

    No, when you change your language to “giving repentance” then it makes more sense.

  49. Josh – my # 11 includes both words as in the 3 verses they use both words.

    “To be clear the verses from my v 6 notes – that the passages say it is God who gives and God grants – repentance. We do not do our own repentance.
    A 5:31
    A 11: 18
    2 T 2:25”

    I didn’t change the words.

  50. CostcoCal says:

    Stop arguing! Jesus died, Jesus rose again. And Jesus loves you. Any which way, I need His Grace more than you.

  51. Costco my buddy – unpucker. We are discussing theology – which is a worthy activity.

    I have already tried twice to enter into the discussion the absolute free grace of God
    From my #23 = “But what God does is not dependent on what we do. So he can save who he wants for whatever reason he wants.

    From my #29 = “which also plays into the fact that there are no requirement to enter God’s kingdom other than God telling you to go in.”

  52. Jean says:

    Josh wrote:

    “Theoretically, one could give proof texts supporting either side of that argument.

    Practically, I can tell you that if God repents you, it’s going to feel exactly like you are repenting. So….I’m not sure this one matters in the real world.”

    I responded:

    “I’m a little concerned when people appear comfortable with the idea that the Bible offers multiple truths on matters of salvation. There was a time when God’s Word was not yes and no.”

    First of all, Josh and Steve, MLD was accused of proof texting his argument. That is an insult. It is not engaging the actual text, or putting forth alternative texts, but is simply being dismissive of MLD. Proof texting is not a neutral accusation. Here is a common definition:

    Wikipedia: “Prooftexting (sometimes “proof-texting” or “proof texting”) is the practice of using isolated, out-of-context quotations from a document to establish a proposition in eisegesis.

    MLD is owed an apology.

    Second of all, I understand there are different traditions which interpret Scripture differently. However, each tradition confesses that its tradition is correct. It doesn’t say that its interpretation doesn’t matter in the real world. Comments like that imply that the quest for precision in theology isn’t important or is unattainable. We should agree that the Bible is sufficiently clear on all matters of salvation and discuss the merits and demerits of various interpretations, especially since Weekend Word is a Bible Study.

    Thirdly, and lastly, if you have ever been around someone in the midst of a serious struggle, whether health-, marriage-, family- or spiritual-related, who questions their own or another’s salvation, then you can appreciate in the real world the question of who it is that does the saving. If you think it is up to the individual to repent, then this can raise a lot of questions for a troubled soul: Was my repentance sincere enough? What about all the things I held back when I repented? When did I repent (maybe I don’t remember)? Did God accept my repentance? This is a burden which can rear its ugly head at the worst possible time in the conscience of a troubled soul. So, I think it matters.

  53. Well I would hope as anyone who has exchanged comments with me in the past knows I never need, expect, want or in many cases deserve an apology — I just want to engage where I think many have failed to go in looking at what the scriptures say. We do battle like gladiators and then go have the online figurative beer.

    I want to reference back to the article I posted yesterday because now that the conversation took the route it did – it is even more relevant when he asks “Where is the Church of my Baptism?”
    In his baptism everything was made right with God — and then he sees all these people who later get involved with other churches that spend their time taking that away – and this is very close to what Jean is saying right above. Now the people are told ,”no, God did not do it on his own, you must be involved in that repentance and you must “come to God” and then you must get involved in that “christian life”.
    The sum of that article is that we cannot live up to it, we tire of faking it and we leave the church – still loving Jesus, but longing for that church of our baptism — and we drift and live and die in doubt.

    I know this to be true – anyone who has read my story on the PP from I think 2010 – I speak of my wife, who was baptized as an infant, grew up and was confirmed in the Lutheran church and lived a quiet Christian life. When I was saved at CC and she followed along, she was told that what she had as a Lutheran was insufficient, she had to “come to the Lord” (not so much to be saved – I think 20 something CC pastors didn’t quite know how to handle a Lutheran back then. If she had been RCC they would have definitely told her she was unsaved) but that she needed to restate her confession and be re-baptized. She was compliant as it was important to her that I was getting saved.

    She spent the next 25 yrs trying to get onboard with both the CC & SBC methodology of the victorious christian life and she probably did good the first 5 to 10 yrs — and then she became the centerpiece of this article spending the next 15 yrs longing for the church of her baptism, where she had the comfort of knowing that through her baptism it was God who had done the saving and that it was God who had done the keeping.

    I am just glad that I was turned in the direction I was turned in the very early 2000s that allowed her to realize it was still there and still available in the same place she began.

    But enough of that – so let’s discuss, why Matthew has John the B just pop up out of nowhere at around the age of 30 – what are his credentials?

  54. Here is the article for any who want to read it but not search for it

  55. Josh the Baptist says:

    So your answer is to nit-pick that person’s theological understanding until it is 100% correct, and then , whew, they can finally say they are saved. I’ll pass.

    Proof texting was not meant as an insult, and I don’t think MLD took it that way. I meant he offered texts that proved his point, but I could do the same for the other side. If I was insulting him for using proof texts, then I was insulting myself as well. Still, if MLD was offended by that particular comment, I’ll be glad to apologize and explain myself better.

    MLD @ 49 – When you say things like “It is God who gives and grants repentance”, I have no issue with that at all. In fact, I’d have to argue with the Bible, because the proof texts for that statement are very strong. It is only when you alter the language that I am unsure what you mean by it, and therefore unsure if I agree.

  56. Josh the Baptist says:

    Sorry MLD the first sentence of MY #54 was directed to Jean, not you.

  57. For any later readers, so that we don’t need to go over it all again I will just say my total position is summed up by
    1 – my last 5 bullet points of the article
    2 – the direction took place at JoelG’s question at #4
    3 – My answer at #7 – and Jean’s answer at #8
    4 – My clarification to Em at #13 – where I reconcile the 2 positions of repentance (I repented vs God repented me) by way a a law / gospel distinction

    The remainder, although some was very good discussion, just took us to far into the weeds and away from the rest of the article.

  58. Josh #56 – I know

  59. Josh the Baptist says:

    John the Baptist is an interesting character isn’t he? I wonder how well-known he would have been to original readers. Did they need much background, or did they just see the name and understand?

  60. Jean says:


    John’s Baptism is introduced early in Matthew and Jesus’ Baptism closes the book out (as well as Mark’s) and is prominent in Acts, and Paul’s epistles. Why does God use this ritual?

  61. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Jesus’ Baptism closes the book out”

    What do you mean by that, Jean? No fight, I just don’t understand you.

  62. Josh & Jean – I get confused sometimes if, or when we have discussed something as I am all over this book (We are here in ch 3 – I have given Michael several more in advance, I just finished teaching in ch 19 and have worked up my future lessons through 24 so I don’t know who I said it to.)

    Somewhere Jesus asks “what do you think of the baptism of John?” The point I make is that Jesus does not ask – “what do you think of John?” – I think that is very important when we discuss baptism -who it is from and what baptism does.

    This whole thing with John the B is huge.

  63. Jean says:

    That’s what I’m asking MLD. Where did the idea for baptism come from, what does it accomplish, and why does God accomplish what it does via this ritual?

  64. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jean, I’m curious as to why you say Jesus’ baptism closes out the book?

  65. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ahh – sorry, I understand what you are saying now. My bad.

  66. Jean says:

    Josh, I just meant that in the last chapter, Jesus instructs the apostles to baptize. So, baptism features prominently at both the beginning and end of Matthew.

  67. Jean – I don’t know, but we would be having the same conversation if John the B were saying “repent and eat a bologna sandwich standing on one foot – for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
    Somehow God wants it that way and accomplishes His salvation that way..

  68. Josh the Baptist says:

    Yep, good observation. I was just not reading correctly 🙂

  69. Jean says:

    I think what John the B is saying is that Israel’s king is coming, this king is none other than the Lord, himself, and therefore, you need to get cleaned up (made holy). Since the people couldn’t clean themselves up, God provided the means to make the people holy. This is what is known as a means of grace. This is Gospel, in that it is God doing the cleaning (which is the forgiveness of sins).

    John’s baptism pre-figures the ultimate baptism into the Trinity, which forgives past, present and future sins.


  70. Josh the Baptist says:

    God uses Baptism because it is a great picture of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. I did not say it is ONLY a picture, but it is a picture. Much like God used the OT sacrifice to point to Christ, he also uses the baptism of each believer to point to Christ.

    Hebrews 10:22 is an interesting verse, somewhat related to the subject.

  71. Em again says:

    #41,42 … a comment was made by one of the Lutes that supposed if one didn’t amen the passivity of receiving repentance (being repented by God) that one might not be “repented” yet… if it had been a one on one conversation i would have led it go by – no need to respond – but there was the possibility of a tender young newborn being impacted by that

    the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the beauty of God’s redemption and my need of receiving forgiveness and i responded … i have confessed, i have believed and i have been baptized (twice)

    perhaps, i misunderstood, but if the comment was misunderstood by me, so could it be misunderstood by another … so i rebuked 🙂

  72. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I love this quote from Chad Bird
    “God does not forgive us because of the purity of our confession.
    He forgives us because of the purity of Christ’s sacrifice for us.”

  73. Em again says:

    #72- i have found myself feeling very foolish when praying, realizing that i am editing my prayers … God, on the other hand, can sometimes edit them for us

  74. Jean says:


    I would like you and the readers to consider that the OT prophesy for the NT baptisms was given in Ezekiel 36:25-26:

    “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

  75. Jean says:

    Regarding repentance, I think the beginning of Ephesians 2 gives a perspective that should be considered:

    “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (2:1-5)

    What this passage, which is by no means an outlier, says is that all people prior to conversion are (1) dead in their trespasses, (2) following evil spirits and carrying out the passions of the flesh, (3) are children of wrath, but (4) God being rich in mercy made us alive together with Christ.

    This is really good news and shows God’s abundant love and mercy. It shows that God is the author of the whole story of our salvation, from the preface to the end of the final chapter.

  76. JoelG says:

    Thanks for the link above MLD. We need that reminder each week at church. My lack of “transformation” requires it.

  77. Em again says:

    I would add – Acts 11:15-16 and Acts 1:5 … may get closer to the heart of the matter – when one here says that God repents me and another says, I respond to God with repentance, someone else here added, it may be just the visual picture that the language draws that hampers agreement … it is after all God the Holy Spirit’s working

  78. The problem with “I responded” or “I answered God’s call” is then we know the reason one is saved an another is not saved — it is because of the response or lack of it.

  79. Darn it JoelG – you had better get transformed … how else will I know you are in God’s favor? 😉

  80. “from the preface to the end of the final chapter.”

    Better, the preface to the maps 😉

    I’m in a good mood- 2 hour congregation meeting this evening, got my building program passed – finally on the 3rd attempt in 6 weeks. I knew they would get tired of me continually calling the congregation together that they would finally cave in to my desires. 🙂

  81. Josh the Baptist says:

    “The problem with “I responded” or”

    But we actually DO respond. It is completely necessary for salvation. In retrospect, we can look back and recognize God’s power and say something like “God responded me”, but without response, there is no salvation.

  82. It may be the reason that evangelicals are so big on testimonies of “how I came to Christ” and most liturgicals know of no such thing.

  83. Josh the Baptist says:

    So you are telling me you’ve never responded to God? I’m not asking who’s power did the responding or made it possible. I’m asking you if the physical body of MLD has ever responded to God.

    Because I’ve got a feeling you drive to church to take the supper. Does Jesus literally take the wheel in your case? Be honest.

  84. Again you confuse pre and post salvation.
    Even in the case of Lazarus – a dead man, hearing the call of Jesus outside his tomb “Lazarus come forth” was his response volitional as if he could have said “give me a minute Jesus, I’m thinking about it.”

    But you still make the difference between you and the guy next to you, not the power of Jesus to convert, but you made the proper “response” – and that is why at a Harvest Crusade or a Billy Graham Crusade so much of the effort is in convincing people to make the right response — in fact we will keep the buses waiting and Crystal Lewis will sing 10 more stanzas of ‘come just as you are’ while you decide.

    I could see a new believer thinking it was his choice – his decision – his response. but for the life of me I cannot understand how a mature Christian doesn’t look back at his Christian life and say – “you know, it couldn’t have been me at any stage of my salvation.”

  85. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Even in the case of Lazarus – a dead man, hearing the call of Jesus outside his tomb “Lazarus come forth” was his response volitional as if he could have said “give me a minute Jesus, I’m thinking about it.” ”

    Exactly my point. Even Lazarus had to respond. Who’s power pulled him from the grave? Jesus and Jesus alone. That has never been the question. The question is “Do we have to respond?” and the answer is YES!!!

    Do you think Lazarus floated out of the grave, or did he probably physically have to put one foot in front of the other and walk?

    I’m betting he walked. God was the cause and the power behind it, but God uses physical means.

  86. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I could see a new believer thinking it was his choice – his decision – his response”

    Exactly! In fact, I don’t know how the new believer could see it any other way.

  87. but new believers are still spiritually stupid. I wonder how a mature believer even keeps the notion of self response in their head.

    So if Lazarus ‘responded’ by his own choice – could he have said no?

  88. Josh the Baptist says:

    “but new believers are still spiritually stupid.”

    So you have transformed to the point of not being spiritually stupid?

    “So if Lazarus ‘responded’ by his own choice”
    Of course, that’s not what I said. But I said that he had to respond.

    Could Lazarus have said no? I don’t think so. Why would he. He wanted to stay dead? Yeah, that question is beyond my pay grade.

  89. Josh the Baptist says:

    But regardless of who can win an argument between you and I, at the end of the day we are both saying – Christ alone.

    We MAY disagree on some of the mechanics of how that works, but we agree that it is all Jesus.

  90. Perhaps I mean Christ Alone alone. 😉
    We should take our show on the road.

  91. Jean says:


    When you talk about a need to “respond”, are you talking about (a) responding to the call of the Holy Spirit, which is the response of faith, and/or (b) responding to the call of the preacher to ask Jesus into your life as Lord and Savior?

    Also, do you see any requirement in Scripture that the response take any particular shape or form?

  92. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jean – a.

  93. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Also, do you see any requirement in Scripture that the response take any particular shape or form?”

    Hmm. I can think of a couple answers to that question, but that is worthy of a study that I don’t have prepared right now. What do you think about it?

  94. Jean says:

    Well, I would stop at answer (a). Jesus talked a lot about child like faith and children in heaven. Probably, plenty of the deaf, blind and mute too.

  95. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jean, I’m not getting it? Do you think I disagree with your 94?

  96. Jean says:

    Josh, I don’t know, I was answering your question in 93. I liked your answer (a) (see 91 and 92).

  97. Em again says:

    with regard to Lazarus – i’m betting that was not an optional request – that time i’d be willing to bet that Lazarus’ response was something to the effect, “oh, darn”

    when our Lord said, my sheep hear my voice and come at my call there is a world of information there – including the old predestined thing
    while i respect the desire to be certain we all understand that in our flesh there is no good thing (from heaven’s viewpoint now, we are a corrupted race), this whole go round on this thread regarding did i repent or did God repent me really is a bit embarrassing

    God called and i came – period … it is all Christ, this spirit-birth, this Eternal good thing

  98. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    In the evangelical decision theology world we see constant “re dedications” constant “re baptisms”
    This comes from a false view of repentance – I (with a capital I) did not repent properly. The constant question, was I sincere when I (with a capital I) decided to follow Jesus?

    If the teaching were as Josh and Em claim (that it is all Jesus and no me – which is my position) , then a church should absolutely refuse to allow re dedications or re baptisms. But they don’t halt the practice because deep down their theology does teach that it is the responsibility of the person to “get it right.”

    At least that’s the way I see it 🙂

  99. Josh the Baptist says:

    “refuse to allow re dedications or re baptisms”

    We don’t do those.

    But it doesn’t matter I know as much as I try to agree you’ll make sure my agreement is not good enough.

    Christ alone is enough for me.

  100. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, my qualifier was “In the evangelical decision theology world ” – If that is not the circle in which you run, that’s good. But those guys do it

  101. Josh the Baptist says:

    We’ve talked before about your “evangelical” boogeyman, but whatever. SBC has always taught that Baptism was a one time thing for believers. I’ve been in 1000’s of evangelical churches and never known of any that had something they formally call “re-dedication”, though you may have heard the term used in some sermon somewhere. Personally, I have to re-dedicate every day. Maybe that’s another step of maturity you’ve moved beyond.

  102. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Ha Ha – I was told I needed to be re baptized from my CC baptism when I joined the SBC. I told them no — but they accepted me anyways.

    I haven’t been in 1,000s of evangelical churches, but I know that any that I have been in that do the altar call almost always if not always invite people up to re dedicate themselves. I also gave the examples – the Harvest and BG Crusades are at least 75% re dedications and I know people who have been allowed to be baptized 4 times. My wife was required to be re baptized at CC.
    I think Em was even baptized twice.

    But I am glad your church does not do that – that IS a good thing.

  103. Josh the Baptist says:

    I have literally been in thousands. That is not an exaggeration. The stuff you speak of is in the minority as far as churches go. Para-church stuff like crusades and rallies? Who knows.

  104. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Thousands” may be a stretch, because that would seem to imply over 2,000. I would say more like 1,000 to 1,500.

  105. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    You may be too young for the 1980s style altar call Christianity. Perhaps they have wised up in the past 30 yrs.

  106. Josh the Baptist says:

    “You may be too young for the 1980s style altar call Christianity. Perhaps they have wised up in the past 30 yrs.”

    There has been significant push-back.

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