A public discussion
on the subjects of
and FAITH ALONE
Church of Christ Information Centre
Prepared for the internet by Arches church of Christ, Belfast, Northern Ireland, U.K, BT4 1AQ
Proposition One, June 2, 1967: 'The Scriptures teach that the penitent believer must be baptised in order to receive the remission of his sins.'
Mr. Worgan's first affirmative speech (time limit, 25 minutes):
Ladies and gentlemen, I am very grateful for the opportunity of being here tonight to affirm what I sincerely believe to be the teaching of the Word of God. And I want to thank all of you for your interest and your presence, and pray that God will bless us as we try to ascertain the truth on this very important subject. Now let me remind you again of the proposition, 'The Scriptures teach that the penitent believer must be baptised in order to receive the remission of his sins,. Now that the real issue might be very clearly defined there are certain comments I must make at the outset. Mr. Kingdon and I, I am sure, are agreed on several matters. In the first place we agree that the proper subject of baptism is the penitent believer. We agree that the baptism to which we refer tonight is the immersion of that penitent believer in water, and obviously, the emergence from the water. The point of difference, to be very brief, is here, that I believe that the Scriptures teach that this baptism of the penitent believer is in order to, with a view to, for the remission of sins and Mr. Kingdon does not.
Now I want you to notice also that the question tonight is not, 'Are we saved by grace?' I differ to no man in the strength of my conviction that we are saved by the grace of God, The question tonight is not are we saved by grace. But if this question has to be raised at all the point to be decided is precisely when and how the grace of God saves us.
Titus 2:11 says, 'The grace of God hath appeared unto all men bringing salvation.' But neither I nor Mr. Kingdon would affirm that all men have been saved. The question is not, also, 'Are we saved by faith?' I believe all the Bible teaches concerning salvation or justification by faith. The question is not, 'Does faith save us?', but how and when does faith save us? One more point before I introduce my arguments tonight. Let nobody suppose that in affirming this proposition Iam affirming the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. You ought to know that the doctrine of baptismal regeneration essentially means that in the act of baptising, grace is conferred apart from and even without faith on the part of the recipient. Now this I deny as foreign to the Word of God. I don't believe that baptism without faith has any value any more than faith without baptism. Baptism has no value at all apart from faith. And then only because of the authority that lies behind them both. I am arguing this evening for the baptism, the immersion of one who trusts with all of his heart in the merits of the precious blood of Christ. I affirm that when such a penitent believer, in obedience to the command of the Saviour, is buried with Him in baptism, the blood of Christ becomes effective for his cleansing and he rises as Paul says in Romans 6:4, 'to walk in newness of life.' Now since we can only determine the purpose of baptism by looking at the Bible passages that refer to baptism, we must look at those passages tonight. The first argument I want to make is that the penitent believer, when the penitent believer is baptised, he is saved and thus receives the remission of his sins because Christ Himself says so in the great commission. The Holy Spirit in stressing the importance of this great commission caused it to be recorded four times in the New Testament and the sum total of the teaching in those four narratives is that the gospel should be preached, men must believe, they must repent, and they must be baptised that salvation or remission of sins may follow. James Daney says in his work, The Death of Christ, 'In all its forms the commission has to do with baptism, so in Matthew and Mark, or with the remission of sins, so in Luke and John. These are but forms of the same thing for in the world of New Testament ideas baptism and the remission of sins are inseparably connected. James W. Wilmarth, the Baptist teacher and author, the Editor of the Advanced Quarterly and other publications in connection with the Baptist Sunday Schools, says this concerning the commission, 'It is the last direction and promise to lost sinners that fell from our redeemers lips ere He ascended to the right hand of God.' So here is a commission that must be precious to the heart of everyone who loves the Lord Jesus Christ.' It is backed by Divine authority, it is age abiding, and it effects all nations and every single soul. Matthew 28:18-20 says, 'All authority is given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations baptising them into the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age'. Now these words from the Saviour not only make baptism an obligation on all who truly love Him, but they tell us what happens when we are baptised. Jesus says that baptism is into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Now notice the word into. In both the English and the Greek text it's a preposition of movement, of motion. It indicates a change of position. The Lord didn't say baptise them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but into the name. When one is baptised, you see, he changes his position, his relationship with regards to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And mark this, of nothing else but baptism is it said that it effects this change for the penitent believer. Professor James Madison Stiffler, the Baptist professor of New Testament Exegesis, at Crozier Theological Seminary says, 'The in should certainly be into. Believers are not to be immersed by the authority of the three Divine persons, but into fellowship with them. Baptism rightly administered unites with Christ. The soldier in the act of donning his uniform declares his allegiance and fellowship. He comes into something and so baptism brings man into all that the Divine names imply'.
Now if baptism brings man into this relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit, if as professor Stiffler the Baptist professor says, 'It unites with Christ', it follows that one is not united with Christ and not in this relationship until he is baptised. Dr. Beasley-Murray, the current president of the Baptist Union, Mr. Kingdon knows him I am sure, makes this statement, in Baptism in the New Testament, page 91, 'Baptism thus sets a man to that relationship which one has in view in the performance of it. On this analogy baptism sets the baptised in a definite relationship to the Father, to God. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit become to the baptised what their names signify'. So since one cannot be saved outside of this relationship with the Godhead, and since the Lord has appointed baptism to bring you into the relationship, I argue that baptism is necessary to salvation and thus to remission. Now the second argument I want to make is that baptism is necessary to salvation because in Mark 16:15, 16, the Lord Jesus Christ put salvation after faith and baptism. 'Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, he that believeth and is baptised shall be saved. He that disbelieveth shalt be condemned'.
Now notice the gospel has to be preached, it has to be believed, baptism follows, then comes the promise of salvation, `He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved'. Now how can anyone who truly loves Christ turn around and say, 'Lord I don't believe that baptism is necessary?' Notice the order on the screen. I'm confident that you will see this.
1 ------- 2 -------------- 3
`BELIEF - BAPTISM - SALVATION'
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
1 -------- 3 ------------- 2
`BELIEF - SALVATION - BAPTISM'
THE SCRIPTURAL ORDER?
There is the Lord's order: Belief - Baptism - Salvation. 'He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved'. Now the order that Mr. Kingdon is pledged to defend tonight is underneath: Belief - Salvation - and then Baptism. Now which is the scriptural order? 'He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved', says the Saviour.
Now look at the next chart that we are going to put up there.
'HE THAT BELIEVETH AND IS BAPTISED
SHALL BE SAVED'
'HE THAT BELIEVETH AND IS SAVED
SHALL BE BAPTISED'
Which will you endorse?
Here is the Lord's statement again. The Lord says, 'He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved'. The position that Mr. Kingdon has to defend tonight my dear friends, I say this in all sincerity, there's no acrimony in my heart toward Mr. Kingdom or anyone present. But his position is here, 'He that believeth and is saved shall be baptised'.
Look again at the order on the next chart, chart number 3.
HE That believeth
Shall he saved
Look at it from the grammatical point of view. The he makes the simple subject of this sentence. The simple question is, 'Who shall be saved'? Here we have the subordinate clause that limits the salvation. The he that believeth and is baptised shalt be saved. The question is who shall be saved, and the answer is he shall be saved that believeth and is baptised.
Now there's no doubt at all no matter how you look at it, that the Lord put the salvation after the faith and the baptism.
Look at this next chart we are going to use for you, chart number 2, leave that on for just a moment, chart number 3, look at the tenses for just a minute. 'He that believeth and is baptised'. This is present tense. 'Shalt be saved' is future tense, Now you understand that which is in the future tense necessarily follows that which is in the present tense. The present tense comes first. 'He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved'. You have simple sentence construction like this in Matthew 7:7, 'Seek and ye shall find'. You're not going to contend tonight that you find before you seek. And by the same token the salvation follows the believing and the being baptised. Look again at the conjunction and. 'He that believeth and is baptised'. Now Mr. Kingdon must either take the whole of that sentence or reject it. Mr. Kingdon cannot come before us this evening and say that the belief is necessary to salvation and the baptism isn't. The Lord says that the purpose of faith and baptism in this passage is the same. They are joined together by the copulative with the same end in view. Namely the salvation.
James W. Wilmarth, writing in the Baptist Quarterly on baptism and remission put it like this, 'Here faith and baptism are united as conditions to the fulfilment of which is affixed His royal promise of salvation including of course remission'. Now since the Lord's arrangement is faith, baptism and then salvation; since He put salvation after baptism and not before; since the Lord restricts salvation to the one who believes and is baptised; and since faith and baptism are connected with a view to the same purpose; I argue that baptism is essential to salvation.
Dr. L. G. Champion, the present principal of the Bristol Baptist College, writes, 'The evidence of the New Testament is clear, the message is proclaimed, where it is received in faith there is repentance and this leads to baptism. The result of all this is the forgiveness of sins and new life. One dies with Christ and is raised to newness of life with Him'.
Now my third argument is based upon Acts 2:38. The apostle Peter says in that passage, 'Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'. Now you know what had happened. Peter had preached the gospel, the people had been cut to the heart and had cried, 'What shall we do?' and this was Peter's answer.
Now notice these were already believers. They were believers who said, 'What shall we do?' If Mr. Kingdon argues that they were not believers then his position is very difficult indeed. Because on the day of Pentecost the 3,000 were never told to believe. You may read the 42 verses that deal with the conversion of the 3000 at Pentecost and neither faith nor belief is ever mentioned. These people were never commanded to believe and yet they believed. I know that they believed from what they did. I want you to bear this in mind if Mr. Kingdon should introduce tonight or tomorrow night passages that speak about faith where there's no mention of baptism. These were believers, otherwise you're going to say that Peter commanded unbelievers to repent and to be baptised which is unthinkable. So here are believers but are they saved? Of course they are not saved. If they are saved then Peter's reply is pointless, 'Repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins'. Now look, what did these people want to know? They wanted to know what to do to have their sins forgiven You may only understand their question in the light of Peter's answer. And Peter told them what to do. Peter said, 'Repent and be baptised for the remission of your sins'. Now isn't that plain? If Mr. Kingdon's doctrine is true Peter should have said, 'Do? What do you mean do? There's nothing to do at all. It's already been done. You ought to be rejoicing because you've already been saved. You may be baptised if you desire it but only because you're already saved'. But that isn't what Peter said. And I stress the fact that these were believers. They were believers because they gladly received Peter's word and were baptised. And why were they baptised? Simply because they gladly received Peter's word. They believed what Peter had said about it.
Now this passage is going to be a source of embarrassment to Mr. Kingdon I'm sure because he's committed to deny what Peter plainly says is true. Mr. Kingdon must assert that baptism is not for the remission of sins. Peter says very plainly that it is. Mr. Kingdon must affirm that these people were baptised because they were saved. The Bible plainly states they were baptised in order to be forgiven.
Now I want to ask Mr. Kingdon a question. Does repentance come before or after remission? Does one first repent and then receive salvation or is one first saved and then come to repentance?
Look at chart number 4 for just a moment.
FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS
Repentance BEFORE Remission
Would you agree that this is a Bible position here? 'Repent for the remission of sins'. Would you agree that the repentance must precede remission of sins? I think you would because in 2 Cor. 7:10 Paul says that, 'Godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation'. Repentance comes before salvation. Very good, that's a Bible position.
But let's put baptism back into the text shall we. Let's put it where God put it and we'll look at this for just a moment.
PUT BAPTISM WHERE GOD PUT IT!
AND BE BAPTISED...
FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS
Repentance and Baptism BEFORE Remission
Here we have it, 'Repent and be baptised for the remission of sins'. Has anything changed? Has the purpose of repentance changed? Is repentance still necessary to salvation? Does it still come before salvation? Of course it does. But you see repentance is joined by God with baptism for the same purpose, namely the remission of sins and if Mr. Kingdon tells us tonight that we may be forgiven without being baptised he might just as well say we can be forgiven without repenting. Repentance is joined with baptism with the same purpose in view and you can't separate the two.
Professor H. B. Hackett, one of the greatest scholars the Baptist Church ever produced, says this, 'This clause, for the remission of sins, states the motive or object which should induce them to repent and be baptised. It enforces the entire exhortation. Not one part of it to the exclusion of the other'. Dr. Beasley-Murray, in a personal letter to me that Mr. Kingdon may examine, says this, 'Peter has preached the gospel and many of his believers were convicted of sin. The cry, what are we to do indicates a desire to secure forgiveness. The reply of Peter tells them how it may be procured. Repent and be baptised with a view to' and Dr. Beasley-Murray himself underlines this phrase in his letter as you may examine if you wish, 'with a view to the forgiveness of your sins'. He says, 'It seems to me to be quite incompatible with the context to suggest that Peter meant repent and be baptised because you have been forgiven for apart from anything else the gift of the Holy Spirit is placed in the future after baptism'.
Now Dr. Beasley-Murray is not alone in this position among Baptist scholars today. J. F. Morgan Wynne, tutor of New Testament Language and Literature at the Baptist College in Oxford has this to say, and I have the letter here, 'The order seems to be the pricking of the conscience, the summons to repent, the assurance of the divine offer of forgiveness meeting that human repentance in faith since to be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ means to have believed in him and that forgiveness is mediated in baptism. This so far as I know is the over-whelming consensus of opinion'.
Now notice that this Baptist scholar says that forgiveness is mediated in Baptism. Now anything that mediates according to the Oxford dictionary is the medium for bringing about a result or conveying a gift. The result brought about to the penitent believer in baptism is the remission of sins. He states again, 'It must mean be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ to receive the remission of your sins. That is, the purpose of the baptism is to receive the forgiveness of sins'. And this is the Baptist tutor in the college in Oxford.
My friends it seems to me that Mr. Kingdon and his colleagues need to get together on this matter because it's quite evident that they're on my side of this issue and he's standing alone here. Certainly they're not agreed on the matter.
Matt. 26:28 'My blood shed FOR the remission of sins'
Acts 2:38 'Repent and be baptised'
Did Christ die BECAUSE sins were
Were 3,000 baptised BECAUSE sins were
has the same significance in
Look at the other chart, chart number 6. 'For the remission of sins'. In Matthew 26:28 we have the expression by the Lord himself 'This is the blood of the new covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins'. It's the very same phrase in the Greek as you have there in Acts 2:38 eis aphesin hamarition. Now the question is did Christ die because sins have already been forgiven or was his blood shed for the purpose of procuring the remission of sins? Were the 3,000 baptised because sins were already forgiven? Or were they baptised for the purpose of procuring the forgiveness of sins? The for has the same connotation, the same significance in both passages.
Now if Mr. Kingdon wishes to deny that the remission of sins in Acts 2:38 expresses the purpose of the baptism or that it should read, 'Be baptised because your sins have already been forgiven' or something like that, let him bring a single translation to prove it. I will offer him 46 translations, 46 versions including four Baptist versions all of which are against him. Acts 2:38 as it stands in your Bible is backed by the responsible scholarship of the centuries and the meaning is so plain that I believe that a child could understand it my friends.
Now, let me sum up the things that I have to say on this part of my speech. First of all, baptism is necessary to salvation because the Lord Jesus Christ himself declares that it brings us into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19. Baptism is necessary to salvation because the Lord himself has put baptism between the believer and his salvation.
Thirdly, baptism is necessary to salvation because in Acts 2:38 the Holy Spirit, speaking through Peter, puts remission of sins after repentance and baptism. I've also shown you in this part of my speech that Mr. Kingdon does not agree with his Baptist colleagues on this matter because a number of them, including the current president of the Baptist Union, is on my side of the position.
I want Mr. Kingdon when he replies, if he will, to answer these questions based on the arguments I've just made (Mr. Worgan walks over to Mr. Kingdon and hands him a list of questions). What does it mean to come into the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and how does it happen? Secondly, when in Acts 2:38 Peter said repent was he talking to saved persons? In other words were the 3,000 already saved when they cried, what must we do? If they were what saved them? And if they were not how were they saved? If you say that the command repent was issued to sinners and the command be baptised was issued to saved persons what is your authority for making this distinction? And finally, if you do not accept that baptism is a command of the Saviour for the remission of sins, for the purpose of salvation, precisely what is the purpose of baptism as expressed in the very words of Scripture?
Now I don't want Mr. Kingdon to come along and tell us that baptism is a sign or a seal or a symbol. I want him to describe the purpose of baptism in the words of Scripture. After all, as I've already pointed out to you, you're not going to discover the purpose of baptism by going to passages where it's not mentioned. You won't discover what baptism is for by turning to passages that speak only of faith, You'll have to go to what the Bible says about baptism to determine the Bible doctrine of baptism.
I'm going to leave it just there for the time being and we'll give the time now to Mr. Kingdon.
Mr. Kingdon's first negative speech (time limit, 25 minutes)
Let me say first of all that I come to this debate with a great sense of reluctance. I do not like public controversy. But I feel that we are back in the days of the Galatian epistle and the heresy that we face is the heresy that the apostle Paul faced in those days.
Now we've had a great parade of Baptist scholarship. Let me say that I studied under Dr. Beasley-Murray and on this point disagree with him profoundly and I can quote Baptist scholars of equal eminence on the other side. But let our appeal be to the Word of God and not to a list of names.
Now I would submit that as far as Matthew 28:19 is concerned the Greek can equally well be translated, 'Go ye therefore and teach all nations baptising them with reference to the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit'. You will see from the expression there that the discipling comes first. These men are attached to Christ by faith. They are discipled to him because they have made a response to the gospel. And then in obedience to his command they are baptised or they are to be baptised with reference to the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And I would submit that that translation is equally permissible and indeed that it is more appropriate since salvation is the work of the blessed Trinity. The Father is the author of salvation. The Son is the executor of it. And the Holy Spirit applies it to the heart of the sinner.
Now Mr. Worgan spoke, or used an illustration in this connection, of a soldier donning his uniform and he used that with reference to baptism. Right, I say follow out the illustration. The man is already a soldier. He has enlisted by faith in the army of Christ. And he puts on his soldier's uniform in baptism. The man on Mr. Worgan's own illustration is a Christian and he is declaring himself to be such in the waters of baptism as he publicly confesses the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, I would submit that this question, the first question is irrelevant. If you translate, as is permissible, the Greek eis with reference to the name of the Father, then I don't need to answer the question how is this effected. The question Mr. Worgan put to me was, what does it mean to come into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in Matthew 28:19? Well if I say that eis means with reference to the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit then quite clearly I am not obliged to answer how is this effected because I deny that into is meant there.
Now, when in Acts 2:38 Mr. Worgan says, 'Peter said repent was he speaking to saved persons? In other words were the 3,000 already saved when they cried, what must we do? If they were saved what saved them? And if they were not saved when were they saved'?
Now you will notice that Mr. Worgan made great play about the fact that there's no mention of belief in the sermon or of them being called upon to believe. I would refer him to the 21st verse, 'And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved'. Surely when we read through the New Testament we find that calling upon the name of the Lord is put for exercising faith in Jesus Christ.
Now Mr. Worgan has made great play with the number of scholars that he has quoted against me. But on Acts 2:38, I maintain that the Greek is open to more than one interpretation and the onus of proof rests on Mr. Worgan to show that eis, for means for the purpose of or with a view to the obtaining of the remission of sins.
Now in the Greek New Testament you should know this that eis can mean variously into, unto, in, or on in the sense of upon or at depending on the context.
Now let me quote a great Baptist scholar, a great grammarian, A. T. Robertson. He says in his Grammar, page 592, 'Only the context and the tenor of New Testament teaching can determine whether into, unto or merely in or upon or on in the sense of upon is the translation. A task he says, note this, for the interpreter, not for the grammarian'.
Now I quote the words of a scholar who does not happen to be a Baptist, Nigal Turner, in volume 3 of J. H. Moulton's Grammar of New Testament Greek, page 266, one of the most recent grammars to appear. 'Some contexts' he said, would certainly suit a causal sense. That is meaning because of. Matthew 3:11 is one such context'. Matthew 3:11, perhaps you'd like to turn it up, 'I indeed baptise you with water unto repentance'. Now that can be translated because of repentance. Because they had repented at the preaching of John the Baptist they were baptised and some modern translators do so translate. Now Luke 11:32 is another reference in this connection. 'The men of Ninevah shall rise up in the judgement with this generation and shall condemn it for they repented at the preaching of Jonas'. Now that could be translated, 'They repented because of the preaching of Jonas'. It's the same word, eis. And likewise in Acts 2:38 it can be translated, as Turner says, `on the basis of remission. A view,' he said, or he says, 'with a view to' which Mr. Worgan insists on, 'if your theology is satisfied'. Exactly. One's doctrine affects one's translation and Mr. Worgan translates one way and I translate another way because of our prior doctrinal commitment. In other words our theology determines our interpretation of this verse in each case. That is why Mr. Worgan translates one way and I translate another. Now what you have to decide, my friends, is whether his or my theology is the theology of the New Testament.
Now don't be bluffed by glib phrases like, 'the Holy Spirit says here' or 'the word of God says here' because the question is precisely what does the word of God say. In other words the teaching of the word of God is to be distinguished from men's interpretation of it
Now why do I reject Mr Worgan's interpretation. of Acts 2:38? Well in Mark 1 - and I'm surprised that Mr. Worgan didn't mention this, 'John did baptise in the wilderness and preach the baptism of repentance', eis aphesin hamartion, `for the remission of sins'. Exactly the same phrase as in Acts 2:38.
Now if Mr. Worgan is consistent he must say that this means the same as in Acts 2:38. In which case John's baptism was in order to the remission of sins and if you were baptised with John's baptism you got remission of sins, assuming you were a penitent believer.
Now if I object to Mr. Worgan's teaching that the sins of the man sick of the palsy, which are pronounced forgiven in Matthew 9:2 and the woman in Luke 7:48, if I object that they were pronounced forgiven by the Lord before he died upon the cross of Calvary and before he instituted baptism in the great commission, I shall be told to quote one of the churches of Christ pamphlets, and here I'm quoting, 'Our Lord had the right before his death to bestow his blessing of forgiveness whenever and upon whomsoever he pleased and on any condition that pleased him'. That's a quotation from a tract called The Thief on the Cross, page 7. But you see according to Mark 1:4 baptism for the remission of sins was in force before the Lord began his public ministry. Therefore our Lord should have been from the very start of his public ministry teaching that sins are remitted to the penitent believer in baptism. But there is no evidence whatsoever that he ever taught this in the course of his public ministry.
Now if Mr. Worgan replies that in Mark 1:4 the phrase unto the remission of sins does not mean for the purpose of the remission of sins, I must ask him why am I obliged to translate the same phrase thus in Acts 2:38? 1 submit that he claims, if he takes this line, freedom of interpretation of Mark 1:4 and if he can claim it there I can claim it at Acts 2:38.
Now, you remember the case of the disciples of John the baptist at Ephesus who hadn't so much as heard whether the Holy Spirit existed in Acts 19:2. Yet they had already received John's baptism. Well, on the basis of the interpretation of Mark 1:4 they were already saved and yet they hadn't heard of the Holy Spirit. Can Mr. Worgan explain that to me?
Now Acts 2:38 does not say 'Repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ and you shall receive the remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit'. It doesn't say that. It says, `Repent and be baptised everyone of you in the name of Jesus unto the remission of sins' or 'on the basis' of the remission of sins, 'and ye shalt receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'. In other words remission of sins is not unambiguously promised on the basis of baptism in this text. The only clear promise here is that which concerns the Holy Spirit. Now this I would have you note is not the subject of the debate tonight. The subject of the debate tonight is that baptism is necessary for the penitent believer to receive remission of sins.
Now you can, I would submit, only make remission conditional on baptism if you translate the Greek one particular way. But it requires to be shown why it must be translated in this particular way. And I submit that Mr. Worgan must translate it this way in order to back home his theory.
Now in Acts 2:38 the Greek, by a change of person in the verbs, makes it clear that repentance is the primary demand. Repent. The command repent is in the second person plural. It is first aorist imperative, meaning repent now all of you at this moment. Repent. But be baptised is the third person singular, first aorist imperative. That is to say, 'Let he who has repented be baptised'. Repentance you notice is enjoined upon all; baptism is enjoined only upon the penitent.
Now Mr. Worgan is demanding in effect that baptism should be enjoined upon all. How does he explain the change of the verb repent and the change to the singular be baptised?
Now we see from this surely, that repentance is the primary demand of Peter as the rest of the Acts 0f The Apostles makes abundantly clear. Acts 3:19, 'Repent ye therefore, and be converted that your sins may be blotted out', I don't read baptism there. `When the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord'. And Acts 17:30, `And the times of this ignorance God winked at but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent' which fits in perfectly with the person of the verb in Acts 2:38.
Now let me offer you a translation of Acts 2:38. A translation which I believe is quite legitimate. '`Repent and having done so be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ on the basis of the remission or sins'. that is to say the person 'who repents receives remission of sins and is baptised. Only those who thus repent and thus experience the forgiveness of sins are to be baptised. Now this rendering which the Greek clearly permits means that Acts 2:38 is in accord with the New Testament teaching on repentance. Repentance is invariably connected with the remission of sins in the New Testament Scriptures. Luke 24:47, 'And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem'. If you want to bring baptism in there you've got to import it. It's not there in the text. Acts 5:31, `Him hath God exalted with His right hand to he a prince and a Saviour for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins'. It does not say to give repentance to Israel and remission of sins through baptism.
Now why should we be forced, I submit to you, to translate Acts 2:38 in a way which puts it out of harmony with the plain teaching of the other texts of Holy Scripture, which make it abundantly clear that repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are the requirements for the remission of sins. Mr Worgan violates a fundamental rule of interpretation. That is to say that the obscure must be interpreted by the plain and not that the plain must be made obscure by the mysterious.
Now I submit, then, that Acts 2:38 does not teach that baptism obtains remission of sins and that further, no other text can be quoted which in any way appears to link baptism and the remission of sins. Now you may express surprise at this because we've had quoted to us Mark 16:16, 'He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved'. Now notice concerning this text that it puts baptism at the very beginning of the Christian life and that is where we always find it. But notice that it does not say, 'He that believeth and is baptised shalt receive remission of sins'. What is meant by saved here? Is salvation merely the remission of sins? Salvation is much more. Salvation is the bestowing of regeneration. Salvation involves adoption as sons. Salvation involves the giving of the Holy Spirit. Salvation involves dying to sin and rising again with Christ. Now Mr. Worgan has no authority whatsoever to limit the meaning of the verb saved to remission of sins.
I see I've just one minute left, half a minute. Let me also say that 'He that disbelieveth shall be condemned'. This seems to me to indicate that the fundamental thing is belief or disbelief and that this determines a man's spiritual destiny. Thank you.
Mr. Worgan's second affirmative speech (time limit 15 minutes):
Thank you Mr. Kingdon and ladies and gentlemen. Several things that Mr. Kingdon says calls for attention. First of all, his mention of the fact that I had so much to say about various Baptist scholars who have been quoted tonight. The reason I brought these Baptist scholars forward is to show that at least the Baptist church is not united on this matter. It seems to me that if there's one subject where a people ought to speak with united voice it's on this matter as to whether or not salvation comes before or after baptism. And it's pretty evident from the quotations that I've made and from Mr. Kingdon's own admission that this is not the case in the Baptist Church.
His reference to Matthew 28:19 where he says that the phrase can be translated with reference to salvation, now I would suggest that the thing for him to do passage is to bring the that says it - to bring us the translation the version that gives us such a rendering. It's no use telling us that this is possible. Can he show us that scholarship has at any time undertaken to translate or to render it in this fashion?
Now his reference also to the matter of the uniform, The soldier putting on the uniform as he puts it. Now this was not my illustration. I quoted what Professor Stiffler the Baptist said. Professor Stiffler himself said, that this, and this is something that Mr. Kingdon omitted to mention, omitted to notice. Professor Stiffler said, 'that baptism brings into fellowship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And he says that that soldier in the act of putting on his uniform comes into something. Now what is it that he comes into if, as Mr. Kingdon maintains, he's already in the army? Professor Stiffler said, 'So baptism brings man into all that the divine names imply'.
With regards to the preposition eis, and he says it's my responsibility to make plain the meaning of this preposition. The preposition is used about 1,600 times in the New Testament. It's rendered into 571 times, to 282 times, toward 32 times, for 91 times, unto 208 times, in 131 times and never with reference to. If he can find such a rendering of the preposition eis in the New Testament let him bring it forward and we'll examine it. It's also used in this sense in John 18 37, 'To this end was I born'. It indicates the purpose.
Furthermore, with regards to this preposition, John Batey, in the book published by John Clifford, The English Baptist says, 'that into is the true meaning of eis will appear from the following text' and he gives various texts. Let me quote the other Baptist scholars of equal eminence with A. T. Robertson who has been quoted. Professor A. C. Axtell, professor of Greek Language and Literature wrote, 'The preposition eis in Acts 2:38 may be rendered by several prepositions or prepositional phrases as for instance unto, for, in order to, with a view to. The noun which governs denotes the object or end toward which the action expressed in the predicate verbs was to be directed. Or to state it from the other point of view the result which he would obtain who should repent and be baptised'. Professor Albert Harkness, professor of Greek at Brown University, another eminent Baptist, the author of numerous textbooks on Latin and Greek, says, 'In my opinion eis in Acts 2:38 denotes purpose and may be rendered in order to or with a purpose of receiving or, as in the English versions, for, eis aphesin hamartion suggests the motive or object contemplated in the action of the two preceding verbs'. Professor Beasley-Murray when I asked him in my correspondence with him, could the preposition ever be translated on account of or because of he says, 'I do not know of any contemporary scholar, in the sense of a living scholar, who would translate the phrase eis aphesin hamartion in Acts 2:38 in the sense of because of or on account of I do seem to recall that A. T. Robertson, the well known Baptist grammarian, maintained that some such meaning was possible in Acts 2:38. What is more to the point I do not see how he could maintain it. It seems to me to be quite incompatible with the context to suggest that Peter meant repent and be baptised because you have been forgiven'.
Professor F. F. Bruce is not a Baptist but the eminence and scholarship of this man would be denied by nobody. He is the Rylands professor of Theology at Manchester University and an Oxford scholar. He says, 'in Acts 2:38 the preposition eis may mean for or with a view to. I remember seeing the suggestion that it might have retrospective force', that's referring to something already taken place, causal of eis as our friend introduced it. But he says, 'this is such an extraordinary interpretation of this preposition that one can only think that the man in question came to the text with his interpretation ready-made instead of deriving it from the context'. I. F. Morgan Wynne, of the Baptist College in Oxford, already quoted, he says, 'It must mean be baptised in order to receive the forgiveness of sins that the purpose of the baptism is to receive the forgiveness of sins'.
Now the preposition is a linear word. It invariably indicates movement towards an end in view. It is never retrospective and it never looks back to something already taken place.
Liddell and Scott in their lexicon say, 'the radical sense of eis is into'. Then into denotes penetration beyond the outside. A new state into which anything is brought by an agency or cause. Now this being so you could render Acts 2:38 'Repent and be baptised into the remission of sins'. But if you did that all you would say would be simply that before baptism you were outside of remission of sins and the act of baptism brought you into the sin remitted state. Thayer says, 'That eis is a preposition denoting entrance into, to, towards, for, among. It indicates the end which one has in view, that is the object or purpose'. Professor Stewart says, 'eis indicates the object or end for which anything is done'. Dr. Wilmart, the Baptist scholar says, 'Suppose we force eis in Acts 2:38 to bear the unnatural and unauthorised meaning of on account of after all we've gained nothing. Other passages there are which cannot be explained away. Thus our Saviour said before be ascended into heaven, `He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved'. We should hardly dare tamper with His royal word and make it run, He that believeth is saved and shall be baptised. And unless you do change that saying you have by the highest authority an importance attributed to baptism certainly not less than that given in Acts 2:38 translated according to its obvious meaning', says this Baptist scholar. Now what's the sense he says of torturing eis, the construction and the context. Honest scholarship, unbiased scholarship, will not attempt to do what Mr. Kingdom has done. The 47 scholars who translated the Authorised Version, the 82 scholars who translated the English Revision, the 101 scholars who translated the Revised Standard Version would not accept the translation Mr. Kingdom has suggested. Will he now tell us whether the Bible in the English as you have it is adequate or if it's necessary to have the course in Koine Greek that he thinks is essential to understand the plain meaning of Peter's words?
Now furthermore, with regards to Mark 1:4, John's baptism. John's baptism was a baptism unto the remission of sins. Mr. Kingdon argues that John baptised people because of repentance. But Thayer on page 94 in his lexicon says, 'That the phrase 'eis metonoia', for repentance or unto repentance, is to mark the end, to bind one to repentance'. John's baptism was into the kind of life to which the people were obligated by their repentance. That's why he commanded them to bring forth fruit meet for repentance. Once again the eis points forward and not backwards. C. B. Williams the Baptist professor at Union University says, translating that verse, 'I am baptising you in water to picture your repentance'. And in his footnote he says, 'that is to picture your turning away from sin to a new life'. And since he's raised this matter of John's baptism I wonder what Mr. Kingdom would say about the statement by Andrew Fuller, the Baptist Theologian, in his Body of Divinity, page 728, 'Baptism was practiced by John and the apostles of Christ for the remission of sins. Not that this is the procuring or meritorious cause of it which is only the blood of Christ, but they who submit to it may by this means be lead, directed or encouraged to receive it from Christ himself and so in like manner it is for the washing away of sin and cleansing from it'. James W. Wilmarth says, 'The baptism as commanded and administered by John was not an emblem of remission previously granted but with repentance a condition of remission promised. This is clear not only from the use of eis but from John's own words to certain hypocrites, 'who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come'. Thomas Armatige, one of the greatest Baptist preachers of all time, in his work, A History of the Baptist, page 22 says, 'He made that immersion in water the exterior method of confessing the reality of an honest heart-felt reform. Here then he required a spiritual revolution - a baptism for the remission or forgiveness of sins and the implanting of a new principle of life in keeping with the kingdom of heaven at hand'.
Now Jonah and the Ninevites. Jonah preached and the people believed says Jonah 3:4 -5. And their faith was followed by repentance because Matthew 12:41 says, as rendered by Goodspeed, the Baptist scholar, 'When Jonah preached they repented'. The faith came first and then the repentance. What was the evidence of the repentance? Jonah 3:10 says, 'God saw their works that they turned from their evil ways'. Now this is what happened: when the people believed Jonah's preaching they repented and turned into the kind of life required by their repentance. 'God saw their works that they turned' and the word turned is synonymous with repentance in Matthew 12:41. Which way did they turn? Did they turn backwards? Was it retrospective or did they turn forwards? Here you see once again the preposition points forward and is never retrospective. The argument of the disjunction of repentance and baptism, now look at the argument made on the tenses of the verbs here.
We are told that repent ye is second person plural while be baptised is third person singular and we are told that eis aphesin for remission, should modify the command repent and not the command be baptised. In this way Mr. Kingdon wants it to read, 'You repent for remission of sins and be baptised'. Well apart from the fact that the brilliant scholars who produced all your English versions have never seen fit to render it that way, scholarship is against it. Thayer says, 'That the imperative in Greek only takes the second person'. And there is no third person singular. Now repent ye is obviously the imperative.
Furthermore, with regard to the word Hekastos which is rendered everyone, Thayer states, 'Hekastos when it denotes individually every one of many is often added appositively to nouns and pronouns and verbs in the plural number'. This is endorsed by Liddell and Scott in their Greek English Lexicon, page 378, the 3rd edition, 'The singular of Hekastos is frequently joined with a plural verb'. H. B. Hackett, one of the scholars of the Baptist church says, 'The phrase forgiveness of sins is naturally connected with both the preceding verbs. This clause states the motive or object which should induce them to repent and be baptised. It enforces the entire exhortation not one part of it to the exclusion of the other'. Now this argument incidentally first appeared in 1860 in a book by A. P. Williams to avoid the conjunctive force of and, but it's a quibble rejected by Henry J. Cadbury, who was on the committee that provided the Revised Standard Version. He says, 'The grammar of the sentence in Acts 2:38 is perfectly regular and better Greek than if the author had kept the second person plural baptise after using the singular each. Whether you said Do you repent and be ye baptised each one of you or as it stands exactly there would be no essential difference in the meaning'.
Now Mr. Kingdon again says he has a version that renders Acts 2:38 in a way different from the one that I've suggested He's not given us the version. I wonder if it could be K. S. Wuest's, Expanded Translation, by any chance? (Mr. Kingdon motions), It isn't. Well, perhaps when he stands up he'll give us this translation.
On the other hand, while his translation does not have the backing of all the scholarship of the Revision, I have here the list of 46 versions that arc quite different. The 46 versions render the verse, for, unto, into, with a view to, in order to, with a view to having. Williams, the Baptist translator says, 'That you may have remission of sins'. And Goodspeed says, 'In order to have the remission of sins'. So it seems to me that scholarship is on my side and not on the side of Mr. Kingdon.
Again, in that passage that he quoted towards the end there. I don't limit salvation to remission of sins. The point I've tried to make and that Mr. Kingdon has not refuted, is that salvation must involve the remission of sins. And it's pretty clear from Acts 2:38 that the remission of sins follows the repentance and is preceded by faith. Thank you.
Mr. Kingdon's second negative speech (time limit, 15 minutes):
As Mr. Worgan was speaking and bombarding us with all his versions and scholars I call to mind that one day God did something in the heart of a man and everybody else was on the other side. But you and I are here tonight because of that man, Martin Luther. (amen from audience). Truth is not determined by numbers. I remember what one of my tutors said to me at college, or said to a friend of mine, Mr. so and so we don't count manuscripts we weigh them (laughter from audience).
Now Mr. Worgan has not answered my point from Acts 2. They were exhorted to call upon the name of the Lord and to be saved. They wore not exhorted to be baptised; they were exhorted to call, to exercise faith. Nor has he answered the point that if you translate unto the remission of sins in Mark 1:4 you've surely got to maintain in consistency that people were saved through John's baptism. Now what I want to know is about the men in Acts 19. Were they saved? If they were why did Paul insist that they get baptised again for the remission of sins? Now Matthew 26:28 is an interesting verse. A verse to which Mr. Worgan has already referred. 'For this', says our Lord and He's referring to the cup and its contents, 'this is my blood of the New Testament or covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins', eis aphesin harmartion. Now I won't weary you with a long list of authorities. I will say this, that in consistency Mr. Worgan must maintain on the basis of this statement that the Lord's supper and particularly the drinking of the cup, is for the remission of sins. Now I know the Roman Catholics teach that but as far as I know this dogma is not taught by the churches of Christ. Indeed I'm given to understand that Alexander Campbell who was the founder of the churches of Christ maintained that the Lord's supper was simply a remembrance feast. Now what I want to know is this, why on the basis of Acts 26:28 is it that the Lord's supper does not avail for the remission of sins and is purely a memorial feast? There I rest my reply.
Mr. Worgan's third affirmative speech (time limit, 10 minutes):
Now Mr. Kingdon is surprised that I didn't answer some of his questions. I think I did pretty well in 15 minutes. I had to speak twice as fast as he did, anyway, to get what I got into my speech! But I'll try to deal with some of these points right now and satisfy him in the 10 minutes I have left Acts 2:38, the Acts 2 passage, was it Acts 2:38? Yes they were to be saved by calling on the name and not by being baptised. I would refer him to Acts 22:16 where the apostle Paul, as Saul of Tarsus was told, 'Arise and be baptised and wash away the sins calling on his name'. So here you have the baptism associated with the calling on his name. Now with regards to Saul of Tarsus, your not going to tell me that this man was converted on the road to Damascus and had his sins forgiven there! You don't tell a person to wash his hands of dirt if his hands are already clean! And the very fact that Paul was told, 'Arise and be baptised and wash away thy sins implies that this man had sins to wash away. There's no saved person who has sins to wash away. And if this man was saved he didn't know it because for three days he neither ate nor drank, but was praying. He was the most miserable saved person you ever heard of if he was saved while he waited in Damascus. And, furthermore if he was saved before he called on the name of the Lord and was baptised Ananias didn't know it, because he came with the wrong message. If he was saved at that time even the Holy Spirit didn't know it because it was the Spirit that sent Ananias with that message, `arise and be baptised and wash away thy sins calling on the name of the Lord'. The penitent believer because he was a believer at this time and he was certainly penitent because he had changed his whole life.
Now with regards to the passage that had to do with John's baptism. John's baptism was indeed a baptism for the remission of sins, but bear in mind that just as we today are saved in retrospect, by looking back to what took place at Calvary, men of faith in Old Testament times were saved in prospect, looking forward to that which should be accomplished at Calvary. This is the answer to Mr. Kingdon's question.
In Acts 19, I think he's rather mixed things up a little bit, the question is not the salvation of these men. Paul found certain believers and if they were believers according to his argument they must have been saved already and said , `Have you received the Holy Spirit since ye believed? and they said we have not so much as heard if the Holy Spirit be given or if there be a Holy Spirit'. And Paul connected their not having the Holy Spirit with the fact that they had not been baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. He said, 'Unto what then were you baptised? They said 'unto John's baptism'. Here were men who had evidently accepted the baptism of John the baptist after the church had been established on the day of Pentecost. And when Paul realised that these men had still received John's baptism he commanded them that the baptism of John was to the time when Christ should come. And he commanded them then to be baptised in the name of the Lord. Now bear in mind baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, according to Acts 2:38, is indeed for the remission of sins, 'that ye may receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'. The gift of the Holy Spirit was always associated with baptism in the name of the Lord. We find, for example, in Acts 5 Peter says, 'we are witnesses of these things and so also is the Holy Spirit which God hath given to all them that obey him'.
Now in Matthew 26:28, incidentally A. T. Robertson who argues for causal eis insists in his Historical Grammar that `for the remission of sins' in this passage means with a view to the remission of sins. So here's A. T. Robertson saying that in Acts 2:38, eis aphesin harmartion is because you've already received remission of sins and in Matthew 26:28 he says it's with the purpose of receiving remission of sins, for the remission of sins. Now this has nothing to do with the Lord's supper. The Lord is not saying that the celebration of the Lord's supper is for the remission of sins. He says this cup represents the blood that was shed for the remission of sins. It was the shedding of the blood that was for the remission of sins. 'For without the shedding of blood there is no remission', this is what the Bible teaches.
And I'd like to make Mr. Kingdon clear on one point, that he's evidently mistaken. Alexander Campbell was not the founder of the church of Christ. There were churches of Christ in England long, long, long before Alexander Campbell was ever heard of. There were churches of Christ in Poland and in France long before the church ever heard of Alexander Campbell! It's simply that Campbell was a very prominent man in America - a very capable man who made the tremendous plea for the restoration of New Testament Christianity.
So my friends, let me make some of the arguments again, in summing up tonight. First of all, the Lord says that baptism brings us into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and in spite of what Mr. Kingdon has said he's not brought a single authority or a single version or scholarship that will change this.
Secondly, the Lord says, 'He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved'. The Lord did not say as Mr. Kingdon must say, 'He that believeth is saved and then can please himself whether or not he's baptised'. It seems a remarkable situation, to me, when Mr. Kingdom insists you can get to heaven by believing without being baptised, but I wonder if he would admit you into fellowship in the Baptist church without baptism?
Thirdly, 'Wash away thy sins', said Ananias to Paul in Acts 22:16. 'Arise and be baptised and wash away thy sins calling on the name of the Lord'. Now my dear friends, I'm not urging you tonight to have faith in baptism. I do not believe that baptism saves. I believe that salvation comes through the precious blood of Christ - through the blood that was shed at Calvary for our sins. But I do insist that it's when the believer, penitent, sorrowing for his sins, yields himself in obedience to the plain command of the Lord in baptism, that the blood of Christ is applied by faith to his soul arid he arises from the waters of baptism to walk in newness of life.
Furthermore, we would point out to you that it's in this way that you come into Christ. Paul says in Galatians 3:26-27, 'For we are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus'. This locates sonship with God. It tells you when you're a son of God. When you're in Christ Jesus, then you're a son of God by faith. 'As many as have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ'. I want to ask you tonight is a man a Christian who is not 'in Christ'? Is a man a Christian who has not 'put on' Christ? And how does Paul say that you put on Christ? Paul says you put on Christ when you are baptised into him and it's then, in Christ, that you become a child of God by faith.
A passage I would like to introduce and with this I finish. In 1 Peter 3:21 the apostle Peter, speaking of the salvation Noah had in Old Testament times says, 'The like figure whereunto even baptism doth now also save us, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh but the request for a conscience right with God'. Now I would like Mr. Kingdon, if he will, to tell us how baptism saves? Is this some present salvation or is it some future salvation referred to here? And how can baptism be the request to God for a conscience that's right with him, if you've already got that conscience by believing in him? It seems pretty plain in this passage that Peter says that baptism doth now also save us.
My dear friends, we're urging a complete return to New Testament Christianity. There was a time when the Baptist church was very near to the truth on this matter, but such men as Dr. L. 0. Champion and the scholar that Mr. Kingdon knows so well, Dr. Beasley-Murray, tell us that nobody today has made less of baptism than the Baptists unless it be the Society of Friends and the Salvation Army. The Baptist church is very plain in its teaching concerning the subject of baptism, saying that it's the penitent believer, but is woefully lacking when it comes to telling us what the purpose of baptism is.
Did you notice Mr. Kingdon has still not told you what the purpose of baptism is, in the words of Scripture? If he denies that what I said tonight is true, then why doesn't he tell us in the very words of Scripture what baptism is for? This is the question that I insist on! If you don't agree with me tell me in the words of Scripture, not according to your church doctrine, not according to your scholars even, but in the words of Scripture, what the purpose of baptism is and then we can be satisfied.
My friends, if we love the Lord Jesus Christ, if we have true faith in his atoning work we shall not despise that ordinance which he has appointed to bring the penitent believer into the relationship with himself that is a saving relationship, into union with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Thank you for being so patient with us.
Mr. Kingdon's third negative speech (time limit, 10 minutes):
In our college we do a course in logic (laughter from audience) and for Mr. Worgan to say that I think that baptism is unessential because I do not agree to the meaning that he puts upon baptism is most faulty logic. I believe that baptism is commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ and that it is the duty of every child of God to be baptised by immersion on confession of his faith.
Now I thought we would go to Acts 22:16 and I'm going to spend my time on this. 'And now why tarriest thou, arise and be baptised and wash away thy sins calling on the name of the Lord'. Now notice that the apostle Paul had already recognised and submitted to Christ as Lord, 'Lord what wilt thou have me to do?' He must therefore have known the working of the Holy Spirit, for according to 1 Cor. 12:3 'No man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus a curse, and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost'. And Ananias called him brother Saul - a word used to refer to members of God's family, to refer to Christians who've been born again into the family of God.
And Paul evidently was able to pray but it seems without the Holy Spirit working in his heart on Mr. Worgan's argument. But surely prayer is the exercise of the regenerated soul. Now if Paul was just saying his prayers, if he wasn't really praying, well, I'd like to know what the language of Scripture really means. Romans 8:15-16, 'The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God and if children then heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. If so be that we suffer with him'. But notice verse 15, 'We have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry Abba, Father'. Now if Paul was praying in the Spirit, as I believe the Scripture indicates, then he was an adopted son already. And notice that according to his own testimony in 1 Cor 15:8, he was constituted an apostle by seeing the Lord. When did he see the Lord? The risen Lord in His glory? Why on the road to Damascus. 1 Cor. 15:8, 'And last of all', he's listing the resurrection appearances, 'last of all he was seen of me also as one born out of due time for I am the least of the apostles
Now it was required in an apostle that he be an eye witness of the resurrection and Paul is saying precisely that. And so you get this ridiculous situation that this man was already an apostle but he wasn't saved. He was already an apostle but his sins had not been remitted to him. The Son had already been revealed in him, Galatians 1:16, and yet he was not a Christian.
And let me ask this question. If baptism is essential to the remission of sins, why did God allow Paul, who on Mr. Worgan's argument, was a believer, to wait three days? Supposing something had happened to him? Tonight he would be in hell and not in heaven. It's noteworthy that in Acts 26 in his testimony before Agrippa, Paul does not mention baptism at all.
Now this language 'Arise, wash away thy sins' does not trouble me. I've room in my interpretation of Scripture for symbolic language. I have room in my interpretation of Scripture for distinguishing between the sign and the thing it signifies. Baptism signifies certainly the washing away of sins, but in the realistic language of the Bible, and I'm not quarrelling with it, it's spoken of as washing away sin. This is because of the close relation between the sign and that which it symbolises. This applies equally well to the Lord's supper and I noticed that Mr. Worgan didn't really answer my point there.
Now as to Galatians 3:27, 'For as many of you as have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ'. But notice verse 26, 'For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus'. Notice also that in verse 2 of the same chapter Paul asked the question, 'Received ye the spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?' Believing, receiving the Spirit, being baptised, a different order from Mr. Worgan you notice.
Now again, we're back to our old friend, eis, and I'm sorry about him but he's there, in the Greek text. You don't have to translate again, 'For as many of you as have been baptised into Christ'. It could be equally well translated unto Christ, that is with reference to Christ. For in baptism we profess Christ. We profess our allegiance to him and we take upon ourselves the obligations of Christian discipleship. We put on Christ and we put off the old man with his deeds and we take our stand with Him and we confess Him before the world. But surely the preceding verse, verse 26, rules out the view that we are put into Christ by baptism. 'We are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus'. Well, how can we be put into God's family by baptism if we are already there by faith? And in any case Mr. Worgan's use of this passage would defeat Paul's whole argument in the epistle to the Galatians. He was fighting against the Judaizers who insisted that a man had to add circumcision to his faith in Christ in order to be saved. Now if Paul wanted to meet them in the way that Mr. Worgan would have to make him meet them, then he would have to say that Paul should have said to them, 'No, you don't add circumcision to faith in Christ you add baptism as being necessary to salvation'. Now why didn't he reply to the Judaizers in these terms?
I would submit that the Bible teaches that it is by grace that we are saved through faith. Not of works lest any man should boast. And I can say from the bottom of my heart Hallelujah, because nothing (applause) nothing, nothing needs to be added by me to the perfect righteousness and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ (amen from audience). My sins were imputed to Him, were reckoned to His account and His blessed righteousness was reckoned to mine and by faith, sheer naked, empty handed faith, I received that righteousness on it, praise God, I stand. (applause).
The end of the first night
DEBATE SECOND NIGHT
Proposition Two, June 3, 1967: 'The Scriptures teach that remission of sins is obtained by faith alone before and without baptism.
Mr. Kingdon's first affirmative speech (time limit, 25 minutes)!
The proposition that I am to defend tonight is that the Scriptures teach that remission of sins is obtained by faith alone before and without baptism. Now last night Mr. Worgan began by emphasising what he and I had in common. He rightly said that we are both agreed that the proper subject of baptism is the penitent believer. He also rightly said that the proper mode of baptism is immersion. But I want to begin tonight by saying that these points of agreement mask the fact that in reality between Mr. Worgan and myself there is a great gulf fixed. For Mr. Worgan does not believe that I am saved. For all his talk about the grace of God it does not extend, it seems, to me or to any other Baptist even though we have been baptised as believers by immersion. Tonight I, with them, am on the way to hell for I have not been baptised, I am told, unto the remission of sins into the church of Christ.
So let there be no mistake about it, my friends, if Mr. Worgan is right we are yet in our sins and condemned by our lack of the right baptism to a lost eternity
Now one other preliminary remark and I make this in all kindness but I believe it very firmly that Mr. Worgan's approach is typical of that of the cults. He takes a small number of texts, he interprets them in a certain way, adds them together and produces a system of doctrine which, as I shall show, subverts the whole scriptural plan of salvation. Implicit also in Mr. Worgan's position is the assumption that outside of the church of Christ as he defines it, there is no salvation.
Now it is well that these issues be brought out into the open, for they are intimately related to the subject of this whole debate. You should realise that if you can agree with Mr. Worgan you also must conclude that I and many other believers are on the way to hell and that outside of the churches of Christ, wherein the only true Christian baptism is according to their teachers, to be found, there is no salvation.
Now why do I hold that the Scriptures teach that remission of sins is obtained by faith alone before and without baptism? Well, I hold this proposition firstly because of what the Scriptures teach about justification. What they teach about justification. Now the key passage in this connection is to be found in the fourth chapter of Paul's epistle to the Romans. Now the epistle to the Romans, as you know, is an exposition of the gospel of the grace of God. Its theme is given us by the apostle Paul in verses 16 and 17, of the first chapter, 'For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto Salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith as it is written the just shall live by faith'.
Now in chapters 1-3 the apostle Paul establishes his contention that both Jew and Gentile, everyone without exception, are guilty before God. Romans 3:19 is his conclusion, 'Now we know that what things soever the law saith it saith to them who are under the law that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God'.
The Gentiles are without excuse, chapter 1:20, and so are the Jews, chapter 3:9. We have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, says Paul in that verse, that they are all under sin, as it is written, 'there is none righteous, no not one'. Now in the 4th chapter, in order to meet the claim that physical descent from Abraham puts a Jew in the right with God, Paul shows how Abraham was acceptable to God. He was not acceptable to God on the grounds of what he did, verses 25 of chapter 4, 'Now if Abraham were justified by works he hath whereof to glory, but not before God for what saith the Scripture, Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace but of debt. But to him that worketh not but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly his faith is counted for righteousness'. So Abraham was not justified in God's sight on the grounds of what he did but he was justified on the grounds of his justification by God through faith. Abraham did not work for his righteousness with God. If he had done so God would have been in his debt. But he was saved by grace, verse 4, through faith, verse 5. Through faith in whom? 'In Him that justifieth the ungodly', as verse 5 says.
Now in what does the blessedness that Paul speaks of in verse 6 consist? The blessedness that Abraham knew when he tells us in verses 7 and 8, 'Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin'. So the blessedness of Abraham consisted in this, that his sin was not reckoned to his account but it was reckoned to Christ's account, as 2 Corinthians 5:21 makes clear. And on the other hand Christ's righteousness was reckoned to his account so that he had a righteous standing before God by faith.
Now Abraham was then saved by faith without works. Now to make this abundantly clear Paul shows that he was justified before he was circumcised, verses 10 and 11. 'how was it then reckoned? When he was in circumcision or uncircumcision? Not in circumcision but in uncircumcision and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet been uncircumcised'. So he was righteous, declared righteous and then later on he was circumcised. He had the blessing of forgiveness by faith long before he was circumcised. His circumcision played no part in securing for Abraham the remission of his sins for at least 14 years elapsed between the events associated with the former and the time of the latter.
If you look at Genesis 17:10-l3 which tells of the institution of circumcision and compare it with Genesis 15:6 you will see this. Now notice Paul's conclusion in verse 11. 'Circumcision', he says, 'was not without value for it signified and sealed his faith'. But notice that it signified and sealed in particular the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised. So those circumcisions signified and sealed his faith. That is though it authenticated and confirmed it, yet his circumcision did not procure for Abraham the righteousness of God which was already his by faith. Thus this righteousness he already had, by faith, yet being uncircumcised. He was in other words you see a forgiven sinner before he was circumcised.
Now what was the purpose of Abraham's receiving of this sign and seal? Paul tells us, it was that he might be the father of all them that believe though they be not circumcised - that righteousness might be imputed unto them also. Now on Mr. Worgan's argument, if baptism is essential for the remission of sins to the believer then God has changed his whole plan of salvation. Abraham was justified by faith long before he was circumcised. He was justified before he received the sign and the seal, namely circumcision. His iniquities were forgiven. his sins were covered. But Mr. Worgan insists that the position has now been changed and of the new covenant he says, in effect, that God has changed his mind. The repentant sinner is now justified another way. He believes but his faith does not now bring him forgiveness of sins. He must believe, he must be baptised and then and only then will he receive the remission of his sins.
So the conclusion we must come to is this, God has two ways of justifying the sinner. There is the Old Testament way, justification by faith alone, and according to Mr. Worgan's teaching there is the New Testament way, justification by faith plus obedience in baptism for the remission of sins. Now how, in that case then, can Abraham be the father, the spiritual ancestor of all them that believe, verse 11? How could he be the heir of the world, verse 13? How could he be the father of many nations if the Gentiles are not saved by grace through faith alone as he was? How could it be said that Gentile believers are Abraham's seed, Galatians 3:29? That they are the children of Abraham, Romans 4:7? If Abraham was saved apart from circumcision and believers are now saved by faith in baptism unto the remission of sins? You get the point?
Now what was the point of the apostle Paul selecting the way in which God saved Abraham to teach us the way of salvation in the epistle to the Romans if in fact we are not saved in the same way as Abraham? What was the point of it all? This was a futile exercise because there is no correspondence between the way of salvation in Abraham's case and the way of salvation in our own. Are we to conclude then that God has changed his mind? That is unthinkable. Our God is immutable. He is not the son of man that he should repent. 'I am the Lord', he declares in Malachi 3:6, 'I change not'.
When he promised Abraham that in him all the families of the earth would be blessed and when he blessed him by counting faith to him for righteousness, as Genesis 15:6 declares, did God mean what he said? Was he telling Abraham that he would remit sin in two ways or in one? Surely the answer is that he was promising Abraham that as he saved him by faith alone, imputing righteousness unto him, so in like fashion would he save all those who believe on him that justifieth the ungodly. There is my friend, I submit, one God, one plan of salvation, one gospel.
Now that we are saved by grace through faith, as Abraham was, is evident from what the Apostle Paul says in Galatians 3:8, where Paul declares the Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith preached before, now notice this, 'The gospel unto Abraham saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed'. The gospel was preached before unto Abraham and that is why he rejoiced to see Christ's day as John says. The gospel of justification by faith. That is, the same gospel by which Abraham is saved, is the gospel which saves us. Now the gospel preached to Abraham, so far as I know, had nothing in it whatsoever of remission of sins through baptism. Therefore, the gospel which we believe does not. If it does then it is a different gospel and would merit the condemnation of the apostle Paul in Galatians 1:8, 9.
Now if God has changed his plan of salvation how is it that Peter could use such language as he does in Acts 10:43? 'To him, that is the Lord Jesus Christ, give all the prophets witness that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins'. Now the prophets testify of Christ and of his work and of the remission of sins through his blood which is granted to all who believe. You have only to read Isaiah 53 to see that. Now where do the prophets say that remission of sins is through baptism? - that the penitent believer must he baptised in order to the remission of sins?
Now if Mr. Worgan tells me that there is nothing said by the prophets about baptism I must reply that it is passing strange that they should be silent as to God's own appointed way of salvation.
Now to summarise my argument thus far. Justification is by grace through faith alone in both Testaments. Abraham was saved without circumcision. We are saved without baptism precisely because the gospel preached to him and received by us is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. Paul's whole argument assumes that remission of sins is obtained by faith alone before and without baptism. Mr. Worgan requires that I be a believer in order to be baptised in order to receive remission of sins. I reply that Abraham was justified by faith before and apart from circumcision. And that I as a child of Abraham, having like precious faith, am justified before and apart from baptism.
So on this first ground then I submit that the proposition is true. Namely that the Scriptures teach that remission of sins is obtained by faith alone before and without baptism.
Now I must hurry on, my second point is this: I submit that it is true because of what the Scriptures teach about faith. Now we are not talking about the faith that demons have, James 2:19. That is not saving faith, since it is not exercised in relation to Christ the redeemer. We are speaking of saving faith, that is, that faith which God gives to the guilty sinners to embrace Christ as he is offered in the gospel and to appropriate all the benefits of his saving work.
Now just let me give you some references from John's gospel, the gospel of belief, that was written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ and that believing ye might have life through his name, John 20:31. Now notice in chapter 3 of John's gospel that a parallel is drawn between the lifting up of the serpent in the wilderness and the lifting up of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross. Now according to Numbers 21:8 the smitten people were commanded to look and live. Those who looked lived, that is, those who looked in faith lived. Now what is the parallel? 'Whosoever believeth in Christ shall not perish but have everlasting life'. There is no extra item you see that is added. It does not say those who believe and are baptised shall receive everlasting life. That would destroy the parallel. Those who believe receive everlasting life. Here again if a man is required to be a believer before baptism he already has eternal life which includes of course remission of sins. Therefore, faith alone obtains remission of sins before and without baptism. 'Whosoever believeth on the Christ who has been lifted up upon the cross has everlasting life'. Now the 36th verse of John 3 makes the same point. 'He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on him'. John 5:24 proves that he who believes has passed out of the sphere of condemnation, compare Romans 5:1, into the sphere of justification. His sins therefore must have been forgiven and since he is required to be a believer to be baptised he obtains remission of sins before and without baptism. It proves also that at the moment of believing he passes from death into life and continues to be in this happy state as the Greek makes clear. The Lord speaks of belief in the Father who sent him because he is drawing attention to the one who justifies the ungodly as Romans 4:5 says.
John 7:39 proves that the Spirit is given to those who believe. On their believing and not upon their being baptised. Now I would submit then to sum up that the proposition is true on these two ground namely, that justification in the Scriptures is always by faith alone and that includes of course the remission of sins and that since justification is instantaneous upon believing, remission of sins is obtained by faith alone before and without baptism. Since when a sinner believes he passes from death to life, from condemnation to non-condemnation he obtains remission before and without baptism. Well, here I rest my case for the moment.
Mr. Worgan's first negative speech (time limit, 25 minutes):
Mr. Kingdon, Mr. Moderators, Ladies and Gentlemen, it's a pleasure to he back again tonight. We had such a wonderful time last evening. Everybody was in good humour. Mr. Kingdon made us smile once or twice and I think we all went home very happy. I must say this, and I intend it as a very sincere compliment as the stranger on this platform. I have lived and travelled in many different countries on the continent and I can honestly say that I do not know of any country in Europe where, on a Saturday night, we can get so many people together to talk in an orderly fashion about the word of God. This is truly a compliment for the interest in spiritual things to he found here in Belfast, and I really mean you to take that as a compliment.
Now Mr. Kingdon has had something to say tonight about Mr. Worgan's position. Now this is very remarkable that he should undertake to do that since I never saw Mr. Kingdon before in my life until yesterday. How Mr. Kingdon thinks he's qualified to speak for me is very hard to understand. He made a little emotional appeal at the beginning there. You know, 'if Mr. Worgan's position is true I am lost', and all the rest of it. Now he and I undertook, in signing these propositions that were submitted to me and to him alike, to say what the Scriptures teach about these matters. I don't think it's right for Mr. Kingdon to make any kind of emotional appeal and I don't think it comes very well from him holding the position he does on the question of predestination. After all, many of you here tonight are going to be lost anyway, because you can't he saved. You're not predestinated to be saved. Now this kind of emotional appeal doesn't help us at all when we're trying to get down to understanding what the Word of God has to say concerning this matter of salvation.
Now let me look at some of the passages Mr. Kingdon used. First of all he referred to the case of Abraham in Romans 4 and pointed out to us that Abraham was justified by faith before circumcision. Now Paul indeed does refer to Abraham's justification while still in uncircumcision to prove, as the context of the passage shows, that the justification had nothing whatsoever to do with the works of the law of Moses since the Mosaic law had not then been given. Now bear this in mind when you think of the imagined conflict between what Paul says about Abraham and what James says about Abraham in James 2. Paul is writing to the Romans to off-set the influence of Judaizing teachers who were telling the Gentile Christians that unless they were circumcised and observed the law of Moses they could not be saved, Acts 15:1. Now Paul is arguing that Abraham was justified before and without circumcision because of the faith he had manifested, and so today, says Paul in Romans 4:12, God will justify all those who walk in the steps of the faith that Abraham had while still in uncircumcision.
Now notice that, will you my friend. Mr. Kingdon has contended for faith alone tonight. This was not faith alone that saved Abraham because Paul says he walked in the steps of faith. The faith of Abraham took certain steps. This was faith going in a certain direction, It was faith that was active. It was faith doing something and this is precisely what James sets out to prove, when in James 2:19 he says, 'Was not our father Abraham justified by works'. What does he mean? He is not talking about works of merit and I wouldn't tell you tonight we can be saved by any works of merit of our own, but he's speaking of the kind of faith that manifests itself in obedience to the will of God. Now it's not faith alone, certainly.
James says if your faith is faith alone it's dead faith, James 2:17. Re says faith alone is barren faith, faith if it hath not works is barren. He says again in James 2:22 that faith that is without works is incomplete faith. He says that by the works is the faith made perfect or complete. Now Mr. Kingdon is pledged to argue in favour of salvation by faith alone, while James says emphatically it is not by faith alone. There's no conflict between the apostle Paul and James when they discuss Abraham as you understand when you grasp this fact.
Paul's argument is directed against the works of the law of Moses while he declares that Abraham's faith was an active faith. James is arguing against salvation by faith alone and saying that faith can never truly be alone if it's the right kind of faith but will show itself in what it does.
Now Mr. Kingdom suggested that I'm advocating two kinds of salvation or two ways of being saved. Well how do we become Abraham's seed? That's the whole issue isn't it today'? Well, I think you'll find the answer to that in Galatians 3 beginning to read at verse 26, 'For ye are all the sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus'. That's the dative case, the case of location. 'For as many of you as have been baptised into Christ did put on Christ'. Now notice verse 29, then he says, 'And if ye are Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise'. How do you become the children of Abraham? By becoming the children of God by faith and that's when you're in Christ Jesus.
Now again Mr. Kingdon referred to the fact that believers received remission of sins, Acts 10:43. But did you notice that the expression is that it's 'through his name that everyone that believeth . . .'? That's why in verse 48 of that same passage Peter commanded them to be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, Now notice the expression, 'in the name of Jesus Christ'. Now Peter had used that once before. We looked at it last night, Acts 2:38, and there baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is said to be for the remission of sins. I'm still waiting for Mr. Kingdom to bring along the translation that says, 'on account of remission of sins'. Here's the same preacher with the same message with the same command expressing the same purpose, incidentally I wonder if in the name of the Lord as a preacher of the gospel, Mr. Kingdom has ever commanded anyone to be baptised in the name of the Lord, imposed it upon them with the same firmness as Peter did?
Now another passage, another thing that Mr. Kingdon raised was the fact that the ordinance of baptism is not part of the gospel, is not the gospel. Why I admit that the ordinance of baptism is not the gospel. But it's a command of the gospel. What is the gospel? Well, Paul tells you what the gospel is in I Corinthians 15:14. He says, 'I make known unto you the gospel by which also ye are saved if ye keep in mind that which was preached unto you except that ye believed in vain, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that he was buried and that he was raised again the third day according to the Scriptures'.
Now baptism is not there but, nevertheless, you cannot separate baptism from the gospel without doing violence to the great commission, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved', said the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now we read in Acts 8:12 that when the Samaritans believed Philip, preaching the good tidings concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptised. Evidently something that Phillip said about the good tidings involved these people in being baptised. In Acts 16:14 we read that when the Lord opened Lydia's heart that she attended to the things spoken by Paul, 'and when she was baptised', you see the perfect naturalness there. Her heart had been opened by the Lord. She gave heed to the things spoken by Paul and as the most natural thing in the world we're told she was baptised. In Acts 18 many of the Corinthians hearing, believed and were baptised. How can you separate baptism from the gospel in the way Mr. Kingdon is trying to do?
Furthermore suppose we turned the argument back on him. It's the gospel that saves, thank God for that. There's no merit in faith, therefore faith is not essential to salvation. Is this his position? Will he argue that faith has a certain merit that God must recognise? His friend Dr. Beasley-Murray, who is plain, as I pointed out last night and Mr. Kingdon was not very happy about this as you noticed, makes it plain. He says, 'When the gospel is presented by the Baptist in Britain the good news of God's redemptive acts in Christ are made known and a call is made for the response of faith. Those who yield that response are afterwards invited to attend an inquirers class for instruction in baptism. But at Pentecost, Peter's response was not repent and believe, but repent and be baptised. Baptism is thus part of the gospel', says Beasley-Murray in Baptism Today and Tomorrow, page 95, that anyone can examine if he wants to do it. I have it there on the table.
Again `he that believeth on the Son hath eternal life'. But you notice he didn't finish the quotation. Here in John 3:36, 'But he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life'. Now here it is. The word apeitheo there is found 16 times in the Greek New Testament. In the King James Version it was rendered, 'Believe not' but in all 16 instances the revision has it 'obeyeth not'. That's why in 2 Corinthians 1:8 we read, that Christ will come 'in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and that obey not the gospel of our lord Jesus Christ'. Now will Mr. Kingdon tell us what there is in the gospel that has to be obeyed? Won't Mr. Kingdon explain what it is, what has to be done as well as believed? Will he tell us what it is?
Now put up the chart brother Bill, will you. Chart number two
'HE THAT BELIEVETH AND IS BAPTISED
SHALL BE SAVED'
'HE THAT BELIEVETH AND IS SAVED
SHALL BE BAPTISED'
Which will you endorse?
If I'm going to refute the theory of Mr. Kingdon's that salvation is by faith alone before and without baptism I choose to start with the words of the Saviour that we looked at last night. Now take a look at the chart. Mr. Kingdon saw it, but unfortunately he didn't do what we asked him to do. He didn't endorse either of these two statements. Now any child looking at that can see that if one is right the other is wrong. If one is right number two is wrong, 'He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved' said Jesus. 'He that believeth and is saved shall be baptised'. In fact, my friends, the Lord could have made it very easy for Mr. Kingdon tonight if the Lord had said, 'He that believeth is saved' that would have been the end of it and we wouldn't have been here tonight, but the Lord didn't say that. The Lord said the very thing that Mr. Kingdon is denying. Up there (pointing to chart) the Lord puts baptism between the believer and his salvation and you've got to choose whether it's Christ or Kingdon. Now which will. you endorse? I'll tell you what I'll do, I'm going to do this (with a piece of paper covers up Mr. Kingdon's statement on the chart). Put it on and there it is, 'He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved'. This is what Christ says. Now I wonder if Mr. Kingdon would accept the invitation to do the same thing. Will he tell us which one of these two he's prepared to accept? Which is right Mr. Kingdon? They are not both right. If one is right the other is wrong and I want Mr. Kingdon before he leaves this place tonight to tell you which of these two positions he's willing to endorse. Now you can't have both.
Now this is the Lord's command my friends. Now you may pervert it, you may turn a blind eye to it, or you might close your eyes and wish that it would go away, or you might do as one old lady did. She went to her Bible and she cut out the passage in Mark 16:16. Then she said `Mark 16:16 is not in my Bible', Now you can do that if you want to, but nevertheless this is the command of the Lord and bear in mind the Lord says, 'He that rejecteth me and receiveth not these sayings of mine hath one that judgeth him. The word that I spake the same shall judge him at the last day'.
Now I'm going to bring up other questions under this proposition tonight, will you put that off Brother Bill please? (speaking of the overhead projector), other questions that Mr. Kingdon failed to answer but which are relevant to this discussion.
He didn't tell us from what it is that baptism saves in 1 Peter 5:21. He didn't tell us what it means that 'baptism doth now save us'. He didn't show in the words of Scripture, as I repeatedly asked him, what is the purpose of baptism? He didn't tell us whether a man is saved before or after repentance. He didn't even tell you what was meant when Saul of Tarsus was told to, 'Arise and be baptised and wash away his sins'. Now Mr. Kingdon may equivocate and rig as much as he likes but I'm going to bring up these passages tonight time and time again until we get it straight from his lips where he stands on these matters. After all he's under-taken to affirm that remission of sins is received by faith alone before and without baptism and he simply cannot object if I insist on bringing these matters up. I'm holding him to his position.
Now notice this. Mr. Kingdon has undertaken to affirm that the Scriptures teach that one is saved by faith alone. Now he can do this in either of two ways. He can do it either by producing the explicit statement of the Word of God that says that salvation in the Christian age is by faith alone or he may do it by turning to some conversion story in the Christian age and showing how forgiveness was ascribed to a person before and without baptism. Furthermore, Mr. Kingdon must prove that repentance precedes faith. Because he's committed to the position that the sinner is saved when he believes. Now he simply can't have the sinner believing and then repenting because that would mean he was saved before he repented. So he's got to prove that repentance comes before remission. Now I'm going to prove to you tonight my friends that Mr. Kingdon has not proved his proposition, that he cannot prove his proposition and that he doesn't really believe his proposition.
Now he hasn't proved it, first of all. He's not been able to produce the verse that states that we're saved by faith alone. Now and secondly, he's not proved it because he's not referred us to the case of conversion where a man is stated to have been saved by faith alone or demonstrated to be saved before and without baptism. Now you think about this. He's not proved it because the text hasn't been there. Now I listened very carefully and you did, too, but you didn't hear Mr. Kingdon show you one single verse of Scripture that says we are saved or justified by faith alone. You didn't find that my friends. You heard the assertion several times but you did not get the single reference that tells you that you're justified by faith alone.
Now either Mr. Kingdon forgot it or Mr. Kingdon has overlooked it, I don't know. But I certainly did not hear it and I'm going to pause for just a minute now to give Mr. Kingdon the opportunity of producing the passage, the text, that says we are justified by faith alone. I'm looking for the expression faith alone in the connotation of justification. Now my time is precious. I need a lot of time and I want a lot of time but I'm prepared to give him a minute of my time to let you have the text. It would have a devastating effect on my position but nevertheless I'm prepared to let him stand up right now and quote you the passage that states that you are saved by faith alone and I want the word alone in the text. (Pause for Mr. Kingdon to answer, Mr. Kingdon answers: We're in the same hall I think and I was expounding Romans 4). Well, thank you. That's sufficient answer for my purpose (applause). That's sufficient answer for my purpose. (Mr. Clark, Mr. Kingdon's moderator, to the audience: 'I asked for quietness').
We get warmed up on these subjects friends obviously, but Mr. Kingdon and I have respect for each other even though we attack each other like this, so you need not think there's any animosity in it. This is just the way we talk about things. There's a bit of Welsh blood in my veins, I'll tell you, and he's an Englishman.
Well, nevertheless, that was sufficient for my purpose you see. Mr. Kingdon has come before you once for 25 minutes. I'm not a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but he'll come before you two more occasions and you'll go home tonight and you still won't have the text that says you are saved by faith alone for the simple reason that it does not exist.
Now my friends, Mr. Kingdon is unable to prove this position because salvation by faith is one thing and salvation by faith alone is something entirely different. I made it plain last night that I believe all the Bible says concerning salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But salvation by faith is one thing and salvation by faith alone is something different. The elusive text that he needs is just not there. Now he could have done it in his opening speech but he didn't do it and he won't do it again.
Furthermore, his proposition is a contradiction of the statement of the Lord, the position of the Lord here on chart number one.
Here we have 'He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved', and the order's given quite clearly. Chart number one, thank you Bill.
1 ------- 2 -------------- 3
`BELIEF - BAPTISM - SALVATION'
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
1 -------- 3 ------------- 2
`BELIEF - SALVATION - BAPTISM'
THE SCRIPTURAL ORDER?
Belief - Baptism - Salvation, 1, 2, 3. Now you can write under that the Lord Jesus Christ, because the Lord Jesus Christ made that statement. He said, 'He that believeth' that's number one, 'and is baptised' that's number two, 'shall be saved' that's number three.
You see again that baptism comes between the belief and the salvation in the Lord's statement. Mr. Kingdon on the other hand is committed to this position: Belief - Salvation and then Baptism perhaps as an optional extra. Now again which is the scriptural order? Mr. Kingdon denies the Lord's own order there (pointing to chart). Furthermore, this is a new doctrine.
You know Mr. Kingdon had a lot to say last night about heresy. That was his opening statement regarding my position. He felt that the position I advocate is one of heresy and needs to be attacked. But my dear friends, we need to think about this very closely. Does it occur to you that before 1521 when Martin Luther made his first translation of the Bible into the German language nobody ever talked about justification by faith alone. This is a new doctrine. It wasn't known until the 16th century. The early Christians certainly didn't know anything about it (shout from audience). Now just a minute friends, you behaved yourselves last night and there's no reason why you shouldn't behave yourselves and listen quietly tonight. May the Lord bless you, but keep quiet. You're not in the debate. This is a debate between Mr. Kingdon and myself and it's going along very well. We're enjoying ourselves (other shouts from audience). So, let's have some quiet. (Mr. Clark, moderator, says to audience: Quietness please, now'). Right then let's carry on shall we. I say this is a new doctrine and furthermore Martin Luther did not believe in justification by faith as Mr. Kingdon is advocating. Just a moment (Mr. Worgan goes to his table to collect some information). Now even, and I've read Mr. Clark's book, The Truth about Baptism, even Mr. Clark on page 78 says that Calvin and Luther are on the side of Roman Catholicism because, be says. Luther believed and Calvin believed in the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. That may or may not be true, but I'll tell you this my friends, Martin Luther certainty did not believe what Mr. Kingdon believes. I have a statement here by Martin Luther in which be makes it perfectly plain what his position is. He says concerning this matter, that we must 'receive baptism as from God'. This is in his The Sacrament of Baptism. He says, 'we must receive it in faith and believe that God in heaven with human hands thrust us under the water and speaking by the mouth of his servant promises us salvation and remission of sins'. Now this is what Martin Luther says in his work on the sacrament of baptism.
Furthermore, I have a little book over here which is the Lutheran Catechism (shout from the audience: Stick to the Bible'). I'll stick to the Bible my friend if you will stick to your place. (laughter from audience). Thank you. Martin Luther in his catechism, in his Little Catechism states quite plainly that baptism is the means of grace. Now I'm simply trying to prove to you this, that the expression justification by faith alone which Luther put into the text of his German Bible, without any Greek authority for doing it, is simply not what Mr. Kingdon is advocating. Luther was protesting against the Romish practices of penances and fasts and feastings. This idea that works of merit could earn or deserve salvation which is against the teachings of the Word of God, and he was objecting to the idea that you could merit your salvation. He was not objecting to the kind of faith that expresses itself in obedience to the plain commands of God.
Now Mr. Kingdon's position my friends, is false simply because as I pointed out last night, Saul of Tarsus was told to arise and be baptised and wash away his sins. Now this is Scripture. I want Mr. Kingdon to tell us what it means, How could this man's sins be washed away if he had already been saved? How can you wash the dirt off your hands if your hands are already clean? This man was told there was something for him to do, and for this man, a penitent believer, the command was, 'Arise and be baptised and wash away thy sins calling on the name of the Lord'.
Furthermore, Galatians 3:26, 27 the position of Mr. Kingdon falls down here because it teaches that in baptism we put on Christ, we come into Christ. Abbot Smith tells us that the word enduo, means to put on as a garment, and it's when you're baptised as a believer, trusting in the precious blood of Christ, that you put him on. You come into him and it's then as we've already seen that you're a child of God by faith. Baptism brings you as a believer into union with Christ.
Dr. Beasley-Murray says, 'The word in each of these two sentences should be pondered. It is in Christ that men of faith become sons of God by faith. But the conjunction for indicates how these men of faith came to be in Christ. They put on Christ. If that sounds surprising, the sequence of thought permits no other interpretation and the tenses employed add point to this sense; All you who became baptised into Christ did put on Christ'. The two actions were co-incident in time'. Now my dear friends, I want Mr. Kingdon tonight to tell us if he will, what is the difference between justification by faith and justification by faith only? The apostles didn't need to use the word only. This is a new doctrine as I've already said. He says in his little book, that we believe in the Scriptures only. That the truth has been inscripturated; that the faith has once for all been revealed to the saints. Then why must he add the word only to the Word of God? This is a liberty my dear friends. It's not in any translation at all prior to 1521 and it's not in any known Greek text. Now Mr. Kingdon needs to answer this argument, on what authority he puts the word only on to the doctrine of justification by faith. If the sinner must desire to be saved does he have faith before he's saved? If the sinner must call upon the name of the Lord to be saved does he call as a believer or while he's still unsaved? And will Mr. Kingdon tell us how faith comes? Thank you.
Mr. Kingdon's second affirmative speech (time limit, 15 minutes):
I'm reminded of a manuscript of a sermon that a theological student left lying around. It had a little note in the margin, 'Point weak, shout loud'. (small laughter from audience). I will not be badgered by methods of psychological warfare. I had this last night when a list of questions was stuck under my nose just as I was rising to speak. I've no intention of sticking little bits of paper up over texts.
Now I expounded Romans 4 and I submit that in Romans 4 the sense of the passages is justification by faith alone (amens from audience). Now the word 'Trinity' is not in the Bible. It is not in the Greek text. Does Mr. Worgan therefore not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity? I would be quite wrong to draw that inference because I know he does believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. But the word 'Trinity' is not a scriptural word but it expresses the sense of Scripture, and I submit that on the basis of my exegesis of Romans 4 which I also submit Mr. Worgan took good care not to answer, the sense is that justification is by faith alone before and without baptism.
Now I presented a reasoned argument. I expected a reasoned reply. I got a bombardment of various scraps of shrapnel not any of them it seems to me coming from the same shell (some laughter). Now this simply will not do. Now as for James and Paul. There's no real difficulty in the situations. They are made perfectly clear. Paul in Romans 4 is dealing with Abraham as recorded in Genesis 15:6. Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. James in chapter 2 is dealing with Abraham in regard to the story of the offering up of Isaac recorded in Genesis 22 which happened 25 years after he was justified. Now if in Genesis 15 Abraham was living by faith his standing during those 25 years that elapsed before he offered up Isaac must have been in accordance therewith and this we know was the case from Hebrews 11:8-19.
Now the two apostles are dealing with different though related standpoints in the life of Abraham. The former refers to the instrument, faith. It is faith that is the instrument of justification. The means by which the sinner is justified. And James is referring in his second chapter to the proof of justification. Paul is writing about non-Christians, Romans 3:28, James is writing about professing Christians as he says in chapter 2:24. 'Ye see then how that by works a man is justified and not by faith only'. Paul cites Genesis 15 to prove the necessity of faith. James uses Genesis 22 to prove the necessity of works, stemming from faith. Paul teaches that works must spring from faith. James teaches that faith must be proved by works. Paul is thus dealing with the error of legalism thinking that you can save yourself by works. James is dealing with the error of anti-nominism, the supposition that when you're justified by faith you can do what you like. This is what Paul refutes in Romans 6 by his appeal to baptism. Paul is warning against merit. James is warning against a mere intellectual orthodoxy.
Now let me offer you a simple illustration. In my garden I have some roses and those roses were grafted in to the stock. Now they had to be grafted in in order to live but they prove that they are living by the flowers that they produce. Likewise we are united to Christ by faith and we prove the reality of that union by the good works that we perform and notice that they are works of charity in the context of James 2, clothing, and feeding the hungry.
Now Abraham was not justified twice. In the nature of the case that is impossible. God declares the sinner righteous once and for all by free grace. Thus no one, as he says in Romans 8:31, can bring any charge against God's elect and make it stick precisely because, as he says in verse 33, it is God who justifies. Justification is a once and for all act of acquittal of the sinner so that the sinner can be declared to have been justified from all things. Sanctification admits of degrees. We may be more or less sanctified. We may be more or less holy. But justification has no degrees. It is complete and perfect and eternal. Thus when a man believes the gospel he is immediately justified. How then can the remission of sins be suspended upon his baptism if in order to be baptised he is required to be a believer? If he is a believer then he is justified and has received remission of sins.
Now the pardon granted in justification applies to all sins past, present and future and therefore does not admit of degrees of repetition. Romans 5:21 makes this abundantly clear that, 'As sin hath reigned unto death even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord'. Romans 8:1, 'Therefore there is now no condemnation whatsoever to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit'.
Now according to Mr. Worgan, and I say according to Mr. Worgan because he took the liberty of saying what I ought to say in reply to him last night, so he confessly complained if I form some conclusions about his teaching by reading the literature of the churches of Christ. According to Mr. Worgan all that a penitent believer receives at his baptism is the remission of his past sins. But we have by faith a righteousness which covers all our sins, past, present and future. We have an unshakeable peace if we be believers for we need not fear that God will reverse his verdict and change his mind. We are uncondemned. We know no condemnation and no charge that the devil can bring against us can be made to stick for it is God that justifieth.
Now Mr. Worgan has been assuming in his argument that faith is a work. In the pamphlet, God's Way of Salvation we are told that we must be saved or we are saved by works and particularly the works of faith, and baptism it is said, is work of faith and without this work the penitent believer receives no remission of sins and he is lost. But what does the Scripture say? It opposes faith to works. 'By grace ye are saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast'. Now where does it say there, that there is any limitation on the language of Scripture? It's not of works. Not even of the works of faith. It's not by works of any kind. That is by anything done or wrought by us and that is why the view that baptism is a work of faith is wrong. There's no authority, I submit, to limit the meaning of the word 'works' in Ephesians 2:8.
Now Mr. Worgan referred to the works of the law and he maintained that that was all that Paul was refuting in Romans 4. But the word law is used in a comprehensive sense. It includes all revelations of the will of God as the rule of man's obedience and therefore by the works of the law must be intended all kinds of works. As law in the original means that which binds, it is used for the law of nature or the law written on the heart of the Gentiles as you can see in Romans 2:14, 'For when the Gentiles which have not the law do by nature the things contained in the law these having not the law are a law unto themselves which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another'.
So the law can cover, the law written on the heart, it can cover the ten commandments and the law of Moses or indeed as Romans 3:19 makes clear, the whole of the Old Testament Scriptures. So the Jews, Paul is maintaining, are not saved by the works of the law and the Gentiles are not saved by the law written on their hearts. Now in Galatians 3:10 Paul gives the reason, 'For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse, for it is written, cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them'.
My friends, all human obedience, your obedience and mine even as believers is imperfect. It's imperfect. All men are sinners and the law demands of us a perfect obedience as Galatians 3:10 makes clear. I would not my friends, I submit, want to be saved by a work of obedience even springing from faith because my obedience however good is sadly imperfect and praise God I don't need to be saved by an imperfect obedience for I have the perfect obedience and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ made over to me in justification by faith. Notice how Paul puts works and faith in constant opposition. It's not by works he says but by faith, in Galatians 2:16. 'It is not', says Charles Hodge, 'one kind of works as opposed to another, legal as opposed to evangelical, natural as opposed to gracious, moral as opposed to ritual, but works of every kind as opposed to faith'. And that is why C. H. Spurgeon, that great Baptist preacher, used always to emphasise the empty handedness with which the sinner must come to Christ, 'Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling. Naked come to thee for dress, vile I to the fountain fly, wash me Saviour or I die'.
Mr. Worgan's second negative speech (time limit, 15 minutes):
Well, Mr. Kingdon has still not really brought out the text that we're looking for, that we're to be justified by faith only. He's made certain inferences and certain deductions but he says the Scriptures teach and the Scriptures teach by a plain statement. I've already shown you that the Lord Jesus Christ said, 'He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved'. Now Mr. Kingdon has poked a bit of fun at my expense. I don't really mind because I remember the story told about the English solicitor sitting by the side of the council in the court and he was feeding the council with the material for the various cases coming up. And on one brief wrote, 'we have no case, abuse the plaintiff's attorney'. (laughter from audience). And that seems to me to be what Mr. Kingdon has been trying to do. He's been trying to poke fun at my expense simply because he has no case.
Now on this matter of the Trinity. I don't need to use the word Trinity my dear friends, nor do you. Because the apostle Paul uses the word Godhead and that embraces the whole idea doesn't it. Let's call Bible things by Bible names shall we and we won't run into any trouble (amen from audience).
Now Mr. Kingdon also says if he's a believer he is justified. Well I would like him to have a look at the believers in John 12:42-43. Where we read that, 'many of the chief rulers believed on him but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him for they feared they would be put out of the synagogue'. Now my dear friends, according to Mr. Kingdon's own contentions since these men believed on Jesus they were therefore justified and saved. Presumably since repentance comes before faith they had already repented. They had repented, they had believed on Jesus but nevertheless the Lord Jesus Christ will not confess them before the Father in heaven for the simple reason that in Matthew 10:33 Jesus says, 'He that confesseth me before my Father which is in heaven the same will I confess, he that confesseth me not before men', rather 'will I not confess before my Father which is in heaven'. Or again Romans 10:10 says, 'with the mouth confession is made unto salvation'. So here you have an anomaly really. You have penitent believers, believers in Christ who are said to be saved according to Mr. Kingdon's theology, by faith alone, yet the Lord Jesus Christ will not confess them on the day when He stands before the Father in heaven.
Now, he says that Mr. Worgan's idea, Mr. Worgan's doctrine only deals with past sins. What about the sins that you commit in your daily life? Well, the Lord Jesus Christ has provision for that, too. You'll never be rid of the blood of Christ or you'll never have finished with the blood of Christ this side of heaven for thanks be to God in I John 1:7, John says, 'If we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship with him and the blood of Jesus Christ, God's son, cleanseth us from all sin'. Now John says, if we walk in the light. That's conditional isn't it. Suppose you refuse to walk in the light and evidently the blood of the Lord will not be available to cleanse you of your sin.
Mr. Kingdon made another little emotional appeal at the end and I thought we were dealing with logic and reason and scientific exegesis to use Mr. Clark's term. But he said, 'Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling'. But there is no man clinging to the cross of Christ who despises the ordinance that the Lord Jesus Christ himself has appointed. Some people talk about faith, about having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but if the Lord Jesus Christ told them to put up their right hand they'd say, 'Well, can't we put up our left'? And then we talk about having faith!
Now I say that Mr. Kingdon's position is against the Scriptures. In John 8:30-31, if you'll notice the words there. We have certain people who believed on Jesus in that passage. Notice that in verse 33 Jesus is talking about them. They are still being described and at verse 39 the same believing Jews are told 'if God were your father'. If God were your father'. He says later on ye have your father the devil and according to John 8:30-31 these were believing Jews - Jews who believed on him. Now again James 2:19, I'd like him to tell us a little more about the devils and the kind of faith they have. What's the distinction between faith? How do you decide when one faith is saving faith and the other faith is inadequate to save you? Why did Mr. Kingdon undertake to say that the faith of the devils is not the kind of faith he's talking about? Is it possible that there is a kind of faith that saves and a faith that doesn't save? Will you show chart number 10 for us if you please brother Simpson and let's have a look at this for just a moment.
V. 17 FAITH - No works - dead in itself!
V. 20 FAITH - Apart from works - barren!
V. 26 FAITH - Apart from works - DEAD!
BODY WITHOUT SPIRIT
v. 26 & FAITH WITHOUT WORKS
FAITH ALONE IS DEAD!
'CAN THAT FAITH SAVE HIM?'
Now you notice that James here says, verse 17, 'Faith if it hath not works is dead in itself'. Verse 20, 'Faith apart from works is barren'. Verse 26, 'Faith apart from works is dead'. He says in verse 26, 'The body without the spirit is dead and faith without works is dead'. Now faith that is alone, without works, is dead. And James very pertinently asks the question, 'Can that faith save him'?
Now I want to suggest to you that Mr. Kingdon doesn't really believe this doctrine. He thinks he does but he doesn't. And I sincerely suggest that there's no man can honestly accept it. Look here, is repentance necessary to salvation? And please be fair and listen. Is repentance necessary to salvation? Can one be saved who refuses to repent? Certainly not! In Acts 17:30, 'God commandeth all men everywhere to repent'. But where does it come? Before or after faith? Well, Mr. Kingdon as I've already told you can't have you repenting after faith because he believes you are saved at the point of faith. But really it's immaterial whether it's repentance then faith or faith and repentance. It doesn't really matter. It's not repentance without faith and it's not faith without repentance. It's repentance plus faith so, even there your faith is not alone.
Now let's understand this. Alone means alone. Alone means only. If it's faith alone, it's faith only. It's nothing but faith. And if Mr. Kingdon should suggest to us tonight that repentance is included in faith then by that very same door I'm going to bring in baptism. If he'll admit that baptism is included in faith then, of course, that's all we need to know. Again we read in Romans 10:9, 'If thou wilt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus'. If thou wilt/t confess. Is confession of Christ necessary to salvation? If you say that confession of Christ is necessary to salvation Mr. Kingdon, it isn't faith alone. Now bear in mind this confession comes after faith. You don't confess Christ first and then have faith, it's impossible. You can only confess that which you believe, that which you have. So the order evidently is, faith first and then the expression of that faith in confession. But according to Paul's argument in Romans 10:9 your salvation is not until after confession. 'With the mouth confession is made unto salvation'. And if Mr. Kingdon argues here that this is retrospective again, if we come into the old word eis that we talked about last night, and if he says this is because of salvation, or on account of salvation then you must finish the verse, 'With the heart man believeth unto righteousness'. So do you have righteousness before you believe? You don't! Do you have salvation before you confess Christ? You don't! So confession is also necessary to salvation and it's belief plus confession of faith in Christ.
Now faith that saves is never alone. Will you put up chart number 11 Bill please?
THE FAITH THAT SAVES...
Faith that IS SEEN Lk. 5:20
Faith that OBEYS Rom. 1:5
Faith that TAKES STEPS Rom. 4:12
Faith that WORKS Gal. 5:6
IS NEVER 'ALONE'!
The faith that saves, and I want you to look at this once again, the faith that saves is the faith that is seen. We are told that Jesus saw her faith. Now how do you see faith my dear friends? Is faith a tangible thing, a visible thing, a material thing that you can see? Of course not. But you see faith in the things that you do. You can't see my thoughts but you see faith expressed in action. Again faith that saves is the faith that obeys. In Romans 1:5, and Mr. Kingdon did not undertake to answer any of the questions I put to him or face the arguments I made. In Romans 1:5 the apostle Paul speaks about his apostleship, 'unto the obedience of faith among all nations'. His job was to lead people to render the obedience of faith and it was certainly with a view to salvation. Again we're told that Abraham's faith took steps and we're told that God saves all those who walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham. And as Galatians 5:6 tells us, it's faith that works through love. It's not faith alone. The apostle Paul says, you see, in 1 Corinthians 13:1, 'Though I have all faith and have not love I am nothing'. And if you're nothing you're certainly not saved. He even says it's possible for man to have the gift of tongues and still be nothing if be doesn't have love. So something much more than faith is necessary. It has to be faith that works through love. And you know this kind of faith is never really alone.
Now coming on to the matter of works, Mr. Kingdon had difficulty with the subject of works. Well, don't you realise there are three kinds of works referred to in the New Testament, friends? There are the works of the law that Paul is speaking about in Romans 3:4, in spite of all that Mr. Kingdon may say to the contrary. He states in Romans 3:4, in spite of all that Mr. Kingdon may say to the contrary. He states in Romans 3:28, 'We reckon therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law'. Now in this section of his letter 13 times the law is spoken of. Indeed in the Roman letter the term 'law' is used in 7 or 8 different significance's. It's true in the Galatian letter when in Galatians 2:16 Paul says, 'Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by the faith of Jesus Christ'. Now why? Because through the law comes the knowledge of sin, Romans 3:20. The law convicted the Jew of sin but the law couldn't save him you see. The law brought sin out into the open as Professor F. F. Bruce has expressed it. In Acts 15:10 the apostle Peter says, 'The law was a burden which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear'. And the law simply couldn't save. Thus it's not by works done in righteousness which we did ourselves, but according to His mercy he saved us. Now this simply means that we do not earn salvation by our own good deeds. We're simply not good enough. We can't work our passage to heaven. We can't merit forgiveness. Because Isaiah says all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in the sight of the Lord.
Then there's a second kind of works referred to in Romans 1:5, in Titus 3:47 rather, where the apostle Paul has the works of human righteousness, the works of human goodness in view. He says, 'not by works done in righteousness which we did ourselves but according to his mercy he saved us'. Again it means you simply can't work your way to heaven.
Then there's a third kind of works which are necessary. And these are the works of faith. Romans 1:5, 'The obedience of faith', not the works of the law, not the works of human goodness, but works of faith. That is faith working through love as Paul says again writing in Galatians 5:6. Let me draw your attention to this verse, 'For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision availeth anything but faith alone', no, it doesn't say that at all. It says, 'but faith working through love'. In 2 Thessalonians 1:11 Paul speaks of every work of faith. Now the Lord Jesus Christ points out that faith itself is indeed a work. In that passage there in John 6 we have the Lord saying, verse 27 it is, 'Work not for the meat which perisheth but for that which abideth unto eternal life. And the people said, what shall we do that we may work the works of God'? Now Goodspeed renders it, 'the work that God has for you'. Now he's a Baptist translator as you know.
Last evening I quoted Charles Williams and somebody after the meeting told me that Charles Williams was an atheist. So I won't mention him tonight. George Campbell says, 'This is the work which God requires, that you believe'. So God has a work for you to do and that is that ye believe. Now why is it a work of God? It's simply because it's that which God has commanded. If I am employed by somebody whose work do I do? Do I do his work or do I do the work that he tells me to do? This is why we say that faith alone is unscriptural. Faith is necessary to salvation but it's the faith that works through love. We don't say that one can be saved without faith. I've never contended the whole of the debate for salvation without faith. Everything I've said has had to do with a penitent believer - with a believer who is truly repentant. I'm not saying that God in his sovereign will cannot save men apart from the present plan of salvation, only God knows that. But faith becomes His condition of salvation and in Romans 1:16 we have, 'I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto Salvation to everyone that believeth'. It's not unconditional you see. Faith itself is a condition of salvation. The gospel is the power of God, but it doesn't save everybody. It only saves those who believe. Now when you work the work of God, and you believe on His Son, and you are saved by faith, have you earned your salvation? Certainly not! There's no merit in faith. Understand this, there is nothing in faith that makes God have to save you, nothing at all. There's no merit at all. But faith saves because faith and baptism have both been commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ. 'He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved'. And you'll never get behind that text Mr. Kingdon.
Mr. Kingdon's third affirmative speech (time limit, 10 minutes):
Mr. Worgan's exegesis of James 2 I think reached the limits of desperation. The devils or demons have faith but he defies me to say whether that's saving faith or not. Incredible! 2 Peter 2:4, 'For if God spared not the angels that sinned but cast them down to hell and delivered them into the chains of darkness to be reserved under judgement'. Now the word of God makes it quite clear that there is in opposition to God one who is called the prince of this world. And he has at his command legions of wicked angels and demons, principalities and powers. But they do believe there is one God. They believe that intellectually but do they submit to him? Do they honour his Christ'? Do they fly to the blood of Christ for cleansing? Surely not. Now the reason why Mr. Worgan had to descend to such desperate exegesis is because he's trying to make the faith spoken of at that particular point in James 2 the same as the faith spoken of in Romans 4 and it's not the same faith. The one in Romans 4 is saving faith, faith alone. The other in James 2 against which James contends is faith that is not saving for it does not express itself in works.
Now Mr. Worgan has made great play with the fact that the Bible does not teach (someone in audience: `louder'). Sorry? ('louder') louder. I beg your pardon. Mr. Worgan has made great play of the fact that the Bible does not teach that we are saved by faith alone. But I'm interested to learn in this pamphlet, God's Way of Salvation, under the heading, 'Works of Faith, that do save', I'm interested to read this sentence because evidently the churches of Christ teach that you are saved by faith alone. Now listen to this, 'These, that is works of faith, have no intrinsic merit in themselves as they are but expressions' note this, 'of our faith in and reliance upon Christ for salvation'. Expressions of our faith in and reliance upon Christ for salvation. In other words the faith is already there and the reliance is already there upon Christ for salvation.
Now surely this pamphlet illustrates the difficulty of those who contend against the clear teaching of Romans 4 as I believe it to be that we are saved by grace through faith alone. It illustrates the difficulty that they get into. On the one hand they have to say that faith is not meritorious. On the other hand they have to say that unless there's obedience there's no salvation. And it seems to me quite clearly here that the author of this tract has got ground between the upper and nether millstones.
Now I don't know what your impression is, and I've been accused of being emotional. My friends. I cannot help my emotions being engaged. I trust my reason is engaged. (someone in audience: `Sure, as long as you're sincere, that's all that matters'). Kind of you to say so. But it seems to me this whole scheme of salvation that Mr. Worgan has put forward is most incredibly complicated, and I for one am really left mystified by the ramifications of it all.
But let me say this, and I say it with all sincerity and not to score a point. This doctrine leaves me speechless before a dying sinner. I cannot say to him believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, if at the same time he cannot be baptised unto the remission of sins. Now Mr. Worgan may tell me that the man had his chance to repent and believe and to be baptised in this life, but he may not have had that chance. It may be the very first time that he has ever heard the gospel of the grace of God. And on that occasion according to Mr. Worgan's teaching I am to be left speechless. But I can say, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved'. And this surely is why salvation is conditioned upon faith. So that whosoever will, and we are made willing by the Holy Spirit, incidentally, that whosoever will may call on the name of the Lord and be saved.
And I want to say this in closing, that as far as I can see I am offered by this teaching a salvation which is really no salvation at all. I get the remission of past sins in baptism but I am also told that there is a possibility of losing my salvation. I can be lost after I have been saved in baptism. Now the logic of that argument is this, that one should shoot every member of the church of Christ after they have been baptised and they would be sure of heaven. (laughter). Now I defy anyone to challenge that logic. It seems to me unchallengeable. Now I rejoice in the faith of the New Testament and I'm sorry, I'm going to quote a hymn again which was written by an Englishman converted in Ireland, Augustus Montague Toplady,
'A debtor to mercy alone,
Of covenant mercy I sing,
Nor fear with thy righteousness on,
My person and offering to bring.
The terrors of law and of God
With me can have nothing to do,
My Saviour's obedience and blood
Hide all my transgressions from view',
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and I make this appeal to anyone here tonight, (someone from audience: 'Can't hear you'). I make this appeal to anyone here tonight who is not a believer to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and to be saved (amen from audience) for that is the gospel that I live for. (applause).
Mr. Worgan's third negative speech, (time limit, 10 minutes):
Mr. Kingdon has finished with Acts 16:31. He should have quoted verses 32 and 33, `And they spake unto him the word of the Lord and to all that were in his house and he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes and was baptised he and all his immediately'. (amens from audience). I wonder if Mr. Kingdon has ever baptised anybody near midnight? I did it almost just two weeks ago. A man of 20 stone in fact, and believe me it was almost midnight when we did it. I wonder if Mr. Kingdon has ever had that experience?
Now Mr. Kingdon, I'm sure it must have been a slip of the tongue because if he really meant what he said he has given the case away. He said that Mr. Worgan has made great play of the fact that the Bible does not teach salvation by faith alone. Is it really a fact? That's what I've been trying to get him to say tonight and he said it in his last speech. (Mr. Kingdon answers:' That was a slip of the tongue'). That's what I thought. It must have been Mr. Kingdon. Now that's why I gave you that credit. Thank you. (laughter from audience).
Now he's referred to our little tract again and he's said that in that tract we admit that repentance and baptism are included in saving faith. Now will he admit that much for us? That's what we want him to say. If he'll admit that repentance and baptism are included in saving faith. If he doesn't believe that why did he bring it up? Is he attacking it or is he commending us for it? If he'll say that faith includes repentance and baptism then of course we can get a long way towards unity.
Now he says he's mystified. Well he doesn't have to be mystified if he'll take the Lord's word as it stands in the great commission all the mystification would go away. The ramifications about which he protests have been built up by his own theology. The 3,000 on the day of Pentecost were not mystified. 'Then they that gladly received Peter's word were baptised and there were added to them about three thousand souls'.
Let me sum up then briefly tonight, my friends, why I believe with all of my heart that Mr. Kingdon has failed to prove his proposition.
First, it was his duty to produce the verse that states unequivocally that we're saved by faith alone. This he has not been able to do.
Secondly, it was his job to point to the case of New Testament conversion where the subject was declared to be saved before and without baptism. This he failed to do.
He, thirdly, failed to show how salvation can be by faith alone and still include repentance, confession, baptism and all the other things in salvation.
He was unable to deny that this is a new doctrine. That the word alone cannot be found in any translation apart from Luther's translation.
Fourthly, he was faced with the fact that the Lord' said, 'He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved'. Will you put up chart number 2 once again. Let these good people have a last look at it. Chart number 2:
'HE THAT BELIEVETH AND IS BAPTISED
SHALL BE SAVED'
'HE THAT BELIEVETH AND IS SAVED
SHALL BE BAPTISED'
Which will you endorse?
Faced with the fact that Jesus said `he that believeth and is baptised shall be saved', he was unable to reconcile his doctrine with the words of Jesus and he declined to tell us which was right.
Chart number 5 if you will please, Bill.
PUT BAPTISM WHERE GOD PUT IT!
AND BE BAPTISED...
FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS
Repentance and Baptism BEFORE Remission
Mr. Kingdon further failed to make out a case because both the Bible and scholarship was against him on Acts 2:38 here, 'Repent and be baptised for the remission of sins'. Now Mr. Kingdon was unable to reconcile his doctrine with these words and he hasn't told us which is right. Whether it's repent and be baptised for the remission of sins or repent and be saved and then later be baptised.
Again, he further failed to make out a case because in John 12:42-43, which he failed to deal with, he didn't explain how these people could be believers in Christ and still be saved by faith and still refuse to confess Christ.
In I Cor. 13:1-2, Paul is against salvation by faith only because he says you may have all faith and without love still be nothing.
Peter is against salvation by faith only because he says baptism doth now also save us. And Mr. Kingdon has not even attempted to look at this passage.
Now will you put up chart number 8 for us for just a moment.
1 Peter 3 : 21
A. 'BAPTISM DOTH NOW SAVE YOU'
B. 'BAPTISM D0TH NOT SAVE YOU'
Q. WHICH STATEMENT IS TRUE?
Q. FROM WHAT DOES BAPTISM SAVE NOW?
Here we have `baptism doth now save', says Peter. Baptism doth not save. Which is your position tonight? Do you stand with Peter or do you stand with Mr. Kingdon on this issue?
v. 17 FAITH - No works - dead in itself!
v. 20 FAITH - Apart from works - barren!
v. 26 FAITH - Apart from works - DEAD!
BODY WITHOUT SPIRIT
v. 26 & FAITH WITHOUT WORKS
FAITH ALONE IS DEAD!
'CAN THAT FAITH SAVE HIM?'
James is against Mr. Kingdon. Chart number 10. There's a faith that does not save and it is the faith that is alone, says James.
John is against Mr. Kingdon, because John says in John 1:12 that believers have the right to become the sons of God. He doesn't say that faith makes them sons of God but that they have the right to become, the privilege of becoming, sons of God. The fact is that faith that saves is the faith that acts, the faith that is seen, the faith that takes steps, the faith that obeys, the faith that works through love and this faith is never alone. (`amen' from audience).
I leave you tonight with the order that the Lord Jesus laid down, my friends. On chart number one.
We're going right back to the beginning here where we began. Right back to the start of it all. Here we have the Lord's own order. Belief-Baptism-Salvation. Mr. Kingdon's contention has been for Belief-Salvation-and then baptism.
Now I'm saying tonight in all sincerity, I don't often get emotional the way Mr Kingdon does, but I express my emotion in a different way and the sincerity is there believe me. I charge him that the choice is a choice between Mr. Kingdon and the Lord Jesus Christ. As for me I know where I stand and that's with the Lord.
1 ------- 2 -------------- 3
`BELIEF - BAPTISM - SALVATION'
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
1 -------- 3 ------------- 2
`BELIEF - SALVATION - BAPTISM'
THE SCRIPTURAL ORDER?
Now the question is, where is your allegiance this evening? Is it with the Lord Jesus Christ or is it with Mr. Kingdon ? Is it an allegiance to Christ and His word or to this, I would call it, a misguided, ill-conceived, unscriptural. and anti-scriptural doctrine, Salvation by faith alone that was not preached by the apostles, unknown to the first Christians and would be abhorrent to the luckless Luther who's been saddled with it.
It was a doctrine not known `till the 16th century. (disturbance in audience). Back to Christ and the Bible. We urge you then to go back to the age-abiding commission of the Lord Jesus Christ. On the mount before He returned to the Father He said `Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved, he that disbeIieveth shall he condemned'.
Now this is not faith alone, (disturbance in audience), and in your heart you know it. I believe that in his heart Mr. Kingdon knows it. And I believe that his problem is not a problem with faith, not a problem with baptism, rather it's a problem of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in what he says. Thank you for being so attentive And so kind. (applause).
The End of the Debate
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