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Theological Term of the Week

baptismal regeneration
The belief that baptism is necessary for salvation, and that the act of baptism causes regeneration; or the belief that baptism is the usual means of regeneration.

  • Scripture used to defend the doctrine of baptismal regeneration: 

    And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38 ESV)

    Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ … (1 Peter 3:21 ESV)

  • From The London Baptist Confession, Chapter 29. (This statement teaches, in opposition to the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, that baptism is a sign of the listed benefits of salvation rather than the means through which one is saved.)

    1. Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him; of remission of sins; and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.

  • From Baptismal Regeneration by Charles Spurgeon:

    I come with much brevity, and I hope with much earnestness … to say that FAITH IS THE INDISPENSABLE REQUISITE TO SALVATION. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned.” Faith is the one indispensable requisite for salvation.

  • From Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem:

    [W]hat about 1 Peter 3:21, where Peter says, “Baptism … now saves you”? Does this not give clear support to the … view that baptism itself brings saving grace to the recipient? No, for when Peter uses this phrase he continues in the same sentence to explain exactly what he means by it. He says that baptism saves you “not as a removal of dirt from the body” (that is, not as an outward, physical act which washes dirt from the body—that is not the part which saves you, “but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience” (that is, as an inward, spiritual transaction between God and the individual, a transaction symbolized by the outward ceremony of baptism). We could paraphrase Peter’s statement by sying, “Baptism now saves you—not the outward physical ceremony of baptism but the inward spiritual reality which baptism represents.” In this way, Peter guards against any view of baptism that would attribute automatic saving power to the physical ceremony itself.

Learn more:

  1. GotQuestions.org: Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?
  2. John MacArthur: Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?
  3. Greg Koukl: Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation? 
  4. James White: A Brief Rebuttal of Baptismal Regeneration
  5. John Piper: What Is Baptism and Does It Save?

Related terms:

Filed under Defective Theology.

Do you have a term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.


Round the Sphere Again: Putting Food By

Too Many Cukes
Miss Cellania makes pickles.

[I]n this day and time, you don’t can your own garden produce just to save money. The food itself is high quality from a lovingly-produced family garden, instead of a commercial farm thousands of miles away. You also have the satisfaction of knowing you were responsible for the end product. And while a jar of store-bought pickles would be too weird to give as a gift, home-canned pickles are a perfectly thoughtful gift.

(mental_floss Blog)

Preserving Peaches
These are two of my favorite ways to use up the fresh peaches that are in the produce department during August.

  • Canning Peaches in 16 Steps. Home canned peaches are so much better and so much cheaper (at least for us) than the canned peaches in the supermarket.
  • Peach-Raspberry Jam. Conveniently, my garden raspberries ripen in August, too. I make jam from the linked recipe, but I strain the seeds from only about half of the crushed raspberries because I think a few seeds make the jam prettier. 

Sunday's Hymn: Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim 

Ye servants of God, your master proclaim,
And publish abroad His wonderful name;
The name all victorious of Jesus extol,
His kingdom is glorious and rules over all.

The waves of the sea have lift up their voice,
Sore troubled that we in Jesus rejoice;
The floods they are roaring, but Jesus is here;
While we are adoring, He always is near.

When devils engage, the billows arise,
And horribly rage, and threaten the skies:
Their fury shall never our steadfastness shock,
The weakest believer is built on a rock.

God ruleth on high, almighty to save,
And still He is nigh, His presence we have;
The great congregation His triumph shall sing,
Ascribing salvation to Jesus, our king.

Salvation to God, who sits on the throne
Let all cry aloud and honor the Son;
The praises of Jesus the angels proclaim,
Fall down on their faces and worship the Lamb.

Then let us adore and give Him His right,
All glory and power, all wisdom and might;
All honor and blessing with angels above,
And thanks never ceasing and infinite love.

—Charles Wesley

Sung by a men’s ensemble:

Other hymns, worship songs, sermons etc. posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.


Not Literally Binding

From 40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law, by Thomas R. Schreiner, on what is commonly called the third use of the law, the use of the law as a rule for life for Christians:

Strictly speaking, the idea that believers are under the third use of the law is mistaken, for we have seen that the entire law is abolished for believers. Still, the notion is not entirely wrong since Paul’s teaching is filled with exhortations that call upon believers to live in a way that pleases God. As we saw in the previous question, some of the commands are from the Old Testament law, and surely they function as a standard for the lives of believers today. Still, derivation from the Old Testament does not make them authoritative. They are God’s will for human beings because they represent God’s character. Even though the Old Testament law is not literally binding upon believers, we see principles and patterns and moral norms that still apply to us today since the Old Testament is the word of God.

What do you think?  


Book Review: The Organized Heart

A Woman’s Guide to Conquering Chaos by Staci Eastin.

Staci Eastin is a blogger I’ve known for a while. She runs in my circle of blogging friends, you might say. When I found out she was writing a book for women on organizing the home—or “organizing chaos,” to use the wording of the subtitle—I was pretty sure this wasn’t a book for me, since I’ve never had much a problem with chaos in my home, at least not for long.

But then Staci offered to send me a copy of her book. How could I refuse?

Guess what? It turns out that there’s a chapter especially for me in The Organized Heart; or rather, there’s a chapter for a younger me. (I’ve been at this running a home thing for 35 years now. I’ve worked things out, or more accurately, God has worked in me, and I’m mostly content with things as they are.)

But I’ll get to the chapter that applies to me after I quote what Staci writes about this book.

This book will be different than any other book on organization that you’ve probably read. I have no schedule to offer you, I won’t tell you what day to mop the kitchen floor, and you don’t need to buy a timer. Your standards for an organized home and a reasonable schedule will vary with your personality, season of life, and the needs and preferences of your family.

Staci looks at our difficulties managing our homes through the lens of idolatry. 

Click to read more ...