Baptismal Regeneration: A Criminal Doctrine
February 17, 2012
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into they Kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, verily I say, unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:42-43 KJV
If there ever was a doctrine that a person should be put in prison for, it would be the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. A person who believes this is willfully ignorant of the whole theme of the Word of God. The salvation of God has been same all the way through the Bible. In Romans chapter 4 we see that Abraham was not justified by works but by faith. The saints of the Old Testament offered sacrifices in faith looking toward the cross of Calvary. They were looking forward to Christ. We that are saved since the shed blood of Christ are saved by faith through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit as we look back toward the cross through faith.
Those who believe in baptismal regeneration do not understand our dead spiritual state nor do they understand grace. (Eph 2:1-10; Col 1:1-21, 2:13)
The account here of the thief on the cross is a perfect example of salvation by grace. At the time of the crucifixion several important things have already happened. First we know that Christ had already established His true church. The two ordinances of closed communion and baptism by immersion had already been instituted by Christ to His Church. To say that the thief would not have to be baptized because Christ had not yet died would make no sense. The church was already baptizing those who had been saved by God through repentance and faith. Baptism is the natural desire of a person whom God has saved and is the first step of obedience after salvation. The dying thief could not be baptized, but he was saved.
Most people believe that you must do something good or righteous to be saved. This man could not do anything, but believe Christ through faith. This ability was given to him as a gift from God. He made no restitution for his crimes. All he had was grace and that was enough because Christ said today thou shalt be with me in paradise. This man did not have one good work, yet he made it to heaven by grace. If he had been saved before this time he would have submitted to baptism because he had been saved. To say one must be baptized to be saved destroys grace.