Category Archives: Book of Acts
SOURCE: The Church of Christ denomination often state that Christ Church started at Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost. But is this really true.
1. The church is referred to before Pentecost, both by the word “church” (Matthew 16:18; 18:17) and by its figurative names – flock, bride, house, etc. (Luke 12:32, cf. I Pet. 5:2; John 3:29, cf. Ephesians 5:22-31; Mark 13:33-36, cf. I Timothy 3:15).
2. The English word “church” is a translation of the Greek word “ekklesia”, which means a called-out assembly. Jesus’ disciples were both called-out and assembling with Him before the day of Pentecost (e.g. Matthew 4:19; John 1:35ff).
3. Apostles were set in the church (I Corinthians 12:28) before Pentecost (Matthew 10:1-2; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:13). The gospel was preached by them before Pentecost (e.g. Luke 9:6).
4. Ordinances were instituted and observed before Pentecost (John 4:1-2; Matthew 26:26-30).
5. John the Baptist prepared a people ready for the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 1:17), not for the day of Pentecost. Mark 1:1ff. indicates the gospel age began with John’s ministry. Cf. also Matthew 11:13 and Luke 16:16.
6. The church was commissioned before Pentecost: first the limited commission of Matthew 10:1-4 and then the extended commission of Matthew 28:18-20.
7. Jesus sang in the church before Pentecost (Hebrews 2:12; Matthew 26:30).
8. The last days refer to the church age, and the last days were in existence during Jesus’ ministry (Hebrews 1:2).
9. There was church discipline before the day of Pentecost (Matthew 18:17).
10. The church had a business meeting before Pentecost (Acts 1:15-26).
11. The Lord added to the church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41-47), so there had to exist a church for people to have been added to it.
12. There was an ordination service before Pentecost (Mk. 3:13-14).
13. The church had a treasurer . John 12:4-6
There is no reason to suppose that the church could not exist with her visible Head present. Nothing in scripture says the church was or had to be started on Pentecost.
SOURCE: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)
The above verse of scripture is a favorite among many religious groups. One can hear it several times on Sunday morning radio programs, as well as from the pulpits of numerous groups, and it can be found in much religious literature. The verse is a favorite because, on the surface, it seemingly states that one must be baptized in order to be saved, and without baptism one is not saved. So, those who believe that water baptism is essential for salvation make it a regular habit of using Acts 2:38 as scriptural support.
The problem is that Acts 2:38 isn’t the only verse in the Bible which deals with salvation. While many claim to “speak where the scriptures speak and remain silent where the scriptures are silent,” they practically ignore most of the New Testament teaching on salvation. The only verses that such false teachers quote and reference are the ones they feel they can use to promote their “water gospel.” The fact is that most of what the New Testament says about salvation doesn’t include baptism at all! (John 5:24, John 11:25-26, John 14:6, Romans 4:5, Romans 10:9-13, Eph. 2:8-9, etc.), and the few places that do mention water baptism do not include it as part of one’s salvation. Water baptism follows salvation as one of the first steps of obedience for the new believer.
In spite of this obvious truth, the cultists remain steadfast in their heresy, insisting that Acts 2:38 sets forth water baptism as a requirement for salvation. Thus, this verse of scripture has become Satan’s favorite Bible verse. In fact, many are trusting water baptism alone for the salvation of their souls! Indeed, Satan has deceived multitudes by his perversion of Acts 2:38.
Rather than ignore Acts 2:38 by quoting “our favorite verses” instead, it is more appropriate to facethis popular verse of scripture and see if the cultists are right in what they claim it teaches.
The Truth about Acts 2:38
First, please notice that verse 38 isn’t the only verse in Acts 2. In Peter’s message, a great deal was said before verse 38 came out of his mouth. In fact, he even told his listeners how to be saved before verse 38! In Acts 2:21, Peter quotes from Joel 2 and says, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” His words preceding verse 38 were so convicting that his listeners were “pricked in their heart” in verse 37. So, to use verse 38 out of its context causes a misrepresentation of God’s word. The verse does not stand alone, and, in fact, a totally different meaning is conveyed when one makes it stand alone.
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Baptism is shown in every case of conversion in the book of Acts.
This is just not true. Here are nine instances of conversion or salvation in the book of Acts without reference to baptism. So no one can rightfully claim salvation in Acts includes baptism and baptism is required for salvation.
Acts 3:1-4:4 – Peter and John where preaching at the temple (3:1) and in verse 19 the people are told “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord”. And in Acts 4:4 about 5000 believed. There is no mention of baptism.
Acts 5:1-14 – After Ananias and Sapphira where struck down by the Lord, fear came upon the people (v.11) and many signs and wonders were wrought among them (v.12), as a result multitudes where added to the Lord. Act 5:14 “And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women”. There is no mention of baptism.
Acts 9: 32-35 – After Peter healed a certain man with palsy “…all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord” (V. 35) There is no mention of baptism.
Acts 11:19-24 – After preaching Jesus in Antioch (v.20) a great number believed and turned to the Lord (v.21) and were added to the Lord (v. 24). There is no mention of baptism here except in verse 16 and that is referring to John’s baptism by water and the baptism with the Holy Ghost. And that happened before Barnabus arrived in Antioch.
Acts 13:6-12 – Sergius Paulus desired to hear the word of the Lord. Then by the hand of the Lord Paul blinded him for a season. Then he believed being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. There is no mention of baptism.
Acts 13:42-52 – Paul and Barnabus where preaching in the synagogue to the gentiles “And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed” (v. 48). There is no mention of baptism.
Acts 14:1 – “And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.” Another multitude, this time a great one, believed and there is no mention of baptism.
Acts 17:10-12 – Paul and Silas were preaching the word in the synagogue in Berea, and “many” believed. There is no mention of baptism.
Acts 17:22-34 “Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among them which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them”. There is no mention of baptism.