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Deciding the Issue
George Wells Alexander

     I should be a Christian on account of the following facts and conclusions:

      1. I am a sinner, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:22, 23), and all like sheep have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6);
* A Tract; 10 cents per dozen, 75 cents per 100.

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also if I say that I have no sin I deceive myself (1 John l:8).

      2. God has perfected a plan to save me, a sinner. He sent his Son Jesus Christ to save me (John 3:16; Romans 5:6, 8). I am one of the "whosoever."

      3. I can appropriate the plan to myself by accepting Jesus Christ, through simple faith, as my personal Saviour (John 3:16, 36), and allowing him to save me (Ezekiel 36:26, 27; Luke 19:10).

      4. When I surrender I will be allied to Jesus Christ (John 6:37), and one thus allied is a Christian.

      Having become a Christian, I should join a church of some denomination for the purpose of mutual spiritual help and Christian instruction, and for the further extension of the kingdom of God (Matthew 28:19, 20); also that I may be counted for Christ rather than against him (Matthew 12:30).

      I should be a Baptist because, although the Baptist denomination stands for many things similar to other bodies, Baptists also believe that -

      1. The Bible is the only rule of faith and practice that is perfect and sufficient; the New Testament being the only standard of Christian duty and belief (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). The Bible is above all creeds and confessions, and therefore safer to follow.

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      2. There should be religious liberty for the individual and the church with responsibility only to Christ (Ephesians 1:17-23). The adherence to this principle through past centuries resulted in many martyrs, but the victory is evident today.

      3. The visible Church should be composed of those persons who have been made new by the Spirit of God, through faith in Jesus Chrust as a personal Saviour, and have made a credible confession of that faith before others (John 3:3; Acts 2:41, 42; Acts 20:21). The Church is for believers only, as no other course is found in the New Testament.

      4. New Testament baptism is a prerequisite to church membership, as there is no instance in the New Testament of any except baptized believers being in the apostolic churches. New Testament baptism is the immersion of the whole person in water, because "baptizo" means "immerse." This is admitted by scholars of practically all the denominations. There is no legitimate reason for changing the mode, as sprinkling was not known until about the third century A.D. If the word "sprinkle" is substituted for baptize in the New Testament, the reading will generally be ridiculous, and in Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:12, will be senseless. An honest and prayerful study of the New Testament will show that Christ's commands and the apostles' teachings as to baptism refer only

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to immersion. Immersion is, therefore, necessary to a true and full obedience. (For references, see the New Testament.)

      5. Sprinkling of infants has absolutely no authority in the Bible, but grew up in later centuries because of the false idea that baptism is necessary to salvation. It is also quite generally a source of great injury to the children and the church. For these reasons it should,, not be practiced. (For references to the contrary, search the Scriptures.)

      I believe the Baptists are right in maintaining the above positions, and I will, therefore, arrange at once to join a regular Baptist church, believing that God will bless me for following my convictions. I want to be fully obedient to Christ, for I see that he said: "Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46.)


[From The Baptist Message, SSB/SBC, 1911, p. 209-212. This book was provided by Steve Lecrone, Burton, OH. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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