This essay is a dozen short Baptist answers to serious questions.
OUR QUERY BOX
The Voice, Murray, Kentucky, May 1937
By Roy O. Beaman, editor
1. What kind of wine should be used in the Lord's supper?
Answer. Just wine. It is not wine unless it intoxicates. The "new wine" of Acts 2:13 was understood to make people drunk. The wine used at Corinth did make some drunk, yet Paul did not condemn what they used but how they used it: that alone proves forever that "fermented" wine alone is wine for the Lord's supper. It was the custom to use wine at the Passover; Jesus used the same elements. Wine has thrown off impurities in fermentation that makes it a more fitting emblem of the blood of Jesus. "The fruit of the vine" literally, in the Greek, means "offspring, product" of the vine. Some try to make it out that this refers to mere grape juice. They wholly miss the point. As Clark observes, this expression emphasizes that it was after blessing still wine and not the very blood of Jesus. This is a figurative way of saying "wine." Vinegar is the fruit of the apple; so wine is the fruit of the vine. Thus the practice in the Passover, the symbolism of the supper, the events at Corinth, and the simple meaning of wine require what is commonly called "fermented" wine; just plain vine.
2. Was Acts 8:37 not in the original Greek and inserted by authority of King James? Was it a marginal note in Greek?
Answer. It is certain that King James did not insert it; his translators felt it had sufficient authority for inclusion. Revisers followed what most believe, that its omission from several important manuscripts shows it is only a marginal comment. It is a debatable question; I incline toward retaining it.
3. Was Jesus ever separated from God?
Answer. Indeed so; else why did He cry, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? This was true in fact; not merely in the consciousness of Jesus. He died as the substitute for sinners, whose penalty is to be separated from God eternally. He therefore was separated from God. Since the true meaning of death is separation, we can say that the Person Jesus, the God-Man died in this lonely hour. Ponder its meaning; don't quibble over what God revealed.
4. Where do the saints go at death?
Answer. Paul confessed a desire to depart and be with Christ (Philippians 1). Christ is on the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1-2). Hence saints go without delay, as soon as death takes them, to the presence of Jesus and God the Father in heaven. Yet this is not the final abode of the saints. The final heaven will be on this renovated earth.
5. Did Christ atone for the Adamic sin?
Answer. Yes, its guilt, so that no infant goes to hell for Adam's sin. Romans 5:18. The effects of Adam's sin and Christ's atonement are both universal in respect to the guilt of Adam's sin.
6. Explain Romans 5:13-14.
Answer. The one expression, "Even over those that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression," is the key to this difficult passage. He argues the universality of death. Death could not come to infants and idiots since they have not sinned wilfully and personally as Adam did. Paul, states that it came to "even" them because Adam sinned. Infants and idiots, the two classes who do not sin as did Adam, are the cases in point, the test cases to prove universal sin caused universal death.
7. Explain the origin of sin.
Answer. It originated with a high angel who is now Satan (Ezekiel 28:14-18). Genesis 3 tells the story of its first entrance into human lives. A practical statement of its origin in our souls in James 1:13-15.
8. Are infants in the kingdom of God?
Answer. No. If they die before they become accountable, Jesus' atonement cares for them.
9. Do we, in this day and age have the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Answer. No, but we may have the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
10. If not, how many instances of the baptism of the Holy Spirit are in the Bible and for what purpose?
Answer. Pentecost; most probably the house of Cornelius in Acts 10. The chief purpose was the outward manifestation of the coming of the Holy Spirit to take the place Christ left by His death and ascension. Those baptisms mean He is here, and we may have His blessed infilling when we are emptied of self and yielded to Him.
11. Explain John 10:16, "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, one shepherd."
Answer. The "other sheep" mean those yet to be saved from both Jews and Gentiles, the sum total moment been led to the Shepherd. They were His sheep by purpose and gift of the Father, but not actually possessed in personal salvation. The word "must" states the necessity and surety of Christ's leading everyone of them. None of the elect sheep will eventually perish. But note both sides here. "Them also I must bring (Greek, "lead")". They gladly follow; they hear His voice. We have both the purpose of divine sovereignty and the ready response of the sheep in repentance and faith. The sheep will repent and believe.
12. Do men become God's sheep by believing?
Answer. Yes and no. By His choice and purpose they are His before faith, yes eternally His by the gift of the Father; but they become His saved and actually possessed sheep at faith. Until faith, they are lost sheep; at and after faith, they are His saved sheep. Until salvation these elect sheep have the disposition of goats in rebelling against the truth; at faith they receive the docile and gentle nature of sheep. At faith the facts are made to agree with the ideal of His purpose.
[From West Kentucky Baptist School Voice, Murray, Kentucky, February 1937. Document from Boyce Digital Library, SBTS Archives, Louisville, KY. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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