"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.IV No.VII Pg.9,11b
February 1942

Sighting-In Shots

Cled E. Wallace

A very zealous Baptist who is described by the Baptist and Reflector as "a member of a forward-looking church" is forwarding a plan to put that periodical into the homes of all the members. He gives as his reason "We are Baptists, and we are going to keep up with what Baptists are doing." The editor breaks into caps in praise of this wise, progressive and co-operative spirit." I can understand the editor's enthusiasm for if I were a Baptist editor, I would no doubt feel and talk the same way. I am not a Baptist but I do like "to keep up with what Baptists are doing" for one reason or another, so I also read the Baptist and Reflector. It is an official organ of the Tennessee Baptist Convention and is the proper place to look for that information. Now the New Testament is a useful book when it comes to finding out how to become a Christian and glorify God in the church but I do not recall reading anything about a Judean or Macedonian Baptist Convention promoting an official organ to help the brethren "keep up with what Baptists are doing." The church appears to have done very well in those days without Baptists, state conventions and official organs. If there were any Baptists "to keep up with" the New Testament makes no mention of them. Possibly that is one reason why Baptists now admit that a man can be a Christian while he lives and go to heaven when he dies without being a Baptist. It makes one wonder if it is worthwhile to even try to keep up with them.

"All works, whether technically of the law or not, are excluded from the sphere of the conditions of salvation. Sinners are saved entirely by grace or entirely by works,

not by a mixture of the two (Rom. 11:6). But the Book says men are saved by grace; therefore works are excluded from the process. If a man could be saved by works, salvation would not be by grace."

(Baptist and Reflector)..

"The second theory of salvation is that only those who obey the commandments of God are saved... Those who believe this fail to realize that according to their theory no human being who ever lived on earth was saved, or can go to heaven."

(Baptist Standard)

This sort of talk from Baptist editors is somewhat shocking when placed along side of some, plain texts of sacred scripture. "Though he was a Son, yet learned obe dience by the things which he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation." (Heb. 5:8, 9) "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but the keeping of the commandments of God." (I Cor. 7:19) "But thanks be tq God, that, whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered; and being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness." (Rom. 6:17, 18). "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is barren? . . . . Ye see that by works a man is justified and not only by faith . . . For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead."

(James 2:14-26). The one fact that Baptist doctrine excludes obedience as, essential to salvation brands it as false. "The works of which James speaks in the second chapter of his epistle are works after salvation, not before. Shew me thy faith without thy works, and I'll shew thee my faith by my works.' Worxs 'there are evidential not conditional."

(Baptist and Reflector)

That is too palpable a contradiction of James to constitute even a first-class dodge. Of, faith without works, James asks: "Can that faith save him?" The Baptist and Reflector says it can. James says it cannot. James is discussing justifying faith. Without obedience it is -barren. We stick_ with James and insist that men must obey God. We have no sympathy with Baptist editors who labor tirelessly to convince men that they can be saved without obeying the commandments of God. Sinful men do not need any such encouragement to disobedience and the Bible does not furnish it to them. In that respect these Baptist editorsare in a sorry business. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 7:21)

I have given some study looking toward an explanation of why these editors cannot grasp the obvious truth on this question of the true relation of grace and obedient faith. They studiously ignore the devastating arguments we let loose at their positions and go right on repeating their errors as though a flood of repetitions has merit to establish their contentions. And they possibly, do, in the minds of some who read only their side of the controversy. They close their eyes, or at least their pens, to some stubborn facts. They cite Romans 11:6 which says "if it is by grace, it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace" and then remark that "Sinners are saved entirely by grace or entirely by works, not by a mixture of the two. . . therefore works are excluded from the process." It is freely admitted that the kind of works that make faith void, cancel out grace and make the "reward as of debt" is entirely excluded. That kind of work cannot be mixed with grace at all. They do not mix. These gentlemen assume without offering any proof whatever that baptism belongs to that kind of works and proceed to "exclude" it as a condition of salvation even though Jesus did say:-"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." In the scriptures baptism is classified 'as "the obedience of faith," not with works of merit that make faith void. They stubbornly ignore all this and go on shouting their perverse repetitions. They declare that "Sinners are saved entirely by grace." Paul says they are saved "by grace through faith." Men must have access to God's grace through faith. This faith is.the act of the creature. Man must believe, he must repent, he must submit to baptism. "The process" is one of faith. They will not go to the extreme of 'advocating unconditional salvation because "sinners are saved entirely by grace" but if the performance of one condition on the part of the sinner does not make void the grace of God, why should the performance of another do so, if God commands that it be done? It would be genuine ly refreshing if these gentlemen would quit begging the question and make just one real effort to deal with the issue involved. So far every effort to persuade them to do so has been futile. We are patient a??d persistent and can continue to press the point as long as they mouth their eva-

SIGHTING.IN 8 sions. They insist that sinners are saved without obeying God. We insist that Jesus "became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation." These gentlemen do: not answer inquiring sinners as Peter did on Pentecost. "Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins." (Acts 2.3?, 38) There were no Baptist editors there to remind Peter that "sinners are saved entirely by grace" and therefore baptism is not necessary. So without such intereference Peter continued "And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, Save yourselves. from, this crooked generation." We may suppose, in the light of Baptist logic, or rather the lack of it, that somebody should have jerked Simon Peter up short with a sharp reminder that "it is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." Baptist editors are queer reasoners. They have to resort to mere quibbling to give even thin plausibility to their claims.

We would like to see some Baptist editor, just any of them, try his Baptist nut-cracker on this one, if he is not afraid he will crack his cracker instead of the nut. Jesus says: "He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on. him." It demonstrates conclusively that the faith that saves is the faith that obeys. The saved believer is the baptized, not the unbaptized, believer. The observant reader notes that often faith and obedience are used interchangeably in the scriptures and faith implies and includes the obedience that goes with it. "We walk by faith" and that does not imply that we get there sitting down. "And to whom' sware he that they should not enter, into his rest, but to them that were disobedient? And we see that they were riot able to enter in because of unbelief." What kept them out? Disobedience. What kept them out? Unbelief. "Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, that no man fall after the same example of disobedience." Paul tells us that Rahab was justified "by faith" and James informs us that the same woman was justified "by works' and these two inspired men were talking about the same thing and the same woman. In like fashion Paul says we are justified by faith and declares that the gospel was preached for "obedience of faith among the nations. Men are doing the work of the devil when they are taking the word of God out of the hearts of the people.