Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 11, 1949

Honest Answers To Earnest Inquirers

Bonds Stocks

(Editor's note: Many people have sent in questions for Bro. Stocks, preacher for Central church in Jackson, Mississippi, to answer over his radio broadcast. Here are a few of the questions most often asked, along with Bro. Stocks' answers.)


Question: "What church, or religion, is the Church of Christ most like?"

Answer: The church is that institution purchased with the Blood of Christ, established by Christ on the foundation of his divinity, the blueprints of which are clearly detailed upon the pages of the New Testament.

It is not like any other institution on the face of the earth. Christianity is the religion of Jesus Christ, and it is not like any other religion.

Now, other religions are, in varying degrees, like Christianity, which is the true religion. Denominational churches, likewise, are, in varying degrees, like the New Testament church, which is the true church; but none of them is identical with it.

Why should one be a party to a system that is in some respects like Christianity, but which is a different system? Why be a member of a church that is in some respects like the church of the Lord, but which, in reality, is a component part of a system of religious division that is at enmity with God's program for the unity of his people?

People should not contribute to division by making themselves partyists, and that is exactly what they do when they join some denomination. Why not be content with obeying the gospel of Christ and being added to the church of the Lord? (Acts 2:38, 41,47)


Question: "What is a true Christian?"

Answer: A Christian is one who has been converted to Christ — one who has heard the gospel of Christ, who has believed the gospel of Christ, who has obeyed the gospel of Christ, and who is living in harmony with the gospel of Christ.

A Christian is one who has been born again, born anew, born of water and of the spirit. (John 3:1-7) A Christian is one who, having experienced the new birth, has become a new creature (II Cor. 5:17); is led by the Spirit of Christ, (Rom. 8:9,14) and walks in the footsteps of Christ. (I Pet. 2:21)


Question: 'Will a man be saved who is sprinkled?"

Answer: You realize, of course, that I am not the one to say who is saved and who is not saved. It is God who saves through Christ, and it is God who has laid down the conditions of salvation. In answer to a question of this kind the only thing that any honest man can do is to simply give what the Bible teaches on the subject.

Well, what does the Bible teach? The Bible teaches that in order to be saved from past sins one must believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God (Mark 16:15,16; Heb. 11:6); repent of his sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 17:30); confess his faith in Christ (Romans 10:10; Acts 8:37); and be baptized — immersed in water — for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-4; I Peter 3:21); and that in order to inherit eternal life he must be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10)

I have many friends as well as some very close relatives who have been sprinkled. The truth is that sprinkling is not baptism in any scriptural sense. Now, my friends, before you become angry with me, remember that I am only telling you what the Bible teaches. Instead of being offended, would it not be better to investigate for yourself, and see whether or not I am representing the matter correctly? Sprinkling is not baptism, but it is a human substitute for the divine ordinance. But perhaps someone will say, "Preacher, you are wrong about that. I looked it up, and the dictionary says that baptism is either sprinkling, pouring, or immersion." That is indeed the definition that some dictionaries do give to the word.

"Well," one asks, "do you mean to say that the dictionary is wrong?" Friends, the dictionary gives the meaning of words, not from the standpoint of what the Bible teaches, but rather from the standpoint of the meaning of the word as it is commonly used today. The word "baptism" is commonly used today to mean sprinkling, pouring, or immersion; but it is so used without the slightest of divine authority. It is so used because men have had the audacity to substitute their own finite opinions for the infinite wisdom of God. The word rendered "baptism" in the New Testament means "to dip, to plunge, to overwhelm, to immerse." It does not mean "to sprinkle, or to pour." Baptism is a burial and a resurrection (Romans 6:1-4). Every circumstance surrounding baptism in the New Testament demands immersion and excludes sprinkling and pouring. The ripest scholarship in the religious world is unanimous in the conviction that immersion was the universal practice of the church during the days of the apostles.

What difference does it make? It makes the difference between doing what God said in the way God said to do it, or substituting for God's commandment what some man or group of men may think will do as well.


Question: How does one become a Christian?

Answer: One becomes a Christian by believing in Christ (Mark 16:15,16); by repenting of sins (Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38, 17:30); by confessing his faith in Christ (Romans 10:10, Acts 8:37); and by being baptized into Christ (Mark 16:16, Romans 6:1-4). Baptism is the act of obedience to God that makes one a Christian — not because it is baptism, nor because baptism alone saves, but because it is the final and culminating act of primary obedience to the gospel. Baptism saves because it is the fruit of faith and repentance — because it is obedience to the command of God.

We are baptized into the death of Christ, and it is in his death that we have cleansing from sin— "Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans (6:3,4)

In baptism we put on Christ. "For ye are all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ." (Gal 3:26,27)