Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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From a letter to Jill, a sister who had fallen away from the faith and become a Baptist.
XIII. "Of the Church . . . We believe that a Baptist Church is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word . . ."
Comment: You cannot know how deeply it hurts me to think this, but I assume this Article means that you have at some point submitted your temple that Christ sanctified with the holy Ghost when you were in college to a baptism of water at the hands of a Christian minister. Jill, if you had known what you were doing when you did that, there would be no forgiveness for you. It is an affront to the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ to add to His baptism of spirit a baptism that men perform in the flesh. This is what Paul meant when he told the Galatian saints who had added a ceremony (circumcision) to the work of God in them, "Christ will profit you nothing . . . you have fallen from grace."
I will speak of the "ordinances of Christ" later, but I can't say more about your baptism right now. It hurts too much to think that you have submitted your sanctified temple to a man to be baptized in water.
The above Article XIII may be a good description of what a Baptist church is, Jill, but what does that have to do with Jesus? Jesus did not suffer and die for "church". He suffered and died for people, so that we might have life in the Spirit. Leave the church (quickly!) and come back to Jesus and his saints! If you do that, you will find a joy and peace that you have not yet known and never will know if you remain in church religion.
Next Time: Part Six - Article Fourteen: "Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper"