The Protestant Problem (KJV)
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Are you Lutheran, Reformed, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal, UCCC etc.? We Recognize the Protestant positives. Don’t be offended at the suggestion that there is a Protestant problem.
Protestants have a lot of positives to be commended. The reforming of the universal (Catholic) church of its corruptions (like the sale of indulgences or offering people the option to buy one’s way into heaven) is definitely positive. Also to separate rather than capitulate and Re-form new churches is positive. The re-establishing of salvation by grace through faith was an absolute positive of the Protestant reformers. “Scripture alone” was also a positive for which the Reformers stood.
What is the Protestant Problem?
In turning back to the Bible as the foundation for faith and practice, the Protestant reformers did not go far enough. Jesus said in John 12:48, “… the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”
The Protestant Problem is the confusion about Baptism.
Every Protestant denomination that came out of Catholicism retained the unbiblical, man-made practice of infant sprinkling. Here are the Bible facts that God will use to judge.
1. Not one infant is ever baptized in the Bible or instructed to be baptized. In Acts 16:30-34 every person in the Jailor’s house was baptized because every person in the house first believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. There were no infants too young to understand and personally believe on Christ to save them!
2. Not one person in the Bible is ever baptized in order to wash away his sins. Every person baptized in the Bible is baptized on account of having already repented and believed on the blood of Jesus to wash away their sins. Acts 8:35-38 establishes the requirement to believe on Jesus before baptism. “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? …If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” Baptism does not wash away any sin! Only faith in the blood of Jesus washes away sin, “… and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
3. Not one person in the Bible is ever baptized by sprinkling or pouring of water but only by immersion in water. The word baptize means by definition to immerse and emerge. Baptism always took place where there was much water and by going down and coming up out of the water. Acts 8:38,39 says, “… and they went down both into the water … and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water…” Immersion alone pictures the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
4. When a believer in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross to save him from his sins is baptized by immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, he is being baptized for the first time. He is not being re-baptized because Catholic and Protestant sprinkling or pouring is not baptism and should not be referred to as baptism by anyone!
For years we have heard Protestants say that it does not matter; that this is minor division that God cares not about. Some have even called it a trifling and a doubtful disputation. However, this is written to open your mind to the great confusion and perplexity infant sprinkling has caused. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says that, “… God is not the author of confusion.” You must see then the Devil’s design!
An infant is sprinkled in water in a church ceremony. The child grows and attends Sunday school and catechism, being taught that his sprinkling washed away his sin. Then he is taught the truth of the Bible that Jesus died for his sins—to save him from his sins—and that he is saved by faith in Christ. This all must be learned in order to become a confirmed, communion-taking member of the church.
The intelligent Bible-taught young person or adult wonders about Jesus’ words in John 3:7, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” He wonders, “is my catechism and confirmation my “born again” experience when my sins were forgiven and I was saved? Or is my infant sprinkling my “born again” experience when my sins were washed away and I was saved? Or is there another experience I must have like repentance and faith to be “born again” and saved?
The Point proven by
To prove the point, answer this question: “Why should you go to heaven when you die?” If your first instinct is to think of your infant sprinkling as having anything to do with your salvation, then that is what you are trusting. You are confused of the devil and lost.
We have found that a vast majority of Protestants, when faced with that question, immediately refer to their infant sprinkling. However, saved people immediately think of Christ and their born-again experience when Christ saved them by grace through their repentance and faith. Jesus’ message of salvation found in Mark 1:15 is, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
Also, answer this question: “Are you 100% sure that when you die you will go to heaven?” If your first thought is uncertain, then that is the truth of your heart. The reason you have any uncertainty is because your trust is not in Christ alone: it is some other thing, such as your infant sprinkling which you don’t remember and which had no life-altering or sin-delivering effect on you.
You know that you are still a sinner digressing in sin in spite of your attempts to be a good person. You are still bound to your pride and sin: lying, lusting, and losing your temper, etc. Unlike born-again believers in Christ, you don’t know that you are saved from your sin debt by faith in Christ. Romans 6:18, “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Matthew 1:21, “… for He shall save His people from their sins.”
The Power of Salvation through faith in Christ
If this describes you, the remedy is humble honesty. Immediately repent (turn away) from the lie of the devil that infant sprinkling washes away sin. And claim the real message of salvation in Acts 16:31, “… Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Let go of religion and ritual; put your trust in Christ alone. You might want to confess your new-found faith in prayer to Jesus like this:
“Dear Jesus, please forgive me for trusting infant sprinkling to wash away my sins. I now forsake that lie and trust your shed blood on the cross for my sins to save me. I now give myself to you. Come into my life and save me and live in me. In Jesus’ name, Amen!”
Now you must take a stand on truth with your family and friends and former religion and find a Bible-believing church where you can be scripturally-baptized by immersion. Invite them all to come and see your testimony.