Many are baptized who nullify the grace of God. Baptism is the established means whereby a man declares publicly that he is a Christian. It is the mark of his Christian profession before men: it assures him the privileges of membership in the visible Church and, if he is sincere and faithful, it is the pledge given by God that he will participate in all the blessings of redemption. It is in this sense alone that the Reformed Churches teach the necessity of baptism-the necessity of a divine precept. Even though not a means of salvation, the advantages of circumcision were great (Romans 3:1); and it is the same with baptism, the blessings of which are still more excellent and the usefulness of which is great in every respect….Consequently, baptism is a duty. If a man desires to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, and to be regarded as such, he is bound to be baptized, thus submitting himself to the commandment of Christ, as well as the invariable practice of the Apostles and to the constant and universal usage of the Christian Churches in all ages and in all parts of the world. Pierre Marcel.
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. II John 1:10-11
What the ESV translates as “take part in” is the Greek work koineneo. It means to be in communion with someone. We are not to allow a heretical false teacher into our churches or into homes. We are not to greet them. We are not show them hospitality. We are not to support them in any way financially or otherwise. They are to be rejected. If we do support them we participate in their wicked deeds by helping them to spread their deceit.
As I studied this passage, I reflected on how to apply these verses in our internet age. Should I link to a book by a Christian saying homosexuality is fine? Should I link to Rachel Held Evans, who lies almost every time she hits the keyboard? Should a Christian university allow a Mormon to speak when he uses the term “Jesus” but means something heretical by it? Should a Oneness Pentecostal be invited to a Christian conference? Are these things violations of John’s commands?
I have not sorted this all out, but I did come to a couple of conclusions based on reading John’s command in II John 1:10-11. Continue reading