Hello from Minneapolis! I hope you are doing great! I appreciate you!!
My question is regarding separation. My desire is, “That they all may be one…” (John 17:21) and to see the Spirit of God unleashed through multiple believers in my city.
I am not sure how to deal with the following situation regarding those who believe Jesus is the Christ (1 John 5:1) and live it, yet by their actions preach another gospel (Galatians 1:8) by baptizing babies and saying it’s a means of grace. Any thoughts? Maybe I am going too far by saying it’s another gospel.
Thanks for your encouragement and thanks for your heartfelt question.
First, my heart resonates with your desire for John 17:21. Jesus defines the oneness as, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” The unity Jesus calls us to is unity in Him. In His humanity as He was in the Father and the Father in Him through the Holy Spirit, so we as believers are in Christ and Christ is in us through the same Spirit. This is the unity of the Spirit. But there will be no unity of the Spirit if the doctrine of Christ is not correct. The Spirit testifies of the Son (John 15:26). The first great test in testing the Spirits is a right view toward Jesus (1 John 4:2-3).
In regard to your specific situation, the key is discerning what is really believed. Baptismal regeneration makes baptism a part of the object of dependence—but only Jesus saves (John 3:15-16, 36; 5:24; 6:47). A split trust reveals a mistrust in Christ alone (Rom. 3:28). However, though I do not agree with it, some baptize babies like others dedicate babies, where there is no belief of saving efficacy in the ritual. Rather, it is an expression of the parents desire to see the Lord work in their child. I believe the Bible teaches baptism is for believers, and therefore, not for babies who have not yet come to a personal faith in Christ. So baptizing babies can be confusing even if it is meant in the sense of dedication.
Believing in Jesus only for salvation but muddying the waters with a practice is one thing. However, believing baptism is a part of salvation is another, far more serious matter. The doctrine of salvation is fundamental, and the written Word is clear about “another gospel.” This is a matter of true separation. Yet, some may say that which is erroneous because of their cultural context but down deep actually believe the truth that only Jesus saves. When this is the case, the Holy Spirit will guide you on how to proceed.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject in the comments section below! If you have a question on another subject, we welcome you to make a submission by clicking here: