Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Matthew Henry is NOT an heretick

 Christian Baptism. (a. d. 66.)

21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:   22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

Noah's salvation in the ark upon the water prefigured the salvation of all good Christians in the church by baptism; that temporal salvation by the ark was a type, the antitype whereunto is the eternal salvation of believers by baptism, to prevent mistakes about which the apostle,

I. Declares what he means by saving baptism; not the outward ceremony of washing with water, which, in itself, does no more than put away the filth of the flesh, but it is that baptism wherein there is a faithful answer or re-stipulation of a resolved good conscience, engaging to believe in, and be entirely devoted to, God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, renouncing at the same time the flesh, the world, and the devil. The baptismal covenant, made and kept, will certainly save us. Washing is the visible sign; this is the thing signified.

II. The apostle shows that the efficacy of baptism to salvation depends not upon the work done, but upon the resurrection of Christ, which supposes his death, and is the foundation of our faith and hope, to which we are rendered conformable by dying to sin, and rising again to holiness and newness of life. Learn, 1. The sacrament of baptism, rightly received, is a means and a pledge of salvation. Baptism now saveth us. God is pleased to convey his blessings to us in and by his ordinances, Acts ii. 38; xxii. 16. 2. The external participation of baptism will save no man without an answerable good conscience and conversation. There must be the answer of a good conscience towards God.—Obj. Infants cannot make such an answer, and therefore ought not to be baptized.—Answer, the true circumcision was that of the heart and of the spirit (Rom. ii. 29), which children were no more capable of then than our infants are capable of making this answer now; yet they were allowed circumcision at eight days old. The infants of the Christian church therefore may be admitted to the ordinance with as much reason as the infants of the Jewish, unless they are barred from it by some express prohibition of Christ. [emphasis added]

-Matthew Henry

Okay, according to Jesus-is-savior.com, Matthew Henry is a heretic. Apparently Henry promoted the idea of baptismal regeneration, i.e. that through baptism one is saved. Now its easy for us nowadays to say such things, but the problem is, the things that are quoted are surrounded by other things that prove he most certainly is not supporting that!

So now I'm going to explain what Henry was saying when he said such things.

For instance:

The baptismal covenant, made and kept, will certainly save us.
What is the baptismal covenant? That is the question to ask first. Well firstly, a covenant is an agreement, a 'testament' made and agreed to by two parties. What Henry is referring to is the New Testament, not anything to do with Baptism saving us, baptism is seen as the signifier, the example, the sign by which we say "I am saved", in fact thats what Henry says right after the underlining: "Washing is the visible sign; this is the thing signified.". SIGN.
Thus baptism signifies the covenant, That is why people get baptised today! That is why people got baptised in 30AD! To say "I turned to God".

The sacrament of baptism, rightly received, is a means and a pledge of salvation. Baptism now saveth us.
1. Firstly we need a definition of sacrament:

"A sacrament is a sacred Christian rite recognized as of particular importance and significance."

So here we are, its not, something that saves you, its just important and significant. Baptism is indeed, something that 'tells of' or indicates salvation, remember Matthew Henry was writing in the late 17th century, and he's using means in the sense of:

to serve or intend to convey, show, or indicate :  signify mean
s rain>"

Baptism means salvation. i.e. Baptism now "saveth" us. See here:

"The external participation of baptism will save no man without an answerable good conscience and conversation. There must be the answer of a good conscience towards God.—Obj. Infants cannot make such an answer, and therefore ought not to be baptized."
Again he shows that baptism does not save:

"You must be born again of the Spirit,’’ which regeneration by the Spirit should be signified by washing with water, as the visible sign of that spiritual grace: not that all they, and they only, that are baptized, are saved; but without that new birth which is wrought by the Spirit, and signified by baptism, none shall be looked upon as the protected privileged subjects of the kingdom of heaven.
To say that this teaches baptismal regeneration, shows Jesus-is-savior's rather deluded and ignorant understanding of the English Language. If you were to follow his logic, the bible is heretical as well:

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 6:4

Buried with Christ in baptism?! Whattt?

"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38

Be baptised for the remission of sins? Thats putting baptism farrr to near to salvation for my liking!

Is Matthew Henry saying anything different than the bible? If Matthew Henry was speaking in modern English, would he not be one of the pioneers of today's 'revival' of old time gospel preaching?

I like to read Matthew Henry, he's insightful, he's not the Bible, but he was certainly a very wise and intelligent man. Why deny that and call a man a heretick simply because you assume that he's wrong. Baptism is one of those difficult things to understand, you can view it in many different lights. But evidently the correct view is that it signifies salvation: the start of a new life. I'm a King James only christian, but theres no harm in reading a commentary, that may open up new ways of looking at scripture. It's like listening to preaching..a guy is essentially giving you a commentary on a passage of scripture. You accept whether or not its true based upon YOUR OWN knowledge of scripture, and YOUR OWN bible reading. When someone like JIS comes along as says "heretick, heretick", what he's saying is, I disagree with that man's opinions about this passage, therefore I am going to rather unintelligently come along and rail on a dead guy. It shows spiritual immaturity, and bible ignorance. If JIS had come along and just read Matthew Henry in that passage, he would see that the surrounding lines explain exactly what he means, he keeps saying "signifies", and "rightly received (i.e. as a born again christian)". Sure, our lack of understanding of 17th century english, which is lofty and alien to us, can hinder us in our understanding of what's being said. But if it bothers you so much, move on. Take baptismal regeneration as his view if you want (although his works are actually used by people arguing against it). But do you have to believe it just because you're reading it? No! Do you agree word for word with everything that your pastor says? I know I don't. But does that stop you from going to church?

Read if you want, don't if you don't, But Henry is not an heretick.

Wisdom: Proof Testing, a doctrine we all need!

"Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress." Psalms 17:3

What we see here, is a fantastic example of the wisdom of God. Just like a scientist has a hypothesis and then tests to see whether such things are so, essentially God gives us a similar procedure, and seemingly uses such a procedure himself. Are we saved? God will prove you. Are we doing what God says? prove yourself by the word. The word prove, seemingly means to both test, and confirm the questions that we have. As the verse below shows.

"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." 1 Thess 5:21Here God shows us, that as he proves us, we must prove all things ourselves. This is divine wisdom! It refers to both secular and religious things, test other people, test their words against their actions. Test religion to see that it fits with God's word, and if it does not..flee from it! This exhortation is so massively encompassing that it proves the wisdom of God. Even God says "Come let us reason together", he's not a God of ignorance, but a God of knowledge, who has no qualms that he will be proven right no matter what the circumstances or the method of analysis.

"And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not." Exodus 20:20

God has come to prove us! Is that not as evident today as it was back in the days of Moses? We have a multitude of bible versions, churches that are falling into sin like never before, and Pastors that don't stand by the word but by a famous preacher's commentary! This is why this post is here, to tell you simply and honestly that if we don't stand by the wisdom of God, we will fall too!
And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no." Deut 8:2
See how prove not only means to confirm but to test us, to 'try' us, tried by fire?
By such tests and trials, whether it be cancer, or financial failings, or by persecution, the truth of our hearts will be tested. God's analysis of us is far greater, and far more consuming than scientific analysis.

Follow God's wisdom, and we will be safe, spiritually as well as physically. It may sound crazy to say that when staying with God can lead to death. But imagine the stupidity of a man who will fornicate because of his foolishness, or even deny God, hate him and become a reprobate. God's proving exists in various trials and tribulations:

"And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the Lord, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses." Judges 3:4
Just as the Queen of Sheba did the same to Solomon:

"And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart." 2Chronicles 9:1

Then we have the exhortations of Paul, which give us the right formula of wisdom, to prove ourselves, to prove what is good, and that by testing against the word, we saved, eternal children of God will know exactly how to live, and exactly how to act!

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2

"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" 2 Corinthians 13:5

"But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another." Galatians 6:4

"And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless." 1 Timothy 3:10

Not only do we have the good testing of God every now and again, as he brings out the good in us, but we have that same formula handed to us, we call it the scientific method. Hypothesis -> Testing -> Conclusion.

Yep, thats where it came from! The scientific method comes from the bible.
Its a method we need day to day to see if we are doing a good job, saved forever, but always growing! God bless