House Church Talk - Re: Baptisms and Administrations

Ross J Purdy rossjpurdy at
Thu Apr 8 15:31:04 EDT 2004

David wrote:
>      Hi brother,
> You have likely given this more thought than I but where are any explicit
> commands for us in the 21st century? You're right - none of the words
> were directly spoken or sent to you and me.
> And if we are not to "baptize," then why should we also "preach the
> Gospel to every creature"? But Jesus spoke those things in the same
> breath.
> Along your line of argumentation, one could say that the Old Testament
> was just for the Jews and that the NT was just for the Christians ALONE
> to whom it was sent - not to any proceeding generation. I tend to
> disagree.
> Paul's mention of his "not being sent to baptize" was a comparative, not
> an absolute statement. He did, in fact, baptize. I might declare, "My
> purpose is to be a father and a husband, not to watch TV." Yet if I were
> to watch the news, no one would contradict me, I don't think.
> Ross, what parts of the New (or Old) Testament do you believe are "in
> effect" with respect to today's Christian?
>      David Anderson

Hi David,

Miles Coverdale may have done more than anyone in bringing the English Bible
to the masses. He produced the first entire English translation of both
testaments. The following advice to Bible students is attributed to him:

It shall greatly help ye to understand Scripture

if thou mark not only what is spoken

or wrythen,

but of whom

and to whom,

with what words,

at what time,


to what intent,

with what circumstances,

considering what goeth before

and what followeth after.

Paul says all scripture is profitable, but it will not be profitable without
understanding as well. I have not ripped any pages out of my Bible nor will
I, but that does not mean I am offering sacrifices, baptizing with water,
building an ark, eating only "clean animals", submitting to the Scribes and
Pharisees as Christ explicitly commanded, and practicing the passover in a
New Testament context (otherwise known as the Lord's Supper)! If I should
happen to be impaired and then appear to experience a miraculous recovery, I
would praise God to be sure but I certainly would not be running to the
temple to be properly cleansed as Christ instructed some He healed.

What is for today? First, the 12 were not our apostles, they were Israel's
and anything we know of them must be interpreted from that perspective. Paul
was the apostle sent to the nations and it is to him that we find in his
epistles the last words of Christ intended for us. I also think we must
consider that Paul worked toward a goal in establishing the Body of Christ
and it is that final product with which we ought to identify and model
ourselves after. I see most making the mistake of modeling the Jewish church
which is irrelevent to us, or they try to model the infant Body of Christ
which is to try and go back to immaturity once we have already attained
maturity. Either way makes no sense and is counter productive in enjoying
what God intends for us today. It is not for us to baptize since there is
only one baptism by the Spirit who identifies us with Christ, no water
needed. The Lord gave me a gray suit (Grace suit) and the tag says DRY CLEAN
only! Actually it is one of those stain repellent fabrics so there is no
need to clean at all. ;^)

That may leave only Paul's so-called pastoral epistles being directly
relevant to us today. Having said that, it does not inhibit me the least bit
in studying (not just reading) every word in the record and thuroughly
enjoying, appreciating, and applying the truths and principles found

In Christ,

Ross Purdy

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