Question:

Sir,

I have three questions that are about the teachings of the Church of Christ.

  1. Why does the COC dismiss the case of the thief on the cross by saying that it happened "under the Old Testament" when in fact the thief was saved after the blood of the New Testament was shed and died under the New Testament according to John 19:32-33 and Luke 23:42-43 (Hebrews 9:16)? Isn't this inconsistent Bible study since the COC claims John 3:5 as being a water salvation passage for the New Testament?
  2. Why does the COC say that water baptism "for the remission of sins" began at Pentecost when in fact John the Baptist preached it (Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3)?
  3. Why does the COC say that one gets baptized into Christ by a man through water? Is Christ a tank of water? Clearly not, so baptism into Christ cannot be the same thing as baptism into water (if words mean anything). The Bible says that we are baptized into Christ "by one Spirit" "through the faith of the operation of God" and "now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him" (1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Colossians 2:10-12).

Thank you for your time.


Answer:

There is no church of Christ teaching beyond what is found in the Bible. I will be happy to discuss what God has taught in His Scriptures, but I have no interest in trying to justify an unsupported claim of what someone teaches.

In regards to the thief on the cross, see: What about the thief on the cross?

In regards to the baptism referred to in John 3:5, see: The New Birth of Water

In regards to the purpose of John's baptism, see: How was John's baptism different from Jesus' baptism? and When did baptism for the remission of sins start?

In regards to whether the one baptism (Ephesians 4:5) is in water, see: By One Spirit ... Baptized Into One Body and Which baptism is referred to as the one baptism of Ephesians 4:5?

What I note is that you only quote catch phrases, but never in context. For example, you combined:

The Bible says that we are baptized into Christ "by one Spirit" "through the faith of the operation of God" and "now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him" (1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Colossians 2:10-12).

But if the verses cited actually say:

"For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body --whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free -- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit" (I Corinthians 12:12-13).

"and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead" (Colossians 2:10-12).

"Baptized into Christ" is actually found in:

"Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?" (Romans 6:3).

"For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27).

The discussion of God setting members is not about being put into the church but about the role each member plays in the church. "If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased" (I Corinthians 12:17-18). A passage you neglected to cite.

Thus by pulling catch phrases from four different passages, you combined them to created a biblical sounding statement that does not reflect what the Bible actually said and taught. With such dishonesty in the handling of the Scriptures, it is little wonder that you have trouble seeing what God has clearly taught about baptism.

In regards to what being baptized into Christ means, see: Is Baptism Figurative?