the only valid form of baptism nor for any particular theory of Scripture but rather for a regenerate church membership. The essence of the gospel is a new life in Christ, of which Christian experience is the outworking, and Christian consciousness is the witness. Christian life is as important as conversion. Faith must show itself by works. We must seek the temporal as well as spiritual salvation of men and the salvation of society also? (Leighton Williams).
E. G. Robinson: ?Christ founded a church only proleptically. In
<401817> Matthew 18:17, ejkklhsi>a is not used technically. The church is an outgrowth of the Jewish synagogue, though its method and economy are different. There was little or no organization at first. Christ himself did not organize the church. This was the work of the apostles after Pentecost. The germ however existed before. Three persons may constitute a church, and may administer the ordinances. Councils have only advisory authority. Diocesan episcopacy is anti-scriptural and anti- Christian.?
The principles mentioned above are the essential principles of Baptist churches, although other bodies of Christians have come to recognize a portion of them. Bodies of Christians which refuse to accept these principles we may, in a somewhat loose and modified sense, call churches but we cannot regard them as churches organized in all respects according to Christ?s laws or as completely answering to the New Testament model of church organization. We follow common usage when we address a Lieutenant Colonel as ?Colonel,? and a Lieutenant Governor as ?Governor.? It is only a courtesy to speak of pseudo-Baptist organizations as ?churches,? although we do not regard these churches as organized in full accordance with Christ?s laws as they are indicated to us in the New Testament. To refuse thus to recognize them would be a discourtesy like that of the British Commander in Chief, when he addressed General Washington as ?Mr. Washington.?
As Luther, having found the doctrine of justification by faith, could not recognize that doctrine as Christian which taught justification by works but denounced the church, which held it as Antichrist, saying, ?Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, God help me.? So we, in matters not indifferent, as feet washing but vitally affecting the existence of the church, as regenerate church membership, must stand by the New Testament and refuse to call any other body of Christians a regular church, that is not organized according to Christ?s laws. The English word ?church? like the Scotch ?kirk? and the German ?Kirche,? is derived from the Greek kuriakh> , and means ?belonging to the Lord.? The term
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