I was sought out, called out, and occasionally put out by a man unknown to me. He wrote me challenging the notion that baptism is part of God's saving plan. Through several exchanges, he brought up arguments that men have vainly attempted for a very long time. Some of this man's views went back as far as John Calvin. The clear teaching of the Bible on the subject of baptism left him unfazed and unconvinced. This man is undoubtedly sincere and zealous in his beliefs, but God's Word shows how insufficient sincerity and zeal alone are. They are as insufficient as faith alone.
It has often occurred to me that the devil has not had to be in the innovation business. Certainly, he is adept at adapting to the inventions and changes brought by time and culture and adopting whatever is current and new, but his basic inroads remain the same as they were in the Garden of Eden. He does not need a new bag of tricks.
- Mankind is still carried away and enticed by their own lust (James 1:16).
- Mankind is still prone to the lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and pride of life (1 Peter 2:16).
- Mankind is still inclined to try and direct their own steps (Jeremiah 10:23).
- Mankind is still open to deluding influences so that they will believe what is false (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
- Mankind is still stubborn (Psalm 78:8).
- Mankind is still self-willed (2 Peter 2:10).
- Mankind is still trying to serve God in their own way on their own terms (Matthew 7:22-23).
- Mankind is still blinded by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Human nature remains so constant that the devil can stay with his old tricks. It is truly heartbreaking and tragic. A plethora of compelling arguments and clearly-stated Scriptures can be easily sloughed off by anyone "in the power of the evil one" (1 John 5:19). Our task is to sow the seed with patience and love, but it is the job of the hearer to open their hearts to the seed!