Dr. Alton D. Morgan was a wonderful preacher and a close friend of my father, Dr. B. F. Dearmored. I have been away (in Mission work) for so long and so much recently, I don't know for sure if he's still living or not. I think maybe he is still living and pastoring his church, but I'm not sure of that. One thing I'm sure about; if he is not still living and pastoring his Church, then he's up in heaven and he and Dad are no doubt having a big celebration about now.
But anyway, I want to use one of his sermon outlines on you tonight. And it goes like this. He starts off with a question. Was the apostle Paul a Baptist? He asks that question. Then he goes ahead and proves that Paul was a Baptist with sixteen answers to that question, "Was the apostle Paul a Baptist?" Of course, the secret to the whole thing is that in those days they were all Baptists (that is, they were what we would call Baptist today). But he doesn't tell them that, he just goes ahead and proves to them that Paul was a Baptist.
Let's read first over in I Timothy. This man down through the years has been --- he and his church have been a great blessing to our mission work in Africa. I was just calculating earlier --- you know, these things shouldn't happen in the Lord's work, but they do. Once in a while one of the preachers gets mad at another preacher, and they try to make it tough on him. This happened to Brother Morgan, and it happened to him while he was in the midst of a serious heart (cardiac) problem. And eventually it ended up with a bunch of the preachers who practically stole his church from him. He had a church of about 1,600 in attendance in the Detroit area. They just flat took over his church, with the help of his associate. They took it over, put it into an organization instead of keeping it independent like it was, they put it into a convention type organization, and kicked him out while he was in the midst of serious cardiac problems.
During that time --- I'm telling you this for a reason, to illustrate an important point --- during that time when he was down and out, none of the preachers much would have anything to do with him because this same bunch of hypocrites had just stolen his church from him, you know. Of course, he didn't want that much to do with them, anyway. My dad was his friend. And my dad called on him, every time he came down our way, he called on him to preach. Dad treated him like a respected brother, you know. Like a real friend. And I guess partly because of this, he and this new church (he established and built another Church near Detroit after recovery from the heart attack health problems) during the past 20 years have put about a hundred thousand American dollars into missions in Africa. (Note -- back in those days, $100,000 was a lot more money than it is now in 2010).
You never know! That was when I was just a kid when this happened to Brother Morgan. I was just a "young one. A very young man, in my teens. I wasn't a child, but I was just a young man and I was friends with him like a very young man might be friends with a 50 year old pastor, you know. Dad was a close friend to him, and about his age. You never know where just being friendly to somebody (treating him like you should treat a Christian brother) is going to end up because there's about one hundred thousand dollars American money that he and this church down through the years have put into our African mission field. Just primarily because he got acquainted with Dad and Dad was his friend. When everybody else was down on him, Dad treated him right, and showed him respect.
Dad treated him like a respected preacher brother. Dad called on him to preach. We printed his articles in our paper ("The Message", which had national circulation then). We did all kinds of little things like that. Just being friendly to him, you know, and treated him like a Christian brother. And he's a wonderful preacher. But that's just part of the free introductory remarks!
But do remember, the little things you do now -- 20 years from now -- will it still make a difference? This Brother or his Church now still sends from $300 to $500 dollars a month to our Africa work. (Their support has helped us preach the gospel to thousands, and train many pastors, and establish sound Baptist Churches in Africa). And that Church of Bro. Morgan's also sends an equal amount per month to Brazil missions to my younger brother down there because of this same contact. You just figure it up. Every little thing you do, even after 15 or 20 years, it's going to continue to bear some fruit. That's just a little free sermonette as an introduction.
Now let's look here in I Timothy 1:16. I'm going to use Brother Morgan's outline to prove to you that Paul was a Baptist. I think he used the title "16 Proofs Paul Was A Baptist." First Timothy 1:16 says: "Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering (now listen to this last part of the verse) for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting."
Before I start proving that Paul was a Baptist, I want to prove, of course, that he's a pattern for us to follow. And we've just done that by reading this one verse here, haven't we? He says he wanted to be a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Now in II Timothy 4:2 --- these are just a few introductory verses that we're reading first --- II Timothy 4:2 says: "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine." Then over in I Corinthians 2:2: "For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." So now, by way of introduction, before we go on to prove that he was a Baptist, we have proof first that he was a pattern, haven't we? Then we've proved that since he is a pattern and he's advising us to, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering." Since he's a pattern for us, he said that he'd determined not to know anything among us or among them or among the churches, except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Having shown Paul is a model or a pattern preacher for us, we want to go ahead and prove that he was also a Baptist.
Thinking of Paul as a pattern preacher or model for us to try to follow, we might say that there's no doubt at all that Paul is the outstanding figure in the Christian world, since Christ! No doubt about it, anyone that's even pretended to be a Christian would probably agree with the statement that Paul, after Christ< is the outstanding figure in Christianity in the whole history of the Christian world.
Now, remember, he's our pattern. He has given us this pattern for us to follow. He set the pattern for us to go by. And most every child of God in the world today, believes that Paul was a servant of Christ.
But what we want to think about is answering this question: "Was Paul a Baptist?" And clearly our answer is yes! But now we want to prove it to you.
We have sixteen proofs to show that he was a Baptist.
First Paul believed in the Bible and he believed that it was the inspired and inerrant Word of God. In II Timothy 3:16, he clearly states this. It says: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." So now, we see that he definitely believed that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. And so do Baptists. I've never seen a Baptist, a real Baptist, who didn't believe that. Although I'm sad to say that we have some Baptists that are beginning to be more modernist than they are Baptist, or more charismatic than they are Baptist --- even a few like that.
Going on to the second proof, Paul believed that all were born sinners. We also believe that. And I've never seen a Baptist yet who didn't believe that all men are born sinners. Of course, Paul wrote that very clearly over in Romans 3:23. He states it in the most concise manner possible when he said these words: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." So, that being one of the principal beliefs of true Baptists, Paul also believed it.
Third, we see that Paul believed in the new birth. The new birth, of course, is taught perhaps most clearly over in John chapter 3, with the Lord Himself I referred to that recently in a message, this third chapter of John. And Paul did believe in the new birth. And Jesus Himself over here speaks of it in John 3:3 when He said, "Jesus answered and said unto him," He's speaking, of course, if you may remember to Nicodemus. "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Now, Paul believed this same doctrine, which is also one of the key doctrines of true Baptists today.
Now, fourth, we see that Paul believed that the new birth was complete in Christ. He believed that the new birth or salvation is complete in Christ. He shows this in the Scripture that he wrote (by inspiration) over in Galatians 2:20. Of course, there are several verses there in that chapter that one could use to show that he believed this, but this one verse is sufficient. Galatians 2:20. It says: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: . . . ." We have a song, you know, that we sing here occasionally like that. "And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Now, there are several other good verses in that same chapter which bears out what we're saying here, that Paul believed the new birth was complete in Christ and so do Baptists. I've never seen a real Baptist that didn't believe that.
Our fifth proof, Paul believed in repentance and faith. So do all the Baptists that I've ever known. The thing we need to remember when we start talking about repentance and faith is that a changing of the heart is God's part. Our part is what? Our part is to repent and believe, isn't it? But the change of heart is entirely God's part. We find over in Acts 17:30 he speaks along the line of his belief about repentance when he says, "And the times of this ignorance," (maybe I should go back into time, some of you might not remember what this passage is here).
Remember, this is from Paul's famous sermon on Mars Hill, that I'm fixing to quote. Perhaps it helps you to know that as we start reading it. This is taken from the midst of his famous sermon, Acts 17:30: "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent." So, we see that Paul believed in repentance. But we also see that he believed in faith if we read over in Acts 16:30-31, about the believing jailer, when he replied to the man who had just asked him, "What must I do to be saved?" And he and Silas replied and said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:30 and 31. So we see he believed in repentance and faith. And so do all true Baptists today.
Now sixth, we find that Paul believed that repentance came before believing. Repentance came before believing. In other words, repent and believe. And Baptists believe this, too. Actually it's hard to distinguish the time that these events occurred because it all happens instantaneously when it all comes together, doesn't it? So, we can't go ahead and say now, "Okay, today you'll repent, tomorrow you'll believe, the next day you're saved." We can't say anything silly like that, of course, because the Bible doesn't teach that. It all happens right together, instantaneously, doesn't it? So close together that we as men sometimes can't distinguish the order in which some of these things occur. But the Scripture does teach us that repentance leads to belief, doesn't it? Therefore, we can say that Paul did believe that and so do Baptists.
The seventh thing on our list, Paul believed that when men are saved by the blood of Christ, it is forever. He believed that. He showed it. Everything that he preached always carried this thought out, didn't it? He carried out the thoughts that are taught over in John 5:24. Maybe we should read that one together—I was going to skip that one to save time, but that's really one of the best ones in all of the Scripture on the question of eternal life. John 5:24: "Verily, verily I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life." That really ties it down well, doesn't it? Of course Paul believed that. Again, so do all Baptists that I know anything about.
In Romans 8, he deals with this idea again in his own writings. In Romans 8:35-37 Paul says it this way: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Then, he goes ahead with verse 38 and 39 which should be added on here anytime you read those others: "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, not angels, nor principalities, nor powers, not things present, nor things to come, Nor height, not depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
But Paul certainly believed that men are saved by the power of the blood and kept by the power of the blood, didn't he? Just as Baptists believe today. There's another good reference on this over in I Peter 1:3-5. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." Old Peter knew what God was saying there, didn't he? And did a wonderful job of it. Paul believed that, just like Baptists do today.
Now eighth on our list, Paul believed that Christ built the church while He was here on Earth. So do real Baptists. Matthew 16:18, you may remember, over there it's the place where Jesus Himself said that He would build His church, "Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Let us read that one exactly. "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter," that is Peter, the little rock, "And upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Paul believed this also. Also we find a good verse on this over in John 17:4. Remember what did I just read to you in Matthew 16:18? I read to you the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself saying, "Upon this rock I will build my church." That's what we read, wasn't it?
Okay, here in John 17:4 the Lord Jesus Christ speaking to the Father Himself: "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." Now, Jesus said He would build the church and here He says, "I've finished my work, the work that you gave me to do." So He clearly did establish the church while He was here. He didn't give us a written record of the exact day on which He established it or how many charter members they had, although we know from the context of the rest of the Scripture that the charter members in this case were the apostles, don't we? It's easy to see that from the context of the rest of the Scriptures, but He didn't give us a little summary of their attendance of the day that He set up His church, did He?
But He did tell us there in Matthew 16:18 that He would build His church. Then, He told the Father in 17:4 of John that He'd finished the work that God gave Him to do. The work that God gave Him to do, at least part of the work that He gave Him to do was to set up the church, wasn't it? Ephesians 3:21 is another good reference in connection with this. It says: "Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end." You know, we believe that this same church that He established is here today and if we didn't, we'd be mighty worried about it. Because He said the gates of hell would not prevail against it. He said there in Ephesians, "To him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end." And so, we have two or three clear statements in the Bible that just would be completely untrue if the church He established were not still here today and carrying on business for Him until He comes back.
Number nine on our list, Paul believed that all saved people were going to heaven. But he also believed that all saved people were NOT members of the Lord's Church. In other words, he made a difference, a distinction in his teaching and thinking between the saved people who are members of the family of God and the members of the church who are more than just saved people, they're also a part of the church. In Acts 2:47 we have a reference that we've used recently in our Bible college classes. We've been studying in Acts in one of our classes. In fact this is one of the verses that we've memorized in the Bible college, but I want all of us to read it together, "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Now, if the very act of being saved added to the church, then the Lord wouldn't have to add them on daily as they were saved, would He?
So we see Baptists and Paul both have that in common. They believe this same thing about the matter of believing that all saved people are going to heaven, all saved people are members of the family of God, but not all saved people are members of the true church.
Going on now to number ten. Paul believed in one Lord, one faith, and one baptism as it tells us over in Ephesians 4:5. And so do Baptists. This is a good verse to keep in mind if you have a problem with someone who keeps wanting to talk all the time about "baptism of the Holy Ghost." "Or Baptism in the Holy Spirit." First, before you them know what you're going to quote to them, ask them if they believe in baptizing people into the church. Some of you can't catch them this way, because some of them don't believe in any kind of baptism, except for "baptism in the Holy Ghost." But if they believe in water baptism at all, then what are they going to do with this verse here? They can't have water baptism of the Holy Spirit can they? Of course not. Now to eliminate this problem, a lot of them have just done away with water baptism and so, they escape this Scriptural trap by just doing away with water baptism entirely in their scheme of things.
Now we arrive at the eleventh thing on our list. Paul believed that baptism was a burial. He clearly believed that baptism was a burial. And so do all the Baptists that I've ever known. He says this in Romans 6:4 and makes it very clear that he believes baptism is a burial when he said these words: "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." Then, he goes ahead and explains it a little further in verses 5 and 6, which we won't take time to read right now. But Paul did believe in baptism and that it was a burial, just as all the Baptists that I know anything about believe.
And he believed also that it is one of the continuing practices or ordinances that Christ gave to the church. Of course, the place that the Lord gave it to the church was over in Matthew 28:18-20.
Number twelve, Paul believed in only one way to finance the church. "Just quit preaching and gone to meddling now," as the stingy non-tither said. Paul believed in only one way to finance the church and that was passed on to us. Over in I Corinthians he talks about this. First Corinthians 16:2 says: "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay not him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." He told them to go ahead and put it in every Sunday like they should. Every week on the first day of the week, and that's Sunday.
Over in Malachi 3:8-10, (that, of course, is an Old Testament Scripture) which is a good one to read when you talk about tithing. It has some pretty hard words, but they are true words because it's in the Scripture. Malachi 3:8-10 says: "Will a man rob God?" (Yeah, some will!) "Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
You might say, "Well, that was back under the law." Yes, that was back under the law. But you'll find that even Jesus Himself, the only thing He ever commended the Pharisees for doing was what? The only good word He ever said about them was the fact that they did tithe. (Many of them did so hypocritically). About their tithing, He said "this you ought to do." And this was in New Testament times when He said this, wasn't it? So, we can't just pass that off and say just because a lot of the writing about tithing was in the Old Testament that it doesn't apply to us, because Jesus brought it over into the New Testament too.
And Paul taught tithing in the New Testament as well. And, of course so do Baptists today. We teach tithes and offerings as a means of financing the church. Not cake sales or cake walks, not rummage sales. I suppose you have that kind of churches around here. I'm sure you do because it's practically worldwide, financing the church with rummage sales and other schemes.
The thirteenth thing on our list, Paul preached that Christ was born and died and was buried, rose again, went back to heaven. As it says in Acts 1. Let's read there quickly. Acts 1:11: "Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Now, Paul preached and taught and believed that this Christ that was virgin born, died and was buried, then arose and went back to heaven. He taught and believed that this same Jesus was coming back. And he makes it quite clear in many places in his writings that he believed this. And so do all the Baptists that I know anything about.
Fourteenth, Paul believed that Jesus has gone to prepare a home for the saved. As he tells us in John chapter 14, where the Lord Himself said, "I go to prepare a place for you." So do all the Baptists that I know anything about. They believe that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us.
And fifteenth, Paul believed and recorded in the Word of God that Jesus was coming back for us. He not only went to prepare a place for us, but He's coming back to take us to be with Him in that place. So do all the Baptists that I know anything about. In I Thessalonians Paul wrote this in some of the greatest words that he ever wrote. First Thessalonians chapter 4-17. "For this we say unto you by the word of God, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." So, Paul believed that not only did Jesus go away to prepare a place for us, but that He's coming back again to take us to be with Him forever, just as Baptists believe today.
Now for the sixteenth and last thing that we'll mention, we see that Paul believed and taught the same thing about salvation that all real Baptists teach today. Paul was persecuted for the name of Jesus, but he recorded in Philippians the story of the Philippian jailer, the only plan of salvation offered in the Bible, and by Baptists today. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
Paul preached and labored, yet all he did was for one purpose only and that was to glorify Christ. Galatians 6:14 is his wonderful word on this. "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." So, everything that Paul did, all the suffering that he went through, all the labor that he did, everything that he accomplished, everything that he had tried to do, he did it all for one purpose. And that was to glorify Christ. He said here in this verse I just read to you. "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."
So, Paul in these sixteen ways that I've mentioned to you tonight, agrees right down to every jot and tittle with all true Baptist today. Therefore, because of these sixteen points, along with many other major points on which he agrees with us, we can confidently say that Paul was clearly a Baptist, can't we? He was a Baptist, just as Brother Alton D. Morgan said years ago."
(We could give many more of these comparisons of Paul with real Baptists today, of course, just by writing down more of them).
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