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1. As to Mark 16:1616He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:16) being adduced to prove believers baptism, if the whole passage be read it refutes the thought. A believer, as we think and speak, is a saved person. Here it is the case of one who professes to have received the doctrines of Christianity. It says, “he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” This shows he is not looked upon as saved already. It is here a question of a person refusing or not to become a Christian out of heathenism or Judaism.
2. After Paul has introduced the thought of the “habitation of God” in Ephesians 2:2222In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:22), he at once runs on to responsibility — “endeavoring to keep,”&c., and you soon find (Eph. 6:11Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (Ephesians 6:1)) children made the subject of the exhortations of the Holy Spirit — the precepts of the House being addressed to them. None can say these children are, or are not believing children without adding to Scripture. They have a place in His thoughts in the House where the Holy Spirit dwells.
3. If Scripture be studied it will be seen the remarkable way οικος and οικια are used. The former has a wider thought in it than the latter, though at times used interchangeably. In Attic law the οικος embraced all the man’s property and belongings — the οικια was what he dwelt in, and was specially connected with him. It is significant that the temple was called the οικος “My Father’s house” (John 2:16,2016And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. (John 2:16)
20Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? (John 2:20)
); but when the Lord speaks in John 14 of His dwelling on high, He uses the smaller thought — My Father’s οικια. Like the Holy of Holies in contradistinction to the temple itself.
In Acts 16 Paul baptized the οικος of Lydia; told the jailer his οικος would be saved, Acts 16:3131And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:31), &c.; yet went in and spoke to the οικια Acts 16:3232And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. (Acts 16:32), and baptized (what in Attic law would be, I suppose, designated his οικος) — that is, “all his” straightway.
4. Some have a difficulty as to accepting the baptism, say of the various sects, by sprinkling, etc., and other informalities. We cannot but receive it or any baptism done under the bona fide profession of Christianity, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Suppose a person in all godly sincerity had been eating the Lord’s supper all his life with the bread cut up into morsels, and from the hands of a clergyman. We could not say he had never eaten the Lord’s supper. It was so to him.1 If he knew better as taught from Scripture and did not follow it, it ceased to be so to him. So with baptism — it was done however informally, but after all it was done, and we cannot undo the act now, so as to do it more correctly as better instructed from Scripture. There it stands, and the responsibility rests on those who did it.