1 CORINTHIANS 12:13

AN EXEGESIS OF 1 CORINTHIANS 12:13.

The Greek says, GAR EN ENI PNEUMATI HEMEIS PANTES EIS EN SOMA EBAPTISTHEMEN, “For by one Spirit we all were baptized into one body.”

Daniel B. Wallace says this is an example, or “an illustration,” of preposition EN used for means (Greek Grammar Beyond Basics, 374). By means, it is the instrument used. Thus EN ENI PNEUMATI, “by one Spirit,” is dative instrumental. Thus say Strong and Robertson also.

This means that the Holy Spirit is the instrument Christ uses. The passage is parallel to Mark 1:8. PNEUMATI HAGIO in Mark 1:8 clearly indicates the Spirit as the means; and so 1 Corinthians 12:13 may not differ from it. The use of preposition BY is reasonable. “For BY one Spirit.”

Those who promote present-day Holy Spirit baptism say that EN + Dative’s only use is locative and not instrumental. They are making an exclusive rule where there is none!.

They say that in this way, in the construction EN + PNEUMATI, the Holy Spirit becomes the sphere, or the location. And yet this interpretation is not consistent with their interpretation of Eph. 5:18, where the same construction is found. EN PNEUMATI here speaks of the Spirit as the means. The idea of Paul is that the believers are to be filled by means of the Spirit.

If EN PNEUMATI in Eph. 5:18 is dative of means, and therefore instrumental, why can’t EN PNEUMATI in 1 Corinthians 12:13 be dative instrumental also?

I suspect that their insistence of interpreting 1 Corinthians 12;13 as locative is for reasons dubious and self-serving. I am just consistent. I look at both passages with the same construction as similar in meaning and therefore must be similarly interpreted.

Lastly, the verb employed in 1 Corinthians 12:13 is aorist. Aorist is referring to a past event, unrepeatable. It is not referring to a continuous progressive act..

Here is the death knell of present-day Holy Spirit baptism doctrine. 1 Corinthians 12:13 can never be used by them to prove that they must have Holy Spirit baptism today simply because 1 Corinthians 12:13 does not say so!

They will not need an aorist to prove their doctrine! They will need a present continuous verb to help them promote their doctrine!

Now, you HSB people, find me a verse in the Bible that says, “For in one Spirit we today are being baptized into one body!”

1 Corinthians 12:13 cannot help you. It has already been fulfilled!

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A Profile of its Workers and their Families

The Mountain View church is a congregation newly established in the mountainous area of Babag Uno, beyond upper Busay, city of Cebu, Philippines. Ed Maquiling, who was then the local minister of Talamban church, began the work here on the latter part of the year 2001 as a follow up ministry to edify the family who were formerly worshipping with Talamban church but who could not always come due to its great distance and because of prohibitive costs of fares.

Much evangelism by Ed Maquiling and other workers has been done in the place and in other sitios nearby since the start of the work. Classes are taught individually or in groups, conducted in homes or in the assembly, as a way to bring the good news of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and for people to avail of the saving power that only Jesus, the Son of God, could impart. Those who have been taught have also strived to put on Jesus and make him the Master of their lives. In fact a number have obeyed Jesus, ladies and men coming from the humble and the poor, and from prominent families in Babag Uno, Hamtik, and other places nearby. So great was the influence of this new band of disciples that they are now known as “a group of nice people who can do no harm,” in the language of one grand old woman in the place.

At present the church worships in a house which is filled to overcrowding on any good Sunday afternoon.

Two preachers served the church as its ministers: Ed Maquiling and Eduardo Teman. Eduardo Teman, or Edward, was formerly a minister of the Baptist church, having preached and taught and built up Baptist congregations in Makilala, North Cotabato. Trained as a dairy man and livestock breeder, he got his first taste of serving his God while in the employ of  Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center, in Bansalan, Davao del Sur. His experiences and abilities as a Baptist minister were put to good use when he cast his lot with the Lord’s church and assisted the Lord’s work in Babag Uno. It was Ed Maquiling who baptized Edward.

In later years Ed Maquiling became involved in the work at Leyte Christian College, serving for a while as one of its teachers as well as its assistant director. Edward on the other hand moved to Mindanao. The church in Babag Uno however remains steadfast in the faith. Three of its men take the lead in preaching to their neighbors, teaching Bible classes at church, and leading the brethren during worship. The church is in a sense indigenous, autonomous and independent and has continued to be so till this day. Occasionally Ed Maquiling visits them.

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The Ministries of Mountain View Church

One purpose of the church is to make known the manifold wisdom of God. As a congregation of Christ, Mountain View church desires only to proclaim the gospel of Jesus, because it is the power of God to save mankind today. For this reason, we go about from house to house in Babag and places nearby to evangelize. Our preaching tours have brought us to places like Maraag in Sudlon 2, Cantipla, Taptap, Pung-ol Sibugay, Malubog and Busay. The Word of God being our only creed, it is also the only book that we use. We are not engaged in a war of words with the denominations around us, we teach only the Truth. We believe that that Truth could set every man and woman in the world free from the shackles of sin if he or she will embrace it. We speak where the Bible speaks, and we are silent where the Bible is silent.

Mountain View Church of Christ also engages in the work of benevolence. Much of its collection is used for this purpose. Lately, with the cooperation of the brethren from Mandaue church and other congregations of Jesus in Cebu City, we conducted a medical mission, where we gave free medical check-up and free medicines.

Mountain View Church of Christ also engages in the work of edifying its members. Our Sunday Bible classes are geared toward this end. Lately, we launched our new ministry, the Mountain View Bible School. It is a school without walls. We conduct classes to build up the faith of the Christians in Babag, so that they may be able to stand, and withstand the wiles of the devil.

Mountain View Church of Christ in Babag Uno is served by Ed Maquiling, who, with the support of a generous Christian family in Abilene, Texas, USA, began preaching in the place in the last trimester of the year 2001. Since the first trimester of year 2004, Ed had been assisted in the work by Danilo Mamugay, a former student of his in Cebu Bible College. Danny had been a very great help in the work of the Mountain View church, and was supported by the church in Spokane, Washington, USA.

After Danny left to do full-time ministering in the city of Cebu, Randy, his brother, took over his place, assisting Ed in the teaching, visiting and counseling.

Early this year, 2007, Edward Teman assisted Ed in preaching and ministering in Babag Uno. Edward is a former Baptist preacher whom Ed baptized early in his mountain ministry.

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The Restoration Principle Applied in Mission Work

THE RESTORATION PRINCIPLE A VALID PRINCIPLE

There is no denial that the restoration principle was a valid ecclesiology principle back then. It was valid in the time of the Anabaptists; it was also valid in the time of the Campbells. When I say “valid,” I mean it can be logically applied and proven to be of use; that this principle was the very solution to the religious problem we have in Christendom, the problem of making ourselves right with God.

The restoration principle was the very principle that differentiated Luther and Zwingli from the group of ancient restorers whom historians called “The Anabaptists.” We grant that the Anabaptists were not a perfect people, and their movement was not a perfect movement. Even their name smacks of error: “Anabaptism” roughly speaking means one baptism on top of another baptism. But their being imperfect could not be used as a reason to discredit the movement. Human imperfections abound everywhere.Yes, they had errors aplenty; but could not that same thing be said also about some wings of the Restoration Movement in our time? We have one-cuppers, anti-benevolence, anti-orphan homes, anti-Bible school, premillenialists and other extremists among us.

THE ANABAPTIST MOVEMENT SOUGHT TO CORRECT SOME ERRORS IN RELIGION

This to me is a valid reasoning. If one is content with being in error, then he has no place in the present Restoration Movement, in our Movement.The Anabaptists (Michel Roubli, Felix Manz, and others) sought first to correct their “baptism.” They were “baptized” as infants; and having read their Greek New Testament, they came to the conclusion that”pedo-baptism” has no place in the plan of God. So they “rebaptized” themselves, by pouring water from the head down; and this was in 1525. More truths came to them, little by little. From”adult sprinkling” they came to know that even the”mood” was wrong; and they sought to correct that also–they started immersing themselves. So what did they seek to restore? It was the truth that only adults are the proper subjects of baptism. Then, it was the truth that only immersion is the correct way of doing the baptising. Then it was the truth on the Lord’s Supper, complete with the emblems of both the body and the blood of Jesus. Later, they came to reject even the name Anabaptist, choosing rather to call themselves “Christians,” members of the church of Christ.

ANDREW MUNRO AND THOMAS CAMPBELL: RESTORATIONISM IN AMERICA

The Restoration Movement in America did not start with Thomas Campbell and his “Declaration and Address”; it was exported to the American shores from the British Isles. Thomas Campbell, a Seceder Presbyterian, knew of Greville Ewing, of the Haldane brothers, and others of kindred spirits who sought to restore the spirit, themes and teachings of the early church.

But the Haldanean restorationists were not the originator of this movement to go back to the Bible. Somewhere along the way, someone must admit that he too has a grandfather, and I am talking about the Glassites or the Sandemanians. The Glassite movement came ahead of the Haldanean movement. A member of the movement founded by John Glassite is today known in secular history, not for his religious achievements but for his scientific discoveries. His name is Michael Faraday.

Thomas knew these people: John Glass, and his son-in-law Robert Sandeman; the brothers James Alexander and Robert Haldane, and their associate Greville Ewing. Following in the footsteps of these men, to Campbell, meant the loss of favor with his church.

When the defrocked and unchurched Thomas Campbell, now a migrant in the United States, stood up and spoke on the principle of “speaking where the Bible speaks and being silent where the Bible is silent” to a group of religious men, one objector, Andrew Munro, rose up and said: “If that is so, Mr. Campbell, we can no longer baptize infants!” to which the grand old restorationist answered: “Well, if infant baptism be not found in the Scripture, let us do away with it.”

The baptism question continued to hound the Campbells. When it was Alexander Campbell’s turn to study the question, he plunged headlong to where his conclusion could lead him: He asked Matthias Luce, a Baptist pastor, to baptize him for the remission of sins.

THE RESTORATION PRINCIPLE IS VALID IN OUR TIME

The restoration principle motivates people of kindred spirits to seek what is best for the problem of how make oneself right with God. In my studies in the mountains, I would often hear of disgruntled Catholics, abused Baptists, seeking to be reborn “born-again” people longing for something that refreshes the soul. The Mountain View mission, for example, started with a group of twenty to thirty men and women- drunkards and non-drunkards, smokers and non-smokers, little sinners and great sinners, all of whom were Catholics. They saw that I had something to offer. I was preaching to them the Christ about whom they knew so little. I did not speak about restorationism, but I spoke about going back to God; and to me they mean the same. I spoke about the Catholic Bible, and I read from it to them. Does one long for release? The answer is God. Does one long for a better home? The answer is heaven. Does one long for being made right? Jesus could make you right. Does one long for freedom? Read your Bible.The first step to becoming right is to look at oneself and find out what’s wrong with oneself. Are you contented with what you are now, I would ask, and the common answer was no. Then, Do you want to do what is right to make God happy? Ok.

And so thirty men and women who wanted to do what’s right decided to worship the God who could make them right. Nothing was said about Catholicism being wrong; but something was said about Christianity being always right, and the Bible says so. Our way then of restoring what is right is to restore ourselves back to our Maker, by worshipping Him. Then someone suggested about communion. I asked if they like to to do it; they said yes. I asked if they wanted to do it right. I got an affirmative answer. So the next time we worshipped we had our Lord’s Supper, the complete emblems of the bread and the fruit of the vine. I asked them if they wanted to know their God better, as He spoke of Himself in His Word. They said yes. I asked: If God were with us today, speaking as He does, and reading what He says, would you glorify Him by believing and accepting all that He says? They said yes. So I read Exodus 20, about the ten commandments, and I explained it one by one, beginning with the tenth and ending with the first. I read what Isaiah says about the futility of idolatry. I read what Paul says about the topic in Romans 1. Slowly, little by little, these Catholics were weaned away from their idols. Slowly, they turned to the God they had forgotten, the Lord whose nature they had misunderstood. Their baptism, their putting on of their Lord, may have taken so long, but when it came, they were sure they were now made right.

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What We Teach

We believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God.

We believe Jesus to be God, that is, of the same essence as God the Father. We also believe the Holy Spirit to be of the same substance as the Father and the Son.

We believe that all men must accept Jesus as the Prophet by whom the Father speaks to us today. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no man can come to the Father except through Him.

We believe that the church that Jesus built in first century AD, that is, at the time mentioned in Acts 2, still exists even until now. There is no truth to the contention of some sects that that church has totally vanished from the face of the earth.

We believe that every man and woman today can become a Christian, in the same manner that the men and women of the early centuries became Christians. We believe the Word to be the Seed; if that Seed is planted in the hearts of the believers, true Christianity can be duplicated and reduplicated anytime, anywhere in the world.

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