Remarks on Righteousness
By Rod Ross

Things are not always what they appear. Face, or faux, items are present everywhere.
Faux-leather, faux-jewelry of all kinds, and  faux-fur are present in almost any jewelry or
department store.

Most people, from looking, cannot tell the difference. When my daughter was playing
college soccer for a rather wealthy private college, she dropped one of her earrings in the
locker room. Immediately everyone dropped to their hands and knees to help her find her
diamond earrings. However, my daughter had bought her earrings at Claire’s for three for
a dollar. They could not tell the difference.

Most of the expensive items I buy, I buy used. No one can tell if I put the wear on them, or
someone else, unless I tell them.

It is much the same in the religious word: most people cannot tell the faux-doctrine of man
from the real thing. As in jewelry and especially in or – “All that glitters is not gold” – so all
that at first appearance is authentic, is not.

Sometimes this is due to the false instruction. As the con artist sells the fake item to the
unsuspecting by describing it as the real thing, so many are deceived into thinking a fake
concept or action is true because they have believed the religious con man.

Sometimes this is due to ignorance. It is easy to be misled into thinking something is real
although it is fake, if you don’t know or haven’t seen the real thing.

Sometimes it is due to wishful thinking. We wish something to be right so much that we
deceive ourselves. It is sort of a religious “deer fever.” People regularly shoot trees,
stumps, logs, cattle, tractors, etc., thinking they are shooting deer. They want to see a deer
so bad, they do – whether it is there nor not.  People do the same thing in religion, they
want something to be true so bad, they believe it is true.

One important item where this occurs is baptism.

Baptism to may in the world is “pouring, sprinking, or immersion.” However, only
immersion was know to the church in the 1st Century.  In the New Testament baptism was
by immersion only.

Baptism to many in the world is “the outward sign of an inward change,” “the witness to
the world of what God has already wrought on the heart,” or a declaration to the world that
one is already saved.  However, baptism always preceded salvation in the New Testament.
Baptism was not a declaration of what God did, but of what God was doing (Colossians 2:
12). Baptism , in a likeness of the death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:1-4), puts on
Christ (Galatians 3:27), obtaining the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), washing sin away (Acts
22:16), by the operation of God. If baptism is a sign of what has already happened, why did
people rejoice only after baptism and not before?

Baptism to many in the world is the dedication of infants. However, the New Testament
baptism was always a believers baptism (Mark 16:16).

Baptism to some people in this world is all that God requires. In the New Testament,
baptism is the beginning of obedience and a new life. Christians arise to walk in newness
of life. They are called to a life of service to Christ (Romans 6).

Faux-baptism is practiced by pouring and sprinking. Faux-baptism is practiced by infant
and non-believer baptism. Faux-baptism is practiced when it is done for the wrong reason
– such as the person already being saved. Faux-baptism is practiced when you think that
is all there is to obedience.

Do not be deceived by a fake. Look and make sure what you have is the real thing.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because
many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every
spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that
confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of
antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the
world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is
in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world,
and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not
of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (KJV – 1
John 4:1-6)

“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to
build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” (KJV –
Acts 20:32)
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