Wikipedia defines “proof-texting” as “the practice of using isolated, out-of-context quotations from a document to establish a proposition in eisegesis (introducing one’s own presuppositions, agendas, or biases).” The biblical text has context! The only way a person can teach something from the biblical text that it doesn’t teach is by taking “isolated, out-of-context quotations” and applying them in ways that the Bible doesn’t apply them. The practice of proof-texting is what I call The Satanic Use of Scripture! That’s because there is a biblical example of the devil himself engaging in proof-texting (Matt. 4:5-7). The devil quoted from Psalm 91:11, 12 to tempt Jesus to jump from the pinnacle of the temple to force God’s hand to save Him from falling to His death. Some historical context reveals this to be an attempt by the devil to play into a common misconception of the Jews about how the Messiah would be revealed to them. Many believed that the Messiah would descend from heaven into the courtyard of the temple, the very courtyard the devil had Jesus standing above when he quoted Psalm 91:11, 12. But Jesus said, “it is written again,” and quoted from Deuteronomy 6:16. When Jesus said, “it is written again,” He showed that the devil was using the Scripture out of context. Truth cannot contradict truth! So, if the way you’re using one passage causes a contradiction with another passage then you can be sure that your use of one or both is incorrect. That’s a long introduction to reveal the illegitimacy of another common objection to baptism.
It is claimed that when Paul said, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 1:17), he was making a distinction between baptism and the gospel. Therefore, they claim, baptism is not part of the gospel. This, however, completely ignores the context of the statement. It is an example of proof-texting in the extreme! Paul was not at all referring to the necessity of baptism in this statement. He had just finished listing several people whom he had baptized (1 Cor. 1:14-16). He had also said he was thankful that he hadn’t personally baptized more. That wasn’t because people didn’t need to be baptized but because people were making an issue over who baptized them (1 Cor. 1:10-13). That’s the problem that Paul was addressing in this passage. Not whether or not baptism is necessary. Throughout Paul’s writings baptism is taught to be absolutely necessary for salvation (Rom. 6:3, 4; 1 Cor. 6:11; Gal. 3:26, 27; Eph. 5:26; Titus 3:5; et al). Paul was not saying that baptism is not part of the gospel. If that were true then we wouldn’t read about baptism in the gospel! But who does the baptizing is not part of the gospel. That is, there is no requirement in the gospel of Christ on who does the baptizing. That’s the context, that’s the point. To use that passage in any other way is to engage in The Satanic Use of Scripture!
Question: if baptism isn’t part of the gospel then why did people get baptized everywhere Paul preached the gospel? (i.e. Acts 16:15, 33; 18:8; 19:5).
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