SHOCKING BIBLE STUDY – ‘The Lost Foundations’ – by Andrew Strom

20 years ago in 1996 I published an article called, “Ask Jesus Into Your Heart??” This Study basically replaces that article. We need to confront the fact that the church for more than 60 years has been going around the world telling people to do something for “salvation” that the apostles never preached. “Just pray this little prayer after me.” Very ‘convenient’ but also very unbiblical. In the book of Acts we see literally thousands of people getting converted. But never once were they told to do anything like that. So what did the apostles actually preach?
 
(1) Welcome to a Bible Study that may surprise and even shock you! (As it does with a lot of people). If you want to get the most out of it, please write your answers to each question below.

(2) As you read each of the Bible passages, please answer each question-
(a) Please READ Heb 6:1-2. Then write out the “six foundations” below (numbering them)-
ANSWER –
How important do you think these six things are?
ANSWER –
What words does verse 1 use to describe these six things?
ANSWER –

Before we continue, let us talk briefly about Repentance and Faith, since these are such crucial things in any true conversion. What is Repentance? It is a “turning away” from sin involving ‘Godly sorrow’, confession to God and a real heart-change. What is genuine Faith? It is a simple childlike belief and trust in Christ’s righteousness – not our own – to justify us before God and save us. Both of these things are clearly totally essential to salvation. But what about the other Foundations?

(b) One major thing that we are looking at in this section is whether or not the early church used the “sinner’s prayer” to lead people to the Lord – or whether they used the FOUNDATIONS instead. What exactly did the apostles tell people to do to become truly converted? Did they ever preach “Ask Jesus into Your Heart”? If not, what did they preach instead?
The book of Acts is probably the best place to start in answering these questions, as it is the only book where we actually see thousands upon thousands of people becoming converted.

READ Acts 2:37-38. What were the 3 things that Peter told the people to DO in response to the gospel? (Please number them)-
ANSWER –
Please read on through verse 41. Do we see any signs of the people saying a “sinner’s prayer” or giving their “heart to the Lord” like we do today?
ANSWER –
How soon did they baptize them?
ANSWER –
(c) READ Acts 8:12-17. Again, in this passage, do we see people “asking Jesus into their heart” or “praying a little prayer” like we do today?
ANSWER –
Again, there seemed to be 3 important elements in their response to the gospel. What were these 3 things?
ANSWER –
How soon did they baptize them?
ANSWER –
What was the “laying on of hands” used for?
ANSWER –
(d) READ Acts 10:44-48. Is the pattern here similar to what we have just seen in the other passages? In what way?
ANSWER –
Do you think these people may have already been godly, holiness-seeking people – even before Peter preached to them? Give reasons for your answer.
ANSWER –
How did the onlookers know that these people were filled with the Holy Spirit?
ANSWER –
Was it “optional” for them to be baptized?
ANSWER –
(e) READ Acts 11:15-18 and compare it with Acts 10:44-48 and also Acts 2:4. Does it seem that being “filled with”, ‘baptized with’, or “receiving” the Holy Spirit may all refer to the same experience? Quote Scripture to back up your answer.
ANSWER –
Also, in light of these passages, do you think that the Spirit “coming upon” or “falling upon” someone is generally referring to this same type of experience?
ANSWER –
(f) READ Acts 19:1-6. Do we see any signs of people saying a “sinner’s prayer” or giving their “heart to the Lord” in this passage?
ANSWER –
Do you think these people had already repented – even before Paul preached to them? Give reasons for your answer.
ANSWER –
Write out the “pattern” of what happened to these people when they responded to the gospel preached by Paul.
ANSWER –
Is it basically the same pattern that we have been seeing in the other passages?
ANSWER –
How could Paul tell that they had been filled with the Holy Spirit?
ANSWER –
(g) The conversion of Saul (who later became Paul) is recounted in Acts 9 and also Acts 22. Please READ Acts 9:1-18. Do we see (1) Repentance, (2) Baptism and (3) Receiving the Holy Spirit in this passage?
ANSWER –
In this and other passages, did it seem to matter too much what ORDER baptism or the infilling of the Spirit occurred? Give more than one scriptural example as proof of your answer.
ANSWER –
(h) Let us look again at how soon people were baptized in the Bible. Did they have to wait 6 weeks, 6 months – or was it immediate? Please READ Acts 16:25-33. At roughly what time of day were the Jailer and his family baptized?
ANSWER –
Does the above passage give the impression that baptism is very important? In what way?
ANSWER –
Please READ Acts 8:35-38. Do you think Philip spoke about baptism when he was preaching the gospel to the Eunuch? How can you tell?
ANSWER –
Based on these passages, and all that we have seen, how soon do you think we should baptize people?
ANSWER –
We have now looked at virtually EVERY conversion that is detailed in the entire book of Acts. At any time did we see anyone “asking Jesus into their heart” or repeating a “sinner’s prayer” in order to become a Christian?
ANSWER –
After all that we have seen, do you think that when people ask “What should we do?”, then our best answer might be the same as Peter’s on the Day of Pentecost? Please WRITE OUT Acts 2:38 below-
ANSWER –
(i) Let us now seek to answer this question: Is water baptism mostly just an outward “SYMBOL” – or is there something powerful happening SPIRITUALLY in baptism?
Please READ Rom 6:3-8. According to this passage, what happens to our “old life” through baptism?
ANSWER –
Please READ Col 2:11-12. According to this passage, what is happening inside of us when we are baptized?
ANSWER –
Please describe what the term “circumcision of the heart” means to you-
ANSWER –
Regarding the practice of ‘sprinkling’ little infants, the Greek word “baptizo” means to “dip or immerse” – not sprinkle – and the two passages we have just read describe baptism as a “burial”. Therefore baptism surely has to be by “full immersion” under the water. Do you agree?
ANSWER –
And anyway, little infants are not old enough to “believe” the gospel first. Please READ Mark 16:15-16. Can a little baby “believe”? And therefore, according to this passage, should they be baptized?
ANSWER –
 
OBJECTIONS TO THE TEACHINGS ABOVE
There are several objections that people often raise when they hear this teaching. Often they are trying to defend the idea that all we need to do is “pray a little prayer” to become a true ‘Bible Christian’. They do not want to admit that the scriptural pattern is (1) Repentance, (2) Baptism, and (3) Receiving the Holy Spirit. Below are some of the main objections that people seem to raise-
(a) “What about the Thief on the cross?” – OUR ANSWER: We believe in “death-bed” repentance, and this is certainly an example of that. But it should also be noted that this took place BEFORE the New Covenant truly began – before Jesus died and rose again – and before the Spirit was given at Pentecost. Therefore it is not a very good example for us to copy if we want to experience a full New Testament conversion.
(b) What about Romans 10 – which is so often quoted as a kind-of “formula” for becoming a Christian? – OUR ANSWER: Please READ Rom 10:9-13. The first question we must ask is- Is this passage meant to be an actual ‘formula’ for salvation? Is that the actual purpose of it? Please give your opinion.
ANSWER –
Secondly, it is a wonderful passage about FAITH – a very important topic. But who is it written to – believers or unbelievers? Who is likely to be reading the book of Romans? Might Rom 10 perhaps be written differently if it really was a “salvation formula” being written to unbelievers?
ANSWER –
Thirdly, when we look at the OVERWHELMING evidence on the side of “Repentance, Baptism & Receiving the Spirit” – and we look at the fact that we cannot find anyone in the whole Book of Acts simply “praying a prayer” for salvation – shouldn’t we go with the overwhelming Bible way? Surely we have to look at what the “weight” of Scripture teaches – and go with that? Isn’t this what we should always do in these situations – go with the overwhelming “weight” of Scripture? Please give your opinion.
ANSWER –
Fourthly, Rom 10 says that “Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. But perhaps we should ask ourselves- “When did Paul himself first ‘call on the name of the Lord’?” When did this moment occur for him? Please READ Acts 22:16 and write below the actual words that Ananias spoke to him-
ANSWER –
As we can see from the above passage, the moment when Paul first “called on the name of the Lord” was actually IN BAPTISM. Do you find this significant?
ANSWER –
Ultimately, I do not find Rom 10 to be conclusive proof against our teachings – or for the idea of a “sinner’s prayer”. It does not make sense to take that meaning from it when the whole rest of the New Testament teaches something different.
(c) Many people ask, “What about the old Revivalists and Reformers from past centuries? The Christianity of their time did not involve Baptism by Immersion or being filled with the Holy Spirit. What about these heroes of old?”
OUR ANSWER: I actually believe that God has slowly been restoring His truths to the church bit by bit over the centuries, since the Great Reformation. If you look at history you will see that it started with “Justification by Faith” in the 1500’s, then the “New Birth” and Sanctification, then Baptism by Immersion, then healing, then Baptism of the Spirit with ‘tongues’, etc, until today we have the opportunity to fully enter into virtually everything that the early church entered into – and powerful Spirit-filled Revivals are happening around the globe. The church has come full circle in many ways, but still I feel we need one last Great Reformation to fully restore all that was lost. It has taken a very long time for the church to emerge out of the dark ages, and there have been many “heroes” along the way. To me, men like Luther, Wesley, Whitefield, Finney, etc, are a great inspiration – and I write about them and preach about them all the time. But yes – they lived in an era when Christianity seemingly had less light than she does today. Thus I believe all the people of those times will be judged by the light that they walked in. It is as simple as that. I do not condemn them at all – in fact I admire many of those old preachers and learn as much from them as I can.
(d) “Do you believe in Baptismal Regeneration?” – OUR ANSWER: No! We certainly do NOT believe in Baptismal Regeneration – which is basically an old Catholic doctrine. All we are saying is simply that the Bible way of becoming converted seems to be through Faith, Repentance, Baptism and Receiving the Holy Spirit. It is quite different from what we have been taught to preach today, and I believe we are short-changing a lot of people. Don’t you think this has to be one of the most important topics that Christians today could possibly discuss? Please comment.
ANSWER –
(e) “Couldn’t this be seen as a kind-of Salvation by works?” – OUR ANSWER: Absolutely not! Where are the “works”? Is Faith a work? Is Repentance a ‘work’? Is water-baptism a work? (It is quick, it happens only once, and the person does not even do it to themselves – so how can they be “working”?) Is baptism with the Holy Spirit a ‘work’? In my opinion, none of these things are remotely like ‘works’ at all. Where is the “working” going on? Please give your opinion.
ANSWER –
 
(b) Have you ever heard the verse Rev 3:20 “Behold I stand at the door and knock…” being used out of context to get people to ‘ask Jesus into their heart’? Does it surprise you how utterly out-of-context it is?
ANSWER –
(c) When Andrew Strom commented that he now baptizes “In the name of the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit – in the name of Jesus Christ” – what was his reason for adding “In the name of Jesus Christ” onto the end?
ANSWER –
 
(4) Please look up the following Bible passages and answer the questions-
(a) READ 1 Cor 10:1-2. This Scripture is using a “type and shadow” from the Old Testament to make a point about the New. If the Israelites were “baptized into Moses” in the ‘cloud and in the sea’ then what do you believe would be the New Testament equivalent?
ANSWER –
(b) Please READ Gal 3:27. Do you think there is a connection between this verse and the passage that we just read (1 Cor 10:1-2)? If so, what?
ANSWER –
(b) Please READ 1 Peter 3:20-21. Again, there is a type and shadow from the Old Testament being used here – this time Noah and the Ark. Peter says that Noah’s family was “saved through water”. What does he say is the New Testament equivalent of this?
ANSWER –
(c) Please READ Titus 3:5-6 and compare it with John 3:5. There may or may not be a connection between these two passages. Do you think so, and if so, what is it?
ANSWER –
(d) Please READ Matt 28:19. In light of this verse, do you think it is possible to “make disciples” without baptizing them? Quote the Scripture to back up your answer.
ANSWER –
(e) We ourselves tend to hold to the classic Pentecostal position regarding “tongues” – that generally they are the ‘initial evidence’ of getting filled with the Holy Spirit that we expect to see. Please WRITE OUT the following verses-
Acts 2:4
ANSWER –
Acts 10:45-46
ANSWER –
Acts 19:6
ANSWER –
Acts 8:17-18
ANSWER –
Mark 16:17
ANSWER –
1 Cor 14:18
ANSWER –
Of course, this baptism of the Holy Spirit is a baptism of Holiness and Power and Love and Victory over sin – which are the big important things that we expect to see in a person’s life after this experience. But we regard tongues as an important “initial evidence” of receiving the Holy Spirit. -And vital for ongoing prayer also. Paul said “I speak in tongues more than you all.” So he obviously prayed in tongues a lot. Shouldn’t we do likewise?
ANSWER –
(f) OBJECTIONS TO ‘TONGUES’
Some people believe that the gifts of the Spirit are not for today at all. This seems rather a ridiculous argument to us, but we cannot go into it here. The objection that we find most common is that many believe tongues is only for “some” believers – and yet we believe that God desires ALL His children to have such a ‘prayer-language’. The passage that seems to confuse people most is found in 1 Corinthians. Please READ 1 Cor 12:29-30. Because this passage asks “Are all apostles, are all prophets… Do all speak in tongues?” (to which the obvious answer is “No”), people are left thinking that tongues is only for ‘some’. But what they fail to notice is that this passage is speaking about “ministry gifts” in the church. The whole passage is listing ‘ministry-offices’ that some are called to. And one of these is to “speak out publicly” in tongues during a church meeting – which must always have interpretation. Only certain people are called to do this. That is the point Paul is making. They have a special anointing to use tongues as a public ministry – which is not for everyone. But certainly he is not talking about the private “prayer language” that we believe Scripture shows is available to every believer. If you read the entire chapters 1 Cor 12 – 14 with this in mind, we believe it will clear up a lot of confusion. There are two different types of tongues. One is for public ministry (which must be interpreted) and the other is for private use in personal prayer (-available to everyone). Does this explanation make sense to you?
ANSWER –
 
(5) Having studied this topic so thoroughly, do you now have the desire to go out and see people Repent, be Baptized, and be Filled with the Holy Spirit? Is that the type of conversion you want to see happening from now on?
ANSWER –
 
(6) HOMEWORK: Please go to at least 3 of your friends and acquaintances. Gently and lovingly share these Scriptures with them and make sure that they have been baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. (Please be gentle!)
 
(7) FURTHER HOMEWORK: For further study on this topic you can simply look up every Scripture on Baptism and also the Holy Spirit – as well as the other Foundations – in the whole New Testament. Please use an “exhaustive” concordance if you wish to do such a study.

Posted in Articles by Andrew on June 8th, 2016 at 7:29 am.

10 comments

10 Replies

  1. ALITA BYLSMA Jun 8th 2016

    The Word is truth and is sharper than a 2 edged sword. And the Word here is self-explanatory as said by Andrew, and we need to come into obedience of the Truth, but I also believe we should not go into lengthy discussions about these things for each one of us are standing before God answersble and He is our Judge en Juror. We need to just obey for in lengthy discussions comes division and strife. God Himself will convince His children. So we pray for open spiritual eyes, hearts etc.

  2. Andrew Jun 8th 2016

    Well, yes, Alita.

    But in studying Scripture we also can learn things we may not have seen before. It is an important topic after all.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  3. sylvia Jun 8th 2016

    I have been saying “the Gospel that is approved by man is not acceptable to God and the Gospel approved by God is not acceptable to man. They are two totally different “gospels” and not “good news” as it was originally preached

  4. GaryM Jun 8th 2016

    I’ve struggled with it, and probably still do to a certain extent … the supposed requirement for water baptism. Reasons are numerous … First and easiest is that everyone converted probably doesn’t have the opportunity for water baptism. I mean, what if you live in a desert or die after believing but before the opportunity for water baptism. These questions must be answered and supported by the bible. To say that water baptism is a foundation but BUT is not always an absolute requirement needs proper explanation. What about the thief on the cross?

    Yet, water baptism does seen reasonable even if not required. Many biblical examples, and scripture is in part for our example to follow. I see Torben do it and it does seem to produce results. And I do also agree it should be right away and no one should have to follow some religious process (steps 1.2.3 over time).

    We must also consider that water baptism was instituted before Christ died and sent the Holy Ghost to reside IN us. Things changed after Pentecost. The law got reinterpreted and practices changed in the following years.

    Bottom line, I accept water baptism as a spiritual need or blessing or maybe even the outward confession of faith, but I cannot make it absolute. Ats least not until someone explains (with biblical support) what happens to the believer who never has the opportunity. But then if you do that, the “requirement” goes away.

    So … just do it (if for no other reason than outward confession sake) until the LORD tells you otherwise. If it’s wrong He’ll tell you. If He doesn’t tell you, then either it’s not wrong or not a problem for Him.

  5. Andrew Jun 8th 2016

    Gary – baptism should be experienced in FAITH.

    That is where the power is.

    Please go through the Bible Study above, my friend. Give it some time and go through it.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  6. John Corin Jun 9th 2016

    Andrew, Your understanding and teaching on Baptism is one of the best I have found and a position I was taught more than 50 years ago. I liken getting the foundations in place to getting everthing right for a healthy baby to be born. Anything not as it should be results in a premature, underweight, feeble and even disabled baby coming into the Kingdom. Most ‘born again’ believers in my opinion are aborted or miscarried and have never come to full birth. Keep preaching the truth with the emphasis on faith as you do and never mind the ‘exceptions to the rule’. There are always exceptions!!

  7. Andrew Jun 9th 2016

    Thankyou, John.

    I understand you were a Bible College lecturer. Is that true?

    Also – are you related to Clive Corin at all?

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  8. When Peter preached the gospel, people got saved, and then they were baptized. Acts 10:44-46 says,

    “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God…”

    These people were saved they had the gift of the Holy Spirit and they were speaking in tongues. Tongues is a gift given to believers ( 1 Cor. 14:1-5).Therefore, the people in Acts 10:44-46 were definitely saved before they were baptized.

  9. Andrew Jun 9th 2016

    Actually, that passage in Acts 10 does not stop there. Here is what it says next-

    “Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.”
    (Acts 10:46-48).

    We need to quote the whole passage to get the full context.

    -Andrew Strom.

  10. Zululander Jun 9th 2016

    Gary if you can’t read it in the bible & understand it & still can’t get it from Andrews very clear explanation, how are you going to hear God tell you specifically?