Friday, June 19, 2020

Baptism Debate Questions Answered: The Jacoby / Ross debate questions we ran out of time before answering, part 1 of 2

In my recent debate with Dr. Douglas Jacoby on the topic of whether faith before baptism is the moment of the new birth (I argued yes, he argued no) or baptism after faith is the moment of the new birth (I argued no, he argued yes), we had a question and answer session at the end of part two of our discussion.  There were numbers of questions that came in that we did not have time to answer during the debate.  I have acquired copies of the questions and have answered them below, and have also invited Dr. Jacoby to answer them in the comment section.   I would encourage readers to consider both of our responses to the questions.  Our answers will be relatively brief because of the number of the questions, but since we have the privilege of responding in writing we are able to be a bit more technical than is possible answering off the cuff.  Some of the questions below were specifically directed to one or the other speaker, but I have answered all of them.  This blog post will answer #1-7, and, Lord willing, questions #8-14 will be answered next Friday--click here for part 2's questions and answers.

If you did not already watch the debate, you can do so on YouTube by clicking here or by watching the embedded videos below.  The questions we did not get to answer commence after the videos.

Debate part 1, "We are born again before baptism" (Ross affirmative, Jacoby negative):

Debate part 2, "We are born again in baptism" (Ross negative, Jacoby affirmative):

Questions from the debates we did not get to answer in the Q & A session. My answers are TR (Thomas Ross) followed by his answers with a DJ (Douglas Jacoby). In the second post we will have answers for questions #8-14.

1.) Apollos was a believer and yet Priscilla and Aquila noted through the Holy Spirit that he only knew the baptism of John why was that critical and why did they need to teach him further if it wasn’t for the fact that he needed to learn about the baptism into Christ if belief was enough why did he need further teaching.

TR (Thomas Ross): Acts 18:24   And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. 26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. 27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: 28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.

Note that the text NEVER says that Apollos was lost and only became saved when he was baptized. Note as well that Apollos never actually was rebaptized—John’s baptism was sufficient for becoming united to the disciples in the church.  Acts 18:24-28 actually refutes baptism for justification.

In Acts 19:1-7 there is a contrast; the people there were non-Trinitarian. They did not believe in the Trinity, and so were unsaved (John 17:3), for they had never even heard of the Holy Spirit (19:2), although John preached about Him (Matthew 3:11). Their spurious discipleship is indicated by the fact that the plural word “disciples,” mathetai, is nonarticular in 19:1—unlike every single one of the 25 other references in the book of Acts to the word (1:15; 6:1-2, 7; 9:1, 19, 26, 38; 11:26, 29; 14:20, 22, 28; 15:10; 18:23, 27; 19:1, 9, 30; 20:7, 30; 21:4, 16).  Paul does not tell these “disciples” that John’s baptism has passed away and Christian baptism has now been inaugurated; he tells them what John the Baptist really said (19:4), upon which they believed John’s message as expounded by Paul and submitted themselves to baptism (19:5-7).

Of course, this does not mean that Apollos did not need further teaching.  Of course he does need further teaching.

DJ (Douglas Jacoby): It seems Apollos (like the disciples in Acts 19) was not up to date on some important developments. After Jesus ascended, the Spirit (and the new birth) became available (Acts 2:30, 33; John 7:38-39). That is, the indwelling Spirit was not available until Pentecost (Acts 2:38). In short, John’s baptism was not the same thing as Christian baptism (baptism in Jesus’ name), even though John directed people to Jesus.

2.) Were the apostles saved before Pentecost?

TR: Yes, the Apostles were saved before Pentecost, the same way as in these texts:

Luke 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
Luke 18:42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

DJ: Jesus told them (before Pentecost), “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you” (John 15:3). Keep in mind that the apostles were Jewish; as long as they were faithful to the (old) covenant, they were right with God. It is unreasonable, in my opinion, to hold that they needed to become “lost” so that they could become saved through Christ. A number of them submitted to John’s baptism. The Spirit came on them at Pentecost (Acts 2), though some interpreters take the Jesus’s prophetic action in John 20:22-23 to be the moment they received the Spirit.

Whatever was the unique case with the apostles, they told the rest of us that we would receive Spirit once we repented and were baptized (Acts 2:38). But back to your question: the N.T. never says the apostles were baptized at Pentecost (or later). One may speculate, but this remains an open matter.

3.) Are the commands "repent" and "be baptized" directed to the same audience in Acts 2:38?

TR: The grammatical structure of Acts 2:38 connects the receipt of the Holy Spirit (and thus the new birth “of the Spirit” (John 3:5-8) and its associated receipt of eternal life) with repentance, not baptism.  The section of the verse in question could be diagrammed as follows:
Repent (2nd person plural aorist imperative)
            be baptized (3rd person singular aorist imperative)
                        every one (nominative singular adjective)
                                    in (epi) the name of Jesus Christ
                                    for (eis) the remission of sins
            ye shall receive (2nd person future indicative) . . . the Holy Ghost
Both the command to repent and the promised receipt of the Holy Spirit are in the second person (i. e, “Repent [ye]” and “ye shall receive”).  The command to be baptized is in the third person singular, as is the adjective “every one” (hekastos).  Peter commands the whole crowd to repent and promises those who do the gift of the Holy Ghost (cf. Acts 10:47; 15:8).   The call to baptism was only for the “every one of you” that had already repented, received the Holy Ghost, and become the children of God.  The “be baptized every one of you” section of the verse is parenthetical to the command to repent and its associated promise of the Spirit.  Parenthetical statements, including those parallel in structure to Acts 2:38, are found throughout Scripture.  The grammar of Acts 2:38 requires the connection “Repent ye, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,” not “Be each one baptized, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  The connection in Acts 2:38 between the receipt of the Holy Spirit and repentance, rather than baptism, overthrows the assertions of baptismal regenerations on the verse.

DJ: Yes. This is the audience out of whom some 3000 persons—this is a male-only count, as in Acts 4:4, Matt 14:21, etc.—accepted the message and were baptized. Their response is recorded in v.41.
Some note that “repent” is a second person plural aorist imperative, while “be baptized” is a third person singular aorist imperative, and conclude only repentance is connected with forgiveness of sins. But this doesn’t work. Just as in John 7:53, the plural followed by the singular is used for emphasis.

4.) In Acts 2:38, Peter says repent and be baptized...and you will receive the Holy Spirit.

If we are not children of God until we receive the Holy Spirit, then how is it that we are saved before baptism at the point of faith? 

It would strongly seem that Peter is saying repent and be baptized and then you will receive the Holy Spirit.

TR: Please see the discussion in question #3. Acts 2:38 teaches that the Holy Spirit is received at the moment of faith before baptism.  Peter also clearly affirmed elsewhere in Acts that at the moment of repentant faith one receives the Spirit and eternal life. As taught in all the rest of the New Testament, Peter believed that one “receive[s] the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:14), not by baptism. In Acts 10:34-48, just as on the day of Pentecost (11:15, 17), eternal life, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, was received at the moment of repentant faith (11:18; 10:43-48) and before baptism.  Peter explicitly stated that God “purif[ied] [the] hearts by faith” (Acts 15:9) of those given eternal life in Acts 2 and 10, when they “heard the word of the gospel, and believe[d]” (15:7, cf. v. 11), at which time they received the Holy Spirit (15:7-9).  Furthermore, in the rest of the book of Acts, Peter proclaimed justification by repentant faith alone.  He preached, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19).  He associated “repentance . . . and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31).  He commanded men to “repent . . . and . . . be forgiven” (Acts 8:22).  In Acts 10:43, he preached that “through [Christ’s] name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”  If Peter taught forgiveness by baptism in Acts 2:38, why did he teach justification by repentant faith, as the other apostles did (Acts 13:39; 16:31), in all the rest of Acts?  Did he change his mind in Acts 10-11 and 15, and, twice, inform the very church at Jerusalem that included numerous converts from his sermon in Acts 2 that they were saved by faith, not by baptism?  Did the entire Jerusalem church agree with Peter’s new teaching and “glorify God” (11:18) for it, including those that were supposedly baptized in order to receive the remission of sins on that first Pentecost?  The allegation that Acts 2:38 conditions forgiveness of sins on baptism ignores the clear statements of Peter about what happened on that day, his preaching of the gospel everywhere else in the book, and the numerous affirmations of salvation by repentant faith alone by others in Acts.

DJ: Exactly right! It wouldn’t make sense that we’d receive the Holy Spirit (through faith), only to have to later be baptized to receive the Spirit. Salvation isn’t split into sections.
Religious leaders have caused needless confusion by teaching salvation by faith alone, before we have obeyed Peter’s simple command. “Faith alone” is a relatively recent teaching—dating only to the 16th century Reformation—an overreaction to the “priestcraft” and “works righteousness” of the medieval church. (See James’s balanced treatment of works in James 2:14-26.) As Peter further noted, God gives the Holy Spirit “to those who obey him” (Acts 5:32). Peter’s hearers on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, convicted by the gospel message, asked a simple question: “What shall we do?” To which the apostle offered a simple answer: “Repent and be baptized.”

We become God’s children when we receive his Holy Spirit (Gal 3:26-27; 4:6; Rom 8:9; Acts 2:38). Acts 2:38 doesn’t contradict John 3:5; baptism is the occasion on which we are saved by faith.

5.) Clearly the word baptism is not always referring to water baptism. "John indeed baptized with water, but..." so if we, in unity of the Spirit believe in "one Lord, one faith, one Baptism", then which baptism is it?

TR: The “one baptism” in Ephesians 4:5 is being dipped in water with the authority of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  That neither proves nor disproves the idea that baptism is the point at which one is forgiven of his sin; 1 Corinthians also connects unity in the church with the Lord’s Supper, but Dr. Jacoby would agree that people are not unforgiven until they first partake of the Supper.
            Please see for an exposition of the Biblical teaching on Spirit baptism.

DJ: The significant difference between the baptism of John and the baptism of Christ is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Both baptisms involved water, yet only baptism in Jesus’ name confers the Spirit. Most Christians I know distinguish the “Holy Spirit baptism” from regular water baptism. I am not so sure this distinction is valid, especially in light of verses like 1 Cor 12:13.

Eph 4:5 isn’t the only baptism verse in Ephesians. 5:14 and 5:26 are two more. As correctly noted by Baptist scholar George Beasley-Murray, baptism is more than simply an initiation ceremony. Something actually happens when a man or woman is baptized.

6.)  You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!

QUESTION; Did the demons repent at the time they believed if faith/repentance are the same?

TR: James 2 is talking about a kind of “faith” that does not result in works.  Saving faith, as I explained in my first speech, is not just mental assent to facts (like the demons have) but entrusting oneself wholeheartedly to Christ as God, Lord, and Savior. James 2 both denies that simple mental assent is saving faith (James 2:19) and employs Abraham as a pattern of the New Testament Christian’s saving faith: “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God” (James 2:23).  People are through the instrumentality of the (unbaptized) Abraham and are immediately accounted righteous at the point of faith, like Abraham was.  Mere “belief” like the devils have is not genuine faith.

DJ: If you mean that faith and repentance are the same, they are not.  It’s clear the demons don’t have saving faith. If they did, they would repent.

7.) In 1 Corinthians 1:14, if baptism is so vital, why does Paul say he thanked God that he baptized none of them, and why does he contrast that with the gospel, if the gospel apparently to you [Dr. Jacoby] includes baptism?

TR: 1 Corinthians excludes baptism from Paul’s gospel.  The apostle defines the message of salvation in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 as:
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
 “[T]he gospel . . . [is that] by which also ye are saved” (v. 1-2), and those who “received” it “believed” (v. 2).  It was “preach[ed], and . . . believed” (v. 11) in “faith” (v. 14, 17).  While faith is mentioned, Paul defines the gospel without any reference to baptism; it is, therefore, not part of the gospel, and is not a prerequisite to justification.  Paul confirms in 1 Corinthians 1:17 what he taught by omission in 1 Corinthians fifteen, stating, “Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel” (cf. Acts 26, Galatians 1:11-16).  He specifically contrasts the gospel, which saves from sin (15:2, cf. 4:15), and baptism, which does not.  Paul also thanks God that he did not baptize people (1:14) and does not remember if he baptized others (1:16).  How strange these assertions would be were baptism essential to obtain forgiveness! Their strangeness is not solved simply by recognizing that the church at Corinth was not united but had factions.  Furthermore, Paul tells the church that “though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel” (1 Corinthians 4:15).  Paul was the one through whom the church had been born again—but he had baptized only a tiny fraction of the membership (1:14-17).  In 1 Corinthians, Paul states that the gospel saves (15:2, 4:15).  He also excludes baptism from the gospel (15:1-4; 1:17) and informs the members of the Corinthian church that he was the means through which they had been born again, although he had not baptized them (4:15, 1:14-17).  Furthermore, Paul affirms that on the road to Damascus, when he saw the risen Christ, he was “born” again (1 Corinthians 15:8), although yet unbaptized.  Paul’s statements about baptism and the gospel in 1 Corinthians are highly problematic for the idea that baptism is the point of forgiveness.

DJ: Now Paul doesn't say he baptized none of the Corinthians, only that he didn’t remember all those he baptized. Which was just as well, because anyone can baptize, but only one could die for our sins. Factions had been forming among the Corinthians (1 Cor 1:10-13; 3:3-6). People were identifying with human leaders instead of with Christ. Baptism is in the name of Christ—not the name of Paul or Apollos. “Was Paul crucified for you?” (1:13) suggests we are baptized into the one who crucified for us. (Rom 6:3-4 shows us that baptism is a participation in the death of Christ.)

Now the gospel doesn’t include baptism, nor does it even include faith. That would be to confuse the gospel with our response to the gospel. The Ethiopian responded to the good news about Jesus (Acts 8:36) by being baptized (Acts 8:38), so Philip, the person who instructed him, clearly included baptism in his message about Jesus. Yet again, while repentance and baptism are our response to the saving message, these actions are not themselves part of the gospel.

If all we’re doing in evangelism is counting souls we have won, we’re working at cross-purposes to the gospel; we’re leading people away from the Lord and towards mere humans. When Paul says he wasn’t sent to baptize, I understand him to be saying he wasn’t sent primarily to baptize. Of course he baptized! All the apostles did. It’s like John 12:47-48. Did Jesus come to judge the world? His primary purpose was a rescue mission. Yet he did come to judge (John 9:39). Reading John too quickly, one might finds a contradiction (Jesus came to judge; he didn’t come to judge). One more example: As a Christian teacher, my goal is not merely to publish books. My goal is to publish the truth—to cause others to think and rethink the faith. Book-writing is part of that, but I would be horrified if others measured their spirituality by how many of my books they had read! The emphasis must remain on Christ. It’s a matter of emphasis and perspective.

Please check back next Friday for the last seven questions and answers. You are encouraged to interact with this information in the comment section below, where we also can interact with each other's answers.



KJB1611 said...

My responses to Dr. Jacoby’s answers:

I appreciate Dr. Douglas Jacoby taking the time to respond to the questions; I believe having our answers to the questions we were not able to get to in the debate will be beneficial to those who watched the debates.

I have the following further comments on Dr. Jacoby’s answers.

Response to Dr. Jacoby’s answer to #1: Please note that in Acts 18:24-19:7 we have people who were already born again who did not need to get “re” baptized (Acts 18) and then people who did not believe in the true God and who were not saved (Acts 19) until they believed the message about the coming Christ John the Baptist had proclaimed. None of the Apostles was “re” baptized after Acts 2. John’s baptism is Christian baptism, and neither John’s baptism nor post-Acts 2 baptism is the moment when one is born again.

Response to Dr. Jacob’s answer #2: It is interesting that Dr. Jacoby says that “as long as they were faithful to the (old) covenant, they were right with God.” What texts in the Gospels make the statement that a certain amount of faithfulness was how they earned and/or continued to have eternal life? None. But I cited some 50 texts that specifically say that the very moment they believed they received eternal life. John 3:16 is not written to deceive us:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Response to Dr. Jacoby’s answer #3:

The grammatical structure of John 7:53 is not at all the same as Acts 2:38. There are not a 3rd person and a 2nd person imperative verb; there is only one verb. I actually am not even sure how Douglas is making his argument here; they are so different structurally that it is hard for me to even grasp what point he is trying to make. The structure of Acts 2:38 connects the receipt of the Spirit with repentance, not with baptism. This is confirmed later in Acts, where in Acts 10 the receipt of the Spirit by Cornelius and his household at the moment of their repentant faith is said to be the same thing that happened in Acts 2:38.

Response to Dr. Jacoby’s answer #4:

Receiving salvation simply by faith (which, again, does NOT mean just intellectual assent to facts, but trustful surrender to Christ as Lord and Savior) did not originate in the 16th century—although, if it had, it would be twice as old as Douglas’s religious movement, which only started in the 19th century.

Please also note that the only time the specific question “What must I do to be saved?” is asked in Acts the question is NOT answered “be baptized,” but “believe”:

Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Acts 2’s question was not “What must I do to be saved?” but “What must we do?” There are lots of things that we must do that are not prerequisites to being born again.

KJB1611 said...

Response to Dr. Jacoby’s answer #5:

I agree that “something actually happens when a man or woman is baptized.” Baptism is very important; it is necessary; there are no examples in the NT of people who were born again who willfully and determinately refused to be baptized. Baptism adds one to the membership of the church (Acts 2:41, 47; 1 Cor 12:13). In baptism one identifies with Christ and puts on Christ (Romans 6; Gal 3). But baptism is not the moment of the new birth, nor does it convey the Holy Spirit.

Response to Dr. Jacoby’s answer #6:

Repentance and faith take place at the same moment in time, whether you want to call them the “same” or not depends on how you define “same.” I agree that demons do not have saving faith.

Response to Dr. Jacoby’s answer #7:

I believe we already have discussed 1 Corinthians as it relates to the question of whether baptism is the moment that sin is forgiven; it at least seems to very strongly undermine that view. My book Heaven Only for the Baptized? also discusses this problem for Dr. Jacoby’s position.

I do not believe that we can isolate “the gospel” from the human response. Even in 1 Cor 15:1ff. we have a mention of the proper response to the gospel—receive/believe it (vv. 1-2). We also have texts such as:

Gal. 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

Heb. 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

That very closely connect the “gospel” with the human response at which point men are justified—faith.

That is not to say that baptism and the entire Christian life of love and gratitude and service to the Lord are not responses to the gospel—but they are not prerequisites to the new birth.

While comments from people taking all sorts of views on this topic are welcome in this blog post, please do not assume that I will either have time to respond to everyone or that, if I do not respond, it is because I am not able to give a Biblical answer. Thank you.

Andrew said...

Hi Dr. Ross,

Great points. I agree with you.

To Dr. Jacoby, If you are reading this,

For Question 2, Can you please elaborate on the following sentence of yours: "Keep in mind that the apostles were Jewish; as long as they were faithful to the (old) covenant, they were right with God."

This sentence, so far beyond anything I've seen, seems to be taking extreme liberties to an unwarranted degree unless you are able to presently provide a passage of scripture on which to support this.

For Question 7, Did you fully take into account to the whole passage? In 1 Corinthians 1:17 baptism is contrasted with the gospel. You say that the gospel does not include baptism OR faith. If we are born again by the incorruptible word of God, then where does your idea begin that the gospel does not comprise that by which we are born again? If the gospel does not include any action, then why does the New Testament say that it is to be obeyed.

By the gospel, the word is preached unto us, and by this means we are born again. 1 Peter 1:23-25. Preaching of the gospel is contrasted with baptism in 1 Corinthians 1:17. If it is contrasted with it, then it is not the same as it. Therefore, the means by which we are born again are by the word preached unto us, and in obeying that gospel, which is contrasted with the act of baptizing 1 Corinthians 1:17.

KJB1611 said...

Thanks Andrew. I would be happy to hear any further responses from Dr. Jacoby or from people of his persuasion who might read these comments.

Anonymous said...

Is there significance to the fact that Dr. Jacoby seems to think repentance follows faith? It seems whenever he mentions repentance he does that. But in the Scriptures, best I can tell, repentance is always listed before faith.

QUESTION; Did the demons repent at the time they believed if faith/repentance are the same?
DJ: If you mean that faith and repentance are the same, they are not. It’s clear the demons don’t have saving faith. If they did, they would repent.

Is this something distinctive to COC people? I would expect repentance to be first since one turns from that which he's been focused on all along (sin) to that which will save him from it (Christ).

Just thinking out loud…

E. T. Chapman

KJB1611 said...

Dear Bro Chapman,

Thanks for pointing that out. If Dr. Jacoby wishes to respond, I will let him do that. My understanding is that since the COC thinks "faith" = "intellectual assent" it therefore takes place before repentance. If you think a set of facts are true they think (wrongly) that this is faith, except in the verses where eternal life is promised to faith; then faith = faith + repentance + baptism + perseverance to the end.

The constant Scriptural pattern of repentance + faith, not the other way around, is another place COC doctrine and Scripture clashes.

Thanks again.

Donald Norman said...

I too appreciate both of these men.

"Are the commands "repent" and "be baptized" directed to the same audience in Acts 2:38?"

It seems to me that, I'm certainly no language scholar, that Peter's statement must be considered in reference to the question being answered.
"When they heard this, they came under deep conviction and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: “Brothers, what must we do? ”
Acts 2:37 HCSB

Two items stand out to me. First, theses are faithful Jews and likely at least aquatinted with both John the Baptist and Jesus making baptisms and repentance common knowledge by all three associations. And now they have come to believe in Jesus, yet know that they still are lacking.
Secondly, by nature of repentance it is a personal decision and action; no one can do it for you. Baptism though is not a solitary event. An individual must humbly submit to be baptized by another.

This is my question: would Peter's response be more in keeping with the whole interaction rendered, "Each one of you repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins."?

Thomas Ross said...

Hello Donald, thanks for your question.

I may be unclear about exactly what you are asking, so if this was not your question, please pardon me. In Acts 2:38 "repent" is plural, so you would be better rendering the verse "Repent ye / you plural/ 'y'all'" and then "each one (3rd person singular) of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." "you/ye/y'all shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" at the end of the verse is also 2nd person plural.

The sense of the word "for" is "on account of" just like in Matthew 3:11, which would have been in the minds of the audience hearing Peter command Acts 2:38.

When you say that "they have come to believe in Jesus" before they have repented you are making an assumption not stated in the text. They have acknowledged certain facts about Jesus Christ, but that is not the same as believing on/in Him, which involves trusting surrender to Him as Lord. Repentance/belief take place at the same moment in time.

Please feel free to learn more at:

Thanks again.