R. L. Whiteside
So far as the record shows, the apostles never told sinners that they must be born again, or that they must be created. To sinners, they said, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).
There is one truth which is necessary to observe in studying the Bible, which denominational preachers never seem to learn, and that is, that commands are given in plain unfigurative language, but conditions and relationships are expressed in highly figurative language.
No inspired man ever commanded an inquiring sinner to become a branch of the vine, or to become a sheep, or to become a child of God by being born again, or to become a member of the Lord’s body, or to become an epistle of Christ, or to be a graft, but these terms are all applied to Christians. Figures of speech abound in the epistles, but if you want to read what inspired men, in plain unfigurative language, told sinners to do, read the book of Acts.
Figures of speech abound in many speeches Jesus made, but there is no figurative language in the commands He gave the apostles in the Great Commission. Yet people will turn away from the plain commands and promises of Jesus and His apostles, and hang their hopes of heaven on fanciful interpretations of figures of speech.
These figures of speech enlarge the views of the Christian and comfort him in his struggles and trials, but no figure of speech tells a sinner what to do to be saved.
Think on these things.