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  • Is Baptism an outward sign of an inward change?

    Is baptism and outward sign of an inward change or conversion? This question came up in another thread, because I had stated that baptism is not an outward sign of an inward change. What do I mean by such a statement? Before I answer this question I would like your input with Scripture support.

    Many Blessings,
    RW

  • #2
    Well, I suppose I would begin with Jesus' own baptism by John the Baptist.

    Matt. 3:15
    Jesus, replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do that to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.

    That says to me that the act of baptism is the completion of one's transformation in Christ, hence the word "all", not some, righteousness. Jesus followed God's instructions and in verse 17 God was, "well pleased".

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by lilwrangler View Post
      Well, I suppose I would begin with Jesus' own baptism by John the Baptist.

      Matt. 3:15
      Jesus, replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do that to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.

      That says to me that the act of baptism is the completion of one's transformation in Christ, hence the word "all", not some, righteousness. Jesus followed God's instructions and in verse 17 God was, "well pleased".

      Except it was at the beginning of his ministry. Baptism goes back to at least Sinai.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Emanate View Post
        Except it was at the beginning of his ministry. Baptism goes back to at least Sinai.
        Okay but how does that address the question at hand?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RogerW View Post
          Is baptism and outward sign of an inward change or conversion? This question came up in another thread, because I had stated that baptism is not an outward sign of an inward change. What do I mean by such a statement? Before I answer this question I would like your input with Scripture support.

          Many Blessings,
          RW
          Could you define what you mean by "sign"? Do you mean in the Platonist sense?
          Blessings,

          Road Warrior


          Proverbs 4:23
          23 Guard your heart above all else,
          for it determines the course of your life.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by lilwrangler View Post
            Well, I suppose I would begin with Jesus' own baptism by John the Baptist.

            Matt. 3:15
            Jesus, replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do that to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.

            That says to me that the act of baptism is the completion of one's transformation in Christ, hence the word "all", not some, righteousness. Jesus followed God's instructions and in verse 17 God was, "well pleased".
            Greetings Lilwrangler,

            Welcome to the community!

            “To fulfill all righteousness” is speaking of the righteous work Christ was given from the Father to finish. Christ came to fulfill all the requirements of the law, and a righteousness of which the law was only a part. The precept of God through John’s baptism was not part of the Mosaic law, but a precept given to John (Jo 1:33), and a command Christ Himself left us with. Christ must fulfill the divinely appointed precept confirming He is the Messiah. This verse shows us Christ has fulfilled all righteousness, but it does not show us the completion of one’s transformation in Christ. How could water baptism be this transforming power, since John has already told us his water baptism merely symbolized repentance, but One mightier than John will baptize with the Holy Spirit and power? It is not water baptism that transforms us, but Holy Spirit baptism, which Christ alone provides.

            Mt 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
            Mt 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

            If water baptism is an outward sign of an inward conversion, why isn’t everyone who has been baptized in water saved? Have you ever considered water baptism, like circumcision in the OT as a sign pointing us to something greater?

            Many Blessings,
            RW

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RogerW View Post
              If water baptism is an outward sign of an inward conversion, why isn’t everyone who has been baptized in water saved? Have you ever considered water baptism, like circumcision in the OT as a sign pointing us to something greater?

              Many Blessings,
              RW
              Because they received the baptism of the spirit upon their profession of faith. Which comes before their baptism in water. To be baptised in water is simply the follow up of the profession as instructed.

              I'm not real sure I see what you're saying here. Sounds almost like the cart got put before the horse somewhere.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by lilwrangler View Post
                Because they received the baptism of the spirit upon their profession of faith. Which comes before their baptism in water. To be baptised in water is simply the follow up of the profession as instructed.

                I'm not real sure I see what you're saying here. Sounds almost like the cart got put before the horse somewhere.
                Greetings lilwrangler,

                How do you explain all those baptized in the Jordan by John prior to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? Most of these later showed their true hearts when they cried "crucify Him". Consider Paul's question to the disciples in Ephesus. They had received John's baptism, but they had not yet received the Holy Spirit. These examples don't appear to harmonize with what you have stated.

                Ac 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
                Ac 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.

                Paul again makes a distinction between John's baptism of repentance, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit through the name of the Lord Jesus.

                Ac 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
                Ac 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
                Ac 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

                Many Blessings,
                RW

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RoadWarrior View Post
                  Could you define what you mean by "sign"? Do you mean in the Platonist sense?
                  A sign or symbol is something that points to something, but it is not the something it points to...rather it symbolizes the true. Consider the sign of circumcision given to Abraham. Circumcision is the sign of covenant inclusion and symbolizes the circumcision made without hands; i.e. salvation.

                  De 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

                  Ro 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
                  Ro 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

                  Many Blessings,
                  RW

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm still waiting for the answer too. I have long respected those who believe Baptism is an important part of their faith expression. Even attend a Baptist church... But I get annoyed at the statement "Outward sign of inner reality" or similar phrase. i can't find it in the Bible.

                    If you believe Baptism saves then the phrase is silly (This thread isnt about that so dont respond to that statement)

                    If you don't believe in baptismal regeneration (This thread isn't about that either) why practice baptism at all unless there is some other specific meaning in the Bible?

                    If there is a Biblical reason, then why not quote that rather than the "outward sign" quote that is too often used?

                    I am not trying to bait or annoy. I am sincere in wanting understanding.
                    Dragonfighter1
                    Vivo est Ministro

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dragonfighter1 View Post
                      I'm still waiting for the answer too. I have long respected those who believe Baptism is an important part of their faith expression. Even attend a Baptist church... But I get annoyed at the statement "Outward sign of inner reality" or similar phrase. i can't find it in the Bible.

                      If you believe Baptism saves then the phrase is silly (This thread isnt about that so dont respond to that statement)

                      If you don't believe in baptismal regeneration (This thread isn't about that either) why practice baptism at all unless there is some other specific meaning in the Bible?

                      If there is a Biblical reason, then why not quote that rather than the "outward sign" quote that is too often used?

                      I am not trying to bait or annoy. I am sincere in wanting understanding.
                      Greetings Dragonfighter,

                      Do you believe in covenant continuity? In other words do you believe that the Covenant of Redemption in one covenant extending from the beginning of human history and lasting until time is no more? The real question I'm persuing is...do you believe God made one covenant with the nation of Israel, and then another (altogether different) covenant with the New Testament church?

                      I ask these questions because I believe Scripture shows us that the Covenant of Redemption is an everlasting covenant, and that circumcision was a sign (not the true) of God's salvation, and water baptism has replaced circumcision as a sign (just like circumcision, not the true) pointing to the Holy Spirit baptism that saves.

                      Since you come from a Baptist background this is probably all new to you, so please feel free to ask how I came to this understanding...if you want to know.

                      Many Blessings,
                      RW

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                        Greetings Dragonfighter,

                        Do you believe in covenant continuity? In other words do you believe that the Covenant of Redemption in one covenant extending from the beginning of human history and lasting until time is no more? The real question I'm persuing is...do you believe God made one covenant with the nation of Israel, and then another (altogether different) covenant with the New Testament church?

                        I ask these questions because I believe Scripture shows us that the Covenant of Redemption is an everlasting covenant, and that circumcision was a sign (not the true) of God's salvation, and water baptism has replaced circumcision as a sign (just like circumcision, not the true) pointing to the Holy Spirit baptism that saves.

                        Since you come from a Baptist background this is probably all new to you, so please feel free to ask how I came to this understanding...if you want to know.

                        Many Blessings,
                        RW
                        If we can discuss this in this thread without getting flagged I'd love to.

                        Never heard of covenant continuity

                        3.5 yrs Baptists college but not a baptist myself. Baptised By Jerry Falwell, but not a baptist. Not that I reject that Baptism it just I no longer see water Baptism as meaningful. Holy Spirit Baptism (I do not mean tongues etc... thats a different thread entirely) is the only Baptism that saves. We are sealed by the spirit until the day of redemption.

                        In the covenant thing I would love to learn more. Let me give you my read on dispensationalism... and I am tongue in cheek here. Some say there are 2 disps, some say 7(scofield school) some say 12 (GGF school) I am hyper dispensational I say there are millions: EVERYWORD that proceeds form Gods mouth to us is "Dispensed" either to us or for us to learn from.

                        I believe that many dispensations run out of sequence, such as the dietary ones which seem to pay little attention to the law and grace issues of covenants and so forth.

                        I look forward to you first framing the direction of the discussion,, so we stay on track and, also, setting the guidleines for the scope of subject matter. This will help other readers participate without getting ofcourse too often.
                        Thanks
                        DF1
                        Dragonfighter1
                        Vivo est Ministro

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For reference, I grew up in a PCA reformed faith Presbyterian Church where infants are baptized. I am no longer affiliated with the PCA, but do currently attend a Baptist Church....

                          Now you asked for verses:

                          Romans 6:1-

                          "1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
                          5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 nd do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace."


                          I put the WHole context of that a section from Romans. Clearly Paul is using Baptism as a means to show how we as Christians identify with Christ, having been made dead to sin, and resurrected to righteousness.

                          Colossians 2:11-14
                          "11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
                          13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

                          Yet another example where paul compares Baptism to being compared and linked to the death of Christ, his burial etc. And this one links circumcision to it as well.

                          I think baptism is a sign of obedience, and I believe that if you look through scripture you will see that believers are told to believe in Christ and then be baptized. The order to me is important. In the passage above Peter told that group to beleive on the Lord Jesus and baptized them, and then they received the Holy Spirit.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Veretax View Post
                            For reference, I grew up in a PCA reformed faith Presbyterian Church where infants are baptized. I am no longer affiliated with the PCA, but do currently attend a Baptist Church....

                            Now you asked for verses:

                            Romans 6:1-

                            "1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
                            5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 nd do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace."


                            I put the WHole context of that a section from Romans. Clearly Paul is using Baptism as a means to show how we as Christians identify with Christ, having been made dead to sin, and resurrected to righteousness.

                            Colossians 2:11-14
                            "11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
                            13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

                            Yet another example where paul compares Baptism to being compared and linked to the death of Christ, his burial etc. And this one links circumcision to it as well.

                            I think baptism is a sign of obedience, and I believe that if you look through scripture you will see that believers are told to believe in Christ and then be baptized. The order to me is important. In the passage above Peter told that group to beleive on the Lord Jesus and baptized them, and then they received the Holy Spirit.
                            Veretax,
                            You and I usually have some pretty intense debates. But we have yet to offend. That said. I DO NOT wish this post to do that either.

                            I think every one of your verses is valid except they aren't speaking of water. They are speaking of the sealing of the spirit (without hands) so to speak.

                            To amplify: the word baptize could not be agreed to by the early English translators, so they agreed to disagree on the best word to use, by transliterating the word from Greek (Baptidzo). In the original it had so many meanings it was almost contextual every time as to which meaning was valid.(as you can imagine that set up for a lot of fights every time they ran into the word).

                            It has meant:
                            Washing dishes
                            dying cloths
                            changing in status
                            immersion
                            washing
                            cleansing
                            cleaning
                            changing
                            identifying with
                            and many others that are determined contextually.

                            There are definitely passages that mean WATER or require WATER. But there are also many that dont.

                            I look forward to your response. Please be assured I will read carefully and repond respectfully.
                            Dragonfighter1
                            Vivo est Ministro

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dragonfighter1 View Post
                              If we can discuss this in this thread without getting flagged I'd love to.

                              Never heard of covenant continuity

                              3.5 yrs Baptists college but not a baptist myself. Baptised By Jerry Falwell, but not a baptist. Not that I reject that Baptism it just I no longer see water Baptism as meaningful. Holy Spirit Baptism (I do not mean tongues etc... thats a different thread entirely) is the only Baptism that saves. We are sealed by the spirit until the day of redemption.

                              In the covenant thing I would love to learn more. Let me give you my read on dispensationalism... and I am tongue in cheek here. Some say there are 2 disps, some say 7(scofield school) some say 12 (GGF school) I am hyper dispensational I say there are millions: EVERYWORD that proceeds form Gods mouth to us is "Dispensed" either to us or for us to learn from.

                              I believe that many dispensations run out of sequence, such as the dietary ones which seem to pay little attention to the law and grace issues of covenants and so forth.

                              I look forward to you first framing the direction of the discussion,, so we stay on track and, also, setting the guidleines for the scope of subject matter. This will help other readers participate without getting ofcourse too often.
                              Thanks
                              DF1
                              Greetings DF1,

                              I don't want to overwhelm anyone, so I'll try to present this is small bites. Teaching on Covenant Theology is probably the most neglected doctrine in the church today. Much of the information here comes from John P. Sartelle

                              I believe that every doctrine has its roots in the OT. If you want to understand the doctrine of sin, you must begin with Genesis. To understand the beauty of the cross, you must read the Law and the Prophets. Likewise, to learn about baptism, you must begin in the OT.

                              In Romans 4 Paul explains that Abraham's salvation was by God's grace and through faith. "Abraham believed [had faith] God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness" (Gen 15:6; Ro 4:9). Just as we are sinners saved by grace through faith, he too was a sinner saved by grace through faith.

                              In Gen 17:7 God calls this saving relationship an "everlasting covenant" - a covenant of redemption from generation to generation. God gave Abraham a sign or symbol to mark that covenant relationship. He said that Abraham was to be circumcised, and this circumcison was to be a sign of the covenant of salvation: "And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you" (Gen 17:11).

                              Circumcision was a sign of God's salvation to Abraham. Why did God choose circumcision? In Isaiah 52:1, the words "uncircumcised" and "unclean" are synonymous. It seems we can say that God used this sign of cleanliness to symbolize spiritual cleansing (Deu 30:6). Any outsider coming into Israel (covenant body) was to be circumcised, believing in the God of Abraham (Ex 12:48).

                              Passages in the OT so closely identify the sign with the real event that God actually uses the word circumcision instead of salvation. The saved person or community is called "circumcised"; the unsaved person or community is called "uncircumcised" (Isa 52:1; Eze 44:9; 1Sam 14:6).

                              From this should we assume that circumcision saves the individual? No! Abraham was saved by faith, not by circumcision. Yet God commanded circumcision as a sign of salvation: "...and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith" (Ro 4:11).

                              You're probably thinking...okay, circumcision was the sign of salvation in the OT. Duh...what does that have to do with baptism in the NT?

                              Well Genesis 17 tells us that God commands Abraham to apply the sign of salvation to eight day old infants. How could the sign of salvation be applied to an infant who had not yet believed? "...and every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations" (Gen 17:12).

                              For now, consider:
                              • Abraham was a sinner saved by grace through faith.
                              • God made circumcision a sign of salvation.
                              • The sign of salvation was to be given to infants of believing parents.
                              Something to think about: What is the sign of covenant inclusion, and salvation in the NT? Since God is unchanging, who would receive the sign?

                              Many Blessings,
                              RW

                              Comment

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