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Thread: Baptism

  1. #1
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    Baptism

    A few days ago a friend and I were having a conversation about baptism and it's relevance to salvation. He holds to the opinion, as many do, that baptism is not a requirement for salvation. I on the other hand do not agree based on the following:

    Basically, according to scripture, there are two kinds of baptism. One being the baptism of the Spirit and the other baptism of water. Baptism of the Spirit was a promise made by Jesus and was an outward sign that God's eternal kingdom had begun to establish itself on earth. Seeing that the manifestation of the Holy Spirit occurred after Christ ascended into heaven it is clear, to me anyway, that if anything baptism of the Spirit is a result of the work of salvation.

    This means that there is only one baptism relative to salvation and that is baptism of water otherwise known as the baptism of John. This baptism had a specific purpose and it was not simply a gesture or an outward sign of our submission to Christ.

    Mar 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

    Luk 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

    Luk 7:29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.

    Interestingly enough in Luke 7:27 the word justified (dikaioō in the Greek) literally means to render just or innocent, to be righteous. This justification happened as a result of the baptism of John not simply in believing that Christ was who he said he was.

    Mat 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:

    Why did Jesus come to John for water baptism?

    Mat 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness

    Finally:

    Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    It seems to me that water baptism is far more than merely a gesture or an outward sign. It is a command by Jesus Himself:

    Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    I would like to know your opinions on this topic. I do ask however PLEASE DO NOT refer me to books or another's commentary. I am only interested in your personal opinions based on scriptural evidence.
    God Bless!

    Yours in Christ,
    Soldier4Him

  2. #2
    Acts 19:1 It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. 2 He said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they {said} to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." 3 And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Into John's baptism." 4 Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
    John's baptism could not bring the Holy Spirit. John said as much and so did Paul. Only Jesus Baptizes with the Holy Spirit. The commission which Paul was given by Jesus did not include water baptism:

    1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.
    It is doubtful that Paul could "thank God" he didn't water baptize people if it was part of God's Salvation Work. But he did. What you see is the reverse of what I see. Believers have received the Baptism into Christ's Death and have been raised to a new life via the Holy Spirit. Water baptism is an outward sign or testimony that it has happened inside of us.

  3. #3
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    To the best of my knowledge the Holy Spirit did not appear until after Christ had ascended into Heaven and even then there are only two recorded incidents of "baptism of the Spirit" in scripture. Also I believe it is important to note that only the Apostles that He (Jesus) had chosen and were baptized (the baptism of John) received the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1)

    Secondly the command by Jesus to baptize as recorded in Mat 28:19 was to the existing Apostles of which Paul was not one. It is clear that Paul's ministry was not geared around baptism. It is also clear that the ministry of the 12 was to preform the baptism of John (for the remission of sin) in the name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit was part of their ministry as set forth by Jesus Himself.

    Also for your consideration I'd like to add this:

    1Pe 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

    1Pe 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

    Peter is clearly using Noah and the flood to illustrate that God both cleansed and saved by water in the OT story and connects the OT to the NT through verse 21.

    I'm interested to know what scriptural evidence there is that states that water baptism is merely a gesture or an outward sign. The scripture that I have presented seems to indicate otherwise.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soldier4Him View Post
    1Pe 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

    Peter is clearly using Noah and the flood to illustrate that God both cleansed and saved by water in the OT story and connects the OT to the NT through verse 21.

    I'm interested to know what scriptural evidence there is that states that water baptism is merely a gesture or an outward sign. The scripture that I have presented seems to indicate otherwise.
    The verse you quoted above is proof that is it merely a symbol.

    The greek word for 'like figure' is antitupos, which means 'symbol'. This same greek word is used in Hebrews 11:17-19,

    "By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively (antitupos) speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.

    And in Hebrews 9:24, "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures (antitupos) of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:"

    It's also interesting to note that Noah and his family were saved by getting OUT of the water, not in it.

  5. #5
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    If we are going to get into word by word translation I believe we need to be more careful in our efforts.

    First of all the Greek word antitupos is not being used here. The word being used is antitupon which is a derivative of the words:

    anti -
    A primary particle; opposite, that is, instead or because of (rarely in addition to): - for, in the room of. Often used in composition to denote contrast, requital, substitution, correspondence, etc.

    and

    tupos - From G5180; a die (as struck), that is, (by implication) a stamp or scar; by analogy a shape, that is, a statue, (figuratively) style or resemblance; specifically a sampler (“type”), that is, a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning): - en- (ex-) ample,

    I'd esplain hO\ as relative pronoun (but with the entire notion of coming safely through the flood-waters by the ark as its antecedent) and also the subject of SWiZEI, and BAPTISMA as appositional to hO\ with ANTITUPON as predicative: "which now (baptism) brings you also safely through, as a corresponding item."BDAG has (s.v. ANTITUPOS):"In a compressed statement, with rescue through water as the dominant theme ὃ (i.e. hUDWR) KAI hUMAS ANTITUPON NUN SWiZEI BAPTISMA baptism correspondingly now saves you, i.e. the salvation of Noah and family via water (δι᾿ ὕδατος), which supported the ark, is the τύπος for the salutary function of the water {p. 91} of baptism 1 Pt 3:21. "

    A strict translation of this verse actually reads:

    And this prefigured baptism, which now saves you – not the washing off of physical dirt but the pledge of a good conscience to God – through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,


    According to Collins Essential American Dictonary (2nd Addition 1006) the word prefigured when being used as a verb means to represent or suggest in advance.

    I have to leave for work, I will finish this post when I can.

    Yours in Christ,

    Soldier4Him
    Last edited by Soldier4Him; Jul 3rd 2008 at 11:25 AM.

  6. #6
    I believe the baptism that 1 peter is referring to is the Baptism of the Cross, that saves you. There was a baptism in the water of Noah in that it cleansed the world. The water clearly did not save Noah and his family. The water is being referred to the work Christ accomplished on the cross. That is made available to us through our salvation, our baptism in Jesus Christ, believing on him. There are several clear examples of being people "baptized" in Christ which wasn't through the water baptism of John.

    Johns baptism was for people to believe in God to see their need for Christ. But it is the blood of Jesus that cleans us, that we receive forgiveness. Nobody received forgiveness of sins through water baptism that was never the intent.

    John baptized Jesus to reveal Him to Israel. That was the purpose of His baptism. All righteousness was not fulfilled until His death on the cross. A will (covenant) does not go into effect until there is a death.

  7. #7
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    I have a question, Soldier4Him.

    If someone repents and accepts Christ on their death bed - are they saved even though they have not gone through a water baptism?
    Or not?

  8. #8
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    Good Morning All,

    I will be a little busy this weekend and will be unable to participate in this discussion as much as I'd like. I thank you all for your opinions and hope to come to an understanding about this tenant of our faith.

    For the time being I would like to give my thoughts on your question Duane. My answer is of course not. That would make God merciless and we all know He is far from that. I understand the point you are trying to make. I have thought about that myself.

    My confusion seems to be coming from scriptures which state that the baptism of John (by water) is the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Also the scripture where Jesus commands baptism in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit. Even more difficult for me to rationalize away is Mat 3:11 where John states that he did baptize with water unto repentance. He continues to speak of the baptism of the Holy Spirit which in and of itself does not give you salvation but is the fruit of water baptism. It is not true that no one who was not baptized (the baptism of John) received the Holy Spirit? If I am correct in the the former, that fact alone makes water baptism more than a gesture. Salvation and water baptism are connected at the hip or so it seems. Pauline Christians were taught by Paul himself that they could not become Christians until they were water baptized. These teachings were perpetuated by Polycarp and Ireneaus in the 1st and 2nd centuries and later by Justin Martyr and Bishop Cyprain of Carthage. I do understand the symbolism behind water baptism, our crucifixion, burial and resurrection. It still seems to me that there is something more here than mere symbolism and gestures.

    Genesis - I would be interested in seeing the examples you speak of. Would you be so kind as to give me chapter and verse? All that I have managed to find thus far is baptism "in the name of Christ" which was also water baptism. (Acts 2:38)

    Please understand that I feel there is a clear and present danger here. I do not have all of the answers and it seems as though I have far more questions than answers on this topic. The way I see it is the bible is not open to interpretation and there is only one truth. I also know that even the elect will be deceived in these times so I am very cautious in what I accept as truth. After all the bible does tell us to prove all things and hold onto what is good. As for me personally I was baptized 15 years ago when I turned to Christ so either way I am covered. My concern is that I never teach false doctrine.

    I look forward to your input and thank you all in advance.

    God Bless

  9. #9
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    1. Your 1st, 2nd & 4th references mention 'repentance' as the key to forgiveness. Baptism is the outward expression of an inward repentance.

    2. What translation did you use for your 3rd reference? It doesn't seem to make your point. To me, that passage seems to describe John's baptism as preparatory for discipleship.

    3. Your 5th reference doesn't make your point since Jesus didn't need forgiveness in the first place. It seems to me His answer is saying being baptized was a righteous example.

    4. Not only is your 6th reference from a much disputed section of Mark, but it, once again, doesn't seem to make your point. It creates 2 categories: 1) Believers who have been baptized and 2) Unbelievers. This simply doesn't mention the small group of believers who are not baptized. Conversion and baptism were so linked (chronologically and symbollicly), that a lot of passages may sound like they are saying baptism is necessary when in fact it just reveals that baptism and conversion were largely inseparable in the early church.

    5. Your 7th reference is a verse with many interpretations. I, for example, think the water is referring to birth. We are born, and then we need to be 'born-again'. This perfectly fits the context of John 3:4+6.

    6. Your 8th reference is true. Baptism is a command of Christ. We should be baptized. But it simply does not follow that baptism is necessary for salvation. If missing the mark on a command of Christ equals no salvation, we are all going to miss the mark of heaven.

    In short, I don't think any of your references in your first post make your ultimate point.
    Last edited by matthew94; Jul 3rd 2008 at 03:40 PM.

  10. #10
    Soldier, I will try to give you feed back on all that I have found regarding baptism. It was of GREAT importance to me as I...have never been baptized. This scared the crud out of me when people kept saying you have to be baptized to truly be saved. I had never heard that before I came online. So, began an intensive study on my part of the subject.

    I am at peace with what I have concluded. I will try to give you all my reasons and be as thorough as possible. I don't always explain what I know in my head in writing very well so please ask questions any time you have them. It helps me clarify myself.

    I am typing on a laptop which is really hard for me so it takes me a while to type things. The keys keep sticking on me and I have to correct constantly argg! So I may post in bits and pieces. I have learned a great deal about this subject. And I believe God has revealed to me that I am His child despite having never been baptized.

    Just for the record please know this up front...I believe baptism is VERY important to a Christians life. Nothing I say is with the intent to lessen that. I do intend to get baptized as soon as I can.

    TBC...

  11. #11
    Firstly, to truly understand, for me, meant understanding the meaning of the words being used when describing baptism:

    Baptism:

    1. to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)
    2. to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one's self, bathe
    3. to overwhelm

    Repentance:
    the action or process of repenting especially for misdeeds or moral shortcomings

    Remission:

    1. release from bondage or imprisonment
    2. forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed), remission of the penalty

    Secondly, for me, was to define how many baptisms there are in the bible. I have found 7 major baptisms:
    4 dry baptisms:
    The Baptism of Moses
    The Baptism of the Cross
    Baptism of the Holy Spirit
    Baptism of Fire

    3 wet baptisms:
    The Baptism of John the Baptist
    The Water Baptism of Jesus
    The Believers Baptism

    Baptisms are not NT only. They were ceremonial washings in the OT performed all the time as well as baptisms from God in various ways.

    To understand why baptism was used in the NT I sought to find out what the purpose was. I began with John, of course, to determine what is mission or purpose was. This is what I found:
    From the end of the OT to the beginning of the NT there was 400 years of silence. The people had become very corrupt during this time. Many were serving false gods, idols. There was a great deal of corruption in the area of sinning, i.e. adultery etc. They had become "crooked". John's purpose was to prepare the way of the Lord.

    John 3: 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:

    The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

    Prepare the way of the LORD;
    Make His paths straight."

    It was to prepare the people, Jews specifically as baptism was not for Gentiles, to receive Jesus. The way of the Lord, was Jesus. First believing in God, second, what God says, third, that Jesus is His Son, fourth, believing in Jesus, and fifth, believing on Jesus. However, Jesus had not yet been revealed. Even John was unsure of who He was until during Jesus' baptism the dove, Holy Spirit, rested upon Him. (John 1:31) John first preached to the people to get them to recognize how sinful they had become and their need to repent of those sins. And for those worshiping false god's to come to a recognition and belief in God. We can't come to Jesus until we first believe in God and what He says about His Son.

    TBC...




  12. #12

    Baptism as a requirement

    If I may I would rather not give my own opinion. I just want to use Scripture with just a small bit of explanation afterwards.

    Mark 16:16 Jesus said "He who believes and is baptized will be saved." Jesus is saying believing is not enough. Baptism is also required. This is because baptism is salvific, not just symbolic.

    Acts 9:18 Paul, even though he was directly chosen by Christ and immediately converted to Christianity, still had to be baptized to be forgiven his sin. This whole story is a bit long to write here, but then I don't think it would be necessary. The conversion of Paul and his baptism demonstrates the salvific efficacy of water baptism, even for those who decide to give their lives to Christ.

    Acts 22:16 Ananias tells Paul, "arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins," even though Paul was converted directly by Jesus. This proves that Paul's acceptance of Jesus as personal Lord and Savior was not enough to be forgiven of his sin and saved. Baptism is still required.

    There are quite a few other Scriptures which can be used to show that the above is correct, however, everyone of them leaves room for a person's opinion to change its meaning. Therefore I'm just sticking to the few which, as far as I can see, cannot be changed by a difference of opinion.


    Beantown

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beantown View Post
    Mark 16:16 Jesus said "He who believes and is baptized will be saved." Jesus is saying believing is not enough. Baptism is also required. This is because baptism is salvific, not just symbolic.
    "He who believes and lives in Kansas will be saved."

    Mark 16:16 is not saying you have to believe and be baptized to be saved, it's simply saying that all who do believe and are baptized will be saved. In the same way that all people who believe and live in Kansas will also be saved. And maybe you should look at the second half of the verse and tell me what it says. Any mention of baptism?

  14. #14
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    Belief and faith in God was all it took for Cornelius, his family, and all his friends to be saved and to prove it to Simon Peter, he witnessed them all receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit BEFORE their water baptism... Acts 10.
    Slug1--out

    ~Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,~

    ~Honestly, the pain of persecution lets you KNOW you are still alive... IN Christ!~

    ~Colossians 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.~


    ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~


  15. #15
    Every time we see the word baptize, baptism, baptized it does not always refer to water. You can be immersed in Christ and not be immersed in water. For example:

    The Baptism of the Cross:
    Isa 53:4-6
    1 Peter 2:24
    2 Cor 5:21
    Mk 10:35-39 (cp Mt 20:20-23
    specifically v.38
    38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

    Jesus was not referring to His baptism in water. Jesus is asking them, 'Can you suffer on the cross for the sins of the whole world, become totally immersed in the evil of the world - for the sake of righteousness?' Here He is talking about a baptism which is about to come upon Him, that He is to experience.

    The cup refers to the cup of suffering. The cup being made of sin. cp Isa 53:4-6 He who knew no sin became sin for us in order to pay for the sins of the whole world. So the Father's wrath would fall upon the Son as He bore the sins of the world.

    Jesus is here identified, is baptized, with our sins. And He is identified with those sins in His work on the cross. The evil of the world, its sins and even the evil of human originated "good" (actions done for "good" which are outside of the sovereignty of God) are placed upon Him so that He was actually immersed in evil. Christ was identified with the cross which represented the penalty for the sins of the whole world.

    There are three that bear witness: 1 John 5:8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. When Jesus died His side was pierced. This was significant. John 19:34-35

    34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe.

    The work necessary for salvation was complete on the cross. All three elements present, the Holy Spirit, the water, and the blood. It is God's testimony. Which when we believe cleanses our hearts, testifies to our consciences, forgives us our sins, sets us free from bondage, reconciles us to God, and releases us from the penalty of death. It is all done, once for all. No more is the obeying of sins, cleansing from water ceremonies, atoning from blood of sacrifices, being circumcised required. It was all covered.

    Water baptism is our witness to men that this has occurred in our lives, believing on Him is our witness before God. it is important that we reveal our witness to God before men to show others it is the Truth.

    When we become born again we are born of the water and Spirit.
    John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
    The water is the Word, Jesus, the gospel. The washing of the water of the word, and belief in God the Father and His Son.
    The Spirit is the seal of the covenant we receive through our Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
    Eph 1:13
    13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

    Eph 5:26
    26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
    Hebrews 10:22
    22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
    1 Peter 3:21
    21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

    The pure water is the spring of living waters, Jesus, eternal life. The baptism that saves is not the washing of the body but the washing done by Jesus, the water, through the hearing and believing of the gospel, who is the gospel, the word, or as in the water which washed the world from sin and evil in Noah's case, it is the answer of a good conscience, our believing on Him, the washing through His water and blood of us done on the cross.

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