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Thread: How necessary Baptism?

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  1. #1
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    How necessary Baptism?

    Baptism is a ritual, and only a symbolic demonstration of a Salvation we obtain *before* Water Baptism. Water Baptism symbolizes, as a public proclamation, the Spirit Baptism within.

    As such, Water Baptism is not an essential part of Salvation, but only a public confession, telling the world in which we lived that we are no longer living that way, but rather, living according to Christ. Water Baptism was not the essential thing. Inward change was the essential thing. Water Baptism was only an external testimony to the public that we had *already been saved.*

    Baptism is not necessary for salvation. Why did Jesus tell us to do it? It was a reasonable way to publicly proclaim our initiation into the Christian Faith. Jesus wanted us to not just declare our salvation--he wanted us to publicly declare it in an open ritual--not as if the ritual was necessary, but only as one means of showing the world our change of heart.


    Salvation has always been a matter of faith. If not, then all the people who ever lived before Christian Baptism are damned! But Christian Baptism is a testimony to the world of a different way of living that ensures Salvation, through faith in Christ and in a new way of life.


    Those who believe in Christ, and who demonstrate a new way of life, will be saved. This means that all those whose faith saved them, and make their Christianity a public proclamation through water baptism, will also be saved. This means that all those whose faith saved them, get baptized, and live a Christian life, as opposed to the ways of the world, will be saved.


    The ritual of Baptism is not a necessary ingredient in Salvation. It is just the recommended ritual Jesus advocated in his time, to testify to the world a message he wanted the world to hear. It was important in its time, due to the preparatory work John the Baptist had done, to promote repentance.


    Repentance is still an important precursor to embracing Christian Salvation. But Salvation comes not by Water Baptism, but rather, by Spirit Baptism, which is what Water Baptism represents. It is accepting Christ by faith, and by making the associated internal changes conducive to Christian living.

    Water Baptism is purely ritual--just one means of proclaiming our faith--and not necessary for Salvation. Christian Salvation is strictly internal and by faith. Once Christianity has been established in the heart by *Spirit Baptism,* then Christianity may be demonstrated outwardly in a variety of ways--by good works, by public testimonials, by baptism, by catechism, by going to Bible School, by participating in Christian forums. The important thing is that we have Christ living on the inside, and that we make that commitment permanent!

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    Re: How necessary Baptism?

    After we have been saved/born again water baptism is an act of obedience that illustrates the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and our death to sin and our old self and our new life in Christ.

    It's not just a suggestion that one should be baptized it was an ordinance that Christ Himself instituted for The Church.

    At the same time it is not a requirement for salvation. If one is imprisoned or oppressed and unable to be baptized can they not still come to Christ and be born again/saved? Of course they can!
    If any oppose this simple statement show me Scriptural proof - in context - that states otherwise.


    If one doesn't have any restrictions and can be freely baptized is there any excuse not to do it? Nope. No excuse whatsoever.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
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    Re: How necessary Baptism?

    My personal experience in baptism was that I was baptized at a young age after hearing about Jesus and then wanting to be saved. I genuinely felt God speak to me and draw me but there was no genuine surrender. I know this because as soon as I got old enough to do what I wanted to do, I did it. I was the poster boy for worldly living. Fast forward to my late 20's. I am a heavy drinker with a massive amount of issues, with pent up anger and resentment being one of them. I am married to a genuine believer who lives it and as we begin our family I know there is something that has to give in my life. I end up going to church with her and seeking the God that spoke to me in my childhood and then was saved.

    So here is the point. God made it abundantly clear to me that I should be baptized. My reaction ? What is everyone going to think ? I've already done that. It really doesn't save you etc. But then why does God keep telling me to do it ? I know now that I am genuinely saved, after all. So why should I do it ?

    Because God told me to through His word. ..So I did. When I was baptized God opened doors that otherwise would have stayed closed and there is no one on planet earth that could convince me otherwise. Did it save me ? No. Did it help in my sanctification ? Yes. I grew. I learned to put what other people think to the side and to simply obey.

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    Re: How necessary Baptism?

    I genuinely respect the responses so far. Let me just reiterate that Baptism is a ritual that is supposed to *follow* a complete surrender to Christ. It is symbolic of our commitment to Christ, and is intended to show our Christian Family and the outside world that we are going in a new direction. Nothing about this saves us. It is just a recommended initiation ritual.

    Did Jesus tell his apostles to baptize? Yes. Did those same apostles tell future generations of the church to baptize? That is debatable.

    I personally think the teaching of Baptism was largely focused on the 1st generation of the church, with implications that it may apply in the future as well. Virtually all of the NT baptisms took place not in the future sense, but in the then-present apostolic sense in the 1st generation of the church.

    John the Baptist was focused on his own generation, preparing them for Christ through repentance. Water Baptism indicated that, and certainly was not a necessary act. It was a public declaration of change, from the corrupt practices of that generation to adopting true obedience to the Law.

    Far from promoting obedience under the Law, Christian Baptism promotes repentance following a failed system of Law, inviting repentance from all sin, whether failure under the Law or outright paganism. Future generations repent through Christ, but are "washing away sins" in a great variety of contexts.

    Baptism still works to show this public repentance. But it isn't essential, in my opinion. It is just advisable.

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    Re: How necessary Baptism?

    I genuinely respect the responses so far. Let me just reiterate that Baptism is a ritual that is supposed to *follow* a complete surrender to Christ. It is symbolic of our commitment to Christ, and is intended to show our Christian Family and the outside world that we are going in a new direction. Nothing about this saves us. It is just a recommended initiation ritual.
    I would ask you to define what you mean by ritual ? I don't see it as such. I see Christ Himself being the example of it and also see the command from the apostles for those who have been saved to do so.

    Did Jesus tell his apostles to baptize? Yes. Did those same apostles tell future generations of the church to baptize? That is debatable.
    The Great Commission is not debatable. It's deniable, but not debatable.

    I personally think the teaching of Baptism was largely focused on the 1st generation of the church, with implications that it may apply in the future as well. Virtually all of the NT baptisms took place not in the future sense, but in the then-present apostolic sense in the 1st generation of the church.
    They set the example for the church to follow long after the first generation. My question would be "What changed" ? If baptism isn't applicable today then where, why , and how did the command change ?

    John the Baptist was focused on his own generation, preparing them for Christ through repentance. Water Baptism indicated that, and certainly was not a necessary act. It was a public declaration of change, from the corrupt practices of that generation to adopting true obedience to the Law.
    Yes ? But this doesn't negate baptism for us today. In fact , it should reinforce it.
    Far from promoting obedience under the Law, Christian Baptism promotes repentance following a failed system of Law, inviting repentance from all sin, whether failure under the Law or outright paganism. Future generations repent through Christ, but are "washing away sins" in a great variety of contexts.
    Baptism is not only representative of washing of sins, it's also identification with Christ and his body.

    Baptism still works to show this public repentance. But it isn't essential, in my opinion. It is just advisable.
    A lot of things aren't essential, but advisable. No , it doesn't save. But my question to someone who is not fearing for their lives due to persecution would be .... Why not ? Christ set the example - the apostles followed it and so should we.

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    Re: How necessary Baptism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pbminimum View Post
    I would ask you to define what you mean by ritual ? I don't see it as such. I see Christ Himself being the example of it and also see the command from the apostles for those who have been saved to do so.
    A religious act that is repeated in churches as part of the regular initiation ceremony for the novice. It was performed by a novice wanting recognition as a new member of the Christian community and signaling to the outside world of that intent. That's exactly what it is. Christ performed it as part of the ritual initiated by John the Baptist, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Thus, Christ sanctioned the call of John the Baptist, particularly as his advance messenger, and embraced his ceremonies of Baptism as a legitimate means of identifying the penitents in Israel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pbminimum
    The Great Commission is not debatable. It's deniable, but not debatable.
    Who's debating the Great Commission? What is "debatable" is whether Jesus advocated Baptism as an everlasting, or continuing, practice as an essential part of salvation rituals. Two of Protestantism's salvation rituals, or sacraments, are Communion and Baptism--not in that order. I don't consider any of the Sacraments an essential part of Salvation. They were certainly practiced in Jesus' generation, at the founding of the Jewish Church, and in the initial generation in which the apostles founded the Gentile Church. But it is *debatable* whether Jesus meant Baptism to continue on as a regular ritual in the history of the Church. It is debatable *to me.*

    Quote Originally Posted by Pbminimum
    They set the example for the church to follow long after the first generation. My question would be "What changed" ? If baptism isn't applicable today then where, why , and how did the command change ?
    What changed about Baptism is that the instructions about Baptism applied to the 1st Generation, and not necessarily thereafter. It may have set a precedent, or not. It certainly has been practiced throughout Church History.

    And yet there has been historical debate over what the essentials of Salvation are, and whether they include the Sacraments. My conviction is that since Salvation does not require any rituals associated with Christianity, including Communion and Baptism, it is a matter of personal choice as to whether they are engaged in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pbminimum
    Yes ? But this doesn't negate baptism for us today. In fact , it should reinforce it.
    No, the fact John the Baptist ministered what we call "John's Baptism" only in a single generation indicates that a baptismal ministry may have relevance only for the current generation. On the same token, Christian Baptism may have been applied in the 1st generation of the Church only as symbolic of Spirit Baptism, which in my theology is spiritual conversion, or Salvation. (Note: as a Pentecostal with differences of opinion, I do *not* see Spirit Baptism as a 2nd or 3rd act of Grace, but rather, as genuine spiritual conversion, as opposed to strictly intellectual assent to the Gospel.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pbminimum
    Baptism is not only representative of washing of sins, it's also identification with Christ and his body.
    Exactly, it *represents* these things symbolically. Water Baptism symbolizes Spirit Baptism. It is Sprit Baptism that washes away sins when we are spiritually identified with and united with Christ.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pbminimum
    A lot of things aren't essential, but advisable. No , it doesn't save. But my question to someone who is not fearing for their lives due to persecution would be .... Why not ? Christ set the example - the apostles followed it and so should we.
    I don't have a problem with Baptism, in history or now. It's a good practice. The only concern I have is when people think the ritual is supposed to be something magical, with the Spirit descending on them to gift them spiritual gifts. The act of Baptism is itself an act of consecration, and a public confession. It is the express determination to follow Christ, and not the world. We receive Christ spiritually at Salvation, and not at Baptism. There is no magic to the ritual. It is a public statement--that's all! It has nothing to do with Salvation itself.

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    Re: How necessary Baptism?

    Who's debating the Great Commission? What is "debatable" is whether Jesus advocated Baptism as an everlasting, or continuing, practice as an essential part of salvation rituals. Two of Protestantism's salvation rituals, or sacraments, are Communion and Baptism--not in that order. I don't consider any of the Sacraments an essential part of Salvation. They were certainly practiced in Jesus' generation, at the founding of the Jewish Church, and in the initial generation in which the apostles founded the Gentile Church. But it is *debatable* whether Jesus meant Baptism to continue on as a regular ritual in the history of the Church. It is debatable *to me.*
    It's debatable ? I don't see it as such. There is nowhere in Mathew 28 that suggests it should stop with the apostles. In fact it says teaching others ALL of the things I have taught you.. passing it forward - forever.

    What changed about Baptism is that the instructions about Baptism applied to the 1st Generation, and not necessarily thereafter. It may have set a precedent, or not. It certainly has been practiced throughout Church History.
    It has set a precedent for those who believe the command. And if it weren't for these people that God has given this commission to , and then received with intent to follow it - the church wouldn't exist. People who neglect the churches responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission have nothing to do with the advancement, and truthfully, the continuance of the church.

    The day is here and now when those churches who no longer see the need to reach their neighbor and the world will cease to exist. I see churches in my county every year closing their doors because of this very reason. Our association is attempting "church revitalization" gimmicks to no avail, and honestly until these folks understand what the great commission is, then that congregation needs to cease to exist in the hopes that they will have to unite with a body who does understand it. But from what I've seen , those who refuse to go and tell - then disciple and baptize, would rather not gather at all than be a part of something that they have refused to participate in for 50 years. And they will be the first to complain about the state of their neighborhood and nation.

    And brother, I'm not insinuating you are one of these... I just am passionate about this topic, and I assure you, I know what I'm talking about here.

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    Re: How necessary Baptism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pbminimum View Post
    It's debatable ? I don't see it as such. There is nowhere in Mathew 28 that suggests it should stop with the apostles. In fact it says teaching others ALL of the things I have taught you.. passing it forward - forever.
    It could be. What I read is that Jesus is speaking primarily to his 11 disciples, giving them an apostolic mission with a specific goal to reach their own generation--not just in Israel but also in all nations. In his Olivet Discourse Jesus had already told them that his Gospel had to be preached in all the world. At that time, all the world was the Roman Empire, and the focus of the message was on Israel exclusively.

    But we can look back now and recognize that Jesus was preparing his Disciples for an apostolic mission that would begin in Israel, and eventually expand to the Gentiles. So what was their specific mission and what was the general mission of the historic church? I don't know exactly, and so I'm asking the question.

    What I'm specifically questioning is not the Great Commission as a goal to prepare the whole world for the 2nd Coming, but rather, how much was to be relegated to the 1st century and how much to the rest of Christian history? The preaching of the Gospel obviously is something God intended to continue until the end of the age. But Baptism appears to be an add on to the central message, which was the Gospel of the Kingdom.

    The reason I ask this question is for 2 reasons. One, Baptism is sometimes promoted as part of the Gospel message, which it is not. I think the notion of Baptismal Regeneration is very confusing in our day, and creates confusion over what the Gospel exactly is. Is Baptism a necessary part of our Salvation? No.

    The 2nd reason I ask this question is because we are often taught that what Jesus specifically said to his 12 Disciples are equally and exactly applicable to today's Christian ministers. This is wrong. Similar things are done, but certainly not the exact same things. Do you have only one suitcase, and go to only one house in a city? No.

    We read in Matt 10 of the things Jesus said his 12 Disciples would experience. These things are not exactly applicable to today's ministers, although in principle they can still apply. Perhaps today Christ's ministers preach the Gospel, and get similar persecution? Or perhaps, a new country opens wide its doors to the Gospel's acceptance?

    Do you have the same degree of miracles taking place today as in the Apostles' day? You have some, but probably not as many miracles as done in Jesus' time. The "greater work we shall do" was not the performing of greater miracles, but rather, the greater outreach into the world. Jesus' earthly ministry was confined, largely, to Israel.

    The church today has a much greater outreach, particular with modern technology available to us. Certainly, miracles are still taking place. I just think the quality of Jesus' life and miracles were far superior to ours! And that likely translated into special results for his Apostles, unique to their own time.

    I would say the same thing about the Great Commission. It can apply in principle to the Mission of the Church. But in reality, some things, like Baptism, may be relegated to the tradition of their own time. There are other ways, historically, that people may make a public profession of faith, depending on the culture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pbminimum
    It has set a precedent for those who believe the command. And if it weren't for these people that God has given this commission to , and then received with intent to follow it - the church wouldn't exist. People who neglect the churches responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission have nothing to do with the advancement, and truthfully, the continuance of the church.

    The day is here and now when those churches who no longer see the need to reach their neighbor and the world will cease to exist. I see churches in my county every year closing their doors because of this very reason. Our association is attempting "church revitalization" gimmicks to no avail, and honestly until these folks understand what the great commission is, then that congregation needs to cease to exist in the hopes that they will have to unite with a body who does understand it. But from what I've seen , those who refuse to go and tell - then disciple and baptize, would rather not gather at all than be a part of something that they have refused to participate in for 50 years. And they will be the first to complain about the state of their neighborhood and nation.

    And brother, I'm not insinuating you are one of these... I just am passionate about this topic, and I assure you, I know what I'm talking about here.
    I assure you, I know what you're talking about too, and I concur. I hasten to say my subject has nothing to do with this, but only with Baptism as a central requirement in the Gospel Commission. There are certain things that remain the same after the generation of the Apostles, and some things that are transitory. I'm exploring these things, and not at all trying to discourage the preaching of the Gospel. The Gospel will continue to be preached, both by angels and men, until the end of the age. Until the Kingdom of Christ comes, men must be warned of the judgment that is to accompany that event.

    Please note that in the Olivet Discourse Jesus informed his 12 Disciples, with respect to his Coming, that their focus was to be on their own generation. "Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all this takes place."

    Even their preaching of the Gospel at that particular time was focused first on Israel, and only after that, on the Gentile world. They were to warn Israel, both in the land and in the Diaspora, that judgment was coming by the Romans. This would be specifically a judgment upon Israel. But it would also indicate to the world that judgment is coming to all the world for the same kind of rebellion against Christ's Kingdom as the Jews were committing.

    When Jesus told his 12 Disciples that the Gospel would be preached in all the world, before the "end comes," he may have been talking about the "end" of Israel as a nation. They were to warn all Israel, in the Diaspora, that Jerusalem was about to be destroyed.

    But thereafter the Gospel was to apply to the Gentiles as well, because they had to know of the judgment of God coming upon the whole world on behalf of Christ's Kingdom. And so, the Gospel was commissioned 1st to the Apostles, and afterwards, to others as well, who would reach out to the Gentile world, as Paul did.

    You see, the pattern here is that Jesus focused, in his earthly ministry, upon the Jewish nation, and upon his own generation. He didn't want his ministers getting sidetracked with eschatological speculations. On the other hand, Jesus was indeed setting a precedent for the future preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles.

    I'm exploring the differences between the Gospel message given in the time of the Law, and how that Gospel evolved in the time when Gentiles could hear the Gospel as well. I don't think Baptism is an essential part of today's Gospel. On the other hand, I find it a perfectly acceptable way of doing, by precedent, what Jesus called upon for novices to do in his own time.

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    Re: How necessary Baptism?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    It could be. What I read is that Jesus is speaking primarily to his 11 disciples, giving them an apostolic mission with a specific goal to reach their own generation--not just in Israel but also in all nations. In his Olivet Discourse Jesus had already told them that his Gospel had to be preached in all the world. At that time, all the world was the Roman Empire, and the focus of the message was on Israel exclusively.

    But we can look back now and recognize that Jesus was preparing his Disciples for an apostolic mission that would begin in Israel, and eventually expand to the Gentiles. So what was their specific mission and what was the general mission of the historic church? I don't know exactly, and so I'm asking the question.

    What I'm specifically questioning is not the Great Commission as a goal to prepare the whole world for the 2nd Coming, but rather, how much was to be relegated to the 1st century and how much to the rest of Christian history? The preaching of the Gospel obviously is something God intended to continue until the end of the age. But Baptism appears to be an add on to the central message, which was the Gospel of the Kingdom.

    The reason I ask this question is for 2 reasons. One, Baptism is sometimes promoted as part of the Gospel message, which it is not. I think the notion of Baptismal Regeneration is very confusing in our day, and creates confusion over what the Gospel exactly is. Is Baptism a necessary part of our Salvation? No.

    The 2nd reason I ask this question is because we are often taught that what Jesus specifically said to his 12 Disciples are equally and exactly applicable to today's Christian ministers. This is wrong. Similar things are done, but certainly not the exact same things. Do you have only one suitcase, and go to only one house in a city? No.

    We read in Matt 10 of the things Jesus said his 12 Disciples would experience. These things are not exactly applicable to today's ministers, although in principle they can still apply. Perhaps today Christ's ministers preach the Gospel, and get similar persecution? Or perhaps, a new country opens wide its doors to the Gospel's acceptance?

    Do you have the same degree of miracles taking place today as in the Apostles' day? You have some, but probably not as many miracles as done in Jesus' time. The "greater work we shall do" was not the performing of greater miracles, but rather, the greater outreach into the world. Jesus' earthly ministry was confined, largely, to Israel.

    The church today has a much greater outreach, particular with modern technology available to us. Certainly, miracles are still taking place. I just think the quality of Jesus' life and miracles were far superior to ours! And that likely translated into special results for his Apostles, unique to their own time.

    I would say the same thing about the Great Commission. It can apply in principle to the Mission of the Church. But in reality, some things, like Baptism, may be relegated to the tradition of their own time. There are other ways, historically, that people may make a public profession of faith, depending on the culture.



    I assure you, I know what you're talking about too, and I concur. I hasten to say my subject has nothing to do with this, but only with Baptism as a central requirement in the Gospel Commission. There are certain things that remain the same after the generation of the Apostles, and some things that are transitory. I'm exploring these things, and not at all trying to discourage the preaching of the Gospel. The Gospel will continue to be preached, both by angels and men, until the end of the age. Until the Kingdom of Christ comes, men must be warned of the judgment that is to accompany that event.

    Please note that in the Olivet Discourse Jesus informed his 12 Disciples, with respect to his Coming, that their focus was to be on their own generation. "Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all this takes place."

    Even their preaching of the Gospel at that particular time was focused first on Israel, and only after that, on the Gentile world. They were to warn Israel, both in the land and in the Diaspora, that judgment was coming by the Romans. This would be specifically a judgment upon Israel. But it would also indicate to the world that judgment is coming to all the world for the same kind of rebellion against Christ's Kingdom as the Jews were committing.

    When Jesus told his 12 Disciples that the Gospel would be preached in all the world, before the "end comes," he may have been talking about the "end" of Israel as a nation. They were to warn all Israel, in the Diaspora, that Jerusalem was about to be destroyed.

    But thereafter the Gospel was to apply to the Gentiles as well, because they had to know of the judgment of God coming upon the whole world on behalf of Christ's Kingdom. And so, the Gospel was commissioned 1st to the Apostles, and afterwards, to others as well, who would reach out to the Gentile world, as Paul did.

    You see, the pattern here is that Jesus focused, in his earthly ministry, upon the Jewish nation, and upon his own generation. He didn't want his ministers getting sidetracked with eschatological speculations. On the other hand, Jesus was indeed setting a precedent for the future preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles.

    I'm exploring the differences between the Gospel message given in the time of the Law, and how that Gospel evolved in the time when Gentiles could hear the Gospel as well. I don't think Baptism is an essential part of today's Gospel. On the other hand, I find it a perfectly acceptable way of doing, by precedent, what Jesus called upon for novices to do in his own time.
    Randy, there is only one Gospel message.

    One thing I left out in my rant earlier was this.... false theology is one of the most hindering things to the great commission. Studying about it without practicing it is sin.

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    Re: How necessary Baptism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pbminimum View Post
    Randy, there is only one Gospel message.

    One thing I left out in my rant earlier was this.... false theology is one of the most hindering things to the great commission. Studying about it without practicing it is sin.
    I don't know what you're trying to say to me? I've never said there's any more than one Gospel message. Adding baptism to that message or taking baptism away from that message does not alter the message. Baptism is not part of the message of Salvation. Baptism is not the Gospel.

    1 Cor 1.17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel.

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    Re: How necessary Baptism?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post

    1 Cor 1.17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel.
    You're taking that out of context. Read 1 Corinthians 3 & 4. People were bragging about who was baptized by whom.
    It should also be viewed in light of other letters ( now Scripture ) that Paul sent. Paul sure seems to assume that those he wrote to had been baptized and in other Scriptures we see plenty references to people always being baptized after Paul preached.
    You have to remember that Paul was a really big deal and he steadfastly tried to do everything he could to keep people's eyes, hearts and minds centered on Christ.
    He preached to and had much authority over The Church. He left the baptizing to others so people wouldn't boast about being "Paul's."

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    Re: How necessary Baptism?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    You're taking that out of context. Read 1 Corinthians 3 & 4. People were bragging about who was baptized by whom.
    It should also be viewed in light of other letters ( now Scripture ) that Paul sent. Paul sure seems to assume that those he wrote to had been baptized and in other Scriptures we see plenty references to people always being baptized after Paul preached.
    You have to remember that Paul was a really big deal and he steadfastly tried to do everything he could to keep people's eyes, hearts and minds centered on Christ.
    He preached to and had much authority over The Church. He left the baptizing to others so people wouldn't boast about being "Paul's" convert.
    No, I'm not taking that out of context. That is just how it reads, and how Christians better than me, read it. Baptism is *not* a part of Salvation. Luther tried as hard as he could trying to keep Baptism a Sacrament, while at the same time teaching Salvation by *Faith Alone.* In my view, he completely failed.

    Your own view that it is an ordinance is okay with me, but not what I actually believe. I believe that focus was on Faith Alone for Salvation, and that Baptism by Water was *not* part of Salvation. There are a number of different Scriptures that amplify this, from the fact Jesus did not Baptize, but only his disciples, to Paul's deemphasis on Water Baptism in his ministry, to John the Baptist saying that Spirit Baptism was superior to Water Baptism.

    All of these Scriptures indicate that Water Baptism was useful as an initiation ceremony into Christianity, and as a means of showing your repentance publicly. It was a form of *confession,* which is in fact part of our Salvation. We confess with our mouth that Jesus is our Lord, and we will be Saved.

    Baptism is not necessary as the means of confession, but it is certainly *a means,* and one that was used in the time of Jesus' earthly ministry. But confession can be had in other ways. Water Baptism is fine, if it's that important to your view of Scriptures. But I find the Scriptures simply use it as an add on to Salvation by Faith Alone, indicating that a confession is being made publicly, serving further to witness to the public. It is a *good thing to do,* but not essential for Salvation.

    Simply providing the context for Paul's concerns does not show that Paul did not mean what he said. He said Water Baptism is not "preaching the Gospel." And he was right--it isn't. But it does serve a good purpose in the process of preaching the Gospel, so that those who get saved have an opportunity to confess what already happened earlier, when they accept Faith in Christ.

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    Re: How necessary Baptism?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    No, I'm not taking that out of context.
    Ah! Thanks for laying that out. For some strange reason I thought you were using that verse to illustrate your view that baptism was largely focused on the 1st generation of the church.

    Sorry about Randy. My mistake bro.
    Day by day
    Oh Dear Lord
    Three things I pray
    To see thee more clearly
    Love thee more dearly
    Follow thee more nearly
    Day by day

  14. #14
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    Re: How necessary Baptism?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    Ah! Thanks for laying that out. For some strange reason I thought you were using that verse to illustrate your view that baptism was largely focused on the 1st generation of the church.

    Sorry about Randy. My mistake bro.
    To be honest I'm a little disconcerted that I seem to have upset a few who think I'm opposed to Water Baptism! That's not my intent. My intent is to honestly focus on the role Water Baptism has played in my life, and then draw conclusions that may actually help some.

    I know it is really taking a chance, because it appears I'm down-playing the value of Water Baptism. I'm not. I'm saying that the Scriptures place it down below Salvation, but certainly do recommend it. I don't see anywhere in Scriptures that Israel was *commanded* to partake in John's Baptism? On the other hand, he was a prophet if God, and I imagine the Holy Spirit pulled a lot of backslidden people to the Jordan River?

    My concern is that new Christians expect heaven to fall down on them when they engage in a Christian ritual like Baptism. That doesn't always happen--it certainly may. The important thing is to do it as a willful commitment, and not just to experience something "magical." We do it as a public witness to the world that we *are not participating with them any longer in their pagan ways.*

    This is how I experienced my own recommitment to Christ. It can happen through Baptism, and it can happen other ways. The important thing is that we commit ourselves to Christ's Salvation by faith, and then make that commitment a public testimony in the world. Baptism is a great way to begin that testimony, and I would encourage it.

    I just don't want to confuse Baptism with Salvation, unless we are talking about "Spirit Baptism." That is the "baptism" I'm most concerned with, because I believe that refers to actual Salvation. Initiation ceremonies are sometimes critical to "take the plunge" into a whole new way of life, letting family, friends, and acquaintances know all will never be the same. You're on a new path.

  15. #15
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    Re: How necessary Baptism?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I don't know what you're trying to say to me? I've never said there's any more than one Gospel message. Adding baptism to that message or taking baptism away from that message does not alter the message. Baptism is not part of the message of Salvation. Baptism is not the Gospel.

    1 Cor 1.17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel.
    Preach so that some may be saved, baptized, discipled, and added to the church. AKA - the great commission.

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