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Warrick 007
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Date Posted:02/03/2006 9:22 PMCopy HTML

Question: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"Answer: Baptismal regeneration is the belief that a person must be baptized in order to be saved. It is our contention that baptism is an important step of obedience for a Christian, but we adamantly reject baptism as being required for salvation. We strongly believe that each and every Christian should be water baptized by immersion. Baptism illustrates a believer's identification with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Romans 6:3-4 declares, "Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." The action of being immersed in the water illustrates being buried with Christ. The action of coming out of the water pictures Christ's resurrection.Anything in addition to faith in Jesus Christ as being required for salvation is a works-based salvation. To add ANYTHING to the Gospel is to say that Jesus' death on the cross was not sufficient to purchase our salvation. To say that we must be baptized in order to be saved is to say that we must add our own good works and obedience to Christ's death in order to make it sufficient for salvation. Jesus' death alone paid for our sins (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus' payment for our sins is appropriated to our "account" by faith alone (John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9). Therefore, baptism is an important step of obedience after salvation, but cannot a requirement for salvation.Yes, there are some verses that seem to indicate baptism as a necessary requirement for salvation. However, since the Bible so clearly tells us that salvation is received by faith alone (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5), there must be a different interpretation of those verses. Scripture does not contradict Scripture. In Bible times, a person who converted from one religion to another was often baptized to identify conversion. Baptism was the means of making a decision public. Those who refused to be baptized were saying they did not truly believe. So, in the minds of the apostles and early disciples, the idea of an un-baptized believer was unheard of.When a person claimed to believe in Christ, yet was ashamed to proclaim his faith in public, it indicated that he did not have true faith.If baptism is necessary for salvation, why would Paul have said, "I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius" (1 Corinthians 1:14)? Why would he have said, "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel - not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power" (1 Corinthians 1:17)? Granted, in this passage Paul is arguing against the divisions that plagued the Corinthians church. However, how could Paul possibly say, "I am thankful that I did not baptize..." or "For Christ did not send me to baptize..." if baptism was necessary for salvation? If baptism is necessary for salvation, Paul would literally be saying, "I am thankful that you were not saved..." and "For Christ did not send me to save..." That would be an unbelievably ridiculous statement for Paul to make. Further, when Paul gives a detailed outline of what he considers the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-8), why does he neglect to mention baptism? If baptism is a requirement for salvation, how could any presentation of the Gospel lack a mentioning of baptism?Does Acts 2:38 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?Does Mark 16:16 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?Does 1 Peter 3:21 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?Does John 3:5 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?Baptismal regeneration is not a Biblical concept. Baptism does not save from sin, but from a bad conscience. Peter clearly taught that baptism was not a ceremonial act of physical purification, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. Baptism is the symbol of what has already occurred in the heart and life of one who has trusted Christ as Savior (cf. Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12). To make the source of salvation perfectly clear, Peter added, "by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (cf. 1 Peter 1:3). Baptism is an important step of obedience that every Christian should take. Baptism cannot be a requirement for salvation. To make it such is an attack on the sufficiency of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
A man died and went to heaven. He was met by Jesus and Jesus began to show him around. As they walked they saw some amazing things. Some too beautiful and amazing to describe. Eventually they came to a huge wall and the man heard the sound of music, laughing and what basically sounded like a party coming from behind the wall. Curious, the man asked Jesus what was going on behind the wall. Jesus answered, "Shhhh!!! Not too loud. That"s the GRC. They think they"re the only ones here!!!"
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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:08/03/2006 3:02 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : 3 second kisses

There's also some essays worth reading on baptism, tongues, Mark 16:17, Acts 2:38 and the like that were written by a couple of ex-RCI guys (one was an RCI pastor the other one has degrees in theology) at www.pleaseconsider.info 

"Knowledge is power" and "information ends ignorance." 

 

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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:09/03/2006 3:21 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

Reply to : 3 second kissesThere's also some essays worth readingon baptism, tongues,Mark 16:17, Acts 2:38 and the likethat were written by a couple of ex-RCI guys (one was an RCIpastor the other one hasdegrees in theology)atwww.pleaseconsider.info"Knowledge is power" and "informationends ignorance."

Degrees in Theology?  33 degrees?  25 degrees?  Yeah, repent, be bpatised and get a degree!

Give it up!

Thank God Jesus didn't have a degree lest we all had to get one.

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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:09/03/2006 5:21 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

Reply to : AnonymousReply to : 3 second kissesThere's also some essays worth readingon baptism, tongues,Mark 16:17, Acts 2:38 and the likethat were written by a couple of ex-RCI guys (one was an RCIpastor the other one hasdegrees in theology)atwww.pleaseconsider.info"Knowledge is power" and "informationends ignorance."Degrees in Theology? 33 degrees? 25 degrees? Yeah, repent, be bpatised and get a degree!Give it up!Thank God Jesus didn't have a degree lest we all had to get one.

Mr J

That was an interesting reply. All I was doing was pointing out that the authors of www.pleaseconsider.info are qualified to make comments on RCI theology.

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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:09/03/2006 7:45 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

Mr JThat was an interesting reply.All I was doing was pointing out that the authors ofwww.pleaseconsider.infoarequalified to make comments on RCI theology.

I reckon...

Mr J! Ya big grumpy Joker!

Maybe Jesus spent the 'missing 18 years' getting a degree? lol

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[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
Warrick 007 Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #5
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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:10/03/2006 10:46 AMCopy HTML

Question: "Does John 3:5 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?"



Answer: John 3:3-7, “Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?" Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.’”

When first considering this passage, it is important to note that nowhere in the context of the passage is baptism even mentioned. While baptism is mentioned later in this chapter (John 3:22-30) that is in a totally different setting (Judea instead of Jerusalem), and at a different time than the discussion with Nicodemus. This is not to say that Nicodemus was unfamiliar with baptism, either from the Jewish practice of baptizing Gentile converts to Judaism, or from John’s the Baptist’s ministry. However, simply reading these verses in context would give one no reason to assume that Jesus was speaking of baptism, unless they were looking to read into the passage a preconceived idea or theology. To automatically read baptism into this verse simply because it mentions “water” is unwarranted.

Those who hold baptism to be required for salvation point to “born of water” as evidence. As one person has put it, “Jesus describes it and tells him plainly how—by being born of water and the Spirit. This is a perfect description of baptism! Jesus could not have given a more detailed and accurate explanation of baptism.” However, had Jesus actually wanted to say that one must be baptized to be saved, He clearly could have simply stated, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is baptized and born of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Further, if Jesus had made such a statement, He would have contradicted numerous other Bible passages that make it clear that salvation is by faith (John 3:16; John 3:36; Ephesians 2:8-9: Titus 3:5).

We should also not lose sight of the fact that when John was speaking to Nicodemus; the ordinance of Christian Baptism was not yet in effect. This important inconsistency in interpreting Scriptures is seen when one asks those who believe that baptism is required for salvation why the thief on the cross did not need to be baptized to be saved. A common reply to that question is: “The thief on the cross was still under the Old Covenant and therefore not subject to this baptism. He was saved just like anyone else under the Old Covenant.” So, in essence, the same people who say the thief did not need to be baptized because he was “under the Old Covenant,” will use John 3:5 as “proof” that baptism is necessary for salvation. They insist that Jesus is telling Nicodemus that he must be baptized to be saved, even though he also was under the Old Covenant. If the thief on the cross was saved without being baptized (because he was under the Old Covenant), why would Jesus tell Nicodemus (who was also under the Old Covenant) that he needed to be baptized?

If “being born of water and the Spirit” is not referring to baptism, then what does it mean? Traditionally, there have been two primary interpretations of this phrase. The first is that being “born of water” is being used by Jesus to refer to natural birth (with water referring to the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby in the womb) and that being born of the “Spirit” indicates spiritual birth. While that is certainly a possible interpretation of the term “born of water” and would seem to fit the context of Nicodemus’ question about how a man could be born “when he is old,” it is not, in my opinion, the best interpretation given the context of this passage. After all, Jesus was not talking about the difference between natural birth and spiritual birth. What He was doing was explaining to Nicodemus his need to be “born from above” or “born again.”

The second common interpretation of this passage and the one that I believe best fits the overall context, not only of this passage but of the Bible as a whole, is the one that sees the phrase “born of water and the Spirit” as both describing different aspects of the same spiritual birth, or of what it means to be “born again” or “born from above.” So, when Jesus told Nicodemus that he must “be born of water and the Sprit” He was not referring to literal water (i.e. baptism or the amniotic fluid in the womb), but was referring to the need for spiritual cleansing or renewal. Throughout the Old Testament (Psalm 51:2; Psalm 51:7; Ezekiel 36:25), and the New Testament (John 13:10; John 15:3; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 10:22), water is often used figuratively of spiritual cleansing or regeneration that is brought forth by the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, at the moment of salvation (Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5).

The Barclay Daily Study Bible describes this concept in this way: “There are two thoughts here. Water is the symbol of cleansing. When Jesus takes possession of our lives, when we love Him with all our heart, the sins of the past are forgiven and forgotten. The Spirit is the symbol of power. When Jesus takes possession of our lives it is not only that the past is forgotten and forgiven; if that were all, we might well proceed to make the same mess of life all over again; but into life there enters a new power which enables us to be what by ourselves we could never be and to do what by ourselves we could never do. Water and the Spirit stand for the cleansing and the strengthening power of Christ, which wipes out the past and gives victory in the future.”

Therefore ,the “water” mentioned in this verse is not literal physical water but is referring to the “living water” that Jesus promised the women at the well in John 4:10, and the people in Jerusalem in John 7:37-39. It is the inward purification and renewal that is produced by the Holy Spirit that brings forth spiritual life to a dead sinner (Ezekiel 36:25-27; Titus 3:5). John again reinforces this truth in John 3:7, when Jesus restates the fact that one must be born again, and that this newness of life can only be produced the Holy Spirit (John 3:8).

There are several reasons why I believe this to be the correct interpretation of the phrase “born of water and the Spirit.” First of all, we should note that the Greek word translated “again” has two possible meanings. The first one is “again” and the second one is “from above.” Nicodemus apparently assumed the first meaning “again” and found that idea incomprehensible. That is why he could not understand how as a grown man he could re-enter his mother’s womb and be “born again” physically. Therefore, Jesus restates what He had just told Nicodemus in a different way so that it would be clear that He was referring to being “born from above.” In other words, both “born from above” and “born of water and Spirit” are two ways of saying the same thing.

Secondly it is important to note that the Greek grammar in this verse would seem to indicate that “being born of water” and “being born of the Spirit” are thought of as one item, not two. Therefore, it is not speaking of two separate births, as Nicodemus incorrectly thought, but is speaking of one birth, that of being “born from above” or the spiritual birth that is necessary for anyone to “see the kingdom of God.” This need for one to be “born again,” or to experience spiritual birth, is so important that Jesus tells Nicodemus of its necessity three different times in this passage of Scripture (John 3:3, 3:5, 3:7).

Third, water is often used symbolically in the Bible to refer to the work of the Holy Spirit in sanctifying a believer, whereby God cleanses and purifies the believer’s heart or soul. In many places in both the Old and New Testaments, the work of the Holy Spirit is compared to water (Isaiah 44:3; John 7:38-39).

Jesus rebukes Nicodemus in John 3:10 by asking him: “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these things?” This infers that what Jesus had just told him was something Nicodemus should have known and understood from the Old Testament. What is it that Nicodemus, as a teacher of the Old Testament, should have known and understood? It is the fact that God had promised in the Old Testament that a time was coming in which He would: “sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” (Ezekiel 36:25-27). Jesus rebuked Nicodemus because he had failed to recall and understand one of the key Old Testament passages pertaining to the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:33). Nicodemus should have been expecting this concept. Why would Jesus have rebuked Nicodemus for not understanding baptism considering the fact that baptism is nowhere mentioned in the Old Testament?

While this verse does not teach that baptism is required for salvation, we should be careful not neglect baptism’s importance. Baptism is the sign or the symbol for what takes place when one is born again. Baptism’s importance should not be downplayed or minimized. However, baptism does not save us. What saves us is the cleansing work of the Holy Spirit, when we are born again and regenerated by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).
A man died and went to heaven. He was met by Jesus and Jesus began to show him around. As they walked they saw some amazing things. Some too beautiful and amazing to describe. Eventually they came to a huge wall and the man heard the sound of music, laughing and what basically sounded like a party coming from behind the wall. Curious, the man asked Jesus what was going on behind the wall. Jesus answered, "Shhhh!!! Not too loud. That"s the GRC. They think they"re the only ones here!!!"
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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:10/03/2006 10:59 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

All I was doing was pointing out that the authors ofwww.pleaseconsider.infoarequalified to make comments on RCI theology.

Perhaps.  But I would think that many people who have believed and LIVED the RCI theology would also be qualified to make comments on RCI Theology.

Also of note is that Drew Dixon's articles were written without any kind of degree in Theology too.

I am a believer in Theology qualifications to be sure (I have one too) but I do not think they NECESSARILY make anyone more 'qualified' than anyone else.  One can do the research and take the time to write a brilliant article without a degree too.

I am sorry if you thought I was having a go at anyone.  I wasn't.

Just a grumpy Mr J?  Now as for you Mr H&S, did you get my email regarding Battlestar Galactica...you big geek?

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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:11/03/2006 11:37 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

Perhaps. But I would think that many people who have believed and LIVED the RCI theology would also be qualified to make comments on RCI Theology. Also of note is that Drew Dixon's articles were written without any kind of degree in Theology too. I am a believer in Theology qualifications to be sure (I have one too) but I do not think they NECESSARILY make anyone more 'qualified' than anyone else. One can do the research and take the time to write a brilliant article without a degree too.

I disagree with your first comment. Just being an ex RCI person doesn't mean you're automatically qualified  to make comments on RCI theology at all. You'd have to know something about theology to do that. Now I know Drew Dixon doesn't have a degree in theology (at least he doesn't claim to have one at his web site) but Ian Thomason does and I'd bet they used each others talents when they wrote their articles.

By the way I wasn't suggesting that a person has to have degrees in theology to have something valid to share. I simply pointed out that Dixon and Thomason's website was a good start for ex RCI people. A lot of us know a bit of your history with Ian Thomason so it wasn't too surprising to watch you charge like a wounded bear when his name and qualifications were mentioned! I don't think this is a competetion and I didn't compare you to him so relax!

 

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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:06/07/2006 10:41 AMCopy HTML

$%*'`[Ian's stuff]%*'`@Question 1. Why is it that the RF believes baptism to be absolutely necessary in order to be saved?

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

But, Tangools, did you not notice that Mark indicated that it is unbelief alone which results in damnation, and not unbelief coupled with a lack of baptism? Puyt simply, Mark 16:16 doesn't support your POV.

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:

Sure, but the Great Commission doesn't teach that baptism is necessary for salvation. In fact, the Great Commission doesn't even 'fit' as a 'salvation' text. What it is, however, is a record of Christ's command to the Apostles to preach the gospel. It isn't a record of the substance of the gospel. Matthew teaches that the baptising of believers is simply a part of the process that is Christian discipleship. So Matthew 28:19 doesn't support your POV either.

Acts 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized,, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

Again, the text that you've quoted doesn't state that baptism is necessary in order to be saved. What it is, however, is Peter's challenge to the Jewish Christians that accompanied him, for them to accept that God had accepted Gentiles into his Kingdom. Given this, Peter was asking bluntly, if any of the Jewish Christians believed they had the 'right' to forbid the Gentiles from undergoing Christian baptism and being 'accepted' into the Christian Church. Acts 10:47 doesn't support your POV.

1 Peter 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.

I was waiting for this one ) Two things need to be noted about this particular passage: first, is the way in which Peter uses the terms 'figure' and 'save' (I'd recommend that you have a much closer look at the context of the passage at this point). Second, Peter himself states that the force of baptism doesn't lie in the act itself, but in the issue of presenting a good conscience towards God. 1 Peter 3:21 doesn't support your POV.

I won't mention John 3:5 because I know you have a different interpretation, and space does not permit listing all the examples of people being baptised who responded to the word of God being preached.

Tangools, I'm sure you know why John 3:5 doesn't support your POV regarding baptism. And the issue isn't, as you claim, simply one of a difference of interpretation. The issue is that your interpretation of John 3:5 is invalid according to what John records Jesus as having said to Nicodemus. Jesus wasn't even discussing baptism. But to correct a small point here, I've nowhere stated that baptism isn't presented in Scripture as being an important part of Christian discipleship. I've simply contended that Scripture nowhere teaches it as being essential for eternal life. There is a considerable difference between the two positions.

It would be unwise to ignore these scriptures, and promote a baptism-less gospel.

But the gospel isn't a message about external observances at all (including baptism). The gospel, properly defined, is the message that Jesus Christ is God in human form, that he was born, lived, proclaimed the Kingdom of God, was crucified at Calvary for our sins, was buried, that he was resurrected to life, and that he ascended to the right hand of God, the Father, where he rules, reigns and from where he will return. The Gospel is an event, more than it is a message; but it certainly isn't a formula about 'salvation'.

This is just like asking 'Why does the RF believe faith is absolutely necessary to
be saved'. Its not what the RF believes. Its what God says is necessary.


Agreed. But unlike the very sound example of faith that you've just provided, God nowhere says that baptism is necessary.

Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Brother, where is baptism mentioned in Luke 6:46? Context, context, contex ;oP

(me) Question 2.
Why does your fellowship
believe that baptism is only valid if done by full immersion?


Without getting into the symbolism of being buried etc, We believe in doing baptism by full immersion in water because thats what Bible-baptism is.

I think we should consider the symbolism of burial for a moment, as I fear you've probably confused notions about western burial with Jewish burial. Can you provide me with one shred of evidence from Scripture, that Jewish burial involved being placed in a hole in the ground, and 'overwhelmed' with soil? I can tell you now that not a one exists. The reason is simple: Jewish burial involved the entombment of a corpse, followed by the 'second burial' of the bones into an ossuary (a small, limestone box) 12 months later. The symbolic link between baptism and burial has to do with the fact that burial is an action which is conducted only after death. Baptism, then, outwardly demonstrates that the sinner had 'died', and that he/she had been replaced by the 'saint' -- 'born again' (in other words, one must be a Christian before one can be baptised).

Next, you've stated categorically, that baptism by immersion is 'Bible baptism'. Well I don't believe myself to be ignorant of Scripture, and neither do I believe myself ignorant of the cultures, customs and languages of Bible times. If baptism meant 'immersion', and only immersion as you maintain, then I wouldn't be taking a stance against what the Rf teaches on the subject.

We understand how baptism was done in the Bible: by full immersion in water.

Perhaps you only think you understand how the rite was performed? I can assure you now that baptism, both in the Biblical record, as well as in the first century Christian historical record, wasn't always performed by immersion. If you believe that it was, then you should be able to prove to the contrary. I, however, can prove my position from what Scripture teaches )

Is baptism by partial immersion in, say, chicken soup, a valid Bible baptism? I don't know. All I do know is that it's not how it was done in the Bible, and we can really only judge the validity by comparing it to the examples in the scripture.

Brother, I think we both agree that the medium is water, and not chicken soup ) It's the method, the meaning and the purpose for baptism where the disagreement between us likely is. But once more, I maintain that Scripture doesn't universally teach baptism by immersion alone.

God blesses doing baptism the Bible way, and many people have testimonies of being instantly healed during the water baptism process, and it is a time when many people receive the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues (such as both you and I).

Tangools, you've not yet proven that 'Bible' baptism is by immersion. You'ne not even come close to doing so. All that you've done in the response above, is to argue in a circle that it is. Further, the authority for what we believe (whether about baptism or anything else for that matter), should be what Scripture teaches, as you've alluded to yourself in your response above. Unfortunately, your final paragraph almost paints the picture that you might believe that authority rests more on what we experience, than on what God has said (as in the Bible). I, for one, don't believe that I received the Holy Spirit when I was baptised and received the gift of tongues; although that is what I believed when I was in the RCI.

So you've not yet provided any biblical evidence that (a) baptism is necessary in order to be saved, and (b) that the only form of baptism that is valid is that done by immersion. Please don't misunderstand me, if I believed the Bible taught on the subject as you believe it does, than I would not be arguing to the contrary.

Acts 2:37-41 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren,what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, SAVE YOURSELVES from this untoward generation.Then they that GLADLY RECIEVED HIS WORD WERE BAPTIZED: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

The above is a very interesting passage, and for many reasons. In fact, I reckon I could just about write an 8,000 word exegetical essay, explaining in quite some detail what Acts 2 teaches ;o) But I won't do that here!

The pertinent points from the above passage that relate to our current discussion are these:

1. Baptism predates Christianity. The rite was originally performed by converts to Judaism. Those who 'repented' of having been born outside of the Mosaic covenant were circumcised, and then baptised. So, to a Jew, 'baptism' was an act of humiliation that was undertaken by Gentiles only.

2. Peter had just explained who Jesus was, and the terrified Jewish men were expecting God's immediate punishment on them. These men weren't crying out for spiritual salvation (note the word 'saved' doesn't appear after the question "what shall we do"), they were seeking physical salvation. They were seeking to avert God's wrath.

3. Peter's response involved two imperatives, followed by an assertion given in the indicative mood. The Greek grammatical structure is quite simple, and forms what is known as a conditional clause. The first imperative: 'repent' serves as the principal for the entire clause, and is the only one of the two that is grammatically linked, directly, to the assertion: 'and you will receive the Holy Spirit'. The second imperative: 'be baptised', is grammatically subordinate to the first, and the outcome of the assertion not being directly influenced by it. In other words, the passage can be legitimately rendered: "repent, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Because you have repented, you will allow yourself to be baptised." Peter stated, very clearly, that it was repentence which led to salvation. Baptism was simply a rite of open humbling, and an act of obedience.
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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:06/07/2006 10:55 AMCopy HTML

Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip PREACHING THE THINGS CONCERNING THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, THEY WERE BAPTIZED, both men and women.

Again, the grammatical structure of the above passage disallows your position. Even the English makes this plain: "when they believed" Philip's preaching, they were baptised. Scripture here makes it clear that (a) belief saves, and (b) baptism follows belief -- it does not precede it, as is often seems to be the case in your fellowship.

In reference to the Mark 16 scripture, why in the world is someone going to get baptised if they don't believe? And if they truly believe why in the world are they not going to get baptised?

That's precisely my point. One is baptised because one has believed, and not in order to believe. According to Mark, it is belief which saves, and not the baptism (which is a consequence of the belief).

If you believe in Jesus you believe what he says and to discount something just because it isn't in the next line of one verse isn't very wise.

I would suggest that if a person truly believes in Jesus, then such a person would do precisely what he says. Again, it is a clear case of subsequence: obedience following acceptance; action following transformation; baptism following belief.

A salient point that I've sought to demonstrate in all of this, however, is the critical importance of context: reading Scripture in it's proper context provides us with the meaning of Scripture in our context. Simply quoting a string of biblical verses, but the context of which doesn't support the assertions that are being made, doesn't 'charge' those same assertions with the authority or 'power' of Scripture. Just a point I'd alike to make, albeit a very important point nontheless.

Why would Jesus command the apostles to go out and baptize people? Jesus told them to do it because it was a necessary act of salvation.

Jesus commanded the apostles to baptise, because baptism is an important aspect of Christian discipleship: the Christian (the one who is already saved through belief) willingly submits to baptism (the action and rite) because he or she is being discipled in the faith. Subsequence and consequence.

Peter says in Acts after they ask him what they should do, he says Save yourselves from this terrible generation, how? Repenting from your old ways, being baptized for the remission of sins and recieving the Holy Ghost. That is salvation!!

These men weren't asking to be saved 'spiritually', given they thought they were already by virtue of being born male Jews. Please refer to my brief explanation of the grammatical force of this passage above.

It is so easy, look at the verse a couple of lines later. They gladly accepted the word and were baptized and three thousand souls were saved!!!

Perfectly true ) They believed what Peter preached concerning Jesus, they were saved as a consequence of their belief, and were baptised as a result of their haveing been saved. Straightforward and simple.

Why did the people Philip preach to get baptized? Because he was speaking about the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ and they accepted it and were BAPTIZED.

Once again you've proven my point: the baptism followed the belief, it didn't precede it. Once again, baptism as a consequence of regeneration, not as a means of securing regeneration.

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

I'm sorry, but the passage isn't even discussing Christian baptism at this point, so I'm at a bit of a loss as to what you're trying to establish here.

People in the Bible were justified by water baptizm and people today need to be justified by water baptizm!! You must be born of the water.

Brother, in Luke 7:29, the people were justifying God, it says nothing about them being justified by water baptism at all. You'll find it absolutely impossible to present a single Scripture that teaches that a person is justified by water baptism. Scripture teaches that we are justified by faith. And, of course, Jesus wasn't even discussing baptism in John 3. But my explanation of that passage was deleted a while ago (
 
Hi, Jake.

Thanks for sharing your comments with me.

you say that baptism follows belief, so a believer would get baptised. So someone that doesn't get baptised is not a believer.

Not at all ) What you've just suggested above is a simple logical fallacy. Look at precisely the same argument that you've offered, but this way: 'Mike is a dog. Mike has four legs. Therefore all animals with four legs named Mike are dogs.' Doesn't work, does it? ;o)

Unless they had been sold a Gospel that was not complete, and to say that they are saved by an uncomplete gospel is not for any man to judge but God. The RF sells a complete gospel, so we have the faith and justification to call one saved.

Okay, but given the above statement, I'd really have to question what you understand to be meant by the term 'gospel', and whether or not your understanding of it is actually biblical. But for the moment, the issue we're looking into is much simpler.

So far, I haven't seen a single Scripture offered up here, that teaches that someone must be baptised in order to be saved. Not a one. What I have seen, however, are strings of biblical verses that have been lifted from their proper contexts, and used in ways that don't support what the verses actually teach. And rather than simply just quoting these verses, as if their meanings were somehow 'self-evident', my approach has been to explain what each quoted passage actually means, and why it means what it does. I believe this is important to do.

I reckon the actual issue that underpins this is a bit simpler than it's probably appeared to be to date. It's likely that we'd all agree that the Bible should serve as the authority for all our doctrines and positions. If the RF's 'complete package' is actually biblical, then massing overwhelming support from Scripture in support really shouldn't be too difficult to do. But I haven't seen one shred of biblical evidence for the teaching that baptism is actually
essential[i/] for salvation yet. Nor has anyone demonstrated conclusively, and again from Scripture, that baptism is only valid if done by immersion.
(Me) "...The word itself derives from the same stem that the words 'believe' and 'faith' derive, and refers to a person who (1) believes in Jesus as Christ, (2) has faith that God will keep his promises made in Jesus Christ, and (3) accepts God's gift of grace offered through Jesus
Christ."
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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:06/07/2006 11:01 AMCopy HTML

$%*'`[Ian has no off switch]%*'`@So how does one, accept God's gift of grace offered through Jesus Christ?

Biblically, by faith. (See Romans 3:21, 25 & 26; 5:1-2; 10:9-11; Galatians 3:22-29; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 3:9; 2 Timothy 3:15, etc). An important feature that each of these verses has in common, is that the faith which is being discussed, is objective faith, the object being Jesus Christ. In not a single instance is it subjective faith, where the subject of the faith is the believer. In other words, eternal life is, ultimately, based on God's choosing. Your position, by contrast, bases eternal life, ultimately, on a person's choosing.

At the very top of this thread I've stated that 'faith' and 'believe/belief' in Greek share the same lexical stem. I quoted Romans 10:9-11 above because it is one topical example of objective belief, where we find the word pisteuo is coupled with the preposition eis. This grammatical construction occurs eight times in the NT, and in every single case, it describes saving belief which is objective. What is particularly relevant to our discussion, is that one of these very occasions is Mark 16:17 )
 
I thought it might help our discussion if we briefly paused to consider just what is meant by the words baptism and baptise. Given the responses of this thread, it's obvious that when most people here see the two words, they immediately think of complete immersion in water. But whatever the theological propriety of the image, neither of the words actually means anything even remotely like 'immersion'.

Baptism is, in Greek, as in English, a noun. Nouns, by grammatical definition don't describe actions, but things. The two Greek words transliterated 'baptism': baptisma and baptismos, therefore, describe the observance of a religious rite or practice . Nothing more. Baptism, then, doesn't mean 'immersion'.

Baptise, however, is a verb, and so the word properly describes an action. The English word is a transliteration of the Greek verb baptizo, but this word doesn't describe the action of 'plunging' or 'immersing' either. Only the verbal root bapto has such a narrow range of meaning. But 'bapto' is never used in Scripture to describe the action of Christian's 'baptising'. Baptizo properly describes
the action of applying water (to the body) in order to make oneself clean, or ritually pure; to purify in a religious sense[i/]. Nothing more. So 'to baptise' doesn't mean to 'immerse' either.

It is the individual context, and the individual context alone in which the word 'baptise' is used, that describes just what kind action was undertaken in a particular passage. And as I have maintained all along, Scripture doesn't restrict or limit the use of this word to simply 'immersion'. It is far more broadly used )

So I respectfully suggest that your fellowship has invested these two Greek words with 'theological' meanings, that attempt to force definitions, which the Greek words themselves don't possess or require. In effect, then, the words have been redefined to suit a particular 'brand' of theology.

Good morning, Tangools.

Ok, time to clear up a few points, and reduce some verbosity. I'll try and keep it to two scriptures.

Let's see how we go ;o)

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

[Thomason] But, Tangools, did you not notice that Mark indicated that it is unbelief alone which results in damnation, and not unbelief coupled with a lack of baptism? Put simply, Mark 16:16 doesn't support your POV.

But did you notice Thomason, that is was belief coupled with baptism which results in salvation and not belief alone? Put simply Mark 16:16 doesn't support your"POV".

First, please feel free to call me Ian, rather than 'Thomason', as it sounds a little less formal, and a whole lot friendlier ;o)

But, to now respond to your point: it seems to me that you've hinged your position with respect to the baptism and belief of Mark 16, solely on the use of the English word 'and' in the clause. Of course, as we both know, the passage wasn't written by Mark in English, but in Greek, and so we must look to the rules of Greek grammar -- rather than English grammar -- to establish its meaning.

As you know, 'and' in English is a conjunction, it 'links' coordinate words and such. 'Kai' in Greek is also a conjunction, but it isn't so limited in the way that it functions grammatically. It can link, for example, subordinate words, clauses and phrases equally as well. It can do this, because, unlike English, Greek is an inflected language.

Okay. 'Ho Pisteusas' -- 'the one who believes' -- is emphatic in the passage: it stands 'first' syntactically, which serves to indicate that it functions as the superordinate grammatical element of the clause. When conjugated, we discover that it is an: aorist, active voice participle. 'Baptistheis' -- 'is baptised -- is not grammatically coordinate, to the 'one who believes', but subordinate. When conjugated, we note that it is an: aorist, passive voice participle. In other words, and according to the canons of Greek grammar, the one who believes will be saved, and he will allow himself to be baptised because of his belief, because he has been saved. The salvation, importantly, comes first, and is through belief. Then, because he has been saved, the believer will submit to baptism.

Interestingly, we find in Mark 16:16, precisely the same grammatical structure that we find in Acts 2:38. And, Tangools, neither supports your POV.

Here we have a classic case of circular arguing.

But do we though? ;oP

Was Jesus defining two classes of disjoint sets and the predicates for each, or was Jesus mentioning definite attributes that would belong to each element of the two disjoint sets, or something else?

Aha! You've done a little study on the rules of logic! Good for you ;o)

Let's take the statement: He that has good work-ethics and is employed shall be very rich. But he that does not have good work-ethics shall be poor. Jack has good work ethics.

With your logic, you would try to claim that therefore Jack shall be very rich. Unfortunately Jack may not have a job

Not necessarily so. First, the premise is predicated, as you have pointed out above yourself, that employment is a condition of wealth. The two sets are not identical, in that Jack is not mentioned as being employed. Second, and building on from the first, the logic of the proposition is a little skewed. You've sought to make an absolute from a conditional statement. This introduces a fairly substantial 'maybe' into the entire equation. In short, your example doesn't gel with what I introduced previously.

You have asked for a scripture linking salvation and baptism, which has been supplied in Mark 16:16.

And I have just demonstrated, quite conclusively, that Mark 16:16 doesn't support your proposition. So, have you another Scripture to offer?

1 Peter 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.

[Thomason] I was waiting for this one ) Two things need to be noted about this particular passage: first, is the way in which Peter uses the terms 'figure' and 'save' (I'd recommend that you have a much closer look at the context of the passage at this point). Second, Peter himself states that the force of baptism doesn't lie in the act itself, but in the issue of presenting a good conscience towards God. 1 Peter 3:21

To use your own words Thomason, "CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT". You need to keep the 'good-conscience' bit in the CONTEXT of water baptism. Peter knew not to separate them, and you should follow suit.

Your response is like saying that breathing air does not keep us alive, but rather the process of diffusing oxygen into the hemoglobin molecules in red-blood cells. This is technically true, but can we stop breathing and still live? You can give it a go if you want, but most people have difficulty separating the two processes. >)

But of course ;o) However, would you like me to explain in greater grammatical detail why 1 Peter 3:21 doesn't support your POV? I haven't thus far for a couple of reasons, the principle one being space. But I will if you'd like me to )

Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? [Thomason] Brother, where is baptism mentioned in Luke 6:46? Context, context, contex
>;oP


I wasn't using it to refer to baptism, but rather used it as a closing scripture in my post to refer to the attitude that often accompanies people who share your version of being 'saved'. ( i.e "faith without works", or, probably more correctly, "faith with optional works").

Really? Is that what you think? I would have thought that 'my version' of 'being saved' is the one that has direct and unequivocal biblical support behind it ) Your own, might I add, seems to be lacking in any biblical support, and requires interpretative machinations that do violence to (1) the Greek grammar, and (2) the contexts of the various passages. At least, I don't think you've succeeded thus far in producing any biblical support for your views ;oP (meant 'tongue-in-cheek' and charitably, BTW)

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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:06/07/2006 11:05 AMCopy HTML

$%*'`[End of the baptism thread]%*'`@Thomason].... baptism follows belief -- it does not precede it, as is often seems to be the case in your fellowship.

It is not the case in our fellowship. We are agreed that baptism follows initial "belief", so stop making presumptions.


No presumptions made or intended, Tangools. The 'belief' that I've been discussing, and which I've made abundantly clear, is saving belief. The RF teaches that baptism is necessary in order to be saved, does it not? Obviously, then, our positions on 'belief' are different.
 
Okay. If we're going to focus strictly on the Mark 16 pericope, then I really think an understanding of the grammatical structure: "...he who believes and is baptised will be saved..." will settle the issue once and for all time. The Greek text reads: 'ho pisteuesas kai baptistheis sothesetai'. It's probably better if I break the Greek down into bite-sized chunks, to foster proper understanding.

The participle 'ho pisteuesas' means "the one who exercises belief IN (something)". In every single case that this aorist, nominative case particle appears in the New Testament, the belief which is described is that SAVING belief which is TOWARDS God/Christ as the OBJECT of the belief. There is not a single occasion where it refers to belief that focusses on the SUBJECT of the belief, that is, on the person exercising the belief. To put this another way, according to the NT, a 'believer' is a person who places his or her belief IN God through Christ, and IS SAVED at that point as a consequence of doing so.

You may also remember that I previously addressed the issue of the "...AND is baptised..." component of the clause, when Tangools sought to make the 'belief' and the 'baptism' coordinate to the 'salvation'. It's all there in one of my earlier posts in this thread.

Finally, the verb 'sothesetai', which is translated, "...shall be saved..." appears in the passive voice (indicating that it is God alone who acts in the saving of the person), indicative mood (which describes the salvation as being an ACTUAL FACT at the time the person trusts in God through Christ), and future tense (indicating that the PRESENT fact of being saved will continue on into the FUTURE).

Quite simply, when your proposal (which is based on what you assume the English translation states) is actually tested against the grammar of the passage itself (the Greek being completely unambiguous), it's found to be without Scriptural basis or support.

This Bible verse states quite clearly, that when a person places his/her belief IN Christ, that person IS saved. The person will then allow him/herself to be baptised, because he/she IS saved, but NOT in order to BECOME saved, or to STAY saved. If the RF teaches otherwise, then the RF's teaching doesn't have the support of this particular passage, and would have to look elsewhere.

Thems the simple facts, brother, which are easy to verify for onesself should one choose to take the time to do so.

God bless,

 
Hi, Tangools.

You said:

"I think the circular arguing is based on a difference of opinion. Ian, you think that baptism is not linked to salvation because faith only 'saves'."

"We have the opinion that a life that continues in faith will be saved. In other words because you believe, you will go on to be baptised, and also go on to live a 'Christian life' of faith in Jesus. If you don't go on, neither does your salvation."

And I would likely agree with the main thrust of what you've stated above. The point of most interest, however, remains WHEN the person becomes saved. As you've indicated, Mark rightly and clearly states that a person who believes IS saved (there being no other qualification appended beyond the objective belief). He then goes on to state that a person who has BEEN saved, will then allow him/herself to be baptised because he/she is in a saved state. Again, and in difference to your position, baptism ISN'T introduced as a qualification that's somehow necessary in order to REMAIN saved. Mark simply doesn't propose this.

So, Mark 16 DOESN'T support the proposition that baptism is somehow necessary for salvation. The passage focusses on the belief, and not on the baptism. My reading of the RF website leads to me to understand that your fellowship teaches that baptism is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY in order to be saved. Again I ask, 'why'?

God bless,

 
Jake - Because a believer will get baptised, if they don't get baptised they are not a beleiver.
 
Saying it over and over (and over) won't make it true ;o)

Now, do you drink poison without ill effect? Do you pick up snakes? Do you cast out demons? No? Well then, according to your argument -- derived from the very same passage -- you're clearly not a believer.


Jake - Saying over again doesn't make it true, but ignoring it doesn't make it false.
 
The idea behind debate is to offer propositions, and to challenge and test those of others. So far you've done neither.

I've sought to explain my position to you, in some detail, and how I've reached the conclusions that I have. I've also explained why I believe your own view is completely lacking in biblical support. If you honestly believe that I've got the wrong end of the stick on this matter, then show me why. Provide for me support for your views from Scripture, rather than simply repeating your simplistic version of the RF 'salvation mantra' to me over and over )

So, to repeat my positions: the Bible NOWHERE teaches that (a) baptism means to immerse in distinction to effusion and aspersion; and (b) that baptism is necessary in order to become saved, or to stay saved.

 

Hey, Jake.

I've been away with work this week, so my aplogies for not responding sooner.

"Ok here is my proposition...Baptism is part the salvation message that I preach because of this scripture Mk 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned..."

Okay. If you have a read of my various posts to date in this thread, you'll soon discover the place that I believe baptism finds in this particular scripture, should be and IS derived from what the passage itself teaches, rather than what you or I might think it teaches. Further, if Mark 16:16 interpreted according to your 'rules' forms part of your 'salvation message' (as you've chosen to describe it), then (for example) why DOESN'T casting out demons? Or drinking poison? Or picking up snakes? If your 'literal' interpretation of the belief-baptism idea is correct and valid (which I argue it isn't), then you're snookered with respect to being saved just a few verses later, given that you DON'T manifest the 'signs' that the author maintains 'prove' salvation in the first place. According to YOUR position, EVERY believer not only needs to be baptised, but s/he MUST manifest those 'other' signs that the RF doesn't talk about as well! You can't have your cake and eat it too.

"...among others."

Please raise the others and let's have a look at them.

"...It is clear that baptism goes with salvation, although you try to seperate them. I agree that baptism follows belief, what I don't understand is why you take baptism out. Clearly they are linked. If you believe you will get baptised..."

First, baptism IS indeed linked to salvation in this passage, but as an EFFECT and NOT as a CAUSE. That's the first and major significant point, and the principle one that I don't believe you've grasped yet. Second, the biblical teaching on 'belief' defines the biblical teaching on 'salvation', and NOT the reverse. That's the second significant point, and one that directly relates to the way the RF currently engages in its approach to hermeneutics. Third, I've NEVER taken baptism 'out' of ANYTHING. I've simply described where it properly fits according to biblical teaching (see significant point #1 again).

"...therefore if you don't get baptised it is clear that you do not belive..."

I don't think so. To labour the analogy and the point a little further: what of the casting out of demons, the drinking of poison, or the handling of snakes? If you DON'T do this, well, according to the way you've attempting to interpret the first part of this particular passage, then YOU'RE NOT SAVED. Interesting, huh? ;o)

 
Jake - So when Philip baptised the people of samaria, that believed but had not yet recieved the Holy Spirit, he was in the wrong?
 
Nope, not even close. Read Acts 8 in context, and you'll soon discover that the event in Samaria was *extraordinary* rather than normal, and that the withholding of the Holy Spirit occurred for a *very* good reason, at a *very* important time, for a *very* specific purpose in the unfolding of God's salvific work )

Philip baptised the Samaritans for but one reason, because they *believed* in Jesus and had confessed as much. God withheld the Holy Spirit for but one reason: the Samaritans *weren't* Jews, and so would be viewed as suspect by the Jewish-Christians in Jerusalem. And, of course, as the text makes perfectly plain, it was the two Apostles -- Peter and John -- who *imparted* the Holy Spirit to the Samaritan believers )

None of this, by the way, accords with RF theology.

Incidentally, while you're in Acts 8, have a closer look at Simon. Luke records that he too 'professed' Christ, and that he too was baptised as a consequence of his outward profession. But we learn that Simon *hadn't* converted at all. Philip, however, was unable to tell the difference, as *all* the outward marks were the *same* as were exhibited by the truly converted Samaritans.

It seems that Simon 'believed', and was baptised (and *not* by immersion in this particular instance, by the way), because he wanted to possess a little *power*. Simon's faith wasn't based on *Jesus*, it was based on a desire for spiritual 'power'. Simon *wasn't* seeking a Saviour, he was seeking a sign.

Of course, we *all* know how he ended up ;oP

 
1. "...sounds like you made all that up..."

And it sounds to me, as if you need to learn a little about biblical studies (specifically, exegesis) )

2. "...also what did simon see when the people recieved the holy spirit that made him desperatly have that power?..."

Well, we don't really know, as Luke doesn't tell us ) One thing we *can* be certain of though, is that it *wasn't* the Revivalist 'unknown tongue'. 'Tongues' speaking was a fairly common practice in a number of Greco-Roman religions during the 1st century. The Pythonic and Delphic Oracles both spoke in tongues, for example, and so did the most fervant followers of Mithras (one of the largest religious cults, and the one specifically favoured by Roman soldiers). To Simon, 'tongues-speaking' would have been fairly 'ordinary', and quite passe. And, of course, it wouldn't have come even close to successfully competing with what he saw Philip do: healing the sick and casting out demons )

3. and actually I don't know how he ended up.

Then perhaps you should also study Church history a little ;o) After being soundly rebuked by Peter, for seeking after a sign rather than a Saviour, he moved to Rome where he eventually met a rather gruesome end.

4. So what happens you to if you say you 'believe' but don't ever get baptised?

I guess you never get wet ) The same question might be asked of you: what happens if you say you 'believe', but don't ever pick up snakes, heal the sick, drink poison and cast out demons? But a more serious point for you to reflect on: what does Scripture teach will happen on the Last Day to people who claim to be 'saved' and 'righteous' because of 'miracles' and 'signs', but who don't have a vibrant, personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

I think the answer to this question is far more significant ;o)

God bless,

Ian

 
Jake,

Do you realise that the above is the *longest* post you've offered in ages?! P

Let's have a look at what you said:

[you](1) So you get baptised just to get wet?

[me] "Haven't you read *any* of my posts on this thread?"

"Yes, and I read the one where you said that if you don't get baptised then you don't get wet. So I seems that you believe that you only get baptised to get wet."

Very obtuse. This thread is quite long. I've given my understanding of baptism much earlier in the piece. It has to do with *discipleship* )

[you](2) How can you be so certain that it wasn't tongues?

[me] "I've answered this question already."

"So you can't be absolutely certain."

Sure, in much the same way that you can't be absolutely certain that 'tongues' *was* the 'sign'. But given that Luke *didn't* mention tongues, and given what he *did* mention about both Philip and Simon, the Revivalist 'unknown tongue' simply doesn't fit.

[you] (3) How can you be certain that everyone you baptise has the Holy Spirit?

[me] Because they *can* confess; 'Jesus is Lord'. I *always* question a baptismal candidate first, to ascertain in my own mind that they understand the *full* implications of this confession. If they do, then it's clear they've been illumined by God's Holy Spirit.

"So what makes you so much better than philip in recognising when someone has not "truly converted", because as you said earlier the "outward marks" can be the same?
No one can judge anothers heart, but the Father, not even you."

Well, Philip *required* the approval and confirmation of two apostles ) Obviously, we don't have that luxury any more. But your second point hit the nail right on the head. God *alone* knows, not me, not you; however, we *can* make a fairly good assessment based on the presence of developing spiritual *fruit* (after all, this was the *only* indication given by Jesus regarding a person's spiritual standing).

 
Jake,

"Clearly when the word is taken in context and the action is looked at, there needs to be sufficient water for the people to go fully submerged..."

Nope. Your understanding of both the context and the action described by the word, is informed by little more than what you currently think to be the case as a Revivalist, and *not* by what these expressions meant to 1st century Jewish 'folk' )

"...much water was needed near Aenon (John 3:23)..."

John the Baptist was a 'desert prophet', the desert being to the EAST of the Jordan River. Now water was kind of *scarce* in the desert ;oP A point which you probably *don't* know, is that Aenon was simply the closest inhabited place on the Jordan near to where John ministered (have a look at a good atlas, and *all* will become plain).

"...Jesus came "up out of" the water (Matt. 3:16); both Philip and the Ethiopian man "went down" into the water (Acts 8:38)..."

Again, nope. Both expressions are well known hebraisms which have been rendered into Greek dress. You may have heard of the term 'idiom'? Well, these are two examples of normal, idiomatic Jewish speech. When a Jew said 'go down into the water', he was talking about leaving the bank and entering the water(even if it only came up to his ankles) and NOT submerging himself in the stuff (something Jews avoided like the 'plague', by the way). When he said, 'come up out of the water', he was describing leaving the water and returning to the bank, NOT breaking the surface after having recently been dunked.

In short, you've completely failed to consider how language reflects culture, and have merely *assumed* that these passages support your theology about 'immersionist' baptism. Well, guess what? They *don't*.

But, Jake, you *did*, however, make a good point about context! And it is the context of each of the passages describing baptism in the NT which properly enables us to determine whether immersion or affusion was the practice. Never simply assume something to be the case because it accords with your presuppositions )

"...And I am sure that you will have a million other reasons why this is not so, but it is clear to me that it is this way."

I don't need a million reasons, I hope the few identified above are sufficient. Jake, I also hope you don't mind me making an observation, but baptism by immersion only is 'clear' to you *only* because you have no frame of reference other than your fellowship's idiosyncratic misunderstanding. If you knew more about the languages, the geography, the culture and the history of the times; then you'd have a completely *different* understanding, one which (hopefully) would be more in accord with the facts.


Jake,

I can only assume that you're attempting to be difficult for fun. I'd be very disappointed to learn that you're being serious, and that you've altogether missed the intent of what I've said over this 65-odd thread )

[me] Very obtuse. This thread is quite long. I've given my understanding of baptism much earlier in the piece. It has to do with *discipleship* )

"So if you are not baptised you are not a disciple?"

Nope. Discipleship *isn't* limited to baptism. It's also a life-long process. But for the moment, try scrolling right back to the beginning of this discussion, and you'll find where we addressed the issue of logical fallacies. Nothing's changed )

[me] we *can* make a fairly good assessment based on the presence of developing spiritual *fruit* (after all, this was the *only* indication given by Jesus regarding a person's spiritual standing).

"So people "being able to confess that "Jesus is Lord" doesn't really have any bearing on whether someone has the Holy Spirit or not?"

Again, 'no' to your question. Scripture makes it quite clear that a person *can't* confess "Jesus is Lord" *without* God's indwelling Spirit (do a word study on 'confess', and you'll avoid the simplistic mistake of assuming it means little more than 'saying' something).

Really, Jake, I'd like to see less 'waffle' and more *substance* in your responses.

Blessings,

Ian

P.S. 'Baptism' *still* doesn't mean 'to immerse' in Greek ;o)
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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:07/07/2006 11:34 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : End of the baptism thread [Anonymous]

Well after many months of posting this topic, I've just read all the responses.
 
When will people just get it! The Revival centres Doctrines are totally flawed.
 
I personally would not have throw out the window nearly 2 decades of Revival Centre teaching had it been the truth.
 
In the Revival Centres, be it the RF, RCI, GRC, or CAI it is there way, or get out!
They wont answer the difficult questions from searching hearts, if souls continue to cause problems by there questions their shown the door.
 
Legalistic, tongues base church's, will whacked up doctrines that are so full of error, its just not funny.
 
I would like to know just how many people in the RF, RCI, GRC, CAI have been told by there varies pastors they have received the HS all because of the "tongues"  When the truth is, many are just saying the same few word of lines, over and over again. Year in and Year out! And this is some how a miracle?. A real full flowing language.? Yes i believe in the gift of tongues, but only when its a real credable language.
 
Jesus said to thief on the cross, he would be in paradise or Gods kingdom. His heart turned, and that's what Jesus saw.
There's many thousands of people around the world where baptism by fully immersion isn't possible.
I don't know about you, but the Jesus who I serve, isn't going to send people to hell, all because there wasn't enough water around.
 
A man died and went to heaven. He was met by Jesus and Jesus began to show him around. As they walked they saw some amazing things. Some too beautiful and amazing to describe. Eventually they came to a huge wall and the man heard the sound of music, laughing and what basically sounded like a party coming from behind the wall. Curious, the man asked Jesus what was going on behind the wall. Jesus answered, "Shhhh!!! Not too loud. That"s the GRC. They think they"re the only ones here!!!"
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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:08/07/2006 9:35 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Revival Baked


Yes, there are some verses that seem to indicate baptism as a necessary requirement for salvation. However, since the Bible so clearly tells us that salvation is received by faith alone (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5), there must be a different interpretation of those verses. Scripture does not contradict Scripture.

Very interesting words those..."there must be a different interpretation of those verses. Scripture does not contradict Scripture."

You know, when you have a view that this Bible is the Word of God, inspired, etc then you are faced with some serious problems.  One of them is the role/place of baptism.  It is beyond a doubt that there are verses that SEEM to say one must be baptised to seal the deal.  You have whole denominations which place baptism in a much higher place than a mere symbol...and not all of them are cults.  The Churches of Christ, for example, are one.  The Catholic Church, Greek Orthodox Church and a host of other recent and ancient groups subscribe to the fact that baptism is essential to one's salvation.  

When I was an Evangelical Christian, that is the kind of Christian that would support the article that was posted at the beginning of this thread, I struggled with the verses that SEEMED to say you NEED to be baptised.  I took comfort in the fact that despite the contradtictions, some verses made it abundantly clear that salvation was 'by grace through faith alone' and I tried not to think about it.  But it seems I was not alone in my struggle to harmonise the contradictions.  I recall a lecturer at my Bible College saying that there was something very mystical that took place at his baptism that could not be put down to a mere symbol.  He said he believed that baptism was a symbol yes...but also much more than a symbol.

OK, so after I 'walked away' from Christianity I found the very simple answer to this problem.  Are you ready?  Here it is...

Some New Testament writers believed that baptism was essential to one's salvation and other writers did not believe it to be so.

 Did you get that?  Instead of reading the Bible as if it was written by one person, I started reading it as coming from different authors, from different parts of the then known world, with different agendas and, YES, different beliefs.  

You see, there is a massive assumption made by many Evangelical Christians  amd that is, as the writer above put it, "Scripture does not contradict Scripture."  Once that assumption is made, one is forced to accept, as the writer also put it, "there must be a different interpretation of those verses."

But if one does not start with that assumption, and accepts what St Paul said was happening even in his time, "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."  In other words, there were factions even in the early Church.  Some were saying one thing and ascribing it to one apostle and others were saying other things and ascribing it to other apostles or even to Jesus.  Paul goes on to explain that these should not exist of course, but the thing is...they did!  There was even a huge dispute between Paul and James.

Ok, so if we accept that then it becomes a very plausible explanation for the contradtictions: that THEY ARE IN FACT CONTRADICTIONS.  Some in the early church believed baptism was not essential to salvation and others believed the opposite. 

A lot of people don't want to even entertain this idea because it opens a Pandora's Box concerning the way one should read the Bible.  But I am telling you, it is the best explanation I have found.  It also explains ALL THE other contradictions in the New Testament. 

Sadly, for some people, the simplest and plainest explanation is the last thing they want to hear.

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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:09/07/2006 7:41 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

There was even a huge dispute between Paul and James.
What about?
A man died and went to heaven. He was met by Jesus and Jesus began to show him around. As they walked they saw some amazing things. Some too beautiful and amazing to describe. Eventually they came to a huge wall and the man heard the sound of music, laughing and what basically sounded like a party coming from behind the wall. Curious, the man asked Jesus what was going on behind the wall. Jesus answered, "Shhhh!!! Not too loud. That"s the GRC. They think they"re the only ones here!!!"
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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:10/07/2006 8:05 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J



Reply to : Revival BakedYes, there are some verses that seem to indicate baptism as a necessary requirement for salvation. However, since the Bible so clearly tells us that salvation is received by faith alone (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5),there must be a different interpretation of those verses. Scripture does not contradict Scripture.Very interesting words those..."there must be a different interpretation of those verses. Scripture does not contradict Scripture."You know, when you have a view that this Bible is the Word of God, inspired, etc then you are faced with some serious problems.&nb





Mr J

Nope. I disagree The different authors just placed stress on different things because of the different circumstances they were addressing in their letters. You've made the mistake of taking diversity to mean contradiction.

L

PS I think you've done the same thing with Paul and James.
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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:10/07/2006 9:34 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

Mr JNope. I disagree...

LOL!!!  Of course you do.  Different stress, of course.   

As I said, you start with an assumption that they cannot be contradtictions so you refuse to entertain that idea from the start.  End of argument...with you anyway. 

For you, it stops being about the 'truth' and becomes making things fit to your conclusion rather than letting these things lead you to a conclusion.

But that's ok.  I used to think that way too and so I understand.  I know that will make you feel patronised, but it is true nevertheless.

For the sake of others reading this, I will give another example in the thread:

http://www.aimoo.com/forum/postview.cfm?id=443300&CategoryID=148056&startcat=1&ThreadID=2575812

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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:10/07/2006 10:59 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J



Reply to : AnonymousMr JNope. I disagree...LOL!!! Of course you do. Differentstress, of course.As I said, you start with an assumption that they cannot be contradtictions so you refuse to entertain that idea from the start. End of argument...with you anyway.For you, it stops being about the 'truth' and becomes making things fit to your conclusion rather than letting these things lead you to a conclusion.But that's ok. I used to think that way too and so I understand. I know that will make you feel patronised, but it is true nevertheless.For the sake of others reading this, I will give another example in the





Mr J

Its ok I don't feel patronised and I hope you don't feel patronised by my reply either

FWIW I think you've got a very mechanical understanding about Biblical infallibility. And because your understanding is off you wind up throwing punches at shadows.

L

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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:11/07/2006 10:09 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

Some New Testament writers believed that baptism was essential to one's salvation and other writers did not believe it to be so.


Yes, there are some verses that seem to to say that baptism as a necessary requirement for salvation. However, since the Bible so clearly tells us that salvation is received by faith alone (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5), there must be a different interpretation of those verses.
A man died and went to heaven. He was met by Jesus and Jesus began to show him around. As they walked they saw some amazing things. Some too beautiful and amazing to describe. Eventually they came to a huge wall and the man heard the sound of music, laughing and what basically sounded like a party coming from behind the wall. Curious, the man asked Jesus what was going on behind the wall. Jesus answered, "Shhhh!!! Not too loud. That"s the GRC. They think they"re the only ones here!!!"
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Re: "Is baptism necessary for salvation? What is baptismal regeneration?"

Date Posted:11/07/2006 10:20 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Revival Baked

...there must be a different interpretation of those verses.
*sigh*
RCI prophesies
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