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TheForgiven
02-08-2010, 05:50 AM
Ok my friends. I'm probably going to get slapped in the mouth for starting this debate, but I hope we can discuss this topic without anger.

I've debated this subject years ago, and as with eschatology, it ends up in circles.

Let me start off by quoting the words of St. Peter on the day of Pentecost, and see if we can arrive at a conclusion:

Acts 2:

37 ¶ And hearing this , they were stabbed in the heart, and said to Peter and to the other apostles, Men, brothers, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ to remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all those afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Peter instructs his fellow Jews that they must first "Repent" of their sinning, which means to turn away from, and do no more. The next requirement was for them to be water baptized in the name of Jesus, for the remission of their sins. Then would they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Now before some get wild on me, let me first state that water itself is not important. We all know that water means nothing, and has no power in itself. Let us be clear on that. However, obedience to His command is required. Remember the story of Naaman? This was a man who was commanded by the prophet to "dip himself seven times in the Jordan" so he could be healed of his Leprosy.


2 Kings 5:

9 ¶ And Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall come to you, and you shall be clean.
11 But Naaman was angry, and went away. And he said, Behold, I said within myself, He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place and recover the leper.
12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them, and be clean? And he turned and went away in a rage.
13 And his servants came near and spoke to him and said, My father, if the prophet had told you to do a great thing, would you not have done it ? How much rather then, when he says to you, Wash and be clean?
14 And he went down and dipped seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God. And his flesh came again like the flesh of a little boy, and he was clean.

This story matches many christians throughout the centuries. None of us understand the ways of God, but we sometimes question his methods. Take Naman for instance. He asked the very same questions most do with regards to Baptism. For he complains, "Why the Jordan river? Are not these other waters more cleaner than the Jordan?" Notice his other complaint when he says, "Surely I thought the prophet would merely call upon the name of his God and command that I be cleaned...."

Like Naaman, many react to the command to be baptized as Naaman did to the simple command to be dipped seven times and cleaned.

The point is simple folks. On the outside, water Baptims may be absurd to some degree, when it's just water. But you see, Naaman had to demostrate the act of obedience before his Leprosy could be cured.

Water baptism in Jesus name has centuries of documentation. The early church did it, the middle ages did it, so what's stopping you? :pray:

Baptism may appear pointless on the outside. But when one understands the importance of being obedient to God's word, no matter how absurd it may or may not be, it is obedience to an act of faith that saves us. Peter states his his Epistle:


1 Peter:

18 ¶ For Christ also once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, indeed being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit; 19 in which also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,
20 to disobeying ones, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared (in which a few, that is, eight souls were saved through water); 21 ¶ which figure now also saves us, baptism; not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ; 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into Heaven, where the angels and authorities and powers are being subjected to Him.

Baptism is a picture of the destruction of the world during the days of Noah. Water destroyed the sin in the world, and what was left was 8 souls who were considered to be righteous. In the same way, when we are buried with Christ (Collossians 2:10-12), we become buried with Christ through Baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead, we too are raised to the newness of life.

Now I know there will be some who like to quote Romans 10:9-10, "Faith and Confession", but if you read the context, Paul was not giving instructions on "how to be saved", but "how Christians are saved by faith, and not by the works of the Law..." In other words, "Faith" that God raised Jesus from the dead, is how our faith is exhibited in water baptism. Through our faith in the resurrection (Romans 10:9-10), we apply this faith in action (Collossians 2:10-13) in Baptism. And as James states, "Faith without works is dead in itself..."

In conclusion, Baptism is an act of faith in the resurrection of Christ, that just as He as killed and buried, we too were killed with Chrst on the cross, buried with Him in the waters of Baptism, and raised with Him to the newness of life....death, burial, and resurrection. Thus, water Baptism in Jesus name is just as required as Naaman's 7th dip in the Jordan river. Without obedience, one cannot be saved.

May the grace of God be with you all.

Joe

Rose
02-08-2010, 08:56 AM
Ok my friends. I'm probably going to get slapped in the mouth for starting this debate, but I hope we can discuss this topic without anger.

I've debated this subject years ago, and as with eschatology, it ends up in circles.

Let me start off by quoting the words of St. Peter on the day of Pentecost, and see if we can arrive at a conclusion:

Acts 2:

37 ¶ And hearing this , they were stabbed in the heart, and said to Peter and to the other apostles, Men, brothers, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ to remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all those afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Peter instructs his fellow Jews that they must first "Repent" of their sinning, which means to turn away from, and do no more. The next requirement was for them to be water baptized in the name of Jesus, for the remission of their sins. Then would they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Now before some get wild on me, let me first state that water itself is not important. We all know that water means nothing, and has no power in itself. Let us be clear on that. However, obedience to His command is required. Remember the story of Naaman? This was a man who was commanded by the prophet to "dip himself seven times in the Jordan" so he could be healed of his Leprosy.



This story matches many christians throughout the centuries. None of us understand the ways of God, but we sometimes question his methods. Take Naman for instance. He asked the very same questions most do with regards to Baptism. For he complains, "Why the Jordan river? Are not these other waters more cleaner than the Jordan?" Notice his other complaint when he says, "Surely I thought the prophet would merely call upon the name of his God and command that I be cleaned...."

Like Naaman, many react to the command to be baptized as Naaman did to the simple command to be dipped seven times and cleaned.

The point is simple folks. On the outside, water Baptims may be absurd to some degree, when it's just water. But you see, Naaman had to demostrate the act of obedience before his Leprosy could be cured.

Water baptism in Jesus name has centuries of documentation. The early church did it, the middle ages did it, so what's stopping you? :pray:

Baptism may appear pointless on the outside. But when one understands the importance of being obedient to God's word, no matter how absurd it may or may not be, it is obedience to an act of faith that saves us. Peter states his his Epistle:



Baptism is a picture of the destruction of the world during the days of Noah. Water destroyed the sin in the world, and what was left was 8 souls who were considered to be righteous. In the same way, when we are buried with Christ (Collossians 2:10-12), we become buried with Christ through Baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead, we too are raised to the newness of life.

Now I know there will be some who like to quote Romans 10:9-10, "Faith and Confession", but if you read the context, Paul was not giving instructions on "how to be saved", but "how Christians are saved by faith, and not by the works of the Law..." In other words, "Faith" that God raised Jesus from the dead, is how our faith is exhibited in water baptism. Through our faith in the resurrection (Romans 10:9-10), we apply this faith in action (Collossians 2:10-13) in Baptism. And as James states, "Faith without works is dead in itself..."

In conclusion, Baptism is an act of faith in the resurrection of Christ, that just as He as killed and buried, we too were killed with Chrst on the cross, buried with Him in the waters of Baptism, and raised with Him to the newness of life....death, burial, and resurrection. Thus, water Baptism in Jesus name is just as required as Naaman's 7th dip in the Jordan river. Without obedience, one cannot be saved.

May the grace of God be with you all.

Joe

Hi Joe,

This indeed is a topic that evokes much emotion in people, much like the subject of "speaking in tongues"....:catfight:

I was baptized 2-13-83, as an outward sign of my faith - that was two years after I was saved. Nothing at that moment changed....there was no receiving of the Holy Spirit at that time, that was something I felt I received at the time I made Jesus my Lord and Savior.

I think something far different happened to those first century people at Pentecost, and after. For one thing all Jews at some point were baptized in water as part of their ritual cleansing of sin, and we know that had nothing to do with their receiving the Holy Spirit. I think what Peter was emphasizing was that first there had to be a confession of believing Jesus to be the Christ, and then water baptism was the outward sign of that rebirth (which all Jews were familiar with) at which time the Holy Spirit filled their temples and became their Teacher and Comforter. Now, baptism is not a requirement for being filled with the Holy Spirit, but rather a public witness to our commitment to our faith.

The outward sign of speaking in tongues (other earthly languages) on the day of Pentecost was a powerful sign that witnessed to all the Jews from other countries when they heard the Gospel preached to them in their own language. Many today like to teach that "speaking in tongues" (babbling in the spirit) is an outward sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit....though I see no such record of that in Scripture.



God Bless
Rose

TheForgiven
02-08-2010, 12:38 PM
Hi Joe,

This indeed is a topic that evokes much emotion in people, much like the subject of "speaking in tongues"....

Yep, I know what you mean about the tongues debate. That is an obvious error from those of the UPC (United Pentecostal Church), and the Assemblies of God (AoG). There are other Protestant churches who teach that tongues is mandatory as evidence for salvation. They do not understand that tongues is just not some babbling of the lips and tongue, as is the sound when you hear them talk. Tongues was the Holy Spirit interpreting the words of the Apostles to the foreigners. This was needed because the Apostles were ordinary men who were not trained on multiple languages.


I was baptized 2-13-83, as an outward sign of my faith - that was two years after I was saved. Nothing at that moment changed....there was no receiving of the Holy Spirit at that time, that was something I felt I received at the time I made Jesus my Lord and Savior.

Mere baptism in itself has no effect, not that one would recognize a defining effect. I was baptized at the age of 12, but I had no idea what I was doing. It wasn't until the age of 17 that I had a slight understanding of what baptism represented, but even then, no true devotion. It wasn't until 1994 when I became a reborn Christian that I was baptized in Jesus name, having a full understanding of what had happened, that I felt a genuine relationship developed. For days, I felt as though Christ were inside of my body singing melody to my heart. I had no fear, and nothing but pure joy.

Not everyone feels the need for Baptism. My point is that scripture commands it, therefore who are we to do otherwise? There are some Churches who do not even practice Baptism. Thus, their salvation is questioned. Not that God needs people to get baptized. But if He commanded it, then He would most certainly provide the way for this to happen. I've heard it all. I've heard absurd situations from people being saved in the desert (with no water), or people facing death in an airplane and wanting to get saved before the plane crashes. My response is with reality. Who would think of converting to Christianity just moments from that kind of death, UNLESS they were already aware of God's salvation and chose to avoid it all those years. Then, just before their deaths, choose to be saved? That, to me, is nothing more than someone "avoiding the spanking" and does not represent a true repentance unto Christ and of God. Besides, I don't believe God works like that.


I think something far different happened to those first century people at Pentecost, and after. For one thing all Jews at some point were baptized in water as part of their ritual cleansing of sin, and we know that had nothing to do with their receiving the Holy Spirit. I think what Peter was emphasizing was that first there had to be a confession of believing Jesus to be the Christ, and then water baptism was the outward sign of that rebirth (which all Jews were familiar with) at which time the Holy Spirit filled their temples and became their Teacher and Comforter. Now, baptism is not a requirement for being filled with the Holy Spirit, but rather a public witness to our commitment to our faith.

Yes, many confuse receiving the gifts of the Spirit, to receiving the Holy Spirit. The Eunuch was baptized by Phillip (In Jesus Name), but he never received a gift (tongues, healing, prophesy, etc.) The gifts were required to aid the Apostles in spreading the Gospels in foreign countries. It also provided them ample testimony with the miracles they performed, giving proof to the validity of the Gospels.

Now with regards to Baptism, this is an act of faith. Baptism is an inward process knowing that one has died, was buried, and then raised to the newness of life; a second chance at life, if you will. Some regard Baptism is an outward testimony, and in a way they are right. But as St. Peter states, "is saves you not by the removal of filth (dirt), but by the answer/response of a good/clean conscious towards God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And when we believe that Christ was raised from the dead for our salvation, we know that we too are resurrected from the dead having come up from the water.

Barnabus, of the 2nd century, explains Baptism perfectly. His testimony shows that the Christ Churches who have practiced Baptism for more than 2000 years, remain valid and with Holy reasoning.

Baptism is a rebirth, and is very beautiful. I don't agree with the Catholic version of "sprinkling", but that is their choice. The Greek Orthodox Church practices full dipping into the water....no sprinkling.

Well I'm sure this might be a good discussion. Just don't debate this topic with the "Faith only" club. This would most certainly end up in a cat fight. :catfight:

God Bless

Joe

HaShaliach
02-09-2010, 02:34 PM
Joe,
I'm so glad to read you have been baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. Awesome! I was baptized at 12 in the titles of Father, Son and Holy Ghost; then in August of 1993 I was baptized in the actual name. FOR ME, it made all the difference in the world, it actually took about 6 months for me to begin to feel the spiritual change in my life. I, like you write, fell in love with Jesus more than ever before, was truely happy and singing in my soul. My ministry changed and preaching the gospel became easy, no struggle in the pulpit, no fear of public speaking. He always shows up and helps me minister. More signs following of healing and deliverance, people freed from domestic violence, adultry/marriages healed, smokers stop smoking. Wow, God is good!

Doctrinally speaking now, I do not think that baptism is salvic. Peters command of 2:38 is the proper responce to salvation, and he later clarifies his teaching on baptism saying that it does not cleanse us from the FILTHINESS OF FLESH, but does allow us to have a GOOD CONSCIENCE TOWARD GOD. Agreed, it is very important to be baptised, and I think it should be done in the name, to allow us to serve God more perfectly, in a good conscience, not desiring the lusts of our flesh.

Bless you for posting this.

TheForgiven
02-11-2010, 04:37 AM
Greetings HalShiak. Welcome to the Biblewheel Forum. :welcome:

I'm glad you've chosen to discuss a very tough issue with most; water baptism in Jesus name.


Joe,
I'm so glad to read you have been baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. Awesome! I was baptized at 12 in the titles of Father, Son and Holy Ghost; then in August of 1993 I was baptized in the actual name. FOR ME, it made all the difference in the world, it actually took about 6 months for me to begin to feel the spiritual change in my life. I, like you write, fell in love with
Jesus more than ever before, was truely happy and singing in my soul. My ministry changed and preaching the gospel became easy, no struggle in the pulpit, no fear of public speaking. He always shows up and helps me minister. More signs following of healing and deliverance, people freed from domestic violence, adultry/marriages healed, smokers stop smoking. Wow, God is good!

If you don't mind me asking my brother, are you from the First United Pentecostal Church? Your language reminds me very much of them when I joined them back in 1996-97. Of course, I haven't been a part of that Denomination since 1998 due to personal issues I've struggled with.

I agree that Baptism in Jesus name is what was required. Matthew 28 states that they were to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Well, what is the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Jesus, as is recorded in Isaiah, which states:

Unto us a child is born; unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders. His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Ever-Lasting Father, and Prince of Peace.....

So what is the name of the Wonderful, Counselor, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace? Jesus! The awesome and powerful name of Jesus! Hence, when we are baptized (per His command), we are baptized in HIS Name, for the as the scripture says, "For there is no other name under heaven through which we are saved....that at the name of Jesus, ever knee should confess that He is Lord......" Amen!


Doctrinally speaking now, I do not think that baptism is salvic. Peters command of 2:38 is the proper responce to salvation, and he later clarifies his teaching on baptism saying that it does not cleanse us from the FILTHINESS OF FLESH, but does allow us to have a GOOD CONSCIENCE TOWARD GOD. Agreed, it is very important to be baptised, and I think it should be done in the name, to allow us to serve God more perfectly, in a good conscience, not desiring the lusts of our flesh.

Bless you for posting this.

In a way you're right, but I totally agree that Baptism is a salvation issue. Why?

1. It was commanded.
2. It was practiced, and still practiced.
3. The New Testament teaches that it saves.

Baptism cleanses our conscious from sin because we know that we died to sin, having been buried with Christ through Baptism into death, and when we are raised out of the water, we come to the newness of life.

There is more to discuss on this issue, and I look forward to your contributions.

God bless.

Joe

HaShaliach
02-16-2010, 12:51 AM
Blessings to you my brother.


Greetings HalShiak. Welcome to the Biblewheel Forum. :welcome:

If you don't mind me asking my brother, are you from the First United Pentecostal Church?

No never been part of UPC, of course, I visited a few and I have read some of the "oneness" books by their authors.


Of course, I haven't been a part of that Denomination since 1998 due to personal issues I've struggled with.

Issues with the denomination? Or your own "personal."


In a way you're right, but I totally agree that Baptism is a salvation issue. Why?

1. It was commanded.
2. It was practiced, and still practiced.
3. The New Testament teaches that it saves. (I don't agree)

Baptism cleanses our conscious from sin because we know that we died to sin, having been buried with Christ through Baptism into death, and when we are raised out of the water, we come to the newness of life.[/B]


You put me in a very hard position in speaking about something I strongly believe in, yet cannot say is salvic.
The water does not remit sin. It is the blood, and only the blood. The question becomes, "when is the blood applied." If baptism in the name is salvic, then the blood would not be applied until one is "coming up" out of the water. Where is faith? Where is the blood?

I have heard read this very issue discussed at length before, and put in terms of one-stepper or three-stepper. You are teaching a 3-step salvation based solely on 2:38, however, I believe in "one-step" bringing salvation. That of the blood only not the water.
A couple of questions beg to be asked that are always asked of 3 steppers, what about all the souls in history who were not baptised in the name? Are they in hell?

And, as a point of history, as I have read, many of the early pentecostal pioneers did not believe the 3 step teaching, they were 1 step. The teaching evolved within the UPC. Just as they have modulated their postion on the necessity of HGB with evidence of speaking on tongues for salvation.
[/QUOTE]

HaShaliach
02-16-2010, 01:04 AM
However, he articulates well the subject we are discussing, and even using the same scriptures, I hope this helps in understanding the "one step" position.

I asked him the question here:

Question: "Does 1 Peter 3:21 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?"

Answer: As with any single verse or passage, we discern what it teaches by first filtering it through what we know the Bible teaches on the subject at hand. In the case of baptism and salvation, the Bible is clear that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works of any kind, including baptism (Ephesians 2:8-9). So, any interpretation which comes to the conclusion that baptism, or any other act, is necessary for salvation, is a faulty interpretation. For more information, please visit our webpage on "Is salvation by faith alone, or by faith plus works?"

Those who believe that baptism is required for salvation are quick to use 1 Peter 3:21 as a 'proof text,' because it states 'baptism now saves you.' Was Peter really saying that the act of being baptized is what saves us? If he were, he would be contradicting many other passages of Scripture that clearly show people being saved (as evidenced by their receiving the Holy Spirit) prior to being baptized or without being baptized at all (like the thief on the cross in Luke 23:39-43). A good example of someone who was saved before being baptized is Cornelius and his household in Acts 10. We know that they were saved before being baptized because they had received the Holy Spirit, which is the evidence of salvation (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13; 1 John 3:24). The evidence of their salvation was the reason Peter allowed them to be baptized. Countless passages of Scripture clearly teach that salvation comes when one believes in the gospel, at which time he or she is sealed 'in Christ with the Holy Spirit of promise' (Ephesians 1:13).

Fortunately, though, we don’t have to guess at what Peter means in this verse because he clarifies that for us with the phrase 'not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience.' While Peter is connecting baptism with salvation, it is not the act of being baptized that he is referring to (not the removal of dirt from the flesh). Being immersed in water does nothing but wash away dirt. What Peter is referring to is what baptism represents, which is what saves us (an appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ). In other words, Peter is simply connecting baptism with belief. It is not the getting-wet part that saves but is the 'appeal to God for a clean conscience' which is signified by baptism, that saves us. The appeal to God always comes first. First belief and repentance, then we are baptized to publicly identify ourselves with Christ.

An excellent explanation of this passage is given by Dr. Kenneth Wuest, author of Word Studies in the Greek New Testament. 'Water baptism is clearly in the apostle's mind, not the baptism by the Holy Spirit, for he speaks of the waters of the flood as saving the inmates of the ark, and in this verse, of baptism saving believers. But he says that it saves them only as a counterpart. That is, water baptism is the counterpart of the reality, salvation. It can only save as a counterpart, not actually. The Old Testament sacrifices were counterparts of the reality, the Lord Jesus. They did not actually save the believer, only in type. It is not argued here that these sacrifices are analogous to Christian water baptism. The author is merely using them as an illustration of the use of the word 'counterpart.'

"So water baptism only saves the believer in type. The Old Testament Jew was saved before he brought the offering. That offering was only his outward testimony that he was placing faith in the Lamb of God of whom these sacrifices were a type....Water baptism is the outward testimony of the believer's inward faith. The person is saved the moment he places his faith in the Lord Jesus. Water baptism is the visible testimony to his faith and the salvation he was given in answer to that faith. Peter is careful to inform his readers that he is not teaching baptismal regeneration, namely, that a person who submits to baptism is thereby regenerated, for he says, 'not the putting away of the filth of the flesh.' Baptism, Peter explains, does not wash away the filth of the flesh, either in a literal sense as a bath for the body, nor in a metaphorical sense as a cleansing for the soul. No ceremonies really affect the conscience. But he defines what he means by salvation, in the words 'the answer of a good conscience toward God," and he explains how this is accomplished, namely, 'by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,' in that the believing sinner is identified with Him in that resurrection.'

Part of the confusion on this passage comes from the fact that in many ways the purpose of baptism as a public declaration of one’s faith in Christ and identification with Him has been replaced by 'making a decision for Christ' or 'praying a sinner’s prayer.' Baptism has been relegated to something that is done later. Yet to Peter or any of the first-century Christians, the idea that a person would confess Christ as his Savior and not be baptized as soon as possible would have been unheard of. Therefore, it is not surprising that Peter would see baptism as almost synonymous with salvation. Yet Peter makes it clear in this verse that it is not the ritual itself that saves, but the fact that we are united with Christ in His resurrection through faith, 'the pledge of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ' (1 Peter 3:21).

Therefore, the baptism that Peter says saves us is the one that is preceded by faith in the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ that justifies the unrighteous sinner (Romans 3:25-26; 4:5). Baptism is the outward sign of what God has done 'by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit' (Titus 3:5).


------------------------------
Context!!!

And the next verse is evidently intended to safeguard us on the matter so we would not misunderstand the Scripture, for that same verse goes on to say, "(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." So baptism does not put away the filth of this old carnal nature. It is simply "the answer of a good conscious toward God." And the saving that we get is "by the resurrection of Jesus Christ," after His death on the cross, which is pictured in baptism. This is "the answer of a good conscious," a conscience already purged, before one is baptized.

Our Catholic friends, and perhaps our OP PAJC friends, say that when Jesus gave the Lord's Supper and He said, "This is my body," He meant that the bread actually becomes the body of Christ and the cup actually contains the blood of Christ literally, and that these are a new sacrifice. That is unscriptural. but to make baptism a saving ordinance by misinterpreting 1 Peter 3:21 is the same sin, the same perversion of Scripture.