Page 1 Water Baptism GE: I got two leads as to the marks or signs of the true New Testament Church, first from Karl Barth who said that Christianity that not totally and unreservedly is eschatology, totally and unreservedly has nothing to do with Christ! Next from Jürgen Moltmann who said that Christian Faith that is not Resurrection Faith, is neither Christian, nor faith! And then – above all Jesus, and John and Paul – who all esteemed the suffering of the saints for Jesus' sake, their most precious Christian ‘Distinctive’. Baptism deserves nor receives such place among the properties of true Christian Faith; not in the Scriptures whatsoever. Water baptism is no sign of the New Testament Church though it was a sign for the FOUNDERS of the NT Church, the Apostles exclusively of their authority invested in them by Jesus Christ. The RCC held on to the rite of baptism because it held on to Apostolic succession. Baptism and Congregation… The only baptism after Pentecost recorded in the New Testament that happened while believers were in Congregation, is of Paul baptising Lydia Acts 16:14,15. Except for Pentecost and Lydia’s baptism, every case of Apostles baptising recorded, is of an individual or individuals baptised under circumstances everything but Congregational. Page 2 Baptism and Congregation and Day-of-Congregation… All the few cases of Apostles baptising (‘water’ being mentioned or implied or not) —other than of the Sabbath of Lydia’s baptism and Pentecost (which also happened to fall on the Sabbath Day)— are recorded with no specific day of the week or season of year attached to or associated with it. Baptism needed no Congregation or Day-of-Congregation to be performed because baptism is one sign of Apostleship and no sign of the Church. Baptism and Apostleship… Baptism like the other "signs" which the Holy Spirit "gave" the first planters of the Christian Faith, was a "sign" or "mark" for them of their authority as the ones sent in person by the Great Commissioner, Matthew 28:18-20. To us after the founders, water-baptism is a sign of the authority invested in the Apostles, by the Lord as “the Head and Cornerstone” of the foundation of the Temple of Christ’s Body the Church. Therefore baptism with water has never been a requirement to be or to become a Christian or a member of the Church or to be saved. The initial prerogative of water-baptism, was the Apostles’ and no followers’ or feigned successors’ of them. In the above, I supposed "baptism" 'with water' / ‘in water'. The baptism of Jesus – which, distinct from water-baptism – is the new birth and gift of faith by the power of the Holy Spirit, today is as much a prerequisite to be a true member of the New Testament Church as it in the time of the Apostles used to be. Page 3 JV: Its work--getting folks saved, baptizing them (with a baptism that meets all the requirements of God's Word), teaching them ("to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you"). (Matt. 28:16-20) GE: Says John of Jesus' baptism and his own, "I baptise WITH WATER, but there standeth (Jesus) ... that HE should be made manifest ... therefore am I come to baptise with water ... the SAME (Jesus) is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” There's just one baptism that "meets all the requirements of God's Word” unto salvation— Jesus Christ. It is the baptism executed by HIM unto the regeneration of the sinner through the operation of the Holy Spirit. It is the ONLY baptism the Church should believe, teach and practice through the proclamation of HIM. DS: At Acts 2:38, it is the repentance that leads to "remission of your sins" (ASV). Jesus taught the same at Luke 24:47 "repentance for| remission of sins" (NASB|ASV). Baptism is to follow up that repentance. GE: The Greek implies the opposite, namely, that the baptism of the Spirit shall go before anything else, for it literally says, "Be ye baptised INTO the Name ... unto baptism INTO forgiveness of sins". The Name is Jesus Christ; He, is the forgiveness. He who is justified is he whose sins are forgiven, is he who has been found "IN HIM". "In Him" is, in That One's, baptism. Water, and baptism "into" water (‘eis hudaton’) I cannot see there. It isn't there; it's only "into" Christ = "into forgiveness". It is a matter of by grace through faith COMPLETELY. No plusses - no Roman Catholic heresy added.