Baptism

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Mark Stephen, Aug 13, 2001.

  1. Mark Stephen

    Mark Stephen
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    Hello friends. Any help you can give is much appreciated.

    I believe we are saved by God's grace through faith. I also believe baptism (immersion in water) is an important part of God's plan for humanity.

    I've been listening to some material from the Church of Christ about baptism "for remission of sins" (Acts 2:38 and other passages) and how important it is to be baptised for the "right reason".

    I must admit this is getting rather confusing and disconcerting to me.

    Do you know of any excellent books that deal with the doctrines of justification - as well as the role of baptism in the life of the believer?

    Thanks so much.

    Mark S.
     
  2. John Wells

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    Hello and welcome,

    Salvation is by Grace alone through faith in Christ alone. Water Baptism is a sign and declaration of that relationship with Christ and is a first step of obedience in the Christian life. Being baptized in water does not add one iota to your salvation, and missing baptism in water for a valid reason will not detract from your salvation.

    To learn more: http://www.bible.org/docs/theology/eccles/baptism/bapt.htm http://www.carm.org/questions/justification.htm

    [ August 13, 2001: Message edited by: wellsjs ]
     
  3. Raulf7

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    Does water baptism save a person? Is it necessary for eternal life? Those are important questions because an unsaved person (one who hasn't got eternal life) goes to hell to burn forever when he dies.

    If water baptism is necessary to escape hell, the Bible will tell us. If a spiritual, new birth requires water baptism, the Bible will be clear, because God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." I Peter 3:9b So what does the Bible say?

    Ephesians 4:5
    One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
    In other places, however, the Bible speaks of other lords and gods. II Corinthians 4:4 calls Satan the "god of this world" and the Old Testament mentions numerous false gods. But this is not the contradiction it may seem to be. The Lord explains it fully.

    1 Corinthians 8:5,6
    For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

    So while there are those that are called gods, they are not gods by nature.

    Galatians 4:8
    Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.

    There is only one real Lord and God who is THE GOD "by nature." There are many false gods but only the real God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. The "one Lord and one God" of Ephesians 4:5,6 then refers to the one real Lord and God. The rest are imitations. The Bible also speaks of more than one faith. All of today's various so-called "Christian" denominations and false, pagan religions attest to that.

    1 Timothy 4:1
    Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

    Galatians 1:6-7
    I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

    People today believe anything. They place their faith in whatever sounds good or appeals to them. But this is the Bible admonition.

    Jude 1:3
    Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to writeunto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

    The faith of Jude is the one true faith of Ephesians 4:5, and all the rest are imitations.

    Now the Bible also speaks of more than one baptism. There are actually seven baptisms mentioned. Chronologically, the first baptism is that of Moses and the Israelites.

    1 Corinthians 10:1
    Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant,how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

    That baptism was by aspersion, and it is not available for us today. It is, therefore, not the one saving baptism of Ephesians 4.
    John 1:31, Matthew 3:6, and Luke 3:16 are verses about the second baptism.

    John 1:31
    And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

    John the Baptist is gone, and we are not Old Testament Jews at Jesus' first coming, so neither can this be the one saving baptism.
    A third baptism is mentioned in Matthew.

    Matthew 20:22-23
    But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. {23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with thebaptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

    Now Jesus had already received John's baptism three and a half year earlier so that is not the baptism to which he is referring. This baptism is a reference to his violent, physical death. On the cross Jesus experienced the cup of God's wrath for sinners. He prayed, "let this cup pass from me" in Matthew 26:39. Revelation 14:10 and 16:19 are other examples of the cup of God's wrath. This third baptism is the baptism of death.

    Romans 6:3
    Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptizedinto Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

    In Matthew 20:22 Jesus asked those disciples if they too were willing to die that way. They said yes, and the DID die violent deaths. Not every Christian dies a violent death, so neither can this be the one saving baptism.

    Now the fourth and fifth baptisms are mentioned together.

    Matthew 3:11
    I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoesI am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
    John said Jesus will baptize some "with fire." Verse 12 explains the "fire."

    Matthew 3:12
    Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
    The wheat is the saved people baptized with the Holy Ghost; the chaff is the unsaved who shall be baptized with unquenchable HELL fire. The baptism of fire is one of eternal damnation.

    Revelation 20:15
    And whosoever was not found written in the bookof life was cast into the lake of fire.
    Matthew 3:11,12 is not a reference to the giving of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost.

    Acts 2:3
    And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

    Something "like as of" fire "sitting" on someone is quite different from being IMMERSED in REAL fire for eternity! In his word, God described eternal damnation as being baptized in fire. Now Matthew 3:11 also says that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost. Comparing scripture with scripture, the Bible shows that this baptism is the one that gives eternal life. This is the one saving baptism of Ephesians 4:5. Speaking to saved, born-again Christians, Paul said:

    1 Corinthians 12:13
    For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; andhave been all made to drink into one Spirit.
    Earlier he said:

    1 Corinthians 6:19
    What? know ye not that your body is the temple of theHoly Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, andye are not your own?

    Romans 8:9
    Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
    These verses are crystal clear. A person is NOT saved, he is NOT the Lord's unless he has the Holy Spirit sealed inside him.

    Galatians 3:27
    For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
    Being "baptized into Christ" is not the same as being baptized "in water." Every saved, born-again Christian has been spiritually baptized into Christ's body.

    Ephesians 5:30,32
    For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

    Spirit baptism of the Holy Ghost into Christ's body is the one saving baptism of Ephesians 4:5. How and when this happens is found in the explanation of the next two baptisms.

    Acts 2:38, the sixth baptism, is probably one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. Take time now to read Acts 2:22-40. In Acts 2:22, Peter was the speaker and he was addressing "ye men of Israel." No other group is mentioned. He told of Jesus' earthly ministry (vs 22) and pointed out that they crucified him (vs 23). In vs 24 he proclaimed the resurrection and then freely quoted Psalms 16:8-11 in verses 25-28. The "men and brethren" of vs 29 were Israelites, and Peter again proclaimed the resurrection, and added Jesus' exaltation, and quoted Psalm 110 as an explanation in verses 34 and 35. Now vs 36 again identifies his audience as "all the house of Israel." This was made clear three times. Jesus himself said:

    Matthew 10:5-6
    These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into anycity of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

    Matthew 15:24
    But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
    "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart." That "they" is JEWS not Gentiles.

    Acts 2:36,37
    Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they werepricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest ofthe apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

    In the context it is "what shall we do because we crucified the Lord?" NOT "What must we do to be saved?" Then comes that famous verse.

    Acts 2:38
    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Those Pentecostal Jews were baptized in water to receive the Holy Ghost. And even though vs 39 is quoted to prove otherwise, that is not how one receives the Holy Ghost today.

    Acts 2:39
    For the promise is unto you, and to your children, andto all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
    The "you" is obviously Jews and the "your children" must be Jews, but what about "all that are afar off?" Peter quoted the Old Testament all through Acts 2 and he did again.

    Daniel 9:7a
    O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off...

    Those "afar off" are Jews too! The entire setting of Acts 2 is Jewish. If that doesn't clinch the time element, look at the last part of verse 40. "Save yourselves from this untoward generation." This untoward "generation" is Jewish. They were responsible for the crucifixion. They placed themselves under condemnation (Matthew 27:25.) A person today isn't saved "from this untoward generation." The time of "this" generation is LONG PASSED! This is NOT the day of Pentecost, everyone isn't a Jew whose specific generation crucified Christ, and the Lord is not dealing with the Israelites as a nation now (Matthew 21:43; Acts 10:34,35) as he was then. Even if a person was a full-blooded Jew today, he couldn't get back under those circumstances because they have passed!

    Now there's one more baptism, the seventh. Let us look at two examples from scripture. In Acts 8:26-39 Philip was explaining Isaiah 53 to an Ethiopian eunuch. He "preached unto him Jesus." vs 35. Philip told the eunuch could be baptized IF he "believest with all thine heart." vs 37. And the eunuch "answered and said I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." vs 37. This isn't "head" belief like the devils of James 2:19, but a heart belief.

    Romans 10:9-10
    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouthconfession is made unto salvation.

    That's exactly what the eunuch did, and his heart belief saved him! As soon as he "believed in his heart" he was immediately baptized into the body of Christ. (I Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:27). AFTER his salvation, Philip baptized the eunuch in water. That's the last kind of baptism. It is for saved Christians who desire to be obedient and follow the Lord's example in "fulfilling all righteousness." Jesus didn't need John's baptism of repentance for he had done nothing which required repentance. A saved, born-again, Christian doesn't NEED believer's baptism to be saved or remained saved, because he has the indwelling Holy Spirit that seals him "unto the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30.

    Let us look at one more example. Acts 10 is the story of the Gentile Cornelius. Peter went and preached to him about Jesus after a direct revelation that Gentiles were no longer "unclean." (Acts 10:15) So Peter told Cornelius and his household:

    Acts 10:43
    To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
    Peter said "whosoever believeth" and they did believe.

    Acts 10:44
    While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
    God doesn't give the Holy Ghost to unbelievers.

    Acts 10:45
    And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles alsowas poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    One reason they were astonished was because the Gentiles had received the Holy Ghost WITHOUT the water baptism that had been required of them. The Gentiles did, however, receive believer's baptism after their salvation.

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

    If there's still any doubt look at the following verses. Peter even said he had to rehearse his explanation (Acts 4:11) because he knew there would be doubt concerning the entire episode.

    Acts 11:15-17
    And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. 16 Then remembered I the word of theLord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. 17 Forasmuch thenas God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?

    It is perfectly clear. Even Peter explained their experience as a baptism of the Holy Ghost. Cornelius and his house believed and were baptized with the Holy Ghost (the ONE saving baptism for today) BEFORE water baptism. Their water baptism was one of obedience only.

    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, butthe answer of a good conscience toward God,) by theresurrection of Jesus Christ:
    Water baptism for Christians today is a "like figure" of another baptism that has ALREADY HAPPENED TO THEM SPIRITUALLY -- that saving Spirit baptism of the Holy Ghost, that puts them into the body of Christ, that happened upon their Heart Belief! Water baptism by immersion pictures our position with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5) but it has NOTHING to do with salvation and eternal life. Salvation and eternal life is a free gift to anyone who will take it.

    Romans 6:23b
    The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    You take it by believing in your heart.
    Romans 10:9-10

    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouthconfession is made unto salvation. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    Then when one believes he immediately receives the Holy Spirit and is saved for eternity.

    Ephesians 1:7
    In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

    Friend, your water baptism can't even help to save you from a burning hell. You must trust Jesus and his shed blood. You MUST trust him alone to save you -- not your morals, your church, your water baptism, or your sacraments. If you've never trusted him alone, do it now. Your eternal destiny hangs on your decision!
     
  4. John Wells

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    Now there's an online book for you! :D
     
  5. Chris Temple

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  6. Briguy

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    Baptism is one of those topics that man makes more of a big deal about then God does. It is a symbol of being washed on the inside. In the early church it also was a show of belonging to the rebel Christians (as I am sure they were thought of by many). The following verses are not used much when discussing Baptism but I think prove my point as well as others points that have been made. Paul said in 1 Cor.
    1:14: I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
    1:15: Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
    1:16: And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
    1:17: For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
    There is no way around theses verses and if Baptism was needed to be saved Paul would not have been THANKFUL that he didn't do it. Also look at the ending verse I came NOT to Baptise but to preach the gospel. One is not a big deal and the other is what Christ sent him to do. Huge distinction and Baptism should never be equated with salvation!
     
  7. paulz

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    Hi, I will be having a chance to get baptized
    at Brown Deer Baptist Church. I've been waiting for this moment for 20 years. I believe in GOD from my heart and soul.
    There was a time in 1991 I had a brain surgery. When I was in it I was in a dark tunnel when I got closer and closer I seen
    a light in a figure form (GOD). He said,
    Paul go back to earth to live this is not your time He repeated it to me. I knew He
    wanted me to stay on the earth for a reason.
    I really don't know what the reason is but I
    will be with GOD forever. Be baptised is one
    of the most important things it my life. I
    will be cleansed by holy water it will help
    me start a new life for me. GOD bless you, [​IMG]
     
  8. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by The Briguy:
    Baptism is one of those topics that man makes more of a big deal about then God does.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Then why is it in the Great Commission?

    Your quotes from 1 Cor had to do with divisions in the church that Paul was condemning. He was thankful that he baptized none, not because they shouldn't have been baptized, but because they were dividing over who they were followers of rather than being followers of Christ.

    Baptism clearly does not save but it is a long way from there to "insignificant."
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Zad:
    Hi, I will be having a chance to get baptized at Brown Deer Baptist Church.
    Be baptized is one of the most important things it my life. I will be cleansed by holy water it will help me start a new life for me.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I appreciate what you've gone through and praise God for your baptism. But I disagree 100% with your final phrase. It is WRONG DOCTRINE.

    Your baptism will NOT cleanse you with holy water!

    Your baptism will NOT help you start a new life!


    That is what JESUS CHRIST alone does. No rite or ritual or symbol does that. Please, friend, go to your pastor NOW and show him this post. Ask him if what I say is true. Please.

    Have him email me, okay? You need a little more teaching and you'll be right on the money! Will be praying for you!
     
  10. charles

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    Mark Stephen,
    My heart goes out to you.You are approaching this subject with a mature mind and asking for help.

    I'm old and still do not understand about baptism.I do know that the Church of Christ and the Baptists cannot save you.I would suggest you go to the bible yourself and do what Jesus asks you to do.
    Charles
     
  11. Kathy

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    Where does it say that you must be baptised in water to be obedient? I was just wondering. I'm not talking about being saved by Baptism, but where does it say that once you are saved, you must be baptised in water? Curiousity killed the cat!

    Kathy
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  12. p

    p
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    Kathy says:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Where does it say that you must be baptised in water to be obedient? I was just wondering. I'm not talking about being saved by Baptism, but where does it say that once you are saved, you must be baptised in water? Curiousity killed the cat!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Since I know you are a time traveller from the future, (honest folks, it was Tuesday, and I read a post from her from Wednesday, so there it is, INDISPUTABLE PRO0F.)

    I could go on and on and on but I will only
    quote what I believe to be the most utilized passages regarding baptism by water.

    Matthew 28:19-10
    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:
    20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    And then there's Acts 8:34-38

    34. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
    35. Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
    36. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
    37. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
    38. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

    then also there's Acts 10:47-48

    47. Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
    48. And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

    In verse 48 of this passage, Peter, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit commands that new believers be baptised in water.

    So there, miss wednesday person talking to a tuesday person. ;)

    In His Steps,

    Alex
    II Corinthians 10:5
     
  13. Chris Temple

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    Were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob baptized unto salvation, (Matt 22:32)or saved by grace through faith? (Rom 4:3; Gal 3:6).

    If they were saved by grace through faith, did Jesus come to add works to faith (Jn 1:17)?

    Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
     
  14. Kathy

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    Thank you Petersonalexw (do you always talk backwards? LoL)! I am having a friendly debate with my sis-in-law about this issue and you have just helped my cause! YAHOOO!

    BTW..I can't believe it's Thursday already, boy this week sure is flying by! *hehe*

    Kathy
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  15. John Wells

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    Chris brother,

    You are referring to salvation (Abraham, etc.). Water baptism is about obedience, edification and witnessing. Think about these: Why did Jesus insist that John the Baptist baptize Him? To edify and witness (the dove and voice from heaven). Why did Jesus instruct His disciples to baptize? "although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples." (John 4:2 NIV) If done properly, by the time our tooties touch the cold water, we have already "believed in our heart" and "confessed with our mouth" (sinners prayer), which are the requirements for salvation. Then, as Peterson points out, scripture confirms itself in several instances that we are "commanded" to be baptized. Failure to obey does not forfeit salvation. Failure to obey is a sin and can be forgiven as such. But once we are aware of a sin, correction and repentance are NOT options!
     
  16. charles

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    Their have been some good thoughts presented on this topic.
    I like the brothers Roman5:1 post that we are justified by faith.

    In 1Pet3:21,I see 2 necessary points about baptism.
    (1)Man's part to perform the act of faith.
    (2)the resurrection of our Lord to provide the salvation.

    One is obedience,one is the power source.The only cleansing agent for sin is the death,burial and resurrection of our Lord(1Cor15:1-4) but we must perform our act of faith(baptism)to be justified.
    God bless,Charles
     
  17. Daniel Davidson

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>If water baptism is necessary to escape hell, the Bible will tell us. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That's the truth Raulf7! If baptism saved you, the bible would just come right out and say "baptism saves you!" And some people say the bible isn't clear on important issues like this. Ha!
     
  18. Briguy

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    Pastor Larry, Follow my logic. Salvation in Christ is much greater then anything else. we can even say that everything else is insignificant in comparison, including Baptism. Paul knew that by not Baptising certain people that he did not leave them with less of God or with being an incomplete Christian. Therefore, If they were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, and serving God without baptism, it kind of diminshes Baptism doesn't it.
    As for the Great C. remember that in the early church Baptism was like signing a document saying, I am a Christian, which opened you up for being persecuted. It was a show that the person was serious. The church grew and by the time Paul wrote
    1 Cor. it was not quite the same, the significance had changed.
    In Christ,
    Brian
     
  19. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by John Wells:
    Chris brother,

    You are referring to salvation (Abraham, etc.). Water baptism is about obedience, edification and witnessing.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hi John:

    I missed your reply earlier.

    I agree with you; I was just hoping to fend off the argument that baptism is essential toward salvation which invariably comes up in baptismal discussions.
    :D
     
  20. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Paul knew that by not Baptising certain people that he did not leave them with less of God or with being an incomplete Christian. Therefore, If they were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, and serving God without baptism, it kind of diminshes Baptism doesn't it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't agree with this at all. Paul was not diminishing baptism in any sense. He was talking about a different issue, namely, loyalty to people rather than to Christ. To be filled with the Spirit is to be obedient and one cannot be obedient without baptism.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>As for the Great C. remember that in the early church Baptism was like signing a document saying, I am a Christian, which opened you up for being persecuted. It was a show that the person was serious. The church grew and by the time Paul wrote 1 Cor. it was not quite the same, the significance had changed.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Again, I don't agree at all that it had changed by the time Paul was first Corinthians. At the most the church was 30 years old. The significance was the same -- the same as it is now -- namely a profession of following Christ. There are places in this world where baptism means being disowned by their family. It is only in certain circles that baptism doesn't mean much.

    I do not think there is any reason to argue that baptism is less significant now than it was in Matt 28.
     

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