How do Baptists interpret Acts 22:18?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Wittenberger, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Wittenberger

    Wittenberger
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    "And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling upon the name of the Lord."

    I have been told that many Baptists interpret this verse to say that sins are washed away, not in being baptized, but only by calling upon the name of the Lord. Is this true?

    If so, isn't the word order in this sentence very odd to arrive at that meaning?

    Let's break this verse down. Ananias is talking to Saul, who just a few days before was blinded by the brilliance of seeing the Lord on the road to Damascus.

    What commands does Ananias give Saul in this verse:

    1. Stop delaying
    2. Get up
    3. Be baptized
    4. Call on the name of the Lord

    If the forgiveness of sins simply occurred when Saul called on the name of the Lord, wouldn't the verse read like this:

    "Why are you delaying? Call upon the name of the Lord to wash away your sins. Then get up and be baptized (as a public profession of your faith)."

    But Ananias doesn't say that, does he?

    Let's dissect this verse further: If all Saul had to do was call on the name of the Lord to wash away his sins, why would Ananias tell him to get up? It's possible to call upon the Lord while you are seated, right? As far as I know, God doesn't demand that you stand to call upon him.

    So the first thing Ananias commands Saul to do is to get up to do something. Do what? Answer: be baptized.

    Now notice that Ananias doesn't say, "be baptized and then call upon the Lord to wash your sins away." No. Baptism and calling upon the name of the Lord occur simultaneously.

    Sins are washed away in baptism in which the sinner calls upon the name of the Lord. God responds to this call by washing your sins clean.

    Would a Baptist ever tell a sinner this: "Get up. Go get baptized, and then call upon the Lord to wash away your sins."?

    No, a Baptist would say this: Pray and ask Jesus to come into your heart, he will then wash away your sins. Then, you should get baptized to make a public profession of your faith.

    Why would Ananias tell Saul to do things in the wrong order, according to Baptist beliefs??

    There are really only two options in reading this verse literally: you either get baptized, and then get saved, or you are saved and baptized at the same time! This verse absolutely cannot be read that the "calling" occurs first.

    Do either one of the above interpretations fit Baptist doctrine?
     
  2. Doubting Thomas

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    Good post--I think you meant Acts 22:16
     
  3. Wittenberger

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    You are correct, sorry. Verse 16 not 18.

    Just a point of interest to everyone: this specific incident with Ananias and Saul is mentioned in three separate locations in the Book of Acts.
     
    #3 Wittenberger, Jul 23, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2012
  4. DHK

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    Before you pounce all over Acts 22:16, as if you have won some moral victory, consider some things first.
    First, in Acts 22, Paul was giving his testimony. It was a "shortened" version of what happened. Some things were left out, and other details were emphasized. Testimonies are always given with that purpose in mind--tailored to the audience and purpose for which they are given.
    Second, the actually historical account is always more accurate. Look at the actual story and see what happened (not the "condensed" version)

    First look back at Acts chapter 8:
    Acts 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
    Acts 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
    --This is Saul, the great persecutor of the Christians, Pharisee of the Pharisees, member of the Sanhedrin, a very powerful man.

    Acts 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
    4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
    --Now as he travels to Damascus Jesus appears to him, and addresses him.

    Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
    --There are two responses here:
    Who are thou? and most significant of all, "Lord."
    Here is a member of the Sanhedrin, one who hated Christ, now calling Christ "Lord," master, Sovereign." Never would such a proud hater of Christians submit to Christ as that. He was one of the ones that had him crucified.

    And then:
    Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
    --Salvation was in verse 5. This was the beginning of sanctification, obedience. "Lord, what will you have me to do." Only a dedicated Christian would pray such a prayer. Saul had already been saved at this point. He was now obeying the Lord. He was totally submitted to him. He was the servant. Christ was his Lord.

    Acts 9:9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
    --Three days he fasted.

    Acts 9:12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
    --Now the Lord calls Ananias and instructs him to go meet Saul, and put his had upon him that he may receive his sight.
    Understandably, Ananias is somewhat reluctant, for he knows of the reputation of Saul, and how he has persecuted so many Christians. But the Lord reassures him:

    Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
    16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

    Now, note carefully the order of events and what happens next:
    Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
    18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
    1. Ananias puts his hands upon Saul.
    2. He tells Saul the the Lord has sent him that he might receive his sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
    3. Immediately the blindness departs; he receives his sight.
    4. He arises, and is baptized.

    He was already saved; his sins had already been forgiven. He had already been healed. Baptism was the last step of obedience after salvation, and it was after salvation having nothing to do with salvation.

    Acts 9:19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
    20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
    --He ate, was strengthened, had fellowship, and immediately began to preach.

    Don't get so hyped up on the "condensed" version as if you have a case. You don't. Read the complete historical account to see what really happened. Saul's conversion happened long before he was ever baptized.
     
  5. Wittenberger

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    It is absolutely amazing how Baptists will use every excuse they can not to believe God's literal Word.

    Once again, Baptists have no historical evidence that backs up your doctrine of baptism. NO ONE believed the Baptist view of adult-only, public profession only, non-regenerational baptism until around 1,000 AD with the Albigensians and the Waldensians.

    Someone invented your doctrine one night sitting around the fire in circa 1,000AD and taught it to his children telling them that the "true Christians" had always believed this. He gave no proof of this, but naturally, being children, they believed it lock, stock and barrel!

    You have no evidence that supports your errant doctrine other than your contorted, convoluted, non-literal, second millenium, European interpretation of the Bible.

    Repent my Baptist brothers and sisters and return to the beliefs of your early Church forefathers which is supported by historical evidence. Someone told you a lie, and you continue to believe it because your parents and your pastors told you it was true.
     
  6. DHK

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    You really shouldn't post lies on this board. If you don't know squat about the history of baptism, then go and study it before posting in ignorance.

    However, my post demonstrates from the inspired history of the Bible how Paul was baptized, as an adult, and the very word "baptidzo" means "immerse", which is one of its strongest arguments.
     
  7. The Biblicist

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    The question is not whether baptism saves, as the scriptures clearly says it does. The question is not whether baptism washes away sins, as the scriptures clearly says it does. However, the question is HOW does baptism save and wash away sins - literally or figuratively. The scriptues clearly says it does as a "FIGURE" - 1 Peter. 3:21.

    Moreover, the same can be said of the sacrficial and ceremonial system in the Old Testament. The language of redemption was always directly connected with sacrifices and ceremonial cleansings ("for sins" "for thy cleansing") however, Hebrews 10:1-4 informs it did not LITERALLY remit or wash away sins at all but only did in figure as a "shadow."

    Jesus illustrates this clearly in Luke 5:12-15 with the cleansing of the leper:

    12 ¶ And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
    13 And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.
    14 And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

    He was LITERALLY cleansed "immediately"

    He was nevertheless told to go "offer for thy cleansing according as Moses commanded." This involved a sacrfice "for thy cleansing." Did he offer the sacrifice in order to be cleansed but because he had been cleansed? Both! He offered a sacrifice in order to be cleansed CEREMONIALLY or FIGURATIVELY because he had already been cleansed LITERALLY.

    Bottom line it was "for a testiomy unto them." Likewise with baptism and the Lord's Supper as they are New Testament counterparts to Old Testament ceremonial institutions.

    So it is very simple. When one believes they are saved LITERALLY. When one submits to baptism they are saved FIGURATIVELY. Scripture must be compared to scripture if truth is to be arrived at.
     
  8. Wittenberger

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    It is impossible for me to have a debate with someone who does not believe the literal interpretation of the Bible, because every time I quote a verse of Holy Scripture, you are going to tell me why we can't believe the plain, simple, literal meaning.

    Many Baptists have bought into the idea that one can only understand the Bible if you have taken a course in hermeneutics or graduated with a theology degree.

    Read the Bible with the faith of a child my friend. God's Word is not as complicated as you and your Calvinist friends make it out to be!
     
  9. The Biblicist

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    Can't seem to get you to deal with my response, so here it is again!
     
  10. Wittenberger

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    Here are the Lutheran doctrines of Justification and Baptism

    We receive the Holy Spirit by the power of God's Word alone.
    We are saved by the power of God's Word alone.

    But when does God choose to use the power of his Word to save us and to give us the Holy Spirit? When we decide to be saved or when he decides we will be saved?

    Lutherans do not believe that any sinner has ever made a free will decision to be saved. According to the Bible the sinner is spiritually dead. God chooses whom and when to save. (See the second chapter of Colossians and Ephesians).

    Lutherans and most orthodox Christians believe that God chooses to save us by the power of his Word in two circumstances:

    1. When a non-believing adult hears/reads the Gospel and believes.
    2. When the Word of God is spoken during infant baptism.

    God always does the saving, not something man does. Our decision to be baptized does not saves us. Praying a prayer does not save us. God ALWAYS saves us by the power of his Word, at the time of his choosing, not ours.

    God predestined and elected us to be his children before the world existed. Then, sometime during our lifetime, at his choosing alone, He quickens us to be spiritually alive. Once we are spiritually alive, God gives us the gifts of faith, belief, repentance, and eternal life. None of these actions are performed by the sinner of his own free will because according to the second chapters of Colossians and Ephesians, the sinner is spiritually dead. Dead men cannot believe, have faith, or repent.

    Salvation is 100% a gift from God. He does it all! We are only passive participants to his saving action.

    We do not do good works to be saved. We do not say special prayers to be saved, whether it is the Rosary or the Baptist/evangelical "Sinnner's Prayer".

    This is why Lutherans and many other orthodox Christians believe that salvation can occur in two different situations:

    1. When an adult hears the Word and believes.
    He is saved the moment he believes. He doesn't have to wait to be baptized to be saved. If he dies without being baptized he will go to heaven.

    2. Acts chapter 2 promises salvation to the children of believers.
    In the Great Commission we are told to baptize all nations. There is no age restriction. Therefore Lutherans and other orthodox Christians baptize our children believing that God will use the power of his Word, spoken at baptism, to save/regenerate our children. It's not us doing anything that saves us. We are only following God's command to baptize them. It is God who does the saving, and He alone, in baptism. Magic words, magic water have no power. God's Word has incredible, supernatural power.

    Was it the water that healed Naaman in the OT or was it the power of God's Word?

    Remember believing and repenting are not acts of man, but acts of God. The sinner is spiritually dead, remember? So if God gives belief and repentance to the sinner, who can deny that God has the power to give faith, belief, and repentance to the infant?

    Orthodox Christians have supporting historical evidence. For instance, the Christians in the catacombs of Rome were baptizing their infants. This is before the state church was established by the Roman Emperor Constantine. The Church was not yet apostate but yet Christians were baptizing their infants all over the Roman Empire. There is no record of any schism in the Church over this issue.

    The idea of adult-only baptism is a European invention during the second millenium after Christ.

    For more information on the Lutheran doctrines of Baptism and Justification and many scripture verses to support them go to:
    http://www.LutherWasNotBornAgain.com
     
  11. The Biblicist

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    I take it you don't know how to debate? When someone places evidence before you that exposes your position for error, you don't simply repeat what you said, but you attempt to respond to the evidence placed before you.

    Try again!
     
  12. The Biblicist

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    Here you go! Try again to respond!
     
  13. Wittenberger

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    If you would like to know my response to your statements go to:

    http://www.LutherWasNotBornAgain.com

    The Southern Baptist Convention has made the same points as you and I have answered them in detail, with scripture references, on the above blog site. I even discuss other topics such as the Real Presence in the Lord's Supper, the fallacy of a secret Rapture, and many more issues.

    I grew up an independent, fundamental Baptist until I was eighteen. I became a Lutheran when I discovered that salvation really is 100% an act of God.

    My Lutheran pastor gave me some advice when I told him I was going to try and share the true, historic Gospel with our Baptist brethren. His response was, "Don't waste your time. They will only regurgitate their same Bible verses, but not give any other source or historical record that backs up their doctrine."

    Sadly, he was right.

    I will be praying for you my Baptist brothers and sisters. God bless you.
     
  14. Michael Wrenn

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    You really shouldn't post insults because you can't defend your position from the scriptures. Everything you said is absolutely false and a lie from the pit. There was no infant baptism in the NT or in NT times.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia admits that infant baptism and other practices are simply based upon tradition:

    "The designation of unwritten Divine traditions was not always given all the clearness desirable especially in early times; however Catholic controversialists soon proved to the Protestants that to be logical and consistent they must admit unwritten traditions as revealed. Otherwise by what right did they rest on Sunday and not on Saturday? How could they regard infant baptism as valid, or baptism by infusion? How could they permit the taking of an oath, since Christ had commanded that we swear not at all? The Quakers were more logical in refusing all oaths, the Anabaptists in re-baptizing adults, the Sabbatarians in resting on Saturday. (Bainvel J. Transcribed by Tomas Hancil. Tradition and Living Magisterium. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV. Published 1912. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York)."


    Twentieth century archaeologist and Catholic priest of the Franciscan Order, Bellarmino Bagatti correctly concluded that Judeo-Christians did not baptize infants, “following the example of the Lord” (Bagatti, From The church from the circumcision: history and archaeology of the Judaeo-Christians). Bagatti also found that the Apostle Peter was buried in the necropolis under the modern Dominus Flevit Church, in Jerusalem, at a similar time as the Pope claimed to have found evidence for Saint Peter's burial under the Vatican. Of course, this was embarrassing for the RCC, so they tried to keep it quiet. But that's another subject; back to the one at hand.

    It is quite clear that it is infant baptism that was invented for two reasons: due to an erroneous view of original sin and how it affects infants, and out of superstition.

    So, repent Lutheran brother, and return to the truth of the New Testament and the teaching and practice of the apostles. You have swallowed a lie.

    Oh, btw, it was "tradition" to murder others in the name of Jesus for over a millenium, and your Lutheran spiritual ancestors continued that tradition with zeal, in spite of what Jesus said and taught in the NT. It is not a coincidence that the state-church murderers were also infant baptizers -- two "traditions of men" diametrically opposed to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament.

    You accusations might work on people who don't know church history or the scriptures, but, since I know both, thoroughly, they won't work on me.

    Oh... take what I have just posted, including the Catholic sources, and share them with your pastor, and see what he regurgitates.
     
    #14 Michael Wrenn, Jul 23, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2012
  15. The Biblicist

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    You do not address my argument at all in your on line reference above. So lets try this again:


    The question is not whether baptism saves, as the scriptures clearly says it does. The question is not whether baptism washes away sins, as the scriptures clearly says it does. However, the question is HOW does baptism save and wash away sins - literally or figuratively. The scriptues clearly says it does as a "FIGURE" - 1 Peter. 3:21.

    Moreover, the same can be said of the sacrficial and ceremonial system in the Old Testament. The language of redemption was always directly connected with sacrifices and ceremonial cleansings ("for sins" "for thy cleansing") however, Hebrews 10:1-4 informs it did not LITERALLY remit or wash away sins at all but only did in figure as a "shadow."

    Jesus illustrates this clearly in Luke 5:12-15 with the cleansing of the leper:

    12 ¶ And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
    13 And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.
    14 And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

    He was LITERALLY cleansed "immediately"

    He was nevertheless told to go "offer for thy cleansing according as Moses commanded." This involved a sacrfice "for thy cleansing." Did he offer the sacrifice in order to be cleansed but because he had been cleansed? Both! He offered a sacrifice in order to be cleansed CEREMONIALLY or FIGURATIVELY because he had already been cleansed LITERALLY.

    Bottom line it was "for a testiomy unto them." Likewise with baptism and the Lord's Supper as they are New Testament counterparts to Old Testament ceremonial institutions.

    So it is very simple. When one believes they are saved LITERALLY. When one submits to baptism they are saved FIGURATIVELY. Scripture must be compared to scripture if truth is to be arrived at.
     
  16. Michael Wrenn

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    This is an excellent and clear exposition -- one of the best I've ever seen.

    I often disagree with you, but when you are right, you hit it dead on. :)
     
  17. Wittenberger

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    Your interpretation of the above scriptures are very well reasoned and logical. But how do you know for sure that you are right? Can you really be 100% sure? If your answer is that the Holy Spirit tells you that you are right, how do you know that the voice you listen to is the Holy Spirit and not just your ego, or worse, that of Satan?

    The only way this arguement can be settled is to go to people who knew the Apostles or knew the disciples of the apostles and read what they said was the true meaning of these scripture verses.

    Under the thread "Is there any historical evidence that supports the Baptist position of Baptism" another Christian has listed the quotes from early Christians supporting the orthodox view of baptism. On my blog I have even more quotes if you want to see them.

    Go to: http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com and look up the post "Baptism Texts".

    If you have any quotes from early Christians supporting the Baptist position, please share them with us.
     
  18. Yeshua1

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    the ONLY sure way to test ANY doctrine is to see what the entire word of God stated concerning it, as as important as early Church fathers may have been, NONE were inspired Apostles!
     
  19. Wittenberger

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    Are you 100% sure that you have the capability to correctly interpret every verse in the Bible?

    Where do Baptists get their interpretation of the Bible. Just saying "we are right, because we say we are reading the Bible correctly", is not evidence!

    Does a little voice inside you tell you that you are right? You may think it's the Holy Spirit, but God stopped giving private revelations a long time ago.

    That little voice you listened may very well just be YOU!

    Base your doctrine on the plain, simple reading of the Word, backed up by historical evidence from the early Christians.

    Baptist doctrine has nothing to stand on other than your word that you are right.
     
  20. Michael Wrenn

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    Thank you.

    When I read scripture, I try to take into account context and locale. I also compare scripture with scripture. Scripture is the primary evidence I use to determine my beliefs.

    As I mentioned elsewhere, the Quakers say that the stream is purest at its source, and the further you get from the stream, the more polluted it becomes. So, the further a writer is from the NT, first century church, the less credence should be given to his/her opinions -- unless they line up with scripture.

    And that is the case with baptism -- the further removed from scripture, the more erroneous and superstitious the beliefs and practices became concerning baptism, as well as other things, such as the doctrines about Mary.

    I have already proved from RC sources that infant baptism was a "tradition of men", with absolutely no scriptural support whatsoever.

    And Biblicist, as much as he and I have had our passionate running battles, has posted some excellent exegesis showing how the Bible itself refutes RC sacramentalism, and by extension, Magisterial Protestant sacramentalism.

    Now, I do believe God works through the physical, but even this simple truth has been perverted by sacerdotal sacramentalism.
     

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