Role of Baptism

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by mckestev, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. mckestev

    mckestev
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    I am around a lot of people from the Churches of Christ/Christian Church and a major point of debate is the role of baptism. It is my understanding that salvation occurs at the point of repentance/faith, but my Church of Christ friends are adamant that it is at the point of baptism someone actually receives forgiveness of sin.

    Being a relative youth, I was wondering what the thoughts on the issue were of some more experienced than myself. In my church there seems to be a unanimous answer of "was the thief on the cross baptized?" but this argument leads nowhere with the people I know.
     
  2. Old Union Brother

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    Baptism's role is as is written:

    (1Pe 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:

    (1Pe 3:22) Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

    They do not understand the scripture they always use:

    Act 2:38 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.

    They do not understand that the baptism this scripture is talking about is the one mentioned in Luke

    Luk 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
     
  3. Jkdbuck76

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    I grew up in the Church of Christ. There are similarities and part of their heritage is baptist.

    HOWEVER, they certainly think that the rebirth happens with water baptism; that the atoning blood of Christ is contacted thru baptism; that the Holy Spirit is appropriated. They practice trinitarian baptism. And they will ONLY baptize one who professes faith.

    You will never argue successully against them. Only the TOTALITY of Scripture can enlighten them, as it did me. One should NOT build a theology of baptism upon one text.
    I learned a lot listening to Dr. McGee on baptism and he spoke on his program about it every time it came up----not just in that one spot in Acts. I also started to ask things like "why was Jesus baptized if He was sinless?" "The thief wasn't baptized was he?" "Why did the Apostle Paul downplay baptism in one of his letters?"

    It is when you take the totality of Scripture do you get the idea that baptism, while a commandment and an ordinance of the church, is not how the atonement is reached. We were saved the moment we believed, NOT the moment we were dipped.
     
  4. HAMel

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    "...but my Church of Christ friends are adamant that it is at the point of baptism someone actually receives forgiveness of sin."

    Ask 'em about that thief on the cross. Did he get baptized? And did he not find himself in paradise that day?
     
  5. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
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    1st, we have to determine what water baptism is NOT. And that is that it has absolutely NOTHING to do with being saved. Salvation is permanently attained through sincere faith in Christ..alone.

    Water baptism..obviously..is a work. Faith in Christ..obviously..is not a work.

    After that saving event, water baptism is the symbolic public expression of the death of the old life..without Christ, and the "putting on" of the new life, which is...Christ.

    :jesus::godisgood:
     
    #5 Alive in Christ, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2011
  6. InTheLight

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    Hmmm....I don't believe in baptism for the remission of sins, but I'm not sure I'd use the thief on the cross as an example to refute the idea.

    How are we saved today?

    Roman 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

    1 Cor 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
    3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,


    Jesus had not yet been resurrected. The Gospel had not yet been completed. The thief on the cross was an example of Jesus, as God, forgiving someone's sins, and not an example of someone believing in the risen Christ. Mark 2:5,10; Luke 7:48.
     
  7. HAMel

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    Hmmm....I don't believe in baptism for the remission of sins, but I'm not sure I'd use the thief on the cross as an example to refute the idea.

    Why not? The thief on the cross decided that he was there to receive the due reward of his deeds (Sin) but this man (Jesus) hath done nothing amiss and then he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

    That's the plan of salvation. Admitting sin, acknowledging Jesus as sinless (the messiah) and asking for eternal life (salvation). It don't get "no" cleaner than this.
     
  8. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
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    InTheLight...

    Why Not? It could possibly be the best example in the scriptures of justification by faith alone.

    He simply placed his faith in Christ (be mercifull to me, a sinner), and Christ assured him that he would be saved. (Today, you will be with me in paradise)

    Its a beautiful example of justification through faith alone, at the exclusion of any and all works.
     
  9. michael-acts17:11

    michael-acts17:11
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    Water baptism is merely a type representing the true baptism in the Holy Spirit. Too often the Word is referring to Spiritual baptism when men interpret it as water baptism. For instance, "here is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism" is referring to Spiritual baptism, NOT water baptism; and certainly not C of C or baptist baptism.
     
  10. freeatlast

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    Hello mckestev, good question. Usually these people are basing their argument on Acts 2:38.
    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.

    Reading the English certainly does sound like forgiveness comes due to baptism. However with a little further study it become apparent that this is not the case. The Greek word (eis) translated "for" can be translated into many different English words and should have been translated "because of" to give the proper meaning.

    If you think of the English word "for" like this perhaps it will give a better understanding. Lets say that there is a poster hanging in a local town that reads like this;
    Jessie James wanted for bank robbery. There are two possibilities of the meaning of "for" here. One is that the local sheriff wants to arrest Jessie James "for" (because of) robbing a bank.
    The other possibility is that Jessie James is known for his ability to rob banks and get away and some local gang is advertising for him to come and join them so he is wanted " for" (the purpose of) robbing banks.

    In Acts it is using the Greek word ( eis) with the meaning of "because of."
    Here is an example where the Greek word (eis) was translated "unto" but it clearly means "because of."
    Matt 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

    Baptism does not cause us to repent. The person is being baptized "because of" their repentance. Neither does baptism give forgiveness. Baptism is carried out because we have been forgiven because we have come to repentance and faith.
    So in Acts 2:38 the English word "for" (eis) is better translated "because of" to give the proper meaning.

    Acts 10:43 shows that forgiveness comes with belief (faith) not baptism.
    To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
    Many people have come to faith in their last hour not being able to be baptized and they are still forgiven.
     
    #10 freeatlast, Apr 13, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2011
  11. gb93433

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    In the context of that verse is persecution and perhaps death. The early church did not separate baptism and salvation. Baptism was the proof of your decision. In being baptized one named Christ as Lord. In naming Christ as Lord one could be executed because the emperor was lord. Confessing Jesus as Lord was in effect renouncing the emperor as lord. The emperor could have had the person executed.
     
  12. freeatlast

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    I would agree except the passage is speaking to Jews, not greeks and the jews would never call anyone Lord except God.
     
  13. gb93433

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    While that is true anyone who named Christ as Lord renounced the emperor as lord. Because of that he could have had them executed. Some emperors were seen as divine and some saw themselves that way too.
     
  14. JesusFan

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    water Baptism is an "outward sign of an inward work" That it is the ordinance established by God to be the outward sign to others that one has profession faith in Jesus as being thier Saviour and Lord..

    that is rrepresents in symbolic form that we have died with Jesus, united to Him in his death and resurrection to new life...

    Baptism itself does not sabve anyone, but what it stands for does!
     
  15. InTheLight

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    So if that is all there is to salvation, why did Jesus have to shed his blood, die on the cross and be resurrected?
     
  16. InTheLight

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    And at the exclusion of the shed blood of Christ,

    Rom. 5: 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

    (see also Heb. 9:22, Col. 1:14, Eph. 1:7, )

    and excluding his resurrection (Rom. 10:9, 1 Cor. 15:1-4).
     
  17. gb93433

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    Ask them about Luke 23:42-43, And he was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!"And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."

    Who was baptized in those verses?
     
  18. Alive in Christ

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    InTheLight...

    I said...

    And you said...

    What???

    He was shedding His blood at the very time this exchange took place!!.

    Its Christs atonement that makes it possible for us to be saved by grace, through faith alone, at the exclusion of any and all works.
     
  19. InTheLight

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    Was the thief trusting in the blood of Christ and his resurrection? Answer: No. He was trusting in Jesus as being the Messiah, the sinless Son of God. Therefore, technically, the thief was an Old Testament saint.
     
  20. HAMel

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    So if that is all there is to salvation, why did Jesus have to shed his blood, die on the cross and be resurrected?

    There's another way? I always understood that a person had to 1, admit they were a sinner; 2, confess that Jesus was Lord; 3, ask the Lord to save them.
    This is what the one thief on the cross did.

    He admitted that he was a sinner; that "this" man was sinless (the Messiah) and asked him to remember him. Wham..., he was saved.

    Jesus had to die on the cross so that salvation would be that easy for us. :thumbsup:
     

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