The church of Christ and the conversion of the Gentiles (Acts 10, cf. Acts 15)

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Olivencia, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Olivencia

    Olivencia
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    The Gentiles were saved before they were water baptized.
    1. In Acts 15:7 the word "believe" is used by Peter in describing the response of Cornelius and the other Gentiles after hearing the word of the gospel. Unless the context clearly dictates otherwise belief is understood as saving faith. If you insist that this kind of belief as used in Acts 15:7 is not saving faith then it is incumbent upon you to demonstrate your position as to why it isn't especially in light of the fact that God, the heartknower, bore witness to their belief by giving them the Holy Spirit.
    Both Danker (page 817) and Thayer (page 512) classify this belief as saving faith. In fact, Kittel tells us that:
    In Peter's speech in 15:7 "to believe" is used in the sense "to be converted" (TDNT 7:728, epistrephw).
    2. In Acts 15:8 (cf. Acts 11:17) Peter states that these Gentiles were "given" (didwmi) the Holy Spirit. According to 1 John 4:13 if one has been "given" (didwmi) the Holy Spirit then they dwell in God. Thus since the Gentiles were "given" the Holy Spirit before they were water baptized they were dwelling in God before they were water baptized. If one dwells in God that describes a saved person.

    If anyone insists that these Gentiles were unsaved before they were water baptized I would like them to:
    1. Demonstrate how the "believe" in Acts 15:7 is non-salvific.
    2. Address Acts 15:8 (cf. Acts 11:17) coupled with 1 John 4:13.

    Thank you

    - Olivencia
     
  2. Marcia

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    Good post, Olivencia! :thumbs:
     
  3. Olivencia

    Olivencia
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    Thank you Marcia. To God be the glory.
     
  4. zrs6v4

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    good post, I have talked with a few who believe that water baptism is needed to recieve the Holy Spirit. I havent had a good explanation about the thief on the cross next to Jesus yet, although I'm sure there is one from the view, hah..
     
  5. papawmjr

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    Hi, just joined a few days ago and find this an interesting discussion. In order to deal with the thief on the cross, all one has to do is consider the context of Hebrews 9:16-22, where it clearly states that a "will or testament" is not in effect until the testator has died. While living, Jesus clearly demonstrated that He had authority to forgive sins, however, it's after His death that the great commission is stated regarding the necessity for water baptism preceeding salvation (Mark 16:15-16). In regards to the context of Cornelius, I would ask this question, was the fact that Balaam's donkey talked an indication that it was saved? Of course the Holy Spirit had to be involved in this dumb animal's ability to speak (Numbers 22). I suggest that the point that is generally missed regarding the Gentile's conversion is the fact that the sign of the tongues was for Peter and his companions, the fact that he makes very clear in his rehearsal of the events surrounding the conversion, for which reason God gave him the vision ahead of time. Had the "sign" from God that even Gentiles were worthy of the gospel's saving power not been provided, Peter may have still missed the point of the vision. He takes great pain to reiterate this with his brethren. Also, if it was totally clear to all witnesses that Cornelius and his household were saved prior to water baptism, then why even baptize them at all, let alone "command" that they be baptized - certainly there would have been no need for that example to all in the room with them. Certainly the expression used by Peter in Acts 15 is representive of the entire conversion process (same exact thing is what happens to the Philippian jailor in Acts 16 - where we see "believe" used but know that at that same hour he repented by washing their stripes and was baptized) - otherwise one would have to suggest that repentance is not necessary since Peter did not say anything about it in context. And if it was only faith that was involved, then why did the brethren not say, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles faith to life?" What they said was, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life." (Acts 11:18b) Peter clearly understood what was involved in the entire salvation process, "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him" (Acts 10:34,35). Even with this statement God still reinforced this for Peter and the rest of the Jews by giving the sign of tongues on Cornelius' household so Peter would not withhold the saving message of the gospel and would say, "who can forbid water...and he commanded that they be baptized in the name of the Lord." Thanks for the opportunity to add my "two cents" - papawmjr
     
  6. Olivencia

    Olivencia
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    1. In terms of Balaam's donkey (and others such as Caiaphas in John 11) this took place before the Spirit was given for Christ had not yet been glorified (John 7:39). This was simply an empowerment by the Spirit. However after Christ was glorified those who were "given" the Spirit constitued saved individuals (1 John 4:13).
    2. Saving belief is a synecdoche for faith, confession and repentance.
    3. Juts because something is "commanded" doesn't necessitate it is necessary for salvation. Christians are "comamnded" to partake of the Lord's Supper. But it is a "command" for Christians not non-Christians. The same thing with water baptism as it pertains to these Gentiles.
    4. No evidence has been supplied that the "believe" used in Acts 15:7 is non-salvific.
    5. Acts 15:8 (cf. Acts 11:17) coupled with 1 John 4:13 has yet to be addressed.
     
  7. OldRegular

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    Good OP Olivencia but you will get nothing but "spin" from those who believe in baptismal regeneration!
     
    #7 OldRegular, Mar 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2009
  8. Olivencia

    Olivencia
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    Hey OldRegular!
    You have a cool Username.

    I know what you mean. I have corresponded with many many of them.

    I was thinking of starting a thread that addresses all their arguments (the ones that I know of) that they use against the fact that these Gentiles were saved before they were water baptized.
     
  9. JSM17

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    Acts 15:7
    7 And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them:"Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.
    NKJV


    I would say that "Believe" with in this context refers to salvation.

    Acts 15:8
    So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us,
    NKJV
    1 John 4:13

    13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
    NKJV


    I have looked at both of these verses and see no problem with them.

    When Peter says "Just as He did to us" Was Peter saying that they were not saved until the Holy Spirit Fell upon them?

    When did they (Peter and the others) receive the Spirit in reference to his statement in Acts 15:8?

    I perceive that Peter is talking about when the H.S. came upon the on the day of Pentecost, were they lost until the H.S. came upon them like Cornelius?

    Are you saved like Cornelius? Did you receive the H.S. and then speak in tongues?

    Please harmonize these two conversion accounts:

    What about the conversion in Acts 8 where they believed the preaching then were baptized then they waited til John and Peter came down to pray and lay hands on them, for none of them received the H.S. yet.

    So when you use the logic of the conversion of Cornelius with all conversions, such as the H.S. indicated when he was saved, then we assume that the Samaritans were not saved until they received the H.S. Which means they believed were baptized and were not saved until John and Peter came down and received the H.S. which is said is an indication of salvation.

    So please "couple" Acts 10's conversion with Acts 8's conversion and tell me how that works for today.
     
  10. Olivencia

    Olivencia
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    1. The fact that "believe" (Acts 15:7) refers to salvation proves they were saved before they were water baptized. For based on their belief they were given the Holy Spirit. Both of these events took place before their water baptism.
    --> This fact alone proves they were saved before they were water baptized.

    2. Peter was referring to Acts 2:4 when he said "as He did to us". When Peter and those with him were given the Holy Spirit they were placed into the New Testament church. When the Gentiles were given the Holy Spirit they too were placed into the New Testament church. Those in Acts 2 were already saved but not yet placed into the New Testament church until the Holy Spirit was given. Those in Acts 10 were saved and placed in the New Testament church when the Holy Spirit was given to them.
    3. I was saved like Cornelius for I too received the Holy Spirit - not all speak in tongues though (1 Corinthians 12:30).
    4. There are no living apostles today needed to lay hands on anyone so something like Acts 8 and Acts 19 do not apply.

    5a. Does 1 John 4:13 declare that one can know they dwell in God if they have been given the Spirit?
    Yes
    5b. Were the Gentiles given the Holy Spirit before they were water baptized?
    Yes
    5c. The Gentiles dwelt in God before their water baptism.
     
  11. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    If someone is committed to baptismal regeneration and is not willing to rethink their position, no amount of scriptural evidence is going to convince them otherwise.
     
  12. JSM17

    JSM17
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    If someone is comitted to salvation by faith alone and is not willing to rethink their position, no amount of scriptural evidence is going to convince them otherwise.
     
  13. annsni

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    Ahhh - true, so true. OH but wait! There is NO Scripture to say anything BUT faith alone. Praise God!
     
  14. Olivencia

    Olivencia
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    Notice how JSM17 avoids the points I made in my last post.
     
  15. papawmjr

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    Olivencia wrote 2. Peter was referring to Acts 2:4 when he said "as He did to us". When Peter and those with him were given the Holy Spirit they were placed into the New Testament church. When the Gentiles were given the Holy Spirit they too were placed into the New Testament church. Those in Acts 2 were already saved but not yet placed into the New Testament church until the Holy Spirit was given. Those in Acts 10 were saved and placed in the New Testament church when the Holy Spirit was given to them.

    So if one is not "placed into the New Testament church until the Holy Spirit was given," then you imply that the saved are not in the church upon their salvation - so you conclude that people are saved prior to the Holy Spirit being given - without the "regenartion of the Spirit" which Paul refers to in Titus 3:5? Now I am confused - because the Holy Spirit clearly tells us that the saved were being added to the church daily in Acts 2:47, so when were the 3,000 that were baptized placed into the church? If they were saved prior to their baptism, as you indicated earlier, then why would the Spirit wait to a later time to add them to the New Testment church? Did I misunderstand your statement? Please share the passage that teaches that one is saved, then at a later time is placed into the church by the Holy Spirit. In 1 Cor. 12 Paul states that, "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body..." (vs. 13) - does this happen at a later time than our salvation? Also, please address Acts 22:16, which clearly tells us that Paul's sins still needed to washed away and per the Scripture, this occurred during his baptism in water, as he "called upon the name of the Lord" in obedience (see Romans 6). If he was saved at the point of his receiving the Holy Spirit, are you suggesting that Luke didn't understand his recounting of his conversion story and "messed" it up in his accounting of it later? Acts 9 tells us that Annanias was sent so that he might receive the Holy Spirit - did this happen prior this baptism and prior to his sins being washed away - ie prior to his salvation? Are you suggesting that one is saved prior to having his sins washed away by the blood of Jesus? Please clarify this for me so that I understand your comment above - thanks, papawmjr.
     
  16. papawmjr

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    It sounds like you are potentially minimzing the grace of God with this statement and saying that it's all left to us to simply have faith and we are saved. Are you suggesting that one does not need to repent to be saved? If this is the case then why won't the demons be saved - afterall they "believe and tremble?" - papawmjr
     
  17. annsni

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    There is a difference between believing in something and believing ON something. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" is the key. When you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you are turning from the way you were going - or in other words "repent". It's not a work - but a response to faith in Jesus Christ.
     
  18. Olivencia

    Olivencia
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    I am sorry but I am having a difficult time understanding your points.

    Let me just number my points them one by one and you can indicate whether you agree or disagree with them (one by one) while explaining why.


    A. Concerning those in Acts 2:4
    1. They were already saved before they received the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
    2. The New Testament church began when they were baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4 cf. Acts 1:5).
    3. So we see that it is the baptism with the Holy Spirit that placed them into the New Testament church.

    B. Now for everyone else who becomes a member of the New Testament church
    1. According to Acts 10:45 and Acts 11:16 to have the Holy Spirit "poured" (ekxew) on a person and to be baptized with the Holy Spirit refers to the same thing.
    pouring (Acts 10:45) = baptism (Acts 11:16)
    2. Paul tells us that all who are Christians have had the Holy Spirit "poured" on them (Titus 3:6).
    3. Since pouring = baptism then all who are Christians have been baptized with the Holy Spirit.
    4. It is this baptism (the baptism with the Holy Spirit) that places a person into the New Testament church.

    -----> So when the Gentiles were Holy Spirit baptized it is at this moment they were placed into the New Testament church. This event took place before they were water baptized.

    Let me just add that I can back up everyone of my assertions above with Greek lexicons. If you can produce any that disagree with my assertions above I'd be ineterested in seeing it.

    Thank you
    Olivencia
     
  19. JSM17

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    I have not avoided them I am still seeking to understand how you harmonize all the conversion accounts in the book of Acts and then proclaim that your saved only the way Cornelius was saved. When Acts 2:41 says that they were added to the church when they recieved the word and were being baptized.

    Acts 2:41

    41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
    NKJV

    When were they added to the them?

    So was Cornelius added to the church when he received the H.S. or after his baptism?

    Where in all the scripture does it say that baptism in water is only a sign of being saved. Romans 6:3,4 does not say this.
     
  20. Olivencia

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    The subject of THIS THREAD has to do with the Gentiles in Acts 10. I can see why you keep avoiding the topic under discussion.
    You have not produced any evidence that "believe" in Acts 15:7 is used in a non-salvific sense. In fact, you wrote that:

    I would say that "Believe" with in this context refers to salvation
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    According to Acts 15:8 God bore witness to this SAVING belief by giving them the Holy Spirit.

    Did God give them the Holy Spirit before or after they were water baptized?
     

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