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quentusio
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Joined: 2007/5/23
Posts: 11
Nashville, TN

 Baptism - its purpose and role

I pray and hope that this post does not cause division but only (in my hopes) joyful clarity. I have always considered baptism to be a Christian rite apart from salvation. I have been struggling for a long time on several verses however that seem to state that is the necessary moment of salvation. Any discerning thoughts or insights would be a blessing to me.

First, of course, is Mark 16:16 in which Jesus proclaims, "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned." What could this mean except that baptism is a necessary part of salvation? Likewise, in Matthew 28, Jesus commands, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." Please understand, I do believe in baptism. It is only that I have always believed that it comes after salvation. I don't believe it to be "nonessential" - far be it from me to claim any command of Jesus to be nonessential! I only don't believe that it is necessary for salvation. It is necessary for obedience which comes with and after salvation. If baptism comes after salvation, however, why is it that the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus after His baptism. Not that Jesus required salvation or that He was not deity until this point, but wasn't this to serve as our model? Next is Acts 2 in which the listeners heard Peter's sermon and were pierced to the heart and asked, "what shall we do"? Peter replied, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ FOR the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Likewise, Paul was told to "get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name." [Acts 22:16]. In Romans, Paul asks, "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection." Likewise, in Galatians 3:26-27, Paul says, "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." I have attended a church where they say that a person must repent and believe Jesus Christ to have lived and died for their sins. Then they say that a person must be united with Christ's death through baptism. When they come out of the water they proclaim that the person is saved. I don't know what to make of this because of the verses I have mentioned. I do not want to be in the position of denying the truth of the scriptures for my own preconceived ideas. I cannot, however, deny the verses that speak of faith, believing and confessing (Romans 10). Nor can I deny the moment that I opened the door of my heart to Christ and He entered. I cannot deny the witness of the Spirit. Does anyone have any insights. Or could anyone point me to a sermon that would help? This morning I was reading the blessed chapter in 1 Corinthians that talked about spiritual gifts and that to some in the church is given the gift of prophecy, to some discernment. I pray and struggle over these verses but I also know it is right to ask the brethren.


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Quentin Minson

 2007/5/23 11:51Profile
GraceAlone
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Joined: 2006/8/23
Posts: 232
Orlando, Florida

 Re: Baptism - its purpose and role

Quote:
I have attended a church where they say that a person must repent and believe Jesus Christ to have lived and died for their sins. Then they say that a person must be united with Christ's death through baptism. When they come out of the water they proclaim that the person is saved. I don't know what to make of this because of the verses I have mentioned. I do not want to be in the position of denying the truth of the scriptures for my own preconceived ideas. I cannot, however, deny the verses that speak of faith, believing and confessing (Romans 10). Nor can I deny the moment that I opened the door of my heart to Christ and He entered. I cannot deny the witness of the Spirit. Does anyone have any insights.



There is a Baptism that is not of water... It is of the Spirit... it unites us into the body of christ.

1 Peter 3:21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh (or water baptism), but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ

1 Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

Christians are called the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:27) Because Christ the Son of God was incarnated to die for His church (John 10:11) and raise them to life (John 5:21). He bore the penalty for His church's sins so that He could raise them to life.

Christ sent the Holy Spirit to dwell with us to unite us with Christ's work- resulting in our salvation (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Holy Spirit is our guarantee of future glory because He unites us to Christ's death and resurrection (Ephesians 1:14).

That is why Christians have changed lives- they have been united to Christ in death and life (Romans 6:5). If a man has died with Christ he is heading to glory just as Christ rose. The bible says that having this hope of glory purifies a man (1 John 3:3). Christ is pleased to see the work He accomplished for His saints manifested in thier lives (Isaiah 53:11).

Nobody can earn salvation. Water baptism is a work people do which symbolizes thier union in Christ it symbolizes the Spirit's baptism. The Spirit's baptism unites us to Christ's ressurection. Water baptism is an outward confession of faith and a public declaration of a new life. It doesn't save anybody- it is but a work saved people do. We're not saved by good works- but unto them.


Besides- If we believe we have Christ's righteousness in our stead- we'd also have His baptism- no?

John Piper has free sermons on his site- You can look up the verses ur struggling with there.
DesiringGod.org

God Bless,
Kristy


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Kristy

 2007/5/23 14:33Profile
ChrisJD
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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re: Baptism - its purpose and role

Hi Quentusio, how are you?


I don't have much time to respond to this and do not feel liberty to say much either. But I wish you much wisdom and direction about this from the Lord.

Something that has helped setle this issue for me is something I read about Matthew 3:15.

As I see this, the Lord Jesus has done everything that is required of us. Everything. He is our righteousness, see Jeremiah 23:6.


God give you much grace!


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2007/5/23 16:01Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: Baptism - its purpose and role

Quote:
If baptism comes after salvation, however, why is it that the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus after His baptism. Not that Jesus required salvation or that He was not deity until this point, but wasn't this to serve as our model?


No I don't think it was in this instance. John Baptist protested the he needed Jesus' baptism and not that Jesus needed John's. Christ's answer was that his baptism in water was to fulfill all righteousness. This was quite different to the way that John was using baptism, as a focus for repentance. Christ's baptism in water carries through one of the unchanging elements of baptism which is that it signifies death. His water baptism was his public acceptance of the mission that would include death and received his Father's public approval.



Quote:
In Romans, Paul asks, "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection."


It may be significant that most narrative references to Christian baptism speak of 'Baptism in the Name of Jesus'. This is not a baptismal formula neither is it proof of the Oneness theology. To baptise in the name of Jesus was simply a way of distinguishing Christian baptism from that of John Baptist and that used by Judaism in admitting proselytes.

I wonder if the Romans reference is a reference to water baptism at all. Here and in Galatians are the only places where the scriptures speak of baptism into Christ; not the name but the person. Water baptism certainly does not effect this, although Catholicism and some others have held to this kind of 'baptismal regeneration'. I would suggest that this baptism is not 'into water' but 'into death'. In the many discussions relating to the phrase 'baptism in Spirit' it is often forgotten that 'baptism' is always an emblem of death.


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Ron Bailey

 2007/5/23 17:56Profile









 Re:

Quote:
If baptism comes after salvation, however, why is it that the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus after His baptism. Not that Jesus required salvation or that He was not deity until this point, but wasn't this to serve as our model?



Noah sent forth two birds from the ark. The first bird was a crow. The crow didn't return because, as a carrion eater, it would land on any floating corpse and peck away.

The second bird was a dove. Every time he released the dove it would return because being the kosher, clean, herbavore it was, it wouldn't land on anything unclean - especially a corpse.

The Holy Ghost descended on Jesus "like a dove". That means, it won't descend on an unclean (or spiritually dead) person.

How does one "get clean"?

Repentance makes you clean. Baptism follows repentance. There are not "two" baptisms (water then Spirit). Water baptism is the outward symbol of the inward transformation (fire baptism).

Water baptism devoid of repentance is vacuous superstition IMHO.

But repentance (turning from sin, repairing past wrongs, begging for forgiveness) is followed by and ensures baptism of the Holy Ghost.

 2007/5/23 20:39
Christinyou
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Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3697
Ca.

 Re:

These words contain our Saviours's reason why he submitted to John's baptism, because it became him to fulfil all righteousness; that is, to own every divine institution, particularly the righteousness of the ceremonial law, which required the washing of the priests in water, when they entered upon their office, Ex 29:4.

Repentance is not what makes you clean, it is Christ that makes you clean. It is His justification that makes us justified. It is His righteousness that makes us righteous. It is His wisdom that makes us wise. It is Him that sanctifies us, because He is Sanctified.

1 Corinthians 1:30-31 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Who has redeemed us? It certainly is not our repentance. It is Christ in you the Hope of Glory which is His working not ours.

Colossians 1:26-29 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.



We can repent after we believe and we can change because of Him that is in us because we believed, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved". Repent and be baptized? How can a person repent and even know what to repent of unless the Holy Spirit has convicted the person and the Spirit of Christ has entered that believing person and saved them by the Glory of God, That is Christ in you the hope of glory, and then the work of salvation begins and we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling by the Christ and the Holy Spirit that is baptized into us and us into Christ and His death as we are dead to sin in Christ.

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

This is not water baptism.

1Cr 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; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Not with water. But with the Spirit and Power.

Mar 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

Jhn 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever

Now with Christ birthed in you and the Holy Spirit in you, we can repent and be baptized in water as a show to the world what has happened in our new life of Christ.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

If not in the flesh then water baptism is only a show to the world of what has happened in the Spirit, both the Spirit of Christ in you and the Holy Spirit in you forever.

In Chrsit: Phillip


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Phillip

 2007/5/24 0:42Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Repentance is not what makes you clean, it is Christ that makes you clean. It is His justification that makes us justified. It is His righteousness that makes us righteous. It is His wisdom that makes us wise. It is Him that sanctifies us, because He is Sanctified.



I need to clarify my point.

"In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (MATT 3:1)

Jesus' first line in Mark:

"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." (MARK 1:15)

Jesus' fourth line in Matthew (after his desert fast):

"Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (MATT 4:17)

It seems fairly obvious that if one doesn't repent, one cannot receive the baptism, the gospel, or the kingdom. If we're not sorry for our wickedness, we're not forgiven, we won't be baptised in the Holy Ghost, and we won't be in the kingdom.

We need to acknowledge our sins and repent of them before we're forgiven. We need to realize how utterly depraved and hopeless we are before we are re-created in His image.

As I mentioned before, baptism without repentance is vain superstition, IMHO.

 2007/5/24 15:04
Christinyou
Member



Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3697
Ca.

 Re:

"The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand", is not a place but a person. Jesus was saying the He is here and to receive the Kingdom, you must receive Him. God really does not care what we think about our sin, what he is going to judge us for is what we do with Christ.

Both Peter and Paul are making it clear that the Gospel is Christ in you the Hope of Glory.

Act 15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men [and] brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

Rom 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

What was John telling them to repent of? Their repentance was outside of themselve in into Christ. What was their baptism in water for, it did nothing to them but get them wet. Because Israel was and would not accept their salvation by the free gift of Christ, which He was offering to them by the Grace of God through faith, which the Faith of Jesus Christ had not come yet, and they would not believe, even when John telling them that He is coming and He will baptize them with the Holy Spirit, not water.

Act 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.

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

Gal 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Not the faith of Abraham but the blessings of Abraham promised by God, that is the Seed, Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:24-26 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. The word in Christ means: Strong's Greek Dictionary
1722. en
a relation of rest (intermediate between 1519 and 1537); "in," at, (up-)on, by, etc.:--about, after, against, + almost, X altogether, among, X as, at, before, between, (here-)by (+ all means), for (... sake of), + give self wholly to, (here-)in(-to, -wardly), X mightily, (because) of, Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. (The Law)

They were not being baptized into Christ's death, they were only being cleansed in the flesh as a show of why they should accept the free gift Christ was offering them, that is Himself. That is why John baptized in water with repentance so they could accept what Jesus was, Their King and Savior, they would not.

After the Cross salvation comes by believing the Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Christ is birthed in the believer and the believer is baptized into Christ's death. Then when Christ's prayer answered by the Father and puts the Holy Spirit into the believer, the believer can then turn around by the Word of God Himself which is in Him and the Holy Spirit leading the believer to repentance because the believer now knows what to repent of by the Holy Spirit teaching us to the Mind of Christ which we now have.

Repentance before salvation is the works of man.
Repentance after salvation is the Works of the Holy Spriit to the Mind of Christ we have now been give at our new birth.

1Cr 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Rom 15:6 That ye may with one mind [and] one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Repent and be baptized cannot be the means of salvation. John 3:15-17 That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Notice that believing is first and then baptized into Christ and the Holy Spirit. No water baptism here. Water baptism is a sign for all that believe and even to unbelievers that Jesus Christ is now our Life and as a show of obedience and Love, not a Law, that we are not Christ persons'. Christians, Christ-ones. Christ Life.

Just a few scriptures to make it clear.

Jhn 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Jhn 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Rom 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

Rom 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Rom 8:10 And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness

Where is our life, repentance, and baptise?
It is in Christ, not ourselves. God does not need to be told how bad we were and are, He knows.

Believe and thou shalt be saved and then work our your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is a terrible things to fall into the hands of a living God. Before we believed and are saved we were not even in His Hands. We were all going to hell and He had nothing to do with us. He has only worked with One man for us to fall into the Hands of a living God, That is Jesus Christ and you must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God, which is revealed from above by God the Father.

Man cannot do this by any works. Matthew 16:16-19 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Who is the Rock, it is certainly not Peter, it is Jesus Christ the Son of God and reveled by the Father, this is what Christ will build His Church upon, that is the Body of Christ His Church.

In Christ: Phillip


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Phillip

 2007/5/24 21:41Profile





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