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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Baptism

File:Jesus-army-baptism.jpg
These are the main verses used by people to say baptism IS needed for salvation

and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
1 Peter 3:21

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Romans 6:4

Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38

This verse is often used to say that baptism is part of salvation, but we know from other scriptures that it is not, lest there be a contradiction.  What is going on here is simply that repentance and forgiveness of sins are connected.  In the Greek, "repent" is in the plural and so is "your" of "your sins."  They are meant to be understood as being related to each other.  It is like saying, "All of you repent, each of you get baptized, and all of you will receive forgiveness."

I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Matthew 3:11

I'll start with the big verse that says baptism isn't needed for salvation. This one pretty much says it all. These are clips from John three. So a Pharisee comes to Jesus and Jesus explain how to become a Christian.

In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.
"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"
Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
John 3:3-6

If you just look at verses 5, you could say Jesus said baptism is needed for salvation,  but quite the opposite is true The following verse says "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit." 
And then Jesus said:

that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.
John 3:15; 18; 36

3 verses uttered by Jesus say "Faith only"

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

Baptism is a work.

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about--but not before God. What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."
Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness. Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them.
Roman 4:1-11

Circumcision was the old testaments version of baptism. Faith is simple, and yet so incredibly complicated. All you have to do is believe. You don't need to be baptized or circumcised. Those are symbols. You just have to believe.

Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin--because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
Romans 6:3-8

Baptism is a symbol of being one with Christ.

for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Galatians 3:27

For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
1 Corinthians 12:13

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
Luke 23:39-43

This man was not baptized, and he is in heaven.

And then there's Acts 10.The holy spirit came upon Cornelius (Romans 8:9, 1 John 3:24) and his household and THEN they where baptized.
Baptism is clearly a symbol of faith, and not a part of it. If you believe baptism is necessary for faith, then you must ignore numerous passages that state otherwise.

Sources:
http://www.gotquestions.org/baptism-1Peter-3-21.html

Photo Credit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jesus-army-baptism.jpg

4 comments:

  1. I write and maintain a blog which I have entitled “Accordingtothebook” and I’d like to invite you to follow it. I’m your newest follower.

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  2. Thank you so much. I want to add that the study on baptism was perfect. I love it. Many more should read it as it is so clear and so true because scripture has told us. Amen.

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  3. well stated... thank you... my thoughts as well

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  4. Thank you "Joan The Baptist" and "thefisherlady" for the encouragement. I'm glad I'm doing well.

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