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philosophizer
November 5th, 2004, 02:33 PM
What is it? What are your beliefs on it? And why?

philosophizer
November 5th, 2004, 02:38 PM
You can choose more than one option in the poll.

Christine
November 5th, 2004, 02:39 PM
Where's the "isn't needed or necessary for any" choice on the poll? :confused:

ShadowMaid
November 5th, 2004, 02:41 PM
I was wondering the same thing....

philosophizer
November 5th, 2004, 02:45 PM
Oh, shoot. I knew I was forgetting something.

philosophizer
November 5th, 2004, 02:47 PM
If any moderator would like to add that... :D

Heck, for that matter, if any moderator wants to add any other option I might have forgotten, go ahead.

philosophizer
November 5th, 2004, 02:53 PM
And please, in explanations, define what baptism is.

Lucky
November 5th, 2004, 02:56 PM
First off, are you talking about water baptism or the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

PastorZ77
November 5th, 2004, 02:57 PM
I gather you are talking about water baptism, I would say the best option is that it is "symbolic".

Hilston
November 5th, 2004, 02:58 PM
Where is the option for "Is completely unbiblical, divides against the Body of Christ, and is a grave sin against God in this dispensation"?
Water Baptism: Basis for Unity or Cause of Division? (PDF) (http://www.tgfonline.org/TGF/topical/baptism_division.pdf)
Honoring Paul's Gospel (The Shunning of Holidays, Rituals, and Symbols) (http://www.tgfonline.org/TGF/bootcamp/pb12hono.htm)

Turbo
November 5th, 2004, 03:08 PM
I added that option, philo. Do you want the title of the thread changed to "water baptism"?

PastorZ77
November 5th, 2004, 03:10 PM
Is completely unbiblical


I gotta hear this.

Redfin
November 5th, 2004, 03:16 PM
Baptism is immersion in water for the forgiveness of sins, as per the examples of the book of Acts. :thumb:

It is necessary for all

Matthew 28:19-20 - Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

It is also symbolic

Romans 6:16-18 - Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

“The teaching” was the gospel, the death, burial & resurrection of Christ.

I Corinthians 15:1-5 - Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you--unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

“Obedience” to Jesus’ command for all to be baptized in the great commission and obedience to “the form of teaching,” is seen to be one and the same thing.

Romans 6:3-7 - Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin.

It absolutely washes away our sins

Acts 22:16 - And now why do you delay? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name.'

PastorZ77
November 5th, 2004, 03:22 PM
It absolutely washes away our sins

Acts 22:16 - And now why do you delay? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name.'


Not sure what version this came out of. Washing away of sins is does by calling on his name.

When unsaved people go swimming, they don't get their sins washed away. It is the acknowledgment of Christ as savior that causes our sins to be washed away, not a dunk in a tub.

It is purely symbolic.



And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Redfin
November 5th, 2004, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by PastorZ77

Not sure what version this came out of.

The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).


Washing away of sins is does by calling on his name.

We call on His name when we are baptized (all in the same verse there).


When unsaved people go swimming, they don't get their sins washed away.

Unsaved people don't go swimming "for the forgiveness of sins," as I specified in my 1st post.


It is the acknowledgment of Christ as savior that causes our sins to be washed away, not a dunk in a tub.

It is also the acknowledgement of Christ as Lord, through obedience to His command.


It is purely symbolic.

It is symbolic, as I've already acknowledged, but not exclusively symbolic. It is also the point at which God's grace is effectively credited to our account.

Colossians 2:12 - when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

I know I'm in the minority on this one, but the Bible backs it up. :think:

Turbo
November 5th, 2004, 03:42 PM
Originally posted by Lucky

First off, are you talking about water baptism or the baptism of the Holy Spirit? I changed the thread title to "Water Baptism," so that we're all (hopefully, kinda) on the same page.

philosophizer
November 5th, 2004, 03:52 PM
I voted that it is not necessary. Our salvation does not depend on being baptised with water in a special ceremony. The power of God is not confined between some Hydrogen and Oxygen molocules.

That said, it is just as ridiculous to say, as Hilston does, that it is some kind of sin against God. That claim, instead of trapping the Holy Spirit in the water, traps the devil in it. It just doesn't make any sense.

The main thing is not to insist on one course or the other. It's not really the important thing that many churches make it out to be. It doesn't cleanse us of our sins. Christ all ready did the full job on that.

On the other side of it, it can be a useful experience for a believer coming to Christ. But a lot of things can be "useful" or "beneficial."

philosophizer
November 5th, 2004, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by Turbo

I changed the thread title to "Water Baptism," so that we're all (hopefully, kinda) on the same page.

Thanks. :D

Redfin
November 5th, 2004, 05:19 PM
It amazes me that folks who consider themselves to be believers would "vote" to ignore/deny what the Scriptures plainly say! :doh:

Biblical doctrine is not decided by the majority. In fact -

Matthew 7:14 - "...the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it."

PastorZ77
November 5th, 2004, 05:23 PM
It amazes me that folks who consider themselves to be believers would "vote" to ignore/deny what the Scriptures plainly say!


I understand that this is rare, but what happens to the person (maybe 300 in the world, but documented nonetheless) that is actually ALLERGIC to water.

Redfin
November 5th, 2004, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by PastorZ77

I understand that this is rare, but what happens to the person (maybe 300 in the world, but documented nonetheless) that is actually ALLERGIC to water.

I'm not sure if you meant that question to be taken seriously, but I'll answer it, if you'll first answer this...

What would have happened to the early believers if they had denied Christ because they were "allergic" to the lions in the Coliseum?

(Here's a clue - Matthew 10:33 :think: )

Jabez
November 5th, 2004, 06:54 PM
symbolic

Lighthouse
November 5th, 2004, 11:02 PM
I chose 2, 4, 6 and 9.

It isn't necessarry, but if one does get baptized, it must be a choice. And it is purely symbolic. And it means nothing to those who are not already saved. The way I see it, it's completely pointless.

Lucky
November 5th, 2004, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by philosophizer

I voted that it is not necessary. Our salvation does not depend on being baptised with water in a special ceremony. The power of God is not confined between some Hydrogen and Oxygen molocules.

That said, it is just as ridiculous to say, as Hilston does, that it is some kind of sin against God. That claim, instead of trapping the Holy Spirit in the water, traps the devil in it. It just doesn't make any sense.

The main thing is not to insist on one course or the other. It's not really the important thing that many churches make it out to be. It doesn't cleanse us of our sins. Christ all ready did the full job on that.

On the other side of it, it can be a useful experience for a believer coming to Christ. But a lot of things can be "useful" or "beneficial."

PastorZ77
November 5th, 2004, 11:08 PM
What would have happened to the early believers if they had denied Christ because they were "allergic" to the lions in the Coliseum?

This is hardly relevant. but I'll go along.

You miss (or choose to avoid) the premise of my introducing the "allergic to water" bit.

The idea you are presenting suggests, though I don't think you have outrightly said so, that you must be baptized in order to be saved. And this is patently unbiblical.
I present the allergic scenario to ask you if you believe God would still DEMAND one to be baptized despite being allergic to lions. More to follow.

cellist
November 6th, 2004, 10:45 AM
PastorZ77 wrote
I gather you are talking about water baptism, I would say the best option is that it is "symbolic".

Baptism is the Gospel in visible form as is communion. Remember Augustine's saying that the sacraments are the "visible word." God communicates his Gospel to us through preaching, the written word and visibly through the sacraments. This Gospel, in whatever form it comes to us (sacraments, preaching, written word), is the "power of God," as Paul says the Gospel is in Rom 1:16. To say that baptism is only a symbol without God's power present is to ignore some very important scriptures and to disregard what some of our greatest theologians in church history have written. If as a pastor you teach baptism is nothing more than a symbol of our own faith and regeneration then you are robbing your congregation of some important truths regarding baptism.

Redfin
November 6th, 2004, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by PastorZ77

This is hardly relevant. but I'll go along.

You miss (or choose to avoid) the premise of my introducing the "allergic to water" bit.

You "went along" perhaps, but you didn't answer the question. I believe it is just as relevant as your "'allergic to water' bit." Please humor me.


Originally posted by Redfin

What would have happened to the early believers if they had denied Christ because they were "allergic" to the lions in the Coliseum?

(Here's a clue - Matthew 10:33 :think: )

I neither missed nor wish to avoid your premise. In fact, I'm anxious to answer it, just as soon as you answer me, directly.

PastorZ77
November 6th, 2004, 01:59 PM
What would have happened to the early believers if they had denied Christ because they were "allergic" to the lions in the Coliseum?

To deny Christ is to renounce belief in him.

No one is suggesting that by getting baptized (or not) you renounce your faith in Christ.

So the analogy is not appropriate.

Bear in mind, I by no means discourage people from getting baptized, quite the contrary. Anyone that gets saved through my ministry gets baptized.

But I do NOT teach the the water has ANY saving OR cleansing power, as I believe THAT comes from the blood.

I teach that it is a command that Jesus gave that is representative of his death burial and resurrection in our lives.

PastorZ77
November 6th, 2004, 02:05 PM
If as a pastor you teach baptism is nothing more than a symbol of our own faith and regeneration then you are robbing your congregation of some important truths regarding baptism.




Baptism is the Gospel in visible form as is communion.


I believe we have met in semantic city here :)

I feel the same way.

cellist
November 6th, 2004, 04:32 PM
Pastor Z77 wrote
I believe we have met in semantic city here

I feel the same way.

:thumb: My next point may not be semantic city. :( I think the only conclusion to seeing baptism as the visible word is to hold to baptismal regeneration. QUALIFICATION: Not understanding baptismal regeneration in the way the Roman Catholics (ex opere operato) nor the Church of Christ do. Both of those groups do not accept justification by faith alone. But I see it in a reformation way, that baptism is the gospel and the gospel regenerates. "For you have been born again, not of parishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." 1 Pet 1:23 As Augustine reminds us, water by itself is just water, but add the word of God to it and it becomes a sacrament; the "washing of water with the word" (Eph 5:26). Baptism continues to renew us throughout our lives (a daily drowning the old Adam), as Luther put it. Baptism also gives and strengthens faith, as does the preached word. So given that it regenerates and gives and strengthens faith, I would say that baptism saves.

Redfin
November 6th, 2004, 05:37 PM
Originally posted by PastorZ77

To deny Christ is to renounce belief in him.

To disobey Christ is equivalent.


Originally posted by PastorZ77

No one is suggesting that by getting baptized (or not) you renounce your faith in Christ.

So the analogy is not appropriate.

I disagree. I will tell you why momentarily.


Originally posted by PastorZ77

Bear in mind, I by no means discourage people from getting baptized, quite the contrary. Anyone that gets saved through my ministry gets baptized.

And only as many of those as get baptized though your ministry get saved. Here's why -

Galatians 3:27 - As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

No more, no less.


Originally posted by PastorZ77

But I do NOT teach the the water has ANY saving OR cleansing power, as I believe THAT comes from the blood.

Neither does the Bible teach that, nor do I. That is a "straw man" argument.

The Bible teaches that the water is where we come into contact with the blood of Christ.

Romans 6:3-7 - Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?(1) Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united (2) with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him (2) so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin.

Acts 22:16 - And now why do you delay? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away (3), calling on his name.'

(1)We are baptized into Christ’s death. (2)He died by shedding His blood on the cross, and we are united to that death in baptism. (3)Our sins are washed away in baptism. Jesus’ blood washes away our sins.

We obviously come into contact with the blood of Christ in baptism.


Originally posted by PastorZ77

I teach that it is a command that Jesus gave that is representative of his death burial and resurrection in our lives.

Indeed it is.


Originally posted by Redfin

What would have happened to the early believers if they had denied Christ because they were "allergic" to the lions in the Coliseum?

(Here's a clue - Matthew 10:33 :think: )

I notice that you have twice failed to answer the question. I can understand why. I will go ahead and respond to yours anyway.


Originally posted by PastorZ77

I understand that this is rare, but what happens to the person (maybe 300 in the world, but documented nonetheless) that is actually ALLERGIC to water.

My answer is that the suggestion that an allergic reaction to water is sufficient to merit disobedience to the One Who allowed Himself to mocked, scourged, to have nails driven through His hands and feet, and to hang in shame on a cross until He died for our sakes, is ludicrous.

On the other hand, my question in return was an absolutely “appropriate” response, because the example of those early Christian martyrs who would not even allow the prospect of being torn to death by lions cause them to diminish Christ’s Lordship over them in the least way, would have made me ashamed to have raised the issue of “allergic reactions” in such a context.

But that’s just me. And please understand, my reaction is not directed at you personally, but to your responses.

philosophizer
November 8th, 2004, 07:47 AM
Originally posted by cellist

Baptism is the Gospel in visible form as is communion. Remember Augustine's saying that the sacraments are the "visible word." God communicates his Gospel to us through preaching, the written word and visibly through the sacraments. This Gospel, in whatever form it comes to us (sacraments, preaching, written word), is the "power of God," as Paul says the Gospel is in Rom 1:16. To say that baptism is only a symbol without God's power present is to ignore some very important scriptures and to disregard what some of our greatest theologians in church history have written.

Why would viewing it as a symbol necessarily take God's power or presense out of it? Anything and everything you do for the Lord contains His power. We can view most of the events that happen in our everyday lives as symbolic. When a missionary preaches and brings people to Christ, their professing that Christ is Lord is a real physical act. But that physical act can be called a symbol of the movements of their spirits. When a person is tempted by drugs or sex or money, and stumbles out of weakness and selfishness, he does some kind of outward action that can be called a symbol of his spirit turning in on itself.

Our lives themselves are symbolic. Yet they are real too, and filled and surrounded by the power of God. There's no need to draw a line that separates those things.

One can call baptism or the Lord's supper "the visible word" and still also call them symbols of the reason and manner by which we were saved by God's sacrifice of His own Son.

I, for one, believe that Christ already paid for my sins. He nailed them to the cross once and for all. He did not do this because I take part in certain church ceremonies or events or "sacraments." He did it all because He is a gracious and loving God.

PastorZ77
November 8th, 2004, 08:09 AM
I notice that you have twice failed to answer the question. I can understand why. I will go ahead and respond to yours anyway.


this was my answer



No one is suggesting that by getting baptized (or not) you renounce your faith in Christ.

So the analogy is not appropriate.




And only as many of those as get baptized though your ministry get saved. Here's why -

Galatians 3:27 - As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

No more, no less.

That is a gorss misinterpretation of the scripture.
No more no less




But that’s just me. And please understand, my reaction is not directed at you personally, but to your responses.


Ditto :thumb:

My contention is that the ferocious defence of baptism is certainly warranted as it was no doubt commanded by Christ.

However, the degree to which the command is defended seems to end up perverting the command itself. CERTAINLY he said be baptized and told us TO baptize. To suggest you will not attain salvation for failure to fulfill this command requires fairness across the board. He also said "go ye therefore", if one fails to do that, have they not obtained salvation? He also said "render unto Caesars", etc., etc.

While I do agree whole heartedly that it was a command that requires our obedience, I cannot agree that there is any savific power in the water as that demans and denegrates the sacrifice made on Calvary.

philosophizer
November 8th, 2004, 11:09 AM
Here's some of my thoughts on this passage concerning baptism:

1 Peter 3:18-22 --
18For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison 20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 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, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand--with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
**emphasis mine**



The first part I put in bold is, I think, the most base fact: that Christ died once for all sins. He didn't die several times. He doesn't die continually. He isn't still dying for our sins. He did it once. And after He died, He came back to life. He is living. He is not continually dying for our sins, but continually living because He has already died for them once and for all.


In the next few verses, Peter compares baptism to Noah's ark. He says that in the ark, Noah and his family were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that saves us also.

But then Peter makes an important distinction. He says that baptism saves us, "not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God."

So here we have two different thoughts on what baptism might possibly do.
1) Removal of dirt from the body. This means sin in this context.
2) The pledge of a good conscience toward God. This would be more of a turning of will or spiritual belief.

Now, let's continue the comparison to the ark that Peter set up.


The removal of dirt from the body:
In Noah's day, the world was filled with sinful people. They were so terrible that God decided to wipe out mankind.

Genesis 6:5-8 --
5 The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth-men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air-for I am grieved that I have made them." 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

Noah was the only who seemed to be living a God-focused life. So God commanded Noah to build a big boat so that he and his family (just eight people) could be spared the destruction. God gave him all the specifications. And Noah just did it. He was just a farmer. He might not have ever been in a boat, much less built one before. But Noah loved the Lord and lived by faith.

And so Noah and his family were saved in the ark. But Peter doesn't say that it was just the ark that saved them. Peter said that in the ark they were saved "through water."

The water washed the dirt from the body. Noah was the last one left living a Godly life. It's not like God was only passed down through one branch of every family. The wickedness in the world was continually corrupting faith in God. Noah was the last chance. So the wickedness was a direct threat, not only to Noah's family's faith in God, but to their lives as well. So in flooding the planet, God saved Noah's family from the threat of the surrounding wicked people.

Peter compares this with washing away sins calling it washing dirt from the body. In the Noah example, the dirt would equal the wicked people and the body would equal the earth. But if we wash dirt from ourselves we can always get dirty again. Sin and wickedness still spread through the world by Noah's descendants. Even though the direct threat of the surrounding wicked people had been removed, sin still stayed on earth.


The pledge of a good conscience toward God:
So Noah was saved by the water that removed the direct threat of wicked people. But the water --the very force by which the rest of the population was destroyed-- saved Noah in another way also. It kept him afloat.

See, God didn't just tell Noah, "I'm gonna flood the whole planet but I'll spare you and your family." God also gave him something to do to take part in the rescue. God said, "so I want you to build an ark."

The flood surely saved Noah by washing the dirt from the body-- all the wicked people. But God also offered Noah a chance to escape similar destruction. God asked for the faith and trust to do precisely what He said on a job which Noah was likely completely inexperienced. God was warning about the impending destruction but at the same time offering Noah a plan for salvation. All Noah had to do was have faith and trust in God.

And that's the part of the deal that Peter seems to be stressing as important: the pledge of a good conscience toward God. The world was made safe by getting rid of the evil people... but only for a while. That kind of temporary safety is not the kind of salvation that God is offering us in the Gospel.

Just like in Noah's day, God is warning us of the impending destruction. And just like in Noah's day, God is offering a plan for our salvation. And just like in Noah's day, all we have to do is have faith and trust in God. In Noah's day that meant building an ark. For us it means trusting in Jesus Christ. This is the pledge of a good conscience Peter was talking about. This is the baptism that saves us. It's not the water. It's not the washing of dirt from the body. We don't even need to worry about our "dirt." Christ already died for our sins. The baptism that saves us is the faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

That is the baptism that saves us.

cellist
November 8th, 2004, 11:13 AM
philosophizer wrote
Why would viewing it as a symbol necessarily take God's power or presense out of it?
Actually, I wrote, "To say that baptism is only a symbol..."

I think I didn't make my point clear. What Augustine was saying is that the sacraments, being the "visible word," must also have the same power as the preached word. The word of God saves us.

"For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." 1 Peter 1:19

The Gospel has power to save (Rom 1:16) because the Holy Spirit uses the Gospel as a means to bring about the new birth and faith in us.


I, for one, believe that Christ already paid for my sins. He nailed them to the cross once and for all. He did not do this because I take part in certain church ceremonies or events or "sacraments." He did it all because He is a gracious and loving God.
But God uses means to work salvation in us; namely the Gospel, which comes to us in word and sacrament. The Gospel is not the efficient cause of our salvation, only God is. But the Gospel is a means that God uses to work regeneration and faith in us. In other words, the Gospel, which comes to us in baptism, is the instrumental cause of our faith and new birth.

Analogy:
The artist is the efficient cause of a painting
The brush is the instrumental cause of the painting.

philosophizer
November 8th, 2004, 01:04 PM
Originally posted by cellist

Actually, I wrote, "To say that baptism is only a symbol..."

I think I didn't make my point clear. What Augustine was saying is that the sacraments, being the "visible word," must also have the same power as the preached word. The word of God saves us.

"For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." 1 Peter 1:19

The Gospel has power to save (Rom 1:16) because the Holy Spirit uses the Gospel as a means to bring about the new birth and faith in us.


But God uses means to work salvation in us; namely the Gospel, which comes to us in word and sacrament. The Gospel is not the efficient cause of our salvation, only God is. But the Gospel is a means that God uses to work regeneration and faith in us. In other words, the Gospel, which comes to us in baptism, is the instrumental cause of our faith and new birth.

Analogy:
The artist is the efficient cause of a painting
The brush is the instrumental cause of the painting.

I agree that the Gospel, as the Word of God, is an instrument of salvation, just as Jesus Christ, as the Word of God, is the instrument of salvation.

The real business I disagree with is the "regeneration" you're talking about. I don't think that it necessarily has anything to do with the act of water baptism. I think that "regeneration" or being born again is simply what happens when a person truly believes in Christ. When He is in them and they in Him, they are truly a new creature. They have, by faith, accepted the salvation offered by a truly gracious God, and have died to their sin as it was put to death on the cross upon Christ. They were dead and now are alive. That's what I think regeneration is.

And so baptism certainly can be the "visible word" with just as much meaning, importance, and the presence of God as the spoken word of the Gospel itself. But I also think that the act of professing one's faith in Christ is just as much "visible word" as baptism is. I think that truly loving one's neighbor as one's self is also just as much "visible word." I think that any true Christian action resulting from the rebirth in Christ by faith and salvation by grace is just as much "visible word" as the "sacrements" are.

Redfin
November 8th, 2004, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by PastorZ77




And only as many of those as get baptized though your ministry get saved. Here's why -

Galatians 3:27 - As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

No more, no less.


That is a gorss misinterpretation of the scripture.


"No more, no less" simply emphasizes the import of the words "as many."

There is no misinterpretation whatsoever.

cellist
November 8th, 2004, 05:19 PM
philosophizer wrote
I agree that the Gospel, as the Word of God, is an instrument of salvation, just as Jesus Christ, as the Word of God, is the instrument of salvation.

Agree


The real business I disagree with is the "regeneration" you're talking about. I don't think that it necessarily has anything to do with the act of water baptism. I think that "regeneration" or being born again is simply what happens when a person truly believes in Christ. When He is in them and they in Him, they are truly a new creature. They have, by faith, accepted the salvation offered by a truly gracious God, and have died to their sin as it was put to death on the cross upon Christ. They were dead and now are alive. That's what I think regeneration is.

But the vs in 1 Peter I quoted says that we are born again through the word of God.

"For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." 1 Peter 1:19

And since the word of God is communicated to us in baptism it follows that baptism works regeneration. It doesn't work it in a magical way, but in the same way the preached gospel does.

I wouldn't say our new birth is the result of believing since one cannot believe while he is spiritually dead. I wouldn't say either, like a Calvinist, that regeneration is before faith. I would just say that both are the work of the Holy Spirit working through the gospel.


And so baptism certainly can be the "visible word" with just as much meaning, importance, and the presence of God as the spoken word of the Gospel itself. But I also think that the act of professing one's faith in Christ is just as much "visible word" as baptism is. I think that truly loving one's neighbor as one's self is also just as much "visible word." I think that any true Christian action resulting from the rebirth in Christ by faith and salvation by grace is just as much "visible word" as the "sacrements" are.

I would distinguish the gospel as the only means of regeneration. Rom 1:16 says the gospel is the "power of God." The preaching of Christ and Him crucifies has inherent power. The preaching of the law, on the other hand, cannot regenerate. So while our lives may testify to Christ, it wouldn't be enough information for it to be the gospel.