Saturday, February 26, 2011

Baptism Questions

On another blog I responded to some statements that were made by someone who does not believe that the Scriptures teach that Baptism saves us and that babies are to be baptized. The arguments are very much like the usual arguments against these matters of doctrine and practice.

Much confusion and division exists among people claiming to be believers of the faith declared in the Bible. Many different conclusions are drawn in accord with the many different presuppositions that are imposed upon the Biblical texts that people read and try to understand.

These are not small matters. They actually change the entirety of the faith embraced by those holding the various positions.

I share here the content of what I wrote in response to this person’s objections. This certainly is not a comprehensive dealing with the matter. It does nevertheless address the issues and demonstrates at least some of the Scriptures that speak to these matters.

For your consideration:

† † †

I challenge you to consider several Scriptures regarding the positions that you have stated concerning Baptism.

In John 1:12-13 St. John plainly teaches that receiving Jesus is a passive act on the part of those who are born to become sons of God, that their regeneration or birth is “not of the will of man, but of God,” that is, not of human decision but of God’s action alone.

In John 3 the Lord Jesus teaches the Pharisee, Nicodemus, regarding the regeneration or above-generation or rebirth by which we are brought into the kingdom of God. First He says that except one be “gennethe anothen” = “generated from above” he cannot see or perceive the kingdom of God.

When Nicodemus demonstrated that he was not able to perceive the kingdom of God, Jesus further explained: “except one should be generated out of water and Spirit, not able is he to enter into the kingdom of God.”

So why would Jesus teach that one is not able even to see the kingdom apart from being born from above and then to say that one is not able to enter the kingdom apart from being born out of WATER and SPIRIT unless this were true? Give this serious thought and answer it for yourself.

In Titus 3 St. Paul writes:

But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Titus 3:4-5)

St. Paul says that God our Savior saved us how? “By the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” and NOT by works of righteousness that we have done.

In Ephesians 2 St. Paul says that we are saved by grace through faith. He says that this IS NOT of ourselves and not a work of our own but a gift of God. He says that faith is NOT something that we do.

In 1 Peter 3 St. Peter says that Noah and his family were saved BY WATER (vs. 20). Then he says in verse 21, “baptism doth also now save us.” Did St. Peter lie or does baptism save us?

In Acts 2:38-39 St. Peter tells those in whom the Holy Spirit pierced their hearts with the preaching of the Word,

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. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

St. Peter says that the promise of Baptism is for “you AND your CHILDREN.” He says that the effects of Baptism are the forgiveness of sins (= salvation) and the gift of the Holy Spirit (= faith and communion with God). He says that this promise is for your children.

Which part of this is not a statement of the Scriptures? Which part is not true?

Does the fact that God has worked specially for someone like the thief on the cross so that he was saved, does this nullify the clear words of the Lord Jesus and His apostles regarding the effects and the promise of Baptism?

There is much more that can be said on this matter, but these questions are ones that you should give serious consideration. The statements are recorded in the Scriptures. The question is: why do people reject them and invent their own beliefs instead of what the Scriptures plainly teach?

St. Paul writes:

In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (Colossians 2:11-12)

St. Paul calls Baptism the circumcision of Christ by which we are buried and cut off from the sins of the flesh. He calls faith the operation of God by which we are raised with Christ. This operation of God St. Paul links directly to His working in and through Baptism, the circumcision done without hands, that is, with water and the Word through which the Spirit comes and sanctifies from within.

Yet you and those who have taught you say these things are not taught in the Scriptures. Ask yourself why you follow those who reject these clear passages rather than believing what the Holy Spirit has recorded? What is the reason that you and many others do not believe these words of Scripture? Perhaps no one has ever presented them to you clearly. I do not know the reason, but you would do well to challenge yourself in this matter.

† † †



Hello Pastor, thank you for visiting my blog, I fully understand you can not read our Portuguese .... I do not know any English, but google helps me ..... kkkkkk Let me introduce myself: I am Fabio da Silva Araujo, live in Brazil, Maranhão State, in the town of Presidente Medici, a small town with six thousand inhabitants, here I work with a small business, and am Assembly of God Evangelical Church, the largest evangelical church in Brazil. I live with my country in my spare time I like is on the internet, preferably on my blog! President Medici news of the day to day. I talk to blog about national politics, state and municipal levels. Most evangelicals also posts messages. Here in Brazil this year is celebrating one hundred years that the Gospel, came here, a great celebration in Bethlehem of Visine Para State in the centennial celebration .... It was there that she first came the missionaries and Daniel Berg Gunavingre and began to evangelize. .. Here in Brazil is still a Catholic country, most people are Catholic, but every day Jesus has saved souls, and evangelicals are people growing in grace and knowledge. RATHER Your Speaking of this post, I fully agree with THEIR Biblical Words ..................................... .............. Catholics were my parents and I still Baby nd I was baptized Catholic Church by Fr. AFTER my parents were also to be believers and I after 18 years I was baptized in the waters menbro Today the Body of Christ. Thank you for your pastor, I always're visiting ......... Like to comment on blogs I visit. stay in peace, your blog is on my list of favorites.

Anonymous said...

Peace like your blog is a blessing, I'm evangelical, preach the word of God, I also have a blog visit and follow ......... Well, let's work together for God to speak of God's love for all through our blogs. I'll link your blog to my favaritos .. Stay in peace ...