Baptism Is Just a Symbol of Salvation

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by Malum Prohibitum, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    A common denominational declaration regarding the purpose of baptism is this: “Baptism is a mere symbol of salvation. It is an outward sign of an inward grace.” Frequently 1 Peter 3:21 will be employed in an attempt to prove this assertion. Baptist writer B. H. Carroll, in his discussion of 1 Peter 3:21, declared that baptism “saves us in a figure, not reality”( 218 ).

    But there is absolutely no New Testament support for this allegation. Consider the following:​

    https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1598-8-mistaken-ideas-about-baptism
    8 Mistaken Ideas About Baptism
     
  2. Phil1979

    Phil1979 Member Georgia Carry

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    Someone on their deathbed hears the gospel and receives Jesus Christ as their Savior, but then dies without water baptism. Saved or not?
     

  3. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    According to that Church of Christ affilliate site, NO.
    That bedridden senior is SOL.
    (Surely Out of Luck).

    Even having a pastor sprinkle water as an improvised baptism in the hospital won't work --it takes full immersion because the Greek word means dipping you know .


    And even a full immersion water baptism by a professing believer doesn't always count in the eyes of this group, because you're still SOL if you are just doing it simply in obedience to scripture. You have to do it understanding why it's a commandment and how it became a commandment and all the consequences of not following that commandment.

    Doing the right thing with the wrong mindset doesn't save you ---you're still going to hell says this article.
     
  4. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    You can look to examples from the Bible, or you can look to modern day examples given to you by men. Your example is given by man. I prefer to look at examples in the Bible, because I know for sure that they are in line with God's will.

    Select a Bible case instead of your hypothetical, and the answer becomes immediately apparent, which is why you prefer to avoid it. The Bible case of conversion cannot be a fraud. You should compare the features of your "receives Jesus Christ as your Savior" with a case in the Bible, and see if the features are identical.

    What if they are not?

    Get your bible.

    Acts 8:27 - Here we find the Ethiopian, who is not a Christian, studying the word of God while traveling near the Gaza Strip. Philip asks him whether he understands what he is reading, and the Ethiopian responds "How can I, unless someone explains it to me?" Few persons have such an honest and searching heart.

    He invites Philip to share his chariot. Starting with the passage the Ethiopian was reading, which is from Isaiah 53, the Bible tells us next only that "beginning from this scripture he preached Jesus to him." Acts 8:35. Nothing more is said about what Philip said to the Ethiopian. He "preached Jesus."

    The Ethiopian's response? "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" v. 36.

    How did the Ethiopian come to think of asking just this question? He had never heard of the Savior or his commandments until Philip's preaching. The only answer for why he asked this question is that he had heard Philip "preach Jesus." Philip "preached Jesus to him," and he asked why he could not be baptized. The implication is clear. To "preach Jesus" means to preach baptism in water.

    Look back to v. 5. Philip had earlier "preached Christ" to Samaritans. What does that mean? God's inspired word does not leave us to wonder. See v. 12. Those who believed Philip's "preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike."

    Twice in the same chapter, baptism is demonstrated to be a part of preaching Christ. A man who preaches Christ but leaves out baptism preaches a gospel other than that recorded in the New Testament.

    Examine what you believe to be your own conversion. We have an example in the Ethiopian, given to us by divine inspiration and preserved by God's providence for two thousand years just so you can read it and learn. Does your conversion correspond to it?

    Was Jesus Christ proclaimed?
    Yes?

    When you were converted, did you believe on the Lord?
    Yes?

    When you were converted, did you and the preacher go "down into the water?"
    If not, then your case is unlike this biblical example, but if so, then you can point to this biblical conversion and proclaim directly from God's word, "This is exactly like what I did."
     
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  5. Arty

    Arty Fire for effect

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    I'm not going to debate or try to convince you, but . .
    John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."
    Ephesians 2:8&9 "For by grace are you saved, through faith; and not of yourselves. It is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast."
    I don't believe water baptism is required to be saved. Only belief on Christ.
     
  6. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    That is indeed a quote from the article. If you open your Bible, you might also find it is a quote from the word of God, spoken by Peter on the first day of the New Testament church, to a crowd of persons who believed the message and asked, "What shall we do?"

    The modern preacher often says, You do not do anything, or "Say this sinner's prayer," or "Ask Jesus into your heart," but there is not an example of conversion like that in the Bible.

    No, when asked "What shall we do?" Peter responds differently.

    Repent! and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins . . .

    This is the same phrase chosen by Jesus at the last supper. "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." Matt. 26:28. That is, the purpose for which his blood is to be poured out is "for the forgiveness of sins." The purpose of baptism, explained by Peter while under the direct influence of the Holy Spirit, is "for the forgiveness of sins."

    So, yeah, it's a quote from the article, but it comes directly from the very first gospel message preached at the establishment of the Lord's church.
     
  7. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I find it interesting that you think these verses contradict other clear passages, or indeed, that you think God's message to Christians about salvation is contradictory. You must not think much about the inspiration of scripture.

    When you get some time, however, read all of chapter 3 of John, instead of trying to pull out one verse and pretend that is the whole counsel of God. Chapter 3 speaks of being born again of water, v. 5. The end of that chapter also clearly teaches the "belief" and "obedience" are one and the same. "He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." v. 35.

    And that's before we even leave the same chapter.

    Sorry, but I do not share your belief that the bible contradicts itself on the plan of salvation.


    You claim "Only belief on Christ" without any clear understanding of what that word means. It is a word used to sum up the whole plan of salvation. You cannot exclude repentance just because you found a verse that uses the word "believe" and does not mention repentance.

    If I send you to a verse that uses the word repentance (yes, they exist), but does not use the word believe, then could I argue as you do, that only "repentance" is necessary, and not belief?

    That would be silly, wouldn't it? Yet that is exactly what you are arguing. It just sounds less silly to you because you have never thought to sit down and examine your own argument. Try it. Take in the whole counsel of God on this subject, and stop trying to find one single verse somewhere that you think might support your preconceived notion while discounting the rest of scripture.

    Strive to try and find one case of conversion that fits your mold. If you can't, then what does that tell you? That I am difficult and prickly? Or that maybe some self evaluation as to whether your conversion is like the Ethiopian's is in order?
     
  8. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Ephesians 2:8&9 "For by grace are you saved, through faith; and not of yourselves. It is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast."

    Paul wrote that to the church in Ephesus.

    He wrote to the church in Galatia:

    For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Gal. 3:26-27.

    Arty, did Paul send contradictory messages to the churches of Ephesus and Galatia? Did he contradict himself?

    If one is "baptized into Christ," what does that say for those who are not baptized? Are they in Christ? Those who were baptized into Christ "have clothed yourselves with Christ." What does that mean for those not baptized? They are not clothed with Christ.

    Arty, I firmly believe Paul did not contradict himself when he wrote to the church at Ephesus the passage you quoted more than a decade after he wrote the message I quoted to the church at Galatia.

    If you do not believe that the Bible contradicts itself, then you need to find a way to reconcile the two passages. I'll be here if you think I can help, but please make the effort. It will be worthwhile even if you do decide they conflict.
     
  9. Arty

    Arty Fire for effect

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    Baptized into Christ refers to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Why would salvation depend on the act of a person being water baptized by a man? Water baptism is a ritual to show forgiveness of sins. But Christians are forgiven for all sins, past and future at the moment we accept Christ. Repentance allows the filling of the Holy Spirit, so that we may be guided by it to live a Christ like life.
     
  10. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting. Spirit baptism is not a command. Water baptism is. See Acts 2:38, 10:48. The "Great Commission" was a command, Matt 28:19, go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of . . . administered by men. This is clearly water baptism, "by a man," specifically that to which you are objecting. It is also clearly a baptism that puts one into Christ, the same as taught in Galatians.

    It seems the Bible is just full of things contradicting what you believe and teach. Why?

    By the way, since you are a fan of Ephesians, ask yourself why Paul tells them that there is only one baptism. Eph. 4:5. If that one baptism is "baptism of the Holy Spirit," as you teach, then water baptism has been removed. If it is water baptism, then there is no spirit baptism today. Which one is obsolete?

    It cannot be water baptism, which is to continue to the end of the Christian age. Matt. 28:20.

    Romans 6:3-4 - Do you contend that this burial is not in water? Paul wrote this letter to the Romans, too. Note his use of "us" and "we," that is, including himself. But we know that Paul was baptized in water, administered by a man named Ananias, who told him the purpose was to "wash away your sins." Acts 22:16. Paul himself was told directly by the Lord that he would be "told what you are to do." Acts 9:6 So Romans chapter 6 is discussing baptism in water, just as "all of us who have been baptized into Christ . . ." Rom 6:3. Note the same language Paul uses in the Galatian letter, baptized into Christ, he uses in Romans 6:3.

    Romans 6 involves not only a burial, but a raising, as does Colossians 2:12. Think about that for a minute. If these verses are all discussing spirit baptism, as you no doubt contend, then what you are saying (not me, but you) is that one is buried into the spirit, and then you emerge out of the spirit when raised. That does not fit well with your contention. If fits perfectly with water. Note the Ethiopian and Philip went "down into the water" and "came up out of the water." Acts 8:38-39.

    One could go on all day with the references to water: John 3:5 (mentioned above, I notice you do not address it or anything else I have written for you), Titus 3:5 washing of regeneration, 1 Peter 3:20-21, connects baptism and being saved and water.

    Moreover, for most of the last two thousand years, these passages have been universally understood to refer to water. It was more than 15 centuries before anybody even suggested that John 3:5 did not refer to baptism in water. I would be very cautious anytime I decide I have found something "new" that was unknown to both the first century christians and early christianity. Calvin admitted his interpretation was "new" and unknown to any ancient writer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  11. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    What do you say about the Ethiopian and the Samaritans in Acts 8, see post 4, above? What about Acts 10's obvious reference to water baptism as well? What do you say about Paul's own baptism, Acts 22:16, since he wrote one of the two verses you cited?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  12. Arty

    Arty Fire for effect

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    I'm not going to debate.
     
  13. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    The Phillipian jailer, Acts 16, baptized "at once, he and all his family," even though it was the middle of the night, do you contend that this was "spirit baptism," too?
     
  14. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Fair enough, Arty, but I hope you do spend some serious time examining your own premises. Try reading some of these scriptures with an open mind, no preconceived notions, and see whether God's word takes you to a reasonable and easy to understand conclusion. Try to resist forcing the scriptures to fit what you were taught by some other man. Just read it as if you encountered it for the first time and knew nothing.

    The plan of salvation is not complicated. All of the examples of conversions are contained in only one book (and it is not John or Ephesians or Galatians). Read it, and see what the first century Christians did when teaching the gospel. Read how Paul himself was converted. What was he taught? The Lord told him that he would be told what to do. What was he told to do, and what was he told was the purpose of what he was told to do?

    See if one single example of conversion shows a person being told to pray, or to "accept Jesus" or any of the other stuff you have spent your entire life believing, not because you have ever read a single case of conversion like that in the Bible, but merely because other men told you to believe that.

    Go see what cases of conversion in the Bible look like. Do it with an open mind, and then compare it to your own conversion.

    It is time, not for debate, but for reading and self evaluation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
  15. psrumors

    psrumors Well-Known Member

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    Often times I lean toward the idea that one must be Baptized to be Saved even though I was raised that Baptism is just a symbol of Salvation.

    BUT - How does one reconcile Baptism is a must with the criminal on the cross? Christ assured him he would see him in paradise, there was no act of Baptism
     
  16. Harhib

    Harhib Active Member

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    I understand the debate here and have participated in such in the past. Here’s my point there are estimated to be some 43,000 christian sects and denominations , man will always choose to interpret the word of god as he chooses. There is simply no point in the debate you cannot win or lose.
     
  17. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    The thing about that sola Scriptura approach is that it would demand that Christians gather and worship on the Sabbath (7th day) rather than Sunday. The New Testament ends and our canon closed without any revelation that Christians should change the holy day to Sunday. That idea came a couple generations later. And yet, we Protestsnts almost universally accept it.
     
  18. Bkite

    Bkite PawPaw x 3

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    I would say there is "a grain of truth" here. I would offer Hebrews 9 blended with John 3 in support of my position.
     
  19. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    psrumors, I would ask you the same question, What about the thief on the cross? Is that your situation? Is it going to be the situation of anybody else you are teaching?

    Here is a more important question, however. Did Jesus tell the thief on the cross he would be in paradise when the church existed? Was it under the new covenant? If not, can we use it as an example of a conversion under the new covenant? These are all very important questions.

    Christ was not yet dead, and, therefore the new covenant was not in effect.

    Do not take my word or opinion for it. Look at scripture.

    Hebrews tells us Christ is the mediator of a new covenant. Hebrews 9:15. It is under this new covenant that "those who are called may receive the promised of an eternal inheritance." Why? "Since a death has occurred that redeems them . . . "

    A covenant, in English, is literally a statement in a will (some translations use "testament" instead of covenant, same meaning). The writer of Hebrews goes on to make this issue clearer, in case the preceding verse was not clear enough. Speaking of the church, the new covenant, he writes:

    For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it.​

    Not clear enough? Go on to the next verse.

    For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.​

    This is not general probate court advice. It is speaking of Christ, his death, and the new covenant, that is, his church. In other words, when he spoke those words to the thief on the cross, the new covenant was not "in force." I would not, therefore, use this as an example of how one is saved under the new covenant.

    All of those examples are contained in one book, and it is not the book of Luke (although it is another book written by Luke). This makes the cases very easy to examine for yourself by reading only one book and seeing every conversion case conveniently in one book. One can examine the essential elements of each case and compare it to one's own conversion, favorably, or unfavorably, if your own conversion is missing elements. Compare, for example, the elements set forth in post #4, above, the conversion of the Ethiopian in Acts 8.

    If I want to know how to enter the new covenant, then I need to look at examples from after the new covenant was "in force," to use the words of scripture. The case of the thief on the cross is not such an example, and therefore I do not use it to teach one how to enter the new covenant.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
  20. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Sigh. This is WAY off topic, and I thought about not responding, but your post is so full of falsehoods, and you seem so certain even without any evidence, that I feel compelled to leave a brief response. I hope you will examine it carefully.

    First, I am not a Protestant, which I write only because you wrote "we Protestants." If that was aimed at me, then I will clarify that I am neither Catholic nor Protestant nor Jew.

    Now, as for the substance of what you wrote, which is that the primitive Christians worshipped on the sabbath (Saturday), there is no evidence - none - that the first century church observed the sabbath. There is no apostolic approval for christians observing the sabbath. I could end the post right there, but I won't.

    Paul visited synagogues on the Sabbath in various cities, because Jews would be gathered there, and he could address the gospel message to them. He was no more observing the sabbath than he was engaging in idolatry in Athens when he accepted the invitation to address the questioning pagan crowd at the Areopagus. He even quoted from a prayer to Zeus in his sermon, ending with an appeal for the Athenians to "repent."

    The very first day of the Christian church was a Sunday, the day after the Sabbath (Acts 2:1, compare Lev. 23:15-16). The church commenced meeting on the first day of the week (Acts 2:42 breaking bread, compare to Acts 20:7 on the first day of the week, indicating a habit that was well known by then). Contributions to the church were on the first day of the week (1 Cor. 16:2). Near the end of the first century, one could refer to the first day of the week simply as the Lord's day. (Rev. 1:10).

    Early secular history (ante-Nicean) is unanimous in the recognition that the ancient Christians worshipped on the first day of the week.

    The old commandments, including the festivals and sabbaths (which were not just the last day of the week but included sabbath years as well) were done away, abolished through the cross. Eph. 2:14 et seq., Col. 2:14-16. Jeremiah promised a new covenant. Jer. 31:3 et seq.

    A Christian, under the new covenant is "dead to the law" and "discharged from the law." Romans 7: 4-6. This "law" is that contained in the old testament, the old covenant. That included the ten commandments with its sabbath day.

    He took it out of the way, he "nailed it to the cross," the "Sabbath day" being "a mere shadow of what is to come." Col. 2:14-17.

    I notice your post is devoid of any citation to any evidence whatsoever. No scripture, no secular history. Scripture is not only silent on Christians worshipping on Saturday, that is, there is no example of it or authority for it, but instead it is full of evidence that Sunday was the divinely established worship day. Please take the time to read these passages and draw your own conclusion. Examine the scriptures to see if what I say is so.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018