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(Baptism) What it is and what it does.

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by OP Husker, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Blueman,

    It's not my intention to drive this matter into the ground, and I'm going to let most of what you said ride. You're right, we're probably not going to come to an agreement on this issue, and I respect your opinion, too.

    I'm going to comment on only one point you made, that being, "Why couldn't Jesus be in more than one place at the same time?" Jesus specifically said He hadn't been to Heaven as of Easter morning. Therefore, whether He could have been in two places at once is beside the point. He hadn't been to Heaven at that time and was clear in saying so.

    Kathryn
     
  2. Pilgrim of this Reality

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    Blueman, the thief on the cross was a different matter. They were still under the Judaic Law and therefore the principle cannot be applied. Christianity didnt come into play until Acts 2 on the day of Pentacost. It was then that the requirments of baptism came into play as others have already stated.


    "8Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" James 2:18-20

    Faith only doesnt hold water according to the verses above. Devils believe yet are they saved? God wants us to act to work toward the goal. He tells us certain things that must be done like love Him and our neighbors. Baptism is also a work because He commands it. When looking at NT teachings all of the writings must be considered. Picking and choosing a verse here and there leads to confusing and can easily loose context. Satan used such a ploy to tempt Jesus.( Matthew 4:1-17)
     
  3. blueman

    blueman God's Warrior

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    I respect your opinion, but your works are not what saves you (Ephesians 2:8,9). If baptism was a requirement for salvation, it would be a form of legalism. Jesus fulfillment of righteousness broke the veil of the law and all of is customs/rituals. I agree with you regarding faith without works is dead as James so eloquently reflected in Scripture, but that is not applicable to salvation. It is applicable to your actions and behavior after you come to Christ to be obedient and follow God's will and believe and trust in Him completely without leaning to your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). We are baptize because it is a form of symbolism to show the world that we have been transformed internally (through the Spirit). There are so many New testament scriptures (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8, Romans 10:9,10) regarding salvation, but interestingly, none of them reinforce an immersion in water baptism as a requirement to be saved. :)
     
  4. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    So Blueman...

    What cleansed Naamun?

    His disbelief or his works?
     
  5. blueman

    blueman God's Warrior

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    Fair enough Katzpur. Have a blessed week. :)
     
  6. blueman

    blueman God's Warrior

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    Linus, each scripture is referring to a spiritual baptism, not the symbolism of a water baptism that saves you. We should be baptized becuase we want to show people a symbol of the transformation that has taken place inwardly in uniting with Christ. Let me ask you a question. If someone has been witnessed to and they happen to be on their death bed (never been immersed in a water baptism), but received Christ through faith and was "baptized through the Spirit", that person would be condemned to hell? Please clarify. :)
     
  7. blueman

    blueman God's Warrior

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    Okay and Naamun obeyed (although with reluctance) Elisha instructions which were directed by God for a physical healing that came to pass. And your point is? This was a phsyical healing through God for Naamun. Aan immersion in water does not cleanse your Spirit man or your sins. What makes you righteous is your acceptance of Christ through faith and the spiritual baptism that takes place. God healed people physically in many ways throughout Scripture, so I am not sure what the signifigance of this passage has to do with the discussion in this thread. :)
     
  8. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Did the water cleanse Naamun?

    I think not.

    Read James for some more great insight on "Faith vs works".

    As for "baptism" being a work... it is no more that than a decision is a "work". God is doing ALL of the work in Baptism not me. We would rather God set some sort of noble task for us to accomplish such as feed the poor or find a cure. Nope, there is NOTHING noble we can "do" to merit eternal life. But I do have to believe (another work) and respond (another work) in order to accomplish this.

    I find the BIGGEST block to understanding baptism is mere pride. Just like Naamun, we feel that there are "cleaner rivers" in our own country. In our arrogance, we miss the point that sometimes we need to do that which we don't understand simply because God has asked us to. We don't have a "better plan". There are no "cleaner rivers".

    Also, in our misplaced sense of importance, we want God to tell us in person before we decide to act. "What's with this God's servant thing? Why don't I rate?" It's not the messenger's fault, it is ours! Again, it is our sheer arrogance that stops us from listening to the truth, just because it IS the truth. After all, we need someone to blame now don't we?

    When it comes to baptism, God chose what is foolish to confound the wise. God chose an act that could never be construed as a "work" to make us humble ourselves to obedience, even to die to our selves. That man would distort the simplicity and beauty of this does not surprise me. Arrogance and pride often do that.
     
  9. blueman

    blueman God's Warrior

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    I think you might have stretched this a little too far in your response. I am a proponent of baptism and the symbolism that it represents when one comes to Christ through salvation. I am just of the opinion that the physical act is not a requirement of salvation, but more importantly, your acceptance of Christ through faith and your baptism of the Spirit is what saves you by the grace of God. Analogous to the thief on the cross beside Jesus, what if you witnessed to someone on their death bed that never accepted Christ, nor had been "immersed in water" through baptism, but subsequently accepted Christ through faith after you or anyone had shared the Gospel with them. If they in turn passed away that same day or week, are they condemned to go to hell because they did not go through the symbolism of being physically dipped in water? Have their sins not been forgiven/cleansed even though they never partook in this outward representation of the change inwardly in their new relationship with Christ? :)
     
  10. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    You know...

    I'm gonna let God handle ALL of the exceptions to baptism. I'm just gonna work on doing what he asks me to do. :D

    Nothing more and nothing less.

    If he says I "must be born again", then that's what I am going to do. If he were to have asked me stand on my head and whistle Dixie, then who am I debate him? But all he has asked me to do is to take a little dip and he has promised that I will have a new heart and a clean conscience. That ain't such a bad trade in my book. I think I'll stick to trusting God on this. What Naamun did so begrudgingly, I do so willingly. :D Go God!
     
  11. blueman

    blueman God's Warrior

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    If it is indeed a requirement (with no ambiguity at all) for salvation, there would not be any exceptions. I too will obey God and His will, but I also know in my heart that if I believe on His Son, that He died and was resurrected for my sins, I will be saved. That is a scriptual truth. I to put my trust in Him and believe what He says through faith. We must be born again through the Spirit, which was baptized when we accepted and received Christ. Lets just agree that we have phylisophical differences regarding this issue. Have a blessed week. :)
     
  12. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I do not feel compelled to "force" my beliefs on anyone.

    But how do the scriptures say that we are to "accept and receive" Jesus???
     
  13. BUDDY

    BUDDY User of Aspercreme

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    I believe that baptism is necessary for salvation. In the New Testament there are few exceptions to the examples that we are given when those that believed were baptised. The exceptions that we are given are very specific and reasons for these exceptions are given by the writers. I think the best example of baptism is when the Ethiopian was traveling and reading a passage from Isaiah. He couldn't understand it and so he asks Phillip who that writer is talking about, himself or someone esle. The passage says that Phillip, "began to preach Jesus to him". Then, the ethiopian asks, "here is water, what keeps me from being baptised?" Phillip says, "if you believe, you may." The obvious implication is that if you preach Jesus, and you preach His message, then you are preaching baptism as well. And baptism comes after you have believed in that message.
     
  14. blueman

    blueman God's Warrior

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    Romans 10:9,10 will give a clear indication. :)
     
  15. blueman

    blueman God's Warrior

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    I respect your, as well as others opinion on this issue. I just have disagreement over the physical act of immersion in water being a requirement for salvation, as opposed to it symbolizing your new relationship and spritual cleansing through Christ as an honor to Him. If there our exceptions to this rule, according to your belief on this issue, it would not be considered a requirement? I think the fact that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Master in your heart through faith and have repented to Him and acknowledged that you are a sinner is the requirement for salvation. Some people will ask God to come into their heart and may, for whatever reason, not get the opportunity to take part in a physical baptisimal. Do you think our God is going to turn them away from entering into Heaven? I would think not, because they knew and acknowledged His Son through faith. :)
     
  16. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Romans 10:9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." NIV

    So now I have to ask: What IS belief? Is it merely a mental acquiesence to the truth?

    James 1:22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. NIV

    Perhaps James is telling us what "true belief" is: action! Naamun showed trust... albeit reluctant trust. Was his trust IN the water? No... it was in God. Was he clean after the sixth dip? No... he was just as full of leprosy as he was on the first five dips. But AFTER the seventh dip, he was clean. THAT was his appeal to God. THAT was his demonstration that even in his unbelief, he did believe.

    James 2:14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.


    18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
    Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
    19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. NIV

    I am sure you don't think that these demons are going to heaven, do you?
     
  17. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    There was a man who used to do a tight rope act over Niagra Falls. Part of the act was to roll a wheel barrow back forth high over the perilous falls. He would put dogs, pigs and even a llama into the wheel barrow as he made his way back and forth.

    Upon finishing his act one day, a highly enthused member of the audience came up and shook his hand...

    WOW! That was really, really amazing! You just push that thing back and forth like it was nothing.

    Yeah, I've gotten pretty good with it. So you believe that I can do it, eh?

    Of course I believe! How many times do I have to see you go back and forth to "truly believe".

    Cool, so get in the wheel barrow and I'll take you across.

    Hey man, I said I believed, but I am not stupid!!!
     
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  18. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    Prove it. I ask you again to think about 1 Peter 3: 21, a passage that is without doubt referring to water baptism in light of verse 20.

    Let me ask you an other question. Do you equate belief with spiritual baptism or not? Are they essencially the same thing as you see them?

    I do not know the answer to that one. It's up to God. I would be more inclined to say that that person would still be condemned. But like I said, it isn't my choice. Perhaps there is some form of grace bestowed upon that person by God. But it doesn't matter what I think.
     
  19. Harvster

    Harvster Member

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    Blueman, I firstly must say that I agree with you that baptism is not necessary for salvation and I believe that we get baptised to show outwardly of what has occurred in our life and that we believe in the death and resurrection of Christ.



    The scriptures that seem to indicate that baptism is necessary for salvation may be taken in the following view: Christianity was new in the world with different views than other religions. When a person converted from one religion to another they were often baptised to identify this conversion publicly, this meaning that those that did not want to publicly show their conversion did not truly believe. Peter states that baptism was not merely a ceremonial act of physical purification but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. Ephesians 2:8-9 states that "1For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, 2not of works, lest anyone should boast." This clearly shows that salvation is from faith alone. We must remember that Scripture does not contradict Scripture if it states that we are saved by faith alone then there must be another meaning to the scriptures that say otherwise.



    Secondly in response to you stating that Paradise and Heaven are the same thing I must agree with Katzpur they are not:) . People were not taken to Heaven until after the resurrection (except Enoch, Elijah and possibly Mosses). The bible shows that in the Old Testament people went to a place of existence called Sheol. The wicked were there and so were the righteous, however Luke 16:19-31 shows they were separated by a gulf. When Christ said to the thief that He will see him today in Paradise Christ is talking about the Paradise in the Old Testament. Ephesians 4:9-10 states that Christ descended into hell. At the resurrection of Christ the believers were brought from Paradise into Heaven.
     
  20. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    After what I've been saying so far, you will probably be surprised to hear my answer to this question. I absolutely, positively do not believe that such an individual would be condemned to Hell because he had not been baptized during the brief period between his conversion and his death. This is the reason that the first-century Christians performed proxy baptisms on behalf of their deceased family members.
     
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