Is Baptism a Work, Part 6B, Part 2

baptism of Jesus3. Does the “gospel,” as the term is used in the Gospels, include water baptism?

No. “Gospel” in the Gospels is a reference to the good news promised by the prophets of the Old Testament, and there is no mention of water baptism in the Old Testament.

For example,

(Mar 1:14-15 ESV) Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Mark’s account plainly refers back to the Old Testament.

(Luk 4:17-21 ESV) 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

As does Luke’s. And if you remember your Isaiah, so is Matthew’s —

(Mat 11:4-5 ESV) 4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.

John’s Gospel does not use the word “gospel” or “good news.”

In short, the three Gospels that use “gospel” or “good news” all refer to the Old Testament to define the term, and there is nothing in the Old Testament about water baptism. Rather, these passages speak of the coming Messiah or his Kingdom.

4. Is water baptism an element of pistis (the Greek word for faith)? (If you argue that faith implies obedience and obedience implies baptism, then what other acts of obedience are as essential as baptism?)

Of course, not. “Faith” includes faithfulness or obedience, but obedience is a heart of obedience not perfect obedience. My son is obedient to me even if he sometimes misunderstands my instructions and sometimes fails to do as he’s been told provided he has an obedient heart that prompts him to be generally — as a rule — obedient.

There is no one or five or 20 particular acts of obedience that are essential being obedient in the sense of faithfulness or pistis. Converts will only obey as well as they are instructed — at best — and aren’t accountable for bad instruction as babes in Christ. And disagreements about what the Bible requires are disputes among obedient people trying their best to understand across vast language and cultural barriers.

5. What are the essential elements of a real, efficacious baptism? And by “essential” I mean God absolutely will not save you if you miss this element — regardless of your faith, your repentance, or confession. If you miss an essential element, you are without hope.

Well, to me, the essential part is the part done by God. We really can’t save ourselves. Of course, that’s not an element that we do. I find the essential element of baptism that we do in the words of Peter —

(1Pe 3:21 ESV) Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ

(1Pe 3:21 NAS) And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you– not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience– through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

(1Pe 3:21 NET) And this prefigured baptism, which now saves you– not the washing off of physical dirt but the pledge of a good conscience to God– through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

(1Pe 3:21 NIV) and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also– not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

(1Pe 3:21 RSV) Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Regardless of translation, Peter plainly puts the emphasis on the appeal or pledge to God for a clear conscience — the subjective intent to be forgiven (appeal) and/or to be faithful (pledge) — which every convert ever has had — even if taught that he was saved before he was baptized. He still asked God for forgiveness and repented/pledged faithfulness. (To argue that these things must be exactly simultaneous with immersion is to miss the point that Peter is making.)

God asks for mercy not sacrifice. He is far more interested in our hearts than our rituals. That doesn’t nullify baptism, but it does tell us that baptism is far more about the commitment that it represents than the mere act of immersion. There is no magic in the water. But a broken and contrite heart, prompted by faith in the beloved Savior, there’s power in that because that’s what God is looking for.

(Psa 51:17 ESV) 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

(Mic 6:8 ESV) 8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

(Hos 6:6 ESV) 6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

And so, when a babe in Christ gets the ritual wrong but gets his heart right, God will not hide his face.


Profile photo of Jay Guin

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
This entry was posted in Baptism, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

124 Responses to Is Baptism a Work, Part 6B, Part 2

  1. Larry Cheek says:

    If an individual is so indoctrinated by a teacher that they have been saved by their faith that when baptism is explained to them they refuse because they have been taught by that same teacher that baptism is not necessary to be saved and go to heaven.
    I believe that there is a major difference between having saving faith and being born again. No place can I find in the NT scriptures where arriving to faith and belief is the born again procedure discussed by Jesus. I thought that Jesus explained that procedure very thoroughly. If it is then those who were baptized by John and the Apostles prior to Christ’s death also born again? John stated to those who he baptized that he baptized with water but Jesus would baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit. To make an application of this statement were those who John’ baptized and those whom Jesus had told their faith had saved them baptized in that method later, remember John placed that action into the future.
    I noticed that you quoted from Romans verses that you apply to someone who is not saved, please explain what it is that causes you to believe that a letter to the Church (the Saints, those who are saved) would contain instructions to those who are not Christians? I have never found a redirect to the lost there.

  2. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Larry wrote,

    I believe that there is a major difference between having saving faith and being born again.

    So one can be saved and not born again? I don’t follow at all. What would be the difference?

    Being born again (John 3:5) refers to receipt of the Spirit. Regardless of the meaning you find in “water” the emphasis of the passage is the Spirit, and it’s the Spirit that regenerates. Being baptized is not in and of itself rebirth. Rather, the Spirit gives rebirth at the moment of baptism (normatively).

    “Born” in John 3:5 is the same verb used in Psalm 2 (and numerous NT quotations such as —

    (Heb 5:5 ESV) So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”;

    The thought is really re-begotten (God being male, he begets rather than giving birth). The Greek means conceived or begotten when used of the father and born when used of the mother.

    Hence, when we are baptized, we are re-begotten of the Spirit — just as Jesus was begotten of the Spirit.

    Consider —

    (1Jo 5:18 ESV) We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.

    The second “born of God” really should be translated “begotten of God” because this is a reference to Jesus; but then that would force the translators to translate the same word earlier in the sentence referring to Christians as “begotten” (John is intending to make the parallel plain and the translations should not obscure it).

    But I digress …

    In response to the assertion that “born again” is never associated with faith, read–

    (1Jo 5:4 ESV) For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith.

    John plainly parallels “born of God” with having faith in Jesus. Notice that John does not mention Christian baptism in connection with being born (begotten) of God in 1 John, but he speaks of Christians being born or begotten of God 6 times — in terms of faith and love, but not baptism.

  3. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Larry wrote,

    I noticed that you quoted from Romans verses that you apply to someone who is not saved, please explain what it is that causes you to believe that a letter to the Church (the Saints, those who are saved) would contain instructions to those who are not Christians? I have never found a redirect to the lost there.

    I assumed that Rom 10 would be familiar to the readers since it’s a classic proof text for the Five Steps of Salvation. We’ve always taught that it refers to initial conversion, and we were right to do so. Context makes it beyond clear.

    (Rom 10:9-17 ESV) 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 ¶ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

    Paul is speaking of his own missionary work. Those who confess faith in Jesus are saved. This means that they must hear about Jesus. This means someone must preach Jesus. And so someone must be sent to preach Jesus.

    He’s speaking about how the lost become saved. And he says not a word about baptism.

    That does not mean that I’m arguing the Baptist position. I’m not. Neither am I arguing the traditional CoC position. Rather, I insist on grace and on trusting God to keep his promises.

    The fact that God forgives sin does not make sin okay, acceptable, or something we should teach.

    Just so, the fact that God will overlook an improper baptism does not make improper baptisms okay, acceptable, or something we should teach.

    If we can grasp how God can forgive sin without condoning sin, then surely we can grasp how he can overlook a failure to be baptized as God wishes without condoning such a failure.

  4. Buckeye Chuck says:

    Jay, I am much in agreement with your points made in your OP as well as the comments. I would ask for a little more clarification to how you answered #4 as to whether the concept of faith “pistis” includes baptism. I provided an answer from the first post where I said yes. Yet I find myself agreeing with your other points you provided above. Perhaps, it is simply how I used the words and how you used the words, but I don’t find myself in disagreement with what you said.

    I’ll repeat my answer here so you won’t have to search for it. Buckeye Chuck said: “Water baptism is an element of “pistis” as is repentance, confession of belief, confession of sin, submission to the authority of God, forgiveness and acts of love and compassion toward our fellow man. Jesus sets the bar of judgment in Matthew 25:31-46 in the discussion of “the sheep and the goats”, that what determines our judgment is: ’35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ It would seem to me that Jesus specifically said that this describes “pistis.”

    Perhaps I tried to answer a question you didn’t ask. Were you specifically trying to differentiate between a believing faith as attributed to Abraham in Romans 3-5 and elements of human action because of their faith? Romans 4:3 says that “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Yet, that faith was demonstrated by a trust that caused Abraham to obey God even though he failed to do so perfectly.

  5. Price says:

    I agree that faith is how we receive grace. Can’t read Paul’s words and argue differently without saying “BUT”…… That “hour we first believe” is however just our entry into a lifetime of God being directly involved with our lives. Baptism is just one of the first public declarations of faith that we learn that He requires. He will mold and shape us in ways none of us can predict.

    To teach that baptism is not required is to teach a falsehood. As is bringing it up to the same level as faith is the salvation process. I don’t see anyone being lost who has come to believe on the Lord Jesus but hasn’t yet been baptized. A person of real genuine faith will be…. Shortly. I’m just glad that anyone who believes God will damn a truly repentant cry to Him for salvation don’t get any say so in the matter. A man can only respond to what he knows and if you haven’t noticed, most unbelievers don’t attend church 2-3 times a week. If Gos does indeed call all men to Himself then why would He drop the person on their head once they responded by faith ? A question of interest to me would be whether a true believer would or should respond differently to the command to be baptized if salvation was not associated with it ? I don’t think so. He asked and we should comply regardless

  6. Ray Downen says:

    Jay speaks well of the baptism commanded by Jesus, but seems perhaps to imply that baptism itself is not really essential for salvation. He wrote God asks for mercy not sacrifice. He is far more interested in our hearts than our rituals. That doesn’t nullify baptism, but it does tell us that baptism is far more about the commitment that it represents than the mere act of immersion. There is no magic in the water. But a broken and contrite heart, prompted by faith in the beloved Savior, there’s power in that because that’s what God is looking for.

    Jesus says a NEW BIRTH OF WATER AND SPIRIT is essential for entry into His kingdom. He surely was not referring to the Holy Spirit by use of “spirit” in John 3:5. The apostles point out that what is essential for entry into the kingdom is repenting (a spiritual change within the person) AND BEING BAPTIZED. Anyone who seems to slight baptism is implying that Jesus and His apostles didn’t REALLY understand what was necessary for new birth of water and spirit. The Spirit is given AS the repentant believer is baptized–not before the immersion in water. It’s as the person is raised up OUT OF THE WATER of baptism that the Spirit is given. I hear Jay disagreeing here with Jesus and His apostles, but agreeing with the majority of current disciples who are practicing Baptist baptism rather than Christian baptism.

    The Spirit is promised as a RESULT of the new birth of water and spirit. The gospel is all about Jesus and not at all about His Spirit. Those who obey the GOSPEL OF CHRIST are born again of water and spirit and then receive the gift of God’s Spirit to live within the person who is serving Jesus. Those are seriously wrong who put the Spirit as the Savior of sinners.

  7. Larry Cheek says:

    I have never found evidence that the church at Rome or Paul who was writing that letter had confirmed that baptism was not required of all Christians at Rome. His communication in chapter 6 leaves no doubt in my understanding that he is not leaving baptism out of chapter 10. Now what I am understanding you say is that chapter 10:9-17 is being applied the lost coming to Christ. I see that as confirmation for the Saints to whom he had addressed the letter, just as chapter 6 is explaining things they did not fully understand as they were baptized. Also if this was being applied to the lost coming to Christ, I would expect all of those who had been baptized as the instructions in Romans 6 which would be the whole church, to be just as hard to convince that they should accept these new non-baptized believers into the kingdom of their assembly as the Jews were at the acceptance of Gentiles. Do you find where Paul had to put out such fires there?

    Now, your concept brings on a different view for me to compare, that being if your rendering of Paul’s words here is correct then did John’s baptism and those who arrived at faith prior to Christ’s death create spirit filled members of the kingdom also? They possessed the same faith that you are describing in Romans.

  8. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Larry wrote,

    I have never found evidence that the church at Rome or Paul who was writing that letter had confirmed that baptism was not required of all Christians at Rome.

    I have never remotely suggested otherwise. I DO NOT TEACH BAPTIST BAPTISMAL THEOLOGY. I teach that we are to be baptized for the remission of sins. I teach that the baptism verses in the NT are true. But I also teach that grace will cover a failure to meet the precise terms of baptism as God intended.

    Hence, those who aren’t baptized correctly are nonetheless saved. The COC traditional view is that an error in baptism means there’s been no baptism at all and your faith avails nothing. I think this is plainly wrong because, if it’s true, then it cannot be true that everyone with faith in Jesus is saved (“faith” being defined as including faithfulness). And the NT repeatedly declares that all with faith in Jesus will be saved — and often in terms that address initial salvation.

    As I just commented a few minutes ago, the fact that grace covers a sin doesn’t make the sin not sin. It’s still sin. It’s still error. It’s still contrary to God’s will — and cannot be taught by Christians. Hence, even though grace covers baptismal error, it’s still ERROR and not to be taught or practiced.

  9. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Larry wrote,

    Now, your concept brings on a different view for me to compare, that being if your rendering of Paul’s words here is correct then did John’s baptism and those who arrived at faith prior to Christ’s death create spirit filled members of the kingdom also? They possessed the same faith that you are describing in Romans.

    Maybe. Maybe not.

    John the Baptist taught faith in a Messiah, but not faith in Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah — at least, not for all he baptized. Saving faith is faith in Jesus. Before Jesus, faith was faith in the Messiah to come.

    When Jesus ascended and Pentecost happened, those Jews who believed in a Messiah but not in Jesus were not saved. Nearly every Jew that heard Peter’s sermon believed in a Messiah to come but not in Jesus.

    Hence, some of John’s disciples doubtlessly came to faith in Jesus as Messiah and didn’t lose faith at the crucifixion. It’s hard to argue that they were not saved. However, others of his disciples doubtlessly never came to faith in Jesus as Messiah.

    (Act 19:4-5 ESV) 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

    Clearly, after Pentecost, faith had to be in Jesus, not a Messiah to come. Just so, Paul required a new baptism, but it was administered immediately upon their coming to faith in Jesus.

    Some speculate that these disciples of JTB were baptized in John’s baptism after Pentecost, and so the baptism didn’t “take.” It’s speculation and no basis for doctrine. Might be true. Might not.

    I think that at Pentecost baptism came to be “in the name of Jesus” and I can easily imagine the disciples of John submitting to a second, Christian baptism as soon as they learned that Jesus was the Messiah and they were taught Christian baptism. After all, surely among the thousands who heard Peter preached, some had already been baptized by John, and yet all with faith were baptized.

  10. Ray Downen says:

    The question is asked, “Does the Greek pistis (faith) include baptism?” The correct answer is obviously no, it does not. The gospel is all about Jesus. Baptism is a RESPONSE TO the gospel, not a part of the gospel. Likewise repentance. The gospel is about JESUS and what He has done to enable new life. Repentance and baptism are the appropriate responses TO the gospel. The gospel is what JESUS did. It’s not about what we do.

    I note that some who comment are saying that baptism is just “one of the many faith responses” required of seeking believers. I point out that it’s the ONE requirement made by JESUS in His “great commission.” If that doesn’t make it unique among the “many faith responses” I wonder why it fails to do so. And of course it’s a requirement to be fulfilled by the teacher rather than by the convert. Being baptized is work for the baptizer. It’s no work at all for the one being baptized!

    Baptism is the burial of a man/woman of sin and the raising up of a NEW CHRISTIAN. That’s how Paul describes it in Romans 6. That’s not at all what some who value baptism little consider it, lumping it in with things we are to frequently or consistently repeatedly do as Christians. And we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that seekers are not told to baptize themselves (perform a work), but instead simply submit to being baptized, which is no work at all.

  11. Royce says:

    Ray seems to forget that Jesus dialogue with Nicodemus in John 3 took place long before Jesus died, was buried, and was resurrected. “If” Jesus was referring to baptism when he used the word “water” (John 3) whose baptism was he speaking of, John’s? It would certainly not be the baptism Ray is so fond of, Acts 2 happend in the future, far removed from Nicodemus and Jesus’ converstaion. But, “faith” always is current in every age.

    It is poor scholarship to read into a text a meaning that is not clear. And, among the best and brightest scholars the meaning of “water” in John 3 is not a slam dunk for water baptism. Why would Jesus scold this Jew for not knowing what he was speaking of if it was a reference to something yet to happen? It makes no sense. That the “water” reference refers to baptism does not fit with the anology of “the wind”. Hands on water baptism is a far cry from being like the wind which is at best unpredictible. God can save who he wills when he wills. And finally, why would Jesus not refer to baptism even once later in his explaination in the remainder of the chapter. Vs 16, 17, and 19 Jesus is pretty clear. Sinners are saved by believing.

  12. Grace says:

    Jay said, “I have never remotely suggested otherwise. I DO NOT TEACH BAPTIST BAPTISMAL THEOLOGY.”

    Jay, why do you think you always have to imply that Baptist churches are against baptism which is simply not true?

    Every Baptist I’ve known teaches that believers are to be baptized.

    Why do you want to continue a war with Baptist churches that too many from the CofC denomination have carried on for too many years already?

    I’ll be praying that Christians learn to sacrifice our human pride and display an attitude of humility that helps to bring unity. If churches stopped bickering it would mightily bring others to know Him and would be a tremendous assault on the enemy.

  13. Ray Downen says:

    Grace doesn’t realize that Baptist baptism is not Christian baptism. The apostles teach clearly that baptism is immersion, as Baptists also practice, and that it is entry into the Lord’s kingdom where only saved people live. Baptist baptism is for entry into the Baptist church. Christian baptism is for the remission of sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Baptist doctrine denies that baptism is for the remission of sins, claiming instead that believers are saved the instant they BELIEVE IN JESUS.

    Romans 6:3-8 makes clear that it’s SINNERS who are buried in baptism, and saved persons who are raised up then to walk in NEW LIFE. Obviously Grace doesn’t understand what the apostles taught about baptism.

  14. Buckeye Chuck says:

    Just kind of seems to me that a lot of folks are here talking just to hear themselves talk and to argue pointlessly. I believe Jay explains his understanding of the concepts of faith, baptism and salvation very clearly and I believe to be in agreement with Scripture – all of them. Some of you want to twist Jay’s words to make him seem to defend faith only without baptism and that baptism has no place in the salvation of the sinner.

    Jay said: “I teach that we are to be baptized for the remission of sins. I teach that the baptism verses in the NT are true. But I also teach that grace will cover a failure to meet the precise terms of baptism as God intended.”

    Why is Jay’s clarification here so difficult to understand? It seems crystal clear to me what his point is. You may disagree with what he actually says, that is to deny doctrinal grace with an incomplete or incorrect understanding of baptism, but it is dishonest to put words in Jay’s mouth that he did not say. Some here seem to equate this point on doctrinal grace as Jay saying that baptism is insignificant in the sinner’s salvation. That is a false assessment of what Jay has written on multiple occasions. It is the subject matter of his book “The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace” and is also directly addressed in “Do We Teach Another Gospel?”

  15. Dwight says:

    Ray, many Baptist believe in baptism, but not as a matter of salvation, but as an response to salvation, but I don’t know of any Baptist that believe that it places you into the Baptist church, but there might be some, but there are some in the coC that believe this also.

    Jays statement might be true, but then again there is no scripture that points to grace covering a failure to be baptized, as there are no scriptures that point to covering a failure to have faith.
    This is like arguing that God told Moses to speak to the rock, but Moses instead hit the rock instead, so did God’s grace cover Moses in his faith, even though he failed in his actions. The response of God shows that this was not true. Moses was severely punished for not doing what God requested, even though Moses had spoken and gotten water once before.
    Now the argument can always be presented, “Well what about the person on the way to be baptized?” God never punished a person who intended to do something but was unable to perform due to something stopping them, but then again we can’t whittle on God’s end of the stick and we do not know what God will do as this is God’s territory, but we do know what Jesus commanded and what the apostles commanded and what the people did in response. This is an certainty.
    Anything short of faith and baptism in Jesus Christ as the savior is uncertain, and yet Paul approached Apollos and friends not as being in a state of uncertainty, but in a state of needing Christ baptism.

  16. Johnny says:

    Amen Chuck

  17. Dwight says:

    Chuck and Johnny and Jay, “I teach that we are to be baptized for the remission of sins. I teach that the baptism verses in the NT are true. But I also teach that grace will cover a failure to meet the precise terms of baptism as God intended.”
    Do we have an example of this?
    We do have examples of God’s people, Moses, Saul, David and others doing or not doing things as God commanded, even though they were God’s people and God was with them, up to the point that they didn’t do what God commanded and they were people of faith, not because of God’s grace, but because of them following God’s word in their faith. God allowed many of them to repent from their actions, but still they failed in their actions.

    Jay’s argument places an alternative scenario that is not supported and is not even hinted at, since the people who believed followed through on something that wasn’t rocket science to do. It is as if the apostles would have stood up before the masses and said, “Look we want you to be baptized for salvation, but if it is too complicated for you, then you might be saved despite it.”
    This wasn’t given as an option at any time and we should not suppose that it is written between in the lines.

    Here is another case of us making something harder than it is by interjecting other things into the straightforward approach laid out by the Jesus and the apostles, because we want to create loopholes that we can see or think must be there without proof of anything like it.

    The scriptures are pretty plain…believe, repent, be baptized into Jesus death as the Son of God and savour of mankind. It is up to God and not us to make any allowances to that path and we cannot possibly comment on what we think God is going to do as God might see something more than we do and just being dipped into water doesn’t save without the reason behind it as Apollos was shown. Apollos might have had faith in God and might have been baptized, but still Paul saw them as being deficient in their path to Jesus. He didn’t argue that grace would just fill in the gap.

  18. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    How on earth do you get “Baptist churches are against baptism” from “I DO NOT TEACH BAPTIST BAPTISMAL THEOLOGY”? I neither said nor implied any such thing. You accuse me falsely and without grounds.

  19. Randall says:

    Great Post Jay!

    “There is no one or five or 20 particular acts of obedience that are essential being obedient in the sense of faithfulness or pistis.”

    I also appreciate comments by others re Jesus conversation with Nicodemus in John 3. IMO Jesus is definitely NOT making a reference to water baptism in John 3. As has been pointed out, Christian baptism did not exist at the time Jesus spoke to Nicodemus.

    I understand that some here believe the Spirit is not until one is in the water. However, they are hard pressed to show me scripture that say that.

    Perhaps being born again (born from above) could be understand in light of John 1:12-13

    NIV on line: John 1:12-13New International Version (NIV)

    12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
    ESV on line:
    12 But to all who did receive him, swho believed in his name, the gave the right uto become vchildren of God, 13 who wwere born, xnot of blood ynor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
    KJV on line: 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
    NASB on line: 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were [a]born, not of [b]blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

    Sounds like being born again/born from above/born of God/regeneration to me.


  20. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Dwight wrote,

    Jays statement might be true, but then again there is no scripture that points to grace covering a failure to be baptized, as there are no scriptures that point to covering a failure to have faith.

    Actually, the Bible says quite a lot about a failure to have faith. I gave an example earlier today, and that example should suffice —

    (Rom 11:20 ESV) 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear

    Paul says plainly in Rom 9 – 11 that most of the Jews in his day were damned due to their unbelief. They believed in God, but not in Jesus — and that was not enough.

    This conclusion is thoroughly confirmed by Acts, in that most of the apostles’ mission work was to the Jews, who were good, moral believers in God — who needed to believe in Jesus for salvation. They were converted to be saved, not to attain to a better understanding as a saved person.

    Hence, there can be little doubt as to the consequence of a lack of faith in Jesus.

    The absence of baptism is not directly addressed, but some passages imply that baptism is not essential.

    First, there is no evidence that the apostles or the 120 disciples in Acts 2 were baptized in the name of Jesus to receive the Spirit. In fact, they quite plainly received the Spirit without baptism, and the last chapters of John picture Jesus declaring the disciples present as saved without baptism.

    (Joh 13:9-10 ESV) 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.”

    (Joh 15:3 ESV) 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.

    (Joh 20:21-22 ESV) 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

    It’s hardly conclusive, but John’s Gospel seems to say that the apostles were clean by virtue of their time with Jesus, not because of their prior baptisms, if such even occurred.

    In parallel, Cornelius received the Spirit when he believed and before he was baptized.

    Apollos was taught to believe in Jesus but there’s no record of his being baptized.

    All that’s interesting and useful (and fun) to debate, but to me, the overwhelming argument is found in the many, many verses that promise salvation to all who have faith in Jesus. I take them to be true. “Everyone” means everyone. And there is nothing that says those with faith and without a proper baptism are lost.

    Add all that up, and the reasonable conclusion is that God will keep his promises. In fact, the biblical record is that God often does better than he promises. The Law of Moses offers no forgiveness for intentional sins, but David was forgiven of murder and adultery because of his “broken and contrite heart” — grace beyond the written words of the Torah. I think that’s a powerful lesson.

  21. Randall says:

    Also, note that there is a lot of latitude regarding baptismal doctrine among Baptists. Many baptize into the Baptist Church.

  22. Buckeye Chuck says:

    Romans 4: 3 “What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

    Romans 1: “16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.'”

    Can we agree that these texts are true; and they do not discuss, imply, give examples of or command baptism? I fully affirm what Jay state above regarding baptism. But, would you not agree that baptism is not implicit in these texts?

    Jimmy Allen taught in his Romans class that Romans 1:16-17 is the key verse of the Book of Romans and for the Christian’s relationship with God. If you knew Jimmy Allen, would you deny he taught baptism for the forgiveness of sins to receive the Holy Spirit?

  23. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    Thanks for those thoughts.

    The parallel between John 3:5 and 1:12-13 is significant. Read Leon Morris’s commentary on John in the NICNT series. A great commentary. He says that he can find evidence of “water” being used as a metaphor for conception (semen) but not for birth. If we read “begotten” rather than “born,” it all comes together. “Water” and the Spirit refers to Spirit conception — being begotten by the Father.

    We want to translate “born” because Nicodemus spoke of returning to his mother’s womb, but to be re-conceived would also require returning to our mother’s womb, were we to be as hyperliteral as Nicodemus. God is a father and therefore the word means begotten or conceived.

    “Water” thus can refer to the water of conception or else to the water of the outpoured Spirit — a repeated metaphor among the prophets for the Spirit. And Jesus was certainly capable of spinning a metaphor with multiple meanings.

    Given than chapter 4 and 7 use “living water” to refer to the Spirit, it sounds like John is trying to explain the metaphor for us. “Water” is the reconceiving work of the Spirit — in parallel with Jesus’ own conception.

    I would not be doctrinaire on the question. I just don’t think that it’s right to insist on “water” as necessarily a reference to baptism. Rather, I think baptism is a reference to our being begotten of the Father by the Spirit (among other things). Like “water” in John 3:5, baptism is a metaphor for more than one thing — both re-conception and resurrection, for example. We die to be re-begotten.

    And when we think of the regenerating work of the Spirit in baptism, it all fits nicely. We become a “new creation.” And humans are created at the moment of conception, not birth.

  24. Larry Cheek says:

    I thank God for your efforts and I agree fully with what you just explained. The studies here and the e-books that you have written and have available for our reading have helped me come away from the same background that you have stated that you had been in. I asked you these questions for the purpose of reassuring myself that you had not wavered from what I thought you believed. There has been a time in my life that I was so critical of anyone’s baptism that I had not observed or knew personally that a brother in Christ had witnessed performed in an exacting manner it was very easy to doubt they were indeed a child of the King. I did learn a lot about Baptist baptisms and found that there is probably 57 different beliefs within those calling themselves Baptist, many times I found that other than a delay from commitment to the baptism the baptism was conducted with the same identity as those in Acts (in other words just like ours). I soon realized that the delay was the only thing I could criticize. Eventually, I realized that even I had made a commitment along with one of my friends to announce to the church our desire to have our sins washed away. We announced it to the church a week or two later. As you would know the congregation immediately obliged. Did I use the same terminology for my self about the time lapse from commitment to fulfillment as I would later accuse others of, namely (well what if I died before the event my soul would be lost, no. Did I believe that I was saved prior to the day I was baptized) no. That baptism was an experience like none other in my life, and I was fully convinced that the Lord had cleansed my sins that day. I have also attended an immersion baptism by a Methodist preacher where several were baptized at the same time with the same likeness of the pattern in Acts. I have learned to not judge another’s immersion baptism unless they learn and identify that they did not follow the pattern in Acts.
    As you have noticed many commenting here do not agree with our concepts. Therefore, sometimes we have to address minute details and their connections to the events to attempt to display something they may see visibility which does not fit with their views. As you already addressed my next comment was intending to explain that if faith even with belief was all that was needed to be saved and added to the body of Christ, then the twelve men in Acts should not have needed to be baptized again, they would have already been added to the church and received the Holy Spirit even if they were unaware of the Holy Spirit. Doesn’t this example teach that the individual’s knowledge can create an invalid baptism? On the other side of this picture there is not any requirements in scripture placed upon the individual who is dong the immersing. If he does not understand baptism correctly it will not invalidate the act. This is as far as I am concerned is the same thing which you are testifying, someone can be saved without being baptized (properly).

  25. Grace says:

    I did not accuse you falsely Jay Guin, so don’t accuse me of doing so!

    So what is your beef with Baptist churches that you constantly have the need to want to bash them.

    Your reply using Baptist churches saying, “I DO NOT TEACH BAPTIST BAPTISMAL THEOLOGY.” comes from this comment:
    “I have never found evidence that the church at Rome or Paul who was writing that letter had confirmed that baptism was not required of all Christians at Rome.”

    It sure seems you’re saying that Baptist churches teach that Paul didn’t expect believers at Rome to have been baptized?

    So again I will ask you, Jay, why do you think you always have to imply that Baptist churches are against baptism which is simply not true?

    Every Baptist I’ve known teaches that believers are to be baptized.

    Why do you want to continue a war with Baptist churches that too many from the CofC denomination have carried on for too many years already?

    I’ll be praying that Christians learn to sacrifice our human pride and display an attitude of humility that helps to bring unity. If churches stopped bickering it would mightily bring others to know Him and would be a tremendous assault on the enemy.

  26. Larry Cheek says:

    Could you show us a picture of how that concept of John 3:5 was carried out in Acts by the Apostles?

  27. Larry Cheek says:

    Either you don’t know many Baptist church members or you are in touch with a different tribe of Baptist churches than I have known. I attended Seminary extension courses under Baptist influence and I can assure you that the subject of baptism taught there was as an ordinance of the church controlling the entry into fellowship with that congregation. Absolutely, no connection with the picture displayed in Acts.

  28. Grace says:

    I actually have known throughout my life many Baptists and I know many people who are friends with Baptists and have been to many Baptist churches and they never said someone had to be baptized to be in their fellowship. They all are as the church I attend and don’t have a “membership”, we accept all who God accepts.

  29. laymond says:

    Royce said, “Sinners are saved by believing.” Royce I too believe God can save every person who ever lived , because he is the Mighty God , The creator of all things. But I don’t see where God said he would do so.
    Instead God anointed his Son Jesus to be the pilot of the modern day ARK and baptism as the entry into that Ark. Once we are aboard we are told by the pilot of that ARK just what our responsibilities are to keep our reservation.
    I have no doubt that Noah believed, no! he knew that God could build a better boat than he was capable of building , and much faster, even following God’s instructions.
    But Noah didn’t sit on his butt and say “God will do it all, surely he won’t let us all die”
    Thanks to the obedience of Noah, we are all here to discuss whether or not we too have to obey God’s instructions in order to be saved.
    When Jesus comes again , I don’t want to be caught sitting on my butt believing in something he never said.

  30. laymond says:

    ” And humans are created at the moment of conception, not birth.”
    Jay is that your political views, or is it in the bible somewhere.?

  31. Dwight says:

    Jay, I wrote “Jays statement might be true, but then again there is no scripture that points to grace covering a failure to be baptized, as there are no scriptures that point to covering a failure to have faith.”, which was in regards to grace covering a lack of faith and then you wrote, “Actually, the Bible says quite a lot about a failure to have faith.” So then you agree with me? If Grace doesn’t cover a failure to have faith, so then why would grace cover a failure to be baptized when we are told to do so and are able? This is my point. If we can fail in faith, then we can also fail in our response, even when we believe in God, which was the point of Abraham, Saul, etc and we will not be covered by grace and although you say, “The absence of baptism is not directly addressed, but some passages imply that baptism is not essential.” Implications? We are basing our salvation on implications versus a direct statement by Jesus and the apostles actions? Is this good science? What we have then is the apostles telling others what they must do in Acts 20, but not doing it then? So they were hypocrites, but if exceptions, then exceptions only.

  32. Dwight says:

    Grace, you are not meeting the argument that you state against Jay or many others in the coC, as most in the coC do not deregard fellowship to those from the Baptist church, as many do not question thier salvation. Assembly is primarily of the saved, so most understand that when you assemble you are saved, but maybe not. If Apollos would have walked into our assembly we would not have separated ourselves, as Paul didn’t, but then again Apollos still had to be rebaptized into Christ for salvation.
    Jay I don’t think you meant to say, “Apollos was taught to believe in Jesus but there’s no record of his being baptized.” as Acts 19 says, “And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”
    So they said, “Into John’s baptism. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” So Apollos was baptized twice. Once into John, then finally into Jesus. This shows not a failure in faith, but a failure in his being baptism for the right reason.

  33. Dwight says:

    Again we make this process harder than it has to be by questioning the process and interjecting ourselves into it. If a person believes that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior, repents and is baptized, then that is the process. It is incredibly short in its action. Just think about it 5000 were saved in Acts 2…5000, so they must have not drawn this out. People had faith…people responded to the faith…these saved people communed with each other. Simple. And not hard to understand.
    I think in the coC there has been a fight against being baptized for the right reason and not understanding that the moment of baptism for salvation is not the crux, but understanding that Jesus saves and being baptized into that knowledge is the crux, which many in the Baptist churches do. In the past a “fine line baptizing” distinction was made between “knowing that Jesus is the saviour and then being baptised into Christ” versus “baptism into Christ for salvation”, some unfortunately make this distinction still, but not many.

  34. Johnny says:

    I wish our churches baptized as many as the baptists, I prefer the way they do it with imperfect theology to the way we fail to do it at all.

  35. Randall says:

    Above you commented as follows: “I actually have known throughout my life many Baptists and I know many people who are friends with Baptists and have been to many Baptist churches and they never said someone had to be baptized to be in their fellowship. They all are as the church I attend and don’t have a “membership”, we accept all who God accepts.”

    Here is a link and an excerpt regarding baptism from the Landmark Baptists:

    Those essentials are 1) church succession—a landmark Baptist church traces its “lineage” back to the time of the New Testament, usually to John the Baptist; 2) a visible church—the only church is a local (Baptist) body of believers; there is no such thing as a universal Body of Christ; 3) opposition to “pedobaptism” (sprinkling of infants) and “alien immersion” (any baptism not performed under the auspices of a landmark Baptist church)—all such baptisms are null and void.

    Read more:

    Here is another link (Baptist) that discusses Landmarkism as a reaction against the Campbellites, I think most here would find it interesting. It discusses Cambellites as much as, or more than the Baptists. While Landmark Baptists are considered in error by many in the larger Baptist denominations today, they are still alive and well in other quarters:

    Here is another quote from a Baptist web site:

    “Landmarkers insist that only Baptist churches have the authority to administer believer’s baptism by immersion, and hence Baptist churches should not recognize “alien immersions,” that is, immersions of believers performed in non-Baptist churches and/or by non-Baptist ministers. The growing rejection of anti-alien immersion, especially after other denominations have adopted believer’s baptism by immersion, has led some Baptists to “throw out the baby with the bath water.” They are ready to jettison the earlier, historic, pre-Landmark Baptist understanding of baptism in order to be accommodating to members of other denominations.”

    A number of years ago I lived overseas and attended and became a member of a Baptist Church affiliated with the SBC. This congregation had previously required another person who had been baptized in a Christian Church to be rebaptized before he could become a member of this congregation. They requested I be baptized again to become a Baptist. I refused and they backed down and I became a member and was on the governing board of that congregation.

    First Baptist church in Dallas used to have (may still have) a radio program. The program was run by Criswell bible school or whatever the name of the school was that was associated with W.A. Criswell, pastor of First Baptist in Dallas for over 50 years. (BTW, Billy Graham’s membership is at First Baptist, Dallas.) On that program I heard them say that some Baptists believe baptism is an ordinance of the christian church and others believe it is an ordinance of the local church. I asked if in the latter case a person had previously been baptized in a Baptist church and moved to a new Baptist congregation would they have to be baptized again. They answered “no” and explained that even in those congregations that believe it is an ordinance of the local church, the local church would still recognize the baptism performed in another Baptist congregation. I then asked if that made baptism an ordinance of the Baptist church rather than the christian church and they answered “yes” as only a baptism performed in a Baptist church was considered to be a valid baptism. On the same station/program as well in personal conversations with Baptist pastors I frequently heard that baptism was to become a Baptist rather than a Christian. That is, they regarded many as Christians (brothers and sisters in Christ) that they would NOT allow to join a Baptist congregation.

    In short, there are lots of Baptists and they have a LOT of views regarding baptism – as many or more than the CofC. They can be, and sometimes are just as picky/exclusive about it as the CofC. They made it clear w/o hesitation that they do not accept AS MEMBERS all who God accepts as children. Note this is very different that what you claimed in your comment above. It is a rare Baptist church that will accept, as a member, anyone that was not baptized in a Baptist church. I would encourage you to research what I have suggested and see it first hand. I would also encourage you to discuss it with Baptist pastors and the more learned theologically among the Baptists. Additionally, as you know, there is also abundant information available right at your fingertips on the internet.


  36. Monty says:

    I have often been puzzled by Jesus’ apparent miff at Nicodemus’ not getting the idea of rebirth. “How can someone be born when they are old?’ But after doing some study on the Jewish mikveh, it becomes clearer to me. When a Gentile wanted to become a Jew(convert to Judaism) he or she had to undergo the Jewish mikveh(immersion). It was said of that person, that they had been born again, “as a little child just born”, or a “child of one day”.(Yeb.22a; 48b;97b) There were many occasions when the Jews had to undergo a purification cleansing by the mikveh. These were not baths in the sense of removing the filth of the flesh, but of a spiritual nature.

    When Jesus says, You must be born of the water and the Spirit. Nicodemus should have understood the concept of a spiritual rebirth. But he was stuck on the physical idea of a man entering again into his mother’s womb. Jesus’ rebuff of Nicodemus makes more sense now understanding that Christian baptism, borrowed from the Jewish mikveh,. John the Baptist wasn’t starting some “new fangled thing” out in the desert. The people already understood, having practiced for hundreds of years, immersion. The idea of someone being “born again” was not a new concept for the Jew of that day.

    This makes a lot more sense to me than Jesus being put off because Nicodemus didn’t tie a few loose passages from the prophets together to understand what being born of water and the Spirit means. The prophets themselves didn’t understand what they meant when they spoke those words. The angels didn’t understand it either

    Baptism is a physical act with deep spiritual meaning. When one repents(turns from sin trusting in JEsus) and is baptized upon his trust, he receives the forgiveness of sins and the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is a physical act with spiritual significance. BY one Spirit we were all baptized into the one body.

  37. brent says:

    I agree with Johnny. The church my family currently attends (not a C of C) baptized over 5,000 people across 20 campuses in 2014. And yet there are still those in our C of C roots who insist that we “don’t believe in baptism”. I’m with Jay. I think, based on my feeble knowledge of scripture and what I’ve read, that those who are following as close as they know how through faith in the person and work of Jesus as Messiah are part of the family.

  38. Monty says:

    William Webster, a former Catholic turned Evangelical, in his 1995 book The Church of Rome at the Bar of History, freely admits the unanimous position of the Church Fathers as to what is called “baptismal regeneration” :

    “The doctrine of baptism is one of the few teachings within Roman Catholicism for which it can be said that there is a universal consent of the Fathers….From the early days of the Church, baptism was universally perceived as the means of receiving four basic gifts: the remission of sins, deliverance from death, regeneration, and the bestowal of the Holy Spirit.” (Webster, page 95-96)

    It was the consensus of the ECF that baptism was for spiritual regeneration. We may quibble about other facets about administering baptism where they differed, but not about it’s purpose.

  39. Alabama John says:

    WE in the coC baptize into the church also, but do not preach that. Upon being baptized, they were added comes to mind.

    Our main point for many years was those baptized in the coC could pray for things since they were members and their prayers would be heard and those outside the coC prayers would not be heard or answered. Once they were baptized and became members, then their prayers would be heard. It was good emergency insurance!!!

    Another point was upon seeing death approaching rapidly, as a member you could cry out to God for forgiveness and receive it, but as one not having been baptized, you had to follow all the instructions and be baptized to receive forgiveness and many times there was just not enough time. Too bad, but a price for waiting too long to properly obey. Hell awaited.

    I have baptized after much sincere prayer some in a shower in lieu of a submersion baptistery and believe with all my heart God accepted it as was the best we could do and then they died.

    I look forward to crossing that river and have them waiting on the far bank and when they see me coming, running through the shallow water reaching for my hand. What a reunion.

  40. Dwight says:

    Randall, I had no idea that this concept of being baptized into the Baptist church was within the Baptist theological mindset amon Baptist and the Baptist institution. In fact I have heard fewer preachers from the coC argue this point, than more. Now they might argue for baptism the right waty, but not baptism into the church itself as most regard that as a Catholic concept.

    According to, baptism was for the Jewish convert, but so was cirmucision and sacrifice, but baptism was on the low end of the scale of things to do. Baptism was the only thing carried forward by Jesus and the apostles.
    Also a point that we often miss is that baptism to the Jews was about cleansing and it wasn’t associated with burial unto Jesus came along and yet it still contained its cleansing properties even then. Cleansing was not about the outside, but about the inside in being spritual. We want to make it about the act, but it is more about the concept and our relation with Jesus.

  41. Dwight says:

    AJ, while it is true that the coC baptize into the church, this is usually understood to be the church universal and not the local or church denomination, but then again many in the coC preach and understand that the church universal and the coC are the same so it becomes a matter of symantics in some ways, but still many would argue that the coC is the general name for the church universal as in the body of Christ is the church of Christ. Although I do know many staunch “conservative” coC who teach that the name coC makes the difference…if you don’t have the name…you aren’t an approved of church structure or as members.
    A.J. you do make a good point in that many people cry out to God on thier death bed, but will God listen to a heart that refused Him up until the point they felt they needed Him…meaning that they are using God instead of bowing to Him and loving Him. Would we feel that baptism would make the difference, even confession, even a statement of faith, that was never acted upon until they desired God’s time. In the mean time we must simply do what God has told us to do.

  42. Susan says:

    Thank you, Jay for a great post!

  43. Alabama John says:

    Dwight, even those that come in late, at the last hour and make others angry for doing so still get the same wages. Acceptance is in Gods eyes, not ours.
    I enjoy your post.

  44. Dwight says:

    AJ, the one thing both parties have in common is that they both showed up to work and just didn’t show up to get paid, even though one worked longer than the other. Many people want to show up to reap the blessings at the last minute and there is a selfish and insincere element to this that God will reject. I am drawn to the Parable of the Wedding feast and of the 10 virgins, which shows that God will reject those who reject Him and show up unprepared and in an unworthy state in thier own time.Matt.7 “People will say, “Lord, Lord” and be rejected due to not doing Gods will.
    I do think we make too much out of the submerssion and do not understand the immersion concept well. Baptism of the HS didn’t require them to go into the HS, but they were surrounded by the HS. On a similar level Noah and family were saved by baptism, not because they went into and under the water, but because they were surrounded on all sides by it. While we often think of the concept of burial into the ground, we think 6′ under, but they buried in the ground in caves just as Jesus was. Jesus was surrounded by dirt…buried, but still above ground level. God Bless.

  45. Royce says:

    Matthew 28:18-20 “18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

    This isn’t difficult to grasp. Because Jesus has been granted ALL authority we can go and “make disciples”. Then we baptize those “disciples” into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then we are to teach them to observe all that he commanded.

    Is this confusing? No, it is not confusing.

  46. Royce says:

    I will only add, that anyone or any group who is doing this has no complaint from me.

  47. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    The conversion of Apollos is recorded here —

    (Act 18:24-28 ESV) Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.

    He was baptized in the baptism of John and was not baptized into Christ.

    However, in chapter 19, those who’d received the baptism of John had not received the Spirit and were rebaptized, this time into Christ.

    So which is it? Is John’s baptism adequate or not? Luke doesn’t offer any further guidance, but clearly Apollos was never baptized in the name of Jesus. And if John’s baptism too, in his case, when did he receive the Spirit?

  48. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Dwight wrote,

    If we can fail in faith, then we can also fail in our response, even when we believe in God, which was the point of Abraham, Saul, etc and we will not be covered by grace

    But God repeatedly promises to save everyone with faith in Jesus. And I believe those promises.

    There is nothing saying that those not baptized will be damned. There are many verse saying that those without faith in Jesus are damned.

    Therefore, faith and baptism are NOT parallel or equal in importance. The text is clear.

  49. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    I have no interest in a political debate and the verses regarding abortion are very well known. My statement was about science. And one day we might also talk about science as understood in the First Century. But not today.

  50. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Larry asked,

    Could you show us a picture of how that concept of John 3:5 was carried out in Acts by the Apostles?

    Baptism is, of course, a picture of what happens when someone is saved. But the picture and that which is pictured are not the same thing.

  51. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Grace wrote,

    It sure seems you’re saying that Baptist churches teach that Paul didn’t expect believers at Rome to have been baptized?

    I have said no such thing. I believe no such thing. And I have implied no such thing. I am placing you on moderation until you’re willing to take the time to read more carefully what others say.

  52. Dwight says:

    Jay, The text of ch.19 shows that the gifts of the Holy Spirit came after Paul laid hands on them and not after they were baptized, also vs.11. Other text show that gifts were passed on in this way…Acts 8:18.

    Obviously Apollos had some things wrong and Prisicllia and Aqullia taught him more, but the text never says that Apollos was converted by Prisicilla and Aquilla and baptized into John by Prisilla and Aquilla at the point of Acts 18, but that they corrected his previous knowledge of the Lord and that after that point Apollos taught Jesus from the scriptures.

    What Ch,19 shows is that when Paul went to Ephesus where Apollos had been at previously and encountered those like Apollos that had only been baptized “Into John’s baptism.” they were rebaptized into Jesus baptism. It is fairly evident that Apollos went through the same thing with Prisilla and Aquilla if they taught the same thing that Paul did and they did the same thing for the same reasons.

    So are you arguing that Paul’s baptizing of those who knew only of John’s baptism and wee baptized into John in Acts 19 wasn’t really worth anything since they had already been baptized into and saved through John’s baptism? So John’s baptism was adequate?
    And that Apollos was correct in only knowing John’s baptism, so that Prisiclla and Aquilla corrected him for no reason?

    Or I could be wrong in this thinking. Is this reasonable or not? What do others think?

  53. Dwight says:

    Jay, God also promises to save all those that do his will and obey, right, but we do not do his will and obey all of the time, and we do not have perfect faith all of the time, Peter didn’t. If grace covers our failure in works, then grace covers our failure in faith as well and works and faith are covered by Grace despite what we believe or do.
    Or because of God’s grace we are provided an avenue through our faith and works in Jesus. Believe, repent and be baptized. God didn’t have to give us a way out, but He did. By His Grace because of His love. Grace is there when we fail and we will fail, but His Grace continues because we have a relationship through our faith and obedience.
    There is a bit of irony in that our faith has to initially be strong enough to be able to confess and repent in Jesus and that the only real action beyond faith is baptism, which is easy to do. The requirements then are minimal for us. The hardest part comes in living a life for Jesus in the world surrounded by sin and temptations, but not impossible.

  54. Randall says:

    If you’re a Baptist what are doing on this blog? Do you have a CofC background or are you simply trying to be disruptive. Has someone from the CofC caused you to get your knickers in a bunch and now you want revenge? Do you think what you’ve been doing is glorifying to God or edifying to people? Perhaps while on moderation you could do some research and become better educated on what Baptists do and do not believe. Thus far you missed the mark a few times regarding their beliefs.. Studying church history and the historical development of Christian doctrine is well worth the effort. You don’t have to (but should) look at the links I provided but you’re certainly welcome to do your own research apart from anything I’ve suggested.

  55. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    Let’s start with Apollos.

    (Act 18:24-25 ESV) Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.

    He’d been baptized with the baptism of John. But he also had faith in Jesus.

    The traditional CoC reading is that Apollos was re-baptized and Luke didn’t mention it — which seems very unlikely.

    You suggested that this might be enough for him to be saved. And the text certainly could be read that way.

    But if the baptism of John + faith in Jesus is sufficient, how do we explain Acts 19 —

    (Act 19:1 ESV) And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples.

    “Disciples” in Acts generally refers to disciples of Jesus.

    So the natural reading is that they had faith in Jesus. But …

    (Act 19:2-4 ESV) 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

    And v. 2 seems to make them into believers in Jesus. (But perhaps Paul was assuming, later to be corrected.)

    And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”

    And so their baptism was insufficient to bring the Holy Spirit because it was for repentance but not based on faith in Jesus of Nazareth.

    So how can this account be reconciled with Acts 18 and Apollos? It’s easy to spin a theory from one or the other, but not so easy to find a theory that fits both.

    One theory common in the CoC is that Apollos was baptized with John’s baptism pre-Pentecost and that the Ephesians were baptized with John’s baptism post-Pentecost, and the pre-Pentecost baptism took and the post-Pentecost baptism did not.

    But Luke simply doesn’t say or imply that. That’s special pleading and, while it might be true, it’s hard to see how Luke could expect his readers to reach that conclusion.

    I can’t reconcile the two accounts based on the facts given, especially given how the two accounts are narrated right after the other. Luke’s point can’t be about WHEN they were baptized. We’re missing something.

    If Luke’s agenda was to teach the absolute necessity of Christian baptism, this is a strange way to go about it, as Apollos evidently never received Christian baptism.

    Now, the argument that can be made from these accounts is that faith in Jesus is not sufficient because Paul required the Ephesians to be re-baptized despite their faith. This is contradicted by the fact that Apollos was not rebaptized. Besides, believers should submit to baptism. God commands it.

    More troubling to my own theory is that the Ephesians evidently did not receive the Spirit until their second baptism, implying that they weren’t saved until then. As you point out, this may be explained by distinguishing gifts of the Spirit (tongues, prophecy) from the Spirit himself. But frankly, I think Paul said they didn’t have the Spirit at all.

    (Act 19:2a ESV) 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

    Of course, to our ears, this is odd because we believe (and I teach) that we can receive the Spirit and not receive tongues or the like. So how did they know? Well, JTB himself taught that baptism of the Spirit would come with the Messiah, so perhaps they had no expectation of the Spirit(not knowing Jesus to be the Messiah) but had a non-miraculous indwelling by virtue of their faith.

    Paul then would have baptized them because all believers should be baptized in the name of Jesus, and God gave them miraculous manifestations to assure them of their salvation in Jesus.

    It’s a theory. It’s not my theory.

    Many commentators conclude that they were only “disciples” and only “believed” in the JTB sense of looking forward to the Messiah not yet come. If so, then they had a kind of faith but one no longer sufficient post-Pentecost. And John’s followers were also called “disciples” in Luke, the first volume of Luke-Acts.

    If that’s so, and this is the position I take in Born of Water (free ebook), they weren’t saved until Paul told them about Jesus. And if that’s so, it all fits. Apollos wasn’t rebaptized because he had saving faith in Jesus and the fact of his salvation was evidenced by the zeal with which he preached Jesus. (However, as a matter of practice, I’d have rebaptized him myself. Perhaps Paul was concerned not to impeach his credibility as an evangelist by implicitly denying his salvation by insisting on a new baptism. But surely he needed the Spirit, as do all believers, and so he must have already had him.)

    The Ephesians were rebaptized because their faith was incomplete, a faith in a Messiah not yet revealed (to them).

    Apollos had received the baptism of John and had come to recognise Jesus as the one to whom John’s testimony pointed. He needed only some further instruction to become a truly effective witness to Jesus himself. However, the disciples whom Paul met in Ephesus had received John’s baptism but did not understand the purpose of John’s mission. They needed to grasp where Jesus fitted into the picture, to be baptized in his name, and to receive the promised Holy Spirit. ‘They represent a degenerate form of John’s heritage, from the viewpoint of Paul and the narrator. Even so, John’s heritage helped lead them to recognize what they had missed.’1 The pair of narratives in 18:24-28 and 19:1-7 show the continuing influence of the Baptist in places like Alexandria and Ephesus, more than twenty years after his death. They reflect ‘different ways of receiving disciples of John the Baptist into the church’,2 and indicate that people came to Christ in ways beyond the pattern generally outlined by Luke.

    David Peterson, The Acts of the Apostles (PNTC; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009), 528.

    Since Luke employs the term mathētēs with reference to the disciples of John the Baptist (Lk. 5:33; 7:18; 11:1), that could possibly be the meaning here.12 Perhaps they acquired their knowledge of John’s teaching in a second-hand way and were baptized by someone else, rather than having direct contact with the Baptist himself.13 They were certainly in something of a time-warp, not having recognised the coming of either the Messiah or the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit through Jesus. John the Baptist had proclaimed that the Messiah would soon baptize his followers with the Spirit (Lk. 3:16) and Jesus endorsed that prediction, proclaiming its imminent fulfillment and describing the Spirit as ‘the gift my Father promised’ (Acts 1:4-5). This last expression alludes to the promise of an eschatological outpouring of the Spirit given to Israel in passages such as Isaiah 44:3-5, Ezekiel 36:26-27 and Joel 2:28-29. It is surprising that anyone who knew the Scriptures could say we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit. It is particularly puzzling that people who had received John’s baptism could be ignorant of his teaching on this subject.14 When they believed, they apparently did not appropriate this vital aspect of his legacy. Luke does not explain the reason for this, but continues his account of the way they came to acknowledge Jesus as Messiah and receive the Spirit promised by John.

    David Peterson, The Acts of the Apostles (PNTC; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009), 530.

    I apologize for being so lengthy, but it’s a difficult topic. My view ultimately is that Luke was not writing to impose a Five Step (or Two Step) Plan of Salvation, and these accounts, along with the original 120, Cornelius, and the Samaritans show that the pattern for how people are saved can change. Theory often fails to meet reality in the mission field.

    And so I try to build my understanding of salvation — my soteriology — more holistically, and when I read the entirety of the NT, the sufficiency of faith seems abundantly clear. But so is that fact that converts are to be baptized. And I can’t imagine God saying so many times that all with faith will be saved and not meaning exactly that.

  56. Randall says:

    I’m happy that you’ve found a Baptist church that doesn’t require re-baptism for those not previously baptized in a Baptist church. Of course I don’t think you’e lying about that (just confused or unaware), but if you will take the time to investigate further I’m confident you will find this is NOT the norm. Perhaps it is b/c of the area of the country you live in. I live in the southwest now but I’ve been around the USA a good bit and quite a bit overseas as well. In my studies as well as in my experience, when a Baptist and CofC person marry they have to decide when to attend church. In each case one or the other of them are required to be re-baptized. This is just as true of the Baptists as the CofC. On multiple occasions I have had Baptist pastors tell me they do NOT accept as members all those that they believe Christ accepts. It has been that way all of my 60+ years.

    Did you read the links I provided? They came from Baptist websites.

    BTW, I’ve read this blog for years and I have NEVER seen Jay imply that Baptist churches are against baptism. In fact he has been more than fair with them. Their emphasis on believers baptism is why they call themselves Baptists and everyone who has studied a little knows that. It seems to me you malign and misrepresent Jay w/o any justification. It is always good to get one’s own house in order before criticizing another.

    Go study, please!


  57. laymond says:

    (1)John’s mission was to “make ready for the Lord a people prepared” (Luke 1:17). If, after Pentecost, the people immersed by John were required to do exactly what others (the unprepared) had to do (i.e., be immersed) what was the difference between being “prepared” and being “unprepared,” or “ready” and “not ready”? Did the “prepared” or the “ready” suddenly become “unprepared” or “not ready” the moment Pentecost dawned?

    (2) Where is the evidence that anyone baptized by John was required to be immersed following Pentecost? Acts 19 surely does not demand that.

    It is almost certain that the men in Ephesus had submitted to a form of “John’s baptism” long after the prophet had died. They did not even know that the Lord had already “come,” i.e., that he had accomplished his mission.

    Their baptism had been predicated upon an insufficient faith regarding Jesus, and therefore, on that basis, was not valid. There is nothing in the context of Acts 19 to suggest that John’s original baptism was temporary in its effect.

    (3) Is there evidence that any of the original apostles were baptized on Pentecost or thereafter? If the baptism received at the hands of John was invalid after Pentecost, the Lord’s apostles would have been as much obligated to Great Commission baptism as anyone else.

    (4) Though the kingdom of Christ was not fully set in motion until the day of Pentecost, it certainly was in a preparatory phase during the Lord’s personal ministry. Jesus affirmed that his miracle-working ability signaled the fact that “the kingdom of God is come upon you” (Matthew 12:28; Luke 11:20).

    I agree with this excerpt from,
    Wayne Jackson, Christian Courier

  58. Dwight says:

    Jay, I tend to follow a progress of thinking way of looking at the scriptures. We know that Apollos was teaching about the Lord from the scriptures, but was this the coming of Jesus or the life of Jesus or the sacrifice of Jesus, it is unclear, but what is clear is that the text states, “he knew only the baptism of John”, which is coincidently the same thing that those in Acts 19 knew, “Into John’s baptism.” Those in Acts 19 were re-baptized (baptized into Jesus), because they knew only the baptism of John, so it is a high probability that if Paul and P&A were teaching the same thing that P&A taught Apollos the baptism of Jesus and Apollos was re-baptized as well. Both these groups were in Ephesus in Acts 18 and Acts 19 and were re-taught. What is also true is that with the knowldege that had, neither of these groups had the Holy Spirit and had not heard of the Holy Spirit, because in Acts 19 they were baptized into Jesus and then Paul laid his hands on them, then they recieved the Holy Spirit. In either case what both groupos knew and acted on previously was insuffcient so they were taught more and acted again in what they now knew to be right.

  59. Johnny says:

    Randall, I attended SBC churches my entire life up until 5 years ago. I have been a teacher in two baptist churches and have attended state and national conventions. I was baptized in a little country baptist church. I have never once seen a baptized believer asked to be re baptized. I have seen then make a statement confirming their faith and the fact they were baptized by immersion. I am 53 years old and have only lived in the southeast. The question that was asked was the same I was asked at the church of Christ I now attend,

  60. Johnny says:

    Cont. what is your profession about Jesus and have you been baptized. Also Landmarkism was soundly rejected by the mainstream (SBC), in fact it appears that the restoration movement hijackers and the landmarks ad much in common perhaps from all the debates that occurred leading to more rigid positions. When I came to the CoC I found that much of what I thought about them was false and much of what they elieved about baptists were also in error. It is my humble belief that the experiences you related are as much out of the mainstream as the no institutional churches are within the CoC community. I enjoy your posts. May God bless you.

  61. Dwight says:

    One thing I find true of the coC and baptist and probably other groups is that there are varying degrees of what they teach and what they hold thier members too, some more or less strict than others and even among them there are splinter groups that have veered closer to the being less-denominational and others that have veered to being more denominational in thinking on certain matters. Although I attend a coC, I tend not to think of myself as coC, but as a Christian and I try not to be defined by the preacher or the group or the name, but by my own belief and actions. Thus when someone like Grace comes along we can argue our beleif, but all they see is what we are attached to in name or proximity and the majority thought of the past or present. What we want people to see is…us, with our own faults and strengths, instead of the faults and strengths of the establishment or institution that we may or may not fully agree with. Unfortunately when the coC looks at the baptist and vice-versa they see the faults and never see the strengths, so they don’t learn from one another. Sides are taken and lines are drawn.

  62. Ray Downen says:

    It’s distressing to hear a Bible teacher imply that what Jesus commanded is not really necessary. Baptists do it regularly, but members of Christian congregations normally accept the necessity of obeying Jesus. Jesus commands that we baptize each new believer. Why do some want to find reasons to ignore baptism? Why do some dare to do so? Why does anyone assume that the baptism practiced by the apostles is optional for us today? It makes no sense. Galatians 3:27 puts it in clear speech. We are baptized INTO CHRIST. No one is IN Christ prior to the baptism HE COMMANDS.

  63. Ray Downen says:

    There is no reason to assume that Apollos was not baptized into Christ after he learned the truth about the resurrected Jesus Christ. There is no justification for assuming that salvation is by faith alone when one inspired writer clearly differs with that assumption. Baptism without faith in Jesus is no baptism at all, of course. So every reference to conversion of necessity starts with faith. But it NEVER EVEN ONCE ENDS WITH FAITH. And disciples does not necessarily refer to disciples of Jesus Christ. The word defines a student who is learning from SOMEONE.

    I wish it were not true, Jay, but I see that you ARE INDEED teaching Baptist doctrine rather than apostolic truths. The surprise is when a person changes their doctrinal stance and still claims to be faithful to the original teachings.

  64. Ray Downen says:

    I still see that Jesus COMMANDS BAPTISM for every new believer, so those who say baptism is unnecessary are disputing with the Lord Jesus.

  65. Ray Downen says:

    I’ll try once again to speak honestly and lovingly to a simple matter of understanding John 3:5. I think Peter (speaking for all the apostles, not just for himself in Acts 2) explains the NEW BIRTH OF WATER AND SPIRIT as being repenting (changing the HUMAN spirit) and being baptized in water as Jesus commands. The spirit is the human spirit. The water is the water of baptism. Any other explanation is to make Jesus wrong or the apostles wrong. Jesus of course knew what would later be written by apostolic writers. The apostles knew what Jesus had taught and had been promised that they would be led into ALL TRUTH. Therefore, what the apostles say is the new birth (the entry into the new kingdom of Christ) is the same as what Jesus said was essential.

    Those who are teaching salvation prior to baptism are ignoring clear apostolic teaching and are in effect saying that Jesus didn’t know what was proper for conversion. It should be noted that when we speak of baptism as necessary we are not taking away one ounce of the need for faith and repentance. We are NOT saying that baptism ALONE accomplishes anything. Jesus said the new birth is of water AND SPIRIT. The apostles say believers MUST BOTH repent and be baptized. No one is trying to say that baptism ALONE accomplishes any good thing! But it’s JESUS who requires that every new believer is to be baptized, and it’s ones with little faith in JESUS who say baptism isn’t necessary when He says it IS NECESSARY.

  66. Ray Downen says:

    It’s good to hear from Johnny! I agree that it would be marvelous if we made as many converts as Baptists do by hard work and keeping at the job of telling others about Jesus and urging them to turn to Jesus as Lord! One “excuse” we might use is that 9 million are more apt to make many converts than our 4 million. But we surely need to follow their example of personal evangelism. They do well. The best preacher I’ve ever known neglected his family in favor of making calls to win people to Jesus, and the church grew remarkably, and his wife managed to keep the family together. As far as sermons go, his were not a match with those of Matt Proctor and Mark Scott of the Ozark family, but his faithful work of personal evangelism helped the church he served. And he also preached well. But some orators are simply better than most of us.

  67. Ray Downen says:

    What a pity it is that Monty would speak so clearly and then muddy the water. Jesus commands that humans are to baptize. No Bible teaching has the Holy Spirit doing the “one baptism” of Ephesians 4:5–the Spirit instead of the humans commanded by Jesus to baptize new believers. Translators are human. They can be excused for capitalizing “spirit” and adding a “the” ahead of it, since they are human. But they are also creating a reason to believe that the Bible is NOT from God. If it’s from God, there will be NO CONTRADICTIONS between one passage and another even when it’s different writers.

    Jesus commands HUMANS to baptize. Baptism is NOT performed by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is given to each newly baptized person, but that doesn’t make the baptism having been performed by the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13 is WRONGLY TRANSLATED to speak of a baptism “by the ONE SPIRIT” with “spirit” capitalized. There are NOT two baptisms in the Christian Way. There is ONE baptism, and of necessity it’s the one commanded by the Master to be performed by humans. So the translators who speak of a baptism “by the one Spirit” are wrongly translating the Greek phrase “in one spirit” we were all baptized. We were baptized because Jesus said to be baptized. We were baptized by human hands because that’s how Christian baptism is performed. And the GIFT of the Holy Spirit follows (Acts 2:38) just as Joel prophesied.

  68. Ray Downen says:

    Jay suggests: There is nothing saying that those not baptized will be damned. There are many verse saying that those without faith in Jesus are damned.

    Writing to the church in Thessalonica, PAUL (the apostle to the Gentiles) speaks of what will happen to those who do not “obey the gospel.” Unless we assume that salvation IS by faith alone, we might well figure that what Acts 2:38 specifies is what obeying the gospel means and that includes being baptized as Jesus commanded is to be done for every new believer. Those who do not “obey the gospel” will go to Hell. Of course that includes those who do not believe, but it surely points to more than believing. Galatians 3:27 is Paul’s clear statement that conversion is completed by baptism INTO CHRIST.

  69. Ray Downen says:

    Jay, by saying that the thing pictured in baptism is not what happens IN baptism, as I understand you, you are affirming that we are NOT baptized INTO CHRIST as is taught in Romans 6:3-8 and equally clearly in Galatians 3:27. And are you not minimizing the one act commanded by Jesus for new converts? That is, are you not affirming that we are saved and THEN later baptized, as is the Baptist position? But the apostolic teaching is that a sinner is buried in baptism and then raised up INTO NEW LIFE. And by baptism is brought INTO CHRIST. It sounds as if you believe that we believe INTO Christ and are later baptized for some reason which makes no sense. I think those who went before us were correct rather than those now urging us to minimize the baptism commanded by Jesus Christ. I think the apostles got it right, that new birth of water and spirit is repenting and being baptized.

  70. Dwight says:

    One thing that I find disturbing is to overlook a direct statement & the pattern following that statement for something that defies its concept in order to pit scripture against scripture.
    Many would try to place salvation in front of the baptism at the point of faith, but the scriptures never point towards this as salvation is clearly marked as being afterwards, but when we aregue for faith then we find that there is no clear concensus on at which time in the faith one was saved. We create a quagmire effect by denying the one clear path in defference to an unclear one. Due to the event of Cornelius we allow the Holy Spirit event to over ride what Jesus said and what the apostles said and did in Acts 2:38 in favor of an event that never argues for salvation, but proof of being able to be saved which is what the animals on the roof pointed to as well. That which used to be called unclean (gentiles) were no longer unclean, which the Holy Spirit confirmed. This cannot contradict what Peter stated in Acts 2:38 and doesn’t as Peter commands them to be baptized as well.There are no OT/NT examples that deny the “faith-action-well recieved” concept.

  71. Ray Downen says:

    Grace, Mercy, Peace foolishly writes about her dislike of Jay Guin. I like Jay Guin very much, and appreciate what he writes. I wanted to quote what she/he had written that I so disagreed with, but somehow my SAVE didn’t save it this time. Jay is doing his best to not only teach truth but to give us a voice if we disagree with him. Jay is greatly to be commended! How he finds time to do all he does for Jesus is hard to figure out!

  72. Ray Downen says:

    This is what Grace Mercy Peace wrote I know you don’t like me, Jay, since:
    1) I’m not from the CofC denomination.
    2) I challenge your hateful attitude toward Baptist churches.
    3) I know you don’t want unity with other churches, the only real unity you want is with those from the CofC denomination.

    Any reasonable person can see this and your moderating comment shows it even more.

    RAY: Jay does very well indeed. He’s never hateful toward Baptist doctrine or Baptist people. Or to anyone. His comments are helpful and pertinent, even if I sometimes have to disagree. He and I and most of his readers do indeed want “real unity” with all who share our love for Jesus. But that doesn’t mean we have to accept false teachings such as that the baptism commanded by Jesus isn’t really important or necessary, as many denominational people today DO teach.

  73. Royce says:

    Johnny, That is my experience as well. With Southern Baptists and many Independent Baptists not once in many decades did I ever hear of a Baptist
    Pastor requiring that anyone who was an immersed believer be rebaptized. I am as familiar with Landmark Baptists (a relatively small group with many errors..bap.)

    I have myself taught believers who had only been sprinkled that they should be immersed. And I’ve taught those who were tiny children when baptized that they should
    declare their faith in Christ in the waters of baptism. We are to “say it” and “show it” is what I teach. And by the way, we show it in more ways than baptism.

  74. Royce says:

    Ray, You continue to make some pretty questionable statements. You said ” But that doesn’t mean we have to accept false teachings such as that the baptism commanded by Jesus isn’t really important or necessary, as many denominational people today DO teach.If “many denominational people” are teaching that baptism “isn’t really important or necessary” I’m sure you can give several examples. Can you tell me where to find it in print or a video of a sermon? Perhaps you can but if you can’t maybe you should not say it. Not once in my life have I ever heard a Christian say “baptism isn’t necessary” or “baptism isn’t important”, not once in 69 years.

  75. Royce says:

    Using a broad term like “Baptist theology” is almost like saying “Chevrolets are white” because many are. There are many different kinds of Baptists with many different beliefs. It is no more fair than for someone to say “Church of Christ people teach baptismal regeneration”. Many do but many, including Jay, don’t.

    I will not go nearly as far as Grace but I’m a bit put off by speaking of Baptists as if they are Jehovias Witnesses or Mormans. Don’t forget, every serious Restoration Movement christians has Baptists and Presbyterians to thank for their movement.

    I don’t think we should be so quick to criticize others who claim Christ as Lord and who preach Christ faithfully. I don’t imagine that makes Jesus smile.

  76. laymond says:

    Royce I have two questions, that could make your belief clearer to others, if you care to do so.
    #1 why do you believe baptism is necessary.?
    #2 Do you believe you can be saved without remission of sins ?

  77. Ray Downen says:

    Amazing! We see what we want to see, I’m sure. I’ll point you to a study on my website which quotes one of US preaching Baptist baptism (the immersion of a person already in Christ) rather than baptism INTO CHRIST (Galatians 3:27). It’s at if that link will be accepted. Otherwise I’ll ask you to go to my web site and locate NB-F04 in the listing of the more than 300 studies available there, listed at CU-E07.pdf. Or, upon request, I’ll send it to anyone by e-mail. I quote Al Maxey at length. He makes clear his belief that salvation comes by faith alone and can be followed some time later by baptism which is not INTO CHRIST since the person, he thinks, already is IN Christ. Paul (the apostle) makes clear his understanding that baptism is INTO CHRIST (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3-8). Many now claim to be Christians but don’t believe Jesus knew what seekers needed to do when He gave His “great commission.” I’m surprised that you haven’t heard any of them when there are thousands within our Restoration Movement now converted to the Baptist view of baptism.

  78. Alabama John says:

    When you were baptized, did you receive the HS? That question was asked and those who answered negatively or not at all were rebaptized. What was obviously different and recognizable different to them the second time?

    How do we know today when believers are baptized in various ways and different statements and questions are asked and different answers given while standing in the baptistry waters before those wanting to be baptized are baptized? What sign is the proper sign to know your baptism was correct and now knowing the HS has been received?

    I ask each reading this: Did you receive the HS upon your baptism?

  79. Ray Downen says:

    I drive a white Chevy Cruze of recent make. I see cars every day which look almost exactly like mine but which were made by someone other than General Motors. That doesn’t make me blind to false teaching even when people I love dearly are doing the teaching. “Baptist” baptism is performed on people already thought to be “in Christ.” Converts are thought to be saved when they recite a “sinner’s prayer” asking for salvation. If approved by the Baptist members, the person then sometime later is baptized, but it’s made clear it’s NOT for salvation. This is not the baptism commanded by Jesus and referred to by Paul as being baptism INTO CHRIST. Many in recent months have been converted to believing in Baptist baptism by Al Maxey, a very well-liked writer in “our fellowship.” I like him also. I admire him and Jay for all the work they’re able to do every week, more than many people manage to get done in far more than one week. And Al writes marvelously well about legalism. He’s against it, and says so kindly and persuasively. It’s obvious from your remarks that you’ve not read anything lately written by Al Maxey. He’s even published one BOOK explaining why baptism is for Christians rather than being “into Christ.” And Jay has come close to endorsing that same anti-apostolic view of baptism being something other than INTO CHRIST. We are not saved by faith alone! Christian Churches and Churches of Christ for many years have taught conversion as calling for seekers to believe in Jesus, repent to make JESUS their Lord, and be baptized INTO CHRIST, after which the Holy Spirit is God’s gift to the new Christian. We’ve believed that Jesus saves those who turn to Him and obey the gospel. Some of “us” are now preaching a different gospel.

  80. Ray Downen says:

    I received by e-mail a blog entry by laymond which doesn’t appear yet in the blog. He quotes a brother who assumes that nothing much changed in chapter two of Acts. He figures people were being saved prior to that time somehow without Christian baptism. I disagree of course. Everything changed in Acts chapter two. That’s the FIRST TIME IN HISTORY that the gospel of the risen Lord was proclaimed and seekers were invited to save themselves by OBEYING THE GOSPEL.

    Until that day, no one had ever been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Since that day no one has ever been baptized in the Holy Spirit. The APOSTLES were empowered that day by baptism in the Spirit for the work of creating something entirely NEW and different.

    ONLY THE APOSTLES were baptized in the Spirit. No one else ever has been or will be baptized in the Spirit. ONLY THE APOSTLES were promised they would be led into all truth. We have now the apostolic writings which reveal what they learned and what is truth. Jay does remarkably well. But neither Jay nor Ray is inspired to reveal NEW TRUTH as did the apostles. We do well if we hear and understand what the apostles taught, and then if we act accordingly. I remind that Jesus taught Jews how to live under the Law of Moses. The apostles teach how to live for JESUS.

  81. Ray Downen says:

    Alabama John asks if we received the Spirit when we were baptized. Of course we did. What changed for us at that instant? Only our standing with God changed. We are still the same person we were prior to baptism. And we are not given any sign that we are now hosting the Spirit of God. There’s no way a person could possibly KNOW he/she had received the Spirit except that the apostles promise that gift WILL follow being baptized into Christ. The Spirit works whether we know it or not. He’s there to help us, but to learn Bible truths we still have to read and read and read for ourselves, and perhaps He (the Spirit) will help us remember what we have read. But He doesn’t give us any sign to tell us He’s with us. We believe He is present because that’s what the Bible teaches. We can’t FEEL Him. We can’t SEE Him. We can be sure He’s there because that’s what is promised and God keeps His promises.

  82. Dwight says:

    In Acts 19, Paul asks the Ephesians, of which Apollos was one before he moved to Corinth, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” and they answered, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” which is strange since they are regarded as having believed in Christ as Apollos had. They should have had the HS by faith.
    So belief in Christ was not what brought the Holy Spirit, at least in the sense that Paul is speaking of, otherwise their faith would have saved them and proof of this would have been the Holy Spirit, so they must not have been saved even in their faith, which is what is argued from the Cornelius event and from the faith alone argument.
    Next, Paul ask, “Into what were you baptized?”, and they answered, “Into John’s baptism.”, which goes back to Ray’s persistent entries. They were baptized into John. Not Jesus.
    Paul then follows enacts that: “they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
    So they who had faith, did not have the HS and were baptized, but not into Jesus and were re-baptized into Jesus.
    IT was after this point that Paul lays his hands on them and “the Holy Spirit came upon them.”
    So not even faith and baptism brought the HS, but the laying on of Paul’s hands, but this kind of goes against what happened in Cornelius case, unless the difference was that the HS in Cornelius was to show as Peter explained, to show that they could be baptized and saved, but in the case of the Ephesians they followed what Peter understood in Acts 2 where they would be baptized and receive the gift of the HS or at least have access to the HS, when Paul laid his hands on them.
    Never-the-less what we have here is people that believe in God and believe in Jesus, but had not received the HS and also people who had been baptized into John that had not received the HS and people that had to believe in Jesus and be baptized into Jesus so that they could receive it, at least the miraculous gifts, through the hands of Paul.
    Apollos who was also an Ephesian who was also teaching Christ from the scriptures, but only knew the baptism of John, had to be taught “the way of God more accurately.” What he knew parallels what the Eph. in ch.19 knew and if so, then Apollos would have to go through the same process. So we have people who had faith in God, who had knowledge of Christ and had been baptized sometime into John, but didn’t have a certain knowledge of Christ and hadn’t been baptized into Jesus and had to do this. After this point as seen in Acts 19 and argued in Acts 2 they were they now accessible to the gift of the HS, despite Cornelius incident, which was for a specific purpose.
    This is my understanding of this and this matches the scriptures of Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, etc.

  83. Royce says:

    Ray, “Baptist baptism”? One who has repented is immersed as Jesus said to do. Make ďisciples, baptize those disciples, and teach them all Jesus commanded? Is that “Baptist baptism”?

    Where is the passage where Jesus commanded Christians to baptize lost people? You talk often about the baptism Jesus commanded. Where is the text where Jesus command baptism other than the Matthew text?

  84. Buckeye Chuck says:

    It seems that no other topic riles church of Christ members like baptism does. For the most part, I would suggest that most posting here in this thread don’t disagree that baptism is commanded for the penitent believer for the remission of sins and is a significant part of our salvation process. Perhaps baptism is best described as the portal into a saved relationship with God.

    I affirm Jay’s position that the gospel does not equal baptism. Romans 1:16-17 should be the theme of our teaching to the lost. And it doesn’t mention baptism. It isn’t the whole of Scripture, but it is the whole of the gospel. To say such does not mean I don’t teach baptism for the remission of sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit as stated in Acts 2:38. Those thoughts are NOT contradictory.

    Jay said: “I teach that we are to be baptized for the remission of sins. I teach that the baptism verses in the NT are true. But I also teach that grace will cover a failure to meet the precise terms of baptism as God intended.”

    I suggest that the last statement there by Jay is the statement causing consternation with many posting here. But, that argument seems to me to be against the narrative of New Testament teaching and specifically what is taught by Paul in Romans 1:16-17. It’s also not a new position from Jay as he has explored this topic thoroughly in his book “The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace.”

    For those suggesting we turn to John 3:5 to claim authority for water baptism as THE born again process, such is proof-texting this passage to insert a message not contained. Verse 5 “Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.'” Jesus then explains what he meant in the following verse 6 “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” The contrast is the physical to the spiritual and nothing there to do with water baptism. If you weren’t trying to find water baptism already, you would never see that in this text.

    I’m not sure what else Jay would like to accomplish here. Perhaps there will never be total agreement with his positions and perhaps the purpose is to continue the dialogue. However, can this post at least be a challenge for us to honestly HEAR the positions Jay expresses, not argue against straw men he did not present? And can this post serve as a challenge to rethink some long-held church of Christ doctrine regarding the proper role and place of baptism in our teaching of the lost?

  85. Larry Cheek says:

    I have read both of the comments that you made concerning Apollos and I really was surprised that you could be so certain that he was not baptized in the name of Jesus.
    I understood this portion of scripture quite differently than you have explained.
    (Act 18:24-28 ESV) Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.
    I think we both have believed by the text that not only did he know the baptism of John but that he had obeyed the baptism of John. That would have placed him in contact with John at some period of time. The text speaks of the scriptures (that would have been OT, there was no NT writings at this date, otherwise all of his knowledge would have been from verbal testimony. But the authority he was testifying of was based in scripture. He was competent in the scriptures.
    I see that you have accepted that (being fervent in spirit) is connected with The Spirit that we are now aware of which was given to born again Christians. That terminology is not explained that way here. Fervent in spirit, could be said of anyone who has highly dedicated them selves to any job or action. I see nothing here that connects this to the Holy Spirit. Even the hand picked Apostles who were with Jesus in training and had been given powers over Demons and powers of healing had not been given this Holy Spirit until Jesus breathed upon them and told them to receive the Spirit.
    If he had the Holy Spirit as we could assume, what would have Priscilla and Aquila heard that would have alerted them that he needed more instruction? We are not told but, if he was not teaching Jesus as the risen savior, and possibly promoting John’s baptism, those would be identifiers. What would cause me to believe that? Look carefully at what he was teaching, “he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus”, he was not teaching the present Jesus, his message was from OT concerning Jesus. There is nothing in this text that identifies that he even knew of the death, burial and resurrection.
    If by chance he had not been at the Feast of Pentecost this would be understandable and account for his lack of knowledge that Priscilla and Aquila recognized.
    Now, notice the event, Priscilla and Aquila, “took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” They taught him The Gospel, the Jesus story. If they did that like Philip had to the Eunuch, he should have understood the same message that the Eunuch did, understanding his dedication to the scriptures and his knowledge pertaining to Jesus he would have responded to the same desires as the Eunuch. In other words he would have been obedient to the call just as those on Pentecost, been baptized and now received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
    The balance of the text testifies of the actions I have explained, notice.
    27 And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.
    The Jewish Christians at Ephesus had been there at Pentecost and participated in the baptisms there. Would we believe that they would have encouraged him and sent testimony for Achaia to welcome him if he had not become as they were through the same baptism thich they had participated. A new Brother in Christ, before the act of baptism he would have been only a Jewish brother. It is documented in these texts that there was a change in what he was teaching; he was now teaching Jesus was the Christ of the scriptures. Remember what he was teaching, “he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus”.
    With this view all mysteries are solved. There was no deviation from the teachings on Pentecost, in these conversions. They were disciples but not in Christ.

    This same concept would fit perfectly with the Twelve in Acts 19. They had been baptized by John but had not been at Pentecost.
    Summations, none of John’s disciples were baptized into Jesus or received the Holy Spirit. All Jews were commanded to attend the Feast of Pentecost, and there were Jews there from all nations, many with different languages.

  86. Dwight says:

    Buckeye, I would take it further to say that the gospel doesn’t equal faith, if we are going to argue that the gospel doesn’t equal baptism, as Peter never commanded those in Acts 2 to have faith. Peter spoke the word, the gospel, they presumabley believed in response and they were definitely baptized in response. This is what Peter argued for in thier quest to be saved.
    The statement of Jay, “I teach that we are to be baptized for the remission of sins. I teach that the baptism verses in the NT are true. But I also teach that grace will cover a failure to meet the precise terms of baptism as God intended.”
    In this regards the statement doesn’t take it far enough as grace “covers” missing the mark, so that grace should cover a failure to meet the precise terms of faith as well. After all God wants strong faith, but weak faith should be good enough or perhaps no faith if grace is real grace. We place a condition on grace of faith which is a work, but not baptism, which is commanded. This doesn’t make sense. Rom.1:16 might give a theme, but Acts 2:37-38 shows it in action.

  87. Alabama John says:

    What is the correct language to say when baptizing someone to be sure they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit as well as forgiveness of sins and to be added to the coC.

    WE all know what was said back a lot of years but today we hear affirmations of many different statements made by the one doing the baptizing. Usually all say I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost or Spirit but many leave out for the remission of your sins.

    Many folks doing the baptizing today other than the preacher, Have seen fathers, brothers, husbands and even mothers (that sure raised eyebrows) doing so to their children in the coC.

    Since we cannot feel or see or some other sign that the HS did come on us, how would we know for sure we got it right enough and do not have to do it over just in case?

  88. Dwight says:

    Larry, That is my argument as well, although you stated it differently. We can’t argue for what we aren’t told and we cannot get implicatons from what we aren’t told, but we must argue within the confinces of what we are told. Apollos had only heard of the baptism of John, like those other Ephesians in Acts 19 (of which Apollos was one of), and Paul taught and re-baptized those Acts 19 and we know that Apollos was “taught” more concerning Christ, so to argue that he was saved in his lack of knowledge of Christ in His fullness and not those who Paul had rebaptized is strange and to argue that P&A taught something different than Paul is as well. If those in Acts 19 had not received the HS, then why should Apollos have been any different?

  89. Dwight says:

    AJ, we are making an argument that was never argued for in the scriptures, meaning all
    Peter needed was that they were convicted in Christ and then they were baptized into Christ. Some may argue for a particular statement, but that is to get an understanding of what they beleive or confession of faith, but there are no magic words that are commanded, unlike baptism itself. So the concept of correct language is misplaced, but not the concept of correct understanding. If you beleive that Jesus is the Son of God and the saviour of mankind, that should be enough. On the otherhand people can make statements and not beleive them or understand them, as there are people I know who were rebaptized because they didn’t really realize what they were doing the first time. Baptism, like faith, should be personal to God.

  90. Alabama John says:


    If those you mentioned above that didn’t really realize what they were doing the first time they were baptized had died before being rebaptized, would they of been deemed saved and acceptable to God?

  91. Dwight says:

    AJ, that isn’t a question for me, but for God, I can only comment on what the scriptures tell us that God wanted and not what God will accept on His side. I don’t have that kind of authority.
    What we end up doing is making excuses for why a path that God dictated for salvation and the apostles followed can be altered or shortened, based on what we think, but we don’t have the authority to do that. All through the scriptures OT and NT God was pleased with those who had the faith and obeyed God in whatever He said for whatever reasons He said it, but God was not pleased with two groups of people 1.) those that did works without faith just soley for doing them and 2.) those that had faith, but did nothing or did what they wanted. If God wants to accept those who have faith & follow the intent of the command, but die along the way, then I believe that God follows their intent to do what they knew to be true, but no one knows this but God and we can’t presume to make this unkown exception a rule,when we have the rule that God gave. We must simply do what we are told in faith to the best of our ability. Anything less is not our best.

  92. Dwight says:

    John was the pre-runner for Christ, right, so baptism into him was in preparation for baptism into the Christ to come. If John’s baptism and faith in Christ based on the scriptures, which most likely would have been the OT, was sufficient, then why baptize anyone into Christ? John’s aim was Christ. Christ was the way, the truth and the life, not John. Jesus never directed people back to John.
    We could argue that belief in God was enough, as many people had not heard of Jesus and many Jews did believe in God, but Jesus states, “No man comes to the father but by me.” A direct statement by Jesus. So why won’t we accept Mark 16:16 or Acts 2:38 a direct statement from the apostles who were trained by Jesus and 5000 responded in the way Peter said. Are we going to argue that Peter was wrong in regards to repentance and baptism and faith was really enough and he just wanted to get them wet in Acts 2? 5000 people succumbed to Peter’s humor in the belief that repentance and baptism fulfilled thier question of “what must we do to be saved?”

  93. Alabama John says:

    Good answers Dwight.

    What I am so happy about is the coC is now changing from their knowing for certain, no doubt possible that those not being baptized correctly with the right wording spoken over them and their proper confession given, are going to hell, no exceptions allowed.

    That thinking has all but a very few going to heaven and all the rest of the world throughout time burning and that preaching never fit a loving God who gave His son for us.

    Hopefully Al, me, Henry and Jay can keep the love and grace of God for us in the forefront, Sure are a lot of folks we all know that need to hear that. Especially those that have left us.

    Interestingly though is when the majority of our fellow coC members hear what we are stating, they do comment we sound like baptist or some other denomination and that turns many off.

  94. Dwight says:

    AJ, I find quite a bit of difference regionally in the coC and this probably extends to others denominations as well, and I full recognize that the coC is a denomination. I live in the South of Texas and these groups are typically very conservative, but many are changing in being less legalistc and more about the compassion. We also are often bound to our biases and preconcieved notions and interject those into our readings. And often we tell others that they are wrong, never realizing or accepting that we are wrong, just in a different area that actually contradicts our earlier assesment of others. The first step we must take is being humble enough to realize that we are probably wrong when we take implied thoughts from scripture and turn them into law. But smart enough to grasp what is right there in front of us without squirreling our way around the concept that is expressed in so many places and so many ways.
    My thought for day, “When we take our own sides, we lose the balance that is inherent in the scriptures.”

  95. Grace says:

    Romans 4:2-8 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.

    Paul says Abraham was righteous from his faith in God apart from any works that he did. David calls the person blessed who God declares righteous apart from works.

    Cornelius, family and friends received the Holy Spirit before they were baptized.

    Luke said they received the Holy Spirit and Peter proclaimed God had accepted them giving them the Holy Spirit, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 15:8-11.

    That’s a far cry from just having the ability to speak a language.

    John 6:47 I tell you for certain that everyone who has faith in me has eternal life.

    John 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.

    John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.

    Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

    Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.

    Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

    Romans 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

    Romans 5:1 By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God.

    Cornelius, family and friends had the Holy Spirit before they were baptized. They were children of God before they were baptized. Acts 10:44-48, Acts 15:8-11

    Romans 4:5 But you cannot make God accept you because of something you do. God accepts sinners only because they have faith in Him.

    Romans 8:9-10 But you are not ruled by your sinful selves. You are ruled by the Spirit, if that Spirit of God really lives in you. But whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Christ. Your body will always be dead because of sin. But if Christ is in you, then the Spirit gives you life, because Christ made you right with God.

    Roman 8:16 For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we really are God’s children.

    Ephesians 1:13-14 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him.

    Paul says those who have the Spirit belong to Christ.

    Acts 15:11 But our Lord Jesus was kind to us, and we are saved by faith in him, just as the Gentiles are.

    Peter proclaimed the Gentiles were saved when they had faith. And Peter proclaimed they are the norm of how anyone is saved.

    We are accounted righteous when we have faith in Him. God’s grace is always available to anyone wherever they are at, whether on a plane, on a bus, in a car, on a mountain cliff, in an alley, in a hospital, in a prison, wherever a person is at it is by grace through faith they are saved. His sacrifice is sufficient. Such grace is personal and powerful. Romans 4:1-8

    Jesus came and showed His compassion, mercy, and grace to people. He forgave people’s sins from their faith in Him, He accounted their faith as enough to Him. Jesus’ death and resurrection didn’t render Him powerless, He didn’t show people a false god, He showed them the true God. Jesus is willing to accept our faith in Him telling many people that their faith is sufficient to Him to give them forgiveness.

    Jesus’ death didn’t destroy His character, it didn’t make Him a weaker God, nope He rose from the dead and continued to demonstrate through Cornelius and his family and friends His grace, mercy and forgiveness.

    Why would Jesus give such great kindness forgiving people who had faith in Him, without them having to perform a ritual for Him to bestow His grace to them, to change His mind that He will only forgive people who perform a ritual? That would be pretty bad teaching example for Jesus to give.

    Your theology is a person who has faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior is a child of the devil. Please show the Scripture that says a child of the devil has faith that Jesus saved them by His sacrifice and desires to follow Him.

    Some in the CofC denomination consider people as saved, even though they weren’t baptized under the CofC denomination’s “general understanding” of baptism, as long as they were baptized. Do you agree with them?

  96. Royce says:

    There isn’t one place in Scripture that I am aware of that mandates “who” can baptize, or “what” should be said. The person doing the baptizing and what they say is the least important factors in a person being baptized.

  97. Ray Downen says:

    Royce, you’re right that where Jesus commands baptism is in the Great Commission, which is recorded in Matthew. As for Baptist baptism, it’s the baptizing of someone who is told they are already saved rather than one who is just then BEING saved through the new birth of water and spirit. Repentance precedes baptism. Believing in Jesus is why baptism is performed. But what I’m objecting to is teaching people they are saved by faith alone and that obviously comes prior to being baptized. We are NOT saved by faith alone or by repentance alone or by baptism alone. Acts 2:38 shows the sequence: Believe, Repent, Be Baptized, Receive the Holy Spirit.

    Those who believe in “Baptist baptism” say they are baptized already-saved people. Ones who in some way have already received the Holy Spirit. But Acts 2:38 shows clearly the sequence which is apostolic. Hearing, then believing and turning to Jesus as Lord, then being baptized and saved and THEN receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is clear also in Romans 6:3-8. A SINNER is buried in baptism and a saved person is raised then newly born spiritually. And Paul makes clear in Galatians 3:27 that we are baptized INTO CHRIST, not because we are already IN CHRIST. So I see that we are NOT reborn of water and spirit prior to repenting and being baptized in water.

  98. Royce says:

    The Restoration Movement was not founded on Acts 2:38 but over the years has evolved to the point so that verse largely defines the RM churches.

    “And Peter said to them, “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.” (Peter did not speak these words in English…)

    Can anyone tell us why the word “baptized” is not as important or authroitative as the word “repent” in that verse? According to some of those who comment here, “baptized” used by Peter as recored by Luke nullifies dozens and dozens of passages that teach sinners are saved by faith. How can that be good scholarship?

    I am light years away from being a theologian, I’m not a particularly good student, but I do have a measure of common sense. Based on my independent study of the Bible over the past 55 years it is apparent to me that “repentance” and “faith” are inseperable. One is not possible without the other. So absolutely faith is at least implied in those 3,000 who responded to Peter’s sermon about Christ and the gospel. To “repent” means a change of mind, a change of direction, that leads to a change of lifestyle and behavour, and not one person has ever truely repented after hearing the gospel who did not believe/faith the message. When Peter said “Repent” he was calling them to no longer follow the flesh but to follow Christ. True repentance means one turns away from something and toward another. Can anyone explain why “repent” isn’t the key word in Acts 2:38 rather than “baptized”?

    In my view good exegesis of the Scriptues requires that the student tries to find harmony, that is various passages complimenting and verifying others. It is poor scholarship to insist that Jesus, Peter, and Paul didn’t really mean what they said about the role of faith just because it doesn’t wash with your view of the role of baptism.

    Presently Al Maxie is enemy number 1 with many of his critics because he is no longer following the party line on baptism’s place in salvation. I see many calling him names and excorating him because he has offended them. What I don’t see is anyone proving him wrong using the Bible. Al Maxie has been baptizing people for many, many years as has many others who don’t share the precise traditional view of baptism in our coc. I sincerely wish brothers could talk to each other in loving concern rather than calling each other ugly names like “apostate”. (Some of those who use that word freely don’t even know the historic meaning.)

    On this last evening of the year may I wish each of you a very prosperous New Year. I wish you health and happines and above all joy in knowing Christ Jesus our Lord.

  99. Ray Downen says:

    Thanks, Dwight. We realize that there is NO sign that we have received the Spirit when at baptism the gift of the Spirit is given. But the gift IS given. So at baptism the Spirit is ALWAYS given. Signs of special gifts of the Spirit can be seen. What these new brethren were seen to have received was SPECIAL GIFTS of the Spirit by the laying on of apostolic hands. They had already received God’s gift of His Spirit. That is promised to EVERY NEW CHRISTIAN. But it doesn’t show externally.

  100. Royce says:

    Ray, You are an intelligent person. You should stop saying “Baptist baptism” because there is no such thing. If a Baptist preaches the gospel, teaching people about Jesus and his work for sinners and that person declares that he believes the message, desires to repent, and the Baptist baptizes him, that is not “Baptist baptism”, that is biblical baptism. I just reread Jesus’ words in Matthew 28. If anyone of any stripe does what Jesus said to do you are wrong to be critical of them.

  101. Royce says:

    There you go again Ray…lol You said “So at baptism the Spirit is ALWAYS given.” No, that is not true. If the one being immersed does not have faith in Jesus he gets nothing but wet. Choose your words more carefully. I have a friend who while at Magnolia Bible College had a friend who was immersed 6 times while a student there. Did he receive the Spirit each time?

  102. Ray Downen says:

    It seems odd that anyone would point to Acts 2:38 and claim that “repent and be baptized” really means REPENT and be saved, which is what Al Maxey now teaches. Repentance is no more important than being baptized, regardless of what Al or Royce or anyone in the world says. The “and” is joining two equally-important acts. Al accuses us of teaching that baptism is what is important. We have never done so. He claims that all that IS important is faith, and when sufficient faith exists, then the person is converted and saved.

    The apostles insist that both repentance and being baptized are essential for salvation. I believe the apostles. They speak for Jesus, who is Lord of all. They simply point out that the new birth of water and spirit is REPENTING AND BEING BAPTIZED. That should be the message of every Christian who honors Jesus as Lord and the apostles as His spokesmen. Who needs to repent and be baptized? It’s anyone who now believes in Jesus as Lord! No one else would choose to turn to Him as Lord (repent) but those who DO believe He IS Lord.

  103. Ray Downen says:

    Royce doesn’t believe that Baptists baptize into the Baptist church rather than into Christ. I’ve discussed conversion with enough Baptists to know that they do NOT believe with Paul that seekers are baptized INTO CHRIST. They baptize people they imagine are already IN CHRIST. Their baptism is NOT for the remission of sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Their doctrine has remission of sins prior to baptism, and without regard to the Holy Spirit. That is, the Spirit is no part of the act of baptism for them. But Acts 2:38, little as some like it, presents the gospel response in apostolic terms. Seekers MUST REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED in order to receive remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Those who practice Baptist baptism imagine that sins are remitted earlier and the gift of the Spirit has no connection with being baptized into Christ. Should we call their act “useless baptism” rather than “Baptist baptism” to please Royce and others? Or we could call it “Maxey’s baptism” if that would be more acceptable. It’s dunking someone we think is already a Christian. Exactly what does such a person think baptism accomplishes? The apostles tell what it accomplishes, and they deny what the apostles say.

  104. Ray Downen says:

    Royce, it simply is not possible for any person to be baptized into Christ more than once. You speak of a person who was dunked six times and each time was told the person was being baptized. The first time was the only time an actual baptism occurred. I suggest anyone who doesn’t understand this matter should read my study on “Should Any CHRISTIAN Ever Be Baptized?” It’s readily available at on the internet . Or I would be glad to mail a copy to anyone upon request. The apostles thought baptism was important. Vitally important. Essential for salvation. Not something to be done sometime. It was something to be done the instant that a person believed in JESUS as Lord. It was AND IS essential for salvation.

  105. Royce says:

    Ray, the first baptism is the only one that counts? You can’t possibly know that. What If the guy was only depending on what someone had told him baptism would do for him the first 5 times and finally was trusting Jesus the last time. You speak in absolutes when you absolutely don’t know what you are talking about.

  106. Ray Downen says:

    I surely do know what I’m talking about! How odd it would be for me to assume you or anyone else knows more than the apostles did about how conversion occurs. The apostles say that it’s ones OUTSIDE of Christ who are baptized, and that baptism is INTO CHRIST (Galatians 3:27). If a person wants to be dunked repeatedly, surely he/she is free to do so, but only the FIRST time anyone is buried with Christ in baptism is the Spirit given and sins are remitted. The other times are a tragic waste of time and effort. Our “feelings” are not promised. Remission of sins and the gift of the Spirit IS promised.

  107. Royce says:

    So Ray, faith doesn’t matter? Do you rely believe we can snatched a sinner off the street and baptize him and God is obligated to save him? I think that is utter nonsense. The first time a person is baptized while trusting Christ would be the only time that matters.

  108. Ray Downen says:

    Royce says I’ve said faith doesn’t matter. I’ve never said faith doesn’t matter. It’s a BELIEVING (perhaps since I didn’t use the word “faith” Royce thinks I don’t believe faith matters.) seeker who can repent and be baptized and be saved and receive God’s Spirit. That’s not changed in all the years since the events reported in chapter two of Acts. Luke doesn’t MENTION faith in Acts 2, but it’s only faith that would cause anyone to seek salvation in Jesus as those seekers obviously did.

  109. Royce says:

    Ray, You know exactly what I meant. The example of the guy baptized 6 times. You said the first time is all that matters. My point was that it could have been the 4th time or the 5th time when he actually had faith. Your response didn’t make a lick of sense. That’s all.

  110. Ray Downen says:

    Royce asks if I believe “we can snatched a sinner off the street and baptize him and God is obligated to save him?” I have never in any way suggested we should “snatched a sinner off the street” or even snatch him. What Jesus says we are to do is to tell about HIM and baptize THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN HIM. That of course is what I preach and practice. God promises to give His Spirit to those believers who repent and are baptized (immersed in water as Jesus commanded is to be done). Royce is surely correct that “the first time a person is baptized while trusting Christ (he fails to mention the essentiality of repentance) would be the only time that matters.” But the promise is that those believers who REPENT and are baptized will receive remission of sins and the gift of the Spirit. Perhaps Royce feels that “trusting Christ” IS repentance, but in fact faith is not the same as repenting. And what I’m sure of is that the apostles (Peter was their spokesman in Acts 2) promised that believers who repented and WERE BAPTIZED would be saved and would receive the GIFT of God’s Spirit. I promise this wasn’t MY idea. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t consulted. I think the apostles spoke for Jesus as directed by Him through His Spirit.

  111. Ray Downen says:

    I’m not sure that Royce is familiar with or believes Acts 2:37,38. What the apostles told seeking believers they HAD TO DO was to repent and be baptized. Repenting is not believing. We repent BECAUSE we believe, but the actions are two distinct actions. Only those who believe in Jesus can repent of disbelief. Repenting is because of changing beliefs, but is not just changing what is believed. It’s determining to ACT according to the belief which is repenting. Some who believe never act according to the belief.

  112. Dwight says:

    I’ve actually known those who were baptized again due to them not understanding the first baptism well. I believe both Ray and Royce are both right, but Royce thinks that those n the coC place baptism before faith in priority, but this is not true, but it does sound true. When you go to many coC they teach that you are to baptized at the end of the sermon, they don’t mention that you must have faith…why, because the faith is assumed, but when you are in a class on salvation faith is always included as just as important and the precursor to anything else. When we review Acts 2 you have Peter teaching Christ, they are convicted, they ask what they must do to be saved, then Peter says, “Repent and be baptized.” Peter never mentions “faith”, because faith is what is leading them to be baptized for salvation. Of course we should mention repent at the end of the lesson and we don’t, but it is just as important as faith and baptism.
    The Baptist and coC and others are guilty of often focusing on certain aspects of salvation, instead of focusing on Jesus and then allowing the other aspects to flow naturally. We want to push people towards salvation, which is important, but Jesus is the reason for it all and precedes faith, repentance, baptism, etc.

    What I have seen is people trying to get away somewhat from the five step approach to salvation, by not listing those at the invitation, but they are still there non-the-less in some form or should be. It could be argued that Simon the Sorceror had faith and was baptized, but did not repent or turn away from his greed, but I think the concept is not turning away from sin, but the world and turning to Jesus, after all Simon was told to repent, but wasn’t discounted as a Christian, just a weak Christian. He was not asked to be re-baptized.
    But those in Ephesus were asked to be re-baptized, because they were not baptized into Christ.

  113. Ray Downen says:

    Royce assumes that people are baptized without knowing why they’re doing so. If any person accidently was baptized and had no idea it was because Jesus commanded the act so that they’re obeying JESUS, then the person wasn’t baptized INTO CHRIST. I understand him to be saying the person who wanted to be baptized repeatedly expected to FEEL differently after being baptized and was unhappy because he didn’t FEEL saved. But being baptized is not about feelings. It’s about the fact that Jesus rose from the dead and offers us new life, not new feelings.

  114. Ray Downen says:

    Dwight has it right.

  115. Alabama John says:

    Been baptized many times and also baptized many times all my young friends at the ‘ol swimming hole each summer. WE stayed sin free and ready to go.

    Wonder if the writer of Acts 2:38 could do it over if he would make it any clearer? Did he have any idea that would be the main verse a denomination would hang its shingle on?

    What we do not stress in that verse is the gift of the Holy Spirit. We teach that was for the Old Testament only and it is the actual Bible we have today. WE still baptize in its name and for emphasis have seen preachers put a bible on the baptistry and after in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit point to the bible laying there when Holy Spirit was spoken.
    I believe our error is missing the need for the gift of the HS itself or eternal life Romans 6:23 to be stressed in Acts 2:38 as much as repent and baptism.
    Hard to start that now I know as it would show how we have misused Acts 2:38 all these years.
    Out of all the words in the NT and if all was written the world couldn’t hold the books, and one verse could of told it all. If that is true, what a waste of paper on the rest.

  116. Randall says:

    Royce and Ray,
    If you two don’t knock it off Jay might be tempted to pull the car over. Don’t make him do that.

    Reminds me of kids saying “did too” “did not”

  117. Randall says:

    Sorry my last comment was brusque. I was frustrated and I apologize for my tone. One would think/hope that among Christian adults there would be a genuine effort to understand what the other is saying and respond accordingly. There has been far too little of that among the CofC as well as other denominations. If we claim to be Christian let’s act like it.

    If someone were to accuse any of us of being Christian would there be enough evidence to convict us? That not only applies to our comments on blogs but also the way we live our lives all the time. That would apply to not only claiming faith (knowledge, assent and trust) and repentance but also to being baptized, gathering together for worship and other distinctly Christian fellowship and particularly our behavior when non Christians may be watching.
    Are we focused on serving God and taking care of the widow, orphan etc. Of course, God the Father and Jesus see it all, even our most private behavior. I realize this applies most of all to me and that I miss the mark frequently.

    Again, I apologize to all for my previous comment.

  118. Larry Cheek says:

    I just can’t resist. When someone suggests that we should not just grab a sinner off the street and baptize him, really is attempting to place all of the salvation into baptism, disregarding all other instructions in scripture. There is an example of a baptism that resembles this event very closely, that being Philip and the Eunuch. How many miles would you consider that it took for Philip to teach Jesus to the Eunuch before he learned that baptism was very important? I believe that the example portrays that faith in Jesus can be created in a short period of time and that teaching Jesus cannot be done properly without the the student understanding the necessity of baptism.

  119. Dwight says:

    I think AJ, Ray, Larry, Randall have it right, though they may stress one thing over another n regards to salvation.
    We should definitely say that the HS will come and the person should understand it, just as Peter did, but that might be enough. When they were baptized into Christ, Peter promised that they would “receive the gift of the HS”, but did they argue about what that gift was and how it was to be manifested. I used to think the gift was salvation, but now I think it is the HS and salvation, while some people think it is just the HS itself, or a gift such as speaking in tongues, but I am not going to question it as I know I have it.
    And I don’t think Peter gave any thought to people focusing on Acts 2:38, but then again he probably didn’t think people were going to ignore it either. I agree we should just let it be and let people follow through in it, but as long as people question it, people are going to try to answer for it.

    And I agree Randall, we should perhaps place more emphasis on living as Christ did and realize that this baptism is but a moment in time, but it is important enough to be mentioned by the apostles over and over again, but we kind of forget about molding a person to Christ afterwards and there are many years to go past the point of baptism…such as growing in the faith that we had established when we believed and were baptized. And loving one another. Paul didn’t belabor his baptism, but he did labor after it happened.

    And I agree Larry, In Acts 2 people were told, they were convicted and believed and then they quickly asked what must they do, then Peter said “repent and be baptized”. All of this s reported to have happened rather quickly to place a person into a relationship with God. But this is the pattern in the OT. God asked the Jews, the Jews responded, they sacrificed, then they were in a covenant relationship. Not only was there a sense of urgency to do this, but the apostles preached around that the “day was at hand” to keep that sense of urgency before them in their living.

    With the exception of Grace and possibly Jay, who may agree more with Grace than some of us, most us are circling the wagons around Christ and arguing for what He said and what the apostles did with the converted. If faith alone saves, then we cannot work our own salvation as Paul also says, and if works save, then faith is not worth much, but if it all is part of a grand plan, then we should see the big picture as God sees it and not try to paint over it altering the master’s brush strokes. No second guessing why. When Jesus says, “Come”, we “Go”.
    Jay at least allows the conversation that many try to shut down with a hard fist.

    God Bless and Happy New “Year

  120. Ray Downen says:

    I think Larry has “hit the nail on the head.” And driven it home where it was needed. Jay has said good things and said them well. So have others. But the point is as Larry says, and he should be congratulated for seeing clearly our need to love one another and to TOGETHER seek truth. It would not be good for any to speak unkindly of another Christian or to belittle what others think. Our goal should be to love one another and to serve Jesus lovingly TOGETHER. It appears that’s Jay’s goal as well. We are blessed.

  121. Alabama John says:

    Now we’re talking! Love my brothers in Christ, all of them!

    The closer we get to meeting God, the kinder our thinking becomes to all who believe in God. After all, we just might not have everything condemning others just right and may need more forgiveness than we know and actually might be spending eternity in heaven with some of them.

    I used to laugh and make fun of the holiness Church of God people for their belief in the Holy Spirit being active today but that was wrong of me. Debates were common and often with our side stressing the Holy Spirit has completed His work and left forever. That is like so many other things we have changed our thinking and teaching on like requiring womens coverings among many others ya’ll are as familiar with as I am,

    Now, when I pray, I seek God in all His being and that includes ALL of the Godhead three.
    Praying for guidance in all things, we don’t want to leave anyone out that can and will help and give guidance. Thinking now is, its better to include rather than leave out any Godly being willing to advise, and help in any way. Accept the Gift promised.

    We all certainly baptize in the Holy Spirits name, so why not include Him in our daily lives.

  122. Ray Downen says:

    Good for Alabama John. EXCEPT that the work of the Spirit is directed by Jesus and we find no examples of apostles or Jesus ever praying TO the Spirit. We’re not instructed to pray to the Spirit. If we do pray to the Spirit it’s by our own instruction to our self that we do so. But praying to the Father is exampled for us. And praying to the Father in the name of Jesus is encouraged by Jesus. Surely we should recognize that Jesus lives within us through His Spirit. If I want to share a thought with Alabama John, I’ll speak to Alabama John and not to his spirit. If I want to be familiar with Jesus, I’ll speak to JESUS rather than to His Spirit. Is not the Spirit the agent of Jesus? I think what I’ve read about the work of the Spirit is saying He does what He is told to do, goes where He is told to go, and acts always FOR the Father and the Son as directed by them.

    So I see nothing in what is revealed in apostolic writing that would cause me to want to pray to the Spirit instead of to Jesus Himself or to His Father. Since everything in Heaven and on earth is now controlled by JESUS, I’d think it would be best to speak to HIM about our desires and wants and our happy thoughts. I base my thinking about God’s Spirit on Acts 2:38. The Spirit is not spoken of there as coming to the new Christian, but as being SENT as God’s GIFT to the new Christian.

    We’re not told to NOT pray to the Spirit, but neither, so far as I remember, are we ever given an example of the apostles praying to the Spirit nor are we asked or encouraged to pray to the Spirit at any time for any reason. Are we agreed that we do well to follow the example and teaching of the apostles? Am I right that we ARE encouraged to follow the example and teaching of the empowered apostles of Jesus Christ? And are we not told to seek to be LIKE JESUS in loving everyone and in serving others? Do we remember that the great commission was given to HUMANS and not to the Spirit? Is it likely that the Spirit would take over what we humans are told to do even if we asked Him to do it?

  123. Alabama John says:

    Ray, doesn’t hurt to include and mention all three in prayers. All three being together ever how they are exactly is not limited to baptism. I’ll take any gift from God I can get and overuse it if possible. The Bible was not meant to limit our asking and thanking Him. Rather err by over thanking than under.

  124. Randall says:

    From this site:
    verses 26 and 27 suggest the Spirit is involved in our prayers.

    ESV — Romans 8
    Romans 7 Romans 8 Romans 9
    Life in the Spirit

    8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.1 2 For the law of hthe Spirit of life ihas set you2 free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For jGod has done what the law, kweakened by the flesh, lcould not do. mBy sending his own Son nin the likeness of sinful flesh and ofor sin,3 he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that pthe righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, qwho walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For rthose who live according to the flesh set their minds on sthe things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on tthe things of the Spirit. 6 For to set uthe mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is vhostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; windeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
    9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact xthe Spirit of God dwells in you. yAnyone who does not have zthe Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of ahim who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus4 from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies bthrough his Spirit who dwells in you.
    Heirs with Christ

    12 So then, brothers,5 we are debtors, cnot to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you dput to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are eled by the Spirit of God are fsons6 of God. 15 For gyou did not receive hthe spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of iadoption as sons, by whom we cry, j“Abba! Father!” 16 kThe Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then lheirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, mprovided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
    Future Glory

    18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time nare not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for othe revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation pwas subjected to futility, not willingly, but qbecause of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that rthe creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that sthe whole creation thas been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have uthe firstfruits of the Spirit, vgroan inwardly as wwe wait eagerly for adoption as sons, xthe redemption of our bodies. 24 For yin this hope we were saved. Now zhope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we await for it with patience.
    26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For bwe do not know what to pray for as we ought, but cthe Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And dhe who searches hearts knows what is ethe mind of the Spirit, because7 the Spirit fintercedes for the saints gaccording to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together hfor good,8 for ithose who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he jforeknew he also kpredestined lto be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be mthe firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also njustified, and those whom he justified he also oglorified.
    God’s Everlasting Love

    31 What then shall we say to these things? pIf God is for us, who can be9 against us? 32 qHe who did not spare his own Son but rgave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? sIt is God who justifies. 34 tWho is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—uwho is at the right hand of God, vwho indeed is interceding for us.10 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
    w“For your sake xwe are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
    37 No, in all these things we are more than yconquerors through zhim who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Leave a Reply