Exile and Repentance, Part 16 (Acts 2, Part 2)

Arch_of_Titus_Menorah“Repent”

(Act 2:38-39 ESV)  38 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.  39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

To no one’s surprise, the solution is to repent. The Prophets had been preaching repentance for 1,000 years! Of course, Peter preaches repentance! The question is what does repentance require?

Well, what sin was the audience charged with? Rejection of Jesus as Messiah and LORD. How would they repent of that rejection? By accepting Jesus as Messiah and LORD. Faith.

In this passage, “repent” means “have faith in Jesus as the Messiah and LORD.” Every word of Peter’s sermon points to this claim.

This makes a lot of sense. If this is not so, then Peter did not require faith in Jesus as a condition to salvation. In fact, traditional Church of Christ preaching treats Acts 2:38 as an incomplete, insufficient formula for salvation. We must add to it “hear,” “believe,” and “confess,” as though Peter’s audience was supposed to have learned Rom 10:9-11 from (what?) a correspondence course?

But if we were just to read the language in context, the error from which they were to turn back was a lack  of faith that Jesus is the Messiah and LORD. And if we accept Jesus as King and LORD, we’ve also submitted to him and so we’ve repented from our sins. And if we’ve submitted to baptism in the name of Jesus Messiah for forgiveness, we’ve not only repented of sins, but we’ve also confessed our faith in Jesus.

And if we expect to receive forgiveness of sins from Jesus because Joel promised,                   “[E]veryone who calls upon the name of the LORD [YHWH] shall be saved,” then we’ve confessed Jesus as Lord (Rom 10:9!) as well as Messiah.

Baptism

Baptism at this point in history was new, especially to Jews who’d traveled there as pilgrims and may have had very little or no knowledge of John the Baptist’s work in Judea.

Ritual washing was required to enter the Temple, and we should understand that Jesus replaced the Temple with himself and the church — but Peter did not preach this lesson.

Ritual washing was also likely required of proselyte conversions, and if so, then to a Jew, submitting to baptism was to admit being outside of God’s family and having to re-enter. It was an act of great contrition — and exactly the opposite of claiming salvation as a descendant of Abraham. Rather, it was claiming salvation by faith in Jesus as Messiah and LORD — as a matter of grace, not entitlement — an individual decision that most of Israel would decline to make.

Most Jews ultimately refused to accept Jesus as Messiah and preferred to find “salvation” in a military uprising against Rome. And they suffered the fate prophesied in Deu 30 and 32. Only those who submitted to God in humility and who accepted Jesus as Messiah received the blessing of the Spirit.

Gift of the Holy Spirit

Peter’s promise that those baptized would receive the “gift of the Holy Spirit” is parallel  with —

(Act 2:33 ESV)  33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 

That is, the “gift of the Holy Spirit” is the “promise of the Holy Spirit,” which is the Spirit outpoured as promised by the Prophets.

(Tit 3:4-7 ESV)  4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,  5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,  6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,  7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. “

For the forgiveness of sins

Acts 2:38 is the first explicit mention of forgiveness of sins by Peter, but it’s obviously an interpretation of Joel 2:31, quoted earlier by Peter —

(Act 2:21 ESV)  21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ 

Moreover, to devout Jews, the promise of forgiveness of sins was closely tied to repentance as well receipt of the Spirit. For example,

(Psa 32:1-5 ESV)  Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.  3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah  5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah 

(Jer 31:33-34 ESV) 33 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

(Jer 36:2-3 ESV) 2 “Take a scroll and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel and Judah and all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah until today.  3 It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the disaster that I intend to do to them, so that every one may turn from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.” 

Peter’s audience knew that the path to forgiveness, to receipt of the Spirit, and to entry into the Kingdom was repentance, but repentance from what?

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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.
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35 Responses to Exile and Repentance, Part 16 (Acts 2, Part 2)

  1. Price says:

    Yep… Nothing of value proceeds faith…Every imperfect attempt at obedience follows faith.. Glad God considers faith and not works..

    I’m glad you touched on the Jews present understanding of water immersion.. The text of Acts doesn’t have anybody asking what in the world is water immersion… Nobody seems at all surprised at the instruction by Peter to be immersed after repenting… It had been, as you mentioned, a tradition and instruction in the law for a thousand years or so… It’s not a new “Christian” thing… It’s a continuation of Jewish heritage and Law. The only thing new seems to be a promise of a personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit.. That was new… and that was being demonstrated in power at Pentecost.. With all the “stuff” going on.. tongues of fire, sound out of the blue that resembled a tornado or something, common men speaking in all kinds of different languages…. I’m not sure I would have wanted to be the first on the turnip truck.. I might have waited until Peter’s second message in Acts 3.. 🙂

  2. rich constant says:

    Absolutely price thanks JAy
    🙂

  3. rich constant says:

    And with that grace through faith we become so clean… I mean so really clean… That the Spirit of God in Christ dwells inside of us.
    When you think about all the trouble this GOD had with this creation. What he did to his son on the tree for us.
    That speaks about a lot of love to reciprocate for us.
    Just thought I’d add that to think about.

  4. rich constant says:

    Here’s a little humor now that you guys understand the curse a little better.
    I’m still a little bit of a knucklehead.
    J if you want to take this off hahaha it’s okay with me.
    Before the creation before the Trinity had names.
    I’m wondering how the ONE that got the short straw Felt, when HE saw the name Messiah written on it.

  5. Monty says:

    Jay said,

    “It was an act of great contrition — and exactly the opposite of claiming salvation as a descendant of Abraham. Rather, it was claiming salvation by faith in Jesus as Messiah and LORD — as a matter of grace, not entitlement — an individual decision that most of Israel would decline to make.”

    That’s a great line Jay. One that I’m sure will flow over the heads of some.

    Baptism – It was asking(acknowledging) Jesus-to be your Messiah and Lord- to save you, was it not? “Calling on the name of the Lord”- to save, not because you already are saved, but because you desperately desire to be in your Lord’s good graces. No need to call on Him though if you’re already saved. You’ve done that. However, It’s what Paul was commanded to do later on in Acts, in being baptized. For sure he recognized Jesus was the Messiah the three days he fasted and prayed( a sign of repentance) waiting on Ananias, but there was something more he needed to do. Not to add to Jesus, but a commitment to Jesus as Lord and an appeal. What was it? Oh yeh, be baptized, calling on HIs name. Nothing changed from Pentecost to Paul and nothing has changed from Paul till now. How do we instruct people to call on the name of the Lord today? Believe on Jesus(repent of unbelief in him) and be baptized- appealing to Him to save(forgive your sins). It’s a package deal. No need calling on His name, if you aren’t willing to repent(“accept Him as Lord” and if you aren’t willing for Him to be Messiah(Lord- “repent”) then don’t bother appealing to HIs salvation in the act of baptism. Most Jews on Pentecost as you say Jay didn’t call on Jesus as Messiah to save them. They didn’t receive the words of Peter, but “they that gladly received his words were baptized.” Baptism -calling on the name of Jesus as Messiah(Savior) to save is the line of demarcation in the NT. Not so today. Most see baptism, not as a “matter of grace” but as a work of obedience post calling on HIs name and in doing so make baptism into nothing more than a symbolic gesture of something that took place at some point in the past. Sort of like getting married and exchanging rings while on your honeymoon.

    If we take “calling on the name of the Lord” away from the act of baptism then we are left with adding something(baptism) to faith in Jesus in order to save us. Which of course is wrong. However, if we restore “calling on the name of Jesus” to save us in baptism, then it is not something tacked on. But an act of repentance expressed(belief) and an appeal for the Lord you are submitting to- to save and forgive your sin.

  6. Price says:

    Monty.. good point.. However, there really is no way to connect “calling on the name of the Lord” with being immersed in water… except that we desperately want to.

  7. Dwight says:

    I’m not sure Monty was connecting “calling on the name” with baptism, but rather salvation, if I understand him, just as baptism isn’t connected with faith, but it is with salvation. We might argue, when did those in Acts 2 call on his name? When they asked what must they do to be saved? They understood that they were insufficient and they needed Jesus. We strangley want all of these things to be points in salvation and yet the road to salvation is more fluid than that. Baptism isn’t THE point of salvation, but rather a bonding moment at which one is in Christ…the savior in whom we are saved. We are still in the effort to be saved after that point.

  8. Price says:

    Perhaps I misunderstood Monty’s post.. my bad… I figure the folks at Pentecost were saved when Paul said they were… by faith.. they moment they turned by faith toward Jesus… but what do I know..

  9. Dwight says:

    Was Paul at Pentacost? If so he was persecuting saints. Peter was there and he argued, “repent and be baptized and recieve the gift of the Holy Spirit” to thier question of “what must we do to be saved.” The question and the answer never changes.
    Paul does say, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” in Romans, but then again he is talking to saints who have been saved, after having been baptized (Rom.6:3 “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?”) in thier faith due to the grace of God after having called on His name in repentance.
    That is really all I know.

  10. Price says:

    Dwight.. I doubt the means of salvation changed from Pentecost to Rome… and I doubt you think that either… Regardless of who he is talking to, and whether or not they’re saved has nothing to do with the equation… salvation is a matter of God’s grace.. and we receive it by faith…pretty simple.. Real faith leads to obedience.. imperfect as it may be.. but we aren’t judged on a curve of how good we are.. It’s faith that accepts the grace that is offered…It is what he said it is.. Lot’s of symbolism in baptism… I believe that Rom 6 is written in it’s entirely to answer the question he asks at the first part of that chapter… We all know we didn’t physically get murdered, nor were we actually buried in the ground and walked out of the grave… Yet, we can “identify” with what He did on our behalf and that should cause us to be walk differently than before.. The Ancients used to build stone altars to remember certain events…I would imagine for most of us, our baptism was one of those benchmark moments.. I can’t imagine that you would disagree with that. The only confidence I have is in the Father, Son and HS.. Beyond that.. nothing else matters..

  11. Dwight says:

    I agree, the means of salvation didn’t change from Pentacost to Rome, so why go backwards from Rome to Pentacost, instead of going from Pentacost (where it all began) to Rome.
    Again, the question was asked “:what must we do to be saved” and Peter responded “repent and be baptized.” This is straightforward, unless Peter was lying to them or maybe playing a joke, since they were already saved and didn’t know it and were pleading for a way to be saved. Many of them were baptized then, not knowing they were saved before it and telling others to do the same for the same reason. A very cruel joke and a lie.
    Again even in Rom. 6:3 “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” This matches with what Peter told them to do.
    And it doesn’t change where Paul says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,”, because salvation did come by grace and faith is needed for salvation as remarked in Mark 16:16. Faith is a work so it must be symbolic as well.

  12. rich constant says:

    what’s that Scripture in Romans let me see… let me see…. let me see… the gospel is the power of God unto salvation for all those that believe to the Jew first and also to the Greek something like that.
    whatever you do don’t read Romans 10 and when they got the spirit because when you get the spirit my friends God knows you and you’re clean your sins are forgiven.
    if you look at 1st Peter 3 21 I think you’ll find out that the washing of baptism also cleans your conscience kinda like so many dirty clothes it becomes a confirmation because the Spirit says that it works all of the things all of the blessings that God is giving us through the sOn

  13. rich constant says:

    which brings up another little goodie at this point Romance 330 he will justify the circumcision through face and the uncircumcision by faith that kind of puts a little bit more meat into the perspective.
    you look at the Jews on the day of Pentecost you look at Acts10 you see different perspective through faith and by faith takes on a little bit more meaning doesn’t

  14. rich constant says:

    also look at Romans chapter 4 verse 6through 12 what are the blessings spoken Of look at the difference also of how it work for him before he was circumcised so that he could be the fathers example to those to those who follow after him in the steps of faith. That would be the circumsized

  15. rich constant says:

    Ps the book of Acts is an inspired narrative of the history when that is being read by the people they knew what it meant we don’t we presume.
    that’s what you call A Hermeneutic

  16. rich constant says:

    To be sure baptism is a normal thing to do.
    Although to say that baptism is essential to salvation because that’s where your sins are forgiven is Miss representing the hermeneutic of the scripture.
    Baptism has so many metaphors it becomes impossible to say that it is just for one metaphor.
    If we read about what God is accomplishing through the death of his son the blood of His Son and the resurrection of his son through faith by grace.
    Then baptism takes on all of the extra blessings that I see written down as a confirmation for me through the word of God and I can live with faith written by His apostles

  17. Price says:

    @ Dwight… Faith is not a work… Paul says we are saved by grace through faith, not by works.. He, under inspiration, separates the two… Not sure why it would matter which way we look forward to Rome or back to Pentecost.. Doesn’t change the equation in my opinion… When Peter said repent that is an indication that they needed to move away from the disbelief that caused them to murder Jesus and believe in Him.. He had already said just before in vs 21 that all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.. but, really my biggest reason for not equating baptism with salvation but rather an act of significant obedience is Acts 3.. Peter has another sermon to the folks…and this time he once again mentions Jesus… faith in him… and either lost his sermon notes or totally forgot to mention water… and yet it says that 2,000 were added to the church… Odd, at least to me, to leave out the baptism part if it was essential to salvation.. Faith in Jesus is always mentioned … but once again, I really don’t care what somebody believes about it.. It’s their own conscience and no one I know teaches that baptism isn’t necessary.. they may differ in what it “does” or what it represents.. but we all believe that it is a command to be followed…

  18. Dwight says:

    Ahem…using the wonders of Bible Gate Way when I plug in “faith…works” I get:
    Gal.5:6 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.”
    I Thess.1:3 “remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,”
    II Thess.1:11 “Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,”
    Faith is indeed a work in that man must produce it, much like love and hope, towards God and man must build it. Faith is not the same as works, but is a work.
    When we see baptism as a work, we miss something important…it is never called a work, while faith is. Baptism, in fact, is almost anti-work. True you must do it, but all that takes is submission and placing yourself into the hands of another to be buried into Christ, just like Jesus was.

  19. Monty says:

    Price,

    You cannot rule out something as being significant because it’s not mentioned (again)one page later in a book, when it’s mentioned on the page before . That is to nitpick the scripture with an agenda. Do you truly believe that none of those 2000 new believers were not baptized into Christ because Peter (as you say)”failed to mention it?” “He lost his notes?” Did Peter really fail to instruct the crowd on what to do because Luke didn’t record they were all baptized in that one summation verse? Does Luke really need to give an Acts 2:38 verse every time he mentions people getting saved(believing) for you or anyone else to understand that every time people believe on Jesus as Lord in scripture they get baptized. There’s not a doubt in my mind all, EVERY LAST ONE, of those 2000 were dunked into Christ. If you believe otherwise then you are deluding yourself. Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized. Those 3000 or so on Pentecost were all baptized believers. But on the contrary you perhaps feel like none of those 2000 were baptized? Really? No you don’t believe that, you know that they were even when it’s not specifically mentioned. All believers in the NT were immediately(as soon as water was available or the instruction given) baptized. You really have to ask yourself why it was that way. And you would have to honestly agree that in most churches today, it’s not taught that way. What changed? In the scriptures there was no such thing as unbaptized believers except from the time they were taught til they could be dipped, which was generally ASAP. Not so today(they are taught they can go months). Would Peter or Paul agree with your view of what they did and commanded? You wouldn’t command or instruct immediate baptism, would you? If so, then why?

    In Acts 16:14 “One of those listening was a woman…named Lydia….she was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.” OK, what was Paul’s message? It was Jesus is Messiah..right? (even though Paul must of “forgot his notes”)..because Luke doesn’t record him even mentioning anything about Jesus…”strange”. All we are left with to discern what Paul’s message was to Lydia is her response which is given. 15) “When she and the members of her household were baptized. ” What was Paul’s message? We don’t have to park our brains at the door to know he preached Christ crucified and we also shouldn’t park our brains at the door to understand the response to the message of Christ crucified is baptism. Just like in the Ethiopian Eunuch’s case, Philip “announced the glad tidings of Jesus to him” what happens next is a result of what else Philip included in the “glad tidings about Jesus.” When they came to a certain water the Eunuch said, “Behold, Water! (try to downplay that) What hinders my being immersed? after baptism he goes on his way rejoicing.

    Price, I deduce from your comments that if you had preached the good tidings about Jesus to the Eunuch he wouldn’t have gotten excited to see water enough to baptized in out in the desert because you wouldn’t have included it as the faith response to your good news story about the Christ. Sad. And I could suppose(maybe I’m wrong, feel free to correct me) that if you had been Paul teaching Lydia and her household they wouldn’t have received Christ by being baptized that day, because baptism into Christ for remission of sins would have gone against you ideas about the salvation experience. Again, sad, how your version differs from scripture.

  20. Dwight says:

    What we see as an omission in regards to baptism for salvation in Romans (although it is in Rom.6) can be played like wise in regards to faith in Acts 2. Faith is not mentioned at all in regards to there salvation. We assume it is there, but if we are going to play seperatist, then may be not…maybe it wasn’t needed according to Peter’s command of “repent and be baptized”.
    What many, many do, is divide the scriptures and pit scripture against scripture based on the concept of faith versus works.
    In the scripture faith is not pitted against works,but they are argued for as having different characteristics. And while works do not save, we are reminded that faith without works is dead and cannot save alone.So neither one is complete without the other. But what we have in the middle of this faith vs works debate is the inclusion of baptism as a work and the exclusion of faith as a work, when the scriptures never argue this, but rather the opposite. Baptism is complete submission/surrender to another (the baptizer and God) and is an example of great faith.

  21. Price says:

    Dwight.. Rom 6 does not indicate that faith is required for salvation…. not at all… And Acts 2 we have Peter saying that all who call upon on the name of the Lord will be saved… and to repent… sounds like strong indications of faith to me… Where does it say that faith alone cannot save ?

  22. Price says:

    Monty.. your commented tickled me… the activities in Acts aren’t separated by a page…time brother… time.. Acts 3 is a different group of people… Peter mentions faith in Jesus and repentance.. the rest is your assumptions.. Of course I can “guess” as to what is important by whether it’s mentioned or not… Jesus, Faith, Repentance …are the highlights of that sermon.. Not one mention of water immersion.. not a word… And yet Luke records the people as responding… Yep.. to Jesus.. to the idea of belief in Him and the necessity to turn from their present ways… Now, were they baptized ?? My assumption is that they were.. all the rest were.. but the Message wasn’t about water saving anybody.. It was about Jesus saving them… I don’t disregard that baptism is commanded.. I just remain totally against the idea of it being salvific… We are saved by Grace through faith.. I feel that some hang on to the idea of water being salfivic like some of the Jews held on to circumcision.. Both were commands… Both were part of the agreement to the covenant… neither saved anybody.. God recognized Abrams faith before circumcision and He will recognize your faith prior to coming up out of the water.. Is it special and awesome and should it be taught.. Absolutely !! Does it save.. Not in my opinion it doesn’t.. God saves us…and we accept his free offer through faith..

  23. Dwight says:

    Price, so your argument is that since Acts 2 does talk of “repentance and baptism” for salvation and Rom. 6 doesn’t mention faith, then faith is not needed. An interesting argument. I will have to think on this. But then again you say it sounds like faith to you in Acts 2 “because they called upon the name of the Lord to be saved”, and yet Peter never mentions faith, but rather “repentance and baptism”, so your argument would be that if it looks like faith, then it must be faith, so if baptism looks like it is down out of faith, then faith must be there.
    In reality there calling on the name of the Lord was a question about how to be saved, to which Peter responded with “repentance and baptism.” He didn’t stutter or say, “what do you mean, you are already saved.” Again Peter either lied to them or was playing a joke on them.
    Everytime it mentions repentance and baptism in regards to salvation, it means that faith alone cannot save. The only place it says, “faith only” in scriptures is in James ” You see then that a man is justified by works, and NOT by faith only.”

  24. Dwight says:

    Every sermon is about Jesus. Jesus saves. So if Jesus saves, then faith doesn’t? Wait you say faith alone saves…so Jesus doesn’t? Or maybe Jesus (alone) and faith (alone) saves…together? Or in this thread if faith saves, then baptism doesn’t. The scriptures never talks like this. To include one, doesn’t lead to an exclusion of the other. IF one is mentioned, then that doesn’t mean that the other, that happened elsewhere wasn’t vital. We do not see God the Father anywhere in the gospels, but we do hear him when Jesus was baptized, but we do see Jesus, so does this mean that God the father wasn’t present when Jesus wasn’t being baptized. We need to stop dividing scriptures and pitting them against each other. All of salvation is a path in Christ.
    Circumcison and baptism are not the same and are never compared against one another. The scriptures never says “circumcison saves”, but it does say “baptism saves”…Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:4-11; I Peter 3:20, but it never argues that baptism saves alone as it never argues that faith saves alone, as you seem to argue.

  25. Price says:

    Dwight.. I think I may have not communicated well enough… No, I’m not saying that Acts 2 doesn’t mention faith.. I believe what Peter is saying about “calling on the name of the Lord” (which is what he tells Cornelius was the message of all the prophets) and
    “repent” are outward evidences of a change in heart that is indicative of faith.. It’s just not called “faith” by Peter in Chapter 2. He is consistent in his address to the people in Acts 3 and specifically mentions faith in His name (Jesus) in verse 16… He doesn’t mention water immersion in his message at all… Romans 6 is written to address the question Paul asks in verse 1.. He uses the symbolic association of our baptism to what Jesus did on the cross.. not as a matter of how we are to save ourselves but how we are able to identify and remember.. so that we will walk differently than before… Regarding Mark 16:16… I think it’s precarious at best to base any theology on an unknown author’s work.. especially since it also says what it does about how to identify a believer with handling snakes, raising the dead, etc..Plus it is FAITH that is the primary topic.. not immersion.. . Rom 6 I discussed above and I Peter 3:20 .. nobody ever grasps the pause in Peter’s message where he explains to the listeners what he means by “now saves us.” He says it’s NOT the removal of dirt from the flesh…(and nobody was thinking he was referring to taking a bath.. that’s silly).. He’s referring to the removal of sin.. He specifically says it doesn’t do that.. but that it is a pledge for or, out of a good conscience.. As in responding publicly to the command and declaring one’s faith publicly… The only passage that one is left with is 2:38… and if Faith proceeds anything of value then faith is the key… We’re back at “eis”… and the Bible is far more specific about faith and believe as being salvific.. John 3:16 comes to mind.. but I have about 50 verses that speak specifically and only to faith as being salvific… I guess we find what we’re looking for.. No faith doesn’t save… God saves.. it’s Grace.. we don’t do anything to deserve it.. we do accept it by faith.. and Paul adds.. not by works… Is Paul wrong.. ? Is faith really a work although he specifically separates the two ? I guess we each get to decide.. I have for myself… but what do I know.

  26. Dwight says:

    Price, I was playing a double standard, pharasaical scenario when I commented, “so your argument is that since Acts 2 does talk of “repentance and baptism” for salvation and Rom. 6 doesn’t mention faith, then faith is not needed.” You argue against baptism because of no mention of it in Eph.2:8. but will not argue against faith even when not mentioned by Peter directly as a way to be saved. Then you jump to Acts 3 in the search for the word “faith”, so as to ignore what Peter said in regards to their question about how to be saved in Acts 2. The context never argues for faith and salvation, as the faith in question is directed as what healed the lame man.
    But let’s play your game: In acts 3 neither baptism, nor salvation are mentioned, but faith and this faith is directed to the act of healing, but since neither faith or baptism are mentioned, which are mentioned in Acts 2, then faith cannot save, it can only heal. This is what happens when we isolate scriptures from one another. Scripture says faith is a work I Thess.1:3, II Thess.1:11, so it must be an inward one, instead of the external works that God says cannot save, but still a work.

  27. Price says:

    @ Dwight… The beginning of Acts 4 is just the continuation of the story from Acts 3 and it says that 5,000 that heard the word BELIEVED… Now, to me, and perhaps only to me, that it is quite clear that they were saved…. Were they baptized.. Sure.. It is after all a command. I do not discount baptism as the proper response of a sincere faith..I just don’t believe that the act of being immersed saves somebody.. I believe that salvation is a gift that is received by faith.. But, since a sincere person would be baptized, I don’t see that it’s that big a deal.. some would argue that point forever… Not me.. I’m satisfied with Paul’s clear and unambiguous statements that we are saved by grace through faith… I see no reason that God would drop somebody on their heads during the time that they came to believe and before they were able to be baptized. Some of us forget that not everybody sits in church every Sunday learning about baptism.. Some folks need to be taught about what it is and the importance of it as a proper public response. Would God still damn to hell those that were being taught ? Doubtful from my perspective.. But to each their own.

  28. Price says:

    Regarding I Thess 1:3… Is that passage saying that faith is a work or is Paul mentioning their work that was motivated by faith ? Hard for me to tell… Same with the II Thess 1:11 passage.. It seems that it might be saying that the work was “of faith”.. not that faith is a work… Not a Greek expert… but It would be odd for Paul to say saved by grace through faith.. not by works… if faith was a work.. Not arguing for this understanding because I just don’t know..

  29. Dwight says:

    But as long as we are playing the game of discluding concepts using other scripture that we deem to have more weight I am going to pull forth I Cor.13:13 “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” and Mark 12
    I mean if we can totally ignore Acts 2:28 due to Eph,3 where it says faith saves and because the scripture says “works do not save”, even though baptism is never called a work, but faith is, then we can go here without impunity.So here it is, since I cor. 13 says love is greater than even faith and since the first and second commandment is love God and then love your neighbor,
    then faith is not really needed. All you need is love, which is greater than faith. Love should therefore be sufficient towards God and/or our neighbor.

  30. Price says:

    Of those three… yes Love is more important.. Consistent with the context… He doesn’t compare love to faith..

  31. Price says:

    Oops.. what am I saying… Yes, he does compare faith to love… but as he speaks in context that a man of faith can be mean spirited or self righteous, etc… Love modifies faith… it modifies the gifts of the Spirit… It modifies everything.. It is the primary motivation behind sending Jesus.. John 3:16.. God IS Love.. Sorry..

  32. Dwight says:

    Price, here is a case where all paliminos are multicolored horses, but not all multicolored horses are Paliminos. Things that require effort, like faith, will save us, but effort itself does not save. The scriptures argue that faith is a work, because faith requires effort from man. We can increase in it or decrease in it, but we must produce it in reponse to Jesus. We are called on to build it.
    On the other hand the quality of work that we often ascribe to baptism is never ascribed by the scriptures. Baptism itself depends on us allowing another to take control and doing the action of putting us in and taking us out. The most we do is show up and allow it to happen to us. It is an “act” of sacrifice and ressurection. In the same way Jesus was buried by man and raised by God, are we buried by man (baptized) into Christ and raised by God (in the spirit).
    This is the argument of Rom.6 “been united together in the likeness of His death” and “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.” or over us.

  33. Monty says:

    Price said, ” Peter has another sermon to the folks…and this time he once again mentions Jesus… faith in him… and either lost his sermon notes or totally forgot to mention water… and yet it says that 2,000 were added to the church… Odd, at least to me, to leave out the baptism part if it was essential to salvation..”

    I pointed out that in Acts 8 ( the conversion of the Eunuch) there is no mention by Luke that Philip mentioned baptism in the good tidings(as in Price’s evaluation of Acts 4 and the 2000) about Jesus but obviously it was taught. How do we know it was? Wishful thinking on my part? No, because he desires baptism before he even mentions to Philip that he has believed the good tidings(strange huh Price?). Obviously in the Eunuch’s mind he believed on Jesus and the desiring of baptism as was taught would make his faith complete. His eagerness to be baptized is palpable when you read this story. If baptism wasn’t commanded and only belief was, he would have rejoiced on his way and baptism would have taken a back seat to his believing Jesus in his heart. But rejoicing is mentioned post baptism. No doubt baptism is always a happy occasion for a believer, even to those who are taught it has nothing to do with faith in Christ and do it months later, it’s just that scripture generally makes baptism the culmination of believing in the conversion accounts in Acts.

    Luke also doesn’t mention Paul preaching Jesus and faith in Jesus to Lydia in Acts 16, look it up and see, and yet we know how silly it would be to assume he didn’t, even though all we are told is Lydia and her household were baptized. It’s just plain silly to try to make arguments from what Luke omitted in the different examples that amount to a hill of beans. As far as my statement goes about Luke not feeling the need to be redundant one chapter later, that comment is valid. Sure those occurrences were separated by a timeline in real time, however, to the most excellent Theophilus, it was just a page(or an unrolling of a scroll another inch or two away.:-) and to everyone who owns a Bible, one turn of a page.

    Being baptized is placing your faith in Jesus. It is not an extra tack on something. It is believing that Jesus will remit your sins when you take the plunge. You outwardly acknowledge His Lordship. I would argue that unless providentially hindered(see the Eunuch story), you haven’t placed faith in Jesus unless you are baptized. There were many on Pentecost who didn’t believe Peter’s cry to turn or burn,(by believing on Jesus) but all, and again I say all (actually scripture says that in Acts 2), who believed were baptized. That simply wouldn’t have happened if all Peter had said that day was believe only and gave a Baptist alter call. No, all who believed on Jesus as Messiah in Acts 2 understood baptism was toward the remission of their sins, and not in celebration of already receiving it. “All” who believed were immersed into Christ; to walk in newness of life. No celebration until baptism. No new creature until “in Christ.” Even most movies today about Jesus and the gospel get that part right. They celebrate post baptism and not pre-baptism.. Blessings!

  34. Dwight says:

    Price, you have inspired me somewhat, to write an article called: Work Out Your Own Salvation. I think this is where this is headed. We must put effort into our salvation, be it before, during and after, as we still must do what God wants us to do. But putting effort in faith, hope, love, etc. into Jesus isn’t the same as putting out effort. Phil.2:12 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;” The Jews did things for the sake of doing them thinking that doing them was its own reward, but God wanted thier faith in him, God wanted obedience because of the right motivation that required an inward effort and not just an external one. We often think that going to assembly will get us somewhere, but many of us don’t know why we are going in the first place and what it is supposed to do. And once we escape the building we forget that God is still with us and that we are supposed to be with God, but at least we have done the minimum and the requirements. God doesn’t just want our effort. God wants us in our effort.

  35. Price says:

    @ Dwight.. Perhaps a person with true faith would be allowing God to work through them.. Isn’t it God who is working in us and through to accomplish what He wishes ? That is if we allow Him and don’t resist or frustrate the HS…

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