Born of Water

A book length series of essays–in 15 chapters with discussion questions–on whether baptism is essential. First essays in favor of its being essential, and then essays on against its being essential. And then I offer what I think is the answer. Born of Water 050116.

135 Responses to Born of Water

  1. Jay,
    I certainly haven't reviewed all of this material, I'm working my way thru it. And ultimately, I'm going to leave the decision about immersion to God.

    But here is an interesting analogy — which may or may not be completely applicable.

    When Gerald R Ford granted a pardon to Richard M Nixon, the pardon did not take effect until Richard M Nixon signed the pardon. So, without Nixon's signature, the pardon had no effect. Was Nixon's act of signing the pardon, an act which warranted the pardon? No, of course not. But the signature was necessary to indicate Nixon's acceptance of the conditions of the pardon.

    I think there is an interesting parallel between Nixon signing the pardon, and immersion.

    I will always teach immersion, because Jesus did. And ultimately, there is no real reason to object to immersion. But nor do I feel compelled to condemn people. It's a great relief to let God be the judge of such matters.

  2. Jay Guin says:

    David,

    I think a better analogy would be to ask whether Nixon would have been pardoned had he misspelled his name when he signed the form or if he’d accidentally signed the wrong blank.

    As the signature requirement comes from the requirement that the person being pardoned must accept the pardon, unquestionably the courts would overlook such an error, as his intent would be obvious despite the mistake.

    Just so, an error in baptism where the intent to accept God’s grace and to yield to Jesus’ Lordship is evident hardly voids the baptism. God judges the heart.

    Baptism is not a test; it’s a gift that God wants us to have.

    Jay

  3. Allen Stout says:

    We do know that whatever God decides on judgement day will be right and holy. How can you say that a man, if he is mistaken in the necessity of baptism for the forgiveness of sins and decides by ignorance that the blood of Jesus will save him anyway, how will he be saved without coming into contact with the blood? If that is the case, then man doesn't need the blood at all. All spiritual blessings are in Christ.
    We are baptised into Christ. Salvation is a spiritual blessing.
    al

  4. Jay Guin says:

    Allen,

    In all seriousness, have you read Born of Water? It answers your questions in detail.

  5. Summer says:

    I know this is not totally on the subject, but are you sure that it's a minority of CoCers that believe what you quoted on the first page? That is, that a church must have the correct "marks" in order for its members to be saved? In my experience, I have found it's probably at least half. Of course, I've always lived in a pretty conservative area. Just seems kind of an optimistic estimate to me.
    I also noticed your quote: Some will note that I’ve skipped Mark 16:16: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” As just about every translation made after the King James Version notes, this verse does not appear in the oldest manuscripts of Mark, and so it was evidently added by a scribe some time after Mark wrote it."
    I have never heard this before. What does this mean, exactly, about the legitimacy of the verse?

  6. Jay Guin says:

    Hi, Summer.

    Most in the CoC believe in the "marks" teaching, or at least most congregations are led by preachers who believe this. But what I said is a minority position is that the congregation "must have the correct position on all key doctrines for its members to be saved." The idea that we have to get everything right is growing but still a minority viewpoint.

    Regarding Mark 16:16, the Wikipedia has a good article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_16

    A great introduction to textual criticism is Neil R. Lightfoot's How We Got the Bible. http://www.amazon.com/How-Got-Bible-Neil-Lightfoo

    There is very serious doubt regarding whether this verse was in the manuscript Mark wrote because the oldest manuscripts we have omit it. There are arguments both ways, but it seems likely that the verses were added by a scribe later. The verses on snake handling and drinking poison fit in the same category, so I'm quite okay with the conclusion!

  7. Vicki says:

    Hi Jay,
    I’ve only read the first few pages of your book so far. But your response to David P Himes (on Nixon’s pardon) sums it up for me.
    Thanks,
    Vicki

  8. josh keele says:

    I have a lot to say, but I will refrain because I don’t think the page can hold it all. Besides, you already know my view on baptism from the little debate between Mark and myself. But I do want to respond to the argument you set forth that a certain minister was asked “Would you be disappointed if, when you get to heaven, you find the Baptists there?” and that he answered “Absolutely, I’d be disappointed! It would mean that God had broken his promises!” This answer you censure, saying that “Job teaches us that we have no business judging God, especially for his extraordinary generosity.”

    Now, I would ask a similar question, or series of questions:

    What if I got to heaven and the very Catholics who had sent my brothers and sisters in Christ in the first few centuries of our era into the coliseum to be eaten by lions were there in heaven? And I don’t mean that they were there in heaven because they had been remorseful and converted in bitter tears and sackcloth and ashes and all that, but because God (as you so eloquently put it) had chosen to show them “extraordinary generosity.” What would I think? and what would it imply about God?

    Or again, what if I found the Beast and the False Prophet in heaven? By your argument, I couldn’t judge God. Even though Revelation 14:11 promises that they go to hell “and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever” and then verse 12 referring to this, that is referring to the expectation that the Beast and False Prophet go to hell, says “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” The patience of the saints is that we expect the Beast and False Prophet to go to hell? Apparently that is part of it. Why? Because we expect God to keep his promises. We don’t expect that when we get to heaven we will find Satan there sitting on God’s throne or that God will allow him to jab us with his pitchfork! Nor do we expect to find that everyone has made it to heaven. Not after all that business about “strait is the gate and narrow is the way and few there be that find it.” Not after Paul was thrice beaten with rods, once was stoned, thrice suffered shipwreck, and a night and a day was in the deep! After Isaiah was sawn asunder and John was thrown off the temple to splatter in the street just because he was a Christian.

    In other words, if God’s plan is to put us through things like this, just to at the end say “Surprise! I decided to save everyone! Aren’t I so great?” then doesn’t that strike you as a tad sadistic? Can the foolishness about judging God or putting God in a box. When we expect the Almighty who saith of himself that he cannot lie, to abide by his own word, we are neither judging him nor putting him in a box, but rather are having FAITH in him. And isn’t faith of great important to you, Jay?

    Why, in other words, would God instruct us to “contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” if people who spit on that faith and defecate on the Bible are going to be in heaven? Or if those who trample the Son of God under foot their whole lives make it to heaven, why is it a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God? How can God say, as in Malachi, “I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen” if he allows all the heathen into heaven in their heathenism? And why, if the words of Hymenaeus and Philetus eat as a canker, do they make it to heaven?

    I dare assert that the All-Wise and Almighty God has a weakness, but only because Paul himself has first asserted it int he Scriptures, when he says in 1 Corinthians 1:25 that “the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” What is God’s foolishness and what his weakness? Both are simply that he is Perfect in Honesty and cannot lie. God will not contradict the Scriptures. As Jesus interjects in John 10:35 “the scripture cannot be broken.”

    Now I will close my brief comment on this matter with this. Jesus says “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” He says not “Sanctify them with wishful fancies and old wives tales.” We can’t stake our eternal souls on the wishes and wouldn’t-it-be-nices of dreamers, but only on the word of God.

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  11. Hal says:

    Josh,
    Are you making implications in your arguments that the Catholics who murdered Christians, The Beast, and The False Prophet…all had Faith in Jesus which would put them in like standing to those in the Baptist Church (or other chruches) who live in Faith, but have not been baptised or were baptised differently than most in the Chruch of Christ?

  12. David says:

    That was a very good writing on baptism. I think it hit the mark. I agree that the appointed and normal way to salvation is through baptism, but that there are exceptions. Exceptions tend to tie us in knots when we think we have it all down and God is not allowed to do things any other way. I learned a lot about exceptions when studying John 5:13-17 and James 5:13-16. It seems that God sometimes forgives our sins on the basis of someone elses faith rather than our own. The prayers of righteous men for someone elses forgiveness is effective. When I first came to that realization my thoughts were "God can't do that". But yes He can. We must bow before God, not our "correct" doctrine.

  13. Gary Cummings says:

    I do not think that this is a good analogy at all.
    Faith precedes baptism, and we are baptized because we have been saved not the other way around. An analogy would be that of marriage. A young man or woman may say: " I am getting married for love." In the COC mode the man was getting married to receive/give love. In reality, the man or woman (ideally) is getting married because they are already in love.

    The way I understand Acts 2:38, is that we are baptized into Christ because we have repented and our sins have already been forgiven and we have been saved.

    Now I do believe that immersion is the more correct way, but a dying person who requested water baptism after a profession of faith in Christ would be saved without immersion by sprinking or a small pouring of water from a cup. Even then, if I turned my back to get the water, and the person died suddenly before I could pour water on their head: they are still saved. It is faith that saves from first to last, and not any human act. The Baptists are right about this one.
    Gary

    Gary

  14. Gary Cummings says:

    We contact the blood on our heart by faith in Jesus Christ.
    The blood is not in the water.

    Gary

  15. Gary Cummings says:

    The long ending of Mark 16 is spurious and was concocted by some scribe to fill in a blank or to provide the lost ending. Maybe it ended like it should in verse 8. There are at two other endings better than the long ending in the KJV. The traditional long ending means we all have to speak in tongues, drink poison, pick up serpents, and that Jesus came back in another form.

    Forget Mark 16:16, it teaches nothing. Acts 2:38 teaches that we are baptised for our sins have been forgiven, nothing more.

    Gary

  16. Gary Cummings says:

    All judgement belongs to God. Sin and evil will be pardoned only by faith and repentance through the shed blood of Jesus. Not all Catholics participated in the Inquisition. Those who did not and had true saving faith in Jesus, I expect to see in heaven. The same goes for other Christians in similar institutions which committed horrible atrocities? Many German in WW2 were Christians and had nothing to do with the holocaust. Will they be in hell because their church supported Anti-semitism or did not work against the Holocaust? Likewise, the Churches of Christ were basically white racist churches from 1898 to 2002. Were all members damned because their churches supported the Jim Crow laws of the South, belonged to the Klan, or supported Segregation? Very interesting, when the question is turned around.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Exactly Gary,

    Acts 2:38 Repentance brought forgiveness of sins and then they were baptized.

    2 Peter 3:9
    The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

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  25. Patricia Harrod-Wyrosdick says:

    Gary,

    Act 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
    Do you see how the scripture is worded..”Repent and be baptized”. Repentance is connected by “and” showing that something else is in addition to the repentance. You can clearly see that AFTER “Repent and be baptized”…the “remission of sins” follows. It does not come before baptism and it does not come before repentance.
    The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 3:20-21).
    Peter stated in the plainest of terms that “baptism doth also now save us”; although, many today will flatly contradict the apostle by saying that baptism does not save us! In other words, Peter is saying that the salvation of Noah by water foreshadowed or prefigured our salvation through baptism; Noah was saved by water and in a true likeness, or corresponding to that figure, baptism also saves us. When we are baptized “into Christ” (Galatians 3:27), we become new creatures in Christ. “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

    Patricia

  26. Patricia Harrod-Wyro says:

    Gary,

    Act 2:38 "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
    Do you see how the scripture is worded.."Repent and be baptized". Repentance is connected by "and" showing that something else is in addition to the repentance. You can clearly see that AFTER "Repent and be baptized"…the "remission of sins" follows. It does not come before baptism and it does not come before repentance.
    The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (I Peter 3:20-21).
    Peter stated in the plainest of terms that "baptism doth also now save us"; although, many today will flatly contradict the apostle by saying that baptism does not save us! In other words, Peter is saying that the salvation of Noah by water foreshadowed or prefigured our salvation through baptism; Noah was saved by water and in a true likeness, or corresponding to that figure, baptism also saves us. When we are baptized "into Christ" (Galatians 3:27), we become new creatures in Christ. "And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).

    Patricia

  27. Patricia Harrod-Wyro says:

    Hello Gary,
    You said, "Likewise, the Churches of Christ were basically white racist churches from 1898 to 2002. Were all members damned because their churches supported the Jim Crow laws of the South, belonged to the Klan, or supported Segregation? Very interesting, when the question is turned around."

    Would you please tell me where I can find the proof for the comments that you made above. I have been a member of the church for 46 years and I know nothing of the things you mentioned and attributed to the church.
    Thanks,
    Patricia

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  29. Kmmerci2 says:

    Yes. And I didn't see, even though I admit I riffled through quite a bit because I was familiar already with many of the arguments and wanted to see what our brother concluded, where he referenced 1 Peter 3:21 which reads that "There is an antitype which now saved us, baptism (not the removal of filth from the flesh but an answer to a clear conscience toward God)…" And Romans 6:3 and Gal. 3:26 and Acts 20:16. Not to mention John 3:3-5. Clearly we cannot be cavalier about this but make our call and election sure. -Karen M

  30. Kmmerci2 says:

    This is my question as well. This passage does jibe with many others just the same. The KJV translators were under the gun if you will by King James to transelate every word accordingly or else face execution! – Karen M

  31. Kmmerci2 says:

    Paul got bit by a snake and did not die. Acts 28:3-5

  32. Kmmerci2 says:

    Ephesians 4:1-6, "I, Therefore the prisoner ot the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffereing, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." And the Lord's scripture here says it all. -Karen M

  33. Kmmerci2 says:

    Mr. Gary, considering all your replies, how do you explain 1 Peter 3:21? It clearly states that baptism now saves us by giving us a clear conscience toward God. We are buried with him in baptism (Romans 6:3; Gal.3:26-27) The Galatians scripture I just mentioned ties the faith factor in with the baptism factor. They work together. Faith come by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17. The ethiopian eunich was baptized after Philip shared the gospel with him after explaining what Isaiah was talking about which the eunich was reading. Acts 8:29-39. Acts 19:3-5 gives a display of the three baptisms available at that time (1st century) and shows that John's baptism was for repentance only and not effective after Christ died, was buried and raised from the dead. This is when the Christian age (New Testament) came into effect. Then there is the baptism of the Holy Spirit which was given only to the Apostles and then translated to certain disciples of that time and then faded away before Paul's final imprisonment and then there is the baptism for the remission of sins which Peter preached about. Only the water immersion stands to this day and is the one which saves us as I first stated in 1 Peter. Baptism is for the repented believer and for the remission of sins. It puts us into Christ. There is not condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit (our spirit with God's Spirit). Romans 8:1. We all need to read our bibles more don't we? -Karen M

  34. Kmmerci2 says:

    Dear sister Patricia, I fully agree. Well quoted! Amen.

  35. Kmmerci2 says:

    Scripture clearly states in several places that we are not to add, take away or preach anything other than what the Lord has spoken in the pages of our Holy Bible. Careful study, prayer and a willingness to know and accept the Lord's truth will open that narrow gate for us. We must be willing to comply to our Lord's commands which are not burdensome as some suppose but free us from indwelling sin and our slavery to self service. Those who twist scriptures are behaving like our adversary, the devil who tempted Eve by adding one word, "NOT". You shall NOT surely die… Gen.3:4 , when the Lord had clearly said beforehand, "You shall not surely eat of this tree for in the day that you shall eat of it, you shall surely die." Gen.2:17. Satan twists words and meanings all day long. He is a liar and cannot tell the truth. When we get lax about adhering to the Lord's truth, Satan slips in and lures us away. Enter by the narrow gate for wide is the gate which leads to distruction and many go in thereby but narrow is the gate which leads to salvation and very few find it. Mt.7:13-14 and "Many are called but few are chosen." Mt.20:16

  36. Guy says:

    The “Born of Water. pdf” link on page http://oneinjesus.info/books-by-jay-guin/born-of-water/ is broken.

  37. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Guy,

    Thanks! It’s fixed now.

  38. Jay,
    Could you write something on principles for understanding scripture?

    MAKE SENSE?
    https://www.academia.edu/29569298/ELEVEN_PRINCIPLES_FOR_UNDERSTANDING_SCRIPTURE

  39. Bonneebee says:

    MARK 16:16 DOES NOT STAND ALONE
    1 Peter 3:20-21: ” 8 souls saved by water … likewise … baptism doth now save us”

  40. Bonneebee says:

    6 THINGS IN THE BIBLE DIRECTLY LINKED TO SALVATION:
    Do you get to choose any option?
    OR does “obey” = “obey all?”
    ● HEAR the gospel – Romans 10:17*
    ● BELIEVE it ——— John 8:24, Hebrews 11:6**
    ● REPENT of sin —- 2 Corinthians 7:10
    ● CONFESS faith — Romans 10:10
    ● BE BAPTIZED —– Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:16***
    ● STAY FAITHFUL – Revelation 2:10
    .
    *GOSPEL = Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John (what you must believe to be saved)
    **FAITH ALONE is dead & cannot save a man – James 2:14-26
    ***BAPTIZE IN THE BIBLE = “to make fully wet; to dip as into dye; to immerse”
    .
    BUT, IN THE BIBLE, BAPTIZE ONLY MEANS IMMERSE & DID NOT EVER MEAN “SPRINKLE” OR “POUR” UNTIL UNAUTHORIZED CHANGES:
    ● 1300’s – catholic church replaced “faith + immersion = salvation” with “sprinkling or pouring = salvation”
    AND began sprinkling infants who are unable to believe
    ● 1500’s – protestants replaced “faith + baptism = salvation” with “faith alone + nothing = salvation”
    ● 1900’s – evangelicals replaced “faith + baptism = salvation” with “faith + the sinner’s prayer = salvation”
    BUT…
    ● 33 a.d. to the 2nd coming, true christians, true followers of Jesus & the bible, have always practiced,
    “faith + immersion = salvation”
    .
    11 THINGS A BELIEVER RECEIVES WHEN HE IS BAPTIZED:
    ● salvation ———————————- Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21
    ● adoption ———————————- Galatians 3:27, 29
    ● eternal life ——————————– Romans 6:3-4, 22
    ● forgiveness —————————— Acts 2:38 & 22:16
    ● resurrection —————————— Romans 6:3-5
    ● Jesus Christ —————————– Galatians 3:27
    ● The Holy Spirit ————————– Acts 2:38
    ● born-again, newness of life ———- John 3:3,5,7; Romans 6:3-4
    ● a good conscience toward God —– 1 Peter 3:21
    ● membership in the body of Christ — 1 Corinthians 12:12
    ● circumcision not made with hands – Colossians 2:11-12

  41. Should we baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, or is it also biblical to baptize only in the name of Jesus Christ?

  42. BonneeBee says:

    ALLEN STOUT, SAID:
    How can you say that a man, if he is mistaken in the necessity of baptism for the forgiveness of sins and decides by ignorance that the blood of Jesus will save him anyway, how will he be saved without coming into contact with the blood? If that is the case, then man doesn’t need the blood at all. All spiritual blessings are in Christ. We are baptised into Christ. Salvation is a spiritual blessing.
    .
    REPLY TO ALLEN STOUT:
    .
    GOD PROMISES:
    those who seek Him diligently will find Him
    GOD’S WORD SAYS:
    faith comes by hearing / reading the word of God
    A DILIGENT SEEKER…
    will read the word of God
    A READER OF THE WORD OF GOD
    will read Mark 16:16 & 1 Peter 3:20-21
    A READER OF MARK & 1 PETER WILL CONCLUDE:
    faith + water baptism = salvation
    .
    AS FOR A MAN WHO CONVERTS ON HIS DEATHBED:
    the thief on the cross example gives me hope that those who decided last minute, have a chance.
    HOWEVER, THE THIEF ON THE CROSS IS NOT…
    the evangelism model of for Christians to use
    A the thief died under the authority of the old law/law of moses, which has no baptism instruction or commandment
    B Jesus commanded water baptism under authority of the new covenant, which does have water baptism instruction & commandment
    .
    ALLEN…
    To hold your position, you have had to ignore many scriptures.
    Ignoring scriptues = subtracting scriptures
    subtracting scriptures = having your name removed from the book of life – Revelation 22:19

  43. Larry Cheek says:

    Daniel,
    What an individual says or does not say while baptizing does not affect the outcome of the baptism. It is all dependent upon the heart and intentions of the one being baptized. It is between him/her and God.

  44. Yes, we are raised in baptism though our faith.

  45. Alabama John says:

    Its all ultimately between him/her and God in all circumstances since God will do the final judging..

    One way we see and state it or be lost is making us the judge and so many of us have had enough of that.

    WE all agree children everywhere throughout time will be judged innocent and be saved. Many grown w are judged being in that same state.

    Go visit a childrens hospital or mental institution and watch them die and judge as God does.

    God and Jesus have been around a long time and appeared to many in different images that they worshiped. Jesus didn’t just appear when he was born of Mary.

  46. Dwight says:

    “6 THINGS IN THE BIBLE DIRECTLY LINKED TO SALVATION:
    Do you get to choose any option?
    OR does “obey” = “obey all?”
    ● HEAR the gospel – Romans 10:17*
    ● BELIEVE it ——— John 8:24, Hebrews 11:6**
    ● REPENT of sin —- 2 Corinthians 7:10
    ● CONFESS faith — Romans 10:10
    ● BE BAPTIZED —– Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:16***
    ● STAY FAITHFUL – Revelation 2:10
    .
    *GOSPEL = Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John (what you must believe to be saved)
    **FAITH ALONE is dead & cannot save a man – James 2:14-26
    ***BAPTIZE IN THE BIBLE = “to make fully wet; to dip as into dye; to immerse”
    .
    BUT, IN THE BIBLE, BAPTIZE ONLY MEANS IMMERSE & DID NOT EVER MEAN “SPRINKLE” OR “POUR” UNTIL UNAUTHORIZED CHANGES:
    ● 1300’s – catholic church replaced “faith + immersion = salvation” with “sprinkling or pouring = salvation”
    AND began sprinkling infants who are unable to believe
    ● 1500’s – protestants replaced “faith + baptism = salvation” with “faith alone + nothing = salvation”
    ● 1900’s – evangelicals replaced “faith + baptism = salvation” with “faith + the sinner’s prayer = salvation”
    BUT…
    ● 33 a.d. to the 2nd coming, true christians, true followers of Jesus & the bible, have always practiced,
    “faith + immersion = salvation””

    There is something big missing and blatantly in the above rhetoric…Jesus, the savior.
    We largely in the coC have replaced Jesus the savior with the acts of saving, which point to Jesus.
    Baptize means immersion and could mean to be surrounded by without having been dipped in as well…ex/ The Isreaelites and Noah and even Jesus burial.
    but in regards to the concept of Baptism it is very closely tied with the concept of cleansing or washing which was usually done in water. but washing could include water coming over as well.

  47. Dwight says:

    “11 THINGS A BELIEVER RECEIVES WHEN HE IS BAPTIZED:
    ● salvation ———————————- Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21
    ● adoption ———————————- Galatians 3:27, 29
    ● eternal life ——————————– Romans 6:3-4, 22
    ● forgiveness —————————— Acts 2:38 & 22:16
    ● resurrection —————————— Romans 6:3-5
    ● Jesus Christ —————————– Galatians 3:27
    ● The Holy Spirit ————————– Acts 2:38
    ● born-again, newness of life ———- John 3:3,5,7; Romans 6:3-4
    ● a good conscience toward God —– 1 Peter 3:21
    ● membership in the body of Christ — 1 Corinthians 12:12
    ● circumcision not made with hands – Colossians 2:11-12”

    One doesn’t receive Jesus when baptized, as one is baptized into Jesus. Jesus isn’t the result of baptism, but the reason for it.
    Gal.3:26-27 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
    You have faith in Jesus and then are baptized into Jesus, thus putting on the Jesus.
    Jesus is the reason for repentance, faith, baptism, and the reason we are saved at all. By going through Jesus we receive the above things.
    Oh yes baptism doesn’t give us a good conscience towards God, but is an act of a good conscience towards God.

  48. “Oh yes baptism doesn’t give us a good conscience towards God, but is an act of a good conscience towards God.” I think baptism is a pledge to keep a good conscience toward God.

  49. Dwight says:

    Bonna Bee,
    I think Alan has it correct when he says, “All spiritual blessings are in Christ. We are baptized into Christ. Salvation is a spiritual blessing.”
    One of the go to verses we go to for baptism is in I Peter 3:20-21 “while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism…”
    But we often leave out vs.18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us[e] to God.” and vs.21 “baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
    Jesus bookends the thought of baptism.
    I don’t think anyone would argue that suddenly water appeared and saved Noah. No we would argue that it was God who caused the flood and God who saved Noah, the water was just a medium for God’s purpose. When Noah got out of the Ark Noah didn’t build an altar to the water, but God. The same goes with Jesus.
    Many in the coC have a knee jerk reaction to hearing that Jesus saves as if it is pushing for faith only, but this is hardly the case as Alan did mention baptism. Part of our problems is we like to win arguments and faith saves (for the Baptist) and baptism saves (for the coC) is just an argument and both point towards the wrong points.
    The whole of salvation rest on Jesus as the point of salvation. I am the way, the Truth and the Light. I am the Door. He who calls upon the name of Jesus. Jesus the savior. Etc.
    And then once you know Jesus, then you start following and trusting and obeying Jesus in repentance, baptism, etc..

  50. JohnF says:

    Noah still had to “get into the boat.” The Israelites still had to “walk” thru the Red Sea. We still have to “submit” to baptism. No magic in the water, but that is the means “into Christ.” Some 86 times we find “in Christ” (NAS) and 3 times into Christ (2 w/ regard to baptism). Rom 3:22
    the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
    ESV

    Gal 2:16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
    ESV

    Gal 3:25-27 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ
    ESV

    2 Tim 3:15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
    ESV

    When Paul discusses “through faith” he at once links baptism. So our “putting on Christ” is akin to Noah getting into the boat, and the Israelites walking through the Sea (and the desert). It is still God’s boat and God’s sea and God’s waters of baptism.

    If you want your own boat, your own sea, or your own waters of baptism — take it up with God.

  51. Dwight says:

    What I find depressing is the taking of sides on one point versus another point, namely faith versus baptism as the saving point, when the scriptures always point to Christ as the saving point, even when faith and baptism are separately mentioned Christ is there as the savior.

    This boat analogy almost comes up deficient in some ways. Yes Noah did get into the boat, but he also built the boat, so are we talking saving oneself here?
    The walk of the Jews is almost more like our walk through life, instead of or walk to Jesus or salvation. They were over all delivered by God in Egypt and promised Canaan, but the only thing that kept them from getting Canaan was not their walking, which took them to Canaan, but rather their faith or lack of it. God would have handed it to them, but they didn’t trust in God.

  52. JohnF says:

    All analogies ultimately because, well – they are analogies. Even the “getting into the boat” or “walking through the sea” or “submitting” to baptism can be useless if done for the wrong reason. While “fear” can be a motivator, fear cannot sustain motivation and violates the primal command to “love the LORD your God. . . .” While right behavior can help shape attitude (Gen 4:6-7 “Do the right thing”) if done without cognizance of Godly motive, any such actions are meaningless with regard to salvation (Rotary, Eagles, Shriners, etc.). The simple conclusion is from the viewpoint of James, it that FAITH WORKS (It NOT two oars rowing the boat of salvation, we are in a sailboat [oops, another analogy] where the Spirits blows where He wills and takes us along for the trans-formative spiritual ride of a lifetime) – if faith does not work, the evidence is inadequate, false, deficient, unreal faith . . . .

    James 2:22 faith was completed by his works (ESV);
    faith was perfected-(NASU);
    by the actions the faith was made complete (CJB);
    He proved that his faith was real by what he did (CEV);
    His faith was made perfect by what he did (Easy-to-Read Version);
    His faith was shown to be genuine by what he did (GOD’S WORD);
    that faith expresses itself in works? (THE MESSAGE);
    His actions made his faith complete. (NLT);
    faith was brought to completion by the works.(NRSV)

    So we are created FOR good works (Paul) not BECAUSE of them.

  53. “baptism now saves you also”

  54. Dwight says:

    Daniel, “baptism now saves you also”, which version is this.
    NKJ- There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism
    NRSV- And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you
    YLT- also to which an antitype doth now save us — baptism
    CJB- to those who were disobedient long ago, in the days of Noah, when God waited patiently during the building of the ark, in which a few people — to be specific, eight — were delivered by means of water.
    ESV- Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you,
    Every version of scriptures point to baptism, probably because others were arguing against it as being needed. I could see this being done by the gentile Christians who were rejecting Jewish practices of which baptism was one before it was used by the apostles.
    But even here in 1 Peter 3 baptism is being used to point to Jesus the savior as the reason for baptism.

  55. “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…” – 1 Peter 3:21 (NIV)

  56. Dwight says:

    It appears that the NIV version is kind of a one-off version compared with the others from what I can tell, but I don’t think it is wrong in its assessment. The scriptures never point to just one thing, when we are talking things, that saves, ex. faith, repentance, etc. But even those things are directed back to Jesus the savior.

  57. Larry Cheek says:

    Daniel,
    Read that verse again. “It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ…” Along with these.
    Each one credits baptism with saving. Yes, some indicate a likeness, image, a form, which corresponds, a symbol, a figure and an anti-type, but all identify that an action of saving or salvation in within its application. Even the “It” in the (NIV) is identifying “baptism”. So the verse and translation that you provide says the same as all others, “baptism saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism would have no power except through Jesus Christ.
    1 Peter 3:21

    (ASV) which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ;

    (BBE) And baptism, of which this is an image, now gives you salvation, not by washing clean the flesh, but by making you free from the sense of sin before God, through the coming again of Jesus Christ from the dead;

    (CEV) Those flood waters were like baptism that now saves you. But baptism is more than just washing your body. It means turning to God with a clear conscience, because Jesus Christ was raised from death.

    (DRB) Whereunto baptism, being of the like form, now saveth you also: not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but, the examination of a good conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    (ERV) And that water is like baptism, which now saves you. Baptism is not the washing of dirt from the body. It is asking God for a clean conscience. It saves you because Jesus Christ was raised from death.

    (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,

    (GNB) which was a symbol pointing to baptism, which now saves you. It is not the washing off of bodily dirt, but the promise made to God from a good conscience. It saves you through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

    (GW) Baptism, which is like that water, now saves you. Baptism doesn’t save by removing dirt from the body. Rather, baptism is a request to God for a clear conscience. It saves you through Jesus Christ, who came back from death to life.

    (ISV) Baptism, which is symbolized by that water, now saves you also, not by removing dirt from the body, but by asking God for a clear conscience based on the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah,

    (KJV) The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

    (LEB) And also, corresponding to this, 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,

    (LITV) Which antitype now also saves us, baptism (not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ;

    (MKJV) which figure now also saves us, baptism; not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ;

    (RV) which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ;

    (YLT) also to which an antitype doth now save us–baptism, (not a putting away of the filth of flesh, but the question of a good conscience in regard to God,) through the rising again of Jesus Christ,

  58. Dwight says:

    This is what those in Ephesus ran up against as they were baptized and if baptism saves, then they didn’t need to be re-baptized again and yet they were…into Jesus. Baptism is vital, but it’s vitality is dependent upon Jesus.

  59. Do we come to baptism already having a clear conscience? Or is baptism our pledge to keep a clear conscience, to give up sin as Paul says in Romans 6?

  60. Those in Ephesus in Acts 19, were baptized because they wanted the Holy Spirit associated with baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus.

  61. Dwight says:

    True, but they wouldn’t have gotten the HS as promised in Acts 2 if not baptized into Jesus.
    It must be noted that after they were baptized, then Paul laid his hands on them and then the received the HS.
    Acts 19 ““Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?””
    “Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all.”
    So a couple of things happened
    1. they had to have faith in Jesus, not John
    2..they received the HS when they believed and were baptized according to Acts 2
    3. they were eligible to receive the laying on of hands to receive the miraculous gifts of the HS
    The difference between the before and after was Jesus.

    I would argue that we come with a clear conscience, even as they in Acts were convicted, which means they had faith to turn to Christ.
    “not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God”
    In a way it is saying that the water doesn’t do anything, but rather the submittal to the water is the answer of a good faith. It is the answer or response to the call of God. We answer in submittal and God cleanses. but our answer to God should cease while being baptized or even after it. That is our mistake to think that these are steps or transitions. The blood stays with us, even as our faith should burn and grow stronger. Our good conscience should always be answering to God.

  62. BonneeBee says:

    TO: DANIEL
    RE: Should we baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, or is it also biblical to baptize only in the name of Jesus Christ?
    .
    BOTH examples are given in scripture.
    NEITHER example is forbidden in scripture.

  63. Alabama John says:

    You should say when baptizing someone “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost for the remission of your sins”. To leave any out will require it having to be done over.

    This has been the belief and teaching of the COC for generations.

    Its also why those wanting membership in the Lords Church that come from any of the denominations, even, upon questioning, they have been baptized differently, erroneously, must be re baptized to get it right.

  64. Whatever is biblical is permitted. Whatever is not permitted, is forbidden.

  65. BonneeBee says:

    TO: DWIGHT
    RE: Many in the coC have a knee jerk reaction to hearing that Jesus saves as if it is pushing for faith only, but this is hardly the case
    .
    ME: YOU OBVIOUSLY DID NOT READ EVERYTHING I WROTE BECAUSE…
    what you said in your entire comment IS EXACTLY the points i am trying to make:
    SALVATION = …
    faith + baptism
    NOT
    faith alone
    AND NOT
    baptism alone

  66. BonneeBee says:

    TO: DWIGHT
    RE: I would argue that we come with a clear conscience, even as they in Acts were convicted, which means they had faith to turn to Christ.
    .
    ME: WHY?
    When is a believer forgiven: before or during water baptism?
    How is it possible to have a good conscience BEFORE being forgiven?
    THINK ABOUT IT: BOTH…
    forgiveness & a good conscience toward God are directly linked in scripture to water baptism
    .
    I WOULD ARGUE…
    in favor of what the scriptures reveal

  67. Bonneebee says:

    TO: DWIGHT
    RE: What I find depressing is the taking of sides on one point versus another point, namely faith versus baptism as the saving point, when the scriptures always point to Christ as the saving point, even when faith and baptism are separately mentioned Christ is there as the savior.
    ,
    ME: YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT ENTIRELY: THESE ARE DUELING DOCTRINES
    they are not compatable
    they cannot both be right
    THEY REQUIRE THE TAKING OF SIDES!
    .
    1 doctrine says “faith alone + nothing = salvation”
    THIS IS PROTESTANT DOCTRINE
    .
    & 1 doctrine says “faith + water baptism = salvation” NOT “baptism alone = salvation”
    THIS IS TRUE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE…
    straight from the Savior’s mouth
    .
    HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROTESTANTISM & TRUE DOCTRINE:
    Does Mark 16:16 say
    “he that believes is saved & shall be baptized but doesn’t have to”
    OR
    “he that believes & is baptized shall be saved”
    THERE’S YOUR ANSWER
    .
    1 doctrine is God’s truth
    & 1 doctrine is satan’s lie

  68. Faith and grace in Paul’s Galatian letter seems to include baptism per 3:26-27

  69. BonneeBee says:

    TO: DWIGHT
    .
    RE: There is something big missing and blatantly in the above rhetoric…Jesus, the savior.
    .
    ME: NOTHING MISSING; THE SO-CALLED RHETORIC IS MERELY…
    a bare-bones guide for evangelizers
    & a self-check list for seekers
    Diligent seekers will read the word of God.
    & those who read the word of God will read all about Jesus being the Savior.
    THAT’S WHY EVANGELIZERS NEED TO TAKE THE TIME TO ACTUALLY SIT DOWN & READ THE GOSPEL…
    with seekers – it is essential to saving souls.
    .
    .
    RE: We largely in the coC have replaced Jesus the savior with the acts of saving, which point to Jesus.
    .
    ME: YOU HAVE ONLY IF YOU FAIL…
    to teach the words of the gospel to seekers
    THE WORD OF GOD…
    is the most powerful tool christians have to save souls – it is alive!
    TAKE TIME TO SIT & READ THE GOSPELS WITH SEEKERS BECAUSE…
    faith comes by hearing the word of God – romans 10:17
    NOT BY SERMONS OF PULPIT PREACHERS
    .
    .
    RE: Baptize … could mean to be surrounded by without having been dipped in as well … but washing could include water coming over as well.
    .
    ME: WORDS HAVE MEANING
    Jesus used the act of immersion & the word immersion for HIS purpose
    SO, NO…
    it could not mean anything else
    EXCHANGING WORDS = CHANGING THE MEANING…
    which results in damnation for both those who do it & those who follow those who do it

  70. Using words that do not reflect apostolic language, is a way to identify error. This principle is observed in 1 John 4:6, “Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error” and in 2 Thessalonians 2:15, “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”

  71. Dwight says:

    Daniel, I agree entirely, but then again is there any one not in error in some way?
    If so, then we are perfect before God.
    I John 4;6 was the apostles to the people. It is easy to place ourselves in the apostles shoes, but unless it comes from the scriptures it is not so.

    BoneeBee “ME: YOU OBVIOUSLY DID NOT READ EVERYTHING I WROTE BECAUSE…
    what you said in your entire comment IS EXACTLY the points I am trying to make:
    SALVATION = faith + baptism, NOT faith alone AND NOT baptism alone”
    BonneeBee you left out an important piece of this…Jesus.
    Neither faith nor baptism saves without Jesus.

    BonneeBee, you seem to jump into the argument against without understanding the statement.
    When I said, “I would argue that we come with a clear conscience, even as they in Acts were convicted, which means they had faith to turn to Christ.”
    I did not way that faith or a clear conscience saves you alone. In fact faith and the clear conscience should result in baptism. The scriptures say “baptism is the answer of a clear conscience” not the result of baptism, although baptism will give a feeling of relief and joy.

    BonneeBee “YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT ENTIRELY: THESE ARE DUELING DOCTRINES
    they are not compatible, they cannot both be right, THEY REQUIRE THE TAKING OF SIDES!”
    Actually they don’t. I would argue that taking sides pits scripture against scripture as neither faith nor baptism alone saves. Taking sides means you are rooting for one other the other. It is like a sporting
    The dueling doctrine is neither right on both sides and results in pointilism or salvation at a point. The scriptures never argue anything like this. In fact scriptures argues for “faith and belief”, “repentance and belief”, etc. Salvation is never had at a point, unless that point is Jesus.
    “I am the way, the truth and the light.” “I am the door”
    This is like us arguing “that it was the scalpel that saves us in the surgery” and the other saying, “No it was the forceps that saves us.” and then arguing over which did it.
    The surgeon is either crying or angry at this point. Jesus is the surgeon.

    BonneeBee, even though “1 doctrine says “faith alone + nothing = salvation” most that say that don’t really believe it, because most would also say to be saved you must obey God, which means being baptized. This is largely a debate point, not reality.

    “1 doctrine says “faith + water baptism = salvation” NOT “baptism alone = salvation” This is true Biblical doctrine.”
    This is true to a point, kind of, because those in Ephesus had faith in John and were baptized into John.
    Were they saved?
    So the above debate argument and is a false statement.

    This rhetoric on both sides leaves out who does the saving. Even in Acts 2 the sermon wasn’t about faith and baptism, but Jesus. Faith, repentance and baptism was a response to Jesus.
    Phillip taught Jesus and it is probable that Phillip did say something about baptism, but then again it is possible that since the eunuch was baptized to become a Jew, he assumed that this must be true of that which was born out of Judaism. He would have been right.

    BonneeBee, don’t assume. I have grown up in the conservative coC so I know all of the arguments because I have used them all. Many of our counter points are just debate points. We say the point of salvation is baptism and they say the point is faith. But in real life we will also will say faith saves too and they will argue that true obedience, which includes baptism, saves.
    What we often miss in our debate mode is the savior.

    If you noticed my discussion back to you wasn’t in caps, which is seen as yelling.

    My statement “Baptize … could mean to be surrounded by without having been dipped in as well … but washing could include water coming over as well.’
    You said, “WORDS HAVE MEANING, Jesus used the act of immersion & the word immersion for HIS purpose.”
    Baptism does mean immersion, but if we are buried into Christ, we must realize that Jesus wasn’t buried under ground, but into the ground. We must also realize that the “baptism” or immersion that Noah and the Jews went through were not them going under water. Water surrounded them.
    I am immersed in air as we speak, according to the concept of immersion.
    If you are standing on the shore and a wave envelopes you, you are immersed.

    But notice I did not say that being dipped in water was wrong and wasn’t the right thing to do, simply because we turn ourselves over to another to save lay us down and raise us up in a washing of our spirit. This is all very important in understanding that we are placing ourselves in the hands of another in submission of will. I will always argue for baptism into Jesus.

  72. Alabama John says:

    What we preach is not to be tightly, no exceptions, held to in every situation. God will make allowances to the rule if circumstances warrant it. He is love, above all else after all.

    Its the devil that continues to make God out a bad judge that will see so many of us in hell so don’t believe it. Loosen the reins some!!!

  73. Mike Williams says:

    Jay, I appreciate the work you have done and the serious study and presentation of the material on baptism. Certainly baptism is “for” forgiveness of sins as Acts 2:38 states, but for other things also. Your discussion on the Greek word “eis” was very good. The real question is not whether baptism is for forgiveness of sins, but whether one has to completely understand that in order for it to be effective. In my study, I think the word used most in the N.T. to indicate motive or purpose for doing something is the Greek word “Hina.” “Eis” in the N.T. primarily means in, into, and implies movement from one sphere to another. It certainly appears to me from my study as you pointed out so well that if one’s full intention is to submit to God in baptism and be obed

    ient to him, even if they don’t completely understand that is the point of salvation, then God sees their intent and honors their faith. Anyway, I appreciate the work you have done. God bless!

  74. Dwight says:

    Mike, I think we need to reorient ourselves away from where doing things brings salvation, to the “savior gives or grant salvation”.
    Forgiveness is key.
    So the argument of, “The real question is not whether baptism is for forgiveness of sins, but whether one has to completely understand that in order for it to be effective.”
    is somewhat misleading.
    We are forgiven by someone…God. That is what we must believe.
    In fact all of the time Jesus talks about Himself as the Savior of mankind in the gospels, faith, repentance or baptism is not brought up, simply because Jesus was to be the point of salvation.
    “I an the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.”
    We must also remember that salvation is a promised future event, that is realized when we die.
    Now must we be baptized, yes, but we must repent, we must have faith, we must endure, etc, as well and all of these things are pointed towards Jesus, not themselves.

  75. laymond says:

    Dwight, if we need to change our lives from wrong to right, who can do that. Jesus told us how, now who must do it. There is only one person who can accomplish that. And there is only one way to do that. The road to heaven is not a forked road.

  76. Dwight says:

    Laymond. I’m not sure if I am following what you are saying. Can you be more clear?

    I would rather argue that Jesus told us…who.
    Jesus never taught faith, repentance, baptism as THE way, but rather that HE was THE WAY.
    Now having said that we know that Jesus and the apostles, like John, baptized people.
    John 4:1-2 “Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples),”
    So Jesus made disciples and baptized them.
    They were obviously followers of Jesus, who were baptized into Jesus.
    Of course this brings about the thought, “were they saved at this baptism?”
    Or did they have to wait for Jesus to die or did they have to be re-baptized again?
    They obviously weren’t buried/raised with Christ (technically) as Jesus hadn’t been crucified/buried/raised yet.
    If they weren’t saved until Jesus death, even though baptized, then it still all comes down to Jesus as the point of salvation, even though baptism was a part of Jesus’ ministry.

    The apostles taught “Jesus and Christ crucified.” and then they expected a response built on faith, moved in repentance and born in baptism and living in Christ.
    Our heart must put on Christ and we must change from right to wrong, but only as Jesus is right and then we will still always be wrong. It is God who declares us righteous or not.

  77. Monty says:

    Baptism into Christ was always the expected outcome of faith in Christ, at least in the first few centuries following Pentecost. It was commanded by those who preached the Good News to the lost. Repentance was also peached to the lost who heard the Good News. “Repent!” is a common theme throughout the scriptures. By James to believers rife with discord,James 4- ‘Draw nigh to God, cleanse your hands you sinners and purify your hearts…be afflicted, and mourn. and weep….humble yourselves in the sight of God.” By John the Baptist- “And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.’ By Jesus- “Luke 13-“I tell you , Nay, unless you repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” In the O.T. people displayed repentance by wearing sackcloth and ashes. They expressed their inward feelings by outward displays of contrition. A “broken spirit and a contrite heart thou will not despise O God.”

    When the Good News is preached it calls for repentance from sin(if sinning-“go and sin no more”) have a heart change, and if no heart change is necessary(think Ethiopian Eunuch or a 12 year old who just wants to be obedient, or Cornelius’ household) then baptism is the response that is commanded. The Eunuch greatly desired water when they came across a certain water in the desert. Think immediately!

    The jailer’s family were all baptized after midnight requiring everyone to get wet and have to try to dry off before returning to sleep. IMO not the best time to be baptized if you assume a better time-like the next day during daylight hours and you’re not going to be returning to bed for the night- is just as good or more reasonable. Lydia and her household servant women all got baptized by Paul in the river where they had gone to worship. Baptism for believers was as the Geico commercial says, “It’s what you do.”

    It was taught, it was commanded, it was expected by everyone who believed on the name of Jesus upon their hearing the Good News and accepting it. Acts 2-“they that gladly received the word were baptized.” It’s, “what you do.” For many groups today though baptism is set aside for a later time for convenience sake. Of course, if not truly necessary, then why not put off till tomorrow what you could do today?

    I doubt seriously that all who heard the Gospel preached and believed on Jesus and received baptism understood all the implications of it. (I certainly didn’t when I was baptized.) But the main thing is they believed on Jesus and were obedient to what was commanded of them(baptism) by those who taught them, and God added them to their number. They didn’t get bogged down by questions of faith only, or faith plus baptism = salvation, or is baptism a outward sign of an inward happening, or any other argumentation like is baptism a work of man or of God. They that gladly received the word were baptized. It’s what you do.

  78. Dwight says:

    Monty, that is the way I understand it as well. It’s not as complicated as we want to make it. One didn’t have to place their faith in baptism to save, but rather they placed their faith in Jesus as the savior and were baptized into Jesus. Once we get beyond that we start robbing Jesus of His mission and power. They did it as a personal and faithful response.
    It is kind of strange that many do put it aside for later due to lack of “importance”, but then again this is done in the coC as well in regards to the invitation call after the sermon, it is the same, but on a different scale. I mean if it is as important as it is made out to be in the coC, then do it before the sermon. The invitation or altar call then becomes irrelevant for that purpose, except as a show to others, which we know it isn’t.
    Oh the traditional irony of it all.

  79. laymond says:

    Mat 3:15 But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires. [fn]” So John agreed to baptize him.
    Mat 3:16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened [fn] and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.

    Do you think this only applies to Jesus?

  80. Dwight says:

    Laymond, Can you be more clear in your question of “Do you think this only applies to Jesus?”

    Does baptism only apply to Jesus?
    Even though Jesus and His apostles baptized many and this was done in Acts a way to join Christ.
    Same water baptism, but for different reasons, as Jesus didn’t need saving, but this was pleasing to God and we are to please God.
    Baptism was given for those to do who had faith in Jesus as the savior.

    Or does the Holy Spirit come upon the baptized like this?
    I don’t think so and if so, then we must also ask does God pronounce from heaven, “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him.”
    But those who have faith and repent and are baptized are promised ‘the gift of the Holy Spirit”, whether that is the salvation itself or the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or maybe both that is a question that has been debated for a long time and will never be answered by a debate.

  81. Larry Cheek says:

    Dwight,
    I know that this has also been heavily debated, but I don’t remember any statement in scriptures which identifies a function of the, the gift of the Holy Spirit, being promised to anyone who has faith and repents without proceeding to baptism.

  82. laymond says:

    Dwight says:

    May 30, 2017 at 8:36 am

    I think we need to reorient ourselves away from where doing things brings salvation, to the “savior gives or grant salvation”.
    Forgiveness is key.
    So the argument of, “The real question is not whether baptism is for forgiveness of sins, but whether one has to completely understand that in order for it to be effective.”
    is somewhat misleading.

    Dwight do you think we are forgiven our sins, at baptism, whether or not we repent, and ask forgiveness. ?

  83. Dwight says:

    Larry, not that I know of, but that depends on the gifts I suppose. Those in Cornelius household received the speaking in tongues, but I don’t think this is “the gift” of the HS as noted in Acts 2, which was promised upon being baptized. There are gifts of the HS as in speaking in tongues, prophesy, etc., but there is “the gift” upon coming into Jesus. The “gifts” don’t come without receiving “the gift” from my understanding.
    But many argue over what that “gift” is in Acts 2 or how it is manifested, instead of just accepting it is there as promised. And then we are to live in the Spirit.
    But I was more trying to make sense of Laymond’s question.

    Laymond, Do you think those in Ephesus who were baptized into John were forgiven of their sins?
    If so, then it was the baptism or John that forgave their sins, if not, then it was Jesus who they were baptized into later that forgave their sins.
    I don’t believe that John’s baptism forgave them, but it was baptism or immersion.
    I don’t think until Christ died did the forgiveness kick in for all and then you had to be baptized into Jesus, the savior.
    There is a reason He is called the savior or redeemer and grace/mercy is given, not taken or earned.
    Those in Ephesus didn’t receive the HS until they were immersed into Jesus, even though they were previously baptized, albeit into John.
    The reason I put it like that is that I think the thought that even the demons who believe and are baptized are saved is preposterous, because as you note, they didn’t repent.

    I know many who have repented from the world, but what they repented to was the church they were baptized into or the preacher that taught them and that is where they place their faith and then they are baptized for salvation.
    I think the things we must know is that Jesus is our savior and the Son of God and then we must respond in faith, repentance, baptism, living in, etc.

    So yes we must as it says in Acts 2 “repent and be baptized”, because real repentance is turning towards Jesus from the world. It is not good to snub the one who wants to forgive us.
    My point is that if forgiveness isn’t the point, then salvation is by works after all and baptism does save us, not Jesus. But even then it is a promise as we still must live in Jesus till death.
    I am not going to argue with Jesus saying, “I am the Way…no one comes to the Father but through Me”. We must at least understand this one thing before we can follow Him.

    I grew up in the coC where “baptism saves you”, the overhead “Baptist-faith only vs baptism needed” charts say so as you see preaching on one side in all of the cells, a little faith here and there and then baptism on the other side in all of the corresponding cells.
    But somehow Jesus is left off of the chart. And He is the one that ties all things together. It is a horrible chart because it ignores “the Way” to God, who is Jesus. It ignores that we are forgiven.

  84. Monty says:

    I was out of town for the Memorial Day weekend and when I returned home our church had a visitor who left me his card(an evangelist for a sister congregation a couple hours away). A typical business card like we have perhaps all seen that had their congregation’s worship times and the “plan of salvation.” How does the Bible tell us to be saved? Hear-Romans 10:17, Believe-John 3:16, repent-Acts 17:30, Confess Matthew 10:32, Baptized-Mark 16:16.

    When I looked at this card I wondered where was Jesus death , burial and resurrection in this? That is where is the good news? It seemed more like one of my wife’s “honey do ” lists. 1.Take out the trash, 2.walk the dog, 3.pick up a loaf of bread on the way home, etc…

    Now I certainly desire to meet my wife’s expectations, but that’s because of the relationship we’ve already established. It’s sterile though to try to establish a relationship by executing random requests. There must first be a foundation for having a relationship to begin with.

    I understand the brevity of trying to say something on a small piece of cardboard or in the limited space of a church bulletin. But it’s like it becomes our Catholic’s cross. Too much power or magic is given to something that says so little.

    When we boil down the gospel to a check list of do’s(usually to provide the missing step(s) we feel the Baptist leave out) and this gets adopted as gospel from congregation to congregation the real Good News gets hijacked and replaced by a false one.

    In lieu of the 5 step plan I’d rather read on a business card about how I’m a sinner, Jesus died for my sins, and behold he stands at the door (of my heart) and knocks because he wants to come in and have fellowship with me and make things right between us. It’s terribly Baptist but at the same time, it’s Gospel and it’s a story with heart in it. And it’s not a check list.

  85. Dwight says:

    Monty, I totally agree with your assessment. The gospel was Jesus. The message that was taught by the apostles was Jesus and Christ crucified. What we do is offer the coc method to counter the “let Jesus come into your heart” or Sinner’s Prayer or faith only saves debate and it turns out to be just as wrong. It is funny but I looked up “What must I do to be saved?” online and found where many advocate for salvation is at faith in Jesus, but then they follow up with “you must be baptized” as this is obedience and you are not saved unless you obey. This I believe is the Baptist argument.
    What in the world?
    It sounds like debate rhetoric to me, where we don’t want to agree with the other person so we don’t, even though we are mainly saying the same things.
    And the five step plan argues that you leave one step, say faith, then move onto the next step, baptism and yet you still must have faith in baptism and it is a must for afterwards. And we must always be in ready to repent mode while living in the world.

  86. laymond says:

    Mat 3:15 But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires. [fn]” So John agreed to baptize him.

    Dwight questioned what I meant by my question .
    Do you think God only required Jesus to be baptized.

    I see baptism as a new start, a do over if you will. And if we are baptized and do not obey the teachings of Jesus there is no second baptism with forgiveness attached.
    Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
    Heb 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

    I think those that say works do not save, or condemn, should read Hebrews, carefully.

  87. Dwight says:

    Laymond, I still don’t understand your question in regards to Jesus baptism…even after you restated it a second time.
    Baptism, in general, was for conversion sake. The Jews used baptism for their conversion and so did John, but if baptism saves, then Jesus was saved, after all He surely believed in Himself.
    But I don’t think Jesus was sinful and in need of repentance and His baptism was between Him and God the Father, which is why John didn’t understand it of Jesus.
    John knew he was needing it, but he didn’t understand why Jesus of all people would need it.

    Now in terms of an example, Jesus provides a great example for immersion. And yet we are not baptized for the same reason Jesus was.
    Or did Jesus have to have a “new start” or a “do over”?
    But I do believe that Jesus was baptized out of “faithfulness”, so as to be pleasing to His father.

    Heb.10:26-27 doesn’t mention baptism or else I missed it. Its is talking about receiving the word of God, but his is talking to the saints and even says after that “Now the just shall live by faith;
    but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”
    Faith in whom? Jesus.
    Drawback from whom? Jesus

    Now the thing is that you are right that works “of the flesh” do condemn, but can works of the flesh save?
    This is basically what we are asking or posing, because the scriptures draws a line between the “works of the flesh” and “the fruit of the Spirit”.
    The works of man leads to death.
    The faith of man leads to Christ and bearing fruit of the Spirit.
    The Jews thought that works saved them, so they did works, but they had actually left God as the savior out as their savior.
    And even if we did every work possible the right way, we still have to answer for our intent and heart, which is always in the state of needing perfection.
    And the reason why works do not save has to do as much with attitude and self-reliance and glory to God as a whole.
    Even after Noah spent years upon years in sweat and tears building an ark for a boat load of animals, upon landing on dry ground, he got out and praised God for his deliverance.
    His faith acted and his action was of faith in God.
    But if he wouldn’t have built the ark, he would have drowned, but his drowning would not only have been a lack of work, but really a lack of faith.
    Even after the Jews traveled hundreds of miles from a pursuing army, they were to hold up God as their deliverer.
    Now I admit that faith is a work and we must produce it, but that faith is still bound to the Christ who delivers me. Jesus the Christ isn’t just a name, but a descriptor…”Yahweh is salvation…the anointed”.
    Do works save? No.
    Working faith does. see James.

  88. laymond says:

    Mat 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
    Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
    I believe Jesus told this man to gain eternal life there were many things he must do.

    And I don’t recall Jesus ever saying stand back, let me do all the work.

  89. laymond says:

    Heb 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
    Heb 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
    Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    Dwight, does this sound like Jesus was never in need of baptism, God’s forgiveness .
    When, and how was Jesus made perfect.
    As I recall Jesus was tempted just like the rest of us.

  90. laymond says:

    2Sa 7:14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
    2Sa 7:15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

    This is God speaking of Jesus, unless you can prove differently. we need to understand that Jesus was a man.

  91. Mark says:

    Jay Guin – At DCH Hospital in ICU. Has improved.

    From Palisades bulletin for tomorrow.

  92. Dwight says:

    Mark, Thank You for the Update.

    Laymond it appears that you have a misconception about what I believe, even though I tried to dispel that misconception in my posts.
    I do believe we must do things to be pleasing to God and to be saved, but this is wholly in the context of God saving us.
    We must be baptized, but it is through Jesus that baptism works and it was by God that baptism is put in place.
    This is why I wrote, “Do works save? No. Working faith does. see James.”
    Faith works!
    God doesn’t save us without our complicity or response.
    But then would you then argue that man saves himself?
    And that Jesus is not the savior of mankind?
    Just wondering.

    Matt.19:16-17 if you read it the way you read it, then excludes Jesus as the way as this man would just have to have done the commandments of the Law.
    Do you agree or not, because this is what you seem to be saying, that his works of the Law would save him.
    What Jesus pointed out later was that the man was really deficient in his “loving of his neighbors” as he wouldn’t give his money away to help them.
    And most of all he wouldn’t follow Jesus.

    Jesus was perfect in all that he did. He was led to the cross without blemish…no sin.
    II Cor.5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. ”
    Heb.4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. ”
    1 John 3:5 “You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. ”
    I am kind of surprised you passed over Heb.4:15, which said Jesus was sinless.
    Perfect in most cases means complete.
    The verse of Heb.5:7-9 that you stated doesn’t mean that “made perfect” in the sense of made sinless, but rather when he “suffered” on the cross he was “complete” in his goal as the sacrifice for man.

    I totally agree that Jesus was a man, but he was also God in the flesh, which seems to be your hang-up. Even though there are passages that talk of this man as sinless, which only one who sought God’s will could do.

    2 Sam.7:14-15 I believe that this is a prophecy that was primarily about Solomon, as he was a that point speaking to David about Saul, but parts of it was also true of Jesus, just not all of it, as we have noted Jesus was sinless and even then he took on the sins of the world and was crucified.

  93. laymond says:

    Dwight, do you believe that baptism is for forgiveness of all sins, or just some sins. If baptism forgives all sins, does man come out of the water sinless, and if he lives a sinless life as evidently Jesus did after baptism, will that man go to heaven, if not, why not ? Jesus said we would be judged by “the word of God” And of course we have to believe Jesus was who he said he was, in order to believe the message he delivered was from God. If you believe in the father, then you also believe in the son. Therefore you can’t go to the father without believing in the son. As Jesus said to John, baptism was to fulfill all righteousness . Dwight if a baptized Christian prays to God for forgiveness of sins he may have committed that day, do you think God will do so, and if God does forgive, is that Christian still a sinner.? No I don’t think Jesus was a sinner when he was put to death. But when we say Jesus never sinned, well we just don’t know that.

  94. Dwight says:

    Raymond, go back and read my previous post where the scriptures say Jesus was without sin. He was tempted in all thins, but without sin.
    I don’t believe baptism forgives sins, but places us before the forgives of sins…into Christ. This is why one doesn’t have to be rebaptized for sins, but has to ask for forgiveness.

  95. laymond says:

    Mat 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
    ( why were these people confessing their sins to John? if baptism had no power of forgiveness.)

    Mat 20:23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

    ( Dwight, you say we were not baptized with the same baptism that Jesus was baptized. so were we baptized with the same as, Zebedee’s sons .?)
    Mar 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. (is this the baptism Jesus promised the son’s of Zebedee, and not to all Christians?)
    Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
    Mar 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
    Mar 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
    Seems to me Jesus promised baptism for remission of sins to the general public, and baptism into the Holy Ghost to the apostles.
    Just my opinion, but looks like to me Jesus was baptized for remission of sins by John, and was imediantly baptized into the Holy Spirit, by God.

  96. Dwight says:

    Laymond, So you are going to totally overlook scripture that says Jesus was sinless to pursue his sinfulness from a different direction?
    This is why this will be my last discussion with you.
    Forgiveness implies a forgiver and from what I know water cannot forgive another, in fact 1 Peter 3:21 “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”
    Baptism is about our response to God and doesn’t actually do anything towards forgiving us.
    John baptized for the repentance to the forgiveness of sins, but Jesus wasn’t baptized for his repentance as he had never turned from God and did not need forgiving.
    Only God could forgive of sins, which is why the Pharisees had a problem with Jesus forgiving people of sins. MAtt.9:2

    If God spoke from heaven saying to the sons of Zebedee, “you are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”, then I guess you are right, except we know Jesus was God’s only begotten son.
    Other wise the sons of Zebedee did receive the sign of the Holy Spirit as Jesus did, but they were not sinless as the scriptures tell us.

    You say, “Just my opinion, but looks like to me Jesus was baptized for remission of sins by John, and was immediately baptized into the Holy Spirit, by God.” but ignore the passages that talk of Jesus sinlessness, thus he didn’t have any sins to forgive.
    II Cor.5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. ”
    Heb.4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. ”
    1 John 3:5 “You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. ”

    The fact is John knew why he was baptizing the people, but when approached by Jesus he said in Matt.3 “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
    But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”
    John didn’t have a clue why Jesus was being baptized, but Jesus said that it was the right thing to do, which is what Jesus did. There is never a place that argues that Jesus needed to be baptized due to sin.
    He was led as a lamb without blemish to the slaughter and took on the sins of all at His death.

    Anyone is free to continue this discussion with Laymond if they have the desire.

  97. laymond says:

    The statement that started this conversation was;
    Dwight says:

    May 30, 2017 at 8:36 am

    I think we need to reorient ourselves away from where doing things brings salvation, to the “savior gives or grant salvation”.
    Forgiveness is key.
    So the argument of, “The real question is not whether baptism is for forgiveness of sins, but whether one has to completely understand that in order for it to be effective.”
    is somewhat misleading.

    Dwight later made this statement; Laymond, Do you think those in Ephesus who were baptized into John were forgiven of their sins? (My answer, yes I do)
    If so, then it was the baptism or John that forgave their sins, if not, then it was Jesus who they were baptized into later that forgave their sins.
    I don’t believe that John’s baptism forgave them, but it was baptism or immersion.
    I don’t think until Christ died did the forgiveness kick in for all and then you had to be baptized into Jesus, the savior.(I don’t understand why you doubt, evidently Paul believed they were forgiven, but had not received gifts)

    Act 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
    Act 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
    Act 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
    Act 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
    Act 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

    It seems to me that the baptism of John , was for repentance. And The laying on of hands and the baptism in Jesus’ name was for giving of gifts.
    I don’t see where Paul doubts the baptism of John, forgave sins. and I don’t understand why you have doubts.

  98. Monty says:

    Salvation is in the name of Jesus. If john’s disciples were forgiven(I believe they were) it was a temporary forgiveness. John was only paving the way for what was to come in Jesus’ name. John declared he was not the light but one was coming whose sandals he wasn’t worthy to untie and who would take away the sins of the world. John’s baptism didn’t do that. The disciples of John in Acts 19 needed baptism into the only name that could save-Jesus’s name.

  99. laymond says:

    Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.
    Exo 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    Mat 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

    Do we forget what was said about Jesus, and what was said by Jesus, when we say “I know Jesus never sinned, so he needed no forgiveness from God”.

    Was Jesus tempted “in all points” as Heb. 4:15 says, and if he was, does Mat. 5:28 not apply to him ?

    I know nothing about Jesus from age twelve, until age thirty, if you do please inform me of Jesus’ activities for that missing eighteen years. God works in misterious ways, look what he did with Paul.

  100. laymond says:

    Monty, so you think each and every one of those who were baptized before Jesus’ death needed to be re-baptized, even those who were baptized by Jesus and his apostles. If you look closely Jesus did everything he did in the name of God/Father. while here. using the name of Jesus was only after his death, and then while asking something of God. I am grateful to Jesus that I am allowed to use his name when I pray, but I still know to whom I pray, and who forgives sins. If sins are forgiven through the sacrifice of a sheep, or the emersion in water, or the sacrifice of God’s son. It is still God who forgives. Sins are violations committed against God, and only God can forgive those sins.

  101. Dwight says:

    Thank you Monty. Jesus makes it clear that He is the way. John 1 makes it clear that Jesus is the light, grace and truth. “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me.”
    I think John’s baptism was as stated “John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”
    Even John says in Matt.3:11 “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance…”.
    In other words he isn’t even stating that his baptism forgave sins, but that his baptism was for those who wanted to repent towards( turn to) Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins.
    People could turn to Jesus from their sins, but not be forgiven at that time, but with the expectation they would be.
    I think this is consistent.
    Jesus hadn’t yet died for the world and his blood hadn’t been spilled as a sacrifice as the unblemished Passover Lamb. In Acts and beyond, they taught Jesus and Jesus crucified as the precursor to salvation, because this was the hinge to faith for salvation for mankind.

  102. laymond says:

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Who do you think set into motion the way for man to attain forgiveness of sin. ?

  103. Larry Cheek says:

    Jesus asks;
    (Mat 21:25 ESV) The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’
    See how they thought.
    Mat 21:26-27 ESV But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” (27) So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
    What does this prove? Well, that the baptism of John came from the same source as Jesus came from. Would we dare to not accept that John’ s baptism could contain the same powers that are expressed by Jesus?

    (Mar 1:4 ESV) John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
    Notice the next verse;
    Mar 1:5 ESV And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
    Was it necessary to confess sins to verify that you would repent? Were they ever told by John to confess sins to be baptized? Why did they confess them after baptism? If this baptism did not have power to forgive sins, would confessing them orchestrate their forgiveness?

    (Mar 11:30 ESV) Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.”
    Mar 11:31-33 ESV And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ (32) But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. (33) So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
    Almost a perfect duplicate from Matthews account.

    (Luk 7:29 ESV) (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John,

    Luk 7:26-35 ESV What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. (27) This is he of whom it is written, “‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’ (28) I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (29) (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, (30) but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.) (31) “To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? (32) They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ (33) For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ (34) The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ (35) Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”

    (Luk 20:4 ESV) was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?”
    A third account of Jesus discussing John and his baptism.
    Luk 20:4-8 ESV was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” (5) And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ (6) But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” (7) So they answered that they did not know where it came from. (8) And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

    (Act 1:22 ESV) beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
    This baptism was so important that it is used as a date to to begin the validity of a replacement for Judas.
    Act 1:21 ESV So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
    Beginning from the baptism of John, would be referencing John’s baptizing Jesus.

    (Act 10:37 ESV) you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed:
    Act 10:38 ESV how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
    Did John only begin proclaiming baptism after baptizing Jesus? No. This references the beginning of John’s message and baptizing.

    (Act 13:24 ESV) Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
    John was not the power being portrayed in the baptism that he administered, but the baptism that he performed had all the power of Heaven, because it was from Heaven.

    (Act 18:25 ESV) 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.
    Notice this story carefully, Apollos was not baptized again. Why, would you imagine this could happen? Listen to the story, he knew nothing of the baptism of Jesus, but he accepted the message of Jesus after only being baptized by John. He had followed through with the instructions from John. He also accepted a more accurate message from God. His prior sins had to be forgiven by his baptism by John. If not then he was never forgiven. Comparing this we will see another event unfold in chapter 19.
    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.

    (Act 19:3 ESV) And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.”
    (Act 19:4 ESV) 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.”
    Now to understand this event.
    Act 19:1-7 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. (2) And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” 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.” (5) On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (6) And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. (7) There were about twelve men in all.

    What is different about this event than Apollos? Does the text actually say that these men were disciples of Jesus? Were they told to believe upon Jesus prior? Evidently not. Had they been disciples of Jesus they would have received the gifts just like Apollos. There is nothing in this text that verifies that they had even heard of Jesus. There is also a very good possibility that they were baptized very early portion of John’s baptizing and were not aware of the later messages. This would have a tendency to indicate that the power of the forgiveness of sins and receiving of the Spirit from John’s baptism was dependent upon believing upon Jesus when the message was encountered.

    Does someone else have a better evaluation?

  104. Dwight says:

    Larry. In Matt.21:25-27 Jesus is discussing authority to do something. The authority to baptize came from Jesus, but that didn’t mean that John’s baptism was equal with Jesus baptism, any more than the Law of Moses (sacrifice of lambs) which came from God was equal with the Perfect Law of Liberty (Jesus sacrificed) which also came from God. One was superior over the other in its power.

    Rev.1:5 “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,”
    While John’s baptism might have been for the “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”, it lacked one thing, “Jesus blood” for power and it was Jesus who washes us in His blood.
    John’s baptism might look forward to the death of Christ, but until His death and sacrifice and resurrection (of which we go through the same when baptized) they were not saved, but maybe afterwards. I am not going to argue that Jesus blood couldn’t save those who were baptized into Jesus by John, same as His blood went back to those in the OT. But rather at that time John’s baptism was without the power of the blood.

    This thought has always confused me “There is also a very good possibility that they were baptized very early portion of John’s baptizing and were not aware of the later messages.”
    I mean we are told in the gospels that John came preaching Jesus, that he was a messenger of the Light. That was his goal. He preached of the Messiah.
    But many might have come to him confessing sins and placing their faith in him and his baptism.
    And we do know that a sect formed up around John, even after his death, possibly also baptizing, but in the name of John and not Jesus.

    The difference I see as stated by John himself was “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
    John’s baptism could only take them so far, but Jesus baptism took them all the way.

    Now Jesus and the apostles baptized many, but up until Acts 2 do we see baptism with the promise of the Holy Spirit and this was only after Jesus died.

    Baptism for repentance didn’t save, but the baptism of Jesus did.

    Now having said all of this.
    My point with Laymond and that I was trying to make is that Jesus is the savior and once we place salvation on anything other than Jesus, on a thing like faith, repentance, baptism, etc., we are missing who the savior is. Our faith is not placed in repentance or baptism, but Jesus.
    In the coC there is a great attempt to depersonalize salvation and make it dependent upon an act of obedience and not who we believe in.
    Forgiveness, like mercy, like grace, like love are all from a person (God) to a person (man). They are personal.
    Let’s consider Matt.6:15 “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
    Now what happens if we believe in Jesus and are baptized, but do not understand forgiveness to the extent that we are willing to forgive others. Will God forgive us? Did baptism forgive us, so that this is now taken out of God’s ability to not forgive us if we don’t forgive others after being baptized?

    In the debate of faith vs baptism as the point of salvation, there are many word spreadsheets out there that show preaching in the far left cells, then show baptism in the far right cells, thus to show that baptism for salvation was preached. This is a slight of hand trick and wrong.
    First: Jesus was taught, not baptism. Baptism was the response, but Paul said he taught Jesus and “Christ crucified” and Peter in Acts 2 taught Jesus, Phillip taught Jesus.
    Second: in the spreadsheet salvation is tied to baptism, but Jesus is strangely missing from the whole of the spreadsheet and He is the Savior, the Way, the Light.
    We have just slighted Jesus, the Son of God.

    Now in the OT we have many statements that say, “So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin which he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him.”
    The Jews eventual mistake was to link the sacrifice with forgiveness, so they did sacrifices for salvation, but they left out who they were sacrificing to…God, the forgiver.
    Moses even says, “Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”
    Jonah stated, “Salvation is of the Lord”
    Noah upon leaving the ark which he built over many years sacrificed to God who delivered him.
    The Passover was to celebrate not the Jews walking hundreds of miles from Egypt, but God’s deliverance of them.

    It is my belief that baptism saves us because it places us into a relationship with the Savior who forgives those who seek Him and call on Him and declares Him their savior. It is our answer to God (I Peter 3) who calls us to Him. It is personal, not mechanical.

  105. Dwight says:

    Larry, I will also add this, because I think this is relevant.
    Laymond doesn’t believe that Jesus was diety and was sinless, thus if I follow this, then Jesus couldn’t forgive sins, as only God can.
    So baptism and Jesus were basically on the same level, both acting as a proxy for God to man.
    Laymonds statement, “No I don’t think Jesus was a sinner when he was put to death. But when we say Jesus never sinned, well we just don’t know that.”
    and
    “If baptism forgives all sins, does man come out of the water sinless, and if he lives a sinless life as evidently Jesus did after baptism, will that man go to heaven, if not, why not?”

    Laymond states, “If sins are forgiven through the sacrifice of a sheep, or the emersion in water, or the sacrifice of God’s son. It is still God who forgives.”
    So it appears that Jesus is just one of the ways to be forgiven, but doesn’t have the Godly power Himself. Jesus is therefore just a cog in the forgiveness of man machine and not God who came to earth to offer forgiveness and forgive.

    Now I admit that I don’t understand all of the convolutions of Laymond’s arguments, but one of the tenants of baptism is Jesus is the Son of God (God in the flesh) and the Savior of mankind. If you erase these tenants, then you have to rely on baptism that saves and gets one to God and not baptism that gets one to the savior or Jesus (God). Unless I have misunderstood Laymond.

  106. laymond says:

    Hos 13:4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.

    Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
    Isa 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

    Isa 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.
    Isa 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

    Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
    Tit 1:3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

    Unless you believe God lied to his chosen people, when he said “before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”
    and when he said ” I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. ” Dwight has a lot of explaining to do. Seems Dwight thinks the Old Testament was torn to pieces on the cross.

  107. Dwight says:

    Laymond, There are very few people that I know (really just you), that deny that Jesus is the Son of God, that is God in the flesh as stated in the gospels, sinless as also stated in the gospels, letters.
    Most also recognize that in the creation in Genesis, there is a plural to God, who is creating everything.
    Hos.13:4, Isa.43:10-11, 45:21-22 can be easily explained in that to the Jews, God the Father was their only savior. If you read Isa.43 you see that God is declaring himself as savior as opposed to the “foreign gods” of the pagans.
    In fact in these writings God is setting himself apart from the idols and gods of the other nations, which cannot deliver. God is Israel’s deliver.
    In Isa.44:” Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
    ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.
    And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,
    Since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come,
    Let them show these to them.
    Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?
    You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock;
    I know not one.’” Those who make an image, all of them are useless,
    And their precious things shall not profit; They are their own witnesses;
    They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed. Who would form a god or mold an image
    That profits him nothing?”
    Actually there are many rocks, but to the Jews God is their only Rock.

    Laymond, read all of Titus 1:1-4 “Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior; To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.”
    Even the Jews were expecting Jesus, but they just didn’t like what they saw…he didn’t look like what they wanted, but they knew He was coming.

    Titus 1 clearly says, “God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.”
    The reality is that God the Father sent His son, how does that go, John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
    So yes, God is the savior, but Jesus is the immediate savior, because you must go through Him to get to God the Father. John 14:6

  108. laymond says:

    Isa 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
    Isa 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

    Isa 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

    Lets read when and where Jesus became “the son of God.”
    Mat 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
    Mat 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

    2Pe 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

    ” when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, ”

    When was it that Peter said Jesus recieved honor and glory from God. At birth? when he was twelve ? No! when he was baptized.

    It seems to me that the son of God, was “born of water”.

  109. Larry Cheek says:

    Dwight,
    We humans are prone to categorize everything, sometimes too much. One of my points in posting these scriptures about John’s baptism was to make it perfectly clear that the baptism that was being administered by John was not his at all. This baptism was sent from Heaven exactly the same place that Jesus was from. Who do you think sent it from Heaven? Was it God or Jesus? Well let me rephrase that according to your own determination of the relationship between God and Jesus. Would it be possible to only credit one or the other for sending it without the others consent or involvement? So my consensuses is that this was God and Jesus both in unison sending the action “baptism” for John to teach and perform. This was sent to a world prior to Jesus arriving upon the scene. Since we can look backward from later events ie: Jesus shedding his blood, communications about life being in the blood, mankind being cleansed by the shed blood, we then can believe that it was only through that blood that sins can be forgiven. Yes, we were heavily programmed with that message, which is true for all who are on this side of the cross. But, contrary to the teaching that we received many men in OT times had been forgiven while they were still alive. Do some searching in OT for (forgive, forgiven, forgiveness). Then remember the acts of forgiveness that Jesus performed while on earth. There are multiple recorded messages from Jesus stating that he had power to forgive sins prior to sacrificing his blood. He did not obtain that ability only after his death.
    Mat 9:5-6 ESV For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? (6) But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—”Rise, pick up your bed and go home.”
    Mar 2:5-11 ESV And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (6) Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, (7) “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (8) And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? (9) Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? (10) But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— (11) “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”
    Luk 5:20-25 ESV And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” (21) And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (22) When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? (23) Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? (24) But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—”I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” (25) And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God.

    Joh 8:10-11 ESV Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” (11) She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]
    Did these individuals have to wait until Jesus was crucified to have forgiveness? If we wanted that to be true then we would be denying that Jesus had power to forgive sins while he was on earth.

    Now let us look again at this baptism of John. Jesus, God or both sent this baptism and the messenger John was instructed to fulfill Zechariah’s Prophecy.
    Luk 1:76-77 ESV And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, (77) to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,
    Isaiah’s Prophesy also.
    Mar 1:2-5 ESV As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, (3) the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'” (4) John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (5) And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

    Should it be noteworthy that there is not a recorded account of men desiring to receive the remission of sins that John spoke of by having faith and believing but refusing baptism during the messages of John? God and Jesus both had the power to forgive sins before Jesus’s Blood was shed. Why would we not understand that their sent preparation “The Way” would not contain power which was testified of it. What would cause people of God to question that ability of the “Way” in this time period? That is a very easy concept to see. The great deceiver understands the message perfectly and if he can distort the message to men in such a manner that they will not submit to the clear teaching of Jesus and His Apostles, he can insure an aborted believer in Jesus being (forgiven) or saved .

    Now that same deceiver is attempting to advance his doctrine from within the Body of Christ (The Church).

  110. Larry Cheek says:

    Other statements I had planned to state.
    His advancement message today is to attempt to make us believe that placing a saving power connected to baptism is denying that Jesus is the Savior. When in reality to remove baptism from the saving power from baptism is denying messages in scripture from Paul, Philip, Peter and Jesus.
    Mar 16:15-16 ESV And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. (16) Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
    Act 2:38 ESV 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.

    Act 8:12 ESV But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
    Rom 6:3 ESV Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
    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,

  111. Monty says:

    Laymond said, “Lets read when and where Jesus became “the son of God.”

    Laymond, do I hear you correctly that you believe Jesus became God’s son at his baptism?

  112. Dwight says:

    Larry, What we end up doing is isolating baptism out of faith, repentance, confession, etc., when all of them are involved in man coming to God. In fact once we get past baptism we are still called on to repent and have faith and confess Jesus.
    So I am not denying that baptism saves, but rather that I am not making baptism the savior, which many attempt to do.
    As noted by the Pharisees who complained about Jesus who forgave others, they said, “only God can forgive”, which is true.
    If we compare baptism to Noah building an Ark (they are both saving responses to God), at the end of the day are we going to say that building the ark/baptism saved us or that God saved us?

    When you say, “baptism was sent from Heaven” where do you find that?
    Are you talking Holy Spirit or water baptism?
    I agree that the command for water baptism came from heaven, but the water baptism was as
    I Peter states to be “an answer of a good conscience towards God” by man.
    The physical happening reflected a spiritual happening that God took into account towards Him, but then again a person must be baptized with faith in Jesus as the Savior.
    Baptisms were being done by the Jews for conversions, without a command to do so, long before God used it.
    Ritual washing was in the Jewish world a way to cleanse one of impurities so they could stand before God, so why wouldn’t God use this thing he initially created (purifying cleansing) in the same way.

    Many seem to place, inadvertently or purposely, Jesus and baptism on the same level in regards to salvation.
    Baptism saves and Jesus saves.
    This is how many coC flyers are set up to reflect, sometimes even almost ignoring Jesus and promoting baptism in power. I’ve got one such flyer printed recently.
    But baptism only saves because one is baptized into Jesus the savior.

    You wrote, “His advancement message today is to attempt to make us believe that placing a saving power connected to baptism is denying that Jesus is the Savior. When in reality to remove baptism from the saving power from baptism is denying messages in scripture from Paul, Philip, Peter and Jesus.”
    This is true and not what I am attempting to show.
    In fact saving power is connected to repentance and confession and faith etc., but the power isn’t IN these things, it is IN Jesus.
    Without Jesus as the focus, these things are just things.
    The apostles taught Jesus, the savior and then baptized those into Christ.

    And if you go back and read I am not disputing that forgiveness was in progress before the death of Jesus, but rather the power of forgiveness wasn’t there to complete it. Where the sacrifices of bulls and goats were powerless, the sacrifice of Jesus was all powerful.

    I do agree that “God and Jesus both had the power to forgive sins before Jesus’s Blood was shed.”, but this was a personal intervention of God and Jesus.
    This is my overall point is that forgiveness is personal from God/Jesus to man.
    When the woman touched the hem of Jesus did she give thanks to the hem, I hope not and I doubt she said the “hem saved her”, because the power was from Jesus.

    While many have attempted to remove any connection to baptism in regards to salvation and making faith in Jesus all powerful, many have also gone the other way and made baptism what saves you all powerful.
    I would argue that the power is in Jesus. If you have real faith in Jesus you will be baptized into Jesus, the savior and be saved.
    Going back to what we know of the Jewish cleansing from the Law, these cleansing didn’t remove sin, but allowed you to stand before God who removed sin.
    I think there is the correlation that we miss.
    We go through the physical baptism (our answer to God) and are cleansed by God (Jesus blood).
    Rev.1:5 “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,”
    It may happen at the same time, but there are many who will be baptized and not be saved, because they didn’t place their faith in Jesus.
    So all of this goes back to Jesus, the savior, as the point of and power of salvation.

    Now Laymond’s argument is that Jesus was not God, but made God at the time of His baptism.
    “It seems to me that the son of God, was “born of water”.
    Jesus was not God who came to earth in the flesh at birth.
    So instead of God recognizing His son, who had been baptized, he was made the “Son of God” by His baptism, which must mean that Jesus wasn’t really God or diety, just a proxy of God’s power.

    Laymond places the power in the baptism that removed Jesus sins so that He could become sinless and the “Son of God”.
    This is why he places the power in the water. The water forgives sins.
    I mean you can’t have Jesus being baptized if he is sinless, just to be baptized to be pleasing to God, it must be to remove sins, according to Laymond.
    But not all baptism remove sin, after all baptism is immersion and swimming is immersion.
    The reason baptism saves is because of faith in Jesus, but if Jesus was baptized before he was called the Son of God, then he wasn’t saved, because he would have to be the Son of God to have faith in Himself.

    This has been my conversation with Laymond. I show where Jesus was sinless, and Laymond goes back to his baptism to show he had his sins removed and was called the “son of God”.
    Having your sins removed doesn’t make you sinless, but just forgives the sins that were done.
    All men sin, except Jesus, who did not sin. If Jesus sinned before his baptism, then why not afterwards, after all all he has to do is ask for forgiveness and then he will be “sinless” again, right Laymond?

  113. laymond says:

    Larry, Larry, Larry— It seems to me that you seek a compromise, when there is no room for compromise.
    “Who do you think sent it from Heaven? Was it God or Jesus? Well let me rephrase that according to your own determination of the relationship between God and Jesus. Would it be possible to only credit one or the other for sending it without the others consent or involvement? So my consensuses is that this was God and Jesus both in unison sending the action “baptism” for John to teach and perform.”
    Have you ever read in Matthew, where Jesus said he is the servant that God sent, either Jesus is God’s servant, or he is God’s equal, I believe Jesus knew what he was saying.

  114. Dwight says:

    2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
    Man is never called sinless, even after baptism. Forgiveness doesn’t make a man sinless, just forgiven of the sin. Jesus was called sinless. Even though John baptized people into Jesus for the repentance for the forgiveness of sins, this wasn’t what Jesus was baptized for.

    Laymond, all men are equal as men and we can still serve one another, there is no contradiction.
    My father and I are people, but my father had authority over me because I was his son. Both of us are men, but one has authority. I could have sought to take authority from Him, but I didn’t.
    Now as he got older I did have authority over my father in terms of care, but He was still my father and I was still his son and his servant
    God the Father has authority over His Son, even though they are both deity.
    Jesus said he came to do the “will of His Father” by choice.

    Yes, Monty, this has been the crux of the conversation in regards to baptism.
    If baptism automatically forgives sins, then Jesus was forgiven of his sins, because that is what the action of water baptism did.

    My argument is that baptism was/is dependent upon faith in Jesus as our Savior in order that our sins are forgiven. Much in the same way that the blood on the doorpost didn’t save the people, but allowed the angel of death to overlook them. Jesus is our Passover lamb that allows death to pass over us. It was dependent upon His blood and His sacrifice.

  115. laymond says:

    Dwight said, “Having your sins removed doesn’t make you sinless, but just forgives the sins that were done.”

    That is where Dwight and I have different views of baptism , I understand that baptism washes away sin , and leaves the baptized clean, not with a record.
    I believe the record is washed clean forever. and we are responsible to keep it clean. either by behavior or prayer to God .

    Psa 79:8 O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.
    Psa 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.

    Even the atonement of the priest in olden days cleaned for one year.
    Lev 16:30 For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.

    So surely the blood of Jesus’ cleansing last longer.

  116. Dwight says:

    Laymond, here are the flaws I see.
    But first I agree that “baptism washes away sins” in the sense that Jesus’ blood washes us and allows us to come before God clean and pure. We come before the God that forgives us of our sins. In the ends Jesus came to saves us and He saves us when we believe and obey.

    But washed clean forever? Then what is the point of being able to ask for forgiveness from God?
    I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
    If washed clean forever by God, then there is nothing we can do to make it unclean.
    In the case of Simon the sorcerer he was converted/baptized and then almost immediately sinned and had to ask for forgiveness.
    Baptism doesn’t make us perfect, but allows us to go directly to God for forgiveness of our transgressions. We have access to God, where in the past they had to go through priest and sacrifices and yet it still wasn’t a perfect sacrifice that we have in Jesus.

    In regards to Jesus, you had stated that you thought he had sinned, thus not sinless, but if baptized for his sins, then his sins were removed, which you argue makes one sinless.
    So what we have here is called a paradox, where one thing that happens creates a condition where that thing can’t happen.
    If we are baptized, then we are sinless, but the Bible states that all men sin, but not if we are sinless according to baptism.
    Again we are forgiven and our slate might be wiped clean, but that doesn’t mean that were sinless and we can even be capable of sin after that. Removing bugs from our windshield and making it spotless doesn’t mean there wasn’t bugs on it before and won’t be on it again.

    We are responsible to keep our record clean, but God knows we can’t. Even Paul in Romans expressed this war within himself of doing that which he knew he shouldn’t do.
    And yet we are standing before God and can be forgiven, unless we walk away from the presence of God.

    And then we must be willing to forgive others. Matt.6:15.
    Forgiveness, mercy, grace, etc. as I have tried to point out is relational and personal, not based on things we try to do to be holy, as we will fail, but based upon our effort following God. David was a man after God’s own heart, because he sought God, but he was far from perfect.

    Now if baptism forgives sins, then Jesus was forgiven, even though He didn’t need it. But if baptism places us before God, then Jesus was placed before His Father, to which His Father said, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.”
    Jesus wasn’t baptized for His sins, because he had no sin, so it wasn’t for repentance.
    And this baptism didn’t confer on Him deity.
    He was God in the flesh from his birth.

    He might not have had the power of the Holy Spirit, being in human form until then, but He was still God, and there is much debate over this “HS-power concept” as well. But their is little debate that He was God and could command the power of God, after all he was able to forgive others of their sins. Just because He was God didn’t mean He didn’t take on the role of a servant and wasn’t an obedient son. The Son of God even served man.

  117. laymond says:

    Dwight ,I didn’t say the sinner was washed clean forever, the record was washed clean forever and never held against that person again. take another look.

  118. Larry Cheek says:

    Dwight,
    You asked me to clarify this statement; “When you say, “baptism was sent from Heaven” where do you find that?”
    Notice in these three places Jesus asked the same question with only two possibilities which he distinctly identified. Was it from Heaven or man! Those he asked did not present another possibility for its source, therefore only one of the two possibilities could be true. Considering the two possibilities what would you select as the source. Can we have any doubt that Heaven was the source of the command/instruction to baptize those who have repented? We like to identify the need to have belief and faith. But, unless an individual has belief and faith would they see the need to repent?
    Mat 21:25 ESV The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’
    Mar 11:30-32 ESV Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” (31) And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ (32) But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet.
    Luk 20:3-6 ESV He answered them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, (4) was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” (5) And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ (6) But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.”

    Again, I will state that I believe that the baptism that was sent from Heaven could very well contain the power of forgiveness. Jesus demonstrated that he had the power to forgive prior to sacrificing himself on the cross, we are certain that God can forgive anyone he chooses and either of them can empower baptism with the same result. Remember, baptism is in many scriptures identified as washing away sins and saving us.

  119. Larry Cheek says:

    Dwight,
    You stated.
    “If baptism automatically forgives sins, then Jesus was forgiven of his sins, because that is what the action of water baptism did.”
    John the Baptist knew this and reflected it in his communication.
    Mat 3:13-16 ESV Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. (14) John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (15) But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. (16) And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;

    I would not disagree that, faith or belief is necessary for baptism to fulfill its purpose. I also would state that all who were baptized by John had those qualities.
    When you state, “My argument is that baptism was/is dependent upon faith in Jesus as our Savior in order that our sins are forgiven. Much in the same way that the blood on the doorpost didn’t save the people, but allowed the angel of death to overlook them. Jesus is our Passover lamb that allows death to pass over us. It was dependent upon His blood and His sacrifice.”

    But, when you try to say that without, “His blood and His sacrifice” there could not have been any forgiveness. I believe that would make his blood and his sacrifice the savior rather than Jesus or God. That limits the power of God and Jesus. His sacrifice had a purpose but it was not to create salvation. It was prophesied long before he arrived on earth that he would be our Savior, and he was that whether he sacrificed his life or not. God has been identified as a Savior many times throughout scripture even though he did not perform such a display of his affections.
    I know that we have stated many times that the blood flowed both directions from the cross, which has led us to believe that there was no forgiveness at any period in time prior to the cross, but the scriptures state otherwise.

  120. Dwight says:

    Laymond, sorry, I misunderstood, but you still haven’t solved the issue of why Jesus is called sinless, unless the baptism is what caused him to be sinless and if that is true then all those who have been baptized are sinless as well.
    Even though we are told that “all men sin” and we are told that Jesus “knew no sin.”
    My point though was that if Jesus’ sins were wiped clean, if he sinned, why didn’t he sin after this point as well. After all this is what man does. Even after being wiped clean of sin, man will sin, thus needing forgiveness and from what I understand you believe Jesus was just a man, but adopted by God. Even the apostles who had the Holy Spirit were subject to sin.

    Larry, My point is that baptism or immersion existed prior to John’s baptism, so did that too come from heaven?
    I believe the concept of cleansing is definitely Godly, but then again the Pharisees taught that one must wash their hands before eating and afterwards to be clean and Holy.
    I think, of course I might be wrong, but I think the passages you state are talking about the authority of John’s baptism and not baptism itself. I mean would we argue sacrifice is from heaven, even though many sacrificed to other gods? In reality it was about sacrifice to the right God that was approved of by God. And human sacrifice was not approved of.
    I would argue that sacrifice in itself is not Godly, unless directed towards God. Context.

    If I was to present this “Again, I will state that I believe that the baptism that was sent from Heaven could very well contain the power of forgiveness. Jesus demonstrated that he had the power to forgive prior to sacrificing himself on the cross, we are certain that God can forgive anyone he chooses and either of them can empower baptism with the same result. Remember, baptism is in many scriptures identified as washing away sins and saving us.” to another, what would the other think of what saves man?
    They would have to say baptism saves man?
    But then again there is repentance, faith, confession, etc. that is involved.
    We would then have to say that faith, confession, repentance, confession, all saved together and all are equal in their salvation qualities. Acts 2:38 says, “Repent and be baptized.”

    And then there is the fact that none of these have power unless they are bound in Jesus.

    But then again, you double back on yourself somewhat in your comment.
    You first argue that baptism has the power of forgiveness, then state “we are certain that God can forgive anyone he chooses”, then argue that God could imbue baptism with this power.

    So now we have baptism, immersion…water, with the power to CHOOSE who is saved and who isn’t. Does it see man’s faith? Does it hear his confession?
    Even when man did sacrifices to God for their sins, it was God who forgave their sins.
    Even when they took the Ark into battle, the power was rightly credited to God, not the Ark.
    God placed power in the staff of Moses, but when Moses struck the rock, it shifted the glory from God to the staff of Moses. God didn’t like that.
    No matter what he might put power into, God wants to retain the glory and the power.

    As I said I do believe that baptism saves, but only because it is man coming to God and Jesus blood that washes away the sins by Jesus.
    If baptism or immersion saves, mechanically, then every time we take a bath we are saved.
    Perhaps every time we are baptized in the name of Christ we are saved again or our salvation is renewed. That is if baptism is linked to being saved, mechanically.
    But we know this isn’t necessary, because once we are baptized we are standing before God and can simply ask forgiveness.

    Larry, do you believe Jesus sinned? or was sinless?
    When I wrote, ““If baptism automatically forgives sins, then Jesus was forgiven of his sins, because that is what the action of water baptism did.”
    John the Baptist knew this and reflected it in his communication.”
    You seem to agree with Laymond that Jesus sinned, and thus the baptism he did erased his sins.
    I believe that Jesus was God from birth and I don’t believe that Jesus was baptized for the forgiveness of sins as he hadn’t sinned. If God forgives, then Jesus forgave Himself of His sins, he overlooked His own Sins. Grace and mercy is overlooking another’s sins, not our own.
    Jesus was baptized and this baptism placed him before the presence of God in terms of obedience. God was well pleased. He didn’t state, “Now you are my Son.”

    I have come to believe that baptism doesn’t automatically and mechanically cause our sins to be remitted, but that when we are baptized into Jesus we are forgiven by God.
    If we don’t see Jesus as the Savior, our Savior, baptism won’t help us any.
    Baptism didn’t die for us and shed its blood and can’t show love and mercy and grace.
    Baptism can be a medium to Christ in faith, but it is not the Christ.

    If we are baptized for forgiveness of our sins, but won’t forgive others, does the “baptism that forgives” automatically overrule God who said he wouldn’t forgive those who don’t forgive others?
    Or if one believes in Jesus and want to be saved, but didn’t repent from the sins of the world, will God forgive him, even though he was forgiven by his baptism?
    Does baptism make those choices?
    And if baptism forgives, how can it make any choices at all?

    Now I don’t disagree that forgiveness could exist without Jesus blood, but when we are talking in terms of sacrifice for sins, we are told that the sacrifices of the lambs were imperfect to save, so this leaves us with the blood of Christ. We have to make sense then of:
    Heb.1:1-14 “And every priest stands day after day serving and offering the same sacrifices again and again – sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when THIS priest (Jesus) had offered ONE sacrifice for SINS FOR ALL TIME, he sat down at the right hand of God, where he is now waiting until his enemies are made a footstool for his feet. For by ONE offering he has perfected (completed) for ALL time those who are made holy.”

  121. laymond says:

    “but the scriptures state otherwise.” You speak the truth Larry , and the truth shall set you free, The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I know people prefer their own version of the truth, but the facts of scripture does not allow for individual truths.

  122. Patricia H Wyrosdick says:

    Today, Jay made the decision to be placed on hospice care. Please continue to pray for Jay and his family. My heart is so sad.

  123. Larry Cheek says:

    A comment posted resets our reading comments.

  124. Larry Cheek says:

    Dwight,
    Do you know hard it would be to understand any of the scriptures if you applied all the straw man concepts that you have applied to the text that I quoted? Notice again the text from Jesus. Then connect any dots you can find relating to any other baptism then the one administered by John.
    Larry, My point is that baptism or immersion existed prior to John’s baptism, so did that too come from heaven? I don’t believe that there is any supporting evidence that Jesus was making a blanket coverage of any other likeness of the process. His message also locked out any application of repentance that John taught. He did not refer to the message that John brought to the world, he specifically stated “baptism”. As you read the message from Jesus did you notice that not one of the individuals transposed the “baptism” statement into a statement containing “repent” or any other portion of the message that John taught. To validate some of the straw men it would be necessary to find other scriptures which would support “repentance” as saving without any connection to belief, faith or baptism.

    I think, of course I might be wrong, but I think the passages you state are talking about the authority of John’s baptism and not baptism itself.
    So if you are attempting to disconnect from being sent from God, Heaven what about the other portions of John’s message? Notice John’s message about why he was sent.
    Joh 1:33 ESV I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’
    John says nothing about being sent to teach anything except.
    Joh 1:23 ESV He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
    Joh 1:15-16 ESV (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'”) (16) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
    So by these messages it is confirmed that what John taught was to,”Make straight the way of the Lord”. Now identifying John’s message was not all the portions of it from Heaven? Yes, but Jesus called out one object that he knew was the culmination of the “Way”. We should also notice that no one in the audience attempted to change the focus which was on baptism into any other part of John’s teachings.

    I most surely believe that Jesus had not sinned. You quoted several scriptures which were very solid on that point. Did you expect me to not see and believe that.

  125. Dwight says:

    Larry, You wrote, “To validate some of the straw men it would be necessary to find other scriptures which would support “repentance” as saving without any connection to belief, faith or baptism.”,
    but this is exactly my point.
    All of these are tied together and all of these are powerless without being tied to Christ.
    I think we agree on more things than it appears.
    What we often do in the coC and it seems here is debate over what saves, then we narrowly talk baptism saves, kind of like what we are doing here, but in reality baptism doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it exist because people have faith in Jesus and repent to Jesus and confess Jesus.
    I’m not trying to build straw men, but show that we often focus so tightly on one thing, that we forget its context and other things.
    The context of forgiveness has always been in the realm of God forgiving, along the same lines that mercy and grace are as well.
    Salvation and deliverance is an extension of God’s grace, mercy, love and forgiveness and always will be.
    Jonah commented, “Salvation is of the Lord.”

    In regards to John “So by these messages it is confirmed that what John taught was to, “Make straight the way of the Lord”. Now identifying John’s message was not all the portions of it from Heaven? Yes, but Jesus called out one object that he knew was the culmination of the “Way”. We should also notice that no one in the audience attempted to change the focus which was on baptism into any other part of John’s teachings.”

    I was trying to make a statement not on John’s baptism, but baptism in general. Baptism preceded John by the Jews and the baptism of John was indeed “for repentance for forgiveness”, but what does that mean?
    Repentance means “turning to”.
    To what were they turning?
    Or perhaps were they turning to Jesus, who John taught of.
    In other words the focus of repentance and baptism was itself focused on someone that could deliver salvation…Jesus and God.
    John taught Jesus and John taught repentance to Jesus and baptism into Jesus for the forgiveness of sins.

    Now somewhere along the line “preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” was being taught and Jesus was dropped, which resulted in what we know happened in Acts 19:3-4, “And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”

    Paul even says that John taught faith in Jesus, but for some reason they repented and were baptized into John and not Jesus.
    So then were baptized again into Jesus.
    I believe that although they were baptized “for the repentance for the forgiveness of sins”, the baptism was powerless because it wasn’t in Jesus.
    John stated, “I baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
    There was some profound power difference between John’s baptism and Jesus baptism.

    For some reason you seem to be angry.”I most surely believe that Jesus had not sinned. You quoted several scriptures which were very solid on that point. Did you expect me to not see and believe that.”
    I wasn’t actually sure, because this was Laymond’s point that Jesus was sinful, at least up till the point of His baptism, which according to him was for the forgiveness of sins.
    You kind of came in between a discussion of Laymond and mine and I think something has gotten lost in this and I couldn’t tell what concepts you were defending exactly.

    I don’t believe that Jesus was sinful or needed forgiveness.
    So this and a few other things made me think…maybe the baptism didn’t forgive, but rather placed you before God, who would forgive if you came with faith and repentance in the name of Jesus.
    You see I don’t see immersion being able to determine who has faith and who doesn’t. This is something God would know.
    Grace/mercy/love/forgiveness is a relational exercise between people or God and man.

    So baptism or immersion or washing made one clean so that one could stand before God as a new person.
    In the OT one could not come before God unless one was clean.
    And only the sacrifice could take away sins, which was what Jesus did.
    Thus Heb.1:1-14 “And every priest stands day after day serving and offering the same sacrifices again and again – sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when THIS priest (Jesus) had offered ONE sacrifice for SINS FOR ALL TIME, he sat down at the right hand of God, where he is now waiting until his enemies are made a footstool for his feet. For by ONE offering he has perfected (completed) for ALL time those who are made holy.”
    But Jesus hadn’t yet died and Jesus was sinless so he didn’t need forgiveness.
    Surely the baptism placed Jesus before God, His Father and this is why God said, ““This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

    Laymond’s point was that if baptism forgives, then Jesus was forgiven.
    It is Laymond’s belief that Jesus was just a man, but I guess he was upgraded to the Son of God, despite not being deity, from what I understand. Thus he was sinful and needed forgiving, which is why he was baptized.

    But if Jesus was sinless, then he wasn’t baptized for forgiveness and baptism performed another function (or at least His did).

    Mind you I am still working this out, but whatever the case…forgiveness happens when man places himself before God in the acceptance of His Son in faith.
    And in the overall arch we ought to see God/Jesus as the Savior, and not baptism, not repentance, not faith, not confession, not works.
    This would solve a lot of our debates and sectarianism if we just focused on Jesus as the Savior and then we simply followed and obeyed from that point.

    One of the things I hear constantly from the coC in our invitations are: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized… for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” as if baptism acts like Chemo and causes sins to go into remission.
    What is left out is “in the name of Jesus Christ” as if it isn’t important.
    But the fact is that Jesus, his message and who he is, God, is vital.
    Jesus is the reason for the baptism and the reason that there is forgiveness.
    In fact, so intense is the debate, that I have found numerous charts that tie baptism and/or faith to preaching and they leave out Jesus.
    In the scriptures Jesus is actually part of the conversation every time salvation and baptism and faith is talked about.
    He is the point of reference and context for salvation.
    Jesus is strangely placed on the same level as baptism, faith, confession, etc., instead of the power behind salvation and many times left out all together.
    To me this is slighting God who wants to be our deliverer from the OT to the NT.

    Normally we just read 1 Peter 3:21 “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God),”, but we don’t read, “vs.18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” and the rest of “vs.21 “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”.
    We for some reason focus on baptism to spite Jesus who made it possible, “who is bringing us to God”, who shed his blood and died as a sacrifice and was raised again.

    It is my intent to break us out of debate mode over “what saves us”, so that we can focus on “who saves us”…Christ, and then we can respond to Christ in faith in repentance in baptism in confession. This is what we see in Acts 2, Jesus was preached and then they were told what they needed to do in order to be reconciled with God. But first they had to come clean…baptism.

    Larry, if you want to further discuss this particular subject you have my email.
    I look forward to your thoughts.
    Otherwise I am going to respond to other postings if the blog site still remains up.

  126. Larry Cheek says:

    Dwight,
    There would not be a need to discuss this by email because the only person it could effect would you. That could be important because of your comment, “Mind you I am still working this out, but whatever the case…forgiveness happens when man places himself before God in the acceptance of His Son in faith”. But digging into all the avenues involved ti identify the plan that God/Christ have in place for the humanity should be a benefit to anyone.
    My communications in this area are geared to allowing many others who do not know or have not studied in depth this subject and have been influenced by the majority of the teachers of their christianity (I believe that you would understand exactly what I mean in that context) what the scriptures state on this subject. That is especially Christ and His Apostles. There are many man written books out there teaching an alternate plan. Just to clarify your teaching, I am compelled to ask, do you believe that an individual who has not been baptized is saved?

    Then there is another question on my mind, how can we teach anything about baptism without establishing that it is a command from God/Jesus? Help me understand this event better if you indicate that Jesus and baptism is not connected.
    Act 8:32-38 ESV Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. (33) In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.” (34) And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” (35) Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. (36) And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” (38) And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
    Are we to believe that Philip did not tell him the importance of baptism, that he had heard that somewhere else? Are we to believe that the eunuch was saved when he offered to submit to baptism, if so why did Philip baptize him? Does it have any bearing that when baptism was done the job of teaching Jesus was complete.
    The following is from ESV NT
    Hell 14 times in NT
    condemnation 14 times in NT
    condemn 15 times in NT
    save 37 times in NT
    saved 55 times in NT
    born again 4 times in NT
    lost 4 times in NT
    baptize 8 times in NT
    baptized 44 times in NT
    baptism 20 times in NT
    baptizing 11 times in NT
    baptist and baptizer are not in the ESV version of scriptures.
    All forms of the word “forgive” renders 55 in ESV, in KJV 59 in 47 verses.
    The program I am using for ESV only counts the number of verses at 72 when any word is used more than once it does not account for the multiple occurrences.
    The King James Version counts 100 occurrences of the forms of baptize. Just for information only, but how could it be in the context this great number of places without being of major importance?
    I see no way to teach about baptism without teaching Jesus. I also do not believe that you or anyone else could find a single individual who was baptized that believed that the baptism saved them without Jesus!
    This is part of the straw man I saw in your message.

  127. Monty says:

    I don’t think Dwight’s argument is a straw man argument at all. I was taught baptism by a CofC member when I was 16. I was raised in a secular household and attended Baptist assemblies a smattering of times growing up. I said the sinners prayer when I was 11 and invited Jesus into my heart. A good friend in the CofC started having religious discussions with me around the age of 15. In those discussions Jesus was not stressed because I already “believed in Jesus”, repentance was not stressed because it is assumed by many(generally) that when one desires baptism he is repenting. I saw baptism as a something I had never done that I needed to do to be fully saved. So, I was baptized, but I had not committed fully to Jesus(and probably would have if my friend had talked to me about what committing to Jesus meant). I had not repented(especially of certain practices), there was no discussion again of what deciding to follow Jesus really meant. Baptism was the goal of my friend and so I got wet. I had to learn over time and (many errors) of what being a disciple meant. I have seen many people convinced enough to get baptized without being convinced enough to follow Jesus.

  128. Dwight says:

    Larry. “Just to clarify your teaching, I am compelled to ask, do you believe that an individual who has not been baptized is saved?”
    Right back at you. We do know that Jesus saved personally and you seem to also argue that people were saved without baptism in the O.T. So you must believe this as well, to an extent.

    But no, not since Acts and the HS came upon man.
    I believe one must be baptized as one must have faith as one must repent as one must confess and I don’t think I have ever said anything different than this. Baptism is obedience to God and is the step towards God as it is the “answer of a good conscience towards God”.
    Baptism is the answer to God’s call. I think this is the third time I have states this.
    I am not anti-baptism as you might seem to think, but pro-God in regards to God being the point of salvation.
    Salvation flows from God towards man and man responds to God’s call.
    This is one of the themes from Genesis to Revelations…God delivers the faithful man.

    Larry you wrote, “Then there is another question on my mind, how can we teach anything about baptism without establishing that it is a command from God/Jesus?”
    I don’t think you have really been reading my post, but maybe skimming them with one eye open and one eye closed.
    Just because baptism might have initially been created by man and not geared towards salvation at that time by the Jews, doesn’t make the fact that God requires it null and void.
    God does require it.
    He wants us to come before Him.
    I think I have made this clear, which is why I really don’t want to discuss this much more and move onto other things. I have always fought for the need for baptism in all of my other post and just because I place forgiveness at the point of God doesn’t make baptism any less important for people to do towards God and forgiveness.
    In the OT one could not stand before God unless one was clean and purified, which is what baptism (washing) does for the man who has faith in Jesus.

    Larry you wrote, “I see no way to teach about baptism without teaching Jesus. I also do not believe that you or anyone else could find a single individual who was baptized that believed that the baptism saved them without Jesus!”
    You see this is where I think we have this backwards as we shouldn’t be teaching about baptism, but rather Jesus.
    Jesus is the Son of God and the “Way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father but through Him”.
    If you read John…Jesus is the focus. If you read Romans…Jesus is the focus.
    The story of the Gospels is about Jesus, not faith or baptism.
    Faith and repentance and baptism is man’s response to Jesus.

    In fact you will never find any of the apostles saying, “they taught baptism for salvation”, but rather what does Paul say in 1 Cor.1-3, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” and ” For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel” and “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” and “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
    The point of Paul was that he was teaching of Jesus, just as we have recorded in Acts 2 where Peter taught of Jesus.
    When the people were ready and had developed faith in Jesus and wanted to know what they should do, then Peter and Paul taught what they should do…repent and baptism.

    My whole point is that baptism only saves with Jesus, because salvation is through Jesus.
    Jesus, means “YWYH is salvation” and Christ means “anointed” of “Messiah”.
    We in the coC in our rhetoric often displace Jesus with baptism.
    I have fliers, recent fliers, that focus on baptism for salvation and barely mentions Jesus as the Savior.
    And faith is not even mentioned at all.
    In fact in the flier it says, “baptism raises us from the dead”, but the Bible clearly says God raises us like God raised Jesus.

    I want to point something out that I hope you don’t take offense at, but you seem to be defending baptism in terms of salvation more than you are defending God or Jesus in terms of salvation.
    You give the number that baptism is used, but not faith, not repentance, etc.
    Aren’t these all part of salvation?
    Aren’t they also important?
    And aren’t all of these within the context of Jesus?
    When you go to those places where faith and/or baptism is talked about Jesus is there as the Savior and it is Jesus who is focused on as the Savior.
    But instead we spend all of our time on defending baptism and less time on God or Jesus as the savior of mankind.
    It is my goal to have us focus on Jesus as the Savior, then we can approach what we must do to get to God.
    We keep the cart behind the horse and keep our focus on the horse, even as we ride in the cart.

    I have never said that baptism isn’t important to be forgiven, but I am simply moving the forgiveness into the realm of God, instead of it being bound in an action, which cannot determine out faith or repentance.
    God is personally involved in the process of our salvation.
    Let me put it like this.
    It is a true statement that “if you win the race you will receive a prize”, but in all instances the race itself doesn’t give you the prize, someone gives you the prize.
    In reality even if you won, but failed the drug test, you would not be given the prize or if you failed to fill out the needed forms, etc.
    The process and running of and even winning is really complying with the desire of the sponsor of the race for the benefit of the racer.
    This is the point of Paul in I Cor.9:24 “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”

    I recognize that the person at the end of the race is my savior who holds the prize and not the race itself. A big difference is that the prize giver is willing to come out of the race and give us help in the race as we are weak and subject to stumbling. Jesus the Savior, was a servant to man, so that man could come to God.

    Larry, you even seem to be more distressed that I argue that baptism leads to salvation because God is involved in forgiving us, then by Laymond’s statements that He doesn’t believe that Jesus is God and is sinless.
    This I find strange as I am not denying baptism or the forgiveness of our sins.
    What I am arguing for is an active God involved in our baptism as our Savior in our personal forgiveness, after all the Lord adds us each to His church or body as we come to Him, personally.

    If Jesus is not sinless and God fully, then baptism is pointless, because he came to earth, lived without sin and then took on the sins of the world and shed his Holy and perfect blood for us. This is the blood that He washes us with.

  129. Dwight says:

    Monty, I believe you have grasped the meat of my thinking. We just had a great lesson Sunday on committing to Jesus and what it takes in pushing away all else, but many people really commit to baptism and the local church.
    They don’t see themselves in a personal relationship with Jesus and don’t let Jesus affect them in the world and don’t come to God in prayer and read from God’s word on a daily basis.
    In fact I believe that is one of the points from Muscle and a Shovel is that we don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus as our savior, we just have a kind of distant working relationship.

    The conservative coC stance is to see baptism as our savior so that we place our faith in baptism to save us, so even if you are baptized thinking Jesus saves, that is not enough, you must above all believe that baptism saves.
    Faith in Jesus is almost secondary.
    At the end of our life we better finally understand that we are in Jesus hands and at God’s grace and mercy.
    We better leave the Ark we built with our hands and praise God for our deliverance.
    We better walk out of the wilderness and praise God for our deliverance.
    It is personal and we need to see salvation that way.
    Jonah knew “Salvation is of the Lord” and yet didn’t want salvation for Nineveh, because he didn’t fell they deserved it, only the Jews did.
    He forgot Salvation is of the Lord not just for him and the Jews, but for all who sought God.
    They understood that this God was going to destroy them, so they appealed to God to save them from themselves.

  130. Dwight says:

    Monty, I think you have a healthy and honest assessment of what being a Christian is all about…following obediently in faith.
    Jesus said to His apostles, “Follow me” and they did, but while doing so they showed varying levels of faith and knowledge and understanding of the person they were following.
    And yet they followed.
    They were imperfect followers and yet they followed.
    And then they didn’t.
    But God had plans for those who came back.
    God wants followers.
    Faith is about following despite knowing where God is leading us, but we know God is leading us to a better place. This is the story of Abraham and should have been of the Israelites.
    We shouldn’t sweat the details, because God is taking care of them.
    We just follow and keep following.
    We don’t need to know why, but who.
    Jesus is our template, our servant and our master…our brother who has led the way and knows the way.
    You may not have been baptized into a perfect understanding, but then again who has, it is enough to be baptized into Jesus as our Savior.

  131. Monty says:

    Dwight,

    Thanks for your comments. I should add to my story that I desired to be rebaptized(and was) a few years after my baptism at age 16.I knew I hadn’t repented properly when I received it the first time)in hindsight. So I questioned my baptism(we die to sin right?)No one told me I should do it(be rebaptized), but I wanted to. I don’t know if the first one “took” or not “Ha!” But I am thankful that after that first one and a few years of backsliding that God didn’t let me go but kept pursuing me through his Spirit in me. As a matter of fact, I think God was wooing me and had his hand on me because of the “inviting him into my heart ” at age 11. I know that isn’t very CofC sounding and it isn’t a total response but for an 11 year old who that’s all he was taught, I believe God honored my commitment. All of this looking back in hindsight of course.

  132. laymond says:

    Dwight said; Laymond’s point was that if baptism forgives, then Jesus was forgiven.
    It is Laymond’s belief that Jesus was just a man, but I guess he was upgraded to the Son of God, despite not being deity, from what I understand. Thus he was sinful and needed forgiving, which is why he was baptized.

    Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

    Dwight , do you claim to be one of the “many sons” spoken of in Heb 2:10 ? If you do, as I surely do.
    did you start out as deity, or just a man . As for me I can’t claim deity for my self, but I believe I can claim to be a son of God, without commiting blasphemy.

    Do you understand who the captain of salvation is, that God made perfect through sufferings?

  133. laymond says:

    Dwight said; Laymond’s point was that if baptism forgives, then Jesus was forgiven.
    It is Laymond’s belief that Jesus was just a man, but I guess he was upgraded to the Son of God, despite not being deity, from what I understand. Thus he was sinful and needed forgiving, which is why he was baptized.

    Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

    Dwight , do you claim to be one of the “many sons” spoken of in Heb 2:10 ? If you do, as I surely do.
    did you start out as deity, or just a man . As for me I can’t claim deity for my self, but I believe I can claim to be a son of God, without commiting blasphemy.

    Do you understand who the captain of salvation is, who God made perfect through sufferings?

  134. Monty says:

    Laymond,

    Some strange stuff coming from you. Here is a well written article about God becoming flesh and how he Subtracted by Adding. Hope that gets your attention. Please read Laymond. http://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/the-strange-math-of-jesus-emptying-himself-by-adding-human-nature.html

    Laymond, Jesus never sinned and he wasn’t a man who became divine. And he certainly wasn’t a son in the generic sense that we are through adoption, or by being created(as the angels are referred to). I sincerely hope this helps.

  135. laymond says:

    When I talk to those who claim Jesus was deity from the beginning, it reminds me of something Jesus said.

    Luk 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

    Act 7:37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.

    Yes God called both Moses, and Jesus a god. But both obeyed God as servants.

    Isa 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
    Isa 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

    We need to believe all that the prophets have spoken: and not deny who Jesus was.

    Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

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