Born of Water

A book length series of essays–in 13 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

0 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. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Guy,

    Thanks! It’s fixed now.

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