Category Archives: Baptism

Baptism: On the Covenant with Abraham

I’m going to leave baptism as a topic with this one last thought. And it’s all about God’s covenant with Abraham (Abram at the time) – (Gen 15:3–6 ESV) 3 And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, … Continue reading

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Baptism: Stray Thoughts

  It’s time to pick up some stray thoughts from prior posts and the comments. Col 2:11-14 A few posts ago, I argued that the “circumcision not made with hands” is the receipt of the Holy Spirit when we’re saved. … Continue reading

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Baptism: The Need for a Ritual, Part 2

Marriage Imagine that two devout Christians get married, with the preacher, bridesmaids, the whole works. They later have two children. Ten years later, the husband discovers that the preacher forgot to sign the wedding certificate. A lawyer tells him that … Continue reading

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Baptism: The Need for a Ritual, Part 1

[This is a rerun from way back in January 2011.] People need rituals. God doesn’t so much, but people do. Love Consider a young couple. The young man embraces his girl friend and for the first time says, “I love … Continue reading

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Baptism: On Marketing Our Way to Insipid Christianity

A diatribe on works and revival preaching One of the great errors of the Christian church is to seek heretics over any and all doctrinal errors, as though our intellects were perfectible (a Gnostic point of view). Indeed, we can … Continue reading

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Baptism: Is Baptism a “Work”? Part 5 (If Baptism Isn’t a Work … )

So it seems clear that baptism is not a “work” as Paul uses “work” in Romans and Galatians. This is because in Paul’s vocabulary, “works” is short for “works of the law,” that is, the Law of Moses. But he’s … Continue reading

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Baptism: Is Baptism a “Work”? Part 4 (Alternative Theories)

Works of intrinsic merit A common theory is that “works” means only actions having intrinsic merit before God. I’ve taught that one myself, and it’s partly true. Obviously there’s a heavy overlap between the Law of Moses (including the moral laws) and merit. … Continue reading

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Baptism: Is Baptism a “Work”? Part 3 (Further on the Definition of “Works”)

In the last post, we tentatively defined “works of the law” as “obedience to God’s laws known either through the Law of Moses or general revelation (the creation, man’s moral nature, the judgments we impose on others).” Hmm … Are … Continue reading

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Baptism: Is Baptism a “Work”? Part 2

Works — at long last And so, I said all that to say this (and because sorting through Romans is great fun) – (Rom 3:20 NET) 20 For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the … Continue reading

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Baptism: Is Baptism a “Work”? Part 1

Let’s take another look an old question. And we should begin with the answer: obviously, baptism, correctly understood, is not a work. If it were, Paul would no more associate baptism with salvation and entry into the church and receipt … Continue reading

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