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Posted: 11/21/2003 3:29:03 PM EST
Legion are those who dismiss water baptism as prerequisite to salvation on the grounds that “the thief on the cross was not baptized.” The thought is that since the thief was suspended on the cross when Jesus said to him, “Today you will be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:43), he was being pronounced as saved by Christ without being required to be baptized. As one well-known preacher put it, “There was no water within 10 miles of the cross.” Please give consideration to two important observations.

First, the thief may well have been baptized prior to being placed on the cross. Considerable scriptural evidence points to this conclusion (Matthew 3:5-6; Mark 1:4-5; Luke 3:21; 7:29-30). If he was, in fact, baptized, he would have been baptized with the baptism administered by John the baptizer. John’s baptism was temporary (i.e., in force only during his personal ministry, terminating at the death of Christ). However, even John’s baptism was “for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4) and, hence, essential for salvation for those to whom it was addressed. John’s baptism, like the one administered by Jesus while He was on Earth (John 3:22,26; 4:1-2), was unique and temporary. It was addressed only to Jews, and only to the Jews who populated the vicinity of Jerusalem and Judea. It was designed to prepare the Jewish people for the arrival of the Messiah. But John’s baptism must not be confused with New Testament baptism that is addressed to everybody, and that did not take effect until after the cross of Christ. If the thief was a Jew, and if he already had submitted to John’s baptism, there would have been no need for him to be re-baptized. He simply would have needed to repent of his post-baptism thievery and acknowledge his sins—which the text plainly indicates that he did.

Second, and most important, the real issue pertains to an extremely crucial feature of Bible interpretation. This hermeneutical feature is so critical that, if a person does not grasp it, his effort to sort out Bible teaching, in order to arrive at correct conclusions, will be inevitably hampered. This principle was spotlighted by Paul when he wrote to Timothy and told him he must “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). In other words, if one simply takes the entire Bible—all 66 books—and treats them as if everything that is said applies directly and equally to everyone, his effort to be in harmony with God’s Word will be hopeless and futile. For example, if a person turned to Genesis 6 and read where God instructed Noah to build a boat, if he did not study enough to determine whether such instruction applied to himself, he would end up building his own boat—the entire time thinking that God wanted him to do so! The Bible is literally filled with commands, instructions, and requirements that were not intended to be duplicated by people living today. Does God forbid you and me from eating a certain fruit (Genesis 2:17; 3:3)? Are we to refrain from boiling a baby goat in its mother’s milk (Exodus 23:19)? Does God want you and me to offer our son as a burnt offering (Genesis 22:2)? Are we commanded to load up and leave our homeland (Genesis 12:1)? Moving to the New Testament, does God want you to sell everything you have and give it to the poor (Matthew 19:21)? Does God expect you to leave everything, quit your job, and devote yourself full time to spiritual pursuits (Matthew 4:20; 19:27; Mark 10:28; Luke 5:28)? Does God intend for you to “desire spiritual gifts” (1 Corinthians 14:1), i.e., seek to possess miraculous abilities? The point is that the entire Bible applies to the entire human race. However, careful and diligent study is necessary to determine how it applies. We must understand the biblical distinction between the application of the principles of the Bible and the specific details.

Here, then, is the central point as it pertains to the relevance of the thief on the cross: Beginning at Creation, all humans were amenable to the laws of God that were given to them at that time. Bible students typically call this period of time the Patriarchal Dispensation. During this period, which lasted from Creation to roughly the time of the cross, non-Jews were subject to a body of legislation passed down by God through the fathers of family clans (cf. Hebrews 11:1). In approximately 1,500 B.C., God removed the genetic descendants of Abraham from Egyptian bondage, took them out into the Sinai desert, and gave them their own law code (the Law of Moses). Jews were subject to that body of legal information from that time until it, too, was terminated at the cross of Christ. The following passages substantiate these assertions: Matthew 27:51; Romans 2:12-16; Galatians 3:7-29; Ephesians 2:11-22; Colossians 2:11-17. The book of Hebrews addresses this subject extensively. To get to the heart of the matter quickly, read especially Hebrews 9:15-17. When one “correctly handles the Word of truth,” one sees that the Bible teaches that when Christ died on the cross, Mosaic law came to an end, and patriarchal law shortly thereafter. At that point, all humans on the planet became amenable to the law of Christ (cf. Galatians 6:2). The law of Christ consists strictly of information that is intended to be in effect after the death of Christ. It includes some of the things that Jesus and His disciples taught while He was still on Earth. But as regards the specifics of salvation, one must go to Acts 2 and the rest of the New Testament (especially the book of Acts) in order to determine what one must do today to be saved. Beginning in Acts 2, the new covenant of Christ took effect, and every single individual who responded correctly to the preaching of the gospel was baptized in water in order to be forgiven of sin by the blood of Christ. Every detail of an individual’s conversion is not always mentioned, but a perusal of the book of Acts demonstrates decisively that water immersion was a prerequisite to forgiveness, along with faith, repentance, and confession of the deity of Christ (Acts 2:38,41; 8:12,13,16,36-38; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:15,33; 18:8; 19:5; 22:16).

The thief was not subject to the New Testament command to be baptized into Christ’s death (Romans 6:3-4), just as Moses, Abraham, and David were not amenable to it. They all lived prior to the cross under different law codes. They could not have been baptized into Christ’s death—because He had not yet died! The establishment of the church of Christ and the launching of the Christian religion did not occur until after Christ’s death, on the day of Pentecost in the year A.D. 30 in the city of Jerusalem (Acts 2). An honest and accurate appraisal of the biblical data forces us to conclude that the thief on the cross is not an appropriate example of how people are to be saved this side of the cross.

Dave Miller
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 3:37:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2003 3:39:04 PM EST by 8531sgt]
Point being?
Just posting a dissertation isn't conducive to "discussion", which is what this forum is for.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 3:40:43 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 3:41:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2003 3:43:04 PM EST by Old_Painless]
Eric? Is that you?

Edited to add: Doggnit Eric, you're fast.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 3:42:00 PM EST
praise Jesus
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 3:44:11 PM EST

Sounds like a fellow believer to me!

Excellent discourse on the most important topic to be had, ones personal salvation.

Is Garandman in the house?!

Dram CofC out!
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 4:13:30 PM EST
Amen! On the part about faith, belief, repentence, and baptism/Imersion for the forgivness of sins. Once we recieve the gift of the Holy Spirit, the rest of the information is made available through Him when we are ready.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 4:18:50 PM EST
Im sure he got an exception. if Jesus said he was saved he was.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 4:42:56 PM EST
Just to be a killjoy - my impression is that the roman legal code (in rome or in occupied lands) did NOT provide for the crucifixion of a thief. Crucifixion was a punishment reserved for specific crimes under roman rule, and theft was not one of them.

So it's possible that the "thief" is there as either a literary device to make the point better, or as a result of erroneous transcription or translation or something like that.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 4:56:21 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 4:59:36 PM EST
Every man on this earth has had the cool rain touch his head at least once...

Now, is it fair to say that when a priest pours water on a childs head it opens the gates of salvation for him but when the Lord and Creator does so it lacks the same power...

Wow some priests you guys worship, if you don't mind me tho I will worship the Lord no matter how humble he may be in comparison to the priests and acolytes whom advocate that thier actions determine salvation.

Link Posted: 11/21/2003 5:02:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2003 5:15:07 PM EST by patsue]
Well, without getting into a "fruitless" argument, what about deathbed conversions?

I have witnessed 2 people recently place saving faith in Christ hours before they died.

I am very sure that they are with Jesus right now. And I think if the Ethiopian Eunich had been struck by lightning before they got to the water, he would have been in heaven also.

I have never been able to reconcile Eph. 2:8-9 with a baptismal regeneration position. I trusted Christ myself at 10 and was baptized as a public testimony of my identification with him when I was 13. I am sure that I would have gone to be with the Lord if something would have taken my life between 10 and 13 years of age.

And if Baptism is nessesary for salvation, why didn't Christ baptize anyone? I know that John baptized him, but it certainly wasn't for salvation as Jesus being God, didn't need to be saved from anything. I would have expected him (Jesus) to baptize someone. At least the disciples who hadn't been with John the Baptist. And right now, I don't know of any that ever were.

Always enjoy a iron sharpening iron session.

Link Posted: 11/21/2003 5:04:45 PM EST
so, do you have to be baptised as an adult, with full water immersion, or is it ok to be sprinkled with water as a newborn
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 5:12:37 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 5:16:54 PM EST
Personly I belive the baptism to be purely symbolic of you accepting Jesus as your personal savior I dont belive in bapting as a infant doing much beyond cermony as at that time your to young to make the decision.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 5:17:33 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 5:25:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:
so, do you have to be baptised as an adult, with full water immersion, or is it ok to be sprinkled with water as a newborn

One reason some religious groups within "Christendom" baptize babies instead of believers is because they believe baptism is (in the New Testament) what circumcision was (in the Old Testament). Allegedly, since “those born into Jewish households could be circumcised in anticipation of the Jewish faith in which they would be raised…. n the New Testament, those born in Christian households can be baptized in anticipation of the Christian faith in which they will be raised. The pattern is the same” (“Infant Baptism,” n.d.). One biblical text that certain advocates of infant baptism frequently cite to support this position is Colossians 2:11-12. In this passage, the apostle Paul wrote about spiritual circumcision, saying:

In Him [Jesus] you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead (Colossians 2:11-12).

Numerous proponents of infant baptism (sometimes called pedobaptists) believe that Paul’s reference to baptism and “the circumcision of Christ” implies that New Testament baptism and Old Testament circumcision are equivalent. Some insist that these verses prove “baptism replaced circumcision,” and since “circumcision was done to infants,” infant baptism is a biblical practice. Furthermore, “If Paul meant to exclude infants,” we are informed, “he would not have chosen circumcision as a parallel for baptism” (“Infant Baptism,” n.d).

Truly, infant baptism cannot logically be defended using Colossians 2:11-12. Simply because Paul used the word circumcision in a spiritual sense to illustrate the time when non-Christians “put off ” sin and become Christians (at the point of baptism—Colossians 2:11-12; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27) does not make babies candidates for baptism. Moreover, Paul was clear that the Colossians “circumcised with the circumcision made without hands” were conscious of both sin and God; babies, however, are aware of neither.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 5:27:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2003 5:38:12 PM EST by patsue]
Eric, with all respect, I disagree with the way you are using Mark 16, but hey, I am sure that doesn't ruin your day :)

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" What is that verse saying?

All who believe the gospel are saved, so of course all who believe and are baptized are saved; but that does not say that baptism saves or that it is essential for salvation.

Scores of verses declare, with no mention of baptism, that salvation comes by believing the gospel: "t pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" (1 Cor 1:21; see also Jn 3:16, 18, 36, 5:24; Acts 10:43, 13:38-39, 16:31; Rom 1:16, 3:28, 4:24, 5:1; 1 Cor 15:1-4; Eph 2:8, etc.).

Not one verse, however, says that baptism saves.

Numerous verses declare that whosoever does not believe is lost, but not one verse declares that whosoever is not baptized is lost.

Surely the Bible would make it clear that believing in Christ without being baptized cannot save if that were the case, yet it never says so!

Correct me if I am wrong with this, never to old to learn something!

I think that scripture must be taken as a whole and let the majority of clear verses on a doctrinal issue interpret the ones that may seem unclear or contradictory.

I do believe that we should "rightly divide" the scriptures for sure.

I have heard you in the past say something like, you use the words of Jesus as the authority on this subject? I thought "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

I think Jesus inspired Paul to write that too.

Link Posted: 11/21/2003 5:41:22 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 5:45:37 PM EST
Eric, I added this to my first reply late in the game here, and I think you may have not seen it so I will add it here.

I have never been able to reconcile Eph. 2:8-9 with a baptismal regeneration position. I trusted Christ myself at 10 and was baptized as a public testimony of my identification with him when I was 13. I am sure that I would have gone to be with the Lord if something would have taken my life between 10 and 13 years of age.

And if Baptism is nessesary for salvation, why didn't Christ baptize anyone? I know that John baptized him, but it certainly wasn't for salvation as Jesus being God, didn't need to be saved from anything. I would have expected him (Jesus) to baptize someone. At least the disciples who hadn't been with John the Baptist. And right now, I don't know of any that ever were.

Always enjoy a iron sharpening iron session.

Link Posted: 11/21/2003 5:47:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2003 6:00:52 PM EST by VICAP]
Some religious people do not feel that baptism in water is a prerequisite for salvation, asserting “it doesn’t make any sense.” Why would God demand that a sinner be immersed in water in order to receive the abundant amount of heavenly blessings found “in Christ” (cf. Galatians 3:27; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:34-40; 2 Timothy 2:10; Colossians 1:14)? “The necessity of baptism seems so arbitrary,” they say. “The need to confess faith in Jesus as the Son of God makes good sense. It also is logical to repent of one’s sins. But what good is baptism? What meaning does it have? And why should getting wet physically, make one clean spiritually?”

First, regardless of whether God’s instructions seem sensible to us or not, God expects His orders to be obeyed. One of the many lessons that a person learns from studying the Old Testament is that God oftentimes gave commands that seemed somewhat illogical to man. Not long after the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, God commanded Moses to strike a rock in order to receive water (Exodus 17:1-7). Although digging a well would seem to be the more reasonable thing to do, God wanted Moses to strike a rock with his rod before receiving water from the rock. Forty years later, as the Israelites began their conquest of Canaan, Jehovah instructed the Israelites to march around the city of Jericho one time a day for six days, and seven times on the seventh day in order to conquer the city (Joshua 6:1-5). God said of the Israelites: “It shall come to pass,” on the seventh day, “when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat” (6:5). The idea of an army defeating an enemy simply by walking around a city, yelling, and blowing horns, seems irrational. It makes no sense to the average person. Yet, this is what God demanded of His people if they wanted to be victorious. A few hundred years later, Elisha, a prophet from God, instructed a leprous man named Naaman to “wash in the Jordan seven times” in order to be cleansed of his disease (2 Kings 5:1-19). Considering the waters of the Jordan had no healing power, this command made little sense to Naaman then, and may not be very sensible to some Bible readers today. Why would God want a leper to dip himself in a river? And why seven times? What medicinal power did the river have? Why not simply have the prophet say to Naaman, “Your faith has made you well”?

Today, if a sinner wants to receive “the victory through…Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57), the Scriptures are clear: in addition to confessing faith in Christ and repenting of his sins (John 8:24; Romans 10:9-10; Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38), he must be baptized (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21). For people to reject the command to be immersed in water simply because they feel that baptism and eternal salvation are totally unrelated, is as wrong as it would have been for Moses, the Israelites, and Naaman to reject God’s commands years ago (cf. Isaiah 55:8-9).

The truth of the matter is, however, one’s immersion into water is not the “illogical instruction” some have made it out to be. God’s plan to save man, and the conditions upon which salvation is accepted (including baptism), were in the mind of God “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). God always has known of this plan “which He accomplished in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 3:11). To speak of baptism as some flippant, fly-by-night ritual insults the eternal plan of God. It is meaningful, first, because God says it is. And second, if one truly takes the time to observe some of the passages that discuss baptism, he will have a better understanding of its significance. God never intended for a person to think that the power to forgive sins is in the water, any more than He expected Naaman to believe the power to cleanse his leprosy was in the Jordan River. In fact, the apostle Peter was very clear about this matter when he wrote that baptism is “not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God” (1 Peter 3:21).

Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia, saying, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27, emp. added). When this passage is coupled with Romans 6:3ff., one learns that by being baptized into Christ, we are baptized into His death.

Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin (Romans 6:3-7).

Rather than asking, “Why baptism?,” perhaps we should ask, “Why not?” What other act would so fitly represent the complete ending of a life of sin? In his comments on Romans 6, R.L. Whiteside observed:

In being buried in baptism there is a likeness of his death; so also there is a likeness of his resurrection in our being raised from baptism to a new life. Hence, in being baptized we are united with him in the likeness of this death and resurrection. We are therefore, partakers with him in death, and also in being raised to a new life. Jesus was buried and arose to a new life; we are buried in baptism and arise to a new life. These verses show the act of baptism, and also its spiritual value (1988, p. 132).

It is in the act of baptism that the cross is actualized for the sinner, and brought to have individual significance (Riley, 2000, p. 72). Every time a person becomes a Christian, a sinner dies (“being buried with him in baptism”—Colossians 2:12), and is raised up a saint “through faith in the working of God, who raised Him [Jesus] from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).

Truly, baptism “makes sense” (perfect sense) when we take the time to focus on the One Who gave both His life for us, and the mode of baptism to begin our new life with Him (Matthew 28:18-20). Similar to how Noah’s new life, in a new world, began after having been transported from a world of sin by water (1 Peter 3:21; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17), the sinner is carried by water into the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. This submissive act ushers us out of the world and into a relationship with God.

Rom. 16:16, "the churches of Christ salute you."
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 5:58:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2003 6:00:17 PM EST by glazer1972]
let me start by saying, "I have been baptized by immersion in water. I believe if you are a Christian you should be baptized by immersion in water."


I do not believe that water baptism is essential for salvation.

I do believe that spirit baptism is essential for salvation.

Romans 10:9-10 says, "That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

Romans 10:13 says, "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

1 Corinthians 12:13, "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-and have all been made to drink into one Spirit."
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 6:06:29 PM EST

I am more interested in an exchange with you and what you believe God has shown you then debating people and what they said in an article or website. Your quoted sources contradicted themselves in several places and took many, many verses out of context and made some assumptions that cannot be in my mind sustained.

I take if from you starting this thread that you would like to discuss this issue, and I am interested. I am not interested in debating and dissecting huge cut and pastes.

Link Posted: 11/21/2003 6:15:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By EricTheHun:
Post from DK-Prof -

Just to be a killjoy..
That's quite all right, I will be your huckleberry!

- my impression is that the roman legal code (in rome or in occupied lands) did NOT provide for the crucifixion of a thief.

At the time of the Emperors, it actually did.

There were many crimes in Ancient Rome during the Empire that were capital offenses, some of which may surprise you.

The death penalty was assigned for crimes of violence, incendiarism, poisoning and theft, for carrying weapons with criminal intent, possession, purchase or sale of poison.

If a criminal was caught red-handed or confessed the deed, punishment was inflicted without trial.

If he were a reputable citizen and claimed to be not guilty, trial was held before praetor; otherwise, in front of triumvir. An advisory commission in both instances was called consilium to determine the question of guilt.

Crucifixion was not, however, a permissible punishment for Roman citizens of any rank!

Now, in the provinces, the administration of the law was one of the prime roles of the governor and only he had the right to impose capital sentences.

Justice was administered in two ways:

The assize tour - the governor made an annual tour of designated towns.

Local civic magistrates would deal with the administration of routine justice, could hear private cases (with the governor's permission) and could pass their own laws.

Indeed the Governor had to be careful to take account of local laws and customs and adapt Roman practice accordingly. Conflicts between local and Roman Law were referred to the Emperor who often found in favour of local practice.

With regard to the first point, the governor could condemn defendants on the spot (a procedure often used to clear out the jails) though he could institute a full-scale court hearing. He might take advice but ultimately the decision was his alone; there was no jury system - and he had widespread discretion over punishment.

Roman citizens could of course appeal to Rome but non-citizens could not. As in Rome the governor would adapt the trial according to the social status of the litigants - indeed the cases of lower class people would probably not even be heard - and in the course of trials the governor was required to attach greater weight to the status and wealth of witnesses.

Similarly low status defendants were dealt harsher punishments - crucifixion or being fed to the lions - higher status defendants were rarely executed. They were usually deported but local dignitaries could not be deported without the Emperor's approval. The cruelty of the public executions acted as a ritual demonstration of the power of the state and a deterrent to wrong doers.

So, DK-Prof, if Pontius Pilate, as the governor of Syria and Palestine (Judea) was faced with two Jews who were charged with being thieves, he could do with them whatever he wished!

And crucifixion was the usual method of capital punishment in the provinces!

So it's possible that the "thief" is there as either a literary device to make the point better, or as a result of erroneous transcription or translation or something like that.

Or, as is most likely the case, it is exactly what the two were found guilty of by Pilate!

Call our next case, Bailiff!

Eric The(RomanLawyer)Hun

I could totally be wrong - and should really have phrased it as a question. I thought I remembered either reading it or being told it by a friend of mine that was studying archaeology at Oxford university.

I'll defer to your obvious expertise.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 6:17:58 PM EST
Another thing,

What if I am reading John 3:16 and believe at that moment, but on my way to find someone to baptize me, I never make it.

Sounds like my salvation not only depends upon belief and baptism, but a third party to administrate the baptism. What if I trust Christ on Monday, and the church is locked and the pastor is at Pizza Hut?

Sounds like I need a third party. Or can I baptize myself?

patsue- Not trying to be trite
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 6:28:08 PM EST
Eric, I take it that you and VICAP are both members of "Church of Christ" denomination?

Got a clue about that from the end of Vicap's last post, and I think I remember reading some of your fine posts where you said that.

Link Posted: 11/21/2003 6:34:52 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 6:51:33 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 6:52:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2003 6:57:04 PM EST by patsue]
Thankyou Eric,
I should have asked this, is your particular fellowship a member of the International Church of Christ?

This is a branch of the Church of Christ

Also, did you read some of my latter posts? like the last couple?

Link Posted: 11/21/2003 7:53:38 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 8:35:58 PM EST
Man Hun, I so enjoy your post (well except for the ones on baptism). Are you contending that all those faiths that either sprinkle (Luthern, Catholic, etc) or do not offer physical baptism (Quaker) are damned?

I think this goes back to the "do you have to be born again to be saved". There were those of us raised in the church, whom do not remember their baptism day, who are made to feel left out by "born again" Christians. I have not left the Lord, there is never a time when I can say that I don't believe that I was saved.

I think baptism in the Biblical sense was due to the fact the vast majority of the world was not Christian and as such was not saved. Therefore immersion baptism was needed to mark an improtant rebirth of a lost life.

I'm not trying to convince anyone that they are wrong...this is something that my wife and I have struggled with for a while now. I was raised Luthern, went to a Southern Baptist college and now attend a Quaker church. Our first child is due in just over a month...what do we do? The Quaker church "dedicates" infants, the Luthern church sprinkles. Yet, I am drawn to the idea of immersion baptism...not so much on the merit of the actual act, but so that our child will never be made to question their salvation because they were not immersed. And yet, I can't get past the way I was raised (fathers family was Hungarian CAtholic) where the believed that all unbaptised infants can not enter the Kingdom of HEven because of origional sin. By the way, someone post a reference to the idea of the age of reason and accoutability (ie. the fact that children up to a certain age can't be condemed for sin because the do not understand the concept of sin).

It tough, because I can see that all three make were persuasive arguements for each course of action...
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 10:55:05 PM EST

You have put forward the idea of deathbed conversions, I personally would LIKE for this to be true. Is there any scriptural evidence to support this? None that I have yet to be made aware of.

The Lord knows your heart at all times, being that he is both omniscient and omnipresent. How is it then that one whos heart is hardened to him their entire lives can wait to the last minutes of life and say Lord Lord! If you are not born again by both the water and the spirit, you have no hope of eternal life. Now, before you say I judge... tell that to him who wrote it, as I most certainly have not. Read the following:

Joh:3:5: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Now, if it does please the spirit of contention within you, argue with him who spoke these selfsame words. Shall anyone debate with Christ as he sits in the judgement seat? No. All knees shall bow, most especially, myself, your humble narrator.

Christ commands those who WOULD FOLLOW HIM, to do as he asks. If you find it within yourself to deny what he ASKS for, please dont do it. But if you would be Christian, you must worship in spirit and in TRUTH. Where is this truth found? In the Word itself.

Joh:4:23: But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

If the Word is not an acceptable source and scripture is not clear enough, please yourself and dont believe in baptism, but Christ will NOT be pleased.

Dram out
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:03:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/22/2003 7:58:03 AM EST by EricTheHun]
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:26:01 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/22/2003 5:28:15 AM EST by patsue]
That verse is better translated, "He that is born of water EVEN the spirit." The English translaters translate the Greek Word "kai" (and) when according to certain sentence structures it should be translated "even" 108 other times in the New Testament, "Kai" is tranlated "even" and it should have been here and in some modern translations, it is here also.

And even if you don't accept that, there are over 150 verses in the Bible that make faith or believing alone the condition of Salvation. There are a few others that seem to add baptism with faith as two conditions of baptism. Some of those are not talking about water baptism but the baptism of the Spirit- the miracle of being indwelt, regenerated, and placed into the body of Christ the church. Others are talking about the natural result of salvation, a public testimony of faith and statement that one is indeed, in Christ.

I don't believe that the ordinance of believer's baptism brings Grace. Grace is something that is given, it is an unmerited gift of God. I believe that Believers baptism is a step of obedience, a public testimony of an inward reality. In the days of the early church, baptism followed belief, and it was a sign to the world that one had embraced the true "way", had become a christian and the consequences of persecution by Rome and Jews were sure to follow.

The Ethiopian Eunich was eager to make a public testimony through baptism once he became convinced that Jesus was indeed the one spoken of in the scroll he was reading- that Jesus was the messiah and the savior. That is why Philip baptized him. There is nothing there that teaches baptism as a means of salvation, it shows that baptism is the RESULT of salvation.

If baptism is necessary for salvation, then the plain reading and interpretation of the clear majority of salvation verses is wrong.

Here are some of those 150 verses

John 3:16 (KJV)
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.
John 3:18 (KJV)
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 5:24 (KJV)
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
John 6:40 (KJV)
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:47 (KJV)
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
John 11:25-26 (KJV)
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
John 20:30-31 (KJV)
30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Acts 13:39 (KJV)
39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Acts 16:30-31 (KJV)
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Romans 1:16 (KJV)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Romans 3:22 (KJV)
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Romans 3:25 (KJV)
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Romans 3:28 (KJV)
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Romans 4:5 (KJV)
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Romans 5:1 (KJV)
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Romans 10:11-12 (KJV)
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Galatians 2:16 (KJV)
16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Galatians 3:11 (KJV)
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
Galatians 3:22 (KJV)
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Galatians 3:24 (KJV)
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Galatians 3:26 (KJV)
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Got a whole lot more

Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:38:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

So it's possible that the "thief" is there as either a literary device to make the point better, or as a result of erroneous transcription or translation or something like that.

Awww Geez..... Now look what you've done Ollie!!!
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:38:22 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:40:35 AM EST

I love the verses you used in your last post, but as I am sure you have heard from others, the New Testiment talks of two baptisms,

The baptism (to place into- Greek) of the spirit
and the Ordinance of Baptism- the public ordinance of identification with Christ. I believe that your position is wrongly interpreting all baptisms as just water baptism.

A knowledge of Greek helps alot with this. Your explanation of why Jesus didn't baptize is pure conjecture and must be done to reconcile the bias of a baptismal regeneration position.

The problem in Corinth was that it was a carnal, immature church, full of Christians who were boasting over who thier favorite Bible teacher was and competing against eachother using who they were followers of as a means of self promotion. Paul is disgusted with thier carnality and says that he is glad he baptized none except Crispus and Gaius lest some accuse him of being part of the division going on by promoting himself (baptizing in my own name).

That is not a passage that teaches anything about baptism, it is teaching about division in the church and self promotion.

Our theology should come from verses that teach plainly about the doctrinal issue. That one doesn't.

Enjoying the sharpening session here, glad it is continuing in a friendly manner.

Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:51:09 AM EST

I don't agree with you at all about the way you are using repentance.

What do you mean by repentance?

Repentance means literally "a change of mind"

Repentance is granted by God, it isn't anything I have the spiritual power to do in and of myself. If repentance is a means of salvation then that is saying that in order to be saved God expects me to do a spiritual act that I don't have the power within me to do!!!

If you are saying that repentance means a choice to never sin again, then man we have a real problem don't we?

No, repentance is a change of mind, agreeing with God about my state as a sinner and agreeing with God about my sin, that it has seperated me from him. It happens at the moment of belief. I can't belief in Jesus as my savior if I don't also agree that I need a savior and I cant agree about that unless I agree I need saving. And that means that I must need to be saved from what? The consequences of my state of imputed sin from Adam and my acts of sin as a sinner.

That is what Biblical repentence is and it happens at the moment of belief. It is granted by God.

Look at Acts 11:18
And read the context up a few verses and tell me where baptism fits into this and also if there isn't two baptisms mentioned, a baptism by John and one of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 11:18 (KJV)
18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.


Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:52:56 AM EST
Well, at least VICAP has attached the original author's name to the first post in this thread. It would be nice if ye would do the same for the second, and any subsequent posts from authors other than himself. Talk about a thief.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:56:28 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:19:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/22/2003 6:19:41 AM EST by DriftPunch]

Originally Posted By EricTheHun:
Does the newborn believe? Did the newborn confess the Name of Christ before men? Did the newborn repent of its sins?

So, the newborn has sins? I always thought it was an innocent life?
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:21:07 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:33:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/22/2003 6:44:22 AM EST by patsue]
So what are you saying Dzlbenz? I take that is an accusation thrown my way.

Eric, Jesus was baptized not to get saved. Would you agree with that?

He was baptized with John's baptism, which by the way had a different meaning then the baptism of believers in the church which wasn't even in existence yet at that time.

Notice that John's baptism was different then Jesus' baptism in Acts

Acts 19:1-6 (KJV)
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 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. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 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. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

Notice also that they are called disciples before they were baptized with Jesus' baptism, and John's baptism is inferior. They believed in Christ and were his followers. How can you be a disciple of Jesus and not be saved? Evidently you believe that had they not been baptized at that time, they would have still gone to hell.

Jesus was baptized because he was identifying with US! - He represents the Father to us and He represents us to the Father

Are you saying Paul's Gospel was different from Jesus' gospel? That sounds like what you just said in your last post. I think Paul's and Jesus gospel is the same.

Eric, I dont disdain baptism, What I disdain is any "work" as a means of grace. it is no longer Grace if a work precedes it. I embrace salvation through faith alone -Sole Fide

Christ's death on the Christ is the work. It is all about Him, there is nothing I contribute to my salvation other then faith and that also is a work of God. So bottom line, God gets all the credit for my salvation!

As far as your verse Mark 16:16, you left out part of it you know.

What damns a person is simply, not believing

John 3:18 backs this up

John 3:18 (KJV)
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

According to that verse, what condemns a person has nothing to do with baptism, it is with what he believes or refuses to believe about Jesus Christ.

In the early church, baptism always followed belief, usually immidiately. it was what one did and was encouraged to do following saving faith. I have no problem with that and wish that our "faith alone" churches would do more to encourage that. In the early church, being a Christian was dangerous to one's health. Rome demanded that one's social and religious loyalty lay with the emperor whoever that was at the time, and to be baptised meant that probably you would be open to persecution. Only true believers were willing to be baptized because the cost would be too great for a phoney.

Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:35:13 AM EST
I see it now, I didn't read page 2 before posting. Thought I had ya there...

Drift(Prefer staying dry)Punch
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:37:02 AM EST
I believe water Baptism, is an act of obedience, but NOT nesesecary for salvation.

Luke 12;7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
8 Also I say unto you, Whosoevershall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:
9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God
10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.

The words of Paul, to the Romans...

Romans 10;6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 ¶ For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

ONE thing I DO know...

Our Father is Just, and we will have Justice..
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:37:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By liberty86:
Awww Geez..... Now look what you've done Ollie!!!

Sorry, my bad - it was a mistake on my part in the first place.

Don't let it get in the way of this fascinating thread. I check this one every day, and am learninig a lot.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:46:07 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 7:03:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/22/2003 7:04:36 AM EST by patsue]
Thankyou for a wonderful exchange on this, I don't know if anyone else is enjoying this, but this is a great time. I love to go to the Word and reexamine why I believe what I believe and you are giving me a workout!

You have to go to Matthew 3:13-17 and look at that narrative about Christ's baptism.

Here we see Jesus’ response to John's reluctance to baptize him. And the reason Jesus gives is that it was fitting for Him to take part in John’s baptism at this time in order to fulfill all righteousness.

What did Jesus mean? The Law included no requirements about baptism, so Jesus could not have had in view anything pertaining to Levitical righteousness.

But John’s message was a message of repentance, and those experiencing it were looking forward to a coming Messiah who would be righteous and who would bring in righteousness. If Messiah were to provide righteousness for sinners, He must be identified with sinners.

It was therefore in the will of God for Him to be baptized by John in order to be identified (the real meaning of the word “baptized”) with sinners.

Also, God had told John the one whom he saw the spirit descending upon and remaining would be the Son of God. So that among other things was a sign of confirmation to John about the identification of the messiah!

John 1:32-34 (KJV)
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

Also notice what Jesus baptized with... The Holy Ghost! Not water
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 7:13:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/22/2003 7:16:45 AM EST by dport]
OK I'm having trouble finding this:
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. ~ John 8:3-5

I've looked in all four books containing the name John and I only get this for chaper 8 verses 3 thru 5:
"And the scribes and Phaisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?"

I did find this in John 8:24:
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins; for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Back to Mark chapter 16. It seems we want to take the first half of the statement without the second half:
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Taking this verse literally in order to be saved we have to believe and be baptized (I noticed NO mention of asking for forgiveness of sins, hmmm). If we don't believe then we are to be damned. It doesn't say if we are not baptized we will be damned. Why is that? So what happens if we believe and are not baptized? Do we go into some sort of limbo?

OK found the verse first alluded to its John ch3 verse3- 5:
Jesus answered him and said unto him, Verily verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Verse 6-8:
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Nicodemus was having trouble grasping spiritual things. Jesus was keeping it on his level, the earthly plane. In fact, Jesus takes the emphasis off the water baptism and places firmly in the spiritual realm. In the same chapter Jesus says:
Verse 15:
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Verse 17:
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Why would God add another stipulation, another law, when it was obvious the law wasn't working. Hence the reason for sending his only begotten Son?
Verse 18:
He that believeth on him is not condemned(no mention of baptism or confession of sins): but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God(why are we condemned? because we don't believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God!)
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 7:19:57 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 7:30:45 AM EST
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