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  #11  
Old 9th March 2012, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ThePilgrim View Post
Just as a side note that I'm really curious to get people's input on...

Why is it that many people use the thief on the cross as an example of salvation without baptism?

The thief lived and died before the Resurrection and before Christian baptism was instituted.

I'm not disagreeing with baptism of desire. I'm just curious how the good thief fits into the discussion.

In Christ,
Fr. John
Because he asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus said yes (to put Jesus' reply in simple terms lol). The theif had faith and Jesus saved him. Therefore, faith (baptism of desire) = Salvation.
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  #12  
Old 9th March 2012, 05:23 PM
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But there was no Christian baptism yet. It didn't exist. How can someone be used as an example of being exempted from a requirement when the requirement didn't exist yet?
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  #13  
Old 9th March 2012, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ThePilgrim View Post
But there was no Christian baptism yet. It didn't exist. How can someone be used as an example of being exempted from a requirement when the requirement didn't exist yet?
Lol, I can see what you are saying. But I think that the theif example shows that faith is much more important in aquiring salvation than baptism is and that people who aren't baptized can be saved by having faith. There ARE Christians even in today's world that are believers but have never had the chance to be baptized!
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  #14  
Old 9th March 2012, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by CJtheCatholic View Post
Because he asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus said yes (to put Jesus' reply in simple terms lol). The theif had faith and Jesus saved him. Therefore, faith (baptism of desire) = Salvation.

“Baptism of desire” is nothing, and certainly contrary to the NT and Lutheran Confessions. The faith of the man on the cross was in Jesus Christ, which saved him.

We believe that God uses two means of grace to create faith: Baptism and the Word. If someone hears the Word and believes that person is saved. Then (post Matthew 28) the person is baptized. If the person is baptized (and faith created) the person is saved. Then the person is fed the Word.

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  #15  
Old 9th March 2012, 10:26 PM
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The short answer is yes, one can be saved without being baptized. On the other hand, Lutherans consider that really in extreme circumstances. Faith should drive one to baptize. And there is a reason we do baptism in emergency circumstances, because it is that essential. Enough in fact for our confessions to say baptism is "necessary".

This is like Mark 16.16, many often turn to the second part (but those who do not believe will be condemned) as proof that it is not the absence of baptism that condemns. But that verse, nor any other, nor any theology should be used to drive one away from baptism but be the final beacon of hope for those who were unable to be baptized before death.

Just as the thief on the cross, when one is without baptism, they are in dire search for promise. The thief was able to get one. But none should desire to be in such a place, but rather have the promise of baptism, which was given so that our whole life long we can know and trust in Christ and his promises that they are ours.
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  #16  
Old 19th March 2012, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by filosofer View Post
“Baptism of desire” is nothing, and certainly contrary to the NT and Lutheran Confessions. The faith of the man on the cross was in Jesus Christ, which saved him.

We believe that God uses two means of grace to create faith: Baptism and the Word. If someone hears the Word and believes that person is saved. Then (post Matthew 28) the person is baptized. If the person is baptized (and faith created) the person is saved. Then the person is fed the Word.
I am confused. You say that if someone hears the Word and believe that person is saved. Fine. Then you go on to say that if the person is baptized (and faith created) the person is saved. I assume you are not talking about the same individual being saved twice.

Are you saying that all an unbeliever really needs to do is go to a church (preferably Lutheran) get baptized (and faith is created) and they are saved? If this is really true, then why are Lutheran ministers baptizing every person in sight? It seems to me that it is much easier to baptize people than to try to generate faith in them through preaching the Word. If both achieve salvation, baptism wins hands down IMO.
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  #17  
Old 19th March 2012, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by bbbbbbb View Post
I am confused. You say that if someone hears the Word and believe that person is saved. Fine. Then you go on to say that if the person is baptized (and faith created) the person is saved. I assume you are not talking about the same individual being saved twice.

Are you saying that all an unbeliever really needs to do is go to a church (preferably Lutheran) get baptized (and faith is created) and they are saved? If this is really true, then why are Lutheran ministers baptizing every person in sight? It seems to me that it is much easier to baptize people than to try to generate faith in them through preaching the Word. If both achieve salvation, baptism wins hands down IMO.

The big problem is that in your scenario, it separates the two. And that is a huge problem in most Protestant churches—separating the two, and making one or the other optional. They should not be separated. According to Matthew 28:18-20, God uses two means to bring about saving faith (which includes washing away sin): baptism and the Word. Either can be used to bring about faith. Baptism (1 Peter 3:21, Acts 22:16, etc.), and the Word (Romans 10:17, etc.), but neither is used solely by itself.

However, neither is to be separated from the other. If one is baptized then one is to be taught, which is lifelong discipleship (hand in hand with “remain in My Word” or “grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ”—2 Peter. 3:18, etc.); if one hears the Word and believes, then one is to be baptized.

The key is the end result, faith that God works, and faith that continues to grow. Baptism and the Word complement one another, it is not a case of either/or.

Likewise, for continuing in the faith, God uses two means: the Word and the Lord’s Supper, both convey grace for the forgiveness of sins; both are complementary to the other. They are not given as alternatives, “pick one”; rather both are to be received as God’s gifts to achieve His purposes, namely growth in our faith.
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  #18  
Old 20th March 2012, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by filosofer View Post
The big problem is that in your scenario, it separates the two. And that is a huge problem in most Protestant churches—separating the two, and making one or the other optional. They should not be separated. According to Matthew 28:18-20, God uses two means to bring about saving faith (which includes washing away sin): baptism and the Word. Either can be used to bring about faith. Baptism (1 Peter 3:21, Acts 22:16, etc.), and the Word (Romans 10:17, etc.), but neither is used solely by itself.

However, neither is to be separated from the other. If one is baptized then one is to be taught, which is lifelong discipleship (hand in hand with “remain in My Word” or “grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ”—2 Peter. 3:18, etc.); if one hears the Word and believes, then one is to be baptized.

The key is the end result, faith that God works, and faith that continues to grow. Baptism and the Word complement one another, it is not a case of either/or.

Likewise, for continuing in the faith, God uses two means: the Word and the Lord’s Supper, both convey grace for the forgiveness of sins; both are complementary to the other. They are not given as alternatives, “pick one”; rather both are to be received as God’s gifts to achieve His purposes, namely growth in our faith.
Thank you for your excellent reply. What do you make of individuals who are baptized and raised as Christians, but at some point in adulthood choose to leave the faith? Are they still saved or did they lose their salvation when they left the faith?
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  #19  
Old 20th March 2012, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by bbbbbbb View Post


Thank you for your excellent reply. What do you make of individuals who are baptized and raised as Christians, but at some point in adulthood choose to leave the faith? Are they still saved or did they lose their salvation when they left the faith?
Those who reject Christ as their Savior damn themselves...even if they've been baptized. We are all saved the same way, by grace through faith. Once you toss that faith aside, you damn yourself.
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  #20  
Old 20th March 2012, 08:45 AM
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bbbbbbb,

I think your question about how faith is created shows an understanding of salvation as an event. I understand that kind of thinking because I spent my childhood as a Methodist, and most of my adulthood as a non-denominational evangelical Christian. I'm glad you asked the question, because even though I've been Lutheran for about 4 years now, I find that in this particular area there are some remnants of my old mindset hanging around from time to time. I think filo's reply was excellent and very helpful.

I want to add that faith is not a one-time event. It is something that we are given by God through the means of grace, but it is something we must remain in through the very means through which God conveyed that faith to us in the first place -- the Word and the Sacraments. As LilLamb219 said, if we toss that faith aside, we damn ourselves. So salvation is not a one-time event (even though it has a beginning point) but more of a continuing walk in faith through the means of grace God has given for the preservation of our faith.

I think Colossians 2:6 says it rather well: "Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving."

In other words, continue walking in faith in the same way you received it -- through hearing the Word and making use of the Sacraments.

And by the way, if my Lutheran brothers and sisters want to correct me in the way I'm describing this, please do. As I said, this area in particular is one in which I am still growing in my understanding.
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