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Cessationism: Have the gifts ceased?

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by Andrew, Jul 21, 2002.

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  1. e4God

    e4God Visiting WebHead

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    Ro 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
     
  2. e4God

    e4God Visiting WebHead

    234
    +9
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    Ro 5:15 - But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
     
  3. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

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    Non-Denom
    Sins of past, present, future all forgiven in one fell swoop at the cross. We have forgiveness already, were not trying to get it. the question is whether one wants to accept this forgiveness of sins before Christ returns.
     
  4. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Sheep in Wolf's clothing

    +1
    Non-Denom
    Andrew - Can you provide a scripture reference regarding sins current being forgiven those who have called on the name of the Lord, without that confession to the fact be made, and repenting?

    Ro 6:23
    Indeed, a difficult passage on which to build a doctrine. Verse 20 declares "when you were slaves of sin" ... verse 21 asks "what fruit did you have then" giving also the answer - death Verse 22 declares "You have been set free from sin to become slaves of righteousness" - the fruits are sanctification and life.
    In fact Romans 6 from verse 11 declares repeatedly that you have been set free from sin, therefore, sin no more. Does this passage teach about salvation? Yes, Does it teach about the free gift of God? Yes. It declares that the wages of sin is death. It declares that those who are slaves to righteousness have been set free from sin and the wages thereof. It does not say anything with regard to those who, having once been set free, return to the mire.

    This is an even harder passage upon which to build a doctrine. Unfortunately, "the free gift of grace that abounds toward many" only declares that grace has been freely given on behalf of sinners that they may be set free from the penalty of sin, that is, death. It does not state what is expected of those who are beneficiaries of this grace... well, not until chapter 6 anyway. And chapter six declares that those who have been set free from sin are now slaves of righteousness, and must therefore not sin.

    But again, it is easy to ignore what is to be understood by a freely given act of grace. The explanation is at http://pub43.ezboard.com/fwayrunnersfrm12.showMessage?topicID=2.topic
     
  5. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    +21
    Non-Denom
    "Andrew - Can you provide a scripture reference regarding sins current being forgiven those who have called on the name of the Lord, without that confession to the fact be made, and repenting?"

    dont quite understnd your question. i believe that when you accept Jesus and Lord and Saviour (ie u acknowledge your sins/sinnerhsip and receive His forgiveness), all your sins, past, present and future are wiped out instantly. In fact, God will not even keep a scorecard/checklist of future sins to be committed.

    As to why, I give a detailed explanation here if you have time:

    http://sg.geocities.com/saltandlight5/trueconfession.html

    :)
     
  6. cougan

    cougan Senior Member

    766
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    In response to post 237. Are you saying that every baptism today is Holy Spirit baptism and not water baptism that is that the only water baptism was that of Johns? If this is true you will have to deal with a number of things. First of look at the great commision.

    Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in
    the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    Jesus said this after his was raised from the dead. What did he say here. He tells his disciples to Go and teach all nations. (Now watch this) baptiszing them. Do you see it. This baptiszing was something that they were to do. Holy Spirit baptism came directly from heaven. So it only makes logical sense that this baptizing they were to do was water baptism and not HS baptism.

    You will have to deal with the enuch in Acts 8 why was he water baptized if he was suppose to baptized with the HS. Why would Cornilus house hold after being baptized in the HS have to be baptized in water if HS baptism is what we are to have today.

    Why when Paul found some men that only had been baptized with Johns baptism did he tell them they needed to be baptized into Jesus. Notice they were baptized first then when Paul laid his hands on them then they receive the HS.

    Oh by the way you dont have to say anything when someone is being baptized. When you say they are being baptized in the name of Jesus this means by his authority. The bible never states what anyone said as someone was being baptized. The person is just there to help the person in and out of the water. To say that person doing the baptizing has some sort of power would make baptism a work of man. But just as I have pointed out time and time again Col 2:12 says that it is a work of God and not a work of man.

    Maybe you can point out to me why you think I am using 2 or 3 hard to understand verses that show that baptism is a part of salvation.

    Do you think those people in Acts 2:38 had a hard time understanding Peter when he told them to repent and be baptized for the remmission of sin. How about Mark 16:16 does this sound complicated. He who belives and is baptized shall be saved.

    Now I will leave with this article on 1Peter 3:21.

    1 Pet. 3:21 -- Having affirmed that salvation in the days of Noah was through the water of the flood, Peter now draws a comparison with the water of baptism: "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." The ASV says that this is "a true likeness." Salvation offered through water in the days of Noah is exactly parallel to salvation offered through water baptism. Baptism is the antitype of the waters of the great flood.

    The water itself had no saving power in the flood, nor does it have any saving power today. The saving power for Noah was his obedience to God's Word. Eight souls obeyed God and prepared an ark, and God saved them through water. Today people obey the gospel plan of salvation culminating in water baptism, and God likewise saves them through water. The power of salvation is in God, rather than in the water.

    The likenesses are seen in the similitude of the salvation through water in the days of Noah and water baptism in the Christian age. The waters of the flood bore the ark up and thus separated those in the ark from those outside the ark. Those in the ark were saved, and those outside perished. The flood also purged Noah's world of the sin that had been so prevalent and so deadly.

    Water baptism in like fashion provides salvation through water to those inside the church, which is the spiritual ark of God today. Baptism separates the godly from the ungodly, because those who are Scripturally baptized kill off the old man of sin and bury it in the waters of baptism, to be resurrected a new man who no longer serves sin (Rom. 6:3-4). Thus, the old man is purged from sin never to serve sin again.

    In order to insure that there are no misunderstandings concerning Peter's meaning of water baptism, he makes it clear in this verse that he is not talking about washing dirt from the physical body.

    The baptism Peter is discussing in this verse is an interrogation of a good conscience. The word interrogate means "to inquire seriously or question." Baptism is not some outward, meaningless act. Baptism involves honestly and sincerely coming to God on His terms, seeking to be reconciled to God. A good conscience helps in the process of bringing one to Christ in gospel obedience. When one hears the Word of God, a person who has a good (properly functioning) conscience will be convicted of sin. The conscience convicts of sin, and thus leads a person to repent of sin and to be baptized for the remission of sin, first confessing Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

    Our salvation upon being baptized is "through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." Without the resurrection of Christ the gospel plan of salvation and everything connected to it would be meaningless. There would be no means by which we could be saved! Baptism saves now only because Christ not only died on the cross for our sins, but also because He was resurrected on the third day.
     
  7. tericl2

    tericl2 A Work in Progress

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    Cougan,

    So, basically, in addition to grace we have baptism? It requires more than the blood of Jesus?

    i do not contest the importance of baptism, nor do I demean its quality in the life of a new believer. In fact I am currently invovled in advising some new Christians in this area. They have yet to be baptized. One has been saved for a couple weeks and one for a few days and another for 3 years. None have yet been baptized. Would you have me believe that if they died tomorrow then they would go to hell? Their belief and their confession of the lordship of Christ in their lives means nothing?
     
  8. tericl2

    tericl2 A Work in Progress

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    Christian
    BTW, I have seen wonderful changes in these individuals lives which speaks to the presence of the Spirit.
     
  9. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

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    Non-Denom
    amen tericl2,

    my friend who's quite a recent convert was also dunked last Sun. And I cld already see the tremendous changes in her life after she went forward to receive Christ a year ago. :)
     
  10. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Sheep in Wolf's clothing

    +1
    Non-Denom
    Ummmm.... Wasn't Paul told to be baptised and wash away his sins calling upon the name of the Lord?

    Yes - it would be interesting to find someone who can address the issue of why Paul, when it has already been established that they were baptised into John's baptism, found it necessary to baptise 12 people into the name of Jesus and then to lay hands on them that they be baptised into the Holy Spirit. Particularly when Paul himself stated that he was not sent to baptise. And please note, these were not among the small group of Thessalonians whom Paul baptised.

    Only if one chooses to believe the Biblical record. Otherwise, one is perfectly free to say that not repentance is required, nor the gospel, nor believing the truth, nor obedience nor love nor anything else that the Bible records as being part of the package that saves .
     
  11. tericl2

    tericl2 A Work in Progress

    741
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    Christian
    Well, believing is definitely required. Faith and true belief are pretty much synonymous.

    Repentance means to turn away from or to change ones direction. Doesn't this seem to be part and parcel to accepting the message of Christ's atonement for us? How can one accept Christ unless they have had a change of heart?

    Obedience as I think you are speaking of it is not required. Obedience comes as part of the renewing of the inner man which comes after salvation. The only obedience necessary is to believe.

    Is the Gospel required? The gospel is the means of dissemination. The Gospel teaches the way. One need not know every detail in the gospel story to be saved.

    Is love required? If you are referring to God's love for us then, yes. Our love, a perfect love, comes after salvation. Why else would paul write to current believers to have love if they had to have it to become believers in the first place?

    Believing the truth - ah, here we have what is required. And what is the truth? That Jesus came to this world as the Son of God yet also man, that he died, and that he rose again. Here we have the requirement.

    All the other things are beyond our human grasp until AFTER we are saved by His blood. Salvation without baptism will still bring about inner change in a person's life. Baptism without salvation (believing) is what I would call taking a bath (or maybe swimming in the lake).
     
  12. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    +21
    Non-Denom
    quote: "Ummmm.... Wasn't Paul told to be baptised and wash away his sins calling upon the name of the Lord?"

    well it is argued by commentaries that "wash away his sins" is accomplished by "calling upon the name of the Lord" (one complete phrase), which wld be consistent with the verse: "Those who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved".

    so it is still calling on the name of the Lord that saves, not the act of water baptism. again, if water baptism adds to salvation then we are adding water to the blood of Jesus.
     
  13. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Sheep in Wolf's clothing

    +1
    Non-Denom
    well it is argued by commentaries that "wash away his sins" is accomplished by "calling upon the name of the Lord" (one complete phrase), which wld be consistent with the verse: "Those who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved".

    A nice argument, Andrew. . Does the word "by" appear between "sins" and "calling"?

    kai nun ti melleis anastas baptisei kai apolousaitas amartias sou epikalesamenos to onoma tou kuriou

     

    Act 2:38
    What is set down as the means by which sins are remitted? Surely it cannot be baptism into the name of the Christ, for commentators so regularly claim that baptism is an optional extra. Remission of sins is an optional extra?

    Act 3:19
    What, sins cannot be blotted out unless one repents and is converted? Surely that cannot be - that would be adding something to the single requirement of Christ's sacrifice.

    Rom 3:25
    Jesus is the propitiation for sins that are past? That cannot be, his sacrifice is for all the sins of all people for all time. (Of course, it is impossible to accept that sins repented of are with that repentance relegated to the past. And a further of course - repentance only means regretting those sins, not undertaking that the offence be not repeated.)

    Hbr 10:26
    1Jo 4:10
    Will you tell me that this last is the ONLY Biblical statement regarding remission of sins that is scriptural? Or will you perhaps admit that while this shows what Jesus accomplished, it says nothing about how we are to partake of his sacrifice? Again, take a look on the explanation regarding the true meaning of grace - which is at all times freely given but NEVER without strings attached. No more than a free pardon for past crimes allows a person therefore to go about doing whatever he will.

    After numerous attempts to change this course by debate and cajolery with his supporters in the war, now parliament, King William finally decided that enough was enough. He presented them with an <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><I>"Act of Grace"</I><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->. It was an unconditional pardon for all who had opposed him, restoring to them their lands and their freedoms. Every act of treason was forgiven unconditionally - provided that they swear fealty to William. Being an <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><I>"Act of Grace"</I><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->, parliament had no choices beyond approving it, or rejecting it. This was not an easy thing to do - if it was accepted, the members of government would lose all that they had stood to gain through divestment of the confiscated properties. Nonetheless it was accepted.

    And what of those who trampled this grace under foot? Those who accepted the offer and swore fealty, only to go on and engage again in treason? They were, of course, deemed to be no longer under grace.


    &nbsp;For parliament in the foregoing - try substituting "the ecclesia"

    &nbsp;

    &nbsp;

    &nbsp;
     
  14. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Sheep in Wolf's clothing

    +1
    Non-Denom
    Andrew: If you check your commentators' explanation of the discrepancy with regard to the dimensions of the bath constructed for Solomon's temple, do they give the Biblical explanation? Or do they simply dream up excuses to explain away a discrepancy that does not even exist?
     
  15. tericl2

    tericl2 A Work in Progress

    741
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    Christian
    baptizo (as used in Acts 2:38)
    1. to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)
    2. to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one's self, bathe
    3. to overwhelm

    Not to be confused with 911, bapto. The clearest example that shows the meaning of baptizo is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words. Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be 'dipped' (bapto) into boiling water and then 'baptised' (baptizo) in thevinegar solution.

    Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in asolution. But the first is temporary (bapto). The second, the act ofbaptising the vegetable, produces a permanent change (baptizo). When used in the New Testament, this word more often refers to our union and identification with Christ than to our water baptism. e.g.Mark 16:16. 'He that believes and is baptised shall be saved'.Christ is saying that mere intellectual assent is not enough. There must be a union with him, a real change, like the vegetable to the pickle! Bible Study Magazine, James Montgomery Boice, May 1989.
     
  16. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    +21
    Non-Denom
    TC,

    up to now, we've been accommodating to you, dealing with the difficult verses that seem to say water baptism adds to salvation. as we've said, there are plenty of clear verses that show us salvation is by faith alone. yet you ignore these and choose to focus only on the difficult ones to build your doctrine.

    all the verses you quoted have been explained away, question is simply you cant accept it becos then you'd have to admit you're wrong. so look, it's quite obvious you just want it your way in your church/classes, so just do what you want to do. just make sure you get everyone who has confessed Jesus as Lord and Saviour to get water baptised immediately too, lest they shld go out and get run over by a car and go straight to hell.

    this will be my last post to you on this topic.
     
  17. cougan

    cougan Senior Member

    766
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    Christian
    Here is a very good article on the subject.

    WATER BAPTISM IN THE BOOK OF ACTS

    by Wendell Winkler

    BIO:

    Wendell was baptized in 1931. He is married to Betty Sue (Hargrove), and they have three sons. He attended Alabama Christian College and Lamar College of Technology. He began preaching in 1944, and he has served local churches in Alabama, Texas, Missouri, and Louisiana. He is the author of 10 books, as well as being the editor of five more periodicals. He has served as a staff writer for Gospel Advocate. He was once the director of the Brown Trail Preacher Training School and the Fort Worth Lectures. He has been engaged in full-time gospel meeting work for the past four years. Presently, he is serving as Head of the Bible department at Faulkner University (formerly known as Alabama Christian College). He was a speaker at the first, second, and third annual Denton lectures.


    INTRODUCTION

    The Book of Acts has much to say about water baptism. Since Acts of apostles is the book of conversion and since baptism is essential to conversion (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; 3:19), we can expect to read much about it in this marvelous book. Accordingly, our assigned topic for study is, "Water Baptism in the Book of Acts." In the study, we will scrutinize or analyze and emphasize each passage in the book wherein water baptism is discussed.

    Water baptism in Acts is performed in the name of the Lord; that is, by his authority. "Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 2:38). "Only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 8:16). "And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord" (Acts 10:48). "They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 19:5). This phrase does not constitute a formula which must be spoken as one is baptized. Such is evident from the lack of uniformity among the statements. Also, to affirm otherwise would necessitate speaking a formula as we assemble (Matt. 18:20), as we repent (Acts 2:38), as we preach (Luke 24:46-49), yea as/before we say or do anything (Col. 3:17). Instead, the foregoing statements emphasize the fact that water baptism is performed by the authority of Christ and is to be thus performed as he authorizes. Thus, this study has as its objective to learn exactly what our Lord authorizes as relates to water baptism.


    ACTS TEACHES US THAT WATER IS THE "ELEMENT"

    Explicitly we are told water is the element in the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch. "They came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water ... and they went down both into the water ... and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water ..." (Acts 8:36-39). Four times the element is stressed.

    Explicitly, we are told water is the element in the conversion of Cornelius and his household. "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord" (Acts 10:47-48).

    Implicitly, we are taught that water is the element. Notice in the immediately preceding observation that water baptism is the baptism performed "in the name of the Lord" (Acts 10:47-48); but, the baptism of the Jews on Pentecost was "in the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 2:38), the baptism of the Samaritans was "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 8:12,16) and the baptism of the twelve men in Ephesus was "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 19:5-7). Thus, the baptism of all of these must have been in water; and, since the baptism of all the other converts in the Book of Acts must be viewed contextually, we can logically deduct that their baptism was in water as well.

    Not only does the immediate context (corroborating texts in the Book of Acts), but the remote context (the totality of the New Testament's teaching) as well -- teaches us that water is the element. We are to be born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5), we are to have our bodies washed with pure water (Heb. 10:22; Eph. 5:25-27; Acts 22:16; Titus 3:5), and the flood is a type (1 Pet. 3:19-21). Just this note: God has bound water, but he has loosed the kind of water (Matt. 16:19; 18:18). Thus, the water can be cold, hot, lukewarm, clear, salt, fresh, muddy, and in a stream, lake, river, pond, tub, or baptistery. Accordingly, respecting the inclusion and the exclusion principles of divine authority, we will not baptize in another element, such as oil, nor will we bind a given kind of water, such as river or running stream water.

    The Holy Spirit is not the element. The baptism administered in the Book of Acts is the implementation of the baptism authorized by our Lord in the great commission (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). Said baptism was administered by man (Matt. 28:18:20; Acts 8:36-39) in water (Acts 8:36-39; 10:47-48) in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:18-20). Further, it was for the remission of sins (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38) and was a command (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38). Baptism in the Holy Spirit does not meet these criteria. (For example, Holy Spirit baptism was never administered by man, but only by the Lord (Matt. 3:11). Holy Spirit baptism was never a command, but a promise (Acts 1:5). Holy Spirit baptism was not to save, but to guide the apostles (John 16:13, etc.)). Thus, water baptism is the frequent, ordinary baptism of Acts.

    Furthermore, since the baptism of the great commission carried out in Acts was to last unto the end of the world (Matt. 28:18-20), and there being but one baptism operative today (Eph. 4:3-6), it inescapably follows that the baptism valid today is water baptism. The New Testament records only three cases of Holy Spirit baptism: (1) the apostles on Pentecost (Acts 2:1ff), to miraculously inspire and empower them (John 16;13; Luke 24:46-49); (2) Cornelius and his household (Acts 10:44-48; 11:15-18), to convince the Jews that the Gentiles had a right to salvation; and (3) the apostle Paul (2 Cor. 11:5; 12:11), to enable him to function as an apostle (2 Cor. 12:12).


    ACTS TEACHES US WHO IS A SCRIPTURAL "SUBJECT" OF WATER BAPTISM

    In the Book of Acts we read of the following being baptized: murderers (Acts 2:36-41), sorcerers (Acts 8:12,33), noblemen (Acts 8:26-41), the morally upright (Acts 10:1-2,47-48), persecutors (Acts 9:1,18), the religious (Acts 6:7), business people (Acts 16:14-15), jailers (Acts 16:30-34), heathen philosophers (Acts 17:22-34), sensualists (Acts 18:8; 1 Cor. 6:9-11), the previously unscripturally baptized (Acts 19:1-7); yea, men and women (Acts 8:12), Jew and Gentile (Acts 2; Acts 10), etc. However, they all had the following characteristics:

    They were hearers:

    "And many of the Corinthians hearing, believed, and were baptized" (Acts 18:8). "When they heard this they were baptized in the name of the Lord" (Acts 19:5). Of course, they were hearers in the sense of being capable of perceiving, reasoning (weighing, examining, deducing), deciding and obeying. Such hearers are blessed. "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed" (James 1:22,25). One must be taught before he is baptized (Matt. 28:18-20).

    They were convicted believers:

    When the eunuch asked, "What doth hinder me to be baptized?" Philip answered, "If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." And, it was only after he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus is the Son of God," that the chariot was stopped and the baptizing took place (Acts 8:36-39). Again, we read of the Corinthians, "And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed (he was also baptized, 1 Cor. 1:14) on the Lord with all his house, and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized" (Acts 18:8). Of the Samaritans we read, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ they were baptized, both men and women" (Acts 8:12). Of one of them, Simon, we are told, "Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done" (Acts 8:13). The jailer had been told to believe on the Lord (Acts 16:30-31). Then, with the Word having been preached by which faith would be produced (Rom. 10:17), we read in Acts 16:33-34, "And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house." Only after the Pentecostians had been convicted in their hearts (Peter having urged them to "know assuredly" or believe confidently), and had believingly from pricked hearts called out, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?," did Peter respond, "Repent, and be baptized" (Acts 2:36-38).

    They were penitents:

    Saul of Tarsus gave crystal clear evidence that he was penitent before he was baptized (Acts 9:9,11,18). The Ethiopian was unquestionably penitent prior to his immersion, as indicated by his willingness to leave a false religion (Judaism) and embrace the religion of Christ, whom the Jews denied (Acts 8:36-39). Then, note the order in Acts 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." Though the arrangement/order of commands in a verse is not always sequential (Rom. 10:9), many times it is -- as here in Acts 2:38 -- with the context or common sense dictating the same. To illustrate, suppose we were to say, "Dig a well and wall it all for one hundred dollars." It is obvious that the well must be dug before it can be walled. Thus it is in Acts 2:38. It is obvious that repentance precedes baptism. Incidentally, true repentance takes care of "Lordship baptism," since in true repentance one makes up his mind to quit serving the devil and start serving Christ. This has always been the case. Thus, why this new "Lordship baptism" emphasis?

    They were confessing penitent believers:

    "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him." (Acts 8:36-38)

    Since no one has the right to be baptized who is not a believer, and since no one has the Scriptural authority to baptize one who is not a believer, the confession is made prior to the baptism indicating that the candidate is a Scriptural subject.

    They gladly received the Word:

    "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:41). They were capable of: (a) receiving -- accepting and believing; (b) gladly receiving; yea (c) gladly receiving his Word.

    There were some things noticeably absent from the prerequisites:

    There was no coming to the prayer altar, there was no recitation of an imagined experience of grace, and there was no voting on the candidates. Concerning these matters, the following from History of The Denton County Baptist Association and the Sixty Churches within Its Jurisdiction, pages 82 and 83, which rare book the author has in his possession, is an indication of how far men can go in departing from the beautiful and simple Word of God:

    "An incident occurred in the Pilot Point church during Rev. J. B. Cole's pastorate, which involved a point of doctrine that subjected Pastor Cole to criticism, and gave the incident much publicity and notoriety. Pastor Cole went fishing one day with a business man who was not a Christian, and he availed himself of the opportunity to talk to the lost man about his unsaved condition, and led him to an acceptance of Christ. Jo Ives, the man converted, said to Pastor Cole, "Here is water, what doth hinder me from being baptized?" Obviously Brother Cole thought of the story of Philip and the eunuch, and taking that incident as an example, he led Mount Ives out into the water and baptized him. Rev. Cole had been a Baptist but a short time and was not up on their conception of baptism, and how and when it should be administered. The news of the incident soon spread among the members, and then the show began. The following Sunday Mount Ives presented himself to the church, asking membership, and his application was rejected and he was hurt at the action of the church and turned to another church, which readily accepted his baptism. The criticism of the pastor caused him to ask a committee of eminent brethren to sit in judgment upon his conduct -- Dr. A. J. Holt, Dr. J. B. Link and Dr. R. C. Buckner. After reviewing the details of the incident they wrote the church advising it to drop the matter, and Pastor Cole to go his way, but not to repeat the act."

    Infants were not Scriptural subjects for water baptism:

    Such is obvious from the fact that they are not capable of meeting the requirements or prerequisites of water baptism. They are not capable of (a) hearing; (b) believing; (c) repenting; (d) confessing; and (e) gladly receiving the Word. Well, if they die in infancy, will they be lost, since baptism is essential to salvation? Nay verily! They are "safe in the arms of Jesus," being not responsible (study Matt. 18:1-4; Ezek. 18:20; etc.).

    But, we are asked, "What about the household baptisms? Were there no infants in these?" The Scriptures' handling of this matter is one more graphic illustration of its foreknowledge of false doctrine (see 1 Cor. 15:35). Every time the Bible mentions a household baptism there is something put into the text to show that infants were not included. (a) The household of Cornelius feared God (Acts 10:2,47-48). Can an infant fear God? (b) Lydia's household was capable of receiving spiritual comfort (Acts 16:15,40). Are infants capable of receiving such? (c) The jailer's household believed (Acts 16:31,34). Can infants believe? (d) The same is true concerning the household of Crispus (Acts 18:8). (e) Members of the household of Stephanas were capable of addicting themselves to the ministry of the saints (1 Cor. 1:16; 16:15). Are infants thus capable?
     
  18. cougan

    cougan Senior Member

    766
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    ACTS TEACHES US THE "ACTION" OF WATER BAPTISM

    "Immersion" is inherent in the word "baptism."

    The word "baptism" is a transliterated word (a word taken from one language and made a part of another language), from the Greek word [@baptizo]. Thayer, page 94, defines the word as, "to dip repeatedly, to immerge, submerge." This word, in its original connotation, never meant otherwise than to dip, plunge or immerse. Concerning such, there is a well-known principle of exegesis and hermeneutics that says you can substitute the meaning of a word in a passage where that given word appears; and, if the meaning is correct, the passage still makes sense. With such in mind, let us read Acts 8:38: "And he (Philip) baptized him (the eunuch)." Let us now apply the principle or rule. If baptism is sprinkling the statement would read, "And he sprinkled him." Was the eunuch distributed in small drops of water? What about pouring? "And he poured him." Was the eunuch turned out in a stream? Well, will immersion work? "And he immersed him." Indeed! Why? Because that is what baptism is, an immersion! This same reasoning can be used in Matt. 28:18-20 and Mark 1:9 (where we have the word "into" for "in" in the ASV margin).

    The baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch graphically portrays the action of baptism.

    "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him." (Acts 8:36-38)

    Notice from this text what baptism requires: (a) water -- much of it, according to John 3:23; (b) a coming to the water, rather than the water being brought to the subject; (c) a going down into the water; (d) a coming up out of the water; (e) with a baptism/immersion taking place between the "going down into" and the "coming up out of." Add to this that Bible baptism is a burial and a planting (Rom. 6:4-5).

    In an effort to escape the power of such, advocates oœ effusion have advanced several arguments. (a) "The nobleman was carrying a jug, and this is what was used." How would the text then read?

    "They came unto a certain jug of water: and the eunuch said, See here is a jug of water; what doeth hinder me to be baptized? ... and went down both into the jug of water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the jug of water ...

    Such would require a mighty large jug, and a mighty big chariot to carry it! (b) "But `into' ('into the water, both Philip and the eunuch') means `unto'; thus, they only went near the water, not actually down into it." Well, then, when the three Hebrew children were cast "into" the fiery furnace (Dan. 3:20) they were not actually in it; they were only "unto" it, that is, close by it! When Daniel was cast "into" the den of lions (Dan. 6:16), he really was not in the den; rather, he was only "unto" it, that is, close by! The wicked will not actually be cast "into" the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15), but will only be cast "unto" it, having a comfortable chaff near it! Believe it, who can? (c) "There was no water there to be immersed in, for we are told that it was desert (Acts 8:26)." There is only one thing wrong with this argument: the Holy Spirit said there was water there! Thus, the word "desert" in the passage does not connote a dry, waterless place; but, rather, an uninhabited place. Jesus was in a desert place wherein there was grass (Matt. 14:13-19)!

    Additional arguments advanced in an effort to prove sprinkling and pouring as baptism:

    (a) "The apostles were baptized in the Holy Spirit on Pentecost; yet, it is said he was `poured' out (Acts 1:5; 2:17)." Such wording was used to suggest the coming of the Spirit, with the spirits of the apostles being immersed in the Holy Spirit upon such (the Spirit's being "poured out" or having come). Acts 2:4 says they were "filled" with the Spirit. Their spirits were overwhelmed (here is baptism) with/in the Holy Spirit. Rain is poured out from heaven into which (as it fills the streams, lakes) we are immersed. (b) "We read about people being baptized `with' water (Acts 1:5)." Such wording only suggests the element. A garment is dyed with dye; but it is immersed in the substance! (c) `Can any in an forbid water, that these should be baptized' in Acts 10:47 suggests that the water was to be brought, thus implying a sprinkling." Such is assuming what is to be proved. The statement suggests the usage that was to be made of water -- it was to be employed in baptism. The usage that was to be made of the water is inherent in the word "baptized"; that is, there was to be an immersion therein. (d) "The twelve could not have immersed 3,000 in one day (Acts 2:37-41)." Allow one minute for each immersion and figure up and see how quickly the job really could have been done! Remember that there were 120 other disciples who could have assisted in the work also (Acts 1:15). Furthermore, the ones who had just been baptized could turn around and start baptizing others. The Lord says 3,000 were baptized that day!


    ACTS TEACHES US THE "PURPOSE ... OF WATER BAPTISM

    Baptism is for the remission of sins:

    "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" (Acts 2:38). Let us observe, first, since Acts 2 is the implementation of the great commission (Mark 16:15-16), the gospel was being preached when Peter exhorted, "be baptized." And, since John 16:13 was fulfilled in Acts, we learn that baptism is a part of the "all truth." Second, observing that Peter exhorted, "Save yourselves" (Acts 2:40), with such an exhortation being immediately followed by "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized" (Acts 2:41), we learn that baptism is necessary to salvation. Add to this the fact that since Peter was to tell Cornelius words whereby he was to be saved (Acts 10:6; 11:14), and he told (commanded) him to be baptized (Acts 10:47-48), we know that baptism is necessary to salvation.

    Third, notice two words in the passage: "and" and "for" ("unto," ASV). Repentance and baptism are joined by the copulative conjunction, "and." What one of these is "for," the other is as well. Suppose we say, "Enroll ye and be instructed for, or in order to obtain, your diploma." "Enroll ye" and "be instructed" are joined together by the conjunction "and." Whichever way one goes the other goes. They are like two box cars joined on the railroad: they both move in the same direction. This will be studied further later. Notice the word "for" or "unto" translating eis. This word appears in Matt. 26:28: "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." As Jesus shed his blood "for" or "unto" remission of sins (that is, "in order to obtain"), so Acts 2:38 teaches us that we are baptized "for," "unto" or "in order to obtain" remission of sins. Thayer page 94, dealing with "baptism" when used with prepositions says, concerning [@eis] in Acts 2:38, "to obtain the forgiveness of sins." Any time this word [@eis] "for" or "unto" stands between a command and a blessing, the command must be obeyed before the blessing is received. Observe:

    Rom. 10:8-10 -- Believe unto ([@eis]) Righteousness

    Acts 11:18 -- Repent unto ([@eis]) Life

    Rom. 10:8-10 -- Confess unto ([@eis]) Salvation

    Acts 2:38 -- Baptize unto ([@eis]) Remission

    Again, consider the previous illustration: "Enroll ye and be instructed every one of you for the reception of a diploma." Accordingly, what would one have to do to receive the diploma? Enroll only? No. Be instructed (audit)? No; but enroll and be instructed. Now, when Acts 2:38 says, "Repent and be baptized every one of you for the remission of sins," what must one do to receive remission of sins? Repent only? No. Be baptized? No, but repent and be baptized.


    WHAT DOES "FOR" IN ACTS 2:38 MEAN?

    "If I had a lot of money

    That I wished to give away,

    I think upon my preacher friends

    A little test I'd play.


    I'd call them all together

    And explain to them a plan

    Whereby a thousand dollars

    Would be given to each man.


    The plan it would be simple.

    Anyone could get it straight,

    The language would be paraphrase

    Of Acts two thirty-eight.


    They'd ask of me. "What shall we do?"

    I'd answer them as follows:

    "Be baptized, each one of you.

    For a thousand silver dollars."


    My Baptist friend would shed his coat

    And cease his "because of" prattle:

    He'd know the meaning of this "for."

    When he heard the silver rattle.


    Friend Methodist, too, without a doubt

    The "for" could understand.

    If the understanding meant for him

    A thousand smackers in his hand.


    Not one of them would argue back.

    And you can write it down,

    Within thirty minutes, there'd not be

    A dry preacher in the town."


    Fourth, let us observe some arguments which are advanced in an effort to dilute the truth just stated: (a) "The word `for' means `because of'." The answer: remember the observation on Matt. 26:28? Remember Thayer on Acts 2:38? Did our Lord shed his blood "because of" remission of sins? or, "In order to obtain" remission of sins? Since repentance and baptism are inseparably joined, if we are baptized "because of" remission of sins, then we repent for the same reason! Note: sometimes the following passages wherein the word "for" appears are introduced. However, observe that the words translated "for" in these passages are from other words than [@eis]: Mark 1:44 ([@peri]), and 1 Cor. 15:29 ([@huper]). (b) "The word translated `for' means `with reference'." The answer: the same would apply to repentance. (c) "The word `for' looks backward and not forward." The answer: the same would apply to repentance. (d) "The word `for' means `in order to declare'." The answer: the same is true of repentance. (e) "But, the people to whom Acts 2:38 was addressed, rejoiced before they were baptized, Acts 2:41." The answer: in Luke 8:13, we have joy before belief. In Acts 8:8,12, we have joy before we have belief. (f) "Baptism in Acts 2:38 is Holy Spirit baptism." The answer: the baptism in Acts 2:38 is a command whereas Holy Spirit baptism was a promise (Acts 1:5). The baptism in Acts 2:38 is "in the name of Jesus Christ" with such baptism being identified as water baptism in Acts 10:47-48. It is argued "be baptized" is passive and in Holy Spirit baptism one is passive. In Rom. 7:4 we read, "be married." Thus, according to the argument being advanced, there is nothing to getting or being married. (g) "Baptism in Acts 2:38 is in the name of Jesus Christ (`Christ' means `anointed') and his anointing was for the remission of our sins." The answer: such requires changing a noun into a verb. Furthermore, baptism is said to be "for remission" without connection with the name "Christ" (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3). (h)"`Repent ye' is second person plural, active voice and `be baptized every one' is third person singular, passive voice; and, according to rules of grammar, they cannot be joined together to obtain the same result." The answer: such is not true. Let us illustrate: "Come ye and be vaccinated every one of you in the name of the state for the prevention of diphtheria." "Come ye" is second person plural, active voice. "Be vaccinated every one of you" is third person, singular, passive voice. Yes, it can be done. Study Deut. 4:4. According to the reasoning we are examining, some were to repent and others were to be baptized. We ask: "How many more repented than were baptized? ... Every one of you" is added appositively to "Repent ye" and they both refer to the same ones. To illustrate, if we were to say, "Mr. Smith, the preacher, is present," "preacher" is in apposition to Mount Smith."

    Baptism is necessary to conversion:

    Acts 3:19 reads, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." Such is a parallel text to Acts 2:38. Accordingly, note this chart:

    Acts 2:38 -- Repent Be Baptized Remission of sins

    Acts 3:19 -- Repent Be Converted Sins blotted out

    Baptism is a divine imperative:

    Saul of Tarsus was to go into Damascus where he would be told what he "must do" (Acts 9:6); not "can" do or "may" do, but "must" do! Ananias came to him in the city and said, "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). Thus, baptism is a "must." A corollary to this is John 3:7: "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." Faith is a "must" (Heb. 11:6). Scriptural worship is a must (John 4:24). Can a person be saved without these? Then how can one be saved without baptism when it is equally a divine imperative? "Must" is the strongest word in the English language, and it modifies baptism. Yet, many try to weaken its necessity.
     
  19. cougan

    cougan Senior Member

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    Christian
    Baptism is a command:

    "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord, Then prayed they him to tarry certain days" (Acts 10:47-48). Yes, baptism is a command, not a mere suggestion, good idea or optional choice; and, be it observed that the word "non-essential" does not modify it. In fact, the word "non-essential" does not even appear in the Bible. The same Lord that made faith a command (Acts 16:31; 1 John 3:23) and repentance a command (Acts 17:30; 3:19; 2:38) made baptism a command. Who has the authority to say two of these are important and one is non-essential? Let us remember that if we love the Lord we will keep his commandments (John 14:15), and keeping his commands are necessary to entering "in through the gates into the city" (Rev. 22:14). Let us never duplicate the sin of the Pharisees and lawyers: "And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves being not baptized of him" (Luke 7:29-30).

    Baptism is necessary to washing away sin and calling on the name of the Lord:

    "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). The following will make this passage meaningful.

    Arise and be baptized calling on the name of the Lord

    Arise and feed the horses doing your duty

    One did his duty by arising and feeding the horses. In like manner, one calls on the Lord by arising and being baptized. Yes, baptism is necessary to calling on the Lord; also, it is necessary to washing away sin (see also Heb. 10:22; Eph. 5:26; Titus 3:5). "But, I thought the blood of Christ washes away sin," someone observes. The blood does wash away sin (Rev. 1:5-6; 7:14). But, it is in the act of being baptized that one contacts the blood (Rom. 6:3; John 19:34) and sins are washed away. Notice the following:

    BLOOD BAPTISM CONCLUSION

    Washes (Rev. 1:5-6) Washes (Acts 22:16) Sins washed away by

    the blood in baptism.

    Remits (Matt. 26:28) Remits (Acts 2:38) Sins remitted by

    the blood in baptism.

    There are several arguments advanced in an effort to invalidate the truth concerning Saul's conversion: (a) "Saul was saved on the road. In fact, 1 Cor. 15:8 says he was born again on the road." Well, if Saul was saved on the road before baptism, he was the most miserable saved man one ever saw (Acts 9:9-11), he did not know it, Ananias did not know it and he spoke foolishly to Saul (Acts 22:16). If he was saved on the road, he was saved before he entered Christ (Rom. 6:3; notice the use of the personal pronoun). Concerning 1 Cor. 15:8 notice the word "as." He did not say he was "born" or "born again" on the road. Rather, Paul is saying that the due time of seeing Jesus was during Jesus' personal ministry; but, he saw him after such time, after he had ascended back to heaven. In this sense he saw Jesus, as of one born out of due time. (b) "Saul was saved before baptism because Ananias called him `brother' "(Acts 9:17). He was a brother, but not a brother in Christ, as Rom. 6:3 plainly teaches. He was a brother in a Jewish relation in that Abraham was their father (Rom. 4:12-16). Peter called the Jews in Acts 3:17 "brethren" even before they had repented or been converted (Acts 3:19)! Were they already saved? Study Acts 7:2; Acts 22:1; and Acts 23:1. (c) "Saul was saved before he was baptized because he received his sight and was filled with the Holy Spirit before he was baptized." John the Baptist was "filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb" (Luke 1:15). Therefore, if "filled with the Holy Ghost" proves Saul was saved before baptism, then John's case would prove salvation before faith.


    Additional purposes of water baptism:

    Baptism is necessary to:

    (a) salvation (Mark 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21);

    (b) entering into a sacred relationship with the Godhead (Matt. 28:18-20);

    (c) experiencing the new birth (John 3:1-7);

    (d) coming into Contact with the blood of Christ (Rom. 6:3; John 19:34);

    (e) entering Christ (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27);

    (f) divine sonship (Gal. 3:26-27);

    (g) becoming a Christian (1 Cor. 1:12-13);

    (h) entering the body, the church (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22-23); and

    (i) forgiveness (Col. 2:11,13).


    Summation, observation and deduction:

    The purpose of baptism is the salvation of the soul. This may be stated in various ways -- baptism saves (1 Pet. 3:21), baptism is to wash away sin (Acts 22:16), etc. Such are but different ways to express the same thing. What is it? Baptism saves! Accordingly, in the Bible, a person never ate, drank or slept until he had been baptized upon learning of his need to thus obey (Acts 16:30-34; 9:18-19). O the urgency! But, why the urgency? Because of baptism's necessity; and, with no lease on life or a promise of tomorrow, they thus immediately obeyed. The soul is too precious to react otherwise (Matt. 16:24-26). Indeed, baptism is no trifle! It is of supreme importance!!

    Is a person's baptism valid if he is baptized "to obey God," though not for remission of sins?

    (a) It is inconceivable that anyone would be baptized, with its attendant (and we speak reverently) inconvenience, for any other purpose than to obey God. Are all these acceptable? Are all these children of God? Are all these members of the Lord's church? Are all these just apostates? (b) The Baptist manual advocates baptism to obey God but repudiates its being for remission of sins. Are all those baptized into the Baptist church truly obedient, truly Christians, truly members of the Lord's body and just worshipping in error? (c) A six year old child, if asked, "Should a person be baptized," would respond, "Yes." Then, if asked way, he would reply, "To obey God." Is he a suitable subject for baptism? (d) If a person partakes of the Lord's supper to "obey God," but not discerning the Lord's body and blood (its purpose, 1 Cor. 11:24-29), is such acceptable and valid? (d) The dozen Ephesians had unquestionably been baptized "to obey God." If such, in and of itself, is sufficient, why were they baptized again (Acts 19:1-7)?


    ACTS TEACHES US "WHO" WILL BE BAPTIZED IN WATER

    They who truly believe:

    "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women" (Acts 8:12). This text starts off, "When they believed" and ends, "they were baptized." In between we read what they believed: "Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ." If we omit this outline of the sermon Philip preached, the flow of the text is maintained and, accordingly, reads, "When they believed ... they were baptized." There is no such thing as a person's being a true believer and not being baptized, nor can a person be Scripturally baptized without being a true believer.

    Incidentally, why would the Samaritans be baptized upon hearing preaching "concerning the kingdom" as well as "the name of Jesus Christ"? The answer is crystal clear. To enter the kingdom one must be born again (John 3:1-7) and/or be converted (Matt. 18:1-4), and baptism is a vital part of both. The following chart of parallels will substantiate this:

    Mark 16:16 He that believes and is baptized receives salvation

    John 3:3-5 Man who is born Again enters the kingdom

    Matt. 18:3 Ye who are converted enter the kingdom

    When Peter used "the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 16:19), baptism was a part of the sermons he preached (Acts 2:38; 10:47-48). Question: what about today's practice of baptizing the alien when he has never been taught one thing about the kingdom, the church (Matt. 16:18-19)? Did the "many other words" of Acts 2:40 include teaching the Pentecostians about the church (see Acts 2:47)? Then, concerning "the name of Jesus Christ," baptism is performed in the name of the Lord (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:47-48; 19:5); and, we are baptized "into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:18-20, ASV).

    Additionally, let us study the conversion of the jailer verse by verse (Acts 16:30-34): In Acts 16:30 he asked what to do to be saved. In Acts 16:31 he was told to believe (he was not saved at this time, for that which will produce faith -- the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 10:17) -- had not yet come into play. In Acts 16:32 the Word of the Lord was preached. In Acts 16:33 he was baptized. In Acts 16:34 we read that he now believed in God. Note: one can read nothing of his having done what he was told to do to be saved (believe, Acts 16:31), until one gets down to Acts 16:34! Accordingly, we ask, what took place in the two intervening verses (Acts 16:32-33)? In Acts 16:32 the Word was preached; and in Acts 16:33, in response to that preached Word, the jailer was baptized! Thus, we read nothing of his becoming a true believer until after he was baptized. Yes, they who truly believe will be baptized!

    In passing, we might observe that the word "believe" is used in two senses in the Book of Acts. It is used in the generic sense (when thus used it includes all the other steps of salvation) and in the specific sense (referring to one condition of salvation, with other conditions stated in the text). In Acts 18:8 we read, "Many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized." This is the specific use: in addition to believing, we are told they heard and were baptized; but, in the same verse we read, "And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house." This is the generic use of the word, using the word to include the other conditions of salvation. How do we know? Paul said in 1 Cor. 1:14, "I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius." Other passages which may be thus studied profitably are: specific usage (Mark 16:16; Acts 11:21; 8:13); generic usage (Acts 19:2-3; 17:34; 17:11-12). Verily, faith only will not save (James 2:14-26; John 1:11-12; Rom. 10:13-17; John 12:42-43).

    They who gladly received the Word:

    "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:41). Notice the declension of the verse: "there" then "they," then they "that received," then they that received "his (Peter's inspired) word," then they that received his word "gladly," then they that received his word gladly "were baptized." Notice (a) the word -- the word spoken in Acts 2:38 ("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") -- had to be received; that is, perceived and rationally weighed and examined. Sadly, today, many of the words heard and received would never lead one to be baptized! Why? Men are not thus preaching the apostles' doctrine. The apostles' doctrine always leads to immersion. (b) The word was gladly received. No wonder! Their hands were stained crimson with the very blood of God's Son (Acts 2:36). They were hearing and responding to the gospel, the Good News. There are always varying reactions to the preached Word: it is received gladly (Acts 2:41), sadly (Matt. 19:22), or madly (2 Kings 5:11; Acts 7:54). Why would one not gladly receive the Lord's Word today on the subject of baptism when the blessings contingent upon it are learned: salvation (Mark 16:15-16; 1 Pet. 3:21), sonship (John 3:3-5; Gal. 3:26-27), remission (Acts 2:38; 3:19), rejoicing (Acts 8:39; 16:34), cleansing (Acts 22:16), contact with the blood (Rom. 6:3; John 19:34), entrance into Christ (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27), and entrance into the body (1 Cor. 12:13).
     
  20. cougan

    cougan Senior Member

    766
    +6
    Christian
    The Samaritans, also, "had received the Word of God" (Acts 8:14). Upon so doing, we read, "they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 8:16).

    Those who hear:

    "When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 19:5). Yes, they were baptized. But, when? "When they heard." Much of the preaching now being done could be heard for a considerable time and never result in one's being baptized. Why? Baptism is either not mentioned/discussed or is so diluted and rendered inconsequential as to demand no action or urgency. Why, it is even in vogue now not to offer the invitation, giving the plan of salvation! Let us never forget that baptism is the result of apostolic preaching.


    ACTS TEACHES US CONCERNING THE "CONSEQUENT BEHAVIOR" OF THOSE BAPTIZED IN WATER.

    They remained faithful:

    "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42). Indeed, theirs was continued stedfastness and not spasmodic devotion. They had not been rocky-ground hearers (Luke 8:11-15). They had not been faithful just during the "big meeting." Though they had been exhorted and persuaded (Acts 2:40), they had not just responded on the spur of the moment, in an atmosphere of emotional excitement. Rather, theirs was a rational, calculated decision and response. They fulfilled Paul's later exhortation of 1 Cor. 15:58: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

    They rejoiced:

    Of those baptized on Pentecost, we read, "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:46-47). After the eunuch was baptized, "he went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:36-39). "And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house" (Acts 16:33-34). Upon their obedience, they had brought joy to heaven (Luke 15:10); and, correspondingly, heaven had sent joy into their hearts. Should it not thus be with all of us? Life is now worth living (John 10:10), we can pray with assurance (John 15:16; 1 Pet. 3:12), we are objects of God's special providence (Rom. 8:28), and can face death with calmness (Acts 21:13; 2 Tim. 4:6-8; Phil. 1:23). How could we be otherwise than happy (Phil. 4:4; Gal. 5:22-23; Rom. 14:17)? An unhappy Christian is an enigma.

    They evangelized:

    Concerning Saul of Tarsus, we read, "... and was baptized ... and straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God" (Acts 9:18-20). Whom he once persecuted he is now preaching! Indeed, repentance does bear fruit (Matt. 3:8). Unquestionably, those who were converted on Pentecost went back to their native countries to tell others of the "pearl of great price" they had found in Jerusalem. Of those scattered disciples, we read in Acts 8:4, "Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word" (see also Acts 11:19-21). Notice how such was a fulfillment of the great commission.

    Mark 16:15 Go All the world Preach Gospel

    Acts 8:4 Went Every where Preach The Word

    We read of the conversion of the Thessalonians in Acts 17:4. Then, we read of them in 1 Thess. 1:8, "For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing." We read of the conversion of the people in Antioch in Acts 11:19-27. Then, we read, beginning with Acts 13:1ff, of the Antioch church becoming a missionary center, with all three of Paul's missionary journeys beginning from there. Though converted in Philippi, Lydia was from Thyatira (Acts 16:12-15); and, later, we read of the church having been established in Thyatira (Rev. 2:18).

    Warning: do not apostatize as did Simon (Acts 8:12-24)!


    ADDITIONAL VALUABLE MATERIAL CONCERNING WATER BAPTISM IN ACTS

    Preaching Christ and baptism are inseparable:

    "Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them" (Acts 8:5). Acts 8:12 reads, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." Thus, in preaching Christ, baptism resulted. In the conversion account of the eunuch, we read, "Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus" (Acts 8:35). Resulting therefrom, we read, "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?" (Acts 8:36). How did he know about baptism unless he had learned such from Philip's preaching? Remember, he "preached unto him Jesus." Additionally, observe: (a) baptism is performed in the name of Christ (Acts 2:38), and into the name of the Son (Matt. 28:18-20); (b) baptism is a beautiful portrayal of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (Rom. 6:1-5); and (c) our Lord began his personal ministry upon being baptized (Matt. 3:13-17), and ended his earthly stay by saying, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16,19). Hence, how could Christ be preached without preaching on baptism?


    A promise is attached to water baptism:

    "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" (Acts 2:38). Whether "the gift of the Holy Ghost" be the secondary measure (the laying on of the apostles' hands measure, resulting in the impartation of the spiritual gifts. Acts 8:14-21), or the ordinary measure (the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Christian, as he accomplishes all he does for the Christian on earth in/through the Word, Gal. 4:6; 2 Tim. 3:16-17f such was predicated or preceded by baptism.


    A person can be right on many things while wrong about baptism:

    Such was the case with Apollos. He was eloquent and "mighty in the Scriptures." Luke also said, "This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John" (Acts 18:24--19:1-7). Thus, let us not be deceived by the denominational preacher who may be strong on morals, the virgin birth and the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, while being wrong on water baptism, either its subjects, action or purpose.


    CONCLUSION

    Acts teaches us concerning (a) the element; (b) the subjects; (c) the action; (d) the purpose; (e) the "who will be baptized"; (f) the consequent behavior of the baptized; as well as (g) supplying us with additional material, with regards to water baptism. Let us "dig again" this fundamental "well," removing the debris of denominational dogma, letting the crystal-clear and pure water of life flow again -- pertaining to this subject -- by renewed study, preaching and teaching. Let us no longer hear, "That's water salvation," or "Preach Christ and not baptism," nor "I have not heard a complete sermon on baptism in years." If you have never been immersed, will you gladly receive the Word and thus be baptized (Acts 2:41)? Will we hear you inquire, "What doth hinder me to be baptized?" (Acts 8:36). We kindly and urgently encourage, "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16)!
     
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