baptizing children….

I have seen many people who were baptized as infants and young children have no real faith of their own. What is the purpose of baptism? It is to express the faith we have in Christ. Baptizing infants and young children does not do that. Baptism of children who have no faith of their own is of no value except to make the parents feel good and possibly to innoculate the children against having faith of their own.

Someone has said that not baptizing our children is against the covenant. I disagree that not baptizing our children is against the covenant. The covnenant is for people who believe. John 3:1-18 tells us we must be born (in the fleshly sense, of our mothers) and born again (in the spiritual sense, of the Spirit).  Flesh gives birth to flesh (first birth, born of water), and spirit gives birth to spirit (second birth, born of Spirit). Whoever believes that God sent His Son has eternal life – not who ever is baptized without personal faith. WE must have that faith for ourselves (Hebrews 11:6).

If we do not have that faith, then baptizm is worthless – and is actually a lie. We are to identify as people who love God and trust Christ, but how can we identify as such through baptism if we do not actually have that faith. To be baptized in such a state is to perform an act as a lie.

Our children and unbelieving spouses are made clean by our faith (1 Corinthians 7:14), so there is no need to baptize them. We are told over and over to have faith. Until one is old enough to make a decision for oneself, one has no business being baptized, since its not salvific, but a sign we trust Christ. I think baptizing people without faith CAN cause people with no faith of their own to think they are going to heaven, because they were baptized (not that it always does). I’d rather tnot ‘innoculate’ my children against faith, and I’d rather not teach people to do so either.

Some would claim that we need god-parents to help us with our children. I have no problem with that concept. Nor do I have a problem with dedicating children to the Lord. I think both cam be accomplished without baptizing children.

I think the best thing to do is to teach people the need for Christ and His saving work. Once someone comes to faith, THEN teach the need for baptism. Take it step by step, and dont get it out of order.

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80 Responses

  1. wb,
    Nice to chat again. In reality the Covenant is ‘One’ in both so-called Testaments. It is the Covenant of Grace, OT to the New. We can see this with our Father Abraham, “the Father of faith”. And so the NT “sign & seal” begins with Baptism. It extends from God Himself, who gives the gift of faith. But this faith is not only a decisional thing we do, but already something God has done. And this is the nature of the Covenant of Grace. Again, we can see this aspect in the nature of God’s reguirement of circumcision for the Jewish male, which was really spiritual in theological nature. (See Rom. 2: 28). And we can see again the spiritual nature as it is applied in Baptism, in Col. 2: 11-12-13. And the Christians household, is certainly to be put within God’s covenant of grace. Note the text of Acts 2: 39…”For the promise is for you and your children..” The question is really, will our children continue in the covenant, and persevere in the “sign & seal” (the means of grace) that Baptism begins unto the end, and eternal life? Part of that is on our shoulders, as fathers and mothers ourselves within the Covenant of Grace, and the blest fulness of Christ’s life, death, resurrection and ascension! For here is the grace and mercy itself, “in the face of Christ” (2 Cor. 4: 6).

    • There are a number of covenants. But I realize of which you are speaking.

      Col 2:11-13 tells us we were buried with Christ in circumcision (of the heart, see Deut 10:16, 30:6, Jer 4:4, 31:31-33, Romans 2:29) “having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God.”

      But if you dont have faith then you were not raised with Christ. Infants have no such faith.

      Looking at Acts 2:38-39, we see they were told to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. THAT is the promise that was for them, their children and those far away. So, IF the children had faith, repented, turned to God, were baptized (gave evidence of that faith), then they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Infants can not repent and turn to God.

      The Holy Spirit is what seals us – I know of no scripture which says baptism seals us – please provide scripture reference to support your position. Baptism is a sign we give that is evidence of the faith we have. Its only true faith if we persevere to the end (Matthew 10:22, 24:13; Mark 13:13; 1 Corinthians 1:8; 1 Timothy 4:16; Hebrews 10:36; James 1:12, 5:11; Jude 1:17-22; Revelation 2:3).

      We are to teach God’s truth, live God’s truth, love God and others, and obey God. All this is how we teach our children, by example. It is God who gives us faith and the Holy Spirit seals us, and it is each person’s effort to put our faith into action and to persevere.

  2. wb,

    You are missing the connection between the two Testaments. There is in fact only “One” Covenant of Grace, “the blood (death) of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord.” (Heb. 13: 20) And even Abraham in both testaments, is the ‘Father of faith’ – “who is the Father of us all” (Rom. 4: 16). And we note that it was thru the child Isaac (Gen. 21:12)…”Through Isaac your descendants will be named.” (Rom. 9:7). Also note the depth of Romans 9: 9-13! And we see also the Gospel was preached to Abraham: “The Scripture, forseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying all the nations will be blessed in you.” (Gal. 3:8 / Gen. 12: 3)

    The best human argument for baptising our children, is that we raise them within the covenant of grace and faith. And we don’t just ask them to make some one time mental decision for Christ. But they in fact grow-up within the community of faith and grace! And we raise them as in the Judeo-Christian life itself. Later indeed we hope and look for the fruits and reality of this faith and life. This is the truth of the One Covenant of Grace! We can also see this logic and theology all through the NT itself, (1 Cor. 7: 14 / 1 Tim. 3: 4-5 ; 12 ; 15 / 2 Tim. 3:15, etc.) The “household” of Faith, does start within the Covenant of Grace itself!

    Also, the reality of Baptism is far more than a symbol. But is itself a “means of grace”. As we can see in Romans 6: 1-7, etc. But again, the ‘sign & seal’ are also very real! (Titus 3:5-6), and we can note too, that Baptism is never considered a work. But an act of grace and faith, in what God In Christ has done! When we baptise our children it is an act of faith then, and later for them, in themselves. As Timothy could no doubt say, I was raised a Christian! But again baptism must be nurtured and somehow renewed in the other Sacrament, the Eucharist…the Table of the Lord. Again, another spiritual ‘means of grace’. The ‘sign & seal’ of the New Covenant itself! (1 Cor. 11: 24-25-26, etc.)

    • God said He would make a new covenant. So if you think there’s only one, then you are contradicting scripture.

      Believers were told to be baptized – not infants. No where can you show evidence that infants (people with no faith of their own) were commanded to be baptized.

      Baptism is NOT circumcision – GOD circumcises our hearts in the New Covenant, where as in the Old we circumcised our children physically. There’s a big difference.

      I agree we are to raise our children as Christians. But MANY are in the church who do not have faith. While the unbeliever are sanctified (set aside), this does not mean they are saved. Baptism is a sign of obedience for those who have faith.

      To my knowledge, no where do we see grace being added to someone based upon baptism.

  3. * Timothy was raised a Judeo-Christian, in covenant & faith.

  4. Wb, off to class, but wanted to jump in just a moment so as to not loose sight of the conversation.

    I am not offering an argument for myself and my view, but baptizing children is often defended by those with a viewpoint that it is similar to that of circumcision in the OT, noting the jailer’s baptism of his entire family because he believed. I believe that Calvin taught this as well.

    As a start of where people who defend this come from, you might look at:

    Belgic Confession (Articles 33, 34), Heidelberg Catechism (Questions 66, 94), Second Helvetic Confession (Chapters 19, 20), and the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF), Larger Catechism (LC), and Shorter Catechism (SC)

    Regarding sealing, if we take Acts2.38-40 in conjunction with 2nd Corinthians 1.21-22 and especially Ephesians 1.13-14, then there is a point of discussion for some. Further, we could explore what sealing is. Some might say that we are sealed with the name of the Lord in our foreheads (Rev 14) at baptism as Peter said, in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Granted, views on this have to start where one views baptism.

    But, if one does view baptism as a seal akin to circumcision, then baptism of children would fit into that viewpoint.

    To note, Col 2.11-13 says, like Romans 6, that we are buried with Christ in baptism.

    Again, just trying to make my way to class, but I shalt return.

  5. wb,

    It is obvious that you don’t like or believe in the doctrine of Infant Baptism! But it is a plain fact that many Christians certainly do…Reformed, Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, to name some in the mainstream.

    I have shared a bit of the “theology” in this belief. If you are adamant to stand against it? That is fine. But your sense to not want to allow their theological and scriptural statements, as to the analogy of circumcision to baptism, the covenant of grace, etc., well that is something else. You are just speaking in the negative, and dogmatically. I don’t think we can say much else that is going to be in the place of a dialogue here.

    And as your last statement, as “To my knowledge”, about grace and baptism, etc. Well that is a huge issue, and your “knowledge” is again looking rather closed than one of dialogue on this again rather profound subject, i.e. Baptism. I will let Joel take the subject further if he cares, as he has both belief in baptism and the connection of grace, as I do myself, but within different historical places, and some theology aspects.

    Finally Baptism is much more than a “symbol” of faith, for those like myself that believe both Scripture, and also follow and believe in the importance and place of early Church history. Again, this is a very important and profound subject, and our approach must include a great sense of awe, and for me at least “mystery”!

    • Fr. R.,

      I dont think that infant baptism can be supported from scripture – regardless of who practices it.

      Scripture shows that faith is supposed to precede baptism. I know plenty of people who think otherwise, but they are not able to show support for their beliefs in scripture. I am speaking using scripture – not my personal desires. I dont care whether someone is baptized as a child – I was. But being baptized as a child has no bearing on one personally doing what Christ and the apostles said we each are to do – have faith and be baptized.

      Church history is important, but not as important as Scripture itself. And scripture is clear on the order of things – faith then baptism.

      I said to my knowledge, because it may be I am missing scripture on the issue. You have yet to provide any I have not considered.

  6. Wb, Christ is not David, the Church is not Israel, the Day of the Lord is not the days of Noah, but we can compare the two and find similarities, which the theologians of the past did.

    Considering what part Abraham plays – his covenant being that of faith and his sign baptism, I would say that they drew on this in aligning the two. I can see how they did it. Abraham who is our father in the faith, especially as Gentiles, is seen as one in our covenant, we can connect baptism and circumcision, albeit baptism has now replaced circumcision as a spiritual seal of the faith.

    I am not sure by what is meant by ‘grace being added.’

    • Joel,

      According to Acts 7:8, God gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision – not baptism. Please provide scripture for the sign of Abraham being baptism?

      Joel, you wrote, “if one does view baptism as a seal akin to circumcision, then baptism of children would fit into that viewpoint.”
      I agree that if one sees baptism akin to circumcision, then it could be considered appropriate to baptize children – but I still would have to see scripture saying both that baptism IS akin to circumcision, as well as that infants should be baptized. I do not see any such scripture.

      “means of grace” indicates to me a means of gaining more grace, thus the grace being added comment.

  7. W,
    If the position were as cut and dry as you imply it is, then there would not be so many mainline Churches that practice it. This is my point, I could (and have given) you scriptures, but you just seek to remove them with “your” position of dogma and ease. Often we just don’t have a verse of simple doctrine, on many things “theological” in the Scriptures. As you must have noted with the depth of the doctrine of Trinity, and even the doctrine of the Atonement, etc.

    Your own positions on this, Baptism (just symbolic) and no Infant Baptism, etc. are just too dogmatic, and lack full theological thought. As we can see in the early Church history and of the Church Fathers, which you reject with ease. This is just sadly “fundamentalism” to me!

    • Fr R.

      I realize there are plenty of people who practice pedobaptism. This does not make them right. I think its quite clear we are to baptize those who have faith. Others think baptism is supposed to replace circumcision, and so it is supposed to be done to infants. In fact, there is no scripture which supports that idea.

      None of the scripture you provided show that we should baptize people who do not have their own faith. I have shown you scripture which DOES say to turn to GOd and be baptized. Just because you do not like the fact that there is not ONE verse showing one should baptize infants does not mean its dogmatic or fundamental. It just means it is biblical – I did not add to scripture to support my position.

  8. Walter, you are misunderstanding me. I never said that Abraham had the seal of baptism. What I said was, is that those who practice such thing – the Reformers to name a few – viewed baptism as the circumcision given to Abraham. Following in the tradition set forth in the New Testament, they connected the dots, so to speak.

    As I said,

    Christ is not David, the Church is not Israel, the Day of the Lord is not the days of Noah, but we can compare the two and find similarities, which the theologians of the past did.

    Considering what part Abraham plays – his covenant being that of faith and his sign baptism, I would say that they drew on this in aligning the two. I can see how they did it. Abraham who is our father in the faith, especially as Gentiles, is seen as one in our covenant, we can connect baptism and circumcision, albeit baptism has now replaced circumcision as a spiritual seal of the faith.

    To correct one thing, ‘his covenant being that of faith and his sign circumcision.

    The Reformers and many more before and after – not that this is a sure thing for me – followed Paul and the NT writers in understanding the OT and the things of the OT through Christ, thus in baptism they saw circumcision. (Rightly or wrongly)

    So, I don’t think it is enough to simply say, ‘No infant baptism’ but we might need to show where that interpretation is wrong.

    • Joel,

      The truth is, to support infant baptism, one must add to scripture. No where does scripture support infant baptism. No where does scripture say that baptism has replace circumcision. Just because a promise is for one’s children does not mean it is to be applied to someone without faith. Just because a household was baptized does not mean infants were in said household.

      And only some reformers believed in pedobaptism, not all. In fact, there were many people throughout history who did not support pedobaptism – to read the history of the anabaptists.

  9. I wouldn’t call it adding to Scripture, Wb, but I would call it a bad interpretation.

    Scripture doesn’t say a lot of things, actually, but that doesn’t stop people from interpreting them. As I have pointed out, if one understands baptism as the new seal of the covenant – which is what many do – then it is logical that it in some way baptism takes on many of the attributes of circumcision which was administered to male children, not just of the family line either.

    Further, Paul does connect circumcision and baptism:

    …and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. (Col 2:11-12 NAU)

    Yes, circumcision has been replaced with baptism as a spiritual thing. (See Romans 2)

    Further, if one sees baptism as a manner in which sin is removed – for the remission of sins; dying out to sin – then circumcision can be seen as a connection as well.

    However, with that said, repentance must be made upon coming to Christ after the call and then baptism, so I cannot understand how an infant would do so, especially given the fact that while circumcision may be connected to baptism in a covenanting way, this covenant is no longer about our bloodline, but about the call to the precious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in which we must respond.

    Again, while I see that pedobaptism is practiced by the faithful – such as baby dedication in non-mainline churches – I believe that the individual must make a choice to follow Christ.

    • Joel,

      ooo… I like the Col 2:11-12 verse. I had forgotten it or ignored it or something. thanks for the reminder. See, Fr. R., that’s why I say things like “to my knowledge” or “as far as I know”… My knowledge is not perfect.

      I can see that using that verse some might think circumcision was replaced by baptism. And I realize that many believe baptism has a special function. Personally, I think that’s reading into scripture and ignoring other scripture. But people are free to think what they will. It does not save – as some would have us believe. I think infant baptism innoculates people against obedience to Christ. But each must make his or her own choice.

  10. W,
    I am not seeking to change your position, only to help you see that many other real Christians (and in a long period of history), see Baptism both for children of believers (Household), and thus a theological understanding of the Covenant of Grace. Your so-called idea of scripture addition, thus is in reality “theological” thought and thinking. You appear to make it sound like those that practice such are ignorant and in biblical error! If you look close at your posts the wording is very negative, against! This really is my point now. Changing your mind? Only God and you can do that! WE should be dogmatic on certain biblical true’s, but this might not be one of them, with so many historical Christians of different positions here. And as I have even noted the history of the Quakers (no visible sacraments, but their best thinkers, see it very spiritual and even theological, as the English Robert Barclay). The bigger question is both the nature of the Covenant of Grace, and the biblical, theological nature of Baptism! And we should note also, that the Anabaptists were not always in the Reformational mainstream on many theological true’s, from the Trinity, to the Incarnation, etc., etc.

    • Fr. R.,

      :) I realize many think pedobaptism is the thing to do. I researched it a great deal when I became a Christian, as having been baptized as an infant, I felt it was of huge importance that I “get it right” in regards to baptism.

      I think many good people ARE ignorant or in biblical error or both. I am certain that in some area all of us are.

      I am against pedobaptism because I think it does ignore scripture in some areas – even if many intelligent and well educated people disagree with me in this area (though we might agree in many others).

      I think something is right and something is wrong. Ultimately, do I think pedobaptism is a huge deal? No, not really. I DO think it can cause problems with people not being obedient to be baptized after coming to faith. But there are other ways of showing obedience to Christ, and I do think God looks at our hearts.

  11. Wb, you may not believe that it says, but Peter seemed to as did Paul.

    You should note that circumcision didn’t save – it was a covenanting symbol.

  12. You said – It does not save – as some would have us believe.

    Peter says – Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you— not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience– through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (1Pe 3:21 NASB)

    Which corresponds to Paul’s description of baptism in Romans 6.1-7

    • ah… I see what you were referring to. But I think you are missing the context of those passages.

      1 Corinthians 6:11 speaks of the washing and renewal we have by the Holy Spirit, not water baptism (Titus 3:5).
      Hebrews 10:22 speaks of having our hearts sprinkled (this is by the Holy Spirit), and our bodies cleaned (water baptism).
      1 Peter 3:21-22 speaks of the water that symbolizes the baptism that saves us – that by the Holy Spirit.

      Let’s look at the 1 Peter 3:20-22 passage (NIV)

      20who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

      The water symbolizes baptism which saves – NOT that water baptism saves, as water baptism is the removal of dirt from the body. But the pledge of a good conscience toward God – this happens when the Holy Spirit comes upon us. The physical act is a reactualization of what happens to us spiritually when the Holy Spirit baptizes us.

      It is like passover – this is something which every Jew celebrates as if he was living the passover. By faith Christians experience something of what Christ experienced when they under go water baptism. But this is a symbol of the spiritual baptism which must occur.

      But water baptism is not what saves us – faith in Christ’s substitutionary atonement saves us. Water symbolizes that which saves us – dedicating ourselves to God through faith.

  13. W,

    I quoted Col. 2: 11-12, at least in reference in earlier posts on this subject. But Joel’s post to the whole text was good, and needed! As also his reminder to Rom. 2: 28-29, and the “spirituality” of circumcision! The “theological” impact and implications to Baptism, in death and life! As we see in Rom. 6: 3-6, etc. to verse 7. And the whole of the chapter really, (note too verse 17, the “form” or “pattern of teaching”). And verse 18, “And having been freed from sin, you were “enslaved” to righteouness.” Baptism is truly more than a symbol, though it includes the sign and symbol. It is a “means of grace” in “spirit & truth”! Faith is never outside the “forms” or pattern God has given. We can see this in Acts 10: 47-48.

    1 Peter 3: 21, the “appeal to God for a good conscience”. Is itself, part of the “corresponding to that, (verse 20) baptism now saves you”. If we can say it theologically, it is both the ‘sign & seal’ of salvation and active grace, but all in/thru and toward the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ! But note too, “who is at the right hand of God, having gone “into” heaven..” (verse 22). Again and again, it is the Death and Resurrection of Christ! Here is our union and faith.

  14. W,
    Let me add, that in my opinion, the NIV translation of 1 Peter 3: 21, is itself more of a paraphase, and a bad one at that! The literal Greek is: “Which fullfillment also of the type now saves you, even baptism..etc,” Even the NLT, might get to the best meaning: “And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you…”.

    This who idea of water baptism being a mere smybolism? It simply is not in the Greek words and textual construction.

    • Fr. R. the NLT says it is a picture – this is the same thing the NIV says.

      Joel,

      Take away the punctuation (remember there was not any in the original text) and the NASB is close. The water baptism (washing of the body) itself does not save – Peter is clear on that. It is the obedience to God, the response to God in a clear conscience that saves us. This is what happens when we are baptized with the Spirit. Plenty of people have been baptized and never had any evidence of faith in their lives – those people are not saved. It is not water baptism which saves – it is the faith we have which saves – faith which is put into action through obedience. Water baptism is merely one way of giving evidence of the faith which saves us. Baptism which saves us is that of the Holy Spirit, which occurs when we make said pledge to God – when we repent and turn to God and live like it (Acts 26:20). Another way of giving such evidence is to confess the name of the Lord (Romans 10:9).

      The washing and regeneration of the Holy Spirit is one act – not water baptism but baptism of the Holy Spirit.

      The actual text in 1 Peter 3 reads, “while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this”

      The text COULD be speaking of water corresponding to the water of the flood or it could be speaking of the ark in which are few were brought to safety, or the obedience of Noah in preparing the ark. It seems evident to me that its the obedience which gives evidence to the faith we have which is what Peter and Paul speak about. Peter is clear its not cleansing of the body which does anything, but the appeal to God of a clear conscience (the pledge). But John 3 is speaking of physical birth and spiritual birth, not water baptism. But Peter is clear it is not washing of the body which does anything, it is the pledge of a clear conscience to God which makes all the difference in whether we are saved – it is the Lordship of Christ.

  15. Uh, Wb, you can read it how you feel you need to, but 1st Peter is talking about water baptism – just like Romans 6 is. There is nothing in here about spiritualizing baptism. The ‘this water’ of the NIV is the water of the flood. Note that Noah was brought safely through the water, the same water which symbolizes the water baptism of the New Testament. If we look at the very literal NASB, we find it clearer:

    …that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you…

    Very simply, Noah’s flood symbolizes our water of baptism, which saves us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Further, 1Co 6.11 is speaking about several things – washing, sanctification and justification, so yes, baptism as well.

    Titus 3.5 says washing of regeneration AND renewing by the Spirit. So, yes, baptism as well.

    Hebrews 10.22 matches up with the other verses as well – spirit and water. Like John 3.

    Peter says that water baptism is not about cleansing the body, such as the Jews would have done, his audience – but about getting to the inside. We find in the verses you listed several actions – water and the spirit. Two things. It is not by our work which accomplishes anything, but we must be obedient to what the Word says.

  16. W,
    Without getting into the technical Greek, perhaps the best translation of 1 Peter 3:21, is the NRSV.. “And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you…etc.” Yes, it looks back to the flood and Noah…”during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is eight persons, were saved through water.” The “like figure” (KJV, verse 21) is the antitype, again “prefigured”. What could be really more plain! This is the spiritual and real meaning of the text! Which points to the salvation of the baptised, as the eight in the Ark.

    *Joel, if you have it? Check out the Word Biblical Commentary, 1 Peter, by J. Ramsey Michaels. It would be too technical for the bog here. Note, “appeal” or “pledge” (“good conscience”).

    • Fr. R.,

      I dont see it as an anti-type at all. I think prefigured, corresponding, image, etc all show it is a type rather than an antitype.
      The salvation is the trusting in God, the pledge of a good conscience, not the washing of a body – which is what Peter said.

  17. W,
    The “picture” is the antitype, or the “corresponds to”. It is the fulfillment of the type. Personally, I would not call it “symbolic”, as a foreshadow, type.

  18. Wb, the word in question is ἀντίτυπον, anti-tupon, or anti-type.

    ὃ καὶ ὑμᾶς ἀντίτυπον νῦν σῴζει βάπτισμα, οὐ σαρκὸς ἀπόθεσις ῥύπου ἀλλὰ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς ἐπερώτημα εἰς θεόν, δι᾽ ἀναστάσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, (1Pe 3:21 BGT)

    Baptism is not the washing of the body – which is Peter’s point. Remember, he is speaking to the Jews who were concerned with ritual, outside, purity. Peter said that the baptism of the saint is not about ritual purity but about cleaning out the conscience.

  19. W,
    An antitype (Gr. antitypos – of corresponding form). That which corresponds to, or is foreshadowed in, the type.

    “The like figure” (KJV), Lit. Which (i.e. water; the relative being neuter, can only refer to the word “water”) being antitypical (Gr. antitupos, here and Heb. 9:24). Baptisma, noun, Rom. 6:4 / Col. 2:12 / 1 Peter 3:21. (E.W. Bullinger)

    In Heb. 9:24, it is the Greek “antitupon”. Only here and 1 Peter 3:21. “True” – Greek “alethinos” see Heb. 8: 2.

    W, this is a heavy and important Text, but it can be understood simply, if we look at the “Text” itself, rather than bring to it something different, or of our own.

    If you have the ESV Study Bible? Check their note. It is good overall, and also the NLT Study Bible has good thoughts also. But, the Text (1 Pet. 3:21) is an antitype to the water of the flood. The water brings death to sin, and carries the eight to safety. The water here prefigured the Death of Christ (John 19:34). And our safety (dry ground) is the Resurrection of Christ! (Rom. 4:25)

    The spiritual meaning of Baptism for the Christian:
    Christ is our Ark.
    His Death and Cross, the water of ruin for sin.
    The Resurrection of Christ our only safety.

    But in my biblical and theological thought, Baptism is a sacrament, and a means of grace. ‘Sign & Seal’ of God’s mercy & grace! It is also a “pledge” of both ours and God’s that we are in union with Jesus Christ. So if baptised as an infant or as an adult, it is a life pledge to our death & resurrection in and with Christ!

    • I have seen antitype used as an opposite type, which is the second definition in the dictionary for the word.

      I like your picture of Christ as the ark. I’ve not seen the thoughts put together that way, even in seminary. But there is still the problem that an infant can make no such pledge since he has no faith. Baptism has no value for anyone who does not have faith.

  20. Joel,
    Nice, I don’t have the Greek apparatus for my computer. Or really, I don’t know how to add it into my computer? I am not the best computer guy. Gee I wonder who has not figured that out! lol

    This is a profound set of Texts! 1 Peter 3: 18 thru 22

  21. W,
    Baptism, is certainly done once in the life of the Christian, whether as an infant or adult. But the profound reality that it indicates also certainly stands to eternity! This is also the meaning since the resurrection of Christ is what makes the pledge or appeal to God effective. So Baptism marks and touches the Christian forever as in verse 18, “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit/Spirit.” Again, our faith, hope, conscience and “pledge” is to Christ, and here for Peter to the Resurrection especially!

  22. Wb, no offense, but you said it is not an anti-type, and you have been shown that it is. Now, you rely on an English dictionary, second use, of something else you have seen, to dictate its meaning. Further, the ‘first’ meaning assigned to it is:

    One that is foreshadowed by or identified with an earlier symbol or type, such as a figure in the New Testament who has a counterpart in the Old Testament.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/antitype

    From Friberg:

    avnti,tupoj, on strictly struck back, echoed; hence answering to, corresponding to; neuter as an adverb; of baptism fulfilling a type presented in Noah’s flood in a way corresponding to (1P 3.21); substantivally to. av. copy, exact representation, antitype (HE 9.24)

    From Louw-Nida:

    pertaining to that which corresponds in form and structure to something else, either as an anticipation of a later reality or as a fulfillment of a prior type – ‘correspondence, antitype, representation, fulfillment.’ o] kai. u`ma/j avnti,tupon nu/n sw|,zei ba,ptisma ‘which corresponds to baptism which now saves you’ 1 Pe 3.21; ceiropoi,hta … a[gia … avnti,tupa tw/n avlhqinw/n ‘a sanctuary … made with hands … corresponding to the true sanctuary’ He 9.24

    The fact remains that Peter states that baptism is the antitype of Noah and the Flood. Further, Peter tells us what baptism is and is not. It is not a ritual, and thus physical washing. It is, however, the cleaning of the conscience. Further, this dispells completely any notion of a baptism of the spirit which is plainly adding to the text.

    And he tells us what it does. It saves us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Just as Paul said in Romans 6. Those of us who have been baptized have put on Christ and if we have been baptized with Him, we will be raised just as He.

    Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, (Rom 6:4-5 NASB)

    Baptism doesn’t add grace, but it communicates it.

    • Joel,

      I was using the definition I was familiar with.

      And baptism is NOT the cleaning of the consience – that goes against what the scripture state. Baptism is the pledge (appeal, response) of a good (clean) conscience. It is not the act of baptism itself which saves – it is the obedience to GOD through faith, which in this case is done through baptism. Just as calling upon the name of the Lord, the confessing Christ as Lord, etc all show the evidence of the faith which saves us. It is that faith which saves us. It is only truly faith if we can put it into action.

      If it is baptism itself which saves, then that is in contradiction with what Paul taught, where we are saved by faith. But Peter and James and Paul are all in agreement – it is faith that saves – the putting our faith into action is the mechanism by which that faith is actuated. There are various ways of actuating said faith, but all of them are via obedience to God.

  23. W,
    It is here that a good theology of ‘Word & Sacrament’ is necessary! Baptism is done once, but its effect touches the Christian to the Eschaton, if he is faithful and perseveres to the end. Again, here is the Covenant of Grace!

    “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through (in) the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” – Hebrews 13:20-21

    • baptism done by someone not having faith is not in obedience with the order presented by scripture.

      • One thing that seems to be missed by pedobaptism advocates is that circumcision was commanded to be done at a certain time in the life of the infant. But baptism is commanded to be done after turning to God.

        Another thing that seems to be missed by people who want to replace circumcision with baptism is that it is FAITH which sanctifies us – not baptism (1 Corinthians 7:14). The unbelieving husband is sanctified through his believing wife (and vice-versa), so the children are not unclean. One can be inside the community of believers without being a believer – as evidenced in 1 Corinthians 7:14. So any blessings supposedly granted through baptism actually would come to the children via the faith of the parents, not the act of baptism of infants.

        God is clear in the order of baptism following faith. We are not to be baptized before we come to faith – otherwise the order would not consistent. It is the response to God that saves us, not getting washed.

      • One thing that seems to be missed by pedobaptism advocates is that circumcision was commanded to be done at a certain time in the life of the infant. But baptism is commanded to be done after turning to God.

        Another thing that seems to be missed by people who want to replace circumcision with baptism is that it is FAITH which sanctifies us – not baptism (1 Corinthians 7:14). The unbelieving husband is sanctified through his believing wife (and vice-versa), so the children are not unclean. One can be inside the community of believers without being a believer – as evidenced in 1 Corinthians 7:14. So any blessings supposedly granted through baptism actually would come to the children via the faith of the parents, not the act of baptism of infants.

        God is clear in the order of baptism following faith. We are not to be baptized before we come to faith – otherwise the order would not consistent. It is the response to God that saves us, not getting washed.

      • One thing that seems to be missed by pedobaptism advocates is that circumcision was commanded to be done at a certain time in the life of the infant. But baptism is commanded to be done after turning to God.

        Another thing that seems to be missed by people who want to replace circumcision with baptism is that it is FAITH which sanctifies us – not baptism (1 Corinthians 7:14). The unbelieving husband is sanctified through his believing wife (and vice-versa), so the children are not unclean. One can be inside the community of believers without being a believer – as evidenced in 1 Corinthians 7:14. So any blessings supposedly granted through baptism actually would come to the children via the faith of the parents, not the act of baptism of infants.

        God is clear in the order of baptism following faith. We are not to be baptized before we come to faith – otherwise the order would not consistent. It is the response to God that saves us, not getting washed.

  24. Here is one Christian theolog’s view for Infant Baptism..R. Scott Clark.

    http://www.wscal.edu/clark/dejbaptism.php

  25. Nice Joel.
    Agree, it is important to see that Baptism is never considered a work, when it is seen properly, fully and theologically.

    Of course as an Anglican I see baptism as a “sacrament”. Even Augustine said a Christian sacrament was “a visible sign of an invisible reality.” Or as we see in the BCP, “an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace.”

    Again, I think it is very interesting that the English Quaker Robert Barclay, wrote so very deeply and spiritually on the nature of the Christian Sacraments. Though they did not do them physically. And some Christian groups do sacraments, or “ordinances” (as they call them) in but a symbolic, as thus almost an empty manner. I am not accusing Zwingli, as He seems to hold some view of the Lord’s spiritual presence? But his position did change in other people and groups.

    Would you both agree with the term Sacrament? For both Baptism and Eucharist? Friendly question.

    • How is something we DO, such as be baptized, not considered a work?

      A sacrament is considered to confer grace. Please show where baptism or the Lord’s supper confer grace?

      Does an outward sign confer grace, or does it reflect the grace one already has by merit of Christ and the faith authored by Christ?

      I have looked at the arguments for pedobaptism, and I find them failing to address the need to repent and turn to Christ and THEN be baptized. Those who support pedobaptism seem to neglect the order, as if baptism is not an important part of obedience in the life of a believer. And if one was baptized as an unbelieving child, why would one be baptized as a believer? But if one is NOT baptized as a believer, is one in sin?

      I think baptism IS a response to God, as is calling upon the name of the Lord, as is any form of obedience to God. But can an unbeliever please God? Romans 8:8 tells us that those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God, while Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. So how can being baptized if we do not have faith confer any sort of grace on the unbeliever?

      Joel, we need to believe, as Jesus said. This is translated faith by other people (James, Paul, Peter all taught the same thing – we need to believe and have evidence of said belief). It is belief with an emotional element – trust, confidence, commitment (to use your words). Calling upon the name of Christ is an external expression of the faith we have. Being baptized is an external expression of the faith we have. If we are unwilling to do those things, then we do not have faith. But doing those things does not automatically mean we have faith (we could be simply following a check list someone said we need to do, but if we do not have faith, then they do us no good). If one is bap[tized as an infant, without one’s own faith, then one is NOT in alignment with scripture – regardless of whether one is saved by baptism or not. IF one is saved by baptism, then being baptized without faith actually will prevent some from being saved later. IF baptism is an act of obedience for someone with faith which symbolizes the commitment one has made to God, then being baptized without faith will prevent someone from being obedient to God, but not necessarily from being saved.

      I think the “be baptized for the remission of sins” in Acts 2:38-39 is not “be baptized so your sins will be remitted” but “be baptized because your sins have been remitted”. I’ve seen it taught both ways.

  26. Wow, W,
    You have missed the whole points made? It is Baptism for believers only, and thats it…huh! “God is clear in the order of baptism following faith.” Aurgument done for you!

    But what if the “response” to God includes Baptism? In the Book of Acts this seems to be the case for every one, even Saul to Paul.

  27. Wb, you may be using what you are familiar with in regards to that word, but what you are familiar with in regards to that word is wrong. Further, the bible says that baptism is a demand to a clear conscious, not an appeal or pledge.

    When Peter says that baptism saves us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ and Paul says we who are baptized are done so to Christ – one who is not baptized is not saved through the resurrection of Christ nor in union with Him.

    Faith is not just a believe, but a commitment. If we can move beyond thinking that faith is merely a belief, then baptism and what Peter and Paul said about baptism will become clearer.

    I am unsure as how 1st Co. 7.14 applies to faith especially when most pedobaptizers still require faith later in life as a sign of salvation. It would seem to me, Wb, that if baptism was a mere symbol, those who baptize infants are more in line with symbolic baptism while those who require faith first should more rightly understand the place of baptism.

    Our response to God is our obedience by subcoming to the washing in baptism. As Peter said, it is for the remission of sins, which is the clean conscience. As Paul said, baptism is our dying out to sin.

    And finally, in the words of Peter – baptism saves us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  28. I do want to suggest that we look at Paul’s tenses of ‘saved’. There is ‘saved, being saved, will be saved.’

  29. Wb,

    A Work is something you do to earn salvation. Baptism is not a work. By associating baptism with the Jewish works, one must then associate the so-called ‘sinner’s prayer’ and even then, calling upon the name of the Lord. Further, repentance as well, which some actually do consider a work.

    Christ has provided something for us, which baptism is a union into (Romans 6), namely into His death and by virtue of the resurrection, the new life. Is anyone earning salvation by baptism like they did by sacrificing animals or washing hands or holding ceremonies? No.

    Regarding Mark 16, whether or not you take the last verses as canonical or not, says that we have to both believe and then be baptized. Baptism saves us if we believe.

    Actually, several Greek words are used for faith, and authors can use them differently. Faith is not merely an acknowledgment or a belief, or else the devils in hell would be saved. Instead, faith requires action. Faith, not belief, is used to signify something more than an intellectual exercise, which is why it used as well for ‘the Faith’, meaning the Christian religion. It is a way, a commitment.

    Wb, you keep saying ‘I think…. isn’t but it is…. because I was taught…..’

    Everyone says that. We must go beyond what we are taught and examine the great depths of God for ourselves, but based on what we have been taught or learned.

    Peter is saying the same thing in Acts 2.38 as he did in 1st Peter 3 and Paul did in Romans 6. Baptism is our act of union with Christ, in which we are united with His Grace and our sins are remitted.

    Examine Acts 3.16-20. Again, Peter is speaking, starting with the precious name of Jesus Christ, and goes on to speak about repenting of sin and returning to God, which removes sin, which allows for the times of refreshing. It is a parallel to Acts 2.38, which speaks of repentance, then baptism (which Paul said was union with Christ which previously was impossible because of our sin) and finally, the gift of the Spirit.

    Can you believe in God and not be saved? Can you believe in Christ and not be saved? Yes, to both. Does a belief remove you sins? No.

    As Mark said, baptism and belief is required, together. Why? Because in baptism is the blood of Christ applied to the doorposts of our heart, because as Paul said in Romans, in baptism, we have died with Christ in baptism and because of His resurrection, we have been raised to walk in a new life – just as Peter said, baptism saves us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    • Joel, there are other verses which state we need to call upon Jesus to be saved and do not mention baptism. So baptism is not THE way to be saved. All the various passages which speak of salvation speak of the need for faith. THAT is the minimum requirement. Most of the passages say we have to have evidence of said faith. But it is said faith that saves, at least according to Paul. I dont think any of the human authors are in contradiction with the rest.

      If we do something for salvation, then it is a work. But you are saying we need to be baptized to be saved – hence by your own words, you are saying we need to perform a work to be saved and then claiming it is not a work. Can’t have it both ways.

      Faith engenders action. It does not require it. There is a big difference. If one has faith but dies before putting it into action, one still has faith and is saved.

      I’m trying to be more inclusive and less restrictive in the language I am using when I say I think…. But the fact of the matter is, scripture is clear that one is saved by faith. This is a belief with an emotional component. I agree with your assessment that is is commitment. This commitment will engender one to act in obedience to God. There are many ways to act in obedience to God – one of which includes baptism. If we live past the moment of coming to faith, we will move towards becoming more and more obedient to God. If we are baptized as infants, then come to faith, and we are not re-baptized, then we are not in obedience to what God has said we need to do.

      Yes, we have been raised to walk in new life – but this is not a phyiscal thing. It is a spiritual thing – as is evidenced to the Gentiles in Acts 10 who came to believe and had the Holy Spirit come upon them without having been baptized into the name of Jesus.

      43 “Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” 44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45 All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 47 “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

      These people were “baptized” with the Holy Spirit and THEN were baptized with water. The baptism with water came after God came upon them – it was done in obedience to Christ, but was symbolic of what God had already done.

  30. W,

    You have somewhat answered your own question…”Baptism IS a response to God, as is calling on the name of the Lord, as is any form of obedience to God.” Thus it is grace, that enables us to walk with and obey God (Phil. 2:12-13). But, this can also be done within the aspect of the Covenant, and Family.

    As to “infants” it is infants of believers, and thus again it is the truth and nature of the Covenant and Grace. Again, there is only “one” eternal Covenant, and it is Grace, (Heb. 13:20). As all the covenants in the end are centered.

    If you have seen the aspect and connection of circumcision and baptism (Col. 2: 11-12, etc.)? Then you should be able to at least see that baptism can be done apart from the idea of just a singluar point of “belief” (believers baptism). Again, the Covenant of Grace.

    • Fr.R.,

      So are you saying that since grace is a gift from God, and it is grace which enables us to walk with and obey God, then any act where we obey God has that act conferring grace upon us?

      I realize baptism can be done apart from belief, but think scripture is clear that it is only through faith that we please God. Thus, baptizing apart from one’s own faith is not pleasing to God.

  31. Wb, you are ignoring everything presented. I note that in Acts, calling upon the name of the Lord (Jesus Christ) was included in baptism. Note Paul’s baptism. and Acts 10.43 I have given you my passages. Let us examine yours. I haven’t seen a verse yet that says we are saved by faith alone.

    Note, we must attempt to define faith by how it was understood by the Apostles, not by the Reformation.

    We are not earning – which is what the OT was about – salvation. By your own words, then, a mere belief is necessary. Not repentance, not calling upon the name of the Lord, nothing. This is the problem with understanding the NT through the lens of the Reformation.

    Actually, faith does require action, such as obedience. I note Hebrews 9.5 which requires obedience. Further 1st Peter 1.22 says we purify our souls in obeying the truth. Or James 2.24 who said we are justified not merely by faith, but by works. Further, in Acts 10.34-35, Peter people must work righteousness for salvation.

    • Joel,:) I’m not purposefully ignoring anything. there’s so much to try to deal with, its hard to be complete without writing a book.

      I’m not sure I’d say that the OT was about earning one’s salvation. There were plenty (well, at least 7000 at one point) who believed. The problem with the OT sacrificial system is that it was easy to move to try to earn salvation, but the who idea was they were supposed to do those things to show their faith. It became something else entirely.

      sigh.. belief is what Jesus said was required. The belief/faith DOES engender/causes obedience. This belef/faith includes belief in and turning to God. I’m not sure you meant Heb 9:5, or if you did then I need more explanation. As for “obeying the truth” spoken of in 1 Peter 1, that is speaking of the truth of needing to have faith in Christ, so our faith and hope is in God ( verses 18-21). James is showing the difference between a thought (which is what the demons had – they knew the truth, but did not put their confidence in God), and faith – that it causes one to have evidence. Peter said in Acts 10:43 “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” It seems clear that if one believes, then one will fear God and do what is right (Acts 10:34).

      But the faith is the key. If we have faith, we will have evidence of it in our lives – being baptized, calling upon the name of the Lord, etc.

  32. W,
    That old word “symbol”, it is needed, but it is also expressive of something the sacrament has that is more, a “Sign” of the reality of God’s work and Spirit. Baptism is nothing without the Spirit of God. And the Spirit works and draws us into simply everything that is of Christ! Thus we can trust the Covenant God from beginning to end, with ourselves, our wife’s, our children.. everything we have and are, we are the Lord’s!

  33. Wb, faith is not the only way to please God.

    • Rom. 3:28-30, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.”

      Rom. 4:5, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,”

      Rom. 5:1, “therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

      Rom. 9:30, “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith.”

      Rom. 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

      Rom. 11:6, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”

      Gal. 2:16, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”

      Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.

      Gal.3:5-6, “Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 6Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”

      Gal. 3:24, “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.”

      Eph. 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. 9Not by works, lest any man should boast.”

      Phil. 3:9, “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”

      In context, James 2 is looking at the difference between dead faith (wihch does not lead to eternal life) and live faith (which leads to eternal life and engenders evidence in one’s life). James is refuting that one can have true faith without having actions which accompany it.

      The gentiles in Acts 10 were saved before being baptized because they had received the Holy Spirit, which is the evidence of salvation (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13; 1 John 3:24). In fact Jesus Himself was the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11).

      While Peter connects baptism with salvation, Peter is clear that being immersed in water does nothing but wash away dirt. Its what baptism represents that is important, that which is what saves us – an appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In other words, Peter is simply connecting baptism with belief. It is not the getting-wet part that saves but is the “appeal to God for a clean conscience” which is signified by baptism, that saves us. The appeal to God always comes first. First belief and repentance, then we are baptized to publicly identify ourselves with Christ.

  34. Rather, faith is only a part of pleasing God, but not the only part. There is knowledge, obedience, walking in the spirit, etc…

    Granted, The Faith, is the only way to please God.

  35. W,
    I am saying as the texts in Phil. 2: 11-12 implies, that all that we do in our obedience to God, is a response to God’s grace to us and in us. This is part of that mystery of God’s grace in both Justification and Sanctification, both are Godward, but sanctification is both instantaneous and progressive.

    Again, as to faith, the infant and baptism, it is as circumcision in the OT, sign & covenant. It beings not pleasing to God to baptise our child? This makes no sense, since our children are themselves “gifts” of God, and we raise them within the Christian covenent of grace, a life style, and life lived in grace. As Jesus said, “suffer” or let the little children come unto me! The whole concept that we raise our children, and then later (like the Amish) baptise them, and only then they fully become Christians? Again, is a very decisional type of so-called Christian choice. And really foreign to the whole “covenant” in scripture. My thoughts at least.

    • Fr. R., I will grant that any ability to understand and obey God comes from God, by the grace of God. But to think a particular act gives (confers) us grace, I dont see it…. Perhaps I’m not understanding what you mean by confer?

      As for your second paragraph at 2:22pm, you have a choice as to what you call people who are raised in the Christian culture but have no faith. Personally, I consider them cultural Christians, but not true Christians. It is by faith that we are saved. It is when we have that faith that we truly become Christian. The promise for salvation is for everyone – us, our children, those far away. But it is based upon us believing God, trusting in Christ. We DO raise our children in the hopes that they will respond affirmatively to Christ’s call. But it IS ultimately their choice. Looking at the numbers of people leaving the church as young adults, its evident most of them were not truly Christian, even though they were raised in the church.

  36. Wb, the Law was about works, making one self righteous before God. It could only effect the outside, not the inside. I am not saying that they didn’t believe, but physical remedies couldn’t do what Christ has done. The OT’s Law was about human effort in removing sins – different than belief.

    Further, you are making a distinction where there is none in James. Faith is not a belief or thought – but requires from us expressions of our faith. This is what James is saying. But, this is also dealing with works, which baptism or Communion, is not.

    How do you think we get that name and the forgiveness of sins by it? The same Peter who said that we must have forgiveness of sins through the name of Christ is the one who said that we must be baptized into the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. This same Peter said that the Flood was a symbol of the baptism which now saves us through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    As it is recorded in Mark, if you believe and you are baptized, then you are saved. If belief was the only think required, then all but atheists would be saved, but alas, it is not.

    Remember, Baptism was commanded by Christ, and He said if we love Him, we will keep His commandments.

    Hebrews 5.9. sdwkcab it etorw I.

  37. W,

    I would agree with much in your last paragraph. And indeed, Peter is connecting baptism with belief. And the saving aspect is to the Resurrection of Christ, for here is the pledge of a good conscience. And of course faith is always first place. Indeed getting wet is not the point of baptism at all. It is the saving grace of God given fully in Christ risen and ascended, as also in verse 22. (But note, 3:18 also, the death of Christ first.) But also in the “Covenent” the believers children are also very connected, “Household” Baptism. Of course this is a “theological” position, as is the whole of the Biblical Revelation.

  38. Not sure what the verses are for, really, especially with any context. For example, Ephesians 2.8 says that Grace saves us through faith. For example,

    Hebrews 5:9 — Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.
    “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.”

    1 Peter 1:22 — We purify our souls in obeying the truth.
    “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.”

    Romans 6:17-18 — Servants must obey from the heart in order to be made free from sin.
    “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

    Matthew 7:21-23 — To accept Jesus as Lord (ruler and master) and enter the kingdom of heaven, we must obey him and do what He says. We may believe and confess Him yet still be rejected because we did not obey him.
    “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”

    2 Thessalonians 1:8 — Those who do not obey will be destroyed.
    “In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    1 John 5:3 — God requires us to keep His commandments. If we do not obey him, we do not love Him.
    “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

    Romans 2:7 — He will give eternal life to those who persist in doing what is good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.
    “Eternal life to those who by patient perseverance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality.”

    James 2:24 — Man is justified by works, not by faith only.
    “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”

    Acts 10:34-35 — Peter tells Cornelius that to be accepted by God, people must work righteousness, and that this is true for all people.
    “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.”

    A) — Listed Below Are Some Of The Many Things That Are Necessary For Salvation

    Please give to the following verses the same kind of literal and “common sense” interpretation that you would want your children or employees to give to your instructions.

    Learning the word of God
    Romans 1:16 “The gospel is God’s power to save all who believe.”
    John 14:23 “Jesus replied: If anyone loves me he will cherish my word.”
    James 1:18 “Because he willed it He brought us forth, by the word of truth.”
    Corinthians 15:1 “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, and in which you understand.”
    James 1:21 “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word of God, which is able to save your souls.”
    John 8:31-32 “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
    2 Peter3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

    Love
    John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that ye love one another, just as I have loved you.”
    1 Corinthians 16:22 “If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be cursed.”
    1 John 4:7-8 “Let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
    Matthew 22:38 “Love is the greatest of all the commandments.”

    Repentance
    Acts 17:30 “God is declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent.”
    Acts 2:38 “Peter said to them, Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”
    Luke 13:3 “I tell you, unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
    2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
    Acts 3:19 “Repent, so that your sins may be blotted out.”
    2 Corinthians 7:9-10 “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation.”
    Acts 26:20 “Declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.

    Obedience
    Hebrews 5:9 “And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him, the source of eternal salvation.”
    Romans 6:17 “But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed.”
    1 Peter 1:22 “In obedience to the truth, you have purified your souls.”
    Hebrews 5:9 “Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.”
    Luke 6:46 “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
    Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”
    Acts 5:32 “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

    Confession
    Romans 10:9-10 “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
    Matthew 10:32 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.”
    1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

    Baptism
    Mark 16:16 “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved.”
    1 Peter 3:21 “Baptism now saves you, not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience–through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
    Acts 2:38 “Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
    Acts 22:16 “Ananias told Paul to arise and be baptized and wash away his sins.”

    * On the road to Damascus, Paul finally found Jesus and believed in him completely but was still told by Ananias to be baptized to allow the precious blood of Jesus Christ to wash away his sins. So Paul, even though he now had complete faith in Jesus Christ, still realized that salvation included and required other things, things like baptism.

    Faithfulness
    1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”
    Matthew 28:20 “Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.”
    Titus 2:12 “Deny ungodliness and worldly desires and live sensibly, righteously and Godly in the present age.”

    Prayer
    1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray constantly.”
    Acts 6:4 “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
    1Corinthians 7:5 “Devote yourselves to prayer, and come together, so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
    Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving;”

    Church membership
    Acts 2:28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
    Ephesians 5:23 “For Christ is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.”

    Keeping the commandments
    Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Fear God and keep His commandments, and this applies to all people.”
    1John 2:3 “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments”.
    John 14:21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
    Matthew 19:17 And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
    1John 2:4 “The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
    John 15:10 “If you observe my commandments, you will remain in my love.”
    1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.”

    Hope
    Romans 8:24 “For in hope we have been saved.”
    Romans 12:12 “Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer.”
    Ephesians 1:18 May the eyes of your heart be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”
    1Thessalonians 5:8 “Let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.”

    Learning God’s will
    Acts 11:14 “He will speak words to you, by which you will be saved.”
    John 6:45 “It is written by the prophets, they shall all be taught of God. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.”
    Romans 10:17 “Faith comes from hearing and knowing the word of Christ.”
    John 14:23 “In answer Jesus said to him, If anyone loves me, he will observe my word, and I and the Father will love him.”

    Doing Good Works
    2 Corinthians 5:10 “For all of us must appear before Christ, to be judged by him. We will each receive what we deserve, according to everything we have done, good or bad, in our bodily life”.
    Revelation 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”
    Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”.
    Ecclesiastes 12:14 “For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, whether good or evil.”

    Having love for every other human being
    John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you.”
    Mark 12:30-31 “And you must love Your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength. The second greatest commandment is this. That you love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
    John 15:17 “This I command you, that you love one another.”
    John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
    Matthew 22:37-39 “Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

    God’s grace and belief in that grace
    Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.”
    Acts 15:11 “But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

    Jesus’ death and belief in all that his death means
    Ephesians 1:7 “In Him we have redemption through His blood.”
    Romans 5:9 “Much more then having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God.”

    Jesus’ resurrection and belief in the importance of his resurrrection
    1 Corinthians 15:17 “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; for you are still in your sins.”
    Acts 4:33 “And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.”
    1Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

    That’s right, that is what James is doing, but baptism is not a work, many more than faith is.

    Regarding Cornelius. Where does it say that you are saved when you receive the Holy Spirit? Remember, this same Peter would later write that baptism saves us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you look at the next chapter, Peter is relating the story of Cornelius’ vision. In this vision, explained by Peter, we read:

    ‘Send to Joppa and have Simon, who is also called Peter, brought here; and he will speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’ (Act 11:13-14 NASB)

    Then, Peter begins to speak – and the Holy Ghost falls – but, Wb, the words of Peter go on in chapter 10 where he commands the household to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Evidences of the spirit abound, but then, if you say that this or that is required for salvation, then you have supplanted your own argument. What is the gospel of our salvation? Repent, and be baptized – the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    None of the verses you mentioned say that you are saved if the Spirit falls on you. Note the difference in language from the fall of the Spirit and the indwelling of the Spirit.

    Wb, are you reading 1st Peter? He is saying just the opposite of what you are saying. He is saying that baptism is not about ritual purification but about salvation because of a clean conscience. Note that he is speaking to Jewish Christians who would have had baptism as Jews at some point in their life, especially if they wanted to participate in the Temple Life. They would instinctively connected baptism to ritual purification, but Peter was correcting this. Not the sum of 1st Peter, which is all about the new covenant. We are now priests, kings, etc…

    Peter is saying that baptism is what saves us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ not because it is the washing of the body, but because it is the demand of a clean conscience. Paul, in Colossians, Galatians, and Romans speaks of Baptism united us with Christ because we have died out to sin.

    Peter’s language here is not hyperbolic, nor symbolic, nor parabolic. Peter is very literally saying just what Paul has said numerous times – baptism saves us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Further, where do you think that clean conscience comes from? Perhaps, just as Peter said, from the forgiveness of sins which you get by baptism.

    Just to note, a public show is a work. A symbol is a work.

  39. Wb, the bible never actually says that we are saved by faith. Instead, it says we are saved by God’s free gift.

    • Joel,
      I think you’re splitting hairs and arguing semantics on this point. We both agree on it, and I think you know that.

      Ephesians 2:8
      For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

      Its not what we do, but who we trust that matters as far as salvation is concerner.

  40. W,

    You are missing my points and argument…sigh! You have not spoken back, to me at least, an understanding of covenant or infant baptism. Joel does not accept it, but he understands the position at least.

    I am not sure (looking back at all the posts) that I can say much more than I have already said. I think also, that you are somewhat stuck in a modern paradigm, in the likes of a modern evangelical use of the Zwinglian ideas of the sacrament. Which in reality, is really not Zwingli! I would point you to W.P. Stephens work on the theology of Zwingli, and shows that Zwingli made a defense for both infant and the baptism of adults. And there was a time when Zwingli, was not sure about infant baptism, but worked his way thru it, to see its need and beauty, in the covenant. And we should note too, Zwingli’s arguments with the Anabaptists.

    We cannot enter into this great subject without an understanding of the long history of the subject in the Church. For the subject bears upon both the truth of ‘Word & Sacrament’ theologically. It is not enough to think we can just go to our bibles literally. There really is a whole Judeo-Christian world-view to see and try and understand. The 2,000 year old (give or take) history of the Church “must” come into play here. Again “my” thoughts on the subject.

    Yours,

    • Fr. R.,

      what more is there to say? Pedobaptists believe that it is right and necessary to baptize infants who have no faith, as they consider it a sign of the covenant similar to circumcision. Those who do not believe in baptism of infants go to the text which states you must believe to be saved.

      The bottom line is, you and I disagree. I’ve read the arguments. I have read the passages. I find the arguments which want to claim baptism for infants is right and good to be ignoring that we are told to believe and then be baptized.

      I’m OK with not agreeing.

  41. No, Wb, I don’t think it is. For many, faith is merely an intellectual assent, emotional or otherwise, to God, but for others, myself included, it involves obedience, a walk, a commitment, etc… Further, we are not justified by faith alone but those things we do in response to that faith as well.

    • faith, by defintiion, is trust. This does not include any particular action. However, walking one’s faith out will entail obedience. It is possible to trust and then die and still be saved. But I dont think its possible to trust God and not put that trust into practice – otherwise, its not trust, merely an idea.

  42. W,
    Indeed agree to disagree on this. I have recently read a book about some of the benefits of covenant theology, and the blessing of catechizing our children. It seems raising them with such, as the Heidelberg Catechism, helps keep them more deeply in the faith. Of this I have no doubt. Even as an Irish Catholic I was raised some on the Creeds and the Trinity. Confirmation was early in those days, and better I think (10 or 11?).

    Nice to hear from you!

  43. Faith by recent understanding is trust, but hardly by the original meaning

    • I agree faith will engender action. But for it to mean more than trust, I’d need more than your trustworthy word, my friend. Please present evidence for faith meaning something other than trust? Do you have an article on this?

  44. http://thechurchofjesuschrist.us/2010/03/undeception-on-faithfulness/

    I think that will help, Wb.

    Faith was never supposed to be about merely ‘trust’.

  45. The early Church understood and practiced infant baptism. This important teaching was virtually unchallenged for 1200 years! Entire households were baptized. Do you really believe that infants are incapable of faith? John the Baptist lept in his mother’s womb in the presence of the pregnant Virgin Mary. I argue that ALL of creation on some level knows the Creator. Not all will love Him, or profess to believe in Him, but even the rocks cry out. All of Creation, even animals are accountable in His presence. Believer baptism is a relatively new heresy–the early Church understood it and that is why they persecuted those who stood against infant baptism, driving them out of Europe. I work with disabled teenagers. Most of them are from unchurched homes. Most of them will never be baptized. In the traditional sense, they will never “understand” any theology. Unfortunately, they STILL suffer and die under the curse of original sin. So we would deny them the grace offered in baptism? I hope NOT!!! Faith is not an intellectual pursuit. The children of the Hebrews in Egypt whose parents did NOT put the blood of the Lamb over the doorpost, perished even though they did not disobey themselves. Children of parents whose parents DID put the blood over the doorposts, were spared as children of God although they did nothing themselves. A friend of mine recently told me that her 20 yr. old daughter was appalled to learn that she was not even considered a member of the church she was born into and spent her whole life in. Thank God for the churches who are obedient and DO offer the grace of baptism and the seed of the gift of faith to their precious children. These children reap the benefits of being under the protection of the Church family. May God have mercy on those who are deceived by the Evil One in believing that they have to DO something to save themselves, and teach this heresy. Even faith is a gift. We cannot even believe unless He grants faith to us. God is always the initiator; not man.

    • Please provide biblical evidence of infant baptism. There is none – only conjecture.

      Feel free to baptize infants. It does not confer faith. It is only faith in Christ which saves us. But then the question is begged, how did David know he would be with his infant child when he died, since they did not baptize in the time of David? Because God is merciful – no other reason.

      Lots of people go to church, few of them will be in heaven, though they will bend the knee when Christ in the end.

  46. @wbmoore

    Unfortunately I see the little pope syndrome in you where you believe your interpretation of scripture is infallible.

    I am praying for you.

    Lord Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on me a sinner.

    • thanks. I need prayer. I dont think I’m infallible. On some issues, I’ve been shown in scripture where I was mistaken. But in this case, no one has been able to convince me their reading of scripture is accurate.

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