The Instigator
Swordmaster
Pro (for)
Losing
84 Points
The Contender
nickthengineer
Con (against)
Winning
91 Points

A person Becomes a Christian at the Point of Baptism and not before

Do you like this debate?NoYes+8
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 30 votes the winner is...
nickthengineer
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/14/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,275 times Debate No: 11742
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (54)
Votes (30)

 

Swordmaster

Pro

I affirm that a person who believes that Jesus is the Christ, must be baptized into Christ in order to become a Christian and thus are saved. The baptism I am talking about is (one of water, Total immersion) Thereby no matter how much a person has emotions for God or Jesus, belief alone will not saved a person from their sins. (infant baptism is not in consideration here because a baby is not a believer, and has not sin). This debate is solely focused on adult baptism.

Accepted evidence in this debate, must be the Bible. Your understanding and Three quotes from three different sources per round and one of them must be from the bible.
Also at the end of rounds 2, 3, 4, 2 questions may be asked and must be answered by the opponent in the next round at the beginning.
When asking questions, They must be from the prior argument.
1st Round will be Today, the introduction given must state who you are and what you intend to prove and the beginning of your argument.

2nd round We must answer your given questions, produce any new evidence in this round, plus 2 questions may be asked of your opponent position

3rd round We must answer your given questions, produce any new evidence in this round, plus 2 questions may be asked of your opponent position

4th Round We must answer your given questions, produce any new evidence in this round, plus 2 questions may be asked of your opponent position

5th round We must answer any questions given, and produce the conclusion of our argument. (using only the evidence we produced in rounds 1-4)

My Argument begins
Hi my name is Tim, and my opponent name is nick. I just want to thank Nick for agreeing to this debate. I am known as Sword master here. I live in Michigan, and am a father of 5 great Children. One is with Jesus and 4 are still here. I have the greatest wife in the world. I have went through a 2 years in a school of preaching, and acquired 130 credit hours. But if the foundation of knowledge I received is off, everything that I learned will be rancid to some degree. So if my opponent does not have the same level of training in the word that I have and he is factual in his beliefs, and I am not, My schooling would have done nothing for me, but make my beliefs rotten.
Therefore it is more important to look at what is being said, then to see who said it. In the same way the evidence we use (no matter the honor of the degree, or the popularity of the person we quote, if they are not factual in what they believe, they are as rotten and rancid as any false teacher.
Debates are fun, and can be healthy, if attitudes are right, but if attitudes are wrong, debates can be a weapon for Satan to use to destroy the belief of the weak in Christ. So as I approach this debate it is with an attitude of Honoring Christ, Creating belief in the non believer, and teaching the truth as God commands all Christians to do. I also want to honor my opponent Preacher Andy, for his conviction, and courage to stand up for what he believes, and honor me with this debate.
In this debate I must prove that
1. belief alone does not save.
2. the actions that saves a person from their sins must involve baptism.
3. I must also prove that anything less than baptism with the correct understanding, does not make one a Christian, but a follower of the blind, who leads ignorant people to hell with himself.
Once I have proved these facts, it will be impossible for anyone who has believed otherwise to continue in that belief, and know they are a Christian. So let's get started.
John 3:16 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
This is a very important verse, we have seen it at ball games and in tracks from various denominations and it is probably the most famous verse in the bible.. Yet for all its fame, it is the most abused and misunderstood verse in the bible. I want to focus on the Word "believes"
The Greek word for belief is πιστεύω pisteuō and the root word of this Greek word is πίστις.
Now πίστις is a feminine noun, which means 1) conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it relating to God the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ
From that word comes ; pisteuō This word that is used by Jesus in John 3:16, is a verb. Not a name of a trust or emotion, but Jesus used a word that describes an action.
Vines Greek dictionary.
Moultins lexicon
When pisteu; is parse out this is what we find: Tense: Present, Voice: Active, Mood: Participle.
The present tense represents a simple statement of fact or reality viewed as occurring in actual time
The active voice represents the subject as the doer or performer of the action.
The Participle Mood represents "-ing and can be used either like a verb or a noun, as in English, and thus is often termed a "verbal noun."
Blue letter bible.

Here is the question, Why did Jesus use this particular Greek word? Jesus said pisteu, not the total noun form.
If Jesus did not want any wrong understandings why this word? Jesus is saying belief he want all believers to have is one of action. The Holy Spirit through the pen of James said James 1:22, But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Thus James and John are not contradictory but in line and in full agreement with each other. Jesus is saying in John to believe in action. James is talking to Jewish Christians and telling them the same thing,
IN Matthew Henry's commentary on James 1:22 he says, 3. We are taught what is to be done after hearing (v. 22): But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. Observe here, (1.) Hearing is in order to doing; the most attentive and the most frequent hearing of the word of God will not avail us, unless we be also doers of it. If we were to hear a sermon every day of the week, and an angel from heaven were the preacher, yet, if we rested in bare hearing, it would never bring us to heaven. Therefore the apostle insists much upon it (and, without doubt, it is indispensably necessary) that we practice what we hear.
Jamison, Fausset, and Brown in their commentary on James 1:22." Qualification of the precept, "Be swift to hear": "Be ye doers . . . not hearers only"; not merely "Do the word," but "Be doers" systematically and continually, as if this was your regular business. James here again refers to the Sermon on the Mount ( Mat 7:21-29 )."
And finally Matt 7:21-23, 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. 22 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?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
Therefore When Jesus speaks of belief in John 3:16, he is talking about an obedient belief. One that is more the lip service. He never authorizes only lip service, So in matters of salvation, what did he authorize? Well tonight we will look at What actions/obedience, saves a person from their sins and prove it must involve baptism.
Resources used: The New King James bible, Moulton Greek lexicon, the blue letter bible, Vines Greek dictionary, and Mathews Henry's & James, Fausset, Brown commentaries on James.
Thank
Sword master
nickthengineer

Con

INTRODUCTION

My name is Nick and I will be Con for this debate. I will be arguing that baptism is not a requirement for salvation. I will be pointing out what the Bible says in numerous places on the topics of salvation, actions, and baptism, and demonstrate that baptism as a requirement to be saved is a false conclusion derived from a few misunderstood passages of Scripture and a legalistic attitude.

WHAT BAPTISM IS FOR

I affirm that baptism is a very special event and certainly has its place in a Christian life. I myself have been baptized and I hope that every adult Christian will make the commitment to be baptized at some point in their lives.

Baptism is a significant expression of faith but NOT a requirement to receive salvation. My opponent has yet to address point #2 of his stated obligations, that "the actions that saves a person from their sins must involve baptism." For now, consider the following:

In 1 Corinthians 15:1-2, Paul clearly says that we are saved by believing the Gospel. However, baptism is not part of this saving Gospel, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:17, "For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel." Clearly the two are mutually exclusive and baptism is NOT a requirement for salvation. But what then is it for?

Baptism is a way of identifying with Christ. It symbolizes the washing away of the old, sinful nature and being alive in Christ. It is an outward expression of an inward change. Mark 16:16 is commonly misunderstood as claiming that those who are not baptized are condemned to Hell, so let's look at it:

"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."

By not directly commenting on the state of those who believe but are not baptized, this verse is stressing the fact that those who truly do believe should make the commitment to be baptized because they will understand the significance of it (being identified with Christ). But this does not mean that those who believe but die before being baptized are condemned to Hell (see example of the criminal on the cross below). The focus of this verse is on BELIEF, not baptism. To make it clear that this verse does not claim that all who are not baptized are condemned, consider the following example from http://creation.com... :

"Whatever has feathers and flies is a bird, but whatever does not have feathers is not a bird."

Flying is not the test for being a bird; having feathers is the test. Flightless birds truly are birds. Similarly, Scripture does not make the claim that baptism is the test of being saved; belief is the test of being saved. Un-baptized believers truly are saved.

HOW TO BE SAVED

The Bible makes it clear that nothing can be done on our own to in any way earn our way to Heaven, as it is a free gift that must simply be accepted on faith.

Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast."

No verse in all of Scripture more clearly refutes my opponent's claims than this. Actions of any kind, whether charity work or tithing or being baptized, can never merit salvation. My opponent completely denies that belief (faith) alone is what saves, but that one must go through with the action of being baptized. I have two examples that I hope my opponent would consider, one hypothetical and one actual.

First, what if a mature adult is convinced of his need for Christ and professes faith in Christ. After maturing as a Christian and understanding the significance of baptism, this person arranges to be baptized. On the way to church next Sunday morning for his baptism, the person is killed by a drunk driver. Would such a person go to Hell because someone took his life before he lived long enough to go through with the action of being baptized? How about if this person had instead died of a heart attack while walking to the baptism pool? Still going to Hell?

Second, what about the criminal on the cross next to Jesus (Luke 23:40-43)? This criminal admitted that he was being punished for his wrongdoings (verse 41), recognized that Jesus was innocent (verse 41), and believed that Jesus was who He claimed to be (verse 42). Jesus then assured this dying criminal that he would join Him in Heaven that very day (verse 43). Without being baptized, Jesus promised this dying sinner that he was saved.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ACTIONS

One of the biggest misconceptions is the importance of actions as it relates to whether or not you are saved. Obviously, no one likes a hypocrite. Those "do as I say, not as I do" Christians find it next to impossible to convince anyone of their need for Christ and thus find soul-winning a very difficult task (if they are even trying to witness in the first place). In short, your actions will either build up or tear down your testimony for Christ. A Christian should desire to show God to the world through what they do, but nowhere in the Bible is it taught that the actions themselves are what results in salvation. Rather, IT IS SALVATION THAT RESULTS IN THE ACTIONS, because it is only after being saved that you will desire to show God to the world.

Commonly misunderstood and seen as in contradiction with Ephesians 2:8-9 is James 2:14,17 – "What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?...Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself."

This can be cleared up by a discussion of James 2:19 – "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe – and tremble!"

James stresses here that a correct belief should be evident in your life by what you do. James tells us that Satan believes in God, but he sure isn't acting like God is who He says He is! Satan believed that he was equal to God. Satan believed that he could ruin God's plan by tempting Adam and Eve into sin. Satan believed that he could again ruin God's plan by causing Judas to betray Jesus and have Him crucified. And Satan believes that he will lead a victorious rebellion against God at Armageddon.

Satan believes that God is real, yet none of his beliefs will save him. Why? Because the content of his belief is false.

Statements on the faith/works issue like James' are a very necessary clarification to passages like Ephesians 2:8-9. What Ephesians 2 stresses about the relationship between faith and works is that the road to Heaven is a one way street; absolutely nothing you can do will earn your way there, you must simply accept the gift by faith. What James adds is a clarification to an incorrect line of reasoning that could result from reading only passages like Ephesians 2. One might be tempted to say, "If all I have to do is believe, then alright, I believe! Especially because it doesn't matter what I do! I can sin all I want free of consequences!"

Such people would only be CLAIMING to believe in God, and their belief would be just as empty as Satan's. This is why James rhetorically asks, "Can that faith save him?" Again, actions do not save, but salvation results in proper actions. Living an unchanged life because you are not convinced of your need to turn from your sin is not the proper actions, which is evidence of a heart that does not truly believe in the first place.

CONCLUSION

My opponent is correct in that believers should be "doers of the Word, and not hearers only" (James 1:22). However, my opponent incorrectly concludes that it is certain actions of the believer that merits salvation while ignoring the plain teachings of Scripture that we are saved by faith because of the actions that have already been done on our behalf, Christ dying on the cross.
Debate Round No. 1
Swordmaster

Pro

I want to thank Nick for debating me I, He has posted a well thought out argument. Eph. 2:8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God"
When Paul uses the term grace, would you agree that he is saying, "by the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ you have been saved?" Would we change the meaning if we said "by the gospel of Christ you have been saved?" According to Strong Greek dictionary, Grace means a "gift". Now who would disagree that the grace that saves is the death burial and resurrection of Jesus. This fits with Ro. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of the God for everyone who believes, …" In 1 Co. 15:1-4, "1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures"
This grace is the gospel, you cannot separate them. Look what it says; Paul preached it and the received it, and took their stand on it, and by this gospel they were saved.
How many gospels are their? Gal. 1:8-9 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
Friends there is only one Gospel, there is not the gospel and grace that saves, as in 2 different things, for the gospel is the grace of Ephesians 2:8. Now we are instruct and even warned not to pervert, change or preach a different Gospel.
We have 3 verses that teach that this gospel is something to Obey as well as believe. 2Thess 1:8-9
Rom 10:16, and 1Pet 4:17, We will look at 2Thess 1:8, 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."
According to all three verses the gospel of Christ is to be obeyed. Well How does this fit with Eph. 2:9, Not of works, lest anyone should boast? Well the answer is found in verse 7, Which has the location of those saved In Christ. Not one of them did a work of redemption, to save themselves, it was done for them by the gospel, the Grace of God. So none of them kept the law good enough to be saved. Yet this is not saying obedience is not required to be saved. Rom. 6:17 "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."
What did they obey, what doctrine did the follow that saved their souls? The answer is found in Rom 6:3-4, 7, 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Talking about baptism that is the doctrine they had obeyed from the heart, That is also Obeying the gospel of Christ, Obey the death burial and resurrection, in reality Obeying the grace of God.
Now Paul told the brethren at Thessalonica that those who are hell bound are those who do not believe, and those who do not obey the gospel, and God has in this passage given us the only way to obey the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rom 6, teaches that fact totally. Rom 6:7, "For he who has died has been freed from sin." Paul is taking to Christians who were sinning so that grace could abound,vs1-2 and in this chapter Paul teaches them again what they did to become Christians,vs3-4 reminding them of the gospel they obeyed, that doctrine they had obeyed from the heart vs17, the death that happened in baptism when they died with Christ there in the water, freed them from their sin. Why was it so important to God to have Paul write verse 7? What happened in Christ death? Jo. 19:33-34 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
Now this is what we have learned through these passages, When a person is baptized, that person is obeying the gospel, and they died to sin and with Christ and to self. They were buried and raised with Christ, It is at this point of baptism and not before that they come into contact with the blood of Jesus. Rev. 1:5, "and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood," So I ask a question when were we washed? When we died with Christ, thus Rom 6:7, For he who has died has been freed from sin. Notice not earned, not worked for, but given in baptism. Then Paul says in Heb 13:12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. After we are washed in the blood Jesus shed in his death we become a sanctified people, by the blood of Jesus,
I want to make a comparison between What Nick said concerning Mark 16:16
"He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned."
Who ever has feathers and flies is a bird, but whoever does not have feathers is not a bird."
My response: in Mark 16:16 Did you notice the words "And Is" and in Nicks example they are not there. That makes the 2 statements totally different grammatically. Let me give you an example that would parallel Marks teachings.
He who Reads and is comprehending will be enlightened, But he who does not read will be ignorant? If you read and are comprehending, You will be enlightened, in the context of this sentence, But if you do not read, You cannot be enlightened, thus you will ignorant.
How can you comprehend what you do not read? The results would be ignorance, in the same way, How can you be baptized if you do not believe? Baptism unites a believer with the one whom he believes in. without belief, you cannot be united, that is why infant baptism is wrong because a baby has no sin, and cannot believe.
We both have 3 questions we can ask of the other according to the rules and the other must answer.
1.Were the People in Acts 2:37 Saved at that point in their lives?
2.Were the People that Acts 2:47 is talking about saved at that point?
3.What did they do between verses 37-47 that got them saved. Please keep in context with the chapter.
your question. If a person waits until Sunday when they were taught Saturday night to be baptized, they had their opportunity. And according to the scriptures they would be lost. Note God would never allow anyone to die on the way to be baptized, You want a proof text 2 Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning [His] promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, [fn] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." If God is holding off the Judgment day because of lost souls that may repent, do you think, the one who knows when a sparrow falls to the ground and is holds our life in his hand would allow Satan to take one of his?
I have run out of space and Lord willing will deal with you second question next post.
The criminal on the cross was under the old covenant and not under the new. He was not the only man that Christ forgave their sins, Mark 2: 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise, take up your bed and walk'? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins"--He said to the paralytic,…
next post
nickthengineer

Con

INTRODUCTION

It appears as though my opponent thinks we disagree on much more than we actually do. I will point out how most of what my opponent said in R2 is exactly in line with what I already said in R1, aside from a slight twist at the end on which the resolution of this debate hinges.

HOW TO BE SAVED

My opponent correctly points out via Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved because of what God has already done on our behalf. Because of His grace, God has freely given us the gift of salvation that must simply be accepted. I completely agree with all of this, as I already explained in R1. Now let's ask, "When was this gift offered?" It doesn't make sense for me to be able to accept God's gift if He hasn't offered it to me yet because He is waiting for me to do something first.

"Christ died for sins once for all" (1 Peter 3:18 NIV). Those who lived and died before Christ's time on earth looked ahead by faith to the fulfillment of the promises they were given, and those of us who came after the time of Christ look back by faith to the fulfillment of the promises our ancestors were given. The gift is our Savior Jesus Christ, who existed before time began (John 1:1). Thus, to answer the question, the gift is received the moment it is accepted by faith because it has already been offered.

To clarify some misunderstandings that may come from reading my opponent's R2, I never claimed that God's grace was not part of the Gospel that saves. Obviously God's grace is the starting point of the Gospel (Eph 2:8). What I explained in R1 is Paul's clear explanation of what the Gospel is and what it isn't. God has different roles for different people, and Paul explained that his calling was to preach the Gospel, not to baptize.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ACTIONS

If one truly does accept God's gift by faith and is saved as per above, what should be the result of that? This is where again my opponent seems to think he is disagreeing with me, whereas he actually repeated much of what I said in R1.

My opponent said in R2 that "the Gospel is something to obey as well as believe." This makes me wonder if he even read my argument! I agree with this statement wholeheartedly and stressed it GREATLY in R1 under THE IMPORTANCE OF ACTIONS. I never downplayed but rather emphasized the importance of walking the walk in the Christian life, and I encourage my opponent to reread my R1 argument more carefully.

My opponent said in R2 that "…none of them kept the law good enough to be saved. Yet this is not saying obedience is not required to be saved." Although this is a misleading way of stating it, I agree with what I believe is the the intent of this analysis. I'll reword it as follows: "this is not saying that whether or not you obey has no bearing on the status of your salvation." I spent more than a third of of my R1 argument stressing the fact that faithful actions is evidence of a heart that truly believes.

Someone who says that he believes in God but doesn't allow this belief to change his life at all is only claiming to believe in God and is thus fooling himself. Being saved from your sins is as simple as confessing them and accepting Christ as your Savior by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), but you have to mean it (James 2:14,17). Words by themselves are empty if they aren't backed up by true meaning. And how can you know if a person's words have true meaning? By looking at what he DOES (Matt 7:20). This is the proper place for actions. They are not a prerequisite for but rather a consequence of one's saving faith.

MARK 16:16

I would like to address my opponent's inaccurate analysis of an example I gave to parallel Mark 16:16. For reference:

Mark 16:16 - Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

My example - Whatever has feathers and flies is a bird, but whatever does not have feathers is not a bird.

Swordmaster's - He who reads and is comprehending will be enlightened, but he who does not read will be ignorant.

My opponent claims that the lack of the words "and is" in my example makes the analogy fail. To demonstrate the fallacy of this argument, I will rewrite my example as:

Whatever has feathers and and is a flying creature is a bird, but whatever does not have feathers is not a bird.

Ta da! My example has not changed meaning in the least, and it now has the words "and is" just to make my opponent happy. Likewise, I can take my opponent's example and rewrite it as:

He who reads and comprehends will be enlightened, but he who does not read will be ignorant.

Ta da! The meaning of my opponent's example has clearly not changed in the least, but it is now missing the words "and is." My opponent's appeal to grammar is a poor attempt to disregard the point I made.

To get back to the point, my opponent's example actually adds to my example as further confirmation that Mark 16:16 is NOT claiming that unsaved believers aren't yet saved. As Pro said, "How can you be baptized if you do not believe?" Exactly. Going through the motions of being baptized MEANS NOTHING unless you understand what you are doing.

My opponent's example stresses the importance of understanding the meaning behind the actions. Simply going through the motions that make you look like a Christian, such as reading the Bible, going to church, helping the poor, fasting, praying, and being baptized is meaningless and gains you nothing in eternity unless you have the proper understanding (beliefs) about these actions.

QUESTIONS

In response to my opponent's questions:

1. Were the People in Acts 2:37 saved at that point in their lives?
No.
2. Were the People that Acts 2:47 is talking about saved at that point?
Yes.
3. What did they do between verses 37-47 that got them saved?

Verse 41 says that "Those who accepted [Peter's] message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day [or were saved]." The message that Peter shared with them was to "repent and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (verse 38).

This is no different than the discussion of Mark 16:16 above. Those who repented (asked God for forgiveness of their sins and turned from them, meaning they had faith) and were baptized were saved (received the gift of the Holy Spirit). My opponent unfortunately misunderstands these verses in the same way he misunderstands other verses where salvation and baptism are mentioned in the same sentence.

Although the people in Acts 2 repented and were "baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of [their] sins", this does not mean that they were baptized "in order to obtain" forgiveness. The most literal translation of this verse would render the verb in question "unto" instead of "for", giving the indication of being baptized "because" they have already been forgiven and are thus taking an important next step in the Christian life. Because of the ambiguity of the English word "for", these confusions can arise. For a clearer understanding of when a person is saved, we should look to passages like Ephesians 2:8-9 which directly address only the issue of how to be saved: "It is by grace you are saved, through faith."

To comment briefly on my opponent's response to one of my questions: "If a person waits until Sunday when they were taught Saturday night to be baptized, they had their opportunity." I never asked you about a person who was told that he needed to be baptized but about a person who professed faith in Christ and made the decision on his own to be baptized because he understood the meaning of it. And as far as why he waited one day, well, it was 3am when the Gospel was shared with him for the first time by his roommate and there's no such thing as a 24-hour drive through baptism pool. That's why. But according to your answer, this person had his opportunity?
Debate Round No. 2
Swordmaster

Pro

I started out this debate by affirming "That a person, who believes that Jesus is the Christ, must be baptized into Christ in order to become a Christian and thus are saved."

I also said that I must prove 3 objectives.
1. Belief alone does not save.
2. The actions that save a person from their sins must involve baptism.
3. I must also prove that anything less than baptism with the correct understanding, does not make one a Christian, but a follower of the blind, who leads ignorant people to hell with himself.

I have proved point number 1 beyond a shadow of a doubt. My Opponent "nickthengineer" Said, at the end of round 1... "My opponent is correct in that believers should be doers of the Word, and not hearers only." (James 1:22)

He agreed with me so I have proven this point. Yet my opponent seems confused for he also said... "This is why James rhetorically asks, "Can that faith save him?" Again, actions do not save, but salvation results in proper actions."

Is this true, or a devils lie? Ja. 2:17, Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James is talking to Jewish Christians and reminded them of their great confession. Yet in John 3:16 I showed that belief is a verbal noun, a preposition, literally teaching us in order to be saved we must have a working belief. 2 points;
1. John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
#. This verse teaches us that belief is a work. This word in the Greek also is a verb.
#. This verse is an action word that expresses something we must do.
2. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that who so ever believing into him should not perish but have ever lasting life." Notice the word into "eis" is the Greek word meaning to enter into, or with a view toward.

Now this is where my friend missed the boat. My esteemed rival seems to think that Acts 2:38 means because of and has translated it as such. Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for (because of) the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Translating the word "eis" in the Greek to "because of" is wrong. "Because of" does not make a participle out of belief. It cannot be used in John 3:16 or Acts 2:38. Violating grammar law is an auto defeat. His entire argument is based on this violation. This, in his ignorance, has proven him wrong.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ "into" "eis" the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Giving "eis" its proper meaning will never violate grammar law. In Acts 2:38, both, repent and baptized are a command! This cannot be denied. Any Bible interpretation must include all of Scripture, not just the portions that we like. When we use only the parts we like that is poor exegesis to say the least. In Acts 2:38, the words "repent" and "be baptized" are connected with the conjunction "and." A conjunction is a part of speech that connects two thoughts of equal importance or value. In this case, "repent" and "baptized" both being of equal importance.

In his example of the bird, "Whatever has feathers and is a flying creature is a bird, but whatever does not have feathers is not a bird" let me ask you, was it a command or a statement of fact? It does make a difference. When I used "The warden said to them, Stop committing crimes, and let everyone of you be pardoned upon the name of Jesus Christ, into forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Which was more important, stop committing the crimes, or the pardon, or are they both equal?

Both were commanded and the word "and" made them both equal. Both repent and be baptized, are verbs and are words that express action. In nickthengineer argument he refuses baptism, because he says it is a work, well, so is repentance, both are verbs. If repentance is a command, which it is, and we must do it in order to be saved, which Jesus said in Luke 13:3, "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish." Then we learn that is a command and a work, just like baptism.

Nick said, "Again, actions do not save, but salvation results in proper actions." So using his argument in Acts 2:38, these people were saved before they repented!! That means they were saved in vs 37. If that was the case, why did Peter give the command? This does not make sense?

We see the Ethiopian eunuch being taught the gospel in Acts 8:35. As we look at vs. 37, it's obvious that the eunuch believed, but he still wasn't saved at that point in time. He knew there was something else that needed to be done which Philip taught in vs. 35. That "something else" was submitting to the command of baptism in vs. 38-39, which he gladly did, and then "went on his way rejoicing." If he did not just get his sins washed away why did he rejoice at that point?
"Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing."

Again the word belief here is a verb. When Philip used the verb belief it was in the present, active indicative mood.

That means:
Tense: Present. The present tense represents a simple statement of fact or reality viewed as occurring in actual time. In most cases this corresponds directly with the English present tense.
Voice: Active. The active voice represents the subject as the doer or performer of the action. e.g., in the sentence, "The boy hit the ball," the boy performs the action.
Mood: Indicative. The indicative mood is a simple statement of fact. If an action really occurs or has occurred or will occur, it will be rendered in the indicative mood.
When the eunuch responded he used the same verb in this mood.
Tense: Present, Active, Indicative.
Proofs, The new Analytical Greek lexicon by Wesley perschbacher, Moulton Analytical Greek lexicon, and the Blue letter bible lexicon. Along with Strong Greek lexicon.

My opponent does not think the rules of language evidently are important, for he uses the word belief only as a noun. When in Acts 2:38 they believed so strongly that they had killed the son of God, Jesus Christ, which 3000 of them said, Men and brethren what shall we do? Vs 37. A belief of action that also corresponds with John 3:16.

Now Rom 10:10, For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Notice the word unto righteousness and also unto salvation, in both places unto is the Greek word "eis." If the word in Acts 2:38 "eis" which he translates to mean "because of," well it must be "because of" there also! So let's replace the word "unto" with "because of" and see how that works?
Rom 10:10, For with the heart one believes (because of) righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made (because of) salvation."

Wrong definition, right? This would make one saved because he is righteous, and already saved, this does not make sense does it? In the same way in Acts 2:38, it does not make sense!

If Nick follows the laws of physics like he does the laws of English grammar, I would not want to walk into a structure nick built.
1. He ignores the law of conjunctions.
2. He ignores the law of verbs.
3. He ignores the law of preposition.
4. He ignores all other scriptures that don't go along with what he believes.
5. Most importantly he ignores the very gospel of Christ. This is God's power to save.
Thanks Nick for the debate, you conducted your self honorable.
nickthengineer

Con

My opponent claims that he has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt his stated objective #1, that "belief alone does not save" due to my statement in R1 that "believers should be doers of the Word, and not hearers only" (James 1:22). However he chooses to remain ignorant of the full argument I made, which is that Christians should not live hypocritical lifestyles. James' statement that we should practice what we preach must be drastically twisted into what my opponent would like it to say, that everyone who doesn't adhere to a certain pattern of actions is as of yet unsaved.

ACTS 2:38

My opponent is fallaciously claiming that baptism is just as important as repentance simply because of the use of a conjunction: "A conjunction is a part of speech that connects two thoughts of equal importance or value." As I do not wish to waste much space addressing the absurdity of this argument, I shall leave you with a few examples: a penny and a dollar, a Ford Escort and a Ferrari, Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf, etc.

Furthermore, my opponent claims that I asserted that the Greek word "eis" should always be translated "because of" instead of "for." Rather, I simply clarified that due to the vast semantic range of the English word "for", it can sometimes be tricky to understand. For example, notice how the word "for" is used in the following two sentences:

I wished for a new toy.
I was happy, for I received what I wanted.

In the first sentence "for" is used to mean "to obtain", while in the second sentence it means "because." What a stark difference! Most translations of the Bible render Acts 2:38 "for the forgiveness of your sins" because it reads more smoothly in modern English, but the most literal translation would be "unto remission of your sins" because this takes away most of the ambiguity and gives a more clear understanding of the Greek word "eis" in this particular context (not all contexts), that they should be baptized BECAUSE they have been saved.

CORNELIUS (Acts 10:1-48)

An excellent example of the relationship between salvation and baptism is the Gentiles in Caesarea. Peter preached the Gospel to Cornelius and his household (vv 34-43) and they were filled with the Holy Spirit (v44) and began speaking in tongues (v46), THEN Peter baptized them (v48). If my opponent, in the face of this clear example, would still claim that a person cannot be saved before they are baptized, then he would have to say that an unsaved nonbeliever could somehow receive the gift of God's Holy Spirit! Absurd!

THOSE WHO DIE BEFORE BEING BAPTIZED

I asked my opponent in R1 about an individual who professes faith in Christ but dies before being baptized. My opponent claimed that "God would never allow anyone to die on the way to be baptized" and cited as his "proof" 2 Peter 3:9, a verse that tells us that God desires for all to be saved. I agree that because God desires for all to be saved, anyone and everyone that would ever accept Christ will do so before dying, by the grace of God. But this response does not address the question. By saying that God would not allow a person to die on the way to being baptized, my opponent is assuming that such a person is still unsaved but will be very shortly. This is the fallacy of "begging the question" because we are debating whether this person on his way to being baptized is already saved or not. If he is, then he could die on the way to his baptism and 2 Peter 3:9 would not be violated.

CLAIMS

It is unfortunate that my opponent has stooped to characterizing me by the stereotypes he must have of those who disagree with his stance, and I take some of them very personally. I will list some of the accusations my opponent has made about me and demonstrate how nothing but the complete opposite could be derived from what I have actually said in this debate. This will also serve to recap the falsities my opponent has continued to perpetuate despite my multiple clarifications.

Claim #1: I tried to separate God's grace from the Gospel.
Claim #2: I "refuse baptism."
Claim #3: I "ignore all other Scripture that doesn't go along with what [I] believe."
Claim #4: I "ignore the very Gospel of Christ. This is God's power to save."

Claim #1:
This falsehood came in R2 and somehow stemmed from my explanation of Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." These verses clearly explain that God's gift of salvation is just that, a gift, and thus begins solely with His gracious decision to offer it to sinners. I have affirmed throughout this entire debate that salvation cannot be merited by any actions but that it is freely given by God, and I therefore have tied together God's grace and the Gospel that saves, not separated them.

Claim #2:
As readers will notice in my R1 argument, I stated that I have been baptized (as a teenager) and that I hope all Christians will choose to be baptized after maturing enough in their walk with God to understand the significance of it. I affirmed in both R1 and R2 that baptism is a way of identifying with Christ and publicly displaying to others that you have already accepted Christ as your Savior, and it is for this reason that baptism is an important event. I have clearly at no point in my life rejected the significance of nor altogether "refused" baptism.

Claim #3:
I have been accused of ignoring verses that seem to refute my argument when in fact I have clarified the proper understanding of many verses that my opponent has quoted. I even went so far as to introduce some additional verses that are often used in support of my opponent's position and clarified their proper understanding as well. To claim that I have been ignorant of verses that seem to oppose me shows how much my opponent has chosen to ignore what I have actually said.

However, my opponent HAS ignored several verses that refute his argument. I explained in both R1 and R2 that Paul made it clear what is part of the Gospel and what isn't when he said that the Gospel saves (1 Cor. 15:1-2), but clarified that he was called to preach the Gospel instead of baptizing (1 Cor. 1:17). This makes it clear that baptism is not part of the Gospel that saves but that it is something different. My opponent's "response" to this was to point out that there is only one Gospel. I of course agree that there is only one Gospel, but is baptism a necessary part of that Gospel or not? This is the issue being debated that Paul gives us a definitive answer to, but my opponent chose not to respond to it.

I also presented my opponent with the case of the criminal on the cross who was saved without being baptized (Luke 23:40-43). Instead of responding to this excellent example of being saved without ever being baptized, my opponent evidently felt it was more important to waste a good portion of his last argument with a lecture on grammar.

Claim #4:
This is the most personal and baseless attack my opponent has made against me. Declaring that I have ignored God's power to save would mean that I myself could not possibly be saved right now. Not only would I then be lying when I say I'm a Christian, but by my opponent's definition I must also be lying about having been baptized since that baptism allegedly saved me. I have explained repeatedly how one can be saved, obviously affirming my belief in God's saving power.

CONCLUSION

Clearly, my opponent has chosen to attack me with his typical talking points (http://www.debate.org..., http://www.debate.org...), none of which apply to anything I've actually said. My opponent has ignored multiple examples that directly contradict the resolution. He has attempted to turn belief into a work of man, thus placing it above the grace of God that has already done everything necessary for salvation.
Debate Round No. 3
54 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by nickthengineer 7 years ago
nickthengineer
Wow I guess it got pretty crazy. I didn't even read any comments for about a week because I could tell it was all nonsense.
Posted by Korashk 7 years ago
Korashk
Well I was reading them before they got deleted and lawyers and court actions and pedophilia/molestation of a 5 year-old were mentioned. But then the page auto-refreshed and there were only 48 comments.
Posted by nickthengineer 7 years ago
nickthengineer
I can only assume they were getting offensive and there were so many to delete that the webmaster just removed the whole debate temporarily until s/he could delete all the recent comments. It was just a bunch of name calling and "oh yeah then challenge me to a debate why don't ya!" stuff. Nothing to do with this actual debate. Don't worry about it.
Posted by Korashk 7 years ago
Korashk
I mean what did thw comments say. Obviously what happened is the comments were deleted.
Posted by Korashk 7 years ago
Korashk
...there were almost 150 comments. I wanted to read them. What happened?
Posted by nickthengineer 7 years ago
nickthengineer
Scratch that. All the recent comments were just removed. Trust me, it's for the better!
Posted by nickthengineer 7 years ago
nickthengineer
I apologize to the readers on behalf of the recent comments from swordmaster and kennyr. It got way out of hand and has probably served to distract from the point of the debate. Please disregard all these recent comments. They have nothing to do with the actual debate. Please read the debate and enjoy.
Posted by codymcwvu 7 years ago
codymcwvu
Hey, Swordmaster, would Jesus tell someone to "shut up"?
Posted by nickthengineer 7 years ago
nickthengineer
Whoa he sure showed you Kenny. Oh wait...
Posted by codymcwvu 7 years ago
codymcwvu
Congratulations, Nick. The truth has won here in more ways than one.
30 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by BillytheKid 7 years ago
BillytheKid
SwordmasternickthengineerTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by preacher55 7 years ago
preacher55
SwordmasternickthengineerTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Kennyr 7 years ago
Kennyr
SwordmasternickthengineerTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by oceanix 7 years ago
oceanix
SwordmasternickthengineerTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Swordmaster 7 years ago
Swordmaster
SwordmasternickthengineerTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by draper62 7 years ago
draper62
SwordmasternickthengineerTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 7 years ago
Ore_Ele
SwordmasternickthengineerTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by FREEDO 7 years ago
FREEDO
SwordmasternickthengineerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Volkov 7 years ago
Volkov
SwordmasternickthengineerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Kahvan 7 years ago
Kahvan
SwordmasternickthengineerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07