The Instigator
stubs
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
DAN123
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points

The Bible Teaches That Water Baptism Is Necessary For Salvation

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
stubs
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/12/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,199 times Debate No: 24689
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)

 

stubs

Con

1st round is for acceptance. Me and Dan123 agreed to do a short 3 round debate on this topic.

Basically the only rule is no semantics. I will go through some definitions and if Dan123 has a problem with them, I will edit the debate.

Necessary - Inescapable
Water Baptism - fully immersed in water

All other definitions should just be pretty common sense. I want to have a genuine debate on this and I believe Dan123 does as well so I see no problems in the future as far as definitions and semantics.

Essence of the debate: I believe that Jesus is Savior and Lord and I try to live my life the way that he wants me to. However, I have not been baptized yet. I believe that if I, or someone in my position dies, they will gain salvation (go to heaven). Dan123 will be arguing that if I, or someone in my position dies, they will not gain salvation (go to heaven).

Burden of proof is shared.

Good luck
DAN123

Pro

First of all, I want to apologize to my opponent for the delay of this debate. School has quite hindered me to begin this debate early. And now, that aside, I will know proceed to my first affirmative.

Since we are dealing what the Bible teaches especially with the topic of salvation. I will present considerable scriptural proof that baptism is truly is essential to salvation. But first I just want to clear up that I don't believe that baptism alone saves. I will explain it as we go deeper in the debate.

Mark 16:16
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned"*

I would like to direct the eyes of the readers to the word "saved" in the above text. What has Jesus placed before salvation? In this text we can see that believing as well as baptism is required to be saved. Jesus did not say, “He that believeth shall be saved" but "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved". Both belief and baptism are equally important, for Jesus used the conjunction "and" to bind these two prerequisites for salvation together.

Here in my country, when going to school, we are often told by our teachers to wear our school uniform and I.D. otherwise we can't get in the gate. Thus it can be said, “He wears the school uniform and wears the school I.D. can get in; but he who does not wear the school uniform will stay outside the gate. If we show up without a school uniform, we will stay outside the gate (as stated in the last clause). If we show up without an I.D., we will be asked to leave (note, this is not expressly stated, nor does it need to be, since the positive statement in the sentence requires that we wear a tie). If we are to be seated in the restaurant, we must have both a jacket and a tie (which is the primary statement in the sentence).

If we do not believe, He tells us,"...he who does not believe will be condemned."If we are not baptized, we will be condemned (note, this is not expressly stated, nor does it need to be, since the positive statement in the verse requires that we be baptized). If we are to be saved, we must both believe and be baptized (which is the primary statement in the verse).

Acts 2:38
"... Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins..."*
This verse, like any other verse in the New Testament that says baptism is essential to remove your sins, has been twisted, misstated and sometimes "hated". This verse tells us that repentance and baptism is required to receive remission of sins. Notice that Peter didn't say, “Repent for the remission of sins and then be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ". If Peter had meant that, he would have said that. Was Peter mistaken? If so, we must trash the entirety of Scripture, for he spoke as directed by the Spirit of God (2 Pet. 1:20-21), as did each Bible writer.

Acts 22:16
"And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."**
The verse speaks for itself but notice that Ananias commands Paul be baptized to "wash away thy sins", so the assumption that Saul was saved at the Damascus road is disproven by this verse. If Saul(Paul) was saved when he was at the Damascus road, then, why did Ananias tell Paul to "wash away thy sins" if his sins were already gone. Why should we take an absurd stand?

Romans 6:1-4
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."**
If my knowledge of my opponent's doctrine is correct he believes that baptism "is just a sign of our salvation" meaning it's not required to wash away sins or be saved; it's jus a "sign". He could further elaborate later. Let me ask, when do you expect to be buried, when you are dead, or while you are still alive? It would be ludicrous to even consider being buried while we are alive. It is the dead who need to be buried, not the living. Likewise, we do not bury those who are alive in Christ, but rather those who are dead in sin.

He died physically; we die to sin (Rom. 6:1-3). He was buried in a tomb; we are buried in the grave of baptism (Rom. 6:3-4). Coming forth from the grave, He conquered the power of death; arising from baptism, we are raised to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4).

But again notice, being baptized is being baptized into Christ. What is in/into Christ? Ephesians 1:7 - Forgiveness of sins is in Christ. 2 Timothy 2:10 - Salvation is in Him. 1 John 5:11,12 - Eternal life is in the Son. I think it's pretty clear what does this mean.

Colossians 2:13
"having been buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead."*
This verse conveys the same idea as to Rom. 6:1-4. But you can notice that baptism is an act of faith in the "working of God." If that is the case, then, baptism is not a work of righteousness or meritorious work but a work of God just like faith (John 6:29). Thus it does not contradict the idea of grace through faith spoken in Eph. 2:8.

Gal 3:27 conveys the same idea of Col. 2:13.

I Pet. 3:21

"Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ"***

Our spiritual salvation is a likeness or a figure of Noah's physical salvation. He was in danger of death (Genesis 6:13, 17); we are in danger of death (Romans 3:23; 6:23). He was saved by God (Genesis 7:16); we are saved by God (Titus 3:4-5). He was saved by grace (Genesis 6:8); we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). He was saved by faith (Hebrews 11:7); we are saved by faith (Romans 1:16). He was saved by obedience (Hebrews 11:7); we are saved by obedience (Romans 6:17). He was saved by water (1 Peter 3:20); we are saved by water (1 Peter 3:21). It is evident that our salvation is a like figure of Noah's.

Conclusion

Surely we are saved by baptism but not baptism alone. Faith is necessary to salvation. However, God has also plainly told us in His word that baptism is essential for the salvation of man's soul. Jesus said that the one who "...believes and is baptized will be saved..." (Mark 16:16). Peter commanded men to "...be baptized for the remission of sins..." (Acts 2:38). Ananias entreated Saul to "...be baptized, washing away your sins..." (Acts 22:16). Later, Paul wrote to the Romans that 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." (Rom. 6:1-4). This same Paul told the Colossians of the need to receive the"...circumcision of Christ..." wherein God cuts off "...the body of the sins of the flesh..."(Col. 2:11-12). And finally the apostle Peter stated outright, "...there is an antitype (like figure) which now saves us - baptism..." (I Pet. 3:21). Surely we have seen that the New Testament Scriptures teach that the penitent believer must be baptized in water for the remission of sins.

*ASV (American Standard Version)
**KJV (King James Version)
***ESV (English Standard Version)







Debate Round No. 1
stubs

Con

First I would like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as well as Dan123 for accepting this debate. I can see from his first round post that he has a good general understanding of the scriptures. That being said, I will first make my case that we do not need baptism to be saved and then I will go through ever single one of the verses Dan123 provided and show that they do not say that baptism is necessary for salvation. I also want to point something out. While I do not believe baptism is necessary for salvation, I do believe Christians should be baptized because Jesus told us to and we should be obedient.

First we must understand that God works covenantally. There is a latin word "testamentum" which means covenant. This is where we get the word testament. So the old and new testament are actually the old and new covenant. "If you do not understand covenant you cannot understand, in totality, the issue of baptism because baptism is a covenant sign."[1] We can also see that God works through the everlasting covenant in Hebrews 13:20.[2] I like how Carm.org puts it, "If you fail to understand that God works covenantally and that He uses signs as manifestations of his covenants (rainbow, circumcision, communion, etc.) then you will not be able to understand where baptism fits in God's covenant system."[3]

Baptism is a representation of what I believe. It represents the death of a person in Romans 6. It represents the union of a person with Christ in Galatians 3. It represents the cleansing of a persons sins in acts 22. There are many other examples of things it represents in scripture.

"The Covenant of Grace is the covenant between God and Mankind where God promises to Mankind eternal life. It is based upon the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the condition is faith in Jesus Christ. As the Communion Supper replaced Passover, baptism, in like manner, replaces circumcision."[4] "They represent the same spiritual blessings that were symbolized by circumcision and Passover in the old dispensation."[5] Circumcision did not save. "If the children were not circumcised, they were not considered to be under the promissory Abrahamic covenant. This is why Moses' wife circumcised her son and threw the foreskin at Moses' feet (Ex. 4:24-25). She knew the importance of the covenant between God and her children. But at the same time we must understand that circumcision did not guarantee salvation to all who received it. It was a rite meant only for the people of God, who were born into the family of God (who were then the Jews)."

What does the bible say saves us?

The bible says the the gospel saves us (1 Cor 15:2). The gospel is also found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. "Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures" The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for our sins. No mention of baptism. Still think Paul thought baptism was necessary for salvation? "I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power." (1 Cor 1:14-17). "If baptism is necessary for salvation, then why did Paul downplay it and even exclude it from the description of what is required for salvation? It is because baptism is not necessary for salvation."[7]

I will now address my opponents verses:

Mark 16:16:

Here my opponent uses an illustration of the text by comparing it to his school uniforms and I.D. I think that illustrations are great but can also be used to illustrate false truths which i what I believe my opponent did here. "A superficial reading of Mark 16:15-16 would suggest that sinners must be baptized to be saved, but this misinterpretation disappears when you note that the emphasis is on believing. If a person does not believe, he is condemned, even if he has been baptized." [8] "The omission of baptized with "disbelieveth" would seem to show that Jesus does not make baptism essential to salvation. Condemnation rests on disbelief, not on baptism. So salvation rests on belief. Baptism is merely the picture of the new life not the means of securing it." [9]

Acts 2:38:

"This verse is often used to say that baptism is part of salvation, but we know from other scriptures that it is not, lest there be a contradiction. What is going on here is simply that repentance and forgiveness of sins are connected. In the Greek, "repent" is in the plural and so is "your" of "your sins." They are meant to be understood as being related to each other. It is like saying, "All of you repent, each of you get baptized, and all of you will receive forgiveness." Repentance is a mark of salvation because it is granted by God (2 Tim. 2:25) and is given to believers only. In this context, only the regenerated, repentant person is to be baptized. Baptism is the manifestation of the repentance, that gift from God, that is the sign of the circumcised heart. That is why it says, "repent and be baptized."

Also, please notice that there is no mention of faith in Acts 2:38. If this verse is a description of what is necessary for salvation, then why is faith not mentioned? Simply saying it is implied isn't good enough. Peter is not teaching a formula for salvation, but for covenant obedience, which is why the next verse says that the promise is for their children as well." [10]

Acts 22:16:

"Is the washing away of sins done by baptism, the representation of the circumcised heart (Col. 2:11-12) which means you are already saved, or is it by the blood of Christ (Heb. 9:14; Rom. 5:9; Eph. 1:7)? Obviously it is the blood of Jesus and the washing here refers to the calling on Jesus' name." [11]

Romans 6:1-4:

"Because the believer is so closely united to Christ it is said that the symbol of baptism is our death, burial, and resurrection. Obviously we did not die -- unless, of course, it is a figurative usage. And that is what it is here. The figure of baptism represents the reality of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection."[12]

Colossions 2:13 and Gal 3:27:

"This is speaking of the believer's union with Christ. It is an identification with, a joining to, a proclamation of loyalty to, etc. In 1 Cor. 10:2 the Israelites were baptized into Moses. That means they were closely identified with him and his purpose. The same thing is meant here." [13]

I have very little room left but in conclusion should Christians be baptized? Yes because we should be obedient to what Jesus commanded, but not because we are saved by baptism. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing my opponents next round argument.

[1] http://carm.org...
[2] You can read about the everlasting covenant here http://carm.org...
[3] http://carm.org...
[4] ibid
[5] Berkhoff, Lewis, Systematic Theology, 1988, p. 620
[6] http://carm.org...
[7] ibid
[8]http://enduringword.com...
[9] ibid
[10] http://carm.org...
[11] ibid
[12] ibid
[13] ibid
DAN123

Pro

I thank my opponent for posting his reply. I thank him for summarizing His position regarding salvation, though I find his position contrary to the Scriptures. I am unsure about baptism being a covenant sign but that position cannot be shown by the Scriptures. In the Bible, baptism is compared to circumcision (Colossians 2) and likens our salvation through water to Noah's salvation through water (1 Peter 3). Notice that neither of these provides accommodations for those who desire to exclude baptism. Furthermore, instead of using the Scriptures why does my opponent quote multiple references from CARM.org? In addition to that, stubs wrongly assumes that verses like Roman 6; Galatians 3 and Acts 22 only represents the salvation you already had. On the contrary it does the opposite. Do phrases like "wash away thy sins", "newness of life" and "baptized into Christ" says that it "only represents our salvation"? If it is so, then, these writers were lying.

Furthermore, my opponent (or should I say CARM.org) uses I Cor. 1:17 to justify his position. Consider this following quote: "Was Paul saying that baptism is not important? Certainly not. Remember it was Paul who said that we put on Christ in baptism (Galatians 3:27). Actually, the passage is very consistent in showing that baptism is very important. It is obvious that the Christians in Corinth had been baptized; this is inferred in 1 Corinthians 1:13 and stated in Acts 18:8. And Paul, in this passage, actually indicates that two things are required before a person may call himself after another person. First, Paul would have to die for that person; and second, that person would have to be baptized in the name of Paul. This actually parallels perfectly with Biblical teaching that Christ has died for us, and we rightfully call ourselves Christians when we put Christ on in baptism.”[1]

The divisions that were occurring with the Corinthians apparently got started because they were placing improper importance and significance on who baptized them. Whether it was Paul or some other teacher, it did not matter.

Even though Paul may have only baptized a few of the Corinthians himself, personally, they ALL were baptized!

1Corinthians 12:13: For we were ALL baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Mark 16:16

Here my opponent says " ...note that the emphasis is on believing. If a person does not believe, he is condemned, even if he has been baptized." [8] "The omission of baptized with "disbelieveth" would seem to show that Jesus does not make baptism essential to salvation. Condemnation rests on disbelief, not on baptism". His conclusion is inaccurate. The verse as a whole teaches that those who believe and are baptized will be saved but disbelievers will be damned. As a whole, it certainly does not contradict what a part of it teaches. In the whole verse "believeth" and "is baptized" are joined by the coordinate conjunction "and;" therefore, are equally related to "shall be saved." The negative conclusion from that clause is that he that is not saved did not believe and was not baptized. If he eliminates the restrictive, conditional part of the clause (believeth and is baptized), he makes the passage teach universalism; that is, all are saved regardless of their lack of response to the gospel. On the other hand, if he seeks to affirm only the condition of belief, he twists the passage because it teaches both belief and baptism. In fact, his position demands that the passage read: "He that believeth will be saved but need not be baptized." Surely he can see how his theology has caused him to change Jesus’ statements.

Acts 2:38
Contrary to Stub's efforts to set aside the connection between scriptural baptism and the forgiveness of sins, Acts 2:38, stands opposed to his doctrine. "Repent ye" and "be baptized" are connected by the coordinate conjunction "and" and are both related to the "forgiveness of sins."

Notice that the "each one" (hekastos) is followed by "of you" (humon, plural); hence, "each one of you" (plural) is baptized for the sins "of you" (plural). Grammatically and sensibly, each person would understand that he was being baptized for the remission of his own sins.

To illustrate the point, a teacher might say, "Students, arise ye and come forward, each one of you, for a copy of your test," and I doubt that if Stubs was in the class, that he would expect to get a copy of the test for the whole group. Everyone would understand that each student would have to arise and come forward for his own copy of the test.

To this we can add the testimony of scholars in the Greek language. J.H. Thayer says, "Hekastos, when it denotes individually, every one of many, is often added appositively to nouns and pronouns and verbs in the plural number," (J.H. Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon Of The New Testament, p. 192).

My opponent's position on the passage demands that it read thusly: "Repent ye for the remission of sins and be baptized each one of you...".

My opponent asked: If this verse is a description of what is necessary for salvation, then why is faith not mentioned?

Answer: It is already understood in the context that they were already “pricked to the heart”(v.37) it was already indicated that they had faith thus in v. 38 Peter spoke to them the remaining conditions/requirement of salvation


Acts 22:16

My opponent did no response on my argument in this passage in fact it would be even unusual to give a response. At the beginning of his first negative, let me pointed it out that he has, in essence, affirmed that Acts 22 is only a sign yet he says further in this passage that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us. If we follow my opponent's logic it would be that the blood of Jesus Christ only "represents the cleansing of a persons sins" as he has said. Furthermore once again i will post this question to my opponent:

If Saul(Paul) was saved when he was at the Damascus road, then, why did Ananias told Paul to "wash away thy sins" if his sins were already gone?

Rom. 6:1-4; Colossians 2:13 and Gal 3:27:
Is baptism a symbol? Yes. But is baptism a symbol of our already having been saved? NO! A thousand times, no. There is not one passage in all the New Testament which makes baptism symbolize our salvation from sin. It is one thing to affirm that baptism is a symbol, as my opponent does, but it is an entirely different position and subtle transition when he concludes that baptism merely symbolizes our salvation, that is, that it depicts to the world that we have already been saved before we are baptized. The context does not support that view at all.

Stubs’ conclusion is that since baptism is used symbolically or figuratively, then it is not necessary to our salvation from sin. Non Sequitor! But follow his logic and see where it leads. In Acts 14:26, Paul used the expression "...opened the door of faith..." This is a figurative expression. If it is a figurative expression, then, according to Stubs’ logic, faith is not necessary to salvation.

The symbolism here is that of comparing Christ's death, burial and resurrection to our death, burial and resurrection in baptism-our baptism is a form of that which Christ did. In baptism we die and we are buried and from baptism we are raised to walk in newness of life because we are forgiven. We are then new-born babes in Christ. Stubs’ says this only happens in figure-Paul says it happens in reality. Should one doubt that this is the way our baptism figures Christ's death, burial and resurrection, note v. 5-"For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection..." It is the likeness of His death and the likeness of His resurrection.

Conclusion

It seems that my opponent has forgotten I Pet. 3:21 Nevertheless I have proven by Scripture that biblical water baptism to a believer is essential to have his sins washed away. Good luck to Stubs and best wishes







Debate Round No. 2
stubs

Con

My opponent pointed out that, "In the Bible, baptism is compared to circumcision (Colossians 2) [...]" Which is exactly what I have been saying. I would think we both agree that circumcision is not required for salvation (made clear in the book of Acts) and I believe the scriptures teach very clearly what is needed for salvation and baptism does not seem to be in that description based on scripture. My opponent has also said, "Furthermore, instead of using the Scriptures why does my opponent quote multiple references from CARM.org?" I did post scriptures, most notably the book of first Corinthians. However, I also used Carm.org, bible commentaries, and systematic theology to help the readers and voters gain a better understanding of the context as well as the grammar used in the verses that you have pulled out. As theologians say, "Text without context is just pretext."

"Was Paul saying that baptism is not important? Certainly not. Remember it was Paul who said that we put on Christ in baptism (Galatians 3:27).[...]"

I agree whole heartily with this quote. I do think baptism is extremely important, just not necessary for salvation. I already pointed out that the terms such as: "put on Christ in baptism" and "baptized into Christ" simply means a strong correlation to. The same kinds of terms are ascribed to Abraham as I pointed out in the last round.

My opponent seems to think that 1 Cor 12:13 (For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body "whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free" and we were all given the one Spirit to drink) shows that all took part in water baptism. However, that is simply not the case. "Here, Paul does not have in mind water baptism as much as Spirit baptism: 'For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body'. Paul here is writing of the common 'immersion' all believers have in the Holy Spirit and in Jesus, a common 'immersion' which brings them into 'one body'". [1]

My opponent still holds that Mark 16:16 somehow implies in the second half of the sentence that baptism is necessary, however that is simply not the case. "In no way does this verse establish baptism as a condition for salvation; it is merely the declaration that those who believe and are baptized are saved. Any act of obedience to the Lord could be added after the expression 'whoever believes' and it would remain a true statement, because salvation is the result of faith in Christ.

It should be noted that when the Lord added, 'but whoever does not believe will be condemned,' there is no mention of baptism. In identifying what would bring about condemnation, Jesus did not say that 'whoever believes but is not baptized shall not be save.' If baptism were necessary for salvation, there are many significant verses which should be amended to read 'you are saved through faith and baptism.' It is clear that faith in Jesus Christ is what saves a person (Acts 16:30-31; Eph. 2:8-9).

Baptism is a distinct act of obedience, apart from salvation. This is clarified by the order in which the words 'believe' and 'baptize' occur in the text (cf. Acts 2:38; 10:44-48). Baptism with the Spirit places believers into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13), while water baptism merely signifies to others that a person has professed Christ.

The word 'saved' is translated from the Greek word 'sesosmenoi', which is a perfect passive participle. It means that this salvation took place at some point in the past, being accomplished by Jesus Christ Himself, and is continuing on in the present." [2]

Acts 2:38

Let's look at the context. The people had just asked Paul what they should do. In that time it was not common for Jews to be baptized, only Gentiles who wanted to become Jews. "For these Jewish men and women to be baptized showed just how strongly they felt they needed Jesus."

Acts 22:16

"Furthermore once again i will post this question to my opponent: If Saul(Paul) was saved when he was at the Damascus road, then, why did Ananias told Paul to "wash away thy sins" if his sins were already gone?"

The verse actually says, "'[...]Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'" The washing away of sins was not in reference to being baptized, rather the calling on the name of the Lord.

I apologize for not addressing 1 Peter 3:21. I only had 7 characters left. This verse states "and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also" not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" [4]

"Peter was careful to point out that it isn't the actual water washing of baptism that saves us, but the spiritual reality behind the immersion in water. What really saves us is the answer of a 'good conscience toward God', a conscience made good through the completed work of Jesus." [5]

Romans, Colossians, Galatians:

"Is baptism a symbol? Yes. But is baptism a symbol of our already having been saved? NO! A thousand times, no.[...]" This was just be beginning of a list of bare assertions. It is essentially 3 dropped points as he says, "The context does not support that view at all." But does not give evidence to back up this claim.

"Furthermore, if baptism is necessary for salvation then anyone who receives Christ on his deathbed in a hospital and who also believes Jesus is God in the flesh, who died and rose from the dead for his sins, etc., would go to hell if he doesn't get baptized before he died. This would mean that we were not justified by faith because if we were, then the person would be saved. Also, if baptism is necessary for salvation, then all babies who die go to hell since they weren't baptized. Remember, when someone says that baptism is necessary, there can be no exceptions -- otherwise it isn't necessary." [6]

For those of you that have either seen my other debates or have talked with me, you know I'm a pretty simple guy. I try not to make things too complicated. I tend to just look at the scriptures and say, "I think it actually means what it says." I believe Paul states very clearly that the gospel saves us, "By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain." Paul then goes to tell us what the gospel is, "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures." I think Paul gives us a very clear description of what the gospel is. It is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the atonement of sins. While baptism is necessary for obedience, it is not necessary for salvation which Paul and Jesus made clear through the holy scriptures.

Thank you.

[1] http://www.enduringword.com...
[2] Spiros Zodhiates, editor, The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible (Chattanooga, Tennessee: AMG Publishers, 1996), note for Mark 16:16.
[3] http://www.enduringword.com...
[4] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[5] http://www.enduringword.com...
[6] http://carm.org...
DAN123

Pro

On Circimcison and baptism
In this last speech, I just want to clarify to my opponent what did I mean when I said," In the Bible, baptism is compared to circumcision (Colossians 2)".Here's the explanation: God established a covenant with Abraham, that his descendents should be circumcised in order to be in a relationship with the Lord (Genesis 17:10-14). For those who are subject to the law of Christ, the necessity of a circumcision has not changed, but the nature of the operation has. It is no longer that which is exercised by the hands of man, but a"...circumcision made without hands..." It is no longer the cutting away of the foreskin, but the"...putting off the body of sins of the flesh..." If the physical circumcision (the cutting off of the foreskin) was essential, how much more then the spiritual circumcision (the putting off the body of the sins of the flesh)? Furthermore my opponent had a faulty understanding of what circumcision am I really talking about. He refers to Acts 15 to defend his case, however, this is not what I'm talking about. The circumcision I am referring is Old Testament/Covenant circumcision. New testament/Covenant circumcision is baptism. I hope that clears your mind.

"I already pointed out that the terms such as: "put on Christ in baptism" and "baptized into Christ" simply means a strong correlation to"

My question has been left unanswered by stubs."Do we bury dead persons"? Your assumptions on those passages were merely assumptions. And how in the world did “put on Christ in baptism” and "baptized into Christ simply mean a strong correlation…”.That’s right my opponent did not provide any proof nor backed it up with any proof.

Mark 16:16
It should be noted that when the Lord added, 'but whoever does not believe will be condemned,' there is no mention of baptism. In identifying what would bring about condemnation, Jesus did not say that 'whoever believes but is not baptized shall not be save.'

I don't know if my opponent has shown plain ignorance or lack of biblical knowledge on Mark 16:16 but now he has gone extreme on his position by saying ANY act of obedience to the Lord will do. What right-thinking person would affirm such statement? Don't allow his theological smokescreen to hide from your eyes that Jesus placed faith ("believes") and baptism ("baptized") before salvation ("saved"). I have already shown in my past rounds that belief and baptism cannot be separated because of the word "and". He can do many mental gymnastics as he want but God's word still stands.

Acts 2:38
"Let's look at the context. The people had just asked Paul what they should do. In that time it was not common for Jews to be baptized, only Gentiles who wanted to become Jews. "For these Jewish men and women to be baptized showed just how strongly they felt they needed Jesus.""

It is quite obvious that my opponent in an effort to dodge the impact of my argument on Acts 2:38 has turned onto something new particularly to the gentiles.

Acts 22:16
"The washing away of sins was not in reference to being baptized, rather the calling on the name of the Lord."

Stubs says, Paul was saved by "calling on the name of the Lord." I agree and if he accepts the conclusions to that, we are not far apart. However, contrary to what my opponent says, there is nothing in the Greek text which shows that "calling on the name of the Lord" refers to "wash away thy sins" but not to "be baptized." Actually both aorist imperatives are causative middles and the action covered by the aorist participle, "calling on his name," is simultaneous with that of the aorist imperatives.

Everyone understands the flexibility of language whereby the same thought may be expressed in different ways. My opponent would have us conclude that since Ananias did not say, "arise and be baptized washing away thy sins...", then baptism and washing away sins cannot be connected together. Not so. For instance, if a judge said to a man convicted of a crime, "Arise, receive your sentence and be incarcerated, conforming to the law's requirements," we would have no difficulty understanding the meaning. The commands make perfectly good sense the way Ananias put them to Saul and the simplest understanding of the commands is that arising and being baptized would wash away Saul's sins and that this was invoking the authority of the Lord.

If Stubs will look at how the passage must read to fit his explanation, he will realize how much he is distorting it. To fit his doctrine, it would have to read like this: "...arise and wash away thy sins by calling on the name of the Lord and then get baptized." I challenge my opponent to preach the same message that Ananias brought to Saul, Will he tell people that they must do what Ananias, by the authority of Christ, commanded Saul to do? He cannot without changing his theology.

Saul had to be baptized to wash away his sins and this passage clearly demonstrates the necessity of baptism for salvation.

Romans, Colossians, Galatians:

"Is baptism a symbol? Yes. But is baptism a symbol of our already having been saved? NO! A thousand times, no.[...]" This was just be beginning of a list of bare assertions. It is essentially 3 dropped points as he says, "The context does not support that view at all." But does not give evidence to back up this claim.

I think to prejudice the readers of this debate he has to say "bare assertions" "[he] does not give evidence to back up this claim". Both of them are untrue I have backed up my arguments and you can see it in the previous rounds.

"Furthermore, if baptism is necessary for salvation then anyone who receives Christ on his deathbed in a hospital and who also believes Jesus is God in the flesh, who died and rose from the dead for his sins, etc., would go to hell if he doesn't get baptized before he died.

If we are going to examine our life and our salvation from this prospect, why don’t we just all die as children, because then we must be saved (Matthew 18:1-6)?

Also, if baptism is necessary for salvation, then all babies who die go to hell since they weren't baptized. Remember, when someone says that baptism is necessary, there can be no exceptions -- otherwise it isn't necessary." [6]

Babies are not subject to baptism since they do not have faith and have the capacity to repent since they have not committed sins yet. And if we follow my opponent's argument on this matter babies would also go to hell if they don't have faith in Christ.


Conclusion

It is somewhat unusual for my opponent to admit that," I tend to just look at the scriptures and say, "I think it actually means what it says." What about,"he who believes and is baptized shall be saved" and "baptism doth now saves us". I think it's pretty clear that his words contradict himself.

The Bible clearly teaches that baptism brings about salvation (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21); results in the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38;Acts 22:16); is the point at which we become dead to sin (Romans 6:1-4); is the circumcision of Christ (Colossians 2:11-13); and is how we put on Christ (Galatians 3:27). Throughout Stubs' argument, he has not sought to discount the proposition, but has attacked the Scriptures. But when we look past the theological and grammatical smokescreen he has set up, the Bible still declares the necessity of baptism for salvation. The proposition stands, "The Bible Teaches That Water Baptism Is Necessary For Salvation"

This debate has been worthwhile and thanks to my opponent for participating in this discussion.


Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by stubs 5 years ago
stubs
I apologize for not being clear. What I meant was that they did not have to know the name Jesus Christ to be saved. For they couldn't have possibly known it. Yes, they were saved by Jesus I agree.
Posted by annanicole 5 years ago
annanicole
Yes, we both agree that people in the OT were saved, and they were saved by the blood of Jesus Christ flowing backwards to the Garden of Eden. But to say they were saved "based upon what could have possibly known"? I'm not sure I understand that. Sounds like a free pass based upon total ignorance, though. Sure, in principle, there is but one general plan of salvation back to Adam, but as to the particulars (what they believed back then, what they did back then), there was wide variation.
Posted by stubs 5 years ago
stubs
ehh not exactly the best way to put it. Furthermore, people can be saved based on what they could have possibly known. Example would be Adam and Eve (Or basically anyone in the OT). They could not have known the name "Jesus Christ" but we both agree that anyone in the OT could have been saved.
Posted by annanicole 5 years ago
annanicole
Alright:

(1) "God promises .. eternal life ... based upon the condition (of) faith in Jesus."

Thus, I guess you're saying "eternal like is conditional, based upon faith."

(2) "To be saved, a person must have faith." You denied that, I guess.

So salvation is conditional, based upon faith. But a person can be saved without faith.

Ummm ... I think I understand ... makes sense ... sorta ... in a pinch
Posted by stubs 5 years ago
stubs
The two statements are not mutually exclusive.
Posted by annanicole 5 years ago
annanicole
Well, I don't know why. In your first little essay, you said:

"The Covenant of Grace is the covenant between God and Mankind where God promises to Mankind eternal life. It is based upon the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the condition is faith in Jesus Christ."

Alright, "God promises .. eternal life ... based upon the condition (of) faith in Jesus." You said that.

Then I say, "To be saved, a person must have faith"? - and you say, "No, I won't affirm that." Why? Don't you see that the "argument" (<-- being generous with the term "argument") about unbaptized babies is driving you into absurdity? And there's no excuse for such a departure, because the argument about 'unbaptized babies' - as well as 'hospital deathbed conversions' - are emotion-based and irrational in the first place. Plus, you are assuming that infants are lost. You have to assume that. They aren't. They haven't sinned.
Posted by stubs 5 years ago
stubs
No, because of that reason.
Posted by annanicole 5 years ago
annanicole
Very well. So it shall be. Will you take the position that faith is necessary for salvation? I believe that it is, but I'll deny it using your own argument: "Also, if baptism is necessary for salvation, then all babies who die go to hell since they weren't baptized." You said that. All babies will equally wind up in hell because they have no faith - nor are they capable of having it.

Also, "If there is a case in which someone does not need to be baptized than it is not necessary." You think that's logical? Alright, I'll say, "If there is a case in which someone does not have to believe, then it (belief) is not necessary." Same difference. Will you affirm the proposition, "To be saved, a person must have faith"? Want to try it?
Posted by stubs 5 years ago
stubs
I disagree. That is an argument. The resolution was water baptism is necessary for salvation. If there is a case in which someone does not need to be baptized than it is not necessary.
Posted by annanicole 5 years ago
annanicole
Well, I'll be glad to debate you on the same topic, and do you see why I said "Baptism is, to a penitent believer, unto the remission of sins?". The reason was that it excluded any nonsense about trying to baptize babies and imbeciles. I read your negations, one of which was: "Also, if baptism is necessary for salvation, then all babies who die go to hell since they weren't baptized." See that? That's a poor argument, stubs. In fact, it's not even an "argument" - it's just a diversion. You have to do a little petitio principii to arrive at that conclusion: you must assume the baby inherited some sort of original sin (whatever that is) and was born lost, do you not? That's exactly what I wanted to avoid - not because the argument is worth two cents, but because I didn't want to fool with it. The option "Baptism, to the penitent believer, is unto the remission of sins" is still available to you.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 5 years ago
KRFournier
stubsDAN123Tied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had the better arguments since his interpretation was more in line with scripture that seems to make no mention baptism as necessary. Pro dodged Con's 'deathbed' question with an appeal to consequences. However, Con did a little too much direct quoting for my tastes. I would have preferred that he synthesize the data in a way that flowed better.
Vote Placed by sensibletheism909 5 years ago
sensibletheism909
stubsDAN123Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate was very well done and I think it was too close to call in terms of who made better arguments. I think its still too close to call in terms of citations as well. So I think I'll leave this as a tie.