The Bible teaches that water baptism is unto - to obtain - the forgiveness of sins
Debate Rounds (5)
The Bible: The 66 books of the common version and an accurate translation thereof. I prefer the KJV and ASV (1901).
Teaches: Conveys the concept by direct command, approved example, or a necessary and proper inference.
Water baptism: Immersion in water
Unto: In view, with reference to, an as-yet unreached end
The forgivenss of sins: The remission of all past transgressions of God's law.
Each person is permitted the ask three questions per round, and his peer is to answer the questions in his next reply.
Are you saying that baptism is the only requirement for the forgiveness of sins or that it is 'in addition to'? If so what are the other requirements for the forgiveness of sins?
What happens if one has not the time nor the ability to get baptised?
I accept all you definitions but not your assertion on what is or is not an accurate translation of God's Word. I personally prefer the original Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic version myself, of which I will be using.
1. Please provide one grammatically-parallel sentence in English to Mark 16: 16 in the form, "He that (a) and (b) shall (c) receive $1,000, but he that does not (a) shall not (c) receive it", that you believe supports your position.
2. Please place the following in order of occurance: believing, loving God, repenting, confessing faith, being baptized, and receiving forgiveness of sins.
3. Do you accept the ASV translation of 1901 with reference to Acts 2: 38, "...Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the NIV (1973) ""Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven. …"?
Alright, with that out of the way, I shall begin by introducing a negative: what the issue is not. The issue is not, "Are men saved by faith?", but, rather, the issue is, "When are men saved by faith?" And I submit an example, Heb 11: 30, "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down ..." So the walls fell by faith. I do not deny that. When did they fall by faith? At faith's inception, before obedience? At faith alone or faith only? No, "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days." This introductory example sets forth my contention: the walls of Jericho fell by faith - an all-inclusive faith, a working faith, a living faith - that obeyed whatever God had instructed in order to receive the reward. The same concept is suggested by the healing of Naaman the Leper with which I am sure you are familiar and many other examples.
1. Mark 16: 16. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned." (ASV). Jesus Christ, just prior to his ascension to the right hand of the Father, spoke these words along with the parallels Matt 28: 19, 20 and Luke 24: 46, 47. I have requested a grammatically-parallel English sentence in the form described, with $1,000 as the reward, which lends support to the negative, and I will submit that no such sentence exists. It would indeed be strange if the only English sentence in the entire world in which the (b), the this case "is baptized", were not necessary to the (c). Further, both "believeth" (or "having believed") and "is baptized" (or "having been baptized") are aorist participles, the action of which may be described as follows:
"The kind of action in the aorist participle is punctiliar, i.e. finished action. The time of the action is antecedent to the action of the main verb; therefore, the time of action is a relative matter." (Summers, Ray, Essentials of New Testament Greek, 1950, p. 94)
The "leading verb" of Mark 16: 16 is the future passive indicative "shall be saved." The "shall be saved" in Mark 16: 16 is equivalent to the "remission of sins" in Luke 24: 47. The action of the two aorist participles, "believeth" and "is baptized" is, to use Dr. Summer's phraseology, "antecedent to the action of the main verb." There is positively no way, in Greek or English, to translate the verse, "He that believeth shall be saved, then be baptized"; there is no way in Greek or English to invert the position of "shall be saved" and "is baptized": such is not possible grammatically nor logically, and no translation thus translates the passage. Therefore, baptism is placed squarely between an unsaved person and salvation, and, in all candor, about the only way I've ever seen of so-called "answering" the passage is simply to deny the authenticity of the verse, and thereby try to force the affirmative to launch into a tangential defense of Biblical credibility and authenticity. I trust such will not be the case here.
2. Acts 2: 38. The entirety of Acts 2 teaches salvation by faith, not faith only, but nonetheless by faith: "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that this same God hath made that same Jesus, who ye crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter .... 'What shall we do?' " (Acts 2: 36, 37) I'll ask: "What shall we do for what?", and submit the answer, "to get the penalty of this awful crime off of our hands, now and eternally, if at all possible." Were those "devout men" who had crucified Christ, either literally or by association, believers in Him at the point of verse 37, "What shall we do?" Certainly they were. They had faith, but the penalty for their sins was still upon them. Now if Peter had been a more modern preacher, he would have said, "Well, you've been pricked or cut to the heart. Just trust in Christ, pray about it, and we'll put your case before the brethren, and you can relate your experience. We'll vote on it, and baptize you in a month or two when we get a group together."
"Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2: 38). Please note that the reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit occurs after baptism, also, yet a common order of events is "repent, remission, gift of the Spirit, then baptism."
What do grammarians and lexicographers say? "In order to the forgiveness of sins (Matt 26: 28, Luke 3: 3) we connect naturally with both the preceding verbs. This clause states the motive or object which should induce them to repent and be baptized. It enforces the exhortation, not one part to the exclusion of the other." (Hackett, H. B., Commentary on the Acts, 1882, p. 53) In fact, Dr. Thayer says, "eis aphesin hamartion, to obtain the forgiveness of sins" and specifically cites Acts 2: 38 as the example. (Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 1977 ed, p. 94). "To obtain the forgiveness of sins." Thus, Acts 2: 38 parallels Mark 16: 16 which parallels Matt 28: 19, 20 and Luke 24: 46-47. Any passage which predicates salvation upon "faith" without a specific mention of repentance and baptism necessarily includes repentance and baptism; the synecdoche is employed in which "faith" or "belief" is the "part for the whole", an all-inclusive living, acting faith, and repentance and baptism are necessarily implied, even if each is not specifically stated. Thus, when the Bible speaks of walls falling by faith, we cannot really tell by that alone just when the walls fell. That they fell by faith is certain. What kind of faith? When? Those walls fell by a living, acting, inclusive faith after - not before - but after that faith led the people to do exactly what God had commanded.
3. Acts 22: 16, "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." I'm quite sure we'll discuss the middle voice and present and passive participles, but I'll briefly point out that, according to most Protestant doctrines, Saul or Paul shouldn't have at that point - the point of arising - had any sins left to "wash away", but Paul had to act "so as to participate in some way in the results of the action." (Summers, Essentials of NT Greek, p. 38, in speaking on the force of the middle voice) So there is Paul; his soul is in agony, so much so that he will not eat or drink. But Jesus had to told him to "go into the city, and there it shall be told thee what thou must do." I submit that Ananias came along and did just that: "What are you waiting for? Get up? Get yourself baptized and wash away your sins, calling upon His name." Paul could not have his sins remitted, forgiven, "washed away" in obedience to the will of God, unless he still had his sins upon him.
I am running low on space, so I await your reply. Thanks.
GZUS96 forfeited this round.
1. Were the chief rulers in John 12: 42 saved men at the point of John 12: 42?
2. How many baptisms are in force today?
3. Does the meaning of "pistis/pisteuo" include the idea of "trust conjoined with the idea of obedience" and "compliance"?
I'll submit an argument that I rarely use based upon II Thess 1: 7-9:
"And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power."
I am placing special emphasis on "that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ," and submit that the "gospel" consists of certain facts, certain commands, and certain promises, but I shall concentrate simply on the facts.
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)."
So, strictly speaking, the gospel is (1) Christ died for our sins, (2) He was buried, and (3) He rose again. Alright, we have to obey that - somehow, and I can conceive of only two possibilities: (1) obey it literally or (2) obey it in a figure. Any feign of literally obeying these facts falls of its own weight; one cannot "obey" facts by simply believing them. However,
"God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 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.
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." (Rom 6: 2-6).
Hence, one dies to sin - repents, followed by an immersion (buried with Him by baptism), followed by an emersion, an emergence, a figurative resurrection ("like as Christ was raised ... even so we should walk in newness ... ") This parallels perfectly the facts of the gospel and is obedience to the gospel as taught in II Thess. Baptism is a symbol of the burial and resurrection of Christ whereas repentance technically would be a symbol of the Christ's death - "died to sin." Together, repentance and baptism predicated upon a trusting faith constitute obedience to the gospel, and harmonize perfectly with Acts 2 as outlined in Affirmative 2.
To state that one "obeys the gospel" by simply believing it is, to me, a little silly. One can believe that the speed limit is 70 MPH, but might not obey it.
I will leave the affirmative at that since there was no negation on the last post.
The clear teaching of the New Testament is that it is faith and faith alone that saves. At least sixty times the New Testament states that salvation is received by faith with no mention of baptism. In Colossians 2:11-12, Paul parallels baptism with circumcision and in Romans 4:9-12, denies the "grace plus works for salvation" heresy by stating that Abraham was justified by God before he was circumcised. Circumcision was a practice commanded by the Lord to Israel and in believing God and outwardly acknowledging Him as a Jew by this sign, showed that he believed and identified himself with Jehovah God and as an Israelite. Circumcision never made anyone a Jew and likewise baptism does not make one a child of God. Like baptism, circumcision was an act of identification.
Applying Luke 23:42-43
One passage the baptismal regeneration people have never really correctly understood is Luke 23:42-43 and the fact the thief on the cross was saved as Jesus declared, and was never baptized. They try to skirt the matter by saying this was before the Church Age when baptism was initiated. They state that Romans 10:9-10 requires that to be saved a person must believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. The thief could not have believed that because Christ had not yet arisen. The problem with that idea is that it does not take into account how were people in the Old Testament saved? Old Testament saints were saved by faith, through the grace of God as Hebrews 11 explains. This chapter is the Bible's Hall of Faith and states repeatedly how from Abel on men believed the revelation they were given by God and were saved. Abraham never heard the name of Jesus Christ or of His death, burial and resurrection, but he was certainly saved. But note what the word of God says:
"What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." (Romans 4:1-5)
Applying Ephesians 2:8-9
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9)
Those that teach baptism is necessary for salvation ignore the clear and emphatic statement of Ephesians 2:8-9. Clearly, the verse unquestionably refutes any notion of receiving God's grace based on any work of man. It states, salvation is the gift of God, "NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast." One of the most simple and foundational rules of interpretation of the Bible is that one must interpret in the analogy of the faith. In simple terms any correct interpretation of the Bible will not contradict other teachings in the Scriptures. This passage says that salvation is the free gift of God and not of works and it is a flagrant error to then interpret verses such as Acts 2:38 as teaching otherwise. Both interpretations cannot be true because, if they were, God would have made an error in telling us one thing in one passage and something totally contradictory in another. However, the problem is not in the wording of the New Testament or in what God says 'it is found in man's bent to confuse and misinterpret what God has said because of his willing ignorance of the basics of the Word of God.' Yes, man willingly is ignorant because he could study and learn, but instead remains blind to the simplest truth. For example look again at the issue here. Sixty passages, including the classic passage of Ephesians 2:8-9, say that salvation is received by faith and faith alone. Paul refutes the grace plus works error in almost every book he writes, yet the Baptismal Regeneration crowd hang on to this false doctrine and ignore the contradiction their belief with other statements of God. They seem blind to the fact that their teaching makes God guilty of being confusing, and contradicting Himself.
Often the baptismal regenerationist trying to reconcile his belief with Ephesians 2:8-9 will state that baptism is not a "work." However, the word translated "work" is the Greek noun ergon ergon er'-gon and means a "an act, deed, thing done" (2). Baptism is indeed a physical act, to which a person submits and is physically immersed under water. It is the deliberate result of new believer exercising his will and agreeing to be baptized. This is the same word used in passages such as 1 Timothy 5:10, 25; 6:18, 2 Timothy 3:17, which refer to "good works" (kalos ergon). To silence any doubt note that the word is used in 2 Timothy 4:14, "Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works(ergon)." There can be no mistake that the word means some action a person takes. Alexander the coppersmith's evil deeds were acts or works he committed.
The Correct Interpretation of Acts 2:38
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:38).
The true interpretation of Acts 2:38 is not clouded in a great mystery that cannot be understood. Anyone with the most basic skills in Bible study can research and find the correct meaning of the verse. Acts 2:38 says, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." The preposition "for" is the Greek work "eis" and simply means "with a view towards," "in connection with," "because of," or "in light of." In other words, Peter said that because they had believed and repented these people should now be baptized.In other New Testament passages on forgiveness, repentance, and water baptism, you do not find support for the teaching of baptismal regeneration. What is presented is that the significance of Christian water baptism is that all who believed were baptized. There is no example of an unbaptized Christian in the New Testament."(3) Today, as then, baptism remains a unique testimony of the life-transforming change brought about by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit in the believer. In water baptism a believer identifies with Jesus Christ in an action that symbolizes the shared experience of death and resurrection with and in Him. (4)
If Peter, in Acts 2:38, was saying one has to be baptized in order to be saved he would have violated the clear teaching of Ephesians 2:8-9 and the preaching of Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 3:16 that "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus how to be "born again" and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. If baptism is necessary for salvation, then why did he not tell this Pharisee to go and be baptized by John the Baptist? Jesus in John 3:36 sums up how to receive salvation when He said, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36) Jesus did not mention baptism because baptism is not necessary for salvation.
This does not minimize the need for a person, who believes and by faith is saved, to be baptized. It is important for new believers to be baptized and identify themselves publicly with Jesus Christ and other believers in the local church (Matt. 28:19-20) because God has instructed us to do so; but baptism does not save us. Their belief coupled with their incorrectly interpreted "additional requirement of baptism for salvation", did not merit them salvation. NO MORE ROOM
I asked six questions, and with reference to the stated and agreed-upon conditions, these questions - three permissable in each post - were to be answered by the other disputant in the next round. I'm beginning to think I'm debating a Jew because he's still observing the Passover; he ignored all six of them and passed them right over.
I brought up Mark 16: 15- 16 as supporting evidence and invited attention to it. What was said about it? Not one word.
I brought up Acts 22: 16 as supporting evidence. What was said about it? As far as I can tell, not one word.
I brought up II Thess 1: 7-9. What was said about it? Not one word.
I asked six questions, and we each agreed to answer, what was said about them? Not one word.
Rather than launching into a pro argument on "salvation by faith only", I'd respectfully suggest that you answer the questions that you agreed to answer (better late than never) and deal with the pro arguments. Copying and pasting an entire reply is not gonna cut it. I won't even bother to ask three more questions - you have a six-pack in the refrigerator now. I'm tempted to boil every question down to that parallel sentence in the form requested: this debate will close, and we'll never see it - but I won't do that.
Alright, I'll take the negative (someone needs to).
1. I said, "The issue is not, "Are men saved by faith?", but, rather, the issue is, "When are men saved by faith?" You (or Cooper Abrams) replied, "The clear teaching of the New Testament is that it is faith and faith alone that saves."
I didn't ask IF man was saved by faith; I asked, "When?" I'd be happy to shake hands with you on, "Men are saved by faith," but you feel compelled to insert "faith alone." Why is that? Because repentance, confession, loving God, and baptism are not mentioned? Would you like to see the only use of "faith alone" or "faith only" in the New Testament? Ole Cooper is going to get you in trouble.
"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only ... for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (James 2: 24, 26)
There's your "faith alone" in action - or inaction. "Faith alone" is as dead as a door-knell just as a body without the spirit is dead, and you are teaching salvation at the point of a dead faith. I'm not saying you HAVE a dead faith; I'm saying you teach salvation at the POINT of a dead faith.
2. I said: "Any passage which predicates salvation upon "faith" without a specific mention of repentance and baptism necessarily includes repentance and baptism; the synecdoche is employed in which "faith" or "belief" is the "part for the whole", an all-inclusive living, acting faith, and repentance and baptism are necessarily implied."
You replied, "salvation is received by faith with no mention of baptism."
I already said baptism wasn't mentioned in every passage. Neither is repentance, but you'll include it. Neither is loving God, but you'll include it. Neither is confessing Christ. Your view on faith is pretty elastic - it sure does stretch, but it snaps, crackles, and pops just prior to baptism, I guess. I maintained that the figure of speech "synedoche" is employed many times in the Bible, and you didn't say a word to offset it. You "passed-over" it.
3. You said, "the fact the thief on the cross was saved as Jesus declared, and was never baptized." Fact? Prove it. Assertions count for nothing, and I could care less what Cooper Abrams has to say. How do you know he was never baptized? How do you know he wasn't a back-slidden Jew, baptized with the baptism of John? For that matter, how do you know he wasn't a back-slidden follower of Christ? I'm not saying either way, but since you boldly asserted that he was never baptized, and I'd like to see your proof of that.
4. You said, "The thief could not have believed that because Christ had not yet arisen. The problem with that idea is that it does not take into account how were people in the Old Testament saved?" Well, at least you admit that the thief was saved under the Mosaic Law. That's better than most, but why in the world look to a dying thief saved under a different covenant as your example of salvation under the Christian dispensation in the first place?
5. You said: "Sixty passages, including the classic passage of Ephesians 2:8-9, say that salvation is received by faith and faith alone." No, they don't. Not a one says, "by faith alone." You added it or forged it. I call for your passages that say, "by faith alone", not the ones that say, "by faith". I can find passages that say we are saved by repentance, saved by baptism, and saved by hope, but I'm not silly enough exclude other things on the basis of what the verses do not say.
6. You said: "Old Testament saints were saved by faith, through the grace of God as Hebrews 11 explains." Yep, and not ONE time does Heb 11 mention any "salvation by faith alone or salvation by a dead faith." In every instance, it was a working, living, active faith.
7. You said: "eis" and simply means "with a view towards," "in connection with," "because of," or "in light of." No, it doesn't. It means "into", "unto", and as Dr. Thayer says, "to obtain." There is not one Greek lexicon that is so bold as to assert the "because of" meaning, and not one standard translation renders the preposition "because of"; if so, I'd like to see the lexicon or translation that does so. Would you like to see a "because-of" eis?
"For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many because of (eis) the remission of sins." (Matt 26: 28).
Land's sakes, you have Jesus shedding his blood looking BACKWARDS - because of - the remission of sins, for one thing. And for another, you have a man repenting "because of" the remission of his sins: saved first, then repenting in Acts 2: 38.
The NIV (1971) which you stated you preferred to use says, ""Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven. …" There is no room for a "because of" even in that translation.
8. You said: "There is no example of an unbaptized Christian in the New Testament." I'll endorse that whole-heartedly. Then why appeal to the thief on the cross?
9. You said: "Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus how to be "born again" and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. If baptism is necessary for salvation, then why did he not tell this Pharisee to go and be baptized by John the Baptist?" Well, John 3: 5: "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Every "church father" ... every "early Christian" ... familiar with the idiom uniformly state that "born of water and of the Spirit" has direct reference to water baptism. Why is that? I'll assert that you can't name an exception, whereas I can line up twenty in my favor.
You have four pretty decent, though not fully developed, affirmative arguments to answer, plus six questions. I did not go into these four "pro" arguments any deeper because you never noticed three of them and never answered a single question. I implore you to address the "con" duty in a debate, dispute the four arguments and answer the six questions. And copying/pasting a smatterer like Cooper Abrams is the worst thing you can do.
GZUS96 forfeited this round.
GZUS96 forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: ff's and unanswerd arguments.
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