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Doesn't John 3:5 require baptism for salvation?

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  • #76
    Originally posted by Timothy View Post
    My contention would be that you have poured water into a passage where it was not meant to be (i.e. there is no water involved in the baptism of Romans 6). The baptism of Romans 6:3-4 is one of the top misinterpreted passages by Christians, as well as many pastors. This is due to the error and tradition of always equating the word baptism with water, though there are mutliple different types of baptism (identification) in scripture, that often go unrecognized. Romans 6 does not concern water baptism, but instead could be described as a death baptism. Anytime someone pours water into this passage, they are diminishing the crosswork of Christ (his death and his blood). At least three time Christ refers to his forthcoming death on the cross as a baptism (i.e. identification).

    Matthew 20:22-23 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

    Mark 10:39-40 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

    Luke 12:50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!


    This baptism that Christ referred to, obviously, involved no water, whatsover. As it was not obviously water, what was Christ going to be baptized (identified) with? This baptism is referred as the "death baptism," or baptism by his death. With his death on the cross, we are identified (placed into) in his death - more specifically, our sin was placed or identified on him. This is exactly what Romans 6 is about. With that in mind, Romans should read something like this:

    Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized [i.e. by the Holy Spirit] into Jesus Christ [i.e. the body of Christ] were baptized [i.e. placed or identified] into his death [i.e. we and our sin died with him on the cross]?

    This (waterless) baptism (identification) is quite evident a few verses later:

    Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him [i.e. our sin was placed or identified on him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
    "Poured water" - that's very colorful.

    Paul is showing water baptism as an external demonstration of an internal spiritual event. Paul had never visited or taught the Romans. How do you suppose he expected them to understand what sort of baptism he was talking about? That is why he used a standard Christian reference that he knew they would understand Ė water baptism. This is why in Romans 6:5 it is referred to as the likeness of His death.

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

    In order for Paul to be referring to the same baptism that Jesus was referring to in Mark 10:39, the Romans would have to have physically died and been resurrected. The use of the word likeness makes this a simile in which water baptism is in similitude with Christís death, burial and resurrection. So Paul here is using water baptism to explain to the Romans the spiritual event of their new birth. The consequences of the new birth are clearly a result of Christís death on the cross. Water baptism in no way diminishes that.
    Think Heavenly
    Act Locally

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    • #77
      Originally posted by Josiah View Post
      Thanks Paidfor! That's the best description I've EVER heard. That was a HUGE help to me (your entire post). HUGE.

      HeIsEnough, yours was a help also. Thanks for that.
      I'm very glad you found that useful!
      Think Heavenly
      Act Locally

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      • #78
        I'd have to agree that this is a really useful and helpful conversation. I too was raised in the church of Christ and have battled with what I was taught there as opposed to what I have learned in Scripture since. Good conversation.

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        • #79
          Originally posted by lisa View Post
          I'd have to agree that this is a really useful and helpful conversation. I too was raised in the church of Christ and have battled with what I was taught there as opposed to what I have learned in Scripture since. Good conversation.
          Wow! How'd YOU escape?

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          • #80
            The legalism about ate me alive. I thought surely this isn't what the Lord wants for His children. My grandmother, who had been raised in the c of C, came across this book and it changed her faith. The ripple effect from that changed all of us in the family.

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            • #81
              Baptizing children

              I asked my fiance when he became born again and when he got baptized. He said when he was a child. I forget the exact age. I think he said he was baptized at age six or something. He said there was never a time when he didn't believe in Jesus Christ as his Savior and that since he's one of the Elect, he can't pinpoint a time that he "got saved" since he technically was saved even before he was born.

              Yeah, I know.

              I get what he's saying, but I'm not sure if it's accurate. I always thought baptizing infants and children was in vain because they don't have the knowledge to actually know of their sins, repent and accept Jesus Christ as savior. BUT, in his case, being the genius that he is, I can see him actually have the intellectual knowledge to realize and accept Christ at a very early age.

              I didn't want to press the issue and question his salvation, but something just doesn't sound right to me. Am I missing something? :shifty

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              • #82
                Originally posted by faithandgrace View Post
                I asked my fiance when he became born again and when he got baptized. He said when he was a child. I forget the exact age. I think he said he was baptized at age six or something. He said there was never a time when he didn't believe in Jesus Christ as his Savior and that since he's one of the Elect, he can't pinpoint a time that he "got saved" since he technically was saved even before he was born.

                Yeah, I know.

                I get what he's saying, but I'm not sure if it's accurate. I always thought baptizing infants and children was in vain because they don't have the knowledge to actually know of their sins, repent and accept Jesus Christ as savior. BUT, in his case, being the genius that he is, I can see him actually have the intellectual knowledge to realize and accept Christ at a very early age.

                I didn't want to press the issue and question his salvation, but something just doesn't sound right to me. Am I missing something? :shifty
                My daughter was 6 also (she's now 8), and there a many here who were saved at an early age. What seems to be bothering you is he is from a Calvinistic background, one of the Elect, which we all actually are, chosen before the foundation of the world. What sin(s) would such a young one repent of other than their "it's all about me" attitude (disobedience) and unbelief in God? Most adults (teens also) don't remember what their "sins" were at 5 or 6 as they are more aware of what is closer in time and what they "lusted after" then (lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life).

                Are there other concerns that you have about him other than his salvation testimony, like his walk, fruit, etc?

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                • #83
                  A newborn baby is still a sinner because she or he was born with sin inherited through Adam. All of the sins which we commit throughout our lives come from that. I heard one pastor say it very clearly, " You sin because you are a sinner. You aren't a sinner because you sin." Does that make sense?

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                  • #84
                    I guess one of the factors for me is; did he ask to be baptized when he was that age, meaning did he willingly volunteer? If so, I think it appropriate. Also, since it really isn't the baptism by water that saves, then it isn't precisely a salvational issue; hence, it would be between him and the Lord if he ever feels drawn to be baptized again (not saying that you don't get to give him input, that's always helpful, but ultimately I believe he'd feel the tug of the Spirit if he were to "need" to be baptized again for whatever reason).

                    And, as long as he has true faith in Jesus, I don't think he'd have to pinpoint precisely when that started; for some of us who believed and faithed at a young age it is hard to be too precise.

                    Thanks to sweeetlilgurlie on Narniaweb for the sig

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Kliska View Post
                      I guess one of the factors for me is; did he ask to be baptized when he was that age, meaning did he willingly volunteer? If so, I think it appropriate. Also, since it really isn't the baptism by water that saves, then it isn't precisely a salvational issue; hence, it would be between him and the Lord if he ever feels drawn to be baptized again (not saying that you don't get to give him input, that's always helpful, but ultimately I believe he'd feel the tug of the Spirit if he were to "need" to be baptized again for whatever reason).

                      And, as long as he has true faith in Jesus, I don't think he'd have to pinpoint precisely when that started; for some of us who believed and faithed at a young age it is hard to be too precise.
                      I understand that salvation and baptism are two separate things. But baptism is supposed to follow true conversion, and I was just wondering if it's actually possible to have true conversion as a small child. I too have believed in Christ ever since I can remember. I always considered myself a Christian, but I now know that I wasn't truly a follower of Christ. I didn't comprehend the full gospel until my teens. My fiance was baptized by his father, who I believe was a Baptist preacher at the time. I'll have to ask him if it was more the influence of his dad that led him to get baptized.

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                      • #86
                        Originally posted by matheteou View Post
                        My daughter was 6 also (she's now 8), and there a many here who were saved at an early age. What seems to be bothering you is he is from a Calvinistic background, one of the Elect, which we all actually are, chosen before the foundation of the world. What sin(s) would such a young one repent of other than their "it's all about me" attitude (disobedience) and unbelief in God? Most adults (teens also) don't remember what their "sins" were at 5 or 6 as they are more aware of what is closer in time and what they "lusted after" then (lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life).

                        Are there other concerns that you have about him other than his salvation testimony, like his walk, fruit, etc?
                        I hate to think about it, but yeah, there are concerns. Nothing major, but it's the little things. All of his best friends are unbelievers, gambling, smoking, dating adultresses with tongue rings and actually mistaking them for Christ followers, etc. OK, perhaps TMI. He is a wonderful man in most ways and I admire him in a lot of ways. He's helped take care of his dying mother and his little brother. He prays with people at work, he treats everybody with the utmost respect. But I can't help but wonder if someone who'd had a true conversion would continue to smoke and gamble, etc. I have no doubt that he'd never reject the name of Jesus Christ, even if it cost him his life. But then I remember the scripture that says they claim to know God, but by their actions deny Him. I want to help him, but he always get's defensive and I think it stems from assuming he was saved his entire life. We're supposed to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, right? And we're supposed to be open to Christian counsel? I dunno. I guess if he had "found Christ" as an adult, I'd think he was just backslidden or whatever. But now that he claims he accepted Christ as a child, I wonder if he truly accepted Him at all.
                        Last edited by faithandgrace; April 16th, 2008, 09:20 AM.

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by faithandgrace View Post
                          I understand that salvation and baptism are two separate things. But baptism is supposed to follow true conversion, and I was just wondering if it's actually possible to have true conversion as a small child. I too have believed in Christ ever since I can remember. I always considered myself a Christian, but I now know that I wasn't truly a follower of Christ. I didn't comprehend the full gospel until my teens. My fiance was baptized by his father, who I believe was a Baptist preacher at the time. I'll have to ask him if it was more the influence of his dad that led him to get baptized.
                          Right, because he's the one that will have to make that call, as it is different for everyone. I was a believer since a very very young age; I was also a faither from a very young age, and that can be a different experience than some. There usually is no huge conversion experience when one has faithed in Christ from young age; no huge outward change, I should say, because you're a child and haven't embedded yourself in these huge outward sins, although still a sinner, they aren't as "showy" (forgive the expression, this can be hard to explain in words). It's all about; Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Following true faith at any age a Baptism is a good chance (if lead by the Spirit) to confess Christ before men, and share your faith publicly.

                          I do believe children are capable of conversion and faithing in Christ, and I think is supported by scripture, which may bring your mind some ease: Luke 18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

                          It's not a hard and fast answer, because it will be your fiance's call.

                          Thanks to sweeetlilgurlie on Narniaweb for the sig

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                          • #88
                            I was baptized at around age 3 in a Christian Reformed (calvinistic) Church.

                            I don't remember anyone asking me if I loved Jesus and in fact, I don't remember the ceremony.

                            I didn't live for Jesus until my forties and got baptized as an adult after I made my own personal decision, one that my parents however good intended couldn't make for me.

                            And, Baptism doesn't save you!
                            The dogs are barking, someone is knocking on the door...

                            Please pray for Lindsey's salvation

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                            • #89
                              Originally posted by faithandgrace View Post
                              But baptism is supposed to follow true conversion, and I was just wondering if it's actually possible to have true conversion as a small child.
                              I read from the bible and talk to my kids about surrendering their lives to Christ and living for Him regularly. Both my girls have said the sinner's prayer of redemption, they're currently 14 and 12, and did so about a year and a half ago. My boys are 10 and 8 right now and the 8 year old is asking about it. Just as with the girls, I don't jump right into guiding them through surrendering their life to Christ the moment they ask about it. I want them to truly understand what they're doing and I want them to live all of their life for Christ. I suspect that before this summer is out, my 8 year old will have surrendered his life to Christ. Even so, I continue to read to my daughters and share the salvation message, just in case.... and it's my job to raise them in Christ, of course. When we're older and accept Christ, in many but not all cases we've done plenty of screwing up and the salvation experience leaves a mark on us, whereas the younger person, though sinners, are relatively innocent, and aside from their surrender, not much is going to change, at least initially, and I should say that for most, but not all. What should occur of course, is the long term course of their lives, the choices they make, the things they do, and most importantly perhaps, when they're older and they fall or come upon hard times, they have that inner knowledge to turn to Jesus for help.

                              We live in a period of apostasy, the churches, I believe, are full of people who have never truly given their lives to Christ... and they're not just the ones sitting in the back rows... They're elders, preachers, leaders of the church...

                              My advice is to examine your fiance through the Word, through the Holy Spirit with whom you are sealed, and by your fiance's fruits. Keep your eyes wide open, because it is our nature to notice the good and discount the rest, especially when we have an emotional attachment to a person. You will know him by his fruits. And I pray that you will find Jesus in your fiance, and may you have a very blessed life together along with the saplings you produce and raise for the Lord.
                              Tall Timbers, Imperfect but forgiven

                              3 trees

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Tall Timbers View Post
                                .

                                We live in a period of apostasy, the churches, I believe, are full of people who have never truly given their lives to Christ... and they're not just the ones sitting in the back rows... They're elders, preachers, leaders of the church...

                                I think you hit the nail on the head there!

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