"Questions Answered" Article
by Doug Bower
In order for anyone to prove their contention that water baptism is required for the forgiveness of sins it MUST show scripture that affirms the negation that IF a man is not baptized that his sins are not forgiven.
For the record: "Baptizo ... to baptize, primarily a frequentative form of bapto, to dip, was used among the Greeks to signify the dyeing of a garment, or the drawing of water by dipping a vessel into another ... Distinct from this is the baptism enjoined by Christ, Matthew 28:19, a baptism to be undergone by believers, thus witnessing to their identification with Him in death, burial, and resurrection, e.g. Acts 19:5; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 1:13-17, 12:13; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12 ...The verb is used metaphorically also in two distinct senses: firstly, of baptism by the Holy Spirit, which took place on the day of Pentecost; secondly, of the calamity which would come upon the nation of the Jews, a baptism of the fire of Divine judgment for the rejection of the will and the word of God, Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16. (Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Unabridged Edition.)
This is the grammar of the word, Baptizo.
Please, please. listen to yourself. What kind of argumentation is this? I simply take the text at face value. Isn't that what you claim you do in the above paragraphs where you attack the use of the grammatical-historical method of interpreting Scripture, claiming that those who use it are just trying to confuse the face value of the texts and what they plainly say. Now here you are contradicting yourself. I can not show any verse that he was or was not baptized. I assume nothing in this assertion but take the text at face value.
Can you prove that the thief WAS baptized? No you cannot.
This is not only terrible theology but it is error and heretical. You are saying that under the Old Covenant people were saved by something other than by Grace through Faith! HOW the thief was saved has EVERYTHING to do with us. The means of salvation was not different than the means of salvation under the New Covenant.
Cornelius was not saved before he was baptized and I can prove it. First, Peter commanded him to be baptized in the name of the Lord (Acts 10:48). If obeying commands are not essential (as you're saying), then you really don't believe anything.
In the English text Peter is not first commanding them to be baptized. He is plainly FIRST preaching the gospel to the Gentiles. Why have you not bothered to read the immediate and remote context of the text? Look in verses 34-43: Peter is plainly FIRST preaching the gospel to the house of Cornelius. THEN they get saved which is indicated by the fact they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, thirdly they are baptized. No one receives the gift of the Holy Spirit unless God has regenerated them ... Read Ephesians 1:1-14!
Second, if you say Cornelius and his household were saved before they were baptized, tell me at what point they were saved. Was it at the point of faith? I will openly agree that he and his were baptized with the holy Spirit, yet they were still not saved, and you probably don't know why.
They were saved at the point where they received the gift of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 8:9). If you think that someone can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and not be saved then you do err not knowing the Scriptures.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is received as a pledge of our inheritance:
"In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory." (Ephesians 1:13-14)
You need to pay attention to the participle, "having believed", which comes logically first, then you are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. If you don't have the Spirit then you are none of His (Romans 8:9). Since no one can have the Holy Spirit apart from being regenerate then I conclude that the House of Cornelius, if they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, as the text plainly states, then they were saved before they were commanded to be baptized.
Jesus did not baptize because NT baptism for the remission of sins had not been commissioned by him (Mark 16, Matthew 28).
This is heresy. You are plainly stating that baptism forgives sins. Do not pervert the gospel (found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-11) by adding works to the Grace of God (addressed by Scripture in the first chapter of Galatians)