On the Day of Pentecost, Peter invited the Jewish people who responded to his message to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.
What does this mean, and is this how people get saved today?
What is Repentance?
Repentance (Gk. metanoia) literally means “to change the mind.”
It usually refers to changing the mind regarding your former beliefs and behaviors, and turning to a new way of believing and behaving. This change, of course, is exactly what John’s baptism represented for the Jewish people. When they came to be baptized by John in the Jordan, they were turning away from the corrupt forms of religious Judaism, and turning to a new way of living according to the loving and forgiving ways of God. In this way, repentance and baptism have nothing to do with receiving eternal life, or even receiving the forgiveness of sins. Both are just a way of turning away from the past and turning toward a new life for the future.
What is the Remission of Sins?
The term “remission” (Gk. aphesis) does not refer to “forgiveness” but is closer to “liberty” or “freedom” (cf. Luke 3:3; 4:18-19; 25:47).
Again, it is crucial to understand how Jewish people would have understood this term. At this time, the Jewish people were under the occupation of the Roman Empire. Yet many Jewish people understood that while Rome was their physical enemy, their greater enemy was their own sin and rebellion as a nation. In fact, the Jewish people believed that it was because of their sin and rebellion as a nation that God had allowed the Roman Empire to occupy and control Israel.
This is why the Jewish religious leaders of that time became so focused on properly keeping the Law of Moses. It was thought that if the nation could perfectly keep the law, then God would finally deliver Israel from the Romans and restore Israel to her rightful place among the nations.
So in other words, to be delivered from sin was to be delivered from the Romans, and vice versa. National sin and enemy occupation were one and the same. If the nation was delivered from one, it must logically have deliverance from the other as well. So when John the Baptist, and later Peter at Pentecost, speak about “the remission of sins,” they are not talking about gaining eternal life and entrance into heaven, but about the great Jewish hope of finally being freed from the twin enemies of sin and Roman occupation. Remission from sins is both freedom from the captivating and addictive power of sin and from the dire political and national consequences of sin for the people of Israel.
This idea is seen clearly in Jeremiah 31, where New Covenant language ties forgiveness of sins with the Israelite expectations for God’s rule on earth. During this time, God would reign in righteousness over all the earth from Jerusalem, Israel would be delivered, and evil destroyed. It is for this hope the Messiah would come.
It is for this hope that John preached. This was his message about the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
It is the arrival of this hope that Peter now proclaimed. And the Jewish people who heard the message of Peter and who wanted to participate with this arrival of the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ indicated this desire publicly by receiving the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, just as others had done with John about three years earlier. They wanted deliverance and freedom, not only from Rome, but also from the controlling and captivating power of sin.
So again, the baptism of these Jewish people on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 is a thoroughly Jewish form of baptism. This helps explain what happens next in the book of Acts….
Jeremy Myers says
I guess I would go the opposite way, and say that there is no historical evidence in the Scriptures that anyone believed that water baptism helped accomplish justification.
Certainly, the baptism of the Spirit is one of the gifts that accompanies justification, but we must not make the mistake of confusing water baptism and Spirit baptism.
Jeremy Myers says
As I wrote in a different comment, I guess I would go the opposite way, and say that there is no historical evidence in the Scriptures that anyone believed that water baptism helped accomplish justification.
Certainly, the baptism of the Spirit is one of the gifts that accompanies justification, but we must not make the mistake of confusing water baptism and Spirit baptism.
I have written some on this elsewhere… here for example: https://redeeminggod.com/what-is-baptism/
Acts 2:38-42 (ESV)
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
It takes a pretty big stretch of the imagination to believe that this text is talking about a spiritual baptism and not water baptism. Most Baptists and evangelicals I talk to believe that this passage IS talking about water baptism. The problem, they say, is that the translation is incorrect or the sentence structure in English is incorrect.
Many Baptists/evangelicals believe that the “for” in verse 38 was mistranslated. It should have been translated as “because”.
I believe that when God promised to preserve his Word he didn’t just mean he would preserve it in the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek on 2,000 year old papyrus and parchment, but he would preserve his words/the message of the Gospel in the common languages of the people of the world, for all ages. There is no translation of the Bible on planet earth that uses “because” instead of “for” in Acts 2:38!
But for argument sake, let’s say that these Baptists/evangelicals are correct. Let’s replace the “for” in verse 38 in Acts chapter 2 with “because”. What do we get:
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ BECAUSE OF the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
So to paraphrase: Your sins are already forgiven, so repent and be baptized and then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit??? Do Baptists and evangelicals really believe that sinner’s have already had their sins washed spotless in the blood of Christ, however, they still need to repent and be baptized in water to receive the Holy Ghost???
See what happens when we start questioning God’s choice of words?
Wouldn’t it be better to just believe the plain, simple reading of God’s Word and THEN establish your doctrine? Baptists and evangelicals cannot read this passage and believe the simple English because they have already made up their minds that water baptism cannot be involved in any way with salvation.
Jonathan Schull says
In the TLV which is a direct translation from Hebrew by 70 Rabbi’s to include the Dead Sea Scrolls: Acts 2:38 Peter said to them”Repent and let each of you be immersed in the name of Messiah Yeshua for the removal of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Ruach Ha Kodesh.
Ruach Ha Kodesh_Holy Spirit
In this Baptist/evangelical plan of salvation, I am told I cannot do good deeds to be saved, but then I am told I must do my part in the act of salvation for God to then do his part and give me eternal life. In the Baptist/evangelical plan of Salvation, my salvation is ultimately dependent on ME initiating and then Christ completing our salvation “transaction” for me to be saved!
Where did Baptists and evangelicals get the idea that the sinner is capable of making a free will decision to receive faith that enables him to believe and be saved?
Ephesians, Colossians and Romans make it very clear that sinners do not seek God. Sinners do not seek after righteousness. In fact, the sinner is spiritually dead, according to Scripture! Dead men cannot make a decision to do anything, let alone “accept” God into his heart!
This is where Baptists and evangelicals go wrong and why they can’t comprehend baptismal regeneration and infant baptism. No matter how many times the Bible states in plain, simple language that God forgives sins in (water) Baptism, Baptists and evangelicals will refuse to believe this since it contradicts their concept of faith.
“For by grace are you saved, through faith, it is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.”
FAITH is a gift! Faith is something given to you by God…FREELY…without any strings attached!
In salvation, the sinner doesn’t ask for Christ to come into his heart. He is spiritually dead! But God in his mercy predestined his children, before the creation of the world, to be his. And at the time of his choosing, he quickens his elect, gives them the gift of faith, and they believe. They are saved! They are saved by God’s grace, received through faith. But the faith in our salvation is a gift from God, it is not something we sinners conjure up on our own by our intelligence and maturity, and then make a decision, based on our reasoned decision making, to believe.
That is works righteousness, my friend!
The Lutheran doctrine of Salvation is 100% God. He saves who he wants, when he wants, but he always saves through the power of his Word. By the power of his Word he can save the older child or adult who hears or reads the Gospel and believes, and he can save/cleanse by the power of his Word spoken at Baptism, even an infant, in the same manner that he did for Naaman of old.
That is how God saves!
In the true plan of salvation, your assurance of salvation is not based on your feelings of whether YOU did it right! Your assurance of salvation is based on knowing that our God keeps his promises, and his Word promises that HE saved you, by the power of his Word, received by HIS gift of faith.
Jeremy Myers says
Ephesians 2:8-9 does not actually say that “faith” is a gift. In Greek, the pronouns must agree with their antecedent in gender and number. In Eph 2:8-9, the word “it” in “it is a gift” is neuter, and “faith” is feminine.
So it seems more likely that the “it” refers to the whole “salvation by grace through faith” package.
Yes, the whole package is a gift: Grace is a gift. Faith is a gift. Salvation is a gift.
Faith is not something that the sinner, who is spiritually dead according to Ephesians and Colossians chapter 2, can produce by his own intelligence and maturity. God quickens the spiritually dead sinner, gives him grace (unmerited favor) and faith to believe and repent.
Salvation is completely free! The sinner is a passive participant in his salvation. God saves! He doesn’t need your assistance in a “decision” to accept him. He accepts you!
If salvation depends on YOU making an informed, mature, free-will decision for Christ…salvation is no longer free. It is dependent on something YOU must do first!
God quickens you, gives you the faith to believe and repent…you are saved! You then are free to reject God and return to a life of willful sin…and perish in hell.
That is the Biblical plan of salvation. NOTHNG man does can assist in his salvation. Not a decision to be good. Not a decision to be baptized. Not a decision to want God and his righteousness.
Jeremy Myers says
Well, faith would not be something we “do” since faith is not a work, but is the opposite of a work (Rom 4:5).
Also, I wasn’t saying that “Grace is a gift. Faith is a gift. Salvation is a gift.” That once again turns grammar upside down in Eph 2:8-9. What is a gift is God’s idea to grant eternal life to anyone who believes in Jesus for it.
We humans would never come up with a plan like this. We either want God to control every little detail, OR we want eternal life to depend on our own good works.
God’s plan is neither of those.
Decision Theology is false doctrine.
If God says that a sinner is spiritually dead, as he does in the second chapters of Ephesians and Colossians, then the sinner cannot choose anything related to spirituality. Dead men can’t choose to believe.
Your doctrine is an invention of sixteenth century Swiss Anabaptists.
Jeremy Myers says
Hmm. I don’t think I ever used the word decision. I think you might be confusing my beliefs with something you heard from somewhere else.
Remember, faith is not a work. It is the opposite of work.
Jonathan Schull says
It appears you must be a Lutheran since you believe that they are the only ones who have it right. Don’t you think that it is arrogant to believe you or your denomination is the only one that is correct? The reality is not any one denomination is 100% as you say on any subject. Denominations create their own doctrine which makes it flawed. God’s doctrine is His Word and is unflawed and pure.
There are many different churches that believe their way is the only way. Some say that if you speak in tongues it is from the devil, others that their church won’t use musical instruments and that they are the only ones that teach the word correctly. Others that if you sin you are going to hell unless you repent.
I submit to you as a believer that unless you are maintaining a log every time you sin and happen to miss one by that thought process you are doomed. You may even sin and not realize it then you would still be lost. You see we are all flawed and that is why Jesus died for us. Regardless of how one gets saved it is always by the Holy Spirit that it happens not by man. Evangelicals do not believe exactly the way you described them and if I may suggest it is not becoming for you to have such an attitude towards other believers.
Angie Melton says
Spiritually dead does not mean brain dead. Man still has intelligence and free will. God’s force is strong and undeniable. And when you reach the age of accountability,(because the idea that a baby is in peril of going to hell if not baptized is just plain ludicrous) God will make you very much aware of the decision you must make. Accept Jesus Christ as your savior, and believe through faith he died on the cross for our sins. Or turn away and be damned to eternal fire. Man is completely in charge of his eternal life. Spiritually dead means without God.
steve finnell says
ACTS 2:38 FICTIONALIZED
Why do men fictionalize Scriptures rather than reading them and believing them? I will let you reach your own conclusion as to the answer. What is is purpose of water baptism according to Acts 2:38?
FOUR TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE ACTS 2:38
1. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent and each of you bebaptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (New American Standard Bible)
2. Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible New International Version 1983)
3. Acts 2:38 The Peter said unto them,Let each of of you repent and be immersed, in the name of Jesus Christ, in order to the remission of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. ) The Better Version of the New Testament by Chester Estes)
4. Acts 2:38 Peter told them, “You must repent and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, so that you may have your sins forgiven and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (The New Testament in Modern English by J.B. Phillips)
THE FOLLOWING ARE FICTIONALIZED VERSIONS OF ACTS 2:38
1. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized because your sins have already been forgiven. (Fictional Account)
2. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized as a testimony of your faith. (Invented Version)
3. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized as an act of obedience. (Fantasy Translation)
4. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized because you were forgiven the minute you believed. (The Version of Unfounded Truth)
5. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized with Holy Spirit baptism; because water baptism is not a New Covenant requirement. (The Version of Spurious and Erroneous Quotes)
6. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, for the forgiveness of sins; but water baptism is optional, because the thief on the cross was not baptized in water. (The Counterfeit Version of Truth)
7. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Rent and be baptized in order to join denomination of your choice. (The Creed Bible By Men)
8. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized as a symbolic jester, pointing to the fact that your sins were forgiven when you said “The Sinner’s Prayer.” ( The Book of Stuff Men made-up)
9. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized to indicate the outward sign of the forgiveness you received the very minute you believed. ( The Fabricated Book of Fantasy Verses)
10. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent and have your committed sins forgiven by faith only. And then be baptized to be forgiven of the sin Adam committed. (The Denominational Revision of Fictional Truth)
THE QUESTION IS WHY DO CERTAIN DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES FICTIONALIZE BIBLICAL TRUTH? THE BIGGER QUESTION IS WHY DO PEOPLE BELIEVE FICTIONALIZED DOCTRINE RATHER THAN BIBLICAL TRUTH?
YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search>>>>steve finnell a christian view
Jeremy Myers says
Hey, you left this same comment on another post….
There is a big difference between quoting verses and understanding verses.
“Eis”: Why has EVERY Bible translator gotten this little Greek word wrong?
One of the principle reasons that Baptists and evangelicals refuse to believe that Baptism is God’s act of saving sinners and forgiving sins is based on the translation in the Bible of one, little, Greek word: “eis”
Baptists and evangelicals believe that this Greek word has two principle English translations, and that the context of the Bible passage determines which meaning should be translated into English as the true Word of God. Here are these two English translation options:
1. for, unto
2. because of
Now, as we will see shortly, these two English translations can give the translated sentence in question a completely different meaning…depending on which translation you choose.
Let’s look at Acts 2:38 translating “eis” using each English option:
Repent and be baptized…for the forgiveness of sins.
Repent and be baptized…because of the forgiveness of sins.
HUGE difference in meaning, isn’t there?
So how many English translations of the Holy Bible translate Acts 2:38 using “because of”?
Answer: not a single one!
Find out why not: http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/2013/12/eis-why-has-every-bible-translator.html
Stephen Sponsler says
Isn’t it written that when The Lord will Baptize with water symbolic of The HOLY SPIRIT) and with Fire? John Batpized with water for the remission of sins….but that was not for Forgiveness of Sins. WHen we recieve the Batism of Christ’s (Himself) is when we have received the new life of a forgibven past through a repentant heart and not something done in the head. The fire is another issue that I had a ‘discussion’ with back and forth but do not go there with a Pentecostal or you’ll be playing with fire As the sins are forgiven they passed into The Fire of God’s Wrath but we are protected, where they are ‘tossed into the fire and burned’…FORGOTTEN. The actual act of going into the water is a n outward representation of an inward reality. First clean the inside of the cup. We do not get ‘clean’ by walking in the water and then being forgiven. How does that change the inward man? God needs to know through our Free will exchange in Communion with Him..it’s not you do this and I’ll do that..or I’;ll do that if you do this..or I’ll do this and then you do that..It’s is simultaneous. We are in danger if we read the events into Acts as a chronological process that works literally. IT’s not like that, that’s why there is emphasis on the work of God is Already Complete yet though He is still working in this world to fulfill what has already been done int eh Spiritual Reality. Another way to sum it up and see (as always for ourselves if this is not true for only The LORD is Truth)..that the old Testament UP through the books of acts was all of an outward manifestation that would become an inward reality. After the day of Pentecost that was the end of the outward manifestations other than the rest of Acts mainly…now we are experiencing an inward Manifestation (Christ is The Manifestation) working toward the Outward Reality..the New Heaven and New Earth..so just as things were on earth with Christ in the flesh..such are thing now with Christ who is in each person. The Law is written on our’ hearts’ in our New Being..understood through having The Mind of Christ…throwing scripture out and even giving ones’ interpretation is meaningless if the interpretation is not Understood in the proper framework of the contextual time place and situation. no matter how exquisite the verbiage is or efficient one’s argument is.
That is God Timeless and Efficient back up plan to find those out fro themselves as it will be to reveal them at the time of Revealing, who have not died to themselves in their Love for God through the Power of Christ. P.S. I wa searching on The Power of Christ in the Baptism of Repentance , when I found this link. That term just came to my mind and found this link.
So do you ignore this scripture?
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Jeremy Myers says
No, I do not ignore that Scripture. Do you?
Hi, I’d would like to interject that if water immersion is an absolute requirement for the most important thing that there is for lost people to know, then why does water baptism not show up in all the scriptures that clearly state the Gospel message? Romans 10 is just one of many examples. It is MISSING the mention of water immersion. How can the apostles leave such an important part out of the gospel message if it is in fact part of the message? Was God not diligent in making sure all these scriptures matched? Can’t be that. So does this leave us at an in-pass and we have conflicting scriptures?
How do those who believe water immersion is absolutely necessary deal with this? Why would Peter or Paul or any apostle give an A(water immersion)+B(faith, trust, belief in Christ) = C (salvation) to some people, and then turn around and just say B=C to others? This is EXACTLY what is in scripture, different accounts. I am reading scriptures just as they are so don’t accuse me of making up meanings. I see “baptismo” “to immerse” mentioned sometimes with “repent” or “believe in” and sometimes it is NOT INCLUDED when “repent” or “believe and be saved” is mentioned.
The only thing I can conclude is that in the whole of scripture is that I must “repent – or change my mind” (remember “repent of sin” never shows up in scripture) about me being a sinner needing a savior and who Jesus is and believe on Christ, and then I see people who are labeled “saved” getting baptized in water, so I am going to do it too, and I see that at some point “in there” I get baptized with the Holy Spirit. I’m not claiming I did any work, I’m merely trusting in the scriptures and doing what I see others who were saved had done.
So I think neither side of this debate are correct. Maybe the thief of the cross could not be water immersed, well because he was nailed to a cross at the time and God made and exception for him via Mercy. Or maybe in their time the two things just went hand in hand as tradition as during that time it was custom to be water immersed in someone or somethings name. Maybe its just symbolic as when God mentions “sprinkling water on them and they will be saved” in the OT. (Oh wait, sprinkling and immersion in water are different things and are different words)
I have asked God for clear understanding on baptism MANY times and still find myself in a pickle over it so conclusion is “do what they that were mentioned as saved did” I already TRUST IN CHRIST as my savior, knowing I can not earn my salvation by works or deeds. If go to a pool of water with the intent to be immersed in it is that an act? If someone else has to baptize me, are they doing the act and I only made the mental decision based on my belief? It does not matter in the end, I have changed my mind (repented) about who I and and who Christ is and BELIEVE on Him, and I will immerse myself in water as I see the apostles doing to others who were saved. I placed my faith and trust in God and His word and did what it said which covers the bases and there is no more argument for me on baptism. Requirement VS Ordinance no longer matters to me and if I teach someone else, it will be the same thing, repent (change my mind), believe(trust in Christ), get baptized (water immersion)!
Now if you want a debate, then lets talk “infant baptism” vs “believers baptism”. This is what we should be fighting for for scripture sake. All scripture baptisms are done by those who “heard and believed”. An infant can not hear and believe. So how many denomination are WRONGLY baptizing infants and saying they are saved by that! WOW!
In 1 Cor 15:1-4 Paul re-states the gospel he had previously delivered to the Corinthians. Paul says the gospel he delivered is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ – by which they were saved unless they believed in vain. I use these verses to help define the gospel Paul was referring to – but what did he mean by this?
For the answer, turn to Romans chapter 4. Paul explains what baptism is: when we are baptized we are baptized into the likeness of Christ’s death on the cross, burial in the tomb, and resurrection on the third day. We submit to baptism recognizing that our sins are washed away by the blood of Christ. Our Lord’s blood was shed in His death and in baptism (the likeness of His death, burial and resurrection) we contact the saving blood of Christ. In Col 2:12-13 Paul explains that we need to have faith that God will forgive us of all trespasses – it is God’s working in that he forgives our sins when we submit to Him in baptism.
Hearing and faith are important too, as you mentioned in your post that they are included along with baptism. We must hear the gospel, believe it, be willing to repent of our sins and to submit ourselves to be baptized for the remission of our sins. Rom 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So building on that faith we submit ourselves to obey Christ as he gave his apostles in the Great Commission in Mark 16:15-16.
Some say baptism is an ‘outward showing of an inward faith.’ That notion isn’t in keeping with scriptural examples and Paul does not talk about baptism in that way in Romans 4. If it were a showing of faith, then I would expect it to be something you did over and over to continue showing – but it is something done once in all the cases of Christian conversion recorded in the bible.
To summarize, I would say we need to be willing to look at the ‘big picture.’ In Isaiah 28:9-10 Isaiah mentions who will receive knowledge and understanding of doctrine. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”
Craig Giddens says
Romans 6, not Romans 4, deals with the believer’s spiritual baptism. 1 Corinthians 12:13 tells us “by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body”, therefore this is a spiritual baptism. When we are baptized into Christ, we are baptized into His death (Romans 6:3), burial and resurrection (Roman 6:4). Water baptism is a picture of this spiritual baptism. Getting dunked in a pond or the city water system doesn’t do anything to connect you to Christ, His blood or wash away your sins. This is one of the heresies of the Church of Christ denomination. If baptism was that important Paul wouldn’t have said ” For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel” ( 1 Corinthians 1:17). Notice Paul distinguishes the gospel from baptism. In at least 6 verses Paul refers salvation as a gift; a gift received by faith apart from any works.
“If it were a showing of faith, then I would expect it to be something you did over and over to continue showing”
Absolutely not! Once you believe the gospel you are indwelt with and sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). You are preserved in Christ Jesus (Jude 1).
Amen. I just heard the truth. If water immersion can impart salvation then too should circumcision! Well read the the Word has to say about that. Would kilking our firstborn impart salvation? Never! Its an outward expresion of act based on what is already known! Namely faith! Read Roman 4!
Thanks for seeing my erred reference to Romans 4. I was thinking Romans 6 and typing Romans 4 for some reason.
I don’t agree that 1 Corinthians 12:13 is explaining spiritual baptism. Look at the context of what Paul writes:
1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
1Co 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
1Co 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1Co 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.
Paul is explaining that BY the Spirit gifts were given to men. (verse 8) He then lists some of those spiritual gifts given to be used in the body of Christ. Paul explains that the body of Christ is made up of many members working together – “so also is Christ.”
In verse 13 Paul says by the same Spirit (that is manifested to men as he described in the previous verses) Jews and Gentiles, bond or free are all baptized with the same baptism and receive the same manifestation of the Spirit as well. There was not a different baptism or different spiritual gifts for Jews, Gentiles, bond, free etc. In Christ it was one body. Prior to Christ Jews were separate from Gentiles under the Law of Moses, but that no longer is the case in Christ.
In your reply you mentioned both spiritual baptism and water baptism. Paul mentions only one baptism to the church at Ephesus:
Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Eph 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Now the Apostle Peter told us what that baptism is and what it does:
1Pe 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
It saves us. How can we have a good conscience if we aren’t assured that our sins have been washed away? By the way, how did water save Noah in the previous verse? The water of the flood washed away the sinful world, but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah believed God was going to destroy the Earth and was obedient by building the ark. If we submit ourselves to baptism, baptism in a similar way saves us by washing our sins away – not the water, but the blood of Christ in the likeness of Christ’s death burial and resurrection – Romans 6 (got the reference right this time).
We see this in action with Saul’s conversion in Acts 22:16:
Act 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
If you think Ananias was wrong to tell Saul this, read Acts 9:
Act 9:11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
Jesus himself tells Ananias to go to Saul and tell him what he must do. Also, Saul was praying prior to Ananias coming to him. So many people teach that prayer and repentance washes their sins away, and yet that’s not what the bible records in Saul’s conversion.
Philip preached Jesus unto the Eunuch and the bible records this:
Act 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
Act 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
This is water baptism, not spiritual baptism. The bible doesn’t record spiritual baptism. Everything we do in agreement with God’s will is spiritual because “God is a spirit and seeketh such to worship Him.” (John 4:23) So I guess in that regard our water baptism is spiritual.
In 1 Corinthians 1:17 Paul is addressing the fact that the Corinthians had divided themselves according to worldly wisdom. I suggest you read the entire context:
1Co 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
1Co 1:14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
1Co 1:15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
1Co 1:16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
1Co 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Where does Paul say baptism isn’t necessary in these verses? Crispus and Gaius had baptized those Paul is writing to. In verse 13 his rhetorical question bears out the truth that they were baptized in the name of Christ – not the name of men.
Look also at Paul in Acts 19:
Act 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
Act 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Act 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
It appears that when Paul explains that John’s baptism was not appropriate (since Christ had now given his Apostles the Great Commission) they were baptized in the name of the Lord (water baptism) and they received the Holy Ghost. Sounds a lot like Acts 2:38:
Act 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.
If you think the word “for” means “because” as was addressed in an earlier thread, then read Matt 26:28:
Mat 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Same Greek word “eis” in the exact same phrase. I do not believe Jesus said, “This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many because your sins are already remitted.” Jesus said in order that your sins may be remitted, and Peter told the Jews on Pentecost in Acts 2:38 to be baptized in order that their sins may be remitted.
Sorry for such a long post, but MP said they had heard the truth. Now that is the case.
As for circumcision it was clearly done away along with the Mosaic law when its handwriting of ordinances was nailed to the cross. Also, Paul addresses it:
Gal_5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Faith which works by love. Jesus summed it up this way:
Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Sorry Jeremy, I should’ve directed my comment. I was addressing Gary. He seems to be set on the idea that baptism=salvation. Romans 10:9-10 actually backs up what you were saying about spirit baptism.
We actually ARE required to do something for salvation. We have to ACCEPT that gift of grace through our faith in Jesus. You have the free choice to decline that gift. Accepting God’s grace is not a work, though. It is acknowledging our need of Jesus’ sacrifice in order to have a relationship with Him. Baptism is an outward display of our death to ourselves and the new life He has given us.
Danny Burkhalter says
Seekers of truth,
It must be understood and accepted that the things in this world are created to shadow or illustrate the things that are unseen (Rom. 1).
There are therefore two of everything.
Two fathers – one earthly , one spirit.
Two faiths – one fleshly, one spirit
Two sights – one fleshly, one spirit
Two Jerusalems – one earthly, one Heavenly
Two baptisms – one earthly with water, one spriit by the Holy Spirit
And on and on.
Please consider this when seeking to understand each scripture and Rom. 8 is the final authority on the sequence of salvation.
Yes, Jesus paid the entire debt for me and the whole world on calvary. The blood of Jesus pays the debt (nothing i could do to pay the debt) and when I believe on him I shall be saved, then I must act on my belief and line up to the Word of God, which tells me to be baptized (not a work but an act of obedience) Mark 16:16 says He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved he that believeth not shall be damned. he that does not believe the gospel of Jesus will not line up to the word of God and they sure wont be baptized. Samuel said obedience is better than sacrifice so just obey the word, Remember James said faith without works is dead being alone, so act on faith and obey Jesus the name of the Word of God. God is Great
Larry davis says
Thanks for this insight.
I always interpreted baptism as immersion in the Name of Jesus Christ, and water baptism as a holy ordinance that is a representation of this, but no one I’ve mentioned this to agrees. Nice to see this point of view in print
Craig Giddens says
Thanks for responding Ray. It’s a joy to get to share the gospel with you.
In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul is explaining how we as the body of Christ are given various spiritual gifts, but first he explains how we got into the body of Christ. By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body. It’s by the Spirit. It’s a spiritual baptism.
Ephesians 4:5 mentions nothing about water. You have been indoctrinated with the false teaching of water baptism for salvation so that every time you see the words water or baptism you think it has to do with water baptism for salvation. You’re letting your doctrine interpret the scriptures rather than let the scriptures teach the doctrine. We can all do that if we’re not careful.
“Where does Paul say baptism isn’t necessary in these verses?” is the wrong question. The correct question is what does Paul say a person must do to be save.
Romans 3:22, Romans 3:27-28, Romans 4:24-25, Romans 5:1, Ephesians 2:8-10
Salvation is a gift that is received by faith. If it is anything under than by faith alone then it becomes a work and you make God a liar.
Acts 19 has to with Paul meeting up with unsaved Jews who had experienced John the Baptist’s baptism which was for the Jews only to prepare them for the coming Messiah. Like the Jews in Acts 2 they were baptized in the name of Jesus which signified they were recognizing Jesus as their Messiah. No gentiles were baptized like that. Look back over Acts 2 and read what the words actually say. From Acts 1 – Acts 7 God is still dealing with the nation of Israel. Its strictly a Jewish church at this point. They were reaching out to their own nation to get them to repent of crucifying their Messiah. Every sermon preached in Acts 1-7 brings up the point of them crucifying Jesus. This is never mentioned to the gentiles. Read Acts 2 very carefully and see who Peter was preaching to. They had to be baptized as an act of repentance for rejecting their Messiah and to receive the Holy Spirit. After Stephen is martyred in Acts 7, God sets the nation of Israel aside (temporarily) and the gospel begins to move out first to the Samaritans and then the gentiles. There are no gentiles in Acts 2. You want to know how to get saved look at 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Ephesians 2:8-9 and Ephesians 1:13.
1 Peter 3:21 is talking about spiritual baptism. Notice he says “not the putting away of the filth of the flesh”. In other words this is spiritual and has nothing to do with water doing something to you. Did you notice in verse 20 the ones who were saved were the ones who were kept dry in the Ark. The ones who got wet perished.
You want to know how to get saved look at 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Ephesians 2:8-9 and Ephesians 1:13
I see and mostly agree with this article… but I have a question that I cannot answer.
The blood had to be shed for forgiveness of sins.
How does this mix with the idea presented in this article?
I fully share the idea of this article… but I just can’t figure out the idea of the blood correlating with this form of repentance/forgiveness. Help?
Ralph Fisher says
You can figure out, that’s what’s giving you trouble. It’s very simple, the remission of sins in Matthew 26:28 is the same remission of sins in Acts 2:38. Do NOT believe this article. It is from the devil and designed to deceive. Ask me why…
Any books on the 4 gospels. Separate explanation of each for my reading pleasures. I am a roman catholic. Please stay within my guidelines.. thank you.
Ralph Fisher says
This article is false and the writer is either ignorant of the scriptures or a flat out liar. Repent and be baptized FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS”, Acts 2:38. If your not baptized you will not be forgiven. I forth grader can tell you what ‘remission of sins” means. Don’t be fooled, ask me why….
James Lewis says
In your article, you state ” … again, the baptism of these Jewish people on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 is a thoroughly Jewish form of baptism.” I read your article multiple times and fail to see where you explain how the Pentecost baptism is a “thoroughly Jewish form of baptism.”
Are you able to please trace the Pentecost baptism to baptism activities in the Hebrew Bible?