039 – Romans 6

Romans 6 - Death, Burial and Resurrection with Christ

Here is the first scripture we use to argue that water baptism is necessary for salvation. It’s Romans 6:1-11. This is a long passage holding wonderful treasures, the first of which harkens back to our lesson about the correct method of baptism. Let’s listen to it.

Romans 6:1-11
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 6 – Verse by Verse

Wow. What a rich passage of scripture. Let’s dissect this verse by verse.

Verse 1-2
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

The first part of this verse addresses a misunderstanding in the early church where some people thought that if they sinned more, God’s grace was revealed even more. Paul says, in effect, “That dog don’t hunt so stop thinking that way.”

But notice something. Paul is addressing people who are already saved. How do we know this? Because all of it is in the past tense. He identifies them as people who have (past tense) “died to sin.” If someone has “died to sin” that means that their sins have been forgiven and they are no longer living a life of sin. These are people who have died and been raised again to their new life in Christ. They have been Born Again. Let’s dig a little deeper and ask the critical questions: “When did this happen and where did it happen.” Paul answers these questions in verse three.

“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?”

Baptized into His Death

In this sentence, Paul tells us this “death to sin” occurred when these people were baptized into Christ. He tells us they were “baptized into his death.” Ah… two critical truths! First, we get “into” Christ through something called “baptism.” Second, we learn this “baptism” places us “into Christ’s death.” These are important truths to understand.

There is no other way, in all of scripture to get “into” Christ or “into his death.” And to be clear… these are not symbolic things. These are, what I like to call, “reality things;” things which are really happening. At the time of baptism, we are put into Christ and into his death by the Holy Spirit. But the process does not stop there. We are not left dead and buried, just as Christ was not left dead and buried.

Verse 4

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

Buried with Him

There is a lot here! This verse begins with the word, “therefore.” In my early years as a disciple, I was taught that whenever you see the word “therefore” in a scripture, you should always back up a few verses and find out what it is there for! If we do that, we must read verse four in light of verses 1-3.

Continue reading “039 – Romans 6”

038 – Introduction to Baptism

Introduction to water baptism.

Hello and welcome to A Faith that Obeys Podcast. If you are just joining us here, let me bring you up to speed on where we are in our lengthy series about water baptism which we started back in Podcast 012 – The Proponents.

We began by reviewing a good number of objections to baptism as a part of the salvation experience, then we looked at infant baptism and original sin, followed by the methods of baptism in our last podcast. Today, we enter the home stretch of our series as we begin to discuss the purpose of water baptism as revealed in the New Testament.

In our last Podcast, we learned the correct method of baptism is by complete immersion in water. A person submits themselves to this activity after they experience the four other steps in the Biblical Plan of Salvation. In this plan, we see that someone who wants to become a disciple of Jesus must hear the Gospel, accept the Gospel, repent of their sin, confess with their mouth (and with their repentant lifestyle) “Jesus is Lord,” and then make the decision to take the final step of obedience to Christ’s command and be baptized.

Before we begin our study about the pro-proponents side of the argument, I want to do a little reset and take a 30,000 foot review of our debate topic and then move into the scriptures which teach us about the nature and purpose of water baptism.

As we have seen in our study about the debate of whether water baptism is necessary for salvation, we find two clearly defined responses to that question. “Yes it is.” And. “no it is not.”

A Quick Review

In the first part of this series, we took a long, careful, honest and thoughtful look at the reasons our first group of proponents say “No, water baptism is not necessary.” We used a really good article from GotQuestions.Org as our framework. I think the author did an admirable job of presenting the classic argument and used a good number of scriptures to support his view. Even before I discovered his article, I was very familiar with each of the claims and very familiar with the approach. The information was nothing new or surprising. He used the same common answers and common scriptures evangelicals usually employ for this debate but I think it was organized very well.

Three Problematic Tactics

In this debate, Evangelicals use three tactics to form their conclusions. The first tactic is they label baptism a “work of man” and dismiss it as a requirement based on that claim. As we have seen, it is impossible for baptism to be a command of Christ and a work of man at the same time. The two are mutually exclusive. If we start our reasoning with that false premise, “baptism is a work,” the conclusion is false as well.

The second tactic involves the scriptures they choose to explain why baptism is not necessary. These scriptures, by-and-large, are not about baptism at all. In fact, in all but one of the scriptures our author used in his presentation, the word baptism was never even mentioned. Anti-baptism proponents tend to avoid the multitude of scriptures which speak directly and specifically about baptism. How can we possibly build a credible case while avoiding the very scriptures which speak clearly on that topic, using that word?

Continue reading “038 – Introduction to Baptism”

037 – Methods of Baptism

Methods of Baptism

Well, welcome to this very short podcast about the methods or modes of baptism. When we survey the methods of baptism used in the Christian world we count three. Some churches symbolically sprinkle water on the head as a form of baptism, some pour the water and others baptize by fully immersing a person in water. As you can imagine, this is another one of those areas of debate which has raged for centuries. Is there a right way to baptize and a wrong way? Does it even matter?

Let’s dive into it.

Definitions

In this podcast we’ll quickly review definitions used in the baptism debate and then we will peruse the details about baptisms in the next few podcasts as we close out our lengthly series on baptism.

The Bible, specifically, the New Testament uses the word baptize in its various forms over 60 times. Every time it is used in connection with conversion, it is derived from the Greek word “bapto” which means to dip, dye, plunge, overwhelm, cover completely, submerge, etc. The Greek word “Bapto.” does not mean sprinkle or pour. This Greek word bapto is not native to the Bible there is nothing spiritual about it at all. It was a common word used in ancient Greece and we have a very similar word in today’s Greek. Dozens of authors from Biblical time periods including Polybius, Plutarch, Galba and others used it outside of the Bible and it always meant to submerge.

If you want to dunk yourself in the definition of the word bapto, there is a deep, rich study of this topic at BibleHub.com and here is the link to the article. https://biblehub.com/greek/907.htm

Continue reading “037 – Methods of Baptism”

036 – Infant Baptism – Part 3

Infant Baptism - The great misunderstanding.
Photo by Colin Maynard on Unsplash

In our last Podcast 035, we discussed in detail the doctrine of “Original Sin.” If you have not listened to that podcast yet, I want to encourage you to go back and listen to it before we finish up with the topic of Infant Baptism in this podcast.

Millions of people believe they were baptized as an infant and this poses a particularly thorny problem.

Infant Baptism becomes one of the strongest objections to obeying the Gospel as an adult. The argument is pretty simple, it goes like this. “I don’t think I need to be baptized as an adult because I was baptized as a baby.”

This issue becomes a huge stumbling block for people who are discovering the Biblical Plan of Salvation for the first time because they have gone to church all their life and lived pretty righteous and decent lives. They believe their sins were washed away when they were baptized as an infant. They point back to their infant baptism, recognizing they have lived this life of respect for God and this becomes the proof it their faith.

Now that we understand there is no such thing as Original Sin and therefore no need for infant baptism, the way is clear and paved for the individual to obey the Gospel as an adult.

Let me restate something from our last lesson. Please listen carefully! The doctrine of “Original Sin” is not found in the Bible. Therefore, the entire doctrine of Infant Baptism crumbles under that weight. Infant baptism is just something men made up because they had to have a response to the perceived problem of Original Sin. Without the problem, there is no response required.

Let’s Make a New Tradition!

Infant baptism is a massive tradition, practiced for over a thousand years. In our modern era the doctrine has radically morphed into something new and even further outside the Biblical realm. Check this out. What I am about to tell you will graphically depict just how easily people buy into completely unscriptural teachings.

Continue reading “036 – Infant Baptism – Part 3”

035 – Original Sin

Original Sin - A Misunderstanding.
Masaccio – Banishment

Well hello there. If you are just joining us to learn about the topic of Original Sin, please note that we are in the middle of a discussion on Infant Baptism. The doctrine of Original Sin plays a crucial role as the impetus behind Infant Baptism so the two are inextricably linked. Since this is a pretty big topic, I decided to break out this part of the study as a separate podcast so it might be easier to find in searches when future folks just want to learn about the topic of Original Sin. So, when you hear me reference Infant Baptism in this Podcast, that would be the reason why. The next podcast, 036, will conclude our discussion regarding Infant Baptism. If you’re listening to the podcasts sequentially, we have not strayed from the topic at hand, you are still right on track.

The Doctrine of Original Sin

The doctrine of Original Sin basically states that man inherits the sin and guilt of Adam and Eve and because of that “Original Sin,” all men are condemned to destruction unless something happens to save them. This doctrine teaches; the sin of Adam and Eve has been passed down from generation to generation and there is no escaping its damning power. Everyone who has ever been born has “Original Sin” because Adam and Eve are the parents of us all.

So, the real question we must pursue, “Is there really such a thing as ‘Original Sin?’”

Defining our Terms

Let’s look at some popular scriptures used to support the doctrine of Original Sin. We’ll work through them and ask some questions as we always do. I think we are going to find they are not very convincing.

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034- Infant Baptism – Part 2

Infant Baptism is not necessary.
Photo by Colin Maynard on Unsplash

The Anabaptist arguments of the 1500s pitted a deeply entrenched religious system which taught babies should be baptized, against the Anabaptist belief that only adults could make that decision for themselves.

Three Reasons for the Anabaptist’s View

Now, there are a three important facets of the reasoning behind the thinking of the Anabaptists and it seems like we never hear anything about these reasons; we just hear the summation, “babies don’t have faith.”

So, why did the Anabaptist’s considered only adults as valid candidates for baptism? Well, it was because of the additional qualifications. The adult had to hear the Gospel, believe it, accept, confess Jesus as Lord, repent of their sins and decide to be baptized; all of which infants can not do. Just being an adult did not make you a candidate, you had to be an obedient believer in Christ. Their baptisms became known as a “Believer’s Baptism.” This term is still used today in churches which have their roots in the Anabaptist movement, even though the meaning has changed significantly. This one is important so let me explain.

In the 1500s, these Anabaptist believers understood the requirements regarding obedience to the Gospel, which included baptism and only a person who accepted the Gospel was a candidate for baptism. Thus, baptism was done… only to a believer. They did not think they were already saved by their profession of faith; they knew they had to obey. Now, some my argue with this assertion so I will give you proof, shortly.

Believer’s Baptism

Today, the term “believer’s baptism” has shifted in meaning. It reflects the the Modern Plan of Salvation’s view that all believers are saved. Today, we are taught that anyone who makes a sincere profession of faith in Christ, is a Christian. By definition, the word “Christian” means sins have been forgiven. When a baptism occurs under the Modern Plan of Salvation, believers are being baptized in obedience to Christ but this baptism is just a ceremony. The evangelical world has even coined a phase to describe this doctrine: “Baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace.”

Continue reading “034- Infant Baptism – Part 2”

033 – Infant Baptism – Part 1

Infant Baptism - Not a thing.
Photo by Colin Maynard on Unsplash

Way back in Podcast 12 we began our series of reviewing the subject of baptism. At that time, I said, “First, we’ll discuss the common objections to water baptism as part of the salvation experience. Next, we’ll look at infant baptism and then, the method of baptism as outlined in the scriptures. Finally, we’ll thoroughly cover what actually happens in water baptism.”

Well, I think we are done reviewing the common objections to water baptism, now let’s begin tackling infant baptism.

Another contentious debate!

Wow! The issue of Infant Baptism has nearly as much contention and division regarding its practices as our main issue, whether baptism is necessary for salvation. For a solid impartial review of the issue, I would point you to the Wikipedia article on the subject. There is a link in this blog post so please visit the website and click on it there.

Here’s that link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_baptism.

Thousands of babies are baptized annually. The Catholic and Lutheran churches both baptize infants as do a number of other denominations. Sometimes these baptisms are called “Christenings.” While the practice of infant baptism is not new, the debate about infant baptism really gained traction in the 1500s; just about the time of the reformation.

The Anabaptists

You may have heard the term “Anabaptist.” This term labeled an emerging group of European Christians, who believed and taught: infant baptism was invalid. They said. “Only adults, who could make a conscious decision for themselves, were candidates for baptism.”

Continue reading “033 – Infant Baptism – Part 1”

032 – Death Bed Conversions

In the age old argument of whether baptism is necessary for salvation, our next objection is the “Hail Mary” of all objections. It is often employed as the last desperate effort of an anti-baptism proponent to reason out that baptism is absolutely not necessary for salvation. It comes at a pretty high cost when we think everything through logically. So, what is this final desperate objection?

“What about someone on their death bed?” This is an argument based on timing. This is an argument which appeals to emotion. Here’s what it says.

“It is inconceivable that a person on their death bed who makes a sincere commitment to Jesus, that Jesus would not recognize their inability to participate in water baptism and Jesus should therefore save them.” In other words, if someone is unable to be baptized, God should see their heart and make an exception. He should let them into heaven because they are dying and can’t be baptized. If we remove the timing aspect, we get down to the core of the argument… “God knows my heart and he knows I am a good person.”

It can get emotional!

This becomes a really emotional argument because we all know many deeply devout loved ones who were religious believers and have died but they were never baptized in any way shape or form. If we claim water baptism in necessary for salvation, it would leave these dearly departed in an unsaved state. We look a their pious life and reason out a way of salvation regardless of their ability to obey the Gospel. We know that our dear ol’ Aunt Katie was a true Christian because she never missed a church service.

This frames the first problem with this position. Without realizing it, we just made dear old Aunt Katie’s salvation based on her good deeds and works in her time here on earth. We don’t want to do that, especially when we so ardently proclaim that we are not saved by our good works. It does not matter how awesome Aunt Katie was or how she served the poor and ministered through her church to the orphans in Zimbabwe. We are not saved by works.

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031 – Pagans with Spirit!

Receiving the Holy Spirit before Baptism!

Thanks for joining me again. We are just finishing up our discussion about the various ways the Holy Spirit works or manifests Himself. We use a variety of terms to describe these events. Sometimes we say this is the various workings of the Holy Spirit, the different manifestations of the Holy Spirit, the different modes or the different measures of the Holy Spirit. There is only one Holy Spirit but He works or manifests Himself in a variety of ways. So far, we have seen that He indwells people at the time of their conversion and we also see, in times past, He performed miraculous signs on people who were already saved. This was done in order to confirm the message being preached.

Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Now, let’s look at this third mode or measure some people call, “Baptism of or with the Holy Spirit.” This is not to be confused with “Spiritual Baptism,” as when we are “baptized by one Spirit into one body.” Baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs, before conversion and like its counterpart, is associated with miraculous events. There is only one Holy Spirit operating or manifesting Himself three different ways, indwelling, post conversion and pre-conversion. Let’s look at this final pre-conversion experience. Since this happens to people who are not yet saved, we might call these people, pagans with spirit. Let’s see….

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030 – Lemonade in the Pool!

The Holy Spirit come into people and comes upon people.

I hope we have aptly answered all of the objections to water baptism so far. We have just learned that Ephesians 4:4 is true. There is only one baptism and that one baptism is in water by the Spirit. It’s one baptism with two things happening at the same time, just like Jesus told Nicodemus. One event, two components. It all happens at the same time. Now just when we think we are getting all of this nailed down, we bump into a conversion like this one.

The Fly in the Ointment

Acts 19:1-7
“While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism,” they replied.

Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all.”

Well, this is a huge fly in the ointment of our “One Baptism, Two Components happening at the same time” thingy, isn’t it? And just as I thought we were well on our way to agreement. In this event, the Holy Spirit is clearly received after their physical baptism. What’s up with that?

And how about this one…

Acts 8:12-17
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them.

When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”

Ouch, this is really putting a dent in our theory! In this story, people are baptized but once again, they “receive” the Holy Spirit some time later! How can this be?

… As Ricky used to say, “Lucy… you got some ‘splaine to do!”

An Amazing Explanation Using Lemonade

OK, if you have never heard this before, get ready for some major light bulbs to come on! I will never forget the first time I heard this. This explanation is a result the kind of logical, reasonable Bible study I love hearing and sharing. This is the sort of thing that really fires me up to dig into the scriptures. I hope it inspires you too. Let’s begin with a little illustration. Let me take you back to your childhood.

Continue reading “030 – Lemonade in the Pool!”