The Evangelical Universalist Forum


[size=150]Baptism: The Seal of Salvation[/size]

[size=130]A part of the gospel message[/size]

When was the gospel of Jesus Christ first proclaimed? I have heard some say that it began with Moses and the other Old Testament prophets. One man declared that it began with God’s command to Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But according to John Mark, author of “The Gospel of Mark”, the gospel of Jesus Christ began with John the baptizer, the one who announced the coming of Christ. After his introductory phrase that he was going to write about the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Mark quoted from Isaiah quoting the words of God that He was sending His messenger to prepare the way of the Lord. This messenger, of course, was John the baptizer, and it was he who first proclaimed the gospel.

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way; the voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight—”
John the baptizer appeared in the desert, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forsaking of sins. (Mark 1:1-4)

The word “repent” does NOT mean “feel sorry.” Sorrow in keeping with God may result in repentance (2 Corinthains 7:10), but it is not repentance itself. What then IS repentance, the first requirement for entering the Kingdom of God? The Greek word translated “repent” literally means “have a change of mind” or we might say “have a change of heart and mind”.

1.John the baptizer preached repentance and announced the Kingdom of God:
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the desert of Judea,“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:1,2)

2. Jesus also preached repentance:
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14,15)
Jesus also baptized those who surrendered their lives to Him and followed Him (or rather His disciples baptized those who submitted to His Lordship.

3. Peter preached repentance and baptism:
When those Jews who were responsible for Jesus’ death, were cut to the heart at the words of Peter, and asked what they should do, Peter replied, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forsaking of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)

Peter’s gospel contained the same message, “Repent and be baptized.” The only difference was that now that Christ had died and been raised, and the Holy Spirit was given on that special day of Pentecost, those who repented and were baptized received the Holy Spirit.

4.The apostle Paul also indicated the necessity of repentance when He brought the gospel message.
He said:
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all people everywhere to repent … (Acts 17:30)

5. Paul also announced the Kingdom of God when he preached the gospel:
Now [Paul] lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, preaching the Kingdom of God and teaching about the lord Jesus Christ quite openly and unhindered. (Acts 28:30,32)

6. Baptism is Necessary in Order to Enter the Kingdom of God
Baptism is necessary to be part of the Kingdom. It might be compared to signing a contract in order to make a deal. If you refuse to sign — no deal! Many believe that Jesus showed that baptism was necessary when he said:
"Truly, truly, I tell you, unless one is generated (or “begotten”) out of water and spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. (John 3:5)

I think it likely that Jesus’ reference to being generated out of water refers to baptism. We have already read how John the baptizer proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forsaking of sins. We have also read how Peter preached, “Repent and be baptized for the forsaking of sins." Paul (or other workers) baptized all who came to Christ. Paul himself had his sins washed away, not when he obeyed the voice of Christ which he heard on the road to Damascus but when he was baptized. (Acts 22:16)

Peter writes of “baptism which now saves you.” (I Peter 3:21)

We read in Mark’s gospel that Jesus commissioned his disciples with the words:
Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:15,16)

Now if baptism were unnecessary why would not say simply that he who believes will be saved?

So the following were the three elements of the gospel of Jesus Christ:

  1. Repent (Have a change of heart and mind).
  2. Be baptized.
  3. Enter the Kingdom of God (as disciples of Christ. Christ is the King, and His disciples are His subjects).

**During the first two centuries after Christ, Christian leaders also taught that one was regenerated (“was generated again” or “was begotten again”) when they were baptized **— not to say that being immersed in water has any magical effect, but rather that when one decides to be a disciple of Christ and submits to baptism, then what is pictured in baptism is be worked out in actuality within the person being baptized. Outwardly, he is being buried in water; inwardly and simultaneously, the person’s old self is being buried. Outwardly, he rises up out of the water; inwardly and simultaneously he rises up to a new life in Christ Jesus.

Paul taught that those of us who are baptized, are baptized into Christ’s death and our old self has been crucified so that sin will no longer have dominion over us:
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:1-14)

When You Experience a True Baptism, You Experience Regeneration
This is what Justin Martyr (110-165 A.D.) has to say about baptism:

I never really took you as a Church Of Christ adherent! :open_mouth:

I’ve got to hand it to you, you are a works kind of guy. :laughing:

So was Jesus. That is why He gave His disciples specific commands as recorded in Matthew 5, 6, and 7.
“Love your neighbour as yourself” is a work. Is it not?

It seem that Paul emphasized works, too:

Ahh, we are again strolling merrily around aunt Sallies house.

paidion said

Yep, Jesus said all of those things and Paul himself was very strong on how the Gentile church people should behave.

But as Paul talks about this in:
2Cor 5:19 …God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

There is no mention of involvement on our part. We can look at Ephesians also… :open_mouth:


Salvation is the path of service repentance leads one onto, which equates closest with Paidion’s #3 above… “3. Enter the Kingdom of God (as disciples of Christ. Christ is the King, and His disciples are His subjects).” To “enter the Kingdom” is to enter the service of God pure and simple. It carries no hint of who is getting beyond any mythical postmortem purging etc. Whereas what you’ve mentioned refers to the status of humanity before God as reconcileddifferent than salvation, though indelibly linked.

Well, David, I agree with you but somehow we need to deal with the every day understanding of what ministers, pastors and preachers are saying… You have a view and I tend to agree with some of what you say, but at the end of the day we* all *need to have where we are at theologically figured out. :open_mouth:

And it will and may change. :wink:

Oh Boy :laughing:

Not everyone was called into God’s service, with some of dubious intent taking a form of it upon themselves, claiming… “have we not…?” with the expectation of the SHOW of great reward, but theirs was a shallow and hollow gesture which had its own reward (Mt 6:2, 5, 16). Again it’s not a case of postmortem-ism but present service to God which had Jesus saying elsewhere… “many are called, but few are chosen” (Mt 20:16; 22:14). Typically of course such has been Calvinised into a postmortem experience of either heaven or hell, but that IMO is incorrect. The way into the fullness of this life of service in God was narrow with many missing it, finding rather the broad road of self, leading to desperation, desolation and despair, i.e., destruction (Mt 7:13-14).

Gideon in the OT is a good source for an example of this in that MANY were called to serve Israel and yet due to various limits did not make the cut into the service being sought. BUT just because some were being pruned off and the numbers whittled down did NOT mean those being cut were subject to loss in terms of a devastating postmortem end, no. They were simply NOT CHOSEN for THAT particular redemptive or delivering event (Judg 7:1-7). Thus the likes of Rom 9:11 can be understood in exactly the same manner, i.e., in terms of redemptive purposes and calling, as opposed to the tradition of certain postmortem outcomes.

Ummm I may have asked this before as I am not in a position to go mining right now :laughing:

Can you give your take on the ‘holy spirit’ as it was in a historical sense compared to the ‘holy spirit’ in todays context… If it even exists :open_mouth:

Obviously we give the holy spirit the carte blanche to be the initiator of all of our feelings we have about God and Christ, yet, we obviously see in scripture where it ‘at least seemed like’ the holy spirit was something that we could see within a person. Not to sure that is possible today. :astonished:

So Chad, I might be a bit confused myself in that you’ve quoted my entire post and then asked this above and so I’m a little uncertain of your train of thought in asking this based off what I shared?? Anyway… I don’t have any particular revelational insight as to this other than to assume God’s spirit is always active, albeit operative according to particular historical settlings and as such, what God was working on behalf of humanity then being now complete, probably looks somewhat different as per the biblical narrative when redemption/reconciliation was being secured.

Not sure IF I’ve answered your question properly. :open_mouth:

davo said

Let me try to explain. you said

So in my disturbed thought process I was thinking of:
Act 8:14 The apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had received the word of God, so they sent Peter and John to them.
Act 8:15 When they arrived, they prayed for the believers that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
Act 8:16 For the Holy Spirit had not yet come down on any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Act 8:17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Act 8:18 Simon saw that the Spirit had been given to the believers when the apostles placed their hands on them.

Act 10:45 The Jewish believers who had come from Joppa with Peter were amazed that God had poured out his gift of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles also.
Act 10:46 For they heard them speaking in strange tongues and praising God’s greatness. Peter spoke up:
Act 10:47 “These people have received the Holy Spirit, just as we also did. Can anyone, then, stop them from being baptized with water?”

Act 19:1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior of the province and arrived in Ephesus. There he found some disciples
Act 19:2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” “We have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit,” they answered.
Act 19:3 “Well, then, what kind of baptism did you receive?” Paul asked. “The baptism of John,” they answered.
Act 19:4 Paul said, “The baptism of John was for those who turned from their sins; and he told the people of Israel to believe in the one who was coming after him—that is, in Jesus.”
Act 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Act 19:6 Paul placed his hands on them, and the Holy Spirit came upon them; they spoke in strange tongues and also proclaimed God’s message.
Act 19:7 They were about twelve men in all.

All this to say that the holy spirit seems (at least to me) to be the key to service and during the time of acts it was plain that someone* receiving *said spirit was changed. Obviously as in others could see them changed. We also are led to believe that in at least one instance, until an apostle intervened, some were ‘believers’ and yet had not received the holy spirit.

I’ll re ask, Can you give your take on the ‘holy spirit’ as it was in a historical sense compared to the ‘holy spirit’ in todays context… If it even exists :open_mouth:

Ok Chad now I see what you’re asking :smiley:

As I understand it… the Spirit has always been present, no more no less. The presence thereof however in the biblical context more evident at times than others, and usually for a purpose relative to the furthering of the will of God in relation to the fullness of Israel’s redemption. But just because redemption is complete it doesn’t therefore compute that the Spirit has since been on holidays, but rather to say He maintains that which has been put into order.

Interestingly and I agree, the Rev David Pawson notes that in a number of places in the Greek text of Acts there is no definite article preceding “holy spirit”: this he says denotes specifically the power of the Spirit NOT the person of the Spirit, as seen here…

Subsequently being prayed for was there then evidenced certain gifts of the Spirit’s presence, i.e., power, etc.

Davo said

And I tend to agree with this, thus you go on to say

And you go on to say that

So just as one person asking another, do you think that those praying (obvious we are talking apostles close to Christ) were in in a different place within Gods will (or maybe not) than those who pray today for whatever they prey for in respect to the holy spirit?

I’m not trying to put you on the spot, I just think that this is very interesting and I appreciate your take on it. Plain and simple.

Yep no “on the spot” for me, all good. :slight_smile:

I do think the times were clearly different and reason for “the gifts” per sé different in their intended end, i.e., for the perfecting of the saints unto unity in the faith as per for the coming parousia, BUT that said, since that time I don’t see the maintenance of said unity for the offspring of the firstfruits church as diminished in importance.

Thanks :smiley:

Okay… so I am working on this and I will attempt to do some of it in public via this forum. :smiley:

So davo you said:

Not knowing Greek, and I do not want to start a hornets nest here, but what is the difference between the ‘power’ and the’ person’ of the holy spirit? :confused:

Well, here are a few answers I’ve found - for discussion:

First What is the power of the Holy Spirit?, by the Calvinist site Got Questions at

Then Got Questions has Is the Holy Spirit a person? at
Next, there is this answer from he Holy Spirit - A Person or Power? by Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1991 at

I appreciate the links, but Randy what I want to know is *your *view. EDIT what I actually wanted to know was your view and David’s view.
Thanks :smiley:

My view would be very Orthodox, Chad. What you would find the Eastern Orthodox / Eastern Catholics, Franciscans and folks like C.S. Lewis - stating. It’s probably not TOO far removed, from the Got Questions, Calvinist answers.

Just remember - I’m W.A.S.B.O. (i.e. Weird and strange - but Orthodox). :laughing:

Let me share a reflection today - from a Catholic site:

I also came across an interesting discussion on Quora today:

If God loves us, why does Hell exist?

And speaking of Got Questions. I came across this today:

Should a Christian study philosophy?

Let me quote a bit:

I believe the word of God( the gospel that Jesus taught) was proclaimed from the very beginning, when man was first created. As per Luke 3:38, Adam was a Son of God. One may be a child of God, but a Son of God is one who knows and follows the Father. As it says in Genesis, Adam and Eve disobeyed God. However, Genesis 3:21 tells us that God gave them new clothes, indicating that they were forgiven and renewed. They were also given power over the seed of the serpent in Genesis 3:15. As the story goes on, we are told the Abel was righteous. I don’t see how this was possible unless he knew God and was following the way.

This question seems odd to me. Perhaps I don’t understand it. Are you suggesting that the power and the person are the same thing? Is Randy, a person, the same thing as Randy’s power? Say, his power to lift a rock?