Examining Peter’s Speech in Acts 2

The speech given by the Apostle Peter in Acts 2 is the first speech given by disciples of the ascended Christ – the first of the new community of believers. It is important, historically, to have this speech which officially delivers the rules of the community to take place on Pentecost. Just as the Gospels establish that Christ is the Passover, this speech served to establish that this was the Church’s Pentecost. It mimicked the scene played out in Exodus 19, and indeed, the later writer of Hebrews notes the comparison as well (Hebrews 12.18-24). Not withstanding the historical significance of placing this speech at the beginning of Christian history we find an attempt at redefining the Hebrew writings in light of the new community and connecting certain aspects of the Jewish Scriptures to salvation and thus the new community.

First, Jewish Tradition held that when Moses, on the day of Pentecost, descended from the mountain to bring the Covenant, the world stopped and listened, so it is no accident the listing the nationalities in the crowd who stopped and listened as the Spirit of God descended to renew the covenant. In both actions, God made Himself known through fire. The Jerusalem Targum notes that the fire resulted form the Shekinah glory of God:

And all mount Sinai sent up smoke, because the glory of the Shekinah of the Lord was revealed upon it in flame of fire. (Exo 19:18 JTE)

One contrast worth noting that in the Exodus scene, God has Moses establish boundaries so that the people could not come up. In the Peter’s speech, he emphatically opens the gates to all those who call upon the name of the Lord. As we see in Acts, Peter’s words of ‘all who shall’ were redefined to include Gentiles as well. The first part of this speech centers on the prophecy as found in the book of Joel,

For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:`And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and manifest day. And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Act 2:15-21 RSV)

This passage is found throughout the writings which became the New Testament, if nothing else, but the constant reference to the ‘name of the Lord.’ Several times, the ‘name of the Lord’ phrase is connected to the act of baptism (Acts 8.16; Acts 9.5). Further, the phrase ‘in the name of Jesus (Christ)’ appears connected to baptism as well.

Peter’s use of this passage in Joel is different from his answer give to the Jewish leaders at the end of the speech (Acts 2.37-39). By the end of the speech, Peter goes from what could term ‘easy beliefism’ to what many term a gospel of works. Yet, if we were to take the passages in question side by side, we can see that they are more aligned than many would like:

Acts 2:21WhoeverCallsOn the name of the LordShall be saved
Acts 2:38Everyone of youRepent and be baptizedIn the name of Jesus ChristFor the remission of sins

If we look at Paul’s use, we note that he applied the same phraseology to his appeal to Caesar,

“If, then, I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar.” (Act 25:11 NASB)

Or, in the Greek,

Καίσαρα ἐπικαλοῦμαι

Comparing that to Romans 10.13,

Romans 10:13 for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” (NASB)

πᾶς γὰρ ὃς ἂν ἐπικαλέσηται τὸ ὄνομα κυρίου σωθήσεται.

Paul is using the same idea, and as James Bales noted:

Paul, in appealing to Caesar, was claiming the right of a Roman citizen to have his case judged by Caesar. He was asking that his case be transferred to Caesar’s court and that Caesar hear and pass judgment on his case. In so doing, he indicated that he was resting his case on Caesar’s judgment. In order for this to be done Paul had to submit to whatever was necessary in order for his case to be brought before Caesar. He had to submit to the Roman soldiers who conveyed him to Rome. He had to submit to whatever formalities or procedure Caesar demanded of those who came before him. All of this was involved in his appeal to Caesar (1960, pp. 81-82, emp. added).

Returning to Romans for a brief moment, we know that the sinner cannot call upon God until he is first called upon by God,

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? (Rom 10:14 NASB)

It is evident that if Peter’s speech is not authentic, the idea of the ‘name of the Lord’ to the primitive community was so strong that even Pentecost was reinterpreted through the lens of Joel 2.32. It is also evident that ‘the name of the Lord’ required submission to what the Lord required.

Incomplete thoughts of course, but it seems to be the easy beliefism people don’t have a leg to stand on.

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94 Replies to “Examining Peter’s Speech in Acts 2”

  1. Calling on the name of the Lord…

    Peter’s speech on Pentecost… God’s inauguration of and instructions to the NT church.and the fulfillment of His promise to regather Believing/Devout Israel-the Remnant.from every where in the known world.Acts 2:5-11.

        1. I wish I was a scholar – at least I can be a gentleman though! Nope, another, real, scholar. I’ll post a few quotes this week, when I return home (I hope)

          1. You are a gentlemen and a Scholar in my book! 🙂

            I am looking forward to what you’ll write when you get back…Just a side note.I noticed something today while reading your article and then looking up the passages of Acts 2:5-11 from the NLT… It was verse 11,(both Jews and converts to Judaism).It would seem then that the regathering,the inauguration of the NT church and the GRAFTING in,of some of the wild branches (gentiles) may have taken place on the same day and at the same time…

            No better time or place for God’s ‘gathering’ than at the FIRST Harvest Festival,after Jesus’ Confirmation of the New Covenant/Testament and his ascension back to Heaven…

            Enjoy the rest of your trip Joel!

  2. Seems to me repenting and being baptized IS calling on the name of the Lord…

    The ‘for’ does not indicate we are to be baptized so our sins will be forgiven (THAT happened when we repented, turned to God through faith in Christ). No, the ‘for’ indicates our sins have been forgiven when we repented and so because of that we are to identify with Christ through baptism.

    1. Wb, that seems to be the recent Protestant interpretation, but many more would argue with you – even Protestants, especially given that 1st Peter 3.18 says that we are saved by baptism, and Romans 6 says that we must be baptized in order to share in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Granted, Calvin and Zwingli disagreed with Luther over this, I believe.

      Further, ‘eis’ in this structure has been shown to be the opposite of Protestant interpretation. Of course, Robertson,

      (g) LIMITS OF SYNTAX. After all is done, instances remain where syntax cannot say the last word, where theological bias will inevitably determine how one interprets the Greek idiom. Take u[dati in Ac. 1:5, for instance. In itself the word can be either locative or instrumental with bapti,zw. So in Ac. 2:38 eis does not of itself express design (see Mt. 10:41), but it may be so used. When the grammarian has finished, the theologian steps in, and sometimes before the grammarian is through.

      There is no ‘because of’ in Acts 2.38.

      Rather, I like what Augustine said,

      Wherefore, when He had been crucified–rising again, into Heaven ascending–after that He sent His Holy Spirit, wherewith were fulfilled they that were in one house, and they began to speak with the tongues of all nations, there feared the crucifiers of Christ; they were pricked through with their consciences, they besought counsel of safety from the Apostles, they heard, “Repent, and be baptized each one of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and your sins shall be remitted unto you.” After the slaying of Christ, after the shedding of the blood of Christ, remitted are your sins.…”Let these be converted,” therefore, they also “at evening.”

      Does the act of Baptism save you? No, I don’t think so. Rather, it is the symbol of dying with Christ and arising with Christ, as Paul said in Romans 6.

      1. Most of those who would disagree with me concerning tend to think that water baptism is required for salvation. They are wrong.

        And the ‘for’ is used as a ‘because’. This happens even today, for such is how language works.

        1. Is that the extent of your argument here? ‘They are wrong, I am right; look at the English?’ It is not just one passage, but several – which I have given – and it was the belief of the early Church even to Zwingli by interpretation, belief, and application.

          Again, from Robertson,

          Unto the remission of your sins (eis aphesin tōn hamartiōn hūmōn). This phrase is the subject of endless controversy as men look at it from the standpoint of sacramental or of evangelical theology. In themselves the words can express aim or purpose for that use of eis does exist as in 1Co_2:7 eis doxan hēmōn (for our glory). But then another usage exists which is just as good Greek as the use of eis for aim or purpose. It is seen in Mat_10:41 in three examples eis onoma prophētou, dikaiou, mathētou where it cannot be purpose or aim, but rather the basis or ground, on the basis of the name of prophet, righteous man, disciple, because one is, etc. It is seen again in Mat_12:41 about the preaching of Jonah (eis to kērugma Iōna). They repented because of (or at) the preaching of Jonah. The illustrations of both usages are numerous in the N.T. and the Koiné[28928]š generally (Robertson, Grammar, p. 592). One will decide the use here according as he believes that baptism is essential to the remission of sins or not. My view is decidedly against the idea that Peter, Paul, or any one in the New Testament taught baptism as essential to the remission of sins or the means of securing such remission. So I understand Peter to be urging baptism on each of them who had already turned (repented) and for it to be done in the name of Jesus Christ on the basis of the forgiveness of sins which they had already received.

          Robertson sees both, but chooses to see it based on Evangelical dogma.

          Baptism is in the imperative, I believe, meaning that it is a command, which Christ has given as well. Throughout the New Testament, baptism is a commend and as Peter says, baptism in water saves us. I note also, in regards to ‘for’ (eis) Matthew 26.28, in which the phrase type appears again,

          τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης τὸ περὶ πολλῶν ἐκχυννόμενον εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν. (Mat 26:28 BGT)

          As the College Press (based on the NIV and extremely Evangelical) commentary says,

          A number of commentators seek to diminish the force of the phrase “for the forgiveness of sins” at this point, apparently seeking to safeguard the doctrine of salvation by grace. They take the preposition “for” (eij”, eis) to mean “because of” rather than “in order to.” Peter, they say, meant be baptized because of the forgiveness of sins, implying that such forgiveness had already been granted by the time baptism was administered.

          This position disregards the very common use of eis in the New Testament to mean “for the purpose of, in order to.” In Matthew 26:28 where this exact phrase appears, Jesus says his blood is poured out” for (eis) the forgiveness of sins. It would be absurd to argue that the phrase means “because of” and that Jesus’ blood was poured out because sins had already been forgiven. Beyond this, the command to be baptized is only one of the imperatives Peter gave. “Be baptized” is joined to “repent” with “and.” Whatever Peter says about the forgiveness of sins follows from both imperatives. Just as repentance is needed “for the purpose of” the forgiveness of sins, so is baptism. This position need not rob the plan of salvation of its basis in the grace of God. Both imperatives expect action to be taken on the part of the sinner. Yet Peter considered neither to be a work which merits salvation, but merely the response of faith dictated by the prophecy he had already cited-“everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (2:21).

  3. I said they are wrong because I didnt really want to get into it here. It looks your understanding of scripture is in flux. You disagree with yourself in the same post – baptism does not save us and baptism saves us.
    “Does the act of Baptism save you? No, I don’t think so. Rather, it is the symbol of dying with Christ and arising with Christ, as Paul said in Romans 6.”

    and

    “baptism in water saves us.”

    which is it?

    I have a couple of posts on the subject.
    http://wbmoore.wordpress.com/index-by-topic/baptism/

    And just because something is not the most common usage does not mean it is the wrong usage. “For” in English is not commonly used as “because”, but it does not mean that usage is incorrect.

    1. oh, to be explicit ( http://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/07/14/more-on-water-baptism-and-whether-it-is-for-childreninfants/ ), 1 Peter 3:21-22 speaks of the water that symbolizes the baptism that saves us – that by the Holy Spirit.. It is “not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience–through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”

      Water baptism is nothing more than an expression of the obedience that comes from faith in God through believing in the saving work of Christ.

      We are saved without baptism – if we have faith. We could die immediately upon coming to faith without having been baptized or physically calling upon the name of the Lord and we will go to heaven. But if we live past that, we will need show our faith in God and love for God through obedience in calling upon His and me and being baptized.

      1. Wb, you say, ‘we are saved without baptism’ yet Peter says ‘baptism…which now saves you.’

        ESV 1 Peter 3:21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

        NKJ 1 Peter 3:21 There is also an antitype which now saves us– baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

        NLT 1 Peter 3:21 And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

        What is baptism? Baptism is not merely the act, but the obedience. Can you be saved if you are disobedient to God? Again, if it is only an act, then there is no faith, no symbolism, no commandment, no obedience.

        Further, Paul says in Romans 6.7 that if we have died (in baptism), we are free from sin. If we have been baptized, we are baptized until His death. This is the meaning of baptism, not the washing of the flesh, but union with Christ and if we are in union with Him, we are free from sin.

        1. Actually, the baptism you think is water baptism is that which we undergo when the Holy Spirit comes upon us – not water baptism, but baptism of the Holy Spirit. The water symbolizes baptism of the Holy Spirit, not washing of the body of the pledge of a good conscience.

          1 Peter 3:21-22 speaks of the water that symbolizes the baptism that saves us – that by the Holy Spirit.
          21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

          Too many examples exist where it is FAITH that saves us, not actions (deeds), for it to be anything other than faith that saves us. If it is faith that saves us, then the baptism mentioned in 1 Peter 3 is not that of water.

          Ephesians 2:8-9
          8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.

          Luke 7:50
          Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

          Acts 2:21
          And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

          Acts 16:31
          They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.”

          Romans 10:9-15
          That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts 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.” 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

          No mention was made of water baptism being needed.

          The water baptism is asymbol of the salvation that saves us, baptism by the Holy Spirit.
          Titus 3:3-7
          3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

          Paul said he was not sent to baptize, but to preach the gospel. You’d think if it was as important as evangelism, he would have been sent to baptize as well.

          1 Cor 1:7 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel – not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

          Example of being baptized with the Holy Spirit (‘Holy Spirit poured out’), and not having received water baptism: Acts 10:39-48.

          Example of being baptized with water, and not having received the Holy Spirit: Acts 8:14-17.

          There are many examples where we are told to believe and be saved (Luke 7:50; John 3:16-18; Acts 10:39-48; Acts 16:31; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:13), that it is by grace, not a work.

          1 Corinthians 6:11 speaks of the washing and renewal we have by the Holy Spirit, not water baptism (Titus 3:5).

          Hebrews 10:22 speaks of having our hearts sprinkled (this is by the Holy Spirit), and our bodies cleaned (water baptism).

          But it is not water baptism that saves, it merely gives evidence of the faith that saves us.

          Yes, there are instances where we are told to call on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:9-15), or confess the name of Jesus (Acts 2:21), or be baptized (Acts 2:38-39; Acts 22:16). But there are too many instances where it is by faith that we are saved. All these have in common is faith. It is the faith that saves us, and the actions that give evidence to the faith being real.

          Confessing Christ as sent from God is an expression of faith. Baptism is a form of confessing Christ, just as is calling on Him. The three are expressions of the faith that saves us.

          1. So, you are now telling me what I think? Wb, you are under the wrong interpretation here, only recently given.

            You keep saying that baptism doesn’t save, and give end runs, but Peter disagrees. Paul disagrees. Christ said to baptize. Pretty easy.

            You realize, of course, that we have both have our pat answers, and our proof-texts? But where is your historical interpretation? The idea that baptism is merely a show is new, and not even believe by Calvin or Luther, nor of the early Christian writers who were close to the Apostles, or even as we have seen, Augustine.

            Since we both have our proof-texts and answers, I will not bore with you answering everything, just a few things.

            1st Co. 6.11 does speak of washing, and of regeneration.

            Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1Co 6:11 NLT)

            But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
            (Tit 3:4-6 NKJ)

            Look in Acts at where the name of the Lord was called up at? In baptism. (Acts 22.16) So, where was that cleansing? In baptism. Further, we find washing of regeneration and then the renewing by the Spirit. So many times in Acts, we find baptism in water and the spirit. Why would we need a sign for show something that was already given? Isn’t that more of a deed than anything else?

            What happened in Acts 10.48? They were baptized in water. So was the Eunuch. So was John’s disciples.

            What is baptism but the union with Christ through faith? It is here, just as in the OT with circumcision, that we are joined with the covenant.

            Regarding Paul’s statement about not being sent to baptize, look at the entire context. People had started to separate and cause divisions along the lines of who baptized. It had become a tool for superiority among the Corinthians. Further, look at Paul’s use of Baptism in Romans 6 in which is it used to show that we should be dead to sin. Paul was sent to preach, not baptize, which again, affords with my statement. It is not the mere act that saves, but only after faith, repentance.

            Or, as you say, Confession (faith) and then repentance, and then baptism. In baptism is the confession (calling upon the name of the Lord), repentance and remission of sins and obedience.

          2. YOU said “baptism in water saves us.” So I’m telling you what you said you think.

            I think the post you are looking for is http://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2009/08/03/romans-61-11-baptism/

            I’m not giving end runs – I’m showing how people are saved without baptism.

            PAUL said he was not sent to baptize, so its obviously NOT a requirement of people coming to salvation through faith.

            Acts 10:39-48 gives evidence of the hearers coming to faith and being baptized with the Holy Spirit before undergoing water baptism – it is not the water baptism of a believer that saves, but the faith in Christ.

            39 “And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross,* 40 but God raised him to life on the third day. Then God allowed him to appear, 41 not to the general public,* but to us whom God had chosen in advance to be his witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. 43 He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.”

            44 Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. 45 The Jewish believers* who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

            Then Peter asked, 47 “Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” 48 So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days.

            Please show me where calling upon the name of the Lord is baptism?

            Christ said (Luke 7:50), “your faith as saved you”. He did not say your faith and baptism.

            Acts 16:31 does not say they needed to be baptized to be saved, but
            31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.”

          3. Wb, look at the entire passage in 1st Co. and the rest of Paul’s writings. Further, Christ said to go and baptize. Maybe Paul disagree with Christ? Or perhaps the passage in Christ, Paul saw that the baptize made by himself, Apollos and others were causing divisions because of people using it as a position – ‘I was baptized by Paul’ or ‘I was baptized by Apollos’. Where then is the gospel? There is focus then only on the ‘schools’ instead of the gospel. That is the entire passage.

            Considering that this post is about the subject of connecting ‘calling upon the name of the Lord’ with baptism, start with this post.

            Then, Acts 22.16, and Acts 16.33. Upon believing, they were baptized. The same with John’s disciples. When saved, they were baptized.

            Furthers, Acts 8. What happened? The people believed, and were baptized in the name of the Lord, and yet, the Spirit had not yet fallen. How can baptism then be but a symbol of the Spirit if here, as in other portions of Scripture, it is clearly separated?

            Peter said to call upon the name of the Lord for remission of sins. He said the same thing about baptism in the name of the Lord – in the same speech.

          4. Joel

            Why do you believe that NO ONE at the Festival of Pentecost was told that they must BELIEVE (have faith) in the Lord Jesus? They are only told to Repent and be Baptized (in water)… Peter clearly states in Acts 2:39,that they shall/will receive the gift of the Spirit.To me this strongly implies that they did not or would not have received the Spirit before,they did those two things,Repent AND be Baptized (in water) in Jesus’ name…

            Peter never once says,even to the Devout Jews and converts to Judaism attending the festival,or to those whom he accuses of having crucified Jesus (Acts 2:22,23 ) that they had to believe ANYTHING.Why not? Then he goes on to say in 2:40 that the ‘ promise’ of the Spirit and or remission of sins,is to them and their children,now,and in the future (a far off) As many as the Lord shall/will CALL…

            If God called and ‘ gathered ‘ them at the first Harvest Festival after Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection and ascension:then it is only by God’s Previening Grace,that they believed Peter’s speech/preaching about Jesus.Yet,they were STILL required to Repent and be Baptized in his name.

            If this is the New Covenant/Testament church and gentiles are grafted into it,then non Jews are also required to be Baptized in the name of Jesus,IF they are called by God.Consider the Devout Jews and converts to Judaism,who heard the same speech as those who crucified the Lord.So to me (anyway) is it likely that at the least,those who are ‘ Called ‘ by God,must Repent and be Baptized in Jesus’ Name (First) in order to have their sins forgiven and receive the Spirit…

            This cannot be only for Jews,since there is no such thing as a Jew or Gentile in Christ. UNLESS of course this day ‘ Pentecost ‘ was also the day of God’s fulfillment of his promise(s) written in Ezekiel 11:19,20 – Isaiah 44:3-5 and Jeremiah 32:39,40…

            I do not say that i understand the order in Acts 10:44-48.Perhaps these are some who were not CALLED by the Lord but ‘ called ‘ on his name??? Nevertheless,there cannot be two messages here or any where else in scripture,seeing that Cornelius and his company, were also baptized in water and likely,in the name of Jesus,after receiving the Spirit..

            BTW: the CAPTCHA code is a pain…

    2. Ahh…

      The act of baptism does not save us. A believer’s baptism however, done in accordance with scripture does. People look at baptism as the be-all, end-all, but it is not. Baptism, unless done in accordance with Scripture, is merely dunking. Or, this – baptism without Christ does nothing. Baptism with Christ does.

      Many assume that because they are placed under water, they are saved, but that is a fallacy. No flux about it, just getting to the right terms and thoughts.

    1. Baptism requested by a person capable of making his or her own decision. Not a fan of infant baptism. Repentance is required, of course.

        1. I don’t know. I’m not God. I’m not one for death bed confessions, but in the end, I am not God.

          What of those that never know of Christ? We can ask these questions all live-long day, but in the end, we do what we know to do and leave everything else up to God.

          You wrote a post about a month or two ago on baptism that was excellent. I wish I could find it.

          1. Jesus said in

            John 3:3
            3In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

            In Jn 3:5, we see
            Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

            While some might want that to mean water baptism, in fact, we see in Jn 3:6 the explanation of being born of water and the Spirit.
            Jn 3:6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

            Flesh gives birth to flesh – the first birth through amniotic fluid.
            Spirit gives birth to spirit – the second birth through the Holy Spirit.

            Jesus said in Jn 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

            This is not saying we have to be baptized, but we have faith in Jesus to have eternal life.

          2. So water really doesn’t mean water? And when Christ commanded that His disciples go and baptize, making disciples of all nations, it was really a suggestion?

            Some would interpret the flesh as the Law, Wb.

          3. Water is the water of the first birth, physical birth – amniotic fluid – the being born of flesh (John 3:6a) .
            Being born again (John 3:3, 7) is having a saving faith in Christ, spiritual baptism (being born of spirit (John 3:6b)).

            The baptizing in water is a means of people calling upon the name of the Lord – making a public profession of faith which saves them.

            I think Paul and James and Peter all taught the same thing – we need to have a living faith. Baptism is evidence of said faith.

            Being dunked in water did not save Noah. The building of the ark was an act of faith, and this was what saved Noah. The NASB has a better translation than the NIV on this point.

            Here are two posts which do a good job of explaining my understanding:
            http://www.carm.org/religious-movements/roman-catholicism/are-we-saved-faith-alone-or-do-we-need-works-too
            http://www.carm.org/christianity/baptism/baptism-necessary-salvation

          4. Yes, CARM….

            But, Wb, what you still have not answered what Peter said. Noah was brought safely through water which is the symbol of what happens now with baptism. Further, I would agree – baptism in water is a means of people calling upon the name of the Lord and baptism is the evidence of faith. Further, what Paul said – we die out to sin in baptism.

            Look at it this way – we teach the death (repentance), burial (baptism) and resurrection (regeneration) of Jesus Christ. Paul said for us to be united with Him in baptism because in baptism, we die out to sins.

          5. Peter said that it is not water that cleanses us that saves us, but the appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Christ Jesus. It is not baptism that saves. It is the appeal to GOD that saves. What Noah went through is the putting into evidence the faith he had. This is what saved him. This is what saves us – living faith, faith that is backed by change in us (not merely an idea). I think John (Jn 3), Paul (Acts 26:20), James (James 2:14-26), and Peter (1 Peter 3:18-22) – that we must have a living faith which is shown in our lives (where we give evidence).

            Is baptism necessary for salvation? No. It is the faith that results in calling upon God through faith in Christ that saves us. One way of calling on God is through baptism (and I think all Christians must choose to obey Christ in this area), but it is not the only way to call on God or to give evidence of faith.

          6. I would disagree with that translation. Peter said that water was not a bath, but the cleansing of the conscience which is the baptism which now saves us.

            ESV 1 Peter 3:21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

            KJG 1 Peter 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:

            NAU 1 Peter 3:21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you– not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience– through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

            NIV 1 Peter 3:21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

            NLT 1 Peter 3:21 And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

          7. And to clarify – it is the faith in baptism – believing and is baptized – which saves. This involves the conscience and the calling upon the name of the Lord.

          8. Uh…

            Please consider your words here carefully. You wrote, “it is the faith in baptism – believing and is baptized – which saves.”

            I THINK you wrote that in order to show that people who have been baptized without faith in Christ are not saved.

            I would agree with that, as I was going to write: See the thing is, many have undergone baptsim and it was just the act of washing dirt from the body, which Peter was clear that is NOT what saves.

            But that is not quite what you said. You said it is faith in baptism and the baptism itself that saves. I’m pretty sure it is faith in God through faith in Christ’s atoning work that saves us. Anything else is adding to what Scripture says, it seems to me. Romans 3:22,

            Paul spoke of the need for faith in Christ, self control, and the coming judgement (Acts 24:24-25). Paul spoke of the need to change and to turn to God and prove their repentance through their deeds (Acts 26:20). God’s righteousness comes through faith in Christ to all who believe (Romans 3:22). We are justified through faith (Romans 5:1).

            In fact, Paul wrote in Romans 10:9-13 (NLT)

            9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

            Notice, Paul did not write of the need to be baptized – but the need to call upon God – which is the same thing James and Peter spoke of – putting belief into action.

            What saves is the appeal to God (the trusting in God which causes one to call upon God) – not the form of the appeal. One is saved through faith, not through deeds.

            The only way reconcile all the different verses concerning baptism and faith and salvation and justification is to understand that it is Faith that saves us. But iut must be faith which engnders change (repentance) and is evidenced in our lives (baptism).

          9. ‘Faith in’ should be ‘faith along with.’ Otherwise, baptism is the idol for me which it is for many. Baptism is the beginning of the Christian life in which we take our pledge to be united with Christ, in His death, burial, resurrection, His sufferings.

            But Paul did speak of baptism, in Romans 6. Further, when Paul called upon the name of the Lord, he was being baptized.

          10. I stand corrected – I meant in terms of salvation needing baptism. Baptism is a symbol of what happens when we come to Christ – dying to sin is the repentance from sin toward God.

            But I miss where Paul equated calling upon the name of the Lord with baptism (although I would agree it is one way to do so).

          11. It was my ill-wording, Wb. No worries.

            ESV Acts 22:16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’

            KJG Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

            NAU Acts 22:16 ‘Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’

            NIV Acts 22:16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’

            NLT Acts 22:16 What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.’

  4. It seems to me that Paul where wrote, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord ” (Romans 10:9) and “it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved” (Romans 10:10) that THAT is calling upon the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13; Joel 2:32).

    Again, there are too many verses which speak of the need for faith to be saved – it boils down to what you believe affecting what you do. There are many ways to call on the name of the Lord. That is poutting the faith we are to have into practice.

  5. It seems to me that using one’s mouth to confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:8-10) was what Paul was speaking of in Romans 10:13 when he said calling on the name of the Lord .

    There is no mention of baptism in Romans 10.

  6. The definition of faith could take a post by itself. But I’ll try to be xoncise.

    I see faith as trust.
    It is belief with conviction.
    It is belief held to such a degree that it engenders change.
    If we have faith, we will have evidence of it our lives.

    1. But your faith requires works by another’s understanding.

      Faith is a commitment, a conviction which produces evidence. What then of baptism but our pledge and commitment in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ which made because of our conviction produces the change of remission of sins which is evident?

      Further, what then is the Gospel, but the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ? In Romans 6, we are called to die out, to be buried with Him, and then arise in new life by means of baptism.

      If Faith was a mere belief, then yes, baptism a mere symbol, but faith is active and growing. It is a commitment by which we participate with Christ. Baptism is that commitment.

      1. It does not require works. It engenders works.
        There IS a slight difference.

        Jesus said we have to believe in Him to have eternal life (Jn 3:14-18)
        Paul said we are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:9-10).
        James said faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26)
        Paul also taught the need to change, Turn to God and prove repentace through deeds (Acts 26:20).

        But it is belief held to the degree where it can be called faith or confidence that we need to be saved. Should someone live longer than the instant they come to have the believe spoken of by Christ (which Pail and James term faith) it will engender them to put their trust into practice through obedience to what Christ taught, including calling upon Christ verbally and through through baptism.

        However, since Christ said we need only to believe to be saved, I must take Him at His word and say we only need belief to be saved. Therefore, I think if a man dies before putting that belief into action, they were saved if they had the belief spoken of by Christ, and so gave eter al life.

        1. I am not saying that your faith does – but in another’s eyes, faith beyond a mere acknowledgment of belief is works.

          I cannot judge a man upon his death, Wb, but I will say that baptism is indeed faith in action and obedience.

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