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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

1 Corinthians 1:14-17 Demolishes Baptismal Regeneration!

  • Presenting The Scripture Text:
           -"I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one would say you were baptized in my name. Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void." (1 Corinthians 1:14-17)
  • Exegetical Commentary:
          -First of all, I would like to emphasize the manner in which the Apostle Paul was addressing the members at the Church of Corinth and thus how 1 Corinthians 1:14-17 is relevant to the baptismal regeneration controversy. 
          -If baptism was a mandatory requirement for our salvation, then why did Paul say that he was thankful not to have baptized any one at that particular church, with the exceptions being two individuals named Crispus and Gaius, along with the household of Stephanas? Why would he dare to say that the Lord Jesus Christ did not send him to baptize people, but rather to preach the gospel? 
            *If the ritual of water baptism is necessary for the eternal salvation of souls, then the Apostle Paul would sound completely nonsensical in this text. In other words, Paul would basically be saying that he was grateful not to have saved the Church of Corinth from eternal damnation in flames and that Christ did not send him to save!
          -In verse seventeen, the apostle clearly implied that preaching the Gospel of Eternal Salvation to the lost world is of much greater importance than baptizing. If water had any magical properties which could save us, then baptizing random people would have been listed first in order. Although the entire context of this epistle to Corinth pertains to religious division within the Body of Christ, it would have been impossible for the Apostle Paul to have made such statements about baptism, especially being under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, no basic presentation of the gospel message should fail to mention the necessity of water baptism as being necessary for salvation, as 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 does!   

Water Baptism According To The Bible

  • Why Do We Get Baptized?:
         -The purpose of baptism is to make a public profession of faith and discipleship. In other words, water baptism is the sign of dedication to serving Christ. It is symbolic for the Lord's burial, death, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5). In this ritual, we are identifying ourselves with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, which also means that we previously had faith in Him. Hence, this is why baptism is so closely associated with salvation in the New Testament. But churches have adopted completely unbiblical customs which pervert the meaning behind the significant ordinance of baptism.
  • Infant Baptism:
         -The Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and various Protestant churches advocate the practice of baptizing babies. Many professing Christians baptize infants because they believe that the ritual itself removes the stain of "original sin".
           *There is no command or example of infant baptism found in the Bible.
           *Babies cannot be baptized because they are unable to believe in the gospel for salvation and repent (i.e. Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-41; 8:12; 36-37; 16:14-15; 30-33; 18:8).
           *If baptizing babies was morally permissible, then what is stopping us from forcing atheists or people from different religions from getting baptized at gunpoint?
              ^In both the real and hypothetical scenarios, neither believe in the elements of the gospel and are forced into conversion. How is this not wrong?
              ^Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
           *If baptism removes our "deprived nature", then why do people still commit sin afterwards?
  • Baptismal Regeneration:
         -Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and various sects within Protestantism maintain that people must be baptized in order to get saved. They believe this because they uphold the false belief that baptism removes original sin. 
           *The Lord Jesus Christ did not baptize anybody (John 4:2). If baptism was essential for salvation, then baptizing people would have been His top priority.
           *The concept of baptism is absent, and even excluded, from several Scripture passages explaining how to get saved and the purpose of the gospel (i.e. John 20:30-31; Romans 4:2-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Ephesians 2:4-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5-7; 1 John 5:13). Scripture is abundantly clear that justification is by faith apart from the merit of all works. They have absolutely no bearing on our salvation. To add baptism (or any other ritual) as an additional stipulation to believing on Jesus Christ for salvation is equivalent to saying that we must be circumcised to get saved. Thus, the "baptismal regeneration" teaching falls into the same category as the judaizing heresy (i.e. Acts 15:1; 23-24). 
           *Baptism is the New Testament parallel to circumcision in the Old Testament (Colossians 2:11-12). But circumcision did not save anyone (Acts 15; Romans 4:9-12), even though it was a God-ordained act (Genesis 17:10-14)! This also means that we are not saved by water baptism.  
           *We even have biblical examples of people who were justified before they were baptized in water: 1.) the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:35-38); 2.) the Apostle Paul (Acts 9:17-18); 3.) Cornelius and his many friends (Acts 10:42-48). 
            *In Scripture, repentance and salvation always proceed the ritual of water baptism. We are sanctified by the blood of Jesus, not by the ritual of water baptism (Hebrews 9:13-14; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 1:5). As the saying goes, "Baptism does not make a person a Christian any more than stepping into a garage makes one an auto mechanic."
  • Baptism By Sprinkling Water:
         -The Roman Catholic Church, along with some Protestant churches, baptize by sprinkling a little water on people, rather than fully immersing converts into water.
           *The Greek word for baptism ("baptismo") literally means immersion. There are separate words in the Greek language for sprinkling, pouring, and immersion. But only the Greek word for immersion is used for baptism in the New Testament.
           *The New Testament describes the ceremony of baptism as being a "burial" into water (i.e. Mark 1:5; 9-10; John 3:23; Romans 6:3-5).           
           *People who acknowledge that they have been baptized incorrectly should get "re-baptized" in the proper manner for the sake of conscience (Romans 14:23). 

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