Your browser does not support JavaScript!

Sermon No: 670-Baptism - Part 1 - Believers baptism vs Infant baptism (Christening)



Gavin-Paynter/20110410_Baptism-Part1.jpg

SERMON TOPIC: Baptism - Part 1 - Believers baptism vs Infant baptism (Christening)

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 10 April 2011

Topic Groups: BAPTISM, FIRST PRINCIPLES, HERESY

Sermon synopsis: Does the Bible teach infant baptism (Christening or paedo-baptism) or believers baptism (Credo-baptism)? Where did the practice of giving names at christening come from?
Why were the credo-baptists (Anabaptists and Baptists) persecuted by paedo-baptists.
There are 3 main baptisms for the Christian:
(1) Baptism into the body of Christ
(2) Baptism in water
(3) Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
In the Greek baptizo simply meant 'immersion'. Although we often associate baptism with a religious rite and normally water baptism, this was not the case with the early readers of the Greek NT books. They would have understood these terms as 'immersing in the Holy Spirit', 'immersion in water' etc.
black arrow All sermons by Gavin Paynter
black arrow All sermons on BAPTISM
black arrow All sermons on FIRST PRINCIPLES
black arrow All sermons on HERESY
black arrow  All sermons in ENGLISH

BAPTISM - 1

The doctrine of baptisms is one of the First Principles listed in Hebrews 6:

Heb 6:1-2 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

Our English word ‘baptize’ is transliterated from the Greek word ‘baptizo’ and means:

“immersion, submersion and emergence” 1

1 Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

BAPTISMS

Baptism was known to the Jews of Jesus’ day, even before John the Baptist came. Among the Gentiles there were those who attended the synagogue and who were known as God-fearers. 1 However those who wanted to fully embrace Judaism by becoming proselytes were required to submit to proselytes’ baptism before they were circumcised.

Beasly-Murray says, “The Hillelites laid increasing stress on proselyte baptism as the crucial point of transition.” 3

Even Maimonides (1135-1204), the well-known medieval Torah scholar, lists the three requirements for Gentile proselytes to Judaism as circumcision, baptism and sacrifice. 2

1 Acts 13:26, 17:4, 17:17, 10:2, 10:22 2 Maimonides, Hilkh. Iss. Biah xiii.5 3 Warren Paynter: “1st Principles 03 - The doctrine of baptisms”

ORIGINS

Thus when John the Baptist appeared on the scene, there was no query as to what he was doing (the Jews were familiar with baptism as a rite), but as to who gave him the authority to do what he was doing... 1 (see John 1:19-25)

1 Ibid

ORIGINS

There are 3 main baptisms 1 for the Christian:

Baptism into the body of Christ

Baptism in water

Baptism in the Holy Spirit

In the Greek baptizo simply meant ‘immersion’. Although we often associate baptism with a religious rite and normally water baptism, this was not the case with the early readers of the Greek NT books. They would have understood these terms as “immersing in the Holy Spirit”, “immersion in water” etc.

1 The Bible also talks of John’s baptism of repentance (Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3, Acts 19:4), a baptism in fire (Matt 3:11, Luke 3:16) and a baptism in suffering (Matt 10:38-39, Luke 12:50), but in this study we will focus only on the first two baptisms mentioned here.

3 MAIN BAPTISMS

1) Baptism into the body of Christ

2) Baptism in water

3) Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Baptizer

Holy Spirit

A believer

Jesus

Candidate

A repentant sinner

A believer

A believer

Element

Body of Christ

Water

Holy Spirit

Purpose

Salvation

Outward profession of salvation

Power to witness

All of these baptisms are mentioned by Peter in Acts 2:38 on the day of Pentecost: “(1) Repent and (2) be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And (3) you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

BAPTISM

INTO

THE

BODY

OF

CHRIST

Q: So if there are many baptisms, why in Ephesians 4:5 does Paul speak of “one baptism”?

Eph 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit - just as you were called to one hope when you were called - one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

A: Because there is one saving baptism - baptism into the body of Christ. The context of Eph 4:4-6 is about the body of Christ (the church) and hence it refers to the one saving baptism (i.e. one baptism by the one Spirit into the one body).

ONE SAVING BAPTISM

DEFINITION: At the time of salvation, the REPENTANT SINNER is baptized by THE HOLY SPIRIT into THE BODY OF CHRIST.

Gal 3:26-27 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

This baptism is a baptism into Christ’s death – baptism in water is an outward symbol of this:

Rom 5:3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

ONE SAVING BAPTISM

The Spirit baptizes us into Christ’s body:

1 Cor 12:12-13 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free...

We know from Scripture that the body of Christ is the church (not a building, but all believers globally).

Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church...

Col 1:24 ... in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

So at conversion, the Holy Spirit supernaturally places us into Christ’s body – the global church.

ONE SAVING BAPTISM

BAPTISM

IN

WATER

DEFINITION: After belief in the gospel and repentance, a BELIEVER is baptized by another BELIEVER in WATER.

According to Wikipedia:

In Christianity, baptism (from Greek βαπτίζω baptizo: “immersing”, “performing ablutions”, i.e., ritual washing) is for the majority the rite of admission, almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition. Baptism has been called a sacrament and an ordinance of Jesus Christ. In some traditions, baptism is also called christening, but for others the word “christening” is reserved for the baptism of infants. 1

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Baptism

BAPTISM IN WATER

Water baptism doesn’t save you.

Baptism in water does not wash our sins away. It is an outward confession of faith from those who are already saved. It expresses what has already happened inside when we believed the gospel, repented and were then baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit.

If there is water baptism without repentance, there is no forgiveness of sin. There is simply a transformation from a dry sinner to a wet sinner.

WILL BAPTISM SAVE ME?

Baptism is a fruit - not a root

Going under the water represents the death and burial of the old nature. Coming out of the water represents the new birth of the spiritual nature.

Col 2:12 … having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

Romans 6:3-4 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.

DEATH & BURIAL

INFANT

BAPTISM

Denomination

Infant Baptism

Roman Catholic Church

Yes

Eastern Orthodox Church

Yes

Lutherans

Yes

Methodists (Wesleyans)

Yes

Reformed churches

Yes

Presbyterians

Yes

Congregational churches

Yes

Anglican (Church of England)

Yes

INFANT BAPTISM

Denomination

Infant Baptism

Baptists

No

Churches of Christ

No

Anabaptists (e.g. Church of the Brethren, Brethren in Christ, Amish, Hutterites, Mennonites)

No

Assemblies of God

No

Pentecostals

No

Plymouth Brethren

No

Seventh-day Adventists

No

By the 2nd century we hear the first reports of infant baptism. At this time, Tertullian opposed the practice.

It follows that deferment of baptism is more profitable, in accordance with each person’s character and attitude, and even age: and especially so as regards children … let them be made Christians when they have become competent to know Christ. Why should innocent infancy come with haste to the remission of sins? Shall we take less cautious action in this than we take in worldly matters? Shall one who is not trusted with earthly property be entrusted with heavenly? Let them first learn how to ask for salvation, so that you may be seen to have given to one that asks. 1

1 On Baptism

INFANT BAPTISM

Because of original sin, Augustine (in the 5th century) stated that infants who are not baptized would be eternally damned in hell.

Even if there were in men nothing but original sin, it would be sufficient for their condemnation... even that sin alone which was originally derived unto men not only excludes from the kingdom of God, which infants are unable to enter (as they (his opponents) themselves allow), unless they have received the grace of Christ before they die, but also alienates from salvation and everlasting life... 1

1 Augustine - 'On the Baptism of infants'

INFANT BAPTISM

Baptismal regeneration is the idea that water baptism is essential for salvation and it was one of the earliest heresies to enter the church.

From the idea that baptism was necessary for salvation, came the practice of baptizing children, just in case they died in infancy.

And so Augustine writes that infants can be regenerated by baptism.

It is this one Spirit who makes it possible for an infant to be regenerated … when that infant is brought to baptism; and it is through this one Spirit that the infant so presented is reborn. 1

1 Augustine - Letters 98:2 (AD 412)

INFANT BAPTISM

Q: Will unbaptized children go to hell?

A: Augustine wrote of “the kingdom of God, which infants are unable to enter... unless they have received the grace of Christ before they die”. In contrast Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven belonged to little children:

Matt 19:13-14 Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Until a child reaches the age of understanding - and can make a conscious decision to accept or reject the Lord - they belong to God. Jesus said that their angels always saw the face of his Father in heaven:

Matt 18:2,3,10 He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven… See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

CHILDREN BELONG TO GOD

You may ask why when babies are baptized (or ‘christened’) in certain churches, they are given their names at the same time. There is no precedent for this in Scripture.

Quoting from Johannes Warns, we read, “It is noteworthy that in ancient Germanic times there was a form of dipping, and pouring of water upon children with which the giving of the name was connected.” 1

In the religious customs of the Romans the aqua lustralis or water of purification played an important part. A lustratio liberorum (purification of deliverance) took place, with newly born girls on the eighth day after birth, with boys on the ninth day, to protect them from sorcery. 1

1 Warren Paynter: “1st Principles 03 - The doctrine of baptisms”

INFANT BAPTISM

In the Manual of Roman Antiquities (Ramsay and Lanciane) we read: “Boys on the ninth, and girls on the eighth day after birth underwent a religious purification termed ‘lustratio’, and on this day, which was called ‘Dies Lustricus’, the former received their ‘Proenomen’ (nomen accipiebant).”

Proenomen means “first name”. In many traditional churches the “Christian name” is the name given at the christening. Like many pagan ideas this practice was absorbed into the practice of the Church and Christianized by combining it with infant baptism.

Christening (also known as paedo-baptism) gradually displaced the Biblical teaching of the Baptism of Believers (known as credo-baptism).

INFANT BAPTISM

PERSECUTION OF

CREDO-BAPTISTS

Although infant baptism became the standard practice in the Middle Ages, it was opposed by some.

The Waldenses were a Christian movement originating in 12th century France, who emphasized personal Bible reading and public preaching. They opposed heretical papal doctrines like infant baptism. In 1211 more than 80 were burned as heretics at Strasbourg, beginning several centuries of persecution.

PERSECUTION

17th century Dutch engraving of a 1251 massacre of the Waldenses in Toulouse, France. The town and its inhabitants were burned.

In the 12th century, in southern France the disciples of the former monk Henry of Lausanne taught that:

The baptism of persons before they have reached the years of discretion is invalid. Believers’ baptism was based upon Mark 16:16, and children, growing up, were rebaptized. 1

Henry of Lausanne was arrested, brought before the bishop of Toulouse, and probably imprisoned for life. 2

1 Philip Schaff: History of the Christian Church, Volume V: The Middle Ages 2 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Henry_of_Lausanne

PERSECUTION

Thomas Walden charged John Wycliffe (c. 1328 – 1384) with believing that it is foolish and presumptuous to say that infants who die without baptism are not saved.

Amongst other things, the Lollards (followers of Wycliffe) practiced believer’s baptism and denied infant baptism. Fox says one of their articles of faith was that “faith ought to precede baptism.”

PERSECUTION

John Wycliffe

William Tyndale (c. 1494 – 1536) was the first to translate the Bible into English directly from Hebrew and Greek. He wrote, “Baptism, to avail, must be preceded by repentance, faith and confession”. 1

A major crisis for Ulrich Zwingli (the Swiss reformer) developed from among his most gifted students. These believers could find nothing about infant baptism in the Bible, so they concluded it was an invention of a corrupt church and, therefore, illegitimate. They got baptized all over again as believers and formed a believer’s church that was composed only of the converted. 2 For this they were called ‘Anabaptists’ (or ‘re-baptizers’). 3

1 Tyndale, Works, III, p. 179 2 At that stage all citizens of the state were baptized at birth and were ‘members’ of the State church. 3 Christian History Institute

PERSECUTION

Conrad Grebel became convinced from Scripture that infant baptism was wrong. In order to exercise faith, a person had to be old enough to understand the Gospel. Baptism could only have meaning for a person who understood why he or she was being baptized. 1

On 17 January 1525 a public debate was held and the council decided in favour of Zwingli. Anyone refusing to have their children baptized was required to leave Zürich. 2

Grebel is often called the “Father of the Anabaptists” because in 1525, he re-baptized George Blaurock, a former priest. Immediately the Zürich authorities forbade the Anabaptists to speak about their beliefs on adult baptism. Shortly afterward, they drove the Anabaptists out. 1

1 Source: Christian History Institute 2 Wikipedia

PERSECUTION

Grebel went to St. Gall where he found immediate success. When he arrived he began to speak on the need for repentance and baptism. Hundreds turned out to hear him preach and over the next few months he baptized 500 people. 1

Grebel was arrested, tried and sentenced to life in prison. Friends helped him escape, but he died of the plague when he was only about 28 years old. 1

1 Source: Christian History Institute

PERSECUTION

Conrad Grebel (1498-1526)

In 1524 Felix Manz, a follower of Zwingli, submitted a petition to the Zürich city council outlining his argument against infant baptism. He defended charges against him that he was a rebel by explaining that his position was a valid Biblical belief. He cited 3 instances from Scripture where persons displayed faith before baptism as evidence against infant baptism: 1

John the Baptist required repentance prior to baptism.

Peter baptized believers after they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:48).

Paul was baptized after he called upon the name of the Lord (Acts 22).

1 Ibid

PERSECUTION

Manz also briefly alluded to Romans 6:4 before arguing that no Biblical evidence exists for baptizing persons prior to their being instructed about Christ and possessing a certain knowledge and a desire to be baptized. 1

On 7 March 1526, the Zürich council had passed an edict that made adult re-baptism punishable by drowning. 2

In 1527, Manz was captured and brought before the City Council, who said “Against the waters of baptism he sinned, so by water shall he die.” His hands were bound and pulled behind his knees and a pole was placed between them. He was placed on a boat and pushed into the Limmat River near Zürich. His alleged last words were, “Into thy hands, O God, I commend my spirit.” He was only about 29 years old.

1 Ibid 2 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Felix_Manz

PERSECUTION

Early in the 16th century, a monk Michael Sattler (1495-1527) joined the Anabaptists (Swiss Brethren) after being convinced by prayer and study that they were right.

Sattler, his wife and several other Anabaptists were arrested by Roman Catholic authorities and were sentenced to be executed. His tongue was cut out and red hot tongs were used to tear pieces of flesh from his body and, after that he was burned at the stake. The other men in the group were executed by sword, and the women, including Margaretha, were executed by drowning. 1

1 SOURCE: http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Michael_Sattler

PERSECUTION

Michael Sattler

But the Anabaptist movement, despite losing many of its best leaders to persecution, survived and spread. 1

According to Wikipedia:

Religious groups that oppose infant baptism have sometimes been persecuted by paedo-baptist churches. During the Reformation, Anabaptists were persecuted by Lutheran, Calvinist, Anglican and Catholic regimes. The English government imposed restrictions on Baptists in Britain and Ireland during the 17th century. The Russian Orthodox Church repressed Baptists prior to the 1917 revolution, and sought restrictions on Baptists and Pentecostals after being re-established after the fall of Communism. 2

1 Source: Christian History Institute 2 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Infant_baptism

PERSECUTION

The very fact that paedo-baptists persecuted credo-baptists is an argument in favour of believer’s baptism. Historically the true church of Jesus (in line with our Saviour’s nature) has never persecuted, but been the recipient of persecution.

Matt 5:10-12 “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

PERSECUTION

BELIEVERS

BAPTISM

Jesus instructed us to baptize disciples or believers:

Matt 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...”

Mark 16:16 “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

The Biblical precedent is to baptize believers or disciples. As babies do not yet have the capacity to believe or even understand the concept of salvation, we do not baptize infants.

BELIEVERS BAPTISM

Even with John’s baptism of repentance (which is not the same as Christian baptism) – repentance came first and then baptism. John would not baptize those who did not demonstrate repentance already:

Matt 3:7-8 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”

Of the seven sacraments practiced by the Papal church, Protestants only retained the two which were Biblical - the Lord’s Supper and Baptism. As the Lord Supper may not be given to unbelievers (1 Cor 11:28), neither should Baptism.

BELIEVERS BAPTISM

The NT teaches ‘believers baptism’ with repentance as a prerequisite, which infants are incapable of doing:

On the day of Pentecost:

Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized…”

In Samaria:

Acts 8:12 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.

When Paul was in Corinth we read the following:

Acts 18:8 ... many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

BELIEVERS BAPTISM

The disciples of John the Baptist that Paul encountered at Ephesus, already believed and then were baptized in water and the Holy Spirit:

Acts 19:1-5 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.

BELIEVERS BAPTISM

One of the arguments used by the advocates of paedo-baptism is the fact that there are several passages in the book of Acts where we read of a whole household being baptized. This phrase occurs in Acts 11:14 concerning the household of Cornelius; in Acts 16:15 concerning the household of Lydia; in Acts 16:31 concerning the household of the Philippian jailer; in Acts 18:8 concerning the household of Crispus the ruler of the synagogue. Apart from the fact that there are households where there are no small children or infants, it is clear from these Scriptures that baptism only followed after faith. 1

1 Warren Paynter: “1st Principles 03 - The doctrine of baptisms”

HOUSEHOLDS BAPTISED

Cornelius and his household heard the gospel (Acts 10:34-43) and Peter ends his message with these words, indicating that belief is the criteria for forgiveness:

“All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:43)

Acts 11:18 indicates that they repented:

“So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

Acts 11:14 shows that it was the message of the gospel that would lead to salvation:

He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’

HOUSEHOLDS BAPTISED

Peter only instructed that Cornelius and his household be baptized after he saw the evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. As Peter knew that this gift is only given to believers, he realized that they met the criteria for water baptism:

Acts 10:44-47 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”

HOUSEHOLDS BAPTISED

The Philippian jailer and his household believed first and then were baptized. Note that “he and his whole family” had first “come to believe in God”.

Acts 16:29-34 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved - you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God - he and his whole family.

HOUSEHOLDS BAPTISED

In Philippi, Lydia first responded to the gospel before she was baptized:

Acts 16:14-15 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.

The case of Crispus shows that believing precedes baptism:

Acts 18:8 Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

HOUSEHOLDS BAPTISED

ACTS 8 (NASB)

BUT AN ANGEL OF THE LORD SPOKE TO PHILIP SAYING, “GET UP AND GO SOUTH TO THE ROAD THAT DESCENDS FROM JERUSALEM TO GAZA.” (THIS IS A DESERT ROAD.)

SO HE GOT UP AND WENT; AND THERE WAS AN ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH, A COURT OFFICIAL OF CANDACE, QUEEN OF THE ETHIOPIANS, WHO WAS IN CHARGE OF ALL HER TREASURE; AND HE HAD COME TO JERUSALEM TO WORSHIP,

AND HE WAS RETURNING AND SITTING IN HIS CHARIOT, AND WAS READING THE PROPHET ISAIAH.

THEN THE SPIRIT SAID TO PHILIP, “GO UP AND JOIN THIS CHARIOT.”

PHILIP RAN UP AND HEARD HIM READING ISAIAH THE PROPHET, AND SAID, “DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE READING?”

AND HE SAID, “WELL, HOW COULD I, UNLESS SOMEONE GUIDES ME?” AND HE INVITED PHILIP TO COME UP AND SIT WITH HIM.

NOW THE PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE WHICH HE WAS READING WAS THIS: “HE WAS LED AS A SHEEP TO SLAUGHTER; AND AS A LAMB BEFORE ITS SHEARER IS SILENT, SO HE DOES NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH.

“IN HUMILIATION HIS JUDGMENT WAS TAKEN AWAY; WHO WILL RELATE HIS GENERATION? FOR HIS LIFE IS REMOVED FROM THE EARTH.”

THE EUNUCH ANSWERED PHILIP AND SAID, “PLEASE TELL ME, OF WHOM DOES THE PROPHET SAY THIS? OF HIMSELF OR OF SOMEONE ELSE?”

THEN PHILIP OPENED HIS MOUTH, AND BEGINNING FROM THIS SCRIPTURE HE PREACHED JESUS TO HIM.

AS THEY WENT ALONG THE ROAD THEY CAME TO SOME WATER; AND THE EUNUCH SAID, “LOOK! WATER! WHAT PREVENTS ME FROM BEING BAPTIZED?”

[AND PHILIP SAID, “IF YOU BELIEVE WITH ALL YOUR HEART, YOU MAY.” AND HE ANSWERED AND SAID, “I BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD.”]

AND HE ORDERED THE CHARIOT TO STOP; AND THEY BOTH WENT DOWN INTO THE WATER, PHILIP AS WELL AS THE EUNUCH, AND HE BAPTIZED HIM.

WHEN THEY CAME UP OUT OF THE WATER, THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD SNATCHED PHILIP AWAY; AND THE EUNUCH NO LONGER SAW HIM, BUT WENT ON HIS WAY REJOICING.

When the Ethiopian Eunuch asked what could prevent him from being baptized, we read that belief in Jesus was a prerequisite:

Acts 8:37 And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

Verse 37 is left out in many versions 1 because it is absent from many of the oldest Greek manuscripts we have today e.g. Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus and Vaticanus. Generally versions which use the Textus Receptus include it.

1 It is left out in the NIV, New Living Translation, English Standard Version, International Standard Version, GOD’S WORD Translation, Bible in Basic English, Darby Bible Translation, Weymouth New Testament, World English Bible and the English Revised Version. It is included in the NASB, KJV, American King James Version, American Standard Version, Douay-Rheims Bible, Webster’s Bible Translation and Young’s Literal Translation.

“IF THOU BELIEVEST”

It was also included in most of the early English Bibles. 1

The verse is found in the Latin Vulgate (5th century) and in copies of the Old Latin of 90-150 AD. 2

Codex Laudianus (Uncial 08 [Ea]), dating to circa 534-550 AD, is the oldest manuscript of the book of Acts that has been found which contains the text of Acts 8:37.

1 Wycliffe (1395), Tyndale (1525), Coverdale (1535), the Great Bible(1539), the Bishop's Bible (1568) and the Geneva Bible (1599). 2 According to http:// av1611.com/ kjbp/ faq/ holland_ac8_37.html “the passage also appears in a vast number of other Old Latin manuscripts (such as l, m, e, r, ar, ph, and gig). It also is found in the Greek Codex E (8th century) and several Greek manuscripts (36, 88, 97, 103, 104, 242, 257, 307, 322, 323, 385, 429, 453, 464, 467, 610, 629, 630, 913, 945, 1522, 1678, 1739, 1765, 1877, 1891, and others).”

“IF THOU BELIEVEST”

Although not found in many of the oldest Greek manuscripts we have today, it was clearly contained in manuscripts older than any we have. Many church fathers who lived before the oldest Greek copies we have quote the verse including Irenaeus, 1 Cyprian,2 Pacian 3 and Augustine.4

1 Irenaeus (115-202 AD): “Philip declared that this was Jesus, and that the Scripture was fulfilled in Him; as did also the believing eunuch himself: and, immediately requesting to be baptized, he said, I believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God.” (Against Heresies 3.12) 2 Cyprian (200-258 A.D.): “In the Acts of the Apostles Treatise 12:3: Lo, here is water; what is there which hinders me from being baptized? Then said Phillip, If thou believest with all thine heart thou mayest.” (Treatise 12:3:43) 3 Pacian (370 AD): “We must believe therefore that we can be born. For so saith Philip, If thou believest ... thou mayest.” (The Extant Works of S. Pacian, Discourse on Baptism.) 4 Augustine (354-430 AD): “The eunuch believed on Christ, and said when they came unto a certain water, See water, who doth hinder me to be baptized? Philip said to him, Dost thou believe on Jesus Christ? He answered, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Immediately he went down with him into the water.” (Sermon 49)

“IF THOU BELIEVEST”

In the 4th and 5th centuries Christians often delayed their baptisms until late in life. This was because of the prevalent idea that mortal sins committed after baptism were sins against the Holy Spirit and hence unforgivable.

But the Bible teaches that you can be baptized immediately after salvation:

Acts 9: 17-18 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord - Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here - has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized...

HOW SOON CAN I BE BAPTISED?

In the nine examples of Christian baptism recorded in the book of Acts:

We notice that there was no question of a long probationary period, during which the convert was to prove himself. Baptism followed immediately after the candidate made a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Many of the converts in the early church were raw Gentile heathens who worshipped all manner of idols but, once they had expressed faith in Christ, they were enjoined to follow the Lord through the waters of baptism. 1

1 Warren Paynter: “1st Principles 03 - The doctrine of baptisms”

HOW SOON CAN I BE BAPTISED?

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." ("http:// www.lockman.org/ ">www.Lockman.org)




IP:Country:City:Region:

> TRENDING

Johanna Pillinger
180 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
178 download(s)
Ken Paynter
147 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
117 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
93 download(s)
Ken Paynter
80 download(s)
Ken Paynter
72 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
64 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
61 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
60 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
60 download(s)
Ken Paynter
58 download(s)
Ken Paynter
57 download(s)
Ken Paynter
56 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
51 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
51 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
50 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
49 download(s)
Ken Paynter
49 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
48 download(s)


> MOST POPULAR

Gavin Paynter
31454 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
27888 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
17841 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
15669 download(s)
Ken Paynter
11237 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
10640 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
10574 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
9335 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
9208 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
9107 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
9056 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
8688 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
8455 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
8452 download(s)
Ken Paynter
8400 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
8388 download(s)
Ken Paynter
8374 download(s)
Ken Paynter
8333 download(s)
Ken Paynter
7913 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
7811 download(s)


> SPEAKERS



> LANGUAGES
> TOPIC