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Author Topic: The necessity of baptism  (Read 2453 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« on: December 10, 2006, 03:32:02 AM »

The sinner on the cross wasn't baptized, but he entered the Kingdom of God.
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2006, 02:14:06 PM »

Matthew777

The Holy Scripture says "Paradise".

The Thief is with Christ in "Paradise".

Christ teaches that we all must repent and be baptised in order to be worthy of the "kingdom of heaven".

Baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is unavoidable unless a person is NOT seeking a place in the "kingdom of heaven".

Gabrael:
Please only take spiritual advise from your holy father or in a face to face with an orthodox clergyman.

I am praying for you

Peace in Christ

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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2006, 05:31:54 PM »

+ Irini nem ehmot,

Matthew777

The Holy Scripture says "Paradise".

The Thief is with Christ in "Paradise".

Christ teaches that we all must repent and be baptised in order to be worthy of the "kingdom of heaven".

Baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is unavoidable unless a person is NOT seeking a place in the "kingdom of heaven".


I take issue with this.  As I understand it, all the righteous who repose in the Lord enter Paradise now.  The Kingdom of Heaven is inaccessible at this time.  Not until after the final judgement will those in Paradise enter Heaven.  Similarly, Hell is also inaccesible right now.  The souls of the unrighteous are presently in Hades, waiting for after the final judgement to enter Hell.  As for the theif on the cross, I think you are forgetting what baptism is.  If I recall, St. Paul said that baptism is a symbol of the believer dying in Christ.  Now, as I see it, the theif did die with Christ, and I don't think there is a single person who could claim it the way he could.  As such, his death on the cross was his baptism (a baptism in blood).  Thus, to say the right-hand theif will not enter the 'kingdom of heaven' or anyone else for that matter who is not baptized in water, is foolishness.

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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2006, 08:08:59 PM »

This topic was split off from another thread in the Oriental Orthodox forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10415.new.html#new

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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2006, 08:39:50 PM »

The sinner on the cross wasn't baptized, but he entered the Kingdom of God.

I have had Protestants say this to me before.  My reply is the following:

1.  We don't know that the thief was not baptized.  Baptism existed before the Crucifixion, as the Bible says John the Baptist and Christ's Apostles were baptizing people.  In fact, since the thief recognized who Christ was, there is a good chance he spent some time among Christ's followers, which means he very well could have been baptized.

2.  We do know, however, that the thief on the cross never read or owned a Christian Bible.  We know this since the New Testament had not been written yet and the Christian Bible had not been compiled yet.  Therefore, if we are to use the thief on the cross as the basis of what we should do to be saved, the first thing we need to do is get rid of our Bibles.  Or, at the very least, using the thief as our model, we can say that one doesn't need to read the Bible to be saved.

They're usually pretty quiet after I say this.
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2006, 09:57:18 PM »

The sinner on the cross wasn't baptized, but he entered the Kingdom of God.

The sinner on the cross died before the Resurrection and the establishment of the Church.
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2006, 10:04:25 PM »

The sinner on the cross died before the Resurrection and the establishment of the Church.

Right. And since Christ didn't practice baptism during his earthly ministry, the thief died in the same state (baptism-wise) as any of Christ's closest disciples on that day.

The establishment of Christian baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit didn't come until right before the Ascension -- at which point it was an imperative (literally), spoken by Christ Himself.
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2006, 10:14:09 PM »

When we are baptised, we are united with the death and resurrection of Christ. The thief died with Christ, was buried on the same day, and so descended into Hades with Him.

If that's not baptism, what is?  Wink
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2006, 01:00:40 AM »

I must also note that it must have been a special dispensation in the case of the thief on the cross, and thus not revoking the necessity of baptism. However, we do not know the mind of God, and He can't always be bound by certain rules. Otherwise, you'd have the Augustinian doctrine that unbaptized infants cannot enter Heaven.
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2006, 01:05:44 AM »

Matthew777

The Holy Scripture says "Paradise".

In the rest of the New Testament, when the term "Paraside" is used, it refers to Heaven.

2 Corinthians 12:4
How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

Revelation 2:7
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Peace.
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2006, 01:05:59 AM »

I must also note that it must have been a "special dispensation" in the case of the thief on the cross, and thus not revoking the necessity of baptism. However, we do not know the mind of God, and He can't always be bound by certain rules. Otherwise, you'd have the Augustinian doctrine that unbaptized infants cannot enter Heaven.

It has already been pointed out that there was nothing special or dispensation-related: it was a different age, the pre-Church age still.

The issue of Church age people dying without baptism is different and can't be related to the thief.

Of course, God can save whomever he wants.

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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2006, 01:35:00 AM »

Quote
Of course, God can save whomever he wants.

True, by bringing the message to them, offer them to be part of the Church, if they accept they are allowed to partake of the salvic sacraments, and then get saved through their works and faith. Otherwise, they cannot be saved.
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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2006, 01:43:40 AM »

Otherwise, they cannot be saved.

Are you saying that those who have never heard the Gospel, or given the opportunity to be baptized, cannot be saved? That would be rather Calvinist.
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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2006, 10:37:43 AM »

Are you saying that those who have never heard the Gospel, or given the opportunity to be baptized, cannot be saved? That would be rather Calvinist.

Saint John the forerunner preached the Gospel in hades before Christs death. All who heard and believed were saved.
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2006, 10:44:53 AM »

True, by bringing the message to them, offer them to be part of the Church, if they accept they are allowed to partake of the salvic sacraments, and then get saved through their works and faith. Otherwise, they cannot be saved.


No!  You tried to argue this before, and I wasn't convinced. You aren't going to convince me that Indians in Peru in 1338 were all damned. God can save whomever he wills in any circumstance.
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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2006, 11:32:16 AM »

Here's something else for you to chew on Matthew. In Acts 10:47 there is a record of people being baptized after they had already received the holy spirit (cf 1 Cor. 1:14-17)
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« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2006, 07:24:46 AM »

And what of the saints (and there are some) who were martyred before being baptised? We'd be pretty odd if we insisted simultaneously that such people are saints but are not worthy of the kingdom of Heaven. I like to view the situation as baptism being necessary for us but not for God. We must be baptised (or at least make every effort to be so) but God can save whomsoever He wills and I simply cannot believe that God would condemn those who, through no fault of their own, fail to be baptised. There is, surely, a major difference between an unwilled failure to be baptised and a wilfull refusal of baptism.

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« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2006, 07:44:43 AM »

On the requirements for salvation, I think that the way God judges is extremely complex and has quite alot to do with His all-knowing nature that we do not possess. I've argued on subjects like this many times before but now I'm not sure if it is worth it, or even spiritually healthy. We have to remember that Adam and Eve sinned by eating from the Tree of Knowledge, so maybe there's some stuff that we just aren't meant to know. Knowledge is power, and maybe some powers are meant to be held only by God. The way Satan tricked them was by telling them that "they would be like God", and maybe right now by trying to figure out the secrets of judgement we are attempting to be like God.

I do remember seeing this passage posted here before though, and it makes much sense in occasions such as this: 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses,  “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. (from the book of Romans)

But if Christ told us to baptise people, why would we not? We as Orthodox believers have no excuse, besides blatent defience.
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« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2006, 08:10:35 AM »

Here's something else for you to chew on Matthew. In Acts 10:47 there is a record of people being baptized after they had already received the holy spirit (cf 1 Cor. 1:14-17)

That's something that I would call a special dispensation, but not the norm.
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« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2006, 07:30:05 PM »

Here are readings of the Acts of our fathersvthe Apostles who after having recieved the power of the Holy Spirit went out to all nations baptising in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

As follows:

==========================================================================================
008:012 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
 
008:013 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
==========================================================================================

The above recieved the full apostolic baptism....

But in a certain city the fullness of the true of apostolic baptism was not performed so:

========================================================================================
008:014 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 
008:015 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit: 
008:016 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 
008:017 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

==========================================================================================

Samarians now have have the fullness of the apostolic baptism along with all other communities. A baptism that is within the apostolic order. 

The next reading is interesting since it is the first recorded baptism that shows the apostolic church reaching beyond the Isrealites and unto the rest of the world. Phillip sets down with the Ethiopian and preaches Christ as Lord and Savior.

Its usually missed by many that this Ethiopian although African was yet and still very much Jewish (he speaks and reads Hebrew in his chariot with St. Philip, he was literate, educated, wealthy and of high esteem back in Africa). Not a recent covert but just as Jewish as any other Isrealite Jew.

This is the bridge however that the faith began to cross which started with Isreal and is now crossing out from Israel to the Ethiopians and the world.

For interested parties their are many commentaries that are written on this point which try to demonstrate the Ethiopian eunuch as the first fruit of the gentile christian. This view is reasonable in its intent. It never-the-less is complicated by the fact that the Ethiopian (s) are not gentiles in the respect which is given by scripture. Paul who is the apostle to the gentiles never enters Africa directly or indirectly. This aspect is hotly debated for reasons I care not bother for this thread.

Thus:

=========================================================================================
008:026 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 
008:027 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 
008:028 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 
008:029 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 
008:030 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 
008:031 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 
008:032 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 
008:033 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 
008:034 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 
008:035 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 
008:036 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?  008:037 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 
008:038 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 
008:039 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
=========================================================================================

Baptism is without dought the basis of the faith as established by the apostles.

Peace

Dcn Amde Tsion
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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