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Author Topic: Baptism and Salvation  (Read 1735 times) Average Rating: 0
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Seamus
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St. James


« on: April 27, 2008, 03:01:01 PM »

If Baptism is essential to Salvation, what does this verse mean?

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. 1 Cor. 1:17


EDIT:  I modified the title of this thread to make it clearer as to its subject matter.  (Salvation covers too broad a range of different possible topics.)  -PtA
« Last Edit: April 27, 2008, 03:16:49 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2008, 03:23:23 PM »

The Orthodox Study Bible says regarding 1 Cor 1:15-17: "Paul's denial does not degrade baptism; he is simply emphasizing the baptizing is not his primary role. As an apostle, Paul's primary job is to preach the gospel (v. 17), teaching those seeking God to be baptized. The one who performs a baptism is God's instrument; the converts loyalty must be to God alone."
« Last Edit: April 27, 2008, 03:30:16 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged

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Seamus
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2008, 06:19:18 PM »

The Orthodox Study Bible says regarding 1 Cor 1:15-17: "Paul's denial does not degrade baptism; he is simply emphasizing the baptizing is not his primary role. As an apostle, Paul's primary job is to preach the gospel (v. 17), teaching those seeking God to be baptized. The one who performs a baptism is God's instrument; the converts loyalty must be to God alone."

Oh, okay. Thanks, I appreciate it. That makes alot of sense.


By the way, I like your signature. I heard of that before, but I could never fully remember it.
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2008, 06:56:37 PM »

Oh, okay. Thanks, I appreciate it. That makes alot of sense.


By the way, I like your signature. I heard of that before, but I could never fully remember it.

It is a good signature. Smiley

By the way, Fr. Lawrence Farley's Bible commentary remarks: "In saying that Christ did not send him to baptize, St. Paul does not mean to belittle the significance of Holy Baptism. Far from it! To be baptized is, in fact, to put on Christ (Gal 3:27) and to be buried and raised with Him (Col. 2:12).The apostle's point here is that the actual administration of the Church and its day-to-day sacramental life are tasks that he leaves to others. His unique task is that of witnessing to the Resurrection of and proclaiming the power of His Cross." (page 31, Fr. Lawrence R. Farley, First and Second Corinthians - Straight from the Heart, The Orthodox Bible Study Companion Series, Conciliar Press)
« Last Edit: April 27, 2008, 06:59:43 PM by Ukiemeister » Logged

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Seamus
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2008, 07:23:16 PM »

It is a good signature. Smiley

By the way, Fr. Lawrence Farley's Bible commentary remarks: "In saying that Christ did not send him to baptize, St. Paul does not mean to belittle the significance of Holy Baptism. Far from it! To be baptized is, in fact, to put on Christ (Gal 3:27) and to be buried and raised with Him (Col. 2:12).The apostle's point here is that the actual administration of the Church and its day-to-day sacramental life are tasks that he leaves to others. His unique task is that of witnessing to the Resurrection of and proclaiming the power of His Cross." (page 31, Fr. Lawrence R. Farley, First and Second Corinthians - Straight from the Heart, The Orthodox Bible Study Companion Series, Conciliar Press)


Ohhh, wow. Okay. I see.


I do have another question about Baptism. From my understanding, the Church teaches Baptism is essential to Salvation. Yet, She says God can forgive anyone and is not bound by contract. So, it is possible for people to be saved without Baptism, which {to me} makes Baptism not essential. I'm somewhat confused...
And if I was wrong on anything, please correct me.
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2008, 07:37:12 PM »


Ohhh, wow. Okay. I see.


I do have another question about Baptism. From my understanding, the Church teaches Baptism is essential to Salvation. Yet, She says God can forgive anyone and is not bound by contract. So, it is possible for people to be saved without Baptism, which {to me} makes Baptism not essential. I'm somewhat confused...
And if I was wrong on anything, please correct me.

Okay. This really touches on ecclesiology as well, which is a whole nother bag of tricks. Here is how I look at it from my opinion (I will see if I can find a source to back me up a bit later hehe).

The Orthodox Church considers itself to be visibly and invisibly undivided, One Church body, the Bride of Christ. By definition to be Orthodox one must be a) received into the Church through a Sacrament (Baptism and Chrismation or something similiar as the presiding hierarch permits) b) accept the authority of a hierarch who is in communion with other hierarchs, all of whom have Orthodox doctrine.

The Church is the Ark of Salvation. To be in the Ark, one must be received which neccesitates triple-immersion baptism at some point. God can save anyone, but I am going out on a limb to say this.....by granting them salvation we may presume that God considers that person to be in the Church, for any number of reasons according to His Providence, which naturally we are not aware.

Ok, I really don't know how clear that was. I guess the bottom line is that the best way to be confident of OUR own personal salvation is to be obedient to the Will of God and the Church, and be received into this Faith that was delivered once for all unto the Apostles. (Jude 1:3) That does not guarantee our salvation, but in so doing we express our faith in the Mercy of God.

Also a key distinction that the Church has is that we believe in two types of Grace: external and internal. Internal Grace is only possible in the Orthodox Church and the Sacraments of the Church. External Grace on the other hand, may be present anywhere in God's Creation, according to His Will. For example if God miraculously heals someone who is not Orthodox or maybe not even Christian, we may view this as an example of God's external grace and give thanks.
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2008, 07:45:54 PM »

Okay. This really touches on ecclesiology as well, which is a whole nother bag of tricks. Here is how I look at it from my opinion (I will see if I can find a source to back me up a bit later hehe).

The Orthodox Church considers itself to be visibly and invisibly undivided, One Church body, the Bride of Christ. By definition to be Orthodox one must be a) received into the Church through a Sacrament (Baptism and Chrismation or something similiar as the presiding hierarch permits) b) accept the authority of a hierarch who is in communion with other hierarchs, all of whom have Orthodox doctrine.

The Church is the Ark of Salvation. To be in the Ark, one must be received which neccesitates triple-immersion baptism at some point. God can save anyone, but I am going out on a limb to say this.....by granting them salvation we may presume that God considers that person to be in the Church, for any number of reasons according to His Providence, which naturally we are not aware.

Ok, I really don't know how clear that was. I guess the bottom line is that the best way to be confident of OUR own personal salvation is to be obedient to the Will of God and the Church, and be received into this Faith that was delivered once for all unto the Apostles. (Jude 1:3) That does not guarantee our salvation, but in so doing we express our faith in the Mercy of God.

Also a key distinction that the Church has is that we believe in two types of Grace: external and internal. Internal Grace is only possible in the Orthodox Church and the Sacraments of the Church. External Grace on the other hand, may be present anywhere in God's Creation, according to His Will. For example if God miraculously heals someone who is not Orthodox or maybe not even Christian, we may view this as an example of God's external grace and give thanks.
Another way to think of this is to recognize that such acts of God as forgiving the sins of the wise thief on the cross show that God will save whomever He pleases.  These acts of God, however, are truly exceptional, and the Church is not about making exceptional acts of God the norm for our salvation.  Jesus has given us baptism as the normative way for entrance into the Church, the Ark of Salvation, and to this Way of Salvation we are bound (though, again, God is not).
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2008, 03:45:28 PM »

Okay, so God saves who He Wills. That makes sense. I was raised in Protestant churches, and one of the teachings, basically, is that if someone who was not a Christian on earth and is saved in heaven, Jesus would not have been truthful to His Word because He said No one comes unto the Father but by Me. I'm not trying to debate or anything, I'm just trying to understand this.
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2008, 03:55:58 PM »

Okay, so God saves who He Wills. That makes sense. I was raised in Protestant churches, and one of the teachings, basically, is that if someone who was not a Christian on earth and is saved in heaven, Jesus would not have been truthful to His Word because He said No one comes unto the Father but by Me. I'm not trying to debate or anything, I'm just trying to understand this.

I am always puzzled by this, too. I understand the Parable of Sheep and Goats from Matthew 25 as a very paradoxical message that there will be some people who, during the Final Judgment, will for the first time in their life discover that they actually WERE Christians, and they will be sincerely amazed. So, yes, perhaps only Christians will be saved, but there exist millions and millions of "anonymous Christians," Christians who ARE true Christinas but have no idea that they actually are Christians. No one is led to the Father except by Christ, and yet perhaps scores of people ARE actually being led to the Father by Christ in some form that we, baptized and churchgoing folks, do not know and cannot fully appreciate.
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2008, 04:44:38 PM »

Okay, so God saves who He Wills. That makes sense. I was raised in Protestant churches, and one of the teachings, basically, is that if someone who was not a Christian on earth and is saved in heaven, Jesus would not have been truthful to His Word because He said No one comes unto the Father but by Me. I'm not trying to debate or anything, I'm just trying to understand this.
I like to think of this in this way:  Jesus is the Truth (Logos) of all creation, so that those who live in accordance with Truth as they know it are in some blissfully ignorant way living in obedience to Christ, even if they don't know the Christ preached by the Christian Church.
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2008, 05:04:08 PM »

I like to think of this in this way:  Jesus is the Truth (Logos) of all creation, so that those who live in accordance with Truth as they know it are in some blissfully ignorant way living in obedience to Christ, even if they don't know the Christ preached by the Christian Church.

That's exactly my thoughts. Thank you, Peter, for saying it better than I was attempting to.
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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2008, 02:06:45 AM »

I like to think of this in this way:  Jesus is the Truth (Logos) of all creation, so that those who live in accordance with Truth as they know it are in some blissfully ignorant way living in obedience to Christ, even if they don't know the Christ preached by the Christian Church.

But, does it matter what works you do without faith? And likewise, does it matter how much faith you have without works?
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2008, 02:31:48 AM »

But, does it matter what works you do without faith?
Without faith in what?  My assertion is that those who follow Truth as they know it have faith in Christ, even if they don't know Him by name.  This isn't an argument of any sort of dichotomy between faith and works, so I find your question somewhat of a non sequitur reply to my post.

Quote
And likewise, does it matter how much faith you have without works?
I think St. James, the brother of the Lord, has some good things to say about this.  Besides, what does this have to do with my post that you quoted?


Putting my post aside, what does this question of a dichotomy between faith and works have to do with the subject of Baptism and salvation?  Are you implying that baptism is a work separate from and possibly opposed to faith?  If so, you're positing an opposition of faith and works to each other that is totally foreign to the Orthodox understanding of a perfect synergy between the two.  Faith is not mere intellectual assent to the truths of the Gospel, and works are not merely what a person does to show himself worthy of salvation; rather, faith and works are to the Orthodox two necessarily intertwined aspects of one's total devotion of one's whole life to Christ our God.
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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2008, 03:46:40 AM »

Without faith in what?  My assertion is that those who follow Truth as they know it have faith in Christ, even if they don't know Him by name.  This isn't an argument of any sort of dichotomy between faith and works, so I find your question somewhat of a non sequitur reply to my post.
I think St. James, the brother of the Lord, has some good things to say about this.  Besides, what does this have to do with my post that you quoted?


Putting my post aside, what does this question of a dichotomy between faith and works have to do with the subject of Baptism and salvation?  Are you implying that baptism is a work separate from and possibly opposed to faith?  If so, you're positing an opposition of faith and works to each other that is totally foreign to the Orthodox understanding of a perfect synergy between the two.  Faith is not mere intellectual assent to the truths of the Gospel, and works are not merely what a person does to show himself worthy of salvation; rather, faith and works are to the Orthodox two necessarily intertwined aspects of one's total devotion of one's whole life to Christ our God.


I'm not implying anything, I'm just trying to find out the Truth. I was raised Protestant, so this is a little hard for me to take it. Doesn't one have to have concious faith in Christ to be saved?
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« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2008, 07:27:30 AM »


I'm not implying anything, I'm just trying to find out the Truth. I was raised Protestant, so this is a little hard for me to take it. Doesn't one have to have concious faith in Christ to be saved?

As far as I understand, the Orthodox answer to this is: only God saves, and because of this, only He knows for sure. We, humans, with our limited knowledge, can not predict, who outside of our Church will be saved. But what we CAN know is that if we remain in our Church, and as long as we remain in it, we are being saved.
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« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2008, 11:53:11 PM »

As far as I understand, the Orthodox answer to this is: only God saves, and because of this, only He knows for sure. We, humans, with our limited knowledge, can not predict, who outside of our Church will be saved. But what we CAN know is that if we remain in our Church, and as long as we remain in it, we are being saved.

Fair enough. That makes sense.
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« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2008, 04:20:28 PM »

Reviving an old thread...

The question was asked something like: Is it necessary to have conscious faith in Christ?

The answer is certainly, if one is conscious.  The Apostle Paul writing to the Romans made this point asking "How shall the call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" [Rom 10] 

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