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Author Topic: The Salvific Effect of Baptism  (Read 1517 times) Average Rating: 0
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neon_knights
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« on: November 13, 2011, 08:41:16 AM »

Romans 4:9-12
9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

In this verse Paul says that Abraham was saved by his faith before circumcision, which is a sign of his covenant. Seeing how circumcision can be so easily compared to baptism, wouldnt baptism then also be a sign?

How does baptism save? Was Paul saved the instant he believed or was he saved when he was baptized? What of the thief on the cross?
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2011, 09:37:04 AM »

I'm lazy, but want to help. If you want to know the answer to your question, do this...

1) Get a concordance. If you don't have one, here is a good on line one.

2) Look up baptism (greek 908 in concordance) and baptized (greek 907) and see these words are used, especially in Acts and the epistles.

3) Read the passages in which they are used (once again pay close attention to Acts and the epistles).

This should hopefully help a little. As far as being "saved", scripture tells us to "attain to the resurrection". It's not about completing a checklist, it's about drawing near to God and loving Him with all you heart, mind, soul, and strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself.
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2011, 03:12:40 PM »

Is it the water itself that washes away our sins or is it the faith that we bring to the water? That seems to be what the verse in 1 Peter 3 is saying.
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2011, 04:51:55 PM »

Hopes this helps. From the Orthodox Study Bible...

What is Baptism? Simply put, baptism is our death, burial, and resurrection in union with Jesus Christ.  It is a rite of passage, given by Christ to the Church, as an entrance into the Kingdom of God and eternal life.
 
The Apostle Paul describes the promise of God in this “mystery,” as most Orthodox call it, most succinctly when he writes, “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). To baptize (Gr. baptizo) literally means to immerse, to put into. Historically, the Orthodox Church has baptized by triple immersion, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19).
 
In the Old Testament, baptism was pictured by the passage of God’s people with Moses through the Red Sea (1 Cor. 10: 1, 2). John the Baptist, the last prophet of the Old Covenant, baptized in water unto repentance (Mark 1:4; Acts 19:4).  John’s baptism was received by Jesus, who thereby transformed the water and baptism itself. In the New Covenant, baptism is the means by which we enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:5), are joined to Christ (Rom. 6:3), and are granted the remission of our sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
 
What Results from Baptism? From the start, the Church has understood baptism as:
 
(1) A first and second dying. Our first dying with Christ in baptism was our death with Him on the Cross.  In the fourth century, Cyril of Jerusalem instructed his new converts: “You were led by the hand to the holy pool of divine baptism… and each of you was asked if he believe in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. And you made that saving confession, you descended into the water and came up again three times. In the very same moment you died and were born.”
 
The second death of baptism is continual – dying to sin daily as we walk in newness of life. St. Paul writes to the Colossians concerning baptism (Col. 2:12) and concludes by saying, “Therefore put to death your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5).
 
(2) The resurrection of righteousness. This is our life in Christ, our new birth and entrance into God’s Kingdom (John 3:3), our “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). It is our being joined to Christ in His glorified humanity and indwelt by God Himself (John 14:23). Our relationship with God is not something static, a legal fiction given to us by a divine Judge. Rather this is a dynamic and real life in Christ, holding the promise of everlasting life. Our resurrection to new life now forms a prelude to the resurrection of our body at Christ’s Second Coming.
 
(3) An intimate and continual communion with God. We are raised to new life for a purpose: union and communion with God. In this sense baptism is the beginning of eternal life. For this reason, Peter writes that baptism now saves us (1 Pet. 3:21) – it is not the mere removal of dirt from our bodies, but it provides us with “a good conscience toward God.”
 
Because of these promises, the priest prays for the newly baptized, thanking God “who has given us, unworthy though we be, blessed purification through holy water, and divine sanctification through life-giving chrismation, and who now also has been pleased to bring new life to Your servant newly illuminated by water and the Spirit, and granted remission of sins – voluntary and involuntary.”

http://purifyingnous.wordpress.com/2008/12/30/holy-baptism/

 
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2011, 05:50:52 PM »

St. Cyril mentioned a "saving confession"...

Is it the confession that saves us or is it the water itself?
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2011, 06:19:53 PM »

I had many similar questions when I was inquiring into the Church.

Quote
St. Cyril mentioned a "saving confession"...

Is it the confession that saves us or is it the water itself?

In a way, both. Salvation is an organic process, not a legal status. Catachumens (I am one, btw) can be saved if they die before they are baptized because God is still working the mystery of salvation.

Also, check out the early church fathers when you get a chance. From what I understand, they all affirmed the reality of baptism being essential to our salvation.
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2011, 10:11:27 PM »

1 Peter 3:21-22

21The 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: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

Good enough?  Wink
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2011, 10:13:42 PM »

Is it the water itself that washes away our sins or is it the faith that we bring to the water? That seems to be what the verse in 1 Peter 3 is saying.

What he is saying is that we're baptized for the purpose of clearing our conscience, not cleaning our bodies, doesn't negate the use of water.
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« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2011, 10:21:34 PM »

Baptism is dying as children of adam and Eve and being reborn as children of God. After baptism we are not children of adam and Eve we are children of God. Interdiction to enter heaven is applied to Adam and Eve and their children not to children of God .

We don't exactly understand step with step how death as children of adam and Eve and birth of God as children of God takes place and we call it a mystery and are Ok with not knowing everything.
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2011, 03:03:44 AM »

I have yet to be baptized. I do, however, have a strong faith in Christ.

If I were to die today or tomorrow, would I be condemned to hell just because I havent been baptized?
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2011, 09:53:11 AM »

I have yet to be baptized. I do, however, have a strong faith in Christ.

If I were to die today or tomorrow, would I be condemned to hell just because I havent been baptized?

I don't believe anyone is saying that.  We don't tend to pronounce people saved or unsaved.  What the answers here, and the Bible, are saying is that it's not cut and dried (it's not baptized = saved, unbaptized = unsaved).  Baptism does play a role in salvation, it is an early part of salvation, and salvation is a process (I was saved, I am saved, I am being saved). Salvation is not a one-time event where you can say "Before this point in time I was not saved, after this point in time I was saved." "He who endures to the end will be saved."    Salvation is communion with Christ, which is lived out in life, not a legal standing/pronouncement before him.  Is it the confession that saves, or the water?  It is both.  What if one dies between the confession and the water?  We leave that up to a merciful and loving God without presuming to tell Him what to do.  
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2011, 05:03:15 PM »

...salvation is a process (I was saved, I am saved, I am being saved). Salvation is not a one-time event where you can say "Before this point in time I was not saved, after this point in time I was saved." "He who endures to the end will be saved."    Salvation is communion with Christ, which is lived out in life, not a legal standing/pronouncement before him.  

This Orthodox understanding of salvation is what often makes discussions with Protestants so difficult, not to say fruitless. Since we both use the word "salvation" and mean different things. Others use the word sort of as shorthand for one's eternal destination.
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2011, 11:42:41 PM »

...salvation is a process (I was saved, I am saved, I am being saved). Salvation is not a one-time event where you can say "Before this point in time I was not saved, after this point in time I was saved." "He who endures to the end will be saved."    Salvation is communion with Christ, which is lived out in life, not a legal standing/pronouncement before him.  

This Orthodox understanding of salvation is what often makes discussions with Protestants so difficult, not to say fruitless. Since we both use the word "salvation" and mean different things. Others use the word sort of as shorthand for one's eternal destination.
What is the other use?
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2011, 01:17:00 AM »


What is the other use?

Here:

Salvation is communion with Christ, which is lived out in life...

That is another use.  Salvation is healing and wholeness in Christ, union with Him.  This is not the work of but a moment or a one-time decision.  This is repentance, a daily choosing, a walking toward.  An enduring ......
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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2011, 09:22:54 AM »

What is the other use?

Just a generalization. I know reality doesn't work in generalizations, but it's a start.

Protestants tend to use it in a "where would you go if you died tonight" based in one's personal security. "I'm saved therefore I know I will go to heaven."

The Orthodox use it in the sense of how a person is made whole and freed from sin. It's accomplished by the cross and realized in us as we draw closer to Christ, are united with Him, and are conformed to Him. This is fully realized in us in the general resurrction at the second coming. This is why "being saved" isn't generally referred to as a single event in Orthodoxy.

The general premise of "getting saved" (in the Protestant sense) is "what's the bare minimum I really need to offer to God in order to get into heaven", which is faulty to begin with. Example - if you're "saved" without baptism, then it's not necessary and doesn't accomplish anything, if not, then baptism gets put on a "get into heaven checklist" that must be completed before you die or you go to hell. From this point of view, both answers are wrong because the intention of the question is wrong.

Does baptism contribute to our salvation, yes. Do you need to be baptized, yes everyone does. Will God send you to hell at the final judgement based only on whether or not a person was baptized, that's up to Him. Obviously no one was baptized before the day of pentecost, but we have many saints who died before then (good thief for example). Does this negate what baptism is, what it does, or our need for it - no.

One does need to be baptized in order to be a communicating member of the Church in this life.
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« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2011, 05:25:33 PM »

What of in Acts 10 when the Gentiles received the Spirit before being baptized?
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« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2011, 07:02:53 AM »

In my understanding, without baptism you can not see Heaven: John 3:3 John 3:5.
In my understanding, without Holy Communion you can not have eternal life, John 6:53.
In my understanding you loose a lot of Christianity by not becomming Eastern Orthodox Christian.

Pray to God to let you know the true religion in his eyes and to move yourself to that religion. Also pray to understand how God sees religions through his eyes. You will be surprised.

One tree of death in garden of Eden, at least one tree of eternal life, Eastern Orthodox Church in garden of religions. Make sure you go in afterlife with eternal life and making the right decision. Asking God about right religion is of UTMOST importance since many trees in the Garden of religion do nothing to change your mortal status. I did that while willing to become Protestant and the answer was Eastern orthodox Church IS THE TRUE CHURCH and that this is why God sends EVERY YEAR Holy Light just to Eastern Orthodox Church. God let me knew about other religions and believe me, MANY are not what they claim to be anyhow this is of second importantce since a claim , true or false, can not regain your immortal status.
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« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2011, 09:33:45 AM »

What of in Acts 10 when the Gentiles received the Spirit before being baptized?

1) That was unique. It's the only time I can think of in the NT when a person or people receive the Holy Spirit before receiving baptism. I say only because the apostles weren't baptized after receiving the Holy Spirit on pentecost.

2) It along with Peter's vision was a sign of God's acceptance of those who were not circumcised into the old covenant.

3) They still had to be baptized.
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« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2011, 11:09:29 AM »

What is the other use?

Just a generalization. I know reality doesn't work in generalizations, but it's a start.

Protestants tend to use it in a "where would you go if you died tonight" based in one's personal security. "I'm saved therefore I know I will go to heaven."

The Orthodox use it in the sense of how a person is made whole and freed from sin. It's accomplished by the cross and realized in us as we draw closer to Christ, are united with Him, and are conformed to Him. This is fully realized in us in the general resurrction at the second coming. This is why "being saved" isn't generally referred to as a single event in Orthodoxy.

The general premise of "getting saved" (in the Protestant sense) is "what's the bare minimum I really need to offer to God in order to get into heaven", which is faulty to begin with. Example - if you're "saved" without baptism, then it's not necessary and doesn't accomplish anything, if not, then baptism gets put on a "get into heaven checklist" that must be completed before you die or you go to hell. From this point of view, both answers are wrong because the intention of the question is wrong.

Does baptism contribute to our salvation, yes. Do you need to be baptized, yes everyone does. Will God send you to hell at the final judgement based only on whether or not a person was baptized, that's up to Him. Obviously no one was baptized before the day of pentecost, but we have many saints who died before then (good thief for example). Does this negate what baptism is, what it does, or our need for it - no.

One does need to be baptized in order to be a communicating member of the Church in this life.

Wonderful summation. This is exactly my understanding of salvation from the typical low-church evangelical perspective. It's also quite a recent development for many parts of Protestantism. The Lutherans and Calvinists, for example, historically did not hold to such a belief. Many "confessional" Lutherans and Presbyterians will still defend the sacramental life and salvation as a life-long experience, rather than a moment of decision, albeit differently (the Lutherans being somewhat closer to the traditional Orthodox perspective, as shared by Catholicism). I remember when I was a Presbyterian, after each baptism our pastor would walk around the church with the newly-baptized infant (it was informal, but almost like churching the child. The pastor was vested in his geneva gown) and remind the congregation that this baptism initiated the child's participation in the life of the church, and that it was all of our responsibility to look after and care for the young one as he or she grew up as a Christian, ensuring that the child develop and maintain a life-long commitment to Christ. Looking back on it, it was quite Orthodox. Not entirely, but surprisingly close.



What of in Acts 10 when the Gentiles received the Spirit before being baptized?

1) That was unique. It's the only time I can think of in the NT when a person or people receive the Holy Spirit before receiving baptism. I say only because the apostles weren't baptized after receiving the Holy Spirit on pentecost.

2) It along with Peter's vision was a sign of God's acceptance of those who were not circumcised into the old covenant.

3) They still had to be baptized.

Again, I totally agree! Baptism is a requirement of the New Covenant. Does that mean God's wrath falls down on those who do not have the opportunity to be baptized? I don't think so (though, of course, God is judge). Yet, many saints have not been baptized but are still saints. Mostly this is confined to catechumens who were rounded up with the faithful and executed. Many others come from the ranks of pagan onlookers to the execution of Christians (many times even their executioners!) who, after beholding the faith of the Christians, declared openly that they were Christians and immediately executed. They professed faith, and are saints in our Church, but were never baptized. I like the way the Western tradition has evolved to talk about these people. They were baptized by desire, or had a baptism by blood.

Yet, Christ commands in the Gospels, "[baptize] them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." (Great Commission, St. Matthew's Gospel) and St. Peter exhorts in his homily, "repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins..." (Acts 2:38) St. Peter also wrote on that "baptism which now saves us." (1 Peter 3:21). St. Paul, writes also on the importance of baptism as a surety of our salvation, that it unites us to death in Christ, and so it gives us hope that we are also united to Him in resurrection (Romans 6). The Great Commission passage is the Gospel Reading at the Orthodox baptism service. The Romans passage I'm referring to is the Epistle Reading.

These two facts, these facets of our Tradition, show us a tension. A paradox. One must be baptized, yet scores of saints were not, even in under the New Covenant. Such is one of many paradoxes of our Faith, the Great Mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ, who works all for the good of those who love Him, and who are called according to His purposes.
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« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2011, 01:06:06 AM »

Again, the thief on the cross was baptized by Jesus after death together with Adam, Abraham-see Gospel of Nicodemus.

Even recently a muslim on his deathbed asked for Jesus to baptize him and he was found in Heaven. From one village half muslims, half christians one christians go to death and finds a muslim there, one from all village. He is told that that muslim had passport, aka asked for Jesus on his deathbed.
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« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2011, 03:13:36 AM »

Is the Gospel of Nicodemus scripture?
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