Water-Baptism – BT4
The NT and early Church didn’t separate the required ergon ‘doings/works’ of salvation
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See also Salvation and Obedient Steps of Faith – BT15. The Obedient Steps of Faith for salvation require these five components: 1) akouo hearing/listening-to-understand/know the gospel logos message of Jesus Christ who is The Truth, 2) the routine having of trusting-relying-faith in Jesus as your Messiah-Savior, the “Anointed-One” Christ, and Supreme-Lord-Master of your life, 3) repenting or turning from sin to the Lord, 4) publicly confessing your sin and confessing “Jesus is the Christ as Savior and Lord/Master,” 5) and then being water-baptized to “welcome and grab-hold-of” the Spirit-baptism. Leave any out and don’t bet on being saved when you stand before the Father at the Great White Throne Day of Judgment.
All Jewish-Christians simply did all 5 steps above because that is what they were accurately taught, believing they were integrated and inseparable for salvation. The internal reality and the outward display of trusting-relying-faith can’t be separated, for “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,” even evil (a), and “the good person, out of the agathos good-natured (b) treasure of his heart, prophero ‘bears/produces forward or forth’ agathos good-nature (b, c), and “you will genuinely, experientially, relationally epignosko know them by their fruit” (d). The soteria process of salvation (e) isn’t something that can be separated from our mouth and actions! Paul’s mission was to “bring the Gentiles to obedience – by logos message [from their mouths] and deed” (f) and said, “Whatever you DO, by logos message [from their mouths] or deed, DO everything in the name/authority of the Lord Jesus” (g). This separation of the body’s actions from the mind/spirit’s beliefs doesn’t come from the Jewish thinking behind most of the NT, but from the Greek philosophy of “dualism” (h) that crept into the later Catholic Church, and more so by religious rationalism by the Catholic St. Thomas Aquinas (i) that combined with empiricism to create the scientific method (j). This all greatly added more “traditions of men.” Do your own homework on water-baptism (k). <Notes> a) Matthew 12:34, 15:18-19; Mark 7:21, b) agathos: “good natured, pleasantly joyful, excellent or distinguished and thus useful, upright, or honorable.”, c) Luke 6:45, d) Matthew 7:16, 20, e) soteria/soterias is a process of deliverance, reconciliation, and restoration to healthy wholeness, f) Romans 15:18, g) Colossians 3:17, h) the universe consists of separate good/mind versus evil/matter, i) 1224-1274 AD, j) 1473-1642 AD, k) Matthew 3:11, 28:19; Mark 1:4, 16:16; Luke 3:3, 24:47; Acts 2:38, 41, 8:12-13, 16, 36-38, 9:18, 10:47-48, 16:15, 33, 18:8, 25, 19:3-5, 22:16; 1 Corinthians 1:13- 17, 12:13; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 4:5; Colossians 2:12; and 1 Peter 3:21.
The apostle Peter didn’t try to separate the components of salvation, even in the first sermon of the Church where he uses the imperative to strongly urge the Jews in Acts 2:38-39, “Repent (a) and/coupled be water-baptized every one of you in the name/authority of Jesus Christ eis ‘toward and reaching the goal of’ the forgiveness of your sins, kai and-then you will lambano ‘grab hold of to receive’ the grace-gift of the Holy Spirit gar ‘for the reason of’ to you This [singular] Promise [of the Holy Spirit] and/coupled to your children kai and-also to all who are far off, as many as whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.” Can you see how “being born of [singular] water and/coupled [singular] Spirit” (b) thru water-baptism is dependent on repenting by turning to Jesus and that forgiveness of sins doesn’t come just from repenting, even if you speak it by confession, but must be accompanied by water-baptism? <Notes> a) metanoia: an after-effect of mind/heart/inner man, implying an internal change after an activity, where the ‘activity’ is defined by the context – see Surrender Control. In the context, the Jews needed to do a U-turn about their conviction about Christ, having just crucified Him, b) see John 3:5 – see Salvation – BT8.
That’s also why the apostle Peter explained all this in his first letter in 1 Peter 3:21 that says: “Kai and-also water-baptism, which antitupos ‘as an antitype prefigures’ this (a), now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but-instead as an eperotema ‘response to any inquiry’ (b) of/belonging-to an agathos good-natured (c) suneidesis ‘together-with [the Spirit’s] eido mental seeing-to-perceive/knowing’ (d) eis toward-and-reaching-the-goal-of God, dia thru-the-realizing-channel-of the action of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” It’s not the water, but the enabling-power of Christ’s resurrection that delivers you “through the flood waters” that condemned the flesh to death, just like the waters that covered the earth washed away the sin of the world but also delivered Noah’s family to safety! <Notes> a) v. 3:20: Noah and his family saved through the flood waters, b) eperotema: This could have been an answer to the baptizer’s catechism question of what their confession of The-Trusting-Relying-Faith was, c) agathos: “good-natured, pleasantly joyful, excellent or distinguished and thus useful, upright, or honorable,” d) the phrase could mean “a request/appeal to God for a clear conscience free of sin” or maybe a “profession of faith in Christ as Savior and Lord for a clear conscience from God” as others have translated it, but I’d rather take the Greek ‘as is’ for the Holy Spirit working together with the person because of their surrender to help them mentally experience their reaching of God, but ALL of this saves them only because it is REALIZED thru the resurrection of Christ.
The Apostle Paul also assumes every Christian will have been water-baptized in Romans 6:3-8 (a), “Do you not know that all of us who have already been water-baptized into Christ Jesus were water-baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by the means of water-baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of zoe genuine-life. For if we have already been united with Him in a death like His, then we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His (b). We know that our old self was already crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be rendered powerless/inactive, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin (c). For one who has already died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we have trusting-relying-faith that we will then/also live with Him.” Did you catch that “if . . . , then . . .” statement again (b)? The “then” results can only be true for a person, if they have done the “if” conditions. Have you been water-baptized to be confident of the “resurrection” and to have a fighting chance against sin? <Notes> a) cf. Colossians 2:12, b) Did you catch the If…then statement?, c) So if you don’t get water-baptized, the enabling-power source of sin is still alive.
Regarding the “old self” above, the natural, unredeemed “old man/self/being” or “inner man/self/being” dwelling in our initial “spirit/breath of man” that God gave us to make us a “living being” – see Identity, well according to Romans 6:6 this old self MUST be crucified with Christ in water-baptism for this old self’s enabling-power to stop influencing and energizing – like an evil ‘Energizer Bunny’ would – the rest of man, this being his soul and/coupled body together as “flesh” – see Identity. The power-plug must be pulled! It’s the only way to be free from the old self’s dominion that enslaves you to sin. And the only way to have our “spirit” redeemed or ‘purchased for freedom’ and given the completely-different-in-kind New zoe Genuine-Life and enabling-power of the Spirit of holiness is for us to resurrect from the dead with Christ and be given His completely-different-in-kind New Spirit, and this only happens in water-baptism (a). <Notes> a) Romans 6:4-5, 8; Colossians 2:12-13.
Sanctification/holiness in the Christian life is then a matter of keeping the old self’s dirty clothes off us and the completely different-in-kind New Self’s (a) fresh, clean clothes on us (b). It’s a shame so many churches speak so little of water-baptism, when the NT speaks so much about it. No wonder there is so much sin in churches – they call for holiness but then don’t unplug the old self. Futile, especially because it’s doubtful they even are a “New Self” or “New Creation” (b) without water-baptism! They are trying to make “the natural man” or “old self” sanctified/holy – and that’s the definition of every religion in the world! <Notes> a) 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 2:15, 4:24; Colossians 3:10, b) Colossians 3:9-10; Ephesians 4:22-24.
Paul wrote this before he got to Romans 10:9, “If you confess (a) that ‘Jesus is Lord’ (b) and/coupled have trusting-relying-faith in your heart (c) that God resurrected Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Paul already spoke of what occurs by “confession” of Christ’s Lordship – it involves dying in water-baptism so that afterwards you can “consider/recognize yourselves dead to sin (d) but alive to God in Christ Jesus . . . presenting yourselves to God as those who have actually been brought from death to zoe genuine-life (d)” (e). The whole book of Romans is sequential – you can’t just jump to chapter 10 as if that’s all that is involved in salvation! Confession wasn’t just verbal agreement to a creed, but proved through water-baptism you really did have trusting-relying-faith that Jesus was now Supreme Master-Lord of your life! Gentiles simply don’t understand “confession” because water-baptism was standard practice for all disciples of the Jewish religion, as we’ll see in the next BLOG – it’s a necessity to Surrender Control. And the earliest Church was ALL Jewish for quite awhile! <Notes> a) homologeo: literally means “to declare the same [homo] message [logos]”, b) which requires the Holy Spirit’s enablement: 1 Corinthians 12:3, c) not your nous head, d) context: because of water-baptism, e) Romans 6:11-13.
Water-Immersion was standard practice for salvation for all Jews and Christians! To understand water-baptism in the day of John the Baptist, Jesus, and all Jewish-Christian disciples who were water-baptizing, you obviously need to know what water-baptism already meant to a Jew. Jews were already considered katharos “clean” (a) by their Jewish birth and male circumcision, so no water-baptism was needed (b). When a Gentile, who was by default akathartos ‘unclean, impure, defiled’ was converted to Judaism, they not only had to be circumcised according to the Law (if a man), but they had to be water-baptized to be made “ceremonially or ritually clean.” The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia further states, “Water baptism, as an initiatory rite [as with other pagan religions], was no less familiar to Gentile converts who had no acquaintance with the Jewish religion. These water-baptisms, like the water-baptism of proselytes were immersions for purification.” <Notes> a) katharos: “purged, clean, pure, unmixed,” cf. hagios: sanctified, separated, dedicated, made holy and pure for God, b) the water-baptism of Jews didn’t start for centuries later – see Wikipedia’s Mikveh.
That’s why the experts in the Law asked why John was water-baptizing Jews as if he had greater authority (a) than Moses who said Jews were already “clean” where this greater authority would be that of Elijah who was to precede the Messiah (b), the Messiah prophesied as “The Servant of Yahweh” by Isaiah, or The Prophet that Moses said would come. In the next BLOG, we will see that Gentiles were water-baptized for conversion, but Jews only by priests for ritualistic cleansing under very particular situations. Moses prophesied: “It is to The Prophet you shall listen-to-understand . . . the Voice of Yahweh saying: ‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brothers, and I will put My directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words in His Mouth, and He shall speak to them ALL that I command Him, and whoever will in-possibility-NOT akouo hear/listen-to-understand/know The Prophet (c) who shall speak in My name/authority, I Myself will carry out [by] exact-punishing-justice a penalty from him” (d). This is a strick warning to not ignore The Prophet! <Notes> a) John 1:25, b) Jesus said John was him: Matthew 11:14, 17:12; Mark 9:13, c) Greek text fits the flow better, but the Hebrew says instead: ‘hears/listen-to-understand/know This Rhema’ [of Him], d) Deuteronomy 18:15-19.
What changed was NOW John the Baptist and Jesus’ disciples were water-baptizing ALL Jews (a), presumably still a “water-baptism for repentance” because there is no mention of “water-baptizing in the name/authority of Jesus” (b) until after Christ’s resurrection when He was “given all authority in heaven and earth” and when He gave the ‘Great Commission’ to the 11 apostles to preach (not write) His gospel logos message to make disciples by water-baptizing them as we saw in Matthew 28:18-20 as discussed in Water-Baptism – BT2. <Notes> a) John 3:22, 26, 4:1-2, b) Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5.
In the writings of early church tradition (a), some of which date back as far as 50 AD before many of the NT writings, the early Church Fathers clearly explain, as Matthew Ropp so accurately summarized for his degree to Dr. Nathan Feldmeth for Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Theology 1998 Early Church History 500-level course: “the primary and innate purpose and results of water-baptism was purification from sin and regeneration of the sinner into new life; for the purpose of and affecting a new spiritual birth; necessary for salvation; and certainly required for membership in the Church.”
All 5 components of salvation are required: 1) akouo hearing/listening-to-understand/know the gospel logos message of Jesus Christ who is The Truth, 2) the routine having of trusting-relying-faith in Jesus as your Messiah-Savior, the “Anointed-One” Christ, and Supreme-Lord-Master of your life, 3) repenting or turning from sin to the Lord, 4) publicly confessing your sin and confessing “Jesus is the Christ as Savior and Lord/Master,” 5) and then being water-baptized to “welcome and grab-hold-of” the Spirit-baptism. Public repentance, confession of sins, calling out to Jesus as the Christ or Savior to save you, and water-baptism by immersion for the washing away of sins, forgiveness, and salvation were intricately connected from the very beginning – all these were obedient steps of faith and surrender of control! <Notes> a) e.g., the Didache or “The Teaching of the 12 Apostles,” the writings of Barnabas, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and many more.