The following is an answer I’ve given to a brother or a sister concerning the rite of Baptism:
Baptism is definitely a show that a person is a believer (which, like circumcision, naturally identifies and sets him/her apart from the world), but it is a demonstration of what happened to him/her on the inside, […] Not only that, it is an illustration of the Gospel.”
The History of Baptism
“…. Baptism was originally part of a ceremonial rite of healing and purification (Leviticus 15:1-5 & Numbers 19:1-9). Later it was used to heal Namaan the Syrian General inflicted with Leprosy (2 Kings 5:1, 10, 14).
This is the most important passage with regard to baptism because leprosy symbolizes what sin is to God. A leper’s body is a body with little skin left because s/he scratched/tore his/her skin away because Leprosy took away any feeling of pain. So the Leper when you look at him/her they are “covered” with pus and blood and rotting flesh. They also stink of it. It is naturally repulsive and putrid to us, imagine how sin is to God, but more so for sin is evil and an act of rebellion against Him. ….”
The Christian’s Baptism
“…. The final unique use of Baptism prior to Christian Baptism is through John the Baptist as he used to as a show of repentance, but when Jesus came, Baptism began to have a new meaning:
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
– Matthew 3
Water came to symbolize the Holy Spirit.
Additionally, after His death and resurrection it came to symbolize is death, burial, and resurrection:
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
– Romans 6
My first teacher/mentor taught me the following. The root word for Baptism (Gk: Baptizo) means “To be identified with”. Like dipping white cloth to red ink, when one undergoes baptism, the person is identified with Christ, and the act of Baptism illustrates the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. As a side note, this is why I’m for full immersion rather than pouring.”
The Errors of Baptismal Regeneration
The most common heresy that cults teach is called, “Baptismal Regeneration” (BR) which they claimed that once a person is baptized s/he is Born Again. However, there are host problems that proponents of must account for
- The Bible is absolutely clear that salvation is gained by Faith Alone (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- Faith is an intellectual and a conscience act (Romans 10:17) act whereas Baptism is a rite, therefore, a work.
- Baptismal passages used by the proponents of Baptismal Regeneration is often taken out of context.
- And even if the context doesn’t answer for it, there is a hermaneutical that needs to be followed “The obscure must yield to the clear”. There are more passages for Faith Alone (FA) than there are BR; not only that, FA is absolutely clear in rendering.
In Parts 2 & 3 I will answer the most commonly used verses to support that heresy. Before I do, I will conclude this first part by quoting a passage to prove the opposite notion is true:
1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
– Galatians 3