16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
In actuality, Baptism does not wash away sins, but then why was Paul instructed to get baptized “… and wash away thy sins…”? Look at the underlined words and look at the following passage:
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
– Romans 10
Now read this: “… and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” I believe that the word “By” is implied here so as to read as “… and wash away thy sins, (by) calling on the name of the Lord.” By reading it as I put it, it harmonizes well with the overall context of salvation in terms of salvific methodology. One is saved by Faith Alone,
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.
In showing this passage, they, the supporters of BR says that by being Baptized the person mystically participates in His death, burial, and resurrection and so the recipient is saved, regenerated which also washed his/her sins are washed away.
However, the context (6:4-7) indicates that this is not to be taken literally as it speaks of it in a spiritual sense. Recall that in Part 1 that the root word for Baptism (Gk: Baptizo) means “To be identified with”.
Romans 6:3 is really about the fact that when the Roman believers are Baptized, they were identified with Christ. By undergoing Baptism they’re showing the world the change wrought within them. So how can they go on sinning when they’re supposed to be changed believers? Their continued sinning send a contrary message that they are not.
Later, Paul said that sinners are a slave to sin. So when they do they’re either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness, thankfully, they’re not but a slave to the latter (6:13-18).
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
This is in a similar language of Romans 6:3-7 so this should not be taken literally. Not only that, see the proceeding context:
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
So, if Baptism here is to be taken literally then why did verse 11 say “… ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands….”? What Colossians 2:12 is really saying is that the Colossians believers were regenerated spiritually. If vs 12 really did speak of the ordinance of Baptism, then our regeneration would be by hands and yet vs 11 contradicts that notion.
2 Peter 3:21
21 The 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:
The first question to be asked about this is, “What is it that Baptism saves us from”? It is in reference to Noah when he was saved by water in vs. 19-20 which should strike one as odd. Supporters of BR believes that Baptism saves yet the proceeding verses speaks of the water saving Noah by destroying all of the inhabitants.
What is being spoken of here is having a peace of mind, saved from worry, that one is saved from judgment. So when we were Baptized as believers, it reminds us of the fact that we’re saved from the judgment and wrath of God. That is why it says the latter verse of 21 “… (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:”
And when it says, “… by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”, it speaks of His work of regeneration alone… and not ours. Back to Colossians 2:11, we are circumcised made without hands and so this is no different.
If you are new to bible reading and/or apologetics, you will notice a commonality with how I’ve answered each verse, and that commonality is the use of context. the context of scripture is the most important thing with regard to proper interpretation.
That is how scriptures are answered, not just doctrinal issued claimed to be biblical such as Unitarianism, Hebrew Roots, and of course, Baptismal Regeneration but alleged Bible Contradictions as well as to explain disturbing events such as the annihilation of the people of Canaan, the practice of slavery in Israel, and the suffering and loss of Job.
The first book that should take as priority for apologetics study is not “Kingdom of the Cults” by Norman Geissler*, nor is it the “Case for Christ” series by Lee Strobel, but the Holy Scriptures. the Bible. This is true for all other areas of study whether it be for holiness and purity; for the running of the church; for the missions field, or for the raising of the family; the Bible takes precedence over all. The Bible, and the Bible alone decides what is to be established, what is to be kept, and what is to be rejected.
The Bible is God’s word.
12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.
19 That thy trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.
20 Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,
21 That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?
5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
– Proverbs 22:12, 19-21, 30:5-6
CORRECTION: The author of “The Kingdom of the Cults” is by Dr. Walter Martin, not Norman Geisler.