I'm just curious what some of your views are on baptism. I was raised with one view, but had that shaken up a bit as I've learned a bit more about why other denominations believe what they believe. The church that I'm in now has a completely different view on it from how I was raised, and the view held by the pastor that produces one of my favorite radio programs is even different from that.

It was in listening to that radio program that got my wife and I to stop and ask, "why do we believe what we believe?" The best answer that we could give at the time was, "that's what our parents and churches told us to believe." I've done some exploration on the subject. The church where we attend has a view that they can back up with scripture and it makes the most sense to me, however I haven't completely settled on my opinion. In the near future, I'm planning to research the views of various denominations and I'm going to write something about it on my blog (the link is in my signature).

I'd like to get some views on what you all believe and why.
Please do not use this thread as an opportunity to attack someone's view. Replying with questions are ok, but I don't intend for this to turn into a debate.


I decided to include a couple of questions to consider.

Who should be baptized?
What is the purpose of baptism?
By what means should baptism be administered?
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I don't have all my notes (or time to do deep look-ups on everything needed) but here's the short and sweet version:

It depends.

John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River before Jesus began his ministry. Later Jesus tells the disciples to go and baptize others as he had been. The implication is that we need to go out and get dunked in the river.

However, I do think that it's more of an act of faith. It's a public display that you're admitting that you're a sinner, that you can't help yourself, and that you're asking Jesus to take your place. It's a symbolic event that washes away your old sins and you are cleaned for your new life. It's an intentional choice that drives us to the action.

So whether you jump in the river, dunk in a pool, or get sprinkled... I would guess that as long as you've made the decision in your heart, you've done it right.

But, what about baptizing babies? I don't think it means anything. Since it's a matter of faith and choice, I don't see any value (nor have I read any scripture that supports that it means anything.) I was dipped as a baby, and when I decided to follow Christ, I felt I needed to be re-dunked. My wife, on the other hand, was sprinkled as a young adult, and feels that she's done what's required.

On a side note, I would also say that baptism is not *always* required to get into Heaven. The thief on the cross is a perfect example. He spoke to Jesus directly, got his heart in the right place, and Jesus said, "This day you will be with me in paradise." Not exactly the model "Christian," but one that still was granted salvation by Jesus. Unless you're on your deathbed when you repent, you really should follow Jesus' example and take to the waters of baptism.
Thanks for your feedback. Your personal beliefs are basically how my wife and I raised to believe.

Essentially, I had always been told that baptism was a way to publically profess my faith, was only done by total immersion, and was something that had to be done by my own choice for it to count. The way that I was raised basically taught that baptising infants was pointless and didn't actually mean anything.

Now I'm trying to get a good biblical grasp on the correct view of baptism.
I'm surprised that others don't have any thoughts on this.

I'd still love to see your scripture references on your view of baptism if you'd be willing to share.
I have thoughts on the subject, but I always seem not to have enough time to write a reply every time I find this thread.

I'll try to write a short blurb soon, but right now I need to go eat dinner. (See how it happens?)
I can't remeber which book it is in at the present but it is one of Pauls which [paraphrased says " some say Paul batised me, others say someone else". Taking this forward to the point of this thread I believe Paul goes on to suggest that unity between Christians is more important than the way baptisim is done (will edit with details when I get away from work and to a bible).

In relation to children baptism, i think the purpose for why the child is baptised to be central. If it is a dedication that the parents will try to raise a Godly child then i don't have a problem. If on the other hand it is believed that once dunked or sprinkled you are a christian then i would have concerns.
I cleared the walls of my room of these old posters. The only thing hanging right now is my Certificate of Baptism which was performed August 10, 2008. I was baptized as a baby of course, but this was the first time I was immersed in water, baptized as a declaration of my faith.

Been a long road.

Baptisim is commanded for us to do to new Christians, once they declare the faith and are mature enough to understand the meaning of it. Baptizing children or babies is a way of "consecrating" that child, the parents fulfilling their duties to God to teach them his ways. It's a promise, not the oath of citizenship to get you into Christendom.

I don't believe any particular means of baptisim (full immersion, head wash, sprinkling) is important. A splash or a full dunk is just an outward signifier, the real Baptisim is with the Spirit. But it is something we can point to, for our own benefit sometimes, to remind us of things.

Paul was a firm believer in baptizing new Christians. He assumes it's part of the ritual to signify being a Christian. Romans 6:1-5 doesn't say "if you're baptized" and the verses' context is different by the way.

"Baptize" means to dip, immerse, or wash. But that doesn't mean one needs to be wet in some way: In Acts 19:5-6 Paul baptizes with his hands.

1 Peter 3:18-22 speaks of water in baptisim symbollically through the flood.

Acts 8:14-17 also talks about the difference between the ritual (of being baptized into the name of God) and actually receiving the Holy Spirit which was done by the laying of hands.

But the importance of water is also stated, as part of the ritual not the point of it, in Acts 10:44-48.
Baptism is a declaration of faith, as previously stated.
It is not neccessary for salvation, it is just a way of showing your devotion to others for Jesus Christ.
When meditating on the subject of baptism, the Spirit reminds me of the thief on the cross. This is a wonderful subject and previous posts are "sprinkled" with wisdom. I was first baptized in "confirmation" as a 12 y/o... prior to the horrible teen years and Vietnam etal... blatant sin....
In 1972 I was baptized in the Pacific Ocean. It was showing God (I was desperate for peace with the Father), with my limited understanding I wanted Him to see my heart... that I died to the flesh with Christ and believed in the resurrection. At the time... I did not care that others saw how good I was being. I was a horribly lost sinner... about to be born again and baptized in the Spirit.
So, here is what the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, has given me to share (being an older man feeding on the Word)... some of which is replication found above. I love this forum...

First, the Greek word...
Thayer Definition:
1) to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)
2) to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one’s self, bathe
3) to overwhelm

From Courson's commentary (in part) and one of many in my library:
• John's baptism is the baptism of repentance (Luke_7:29).
• The baptism of Moses refers to those who followed him through the Red Sea (1Co_10:2).
• Jesus told His disciples they would be baptized with the Holy Ghost (Act_1:5).
• Paul speaks of being baptized into Jesus Christ (Rom_6:3).

... and of greater clarity for my own heart... although Paul supported water baptism, he himself immersed few, knowing there were factions... similar to what we see in churches today (so and so baptized me or such and such a denomination has it right)... May God be glorified... I deeply encourage us to review 1 Corinthians chapter one... where Paul declares the more important Wisdom that is far above our own.

As Marwynn stated above... Paul laid on his hands that they might receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit... I encourage you to read Acts 19:1-7 to get a full understanding of that story.

God bless you and keep looking up...
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Thanks for the comments.

Baptism is a declaration of faith, as previously stated.
It is not neccessary for salvation, it is just a way of showing your devotion to others for Jesus Christ.

I used to believe that too, but now I'm not sure. I've searched the bible and can not find any place that says that baptism is a public profession of faith.

However, scripture does say that baptism is for repentance and the forgiveness of sins. Heck, in 1 Peter, it is written that baptism now saves you. (Read 1 Peter 3:18-22 for the context)

I had an issue with this because i "knew" that a ceremonial washing couldn't save a person. I rejected baptism as a means of salvation because I saw it as a symbolic ceremony. The irony is that the church that I was raised in had us come to the front, kneel at the altar, and repeat a "sinner's prayer". That also is really just a ceremony. I do know though that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ's suffering, death, burial, and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins.

To truly understand the purpose of the sacraments, I think you need to stop and consider where faith comes from. Is faith something that we do? I do not believe that I can save myself. I believe that God saves me. I also do not believe that I can have faith on my own. I believe that faith is a gift from God. So if God can use baptism as a means to generate faith, then it is no longer our work, but it is God's work.

Can infants have faith? Well, if faith is a gift from God and not something that we do, then why not?

Something else to consider. Jesus told the disciples to let the children come to him. When God commanded the men be circumcised into his covenant, the infants were included. There is no place in scripture where children are excluded from God's covenant. You also have to take into consideration that the concept of the "age of accountability" is not actually scriptural either. I used to believe it because that's what I was taught, but it's not actually in the bible.

I'm not trying to make anyone believe a certain way. Whether you believe in infant's baptism or believer's baptism, you are saved by faith in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. It's always important to really think and understand scripture. Don't have "blind faith". Know what you believe and why you believe it.

I recently heard a podcast on the Lutheran view of infant baptism. Check it out if you're interested. Whether you accept it or not, it'll give you something to think about.
Very interesting. Gives me a lot of read about, ponder, and really try to figure out.

One specific part, though:

The irony is that the church that I was raised in had us come to the front, kneel at the altar, and repeat a "sinner's prayer". That also is really just a ceremony. I do know though that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ's suffering, death, burial, and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins.

I *think* that this part is quite ceremonial, but just as useful anyway. When I first decided to follow Christ, I didn't know what I should say, what I should do. I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn't know how to get there.

The prayer is an example of what you can say to start your "relationship with Jesus" (which isn't scriptural, either, but is partially derived from the idea that Jesus came here for each and every one of us - that seems pretty personal that he was here for me! It's also something that gets you to understand that God does talk to us. The Spirit can lead us, etc). Anyway, whether you say a specific prayer doesn't matter - it's a pre-written statement that helps you understand the impact of your choice.

We are told in other places to not forsake the fellowship (Hebrews 10:24), faith without deeds is dead (James 2:20), and other similar ideas that get us to understand that we're supposed to be part of the active church - and part of that is showing our church family that we're part of the body. That's likely why some churches require confession of faith and baptism before you can join.

But, back to your specific point about the ceremony. Yes, it's just a ceremony. If you drop dead before you walk up front, but you've repeated that phrase from your seat (even in your head) and truly meant it, I think that the effect (spiritually) is the same.
separating arguments

I was just reading an article on and realized that it might be useful to point out a necessary separation on the baptism "debate".

The article's question was, "Is baptism necessary for salvation?" I say no (the article agrees). However, the follow-up question that I would post (which isn't in the article) is, "can baptism save you?"

I do not believe that the physical ceremony of baptism saves you. However, I now believe that God can save through baptism. It's not the actual act washing that saves, but rather it is God giving the gift of faith and salvation through baptism which allows us to take part in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.

Another question....

In a previous church where I was a member (southern baptist), a former Lutheran wanted to join. However, in order to join, the pastor told him that he would have to be rebaptized since his baptism as an infant didn't count.

The church taught that baptism was commanded by God to be done after salvation. They taught that it was purely symbolic, and that it was a public profession of faith. However, they also taught that baptism was not necessary for salvation.

So, if baptism was only symbolic and wasn't necessary for salvation, then what was the point of the man being rebaptized? That pastor's teaching of baptism seemed pointless to me.

However, if baptism creates faith and is possible (note: not necessary) for salvation, then it actually does serve a purpose.

Just some more thoughts.
I'm just taking a stab here. I've never studied the policies of any denomination, so I can't tell you who, what, when, where, or why... but I can guess at it.

If the Baptists think that you have to take the dive to show your faith (and that salvation is based on the choice to accept Jesus' atonement and forgiveness), then infantile baptism wouldn't suffice. I'm guessing if I went to a Baptist church from my current non-denom (where I was baptized at the age of 28) I wouldn't need to do it again.

But you may start getting into sticky lines about Catholics, LDS, and other denominations that don't fall in line with the "main" protestant churches (Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Lutheran, etc). I think at some point, the Baptists would just give in, accept your confession of faith and that you've been baptized as an adult. But who knows?

So, if baptism was only symbolic and wasn't necessary for salvation, then what was the point of the man being re-baptized? That pastor's teaching of baptism seemed pointless to me.

My pastor would encourage you to be re-baptized, but our congregation wouldn't turn you away if you declined. The baptism as an adult is still just a show of faith. But the thief on the cross makes a pretty good case that God will judge our hearts, even if we repent on our deathbed....with or without baptism.

I imagine that the Prodigal Son parable that Jesus told was loaded with more than face-value meaning, more than instruction on how we should live our lives. How the father accepts the son back.... I think that's how God takes us back - dirty, poor, broken... it doesn't matter what we've done, what we've been through, or what it was that pushed us to realize that we need to go home, our Father welcomes us and is overjoyed to celebrate our return to Him.

The father didn't expect the wayward son to clean up before he could come home. The son was immediately welcomed in. And with or without a physical watering, our hearts and souls are restored in our decision, and Jesus takes care of the rest.

On a related note: my wife knows that I love her, but it's still nice for me to do something to show her. Baptism is just the first step in showing Jesus you love (philo) him.
thanks for the reply. My question was rhetorical, but I appreciate your thoughts on it.

You mentioned baptism as a sign of faith again. You also mentioned that baptism is something that we do to show our love to Jesus. Where is that found in scripture? (verses and context)

I'm not saying you're wrong. It's just that I've been studying and trying to understand what scripture truly says about baptism. I'd like to see the scripture that supports your statements.

Also, it's interesting that you mentioned the thief on the cross. He's the example that is frequently brought up in regards to baptism being necessary for salvation. I was listening to a program on the radio today, and the topic was baptism. The guest on the program pointed out something about the thief that I'd actually never considered. How do we know that the thief on the cross wasn't baptised? We can't assume that he was, but why should we assume that he wasn't? Prior to Jesus' ministry, John the Baptiser had an established ministry of baptism. Do we know for a fact that the thief wasn't baptised? It may be a safe assumption that he wasn't, but we don't actually know 100% for a fact since the Bible doesn't say one way or the other.

Either way, I'd never argue that baptism was necessary for salvation. The bible is clear that we are saved by grace alone through faith in Christ alone. However, does that mean that God can not use baptism as a means through which he create faith? Is faith something that we do, or is it a gift from God?

Issues Etc is doing a series on baptism this week. They broadcast over the internet, or you can listen to the podcasts on demand.
As far as i know Baptism was not originally a religious term but a finacial term which stood for a transition of ownership (i.e. if you brought a new house that house was baptised into your name). If that is the case you can see where the amazing symbolism of baptism would have come from for the first christians.

Sometimes i feel christians fall into the trap of doing things cause that is the way they were always done without any reference to why. The act of baptism (passing into the ownership of Jesus Christ) would have been instantly recognizable to first century people but for some modern christians devoid of an understanding of this context baptism becomes something mystical or magical that has the power to save in and of it self and only counts if it is done acording to preset rituals which nobody remembers why.

It remindes me of the story of a grand daughter who used to cut the end of a roast off before putting it in the oven. The husband asked why and she said she did not know but both her mother and grand mother did it and she suspected it was the secret to really moist meat. The husband not satisfied with this explination asked the grand mother why she cut the end off the meat and found out it was because she did not have a pan big enough to hold the whole peice of meat. All this to say that any tread which ask why we do things as a christian is a good one in my book. I am enjopying this conversation.
I'm at work and don't have easy access to all my study notes, links, and references, but...
Where is that found in scripture?

Jesus gave the command to go forth and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)

as for the context: a disciple is a follower, a student of a particular teacher. The rest explains itself, I think.
Thanks for the reply. I'd love it if you could post after you get a chance to refer to your notes. I agree that the bible teaches that one purpose of baptism is to baptize us into Christ. However, I still would like to know if and where scripture demonstrates that baptism is a public display of faith. That's something that I have long believed, but have recently questioned due to a lack of scriptural evidence.
Matthew 3:5-17 NIV (note that Matthew is referring to "him" and "John" meaning John the Baptist, until Jesus arrives in verse 13.

5People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11"I baptize you with (in) water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

13Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"
15Jesus replied "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.
16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lightning on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

So here in verses 5-12, we have John the Baptist, who prepares the way for Jesus. But he's already baptizing people. But John did not teach that the baptism itself actually brings forgiveness any more than sacrifices did in the Old Testament. This ritual only served to show what was happening in the hearts of the people - they were preparing themselves for the Messiah who would bring forgiveness.

However, baptism did not start with John. Jewish rabbis used baptism and circumcision when completing a ritual cleansing of a Gentile that wanted to convert to Judaism. Later, another group of Jews (Essenes) began using baptism as a frequent washings to deal with ceremonial uncleanliness. There isn't any indication that John repeatedly washed the same people - just that he used it as a one-time public sign of repentance and readiness to listen to God.

And in verse 11 John tells the Pharisees and Sadducees that he only baptizes with water, and another (whom we know to be Jesus) will baptize with the Holy Spirit.

Starting in verse 13, something really cool happens. Jesus and John disagree about whom should be baptizing whom! John recognized Jesus as the Messiah. But Jesus knows that he still needs to be baptized, which serves a few functions. First, it sets the precedence for us. Second, it shows that Jesus is ready to begin his ministry - following God's purpose for Jesus' life.

It does one other thing, but you have to understand something else before you can understand the last point. John and Jesus were both Rabbis. They studied under other rabbis. At some point, before they can begin their ministries, their rabbi has to declare them fit to teach - that they've learned all they can learn, and that they've followed the previous rabbi's teachings. Most of the rabbis will say essentially the same things, but if they are going to differ their theologies, they need the confirmation of two other existing rabbis.

John the Baptist is already assumed to have gone through the process of being told that he's good enough to teach. That's why people listen to him and go to him for baptism.

So then Jesus comes along and wants to be baptized by the one that prepares the way - John. So John agrees to baptize Jesus. Then, the heavens open and the Spirit of God descends and also declares Jesus good enough. So Jesus has his second "teacher" to confirm him. This is what gives Jesus the authority (as the Jews recognized it) to say things like "You have heard.... but I say..." (Matthew 5:21-22, as an example). This is the third thing that Jesus baptism does. It establishes His authority.

But back to baptism. Just as John understood the watery baptism to be a sign of your heart, our baptism is the same. But John didn't baptize in the Jordan during the dark of night, he did it during the day, when anyone could come. He did it under the watch of the Pharisees and Sadducees. These were publicly done as a show that the baptizee was willing and ready to listen to Jesus, who baptizes in the Spirit (v11).

Was the thief on the cross baptized? We're not told, and it seems that it doesn't matter because Jesus didn't use water, He used the Spirit. So when we choose to be baptized, the method (dunking, splashing, or dripping) likely doesn't matter, either. We are choosing to open ourselves to the baptism by the Spirit.
Something else just struck me, though.

I know it's not exactly what James was talking about, but... James 2:14-26 explains that deeds without faith are meaningless, and faith without deeds is dead (some manuscripts say "useless".

So one that gets baptized without believing... is wasting their time.

One that believes but is not baptized... doesn't follow completely.

But one that believes and is baptized, shows faith made complete (from v22).

But James also calls us into deeper action. It doesn't stop with baptism. James refers to Abraham who demonstrated his legitimate faith that God will provide by his actions. The actions didn't individually earn him anything, but served to demonstrate his complete faith.

So it falls to our actions to prove our faith. Our salvation still is not earned by deeds, but our faith in God to provide that salvation is proven by deeds. Which takes us back to the example of a light on a hill. Who will hide their light (salvation)? Prove that you are saved by becoming an example, the light, the salt.
Thanks for the input. However, that passage actually doesn't seem to demonstrate anything about the purpose of baptism as a public profession of faith. Rather, verse 11 clearly says that the purpose of baptism is for repentance. In fact, there are a number of other passages that demonstrate that baptism if for repentance and the forgiveness of sins.

Matthew 3:11
“I baptize you with water for repentance…”

Mark 1:4-5
“John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.”

Mark 16:16
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

Luke 3:3
“And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”

Acts 2:38
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 13:24
“Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.”

Acts 22:16 (spoken to Paul upon his conversion to Christianity)
Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’”

Another purpose of baptism in scripture is that we participate in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.

Romans 6:3-4
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by 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 life.”

There are also passages that seem to demonstrate that baptism brings us into God's covenant -- a replacement for the Old Testament circumcision.

1 Corinthians 12:12-13
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”

Colossians 2:11-12
“In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.”

Acts 8:26-40 tells of the Ethiopian Eunuch's salvation. Philip proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus. The Ethopian then responded with, "See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?" The two of them went down into the water and the Eunuch was baptized. There were others in the party, but the focus wasn't on it being a public display.

Acts 16:25-40 talks about Paul and Silas singing hymns in jail. There was a great earthquake, the prisoners were all set free, but none escaped. As a result, the jailer was saved. The passage says that the jailer and his entire family were baptized at that very hour. Since it was at midnight, it doesn't seem like it was very public. We can make assumptions that there may have been a lot of people there, but scripture isn't clear about that.

The point is that there are scriptures that say baptism is for repentance and forgiveness, there are passages that say we are baptized into Christ, and even a verse that says baptism now saves you (1 Peter 3:18-22). However, I can not find verses that say that the purpose of baptism is to make a public profession of faith.

It seems like that idea is being read into scripture. Just like the point I was trying to make with the thief on the cross, sometimes we unfortunately read ideas into scripture and make assumptions.

Some pentecostal churches use the thief on the cross as an example to teach that their interpretation of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not necessary for salvation. I believe we receive the Holy Spirit when we are saved (but that's another subject...start a new thread if you'd like to discuss that ;)). Regardless of whether or not the thief was baptized, we know he was saved because Jesus told him that he would be in paradise. However, that passage of scripture does not discuss baptism. Rather it is on the act of attonement for the forgiveness of our sins.

We might assume that the thief on the cross was never baptized at any point in his life. That probably is true and may be a safe assumption. However, we don't know because scripture does not clearly say one way or the other. Another example is the belief in the age of accountability. Many believe in it, but it is assumed and is not actually in the Bible.

Likewise, the passage of James does not deal with baptism. Actually, baptism is not mentioned once in the entire book of James. James discusses OUR works, such as feeding the hungry, taking care of the sick, clothing the naked, etc. I hope that we would agree that we are not saved by the works that we do, we are saved by God's works. Our works are an evidence of the faith that God has put in us.

Who must we prove our faith to? If God knows our hearts, then He does not need proof. Our works are an evidence of our faith to others. How would others benefit from witnessing my baptism as proof of my salvation? When I think back to my baptism and the baptisms of others, they were in a church. The witnesses were other members of the church, a body of believers. There probably were unsaved people there as well, but the church is a body of believers. Who benefited from my baptism if it were only a proof of my salvation?

Is baptism our work, or is it God's work? If baptism generates repentance, brings us into God's covenant, and provides a means of grace, then I would have to say that it is God's work. If God did a work on me in my baptism, then my baptism served a purpose in my life.

I don't mind if you disagree. A couple of years ago, I would have completely agreed with you. For the record, I was baptized twice growing up. Once as child and again in my late teens. The first time I did it because I was young and just wanted to be baptized. The second time I did it to rededicate my life to God. Now, as I've mentioned in other posts, I'm working to learn more about what the Bible teaches regarding baptism.

Sorry about the lengthy reply, but thanks for the conversation. It's forcing me think quite a bit. ;)
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