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#1 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 01:10 AM

The following is an ongoing discussion I'm having with a contact. The issues under debate are:

1) Whether or not infants may legitimately be baptized.

2) Whether or not water baptism is a part of the salvic process.

3) Whether it is water baptism or 'Spirit baptism' that is the sign of our salvation.

4) The doctrine of 'original sin'.

5) Whether or not faith in Christ, repentance and forgiveness must precede water baptism.

6) The position and meaning of forgiveness in the salvic process.

Other issues arise as the debate continues, but these are the key issues at stake.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#2 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 01:22 AM

You wrote:

Please enlighten me. If those who sin outside the law perish, and those who sin under the law (and who are not saved through Christ) also perish, where's the difference?


I am uncertain of your meaning here. Those who perish outside the law (having never known it), are not judged as having known and broken it. Those who have known the law, and who sin under the law (having known and broken it), are judged by the law which they have broken.

The NAB says:

12 All who sin outside the law will also perish without reference to it, and all who sin under the law will be judged in accordance with it.


The definition of sin that I know of (1 John 3:4) is to violate the law...


Yes, that's the definition I've been working with.

...so how can there be sin outside the law if the law does not apply?


Because, as you have also said, whether or not they know the law of God, their actions are still not considered 'righteous' actions. They are not considered actions which are in keeping with the will of God. But they are not judged as if they have broken God's law. They die as all men eventually die, because they are mortal, and they stay dead without hope of salvation because they never knew nor obeyed the law of God.

I interpret Romans 2:12 to mean that the same actions get the same results, whether one knows the law or not. I read "outside the law" to mean Gentiles unaware of the law, not that the law doesn't apply. They'll perish, and God won't bother at that point to explain the law to them.


I'm happy with that. I don't disagree.

Also, I think Romans 2:12 is used out of context. 2:13-16 continue on to state that Gentiles can by nature abide by the law and have it written in their hearts, and I interpret verse 16 to include them in the final judgment. This again is saying that the law does apply, even if they don't know it exists.


The passage in Romans 2:13-16 does not say that the Gentiles by nature abide by the law of God, nor does it say that they have the law of God written into their hearts.

Let's go through Romans 2.

Romans 2:
1Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.


- So we are discussing people who are judged and condemned for their actions.

This is a clear reference to moral judgment...

2But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.


...as this verse proves. We are disussing the judgment of God according to truth, against them which commit these things - and the 'them' are the same group with whom we have dealt all along (since Romans 1:16), the people to whom the righeousness of God has been revealed through the gospel.

3And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?


- Oh yes, we could take this as the judgment of God on people in this life, but the context will not bear it...

4Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?


...firstly because this reference speaks of the forbearance of God suspending judgment and waiting for repentance (which is the very opposite thought of God visiting judgment on men and women in the present)...

5But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;


...and secondly because this verse is absolutely crystalline in defining the judgment here spoken of as the judgment at the time of the end. Note that it also speaks of those who 'treasure up to themselves wrath' against their deeds, due to the hardness and impenitence of their heart - this can only speak of those who know God's truth and have deliberately refused it. It makes no sense to speak in this way of those who are ignorant.

6Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:


- Yes, this is the final judgment of which we're speaking here, no doubt...

8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
9Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;


...but this certainly clarifies the issue, if there were any further need. Note that this is exactly the same language which is applied to those spoken of in Romans 1.
It makes perfect sense to apply them to those who are enlightened, none at all to speak of the ignorant in this way - these are terms clearly referring to those who are responsible to the final judgment.

10But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
11For there is no respect of persons with God.


- More 'final judgment' verses.

12For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;


- This says those who have never known law, will not be judged and condemned as if they have both known and broken it.

13(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.


- Oh! Parentheses! Rightly so... this next couple of verses is grammatically parenthesised, and is an obvious sidenote to the matter of the final judgment, an expansion on the current thought of those who are without the law of God, and who perish without it, as opposed to those in the Law who are judged by the Law.

Let's have a look at the passage without the parenthesised portion, just to see if it makes sense:

For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

(verses 13, 16.)


Seamless! Just as we expected. In fact, had we not been informed of a passage in between these two sentences it would be impossible to know that such a passage existed.

How does it read then?

'As many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law (never coming to judgment), and as many as have sinned in the Law shall be judged by the Law in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel (the gospel being the revelation of the righteousness of God, which renders men morally accountable).'


So, what of the parenthetical passage?

For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

- Those who obey the Law are justified.

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

- Ah. This doesn't say they know the Law, nor does it say they all do or all always do the things contained in the Law. In fact it doesn't even mention moral accountability at all.

Is this speaking of a hardwired consicence to God? I don't believe so. So what does the word 'nature' here mean, if it doesn't mean a conveniently hardwired conscience?
The word is here used (as elsewhere), for and established habit or mode of behaviour, one of its other principle meanings. This makes perfect sense in the context.

But when they do, by nature (or 'established habit/mode of behaviour', the things contained in the Law, these, having not the Law (note, they have not the Law - the Law has not been written into their hearts in the way you claim), are accountable as to the Law of God.

Whooops! It doesn't say that last bit! It says they are a law unto themselves. No mention of moral responsibility to God for the fact that they live in accordance with God's commandments coincidentally. There's no such thing as 'accidental righteousness', any more than there is such a thing as 'accidental sin'. If they did have the Law of God within themselves, if they did have the Law of God written into their hearts supernaturally by God (as you claim), then they would most definitely be accountable to God. But Paul says that they are accountable only to themselves. They are a law unto themselves. He couldn't be clearer.

So in fact for the first time, we find a clear reference to those who have not had the Law of God revealed to them, and there is no mention of their moral responsibility at all.
No mention of judgment by God for transgression of His moral law, either in this life, or at the Seat of Judgment. In fact, we find that the only reference speaks of them doing 'by established practice' those things in the Law.

Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

- We can see that whilst their consciences might be congruent with the Law, whilst they might have a moral law which agrees with the moral Law of God (to a certain extent), their very thoughts are inconsistently accusing or excusing them. But there is no mention of God doing either. In this verse we read that they are held morally accountable by themselves to their own moral code. We do not read of them being held accountable to God's Law. We do not read of them being accused or excused by God.

This is all clearly outside the responsibility of God's Law, which Paul has already told us they do not have.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#3 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 01:22 AM

You then wrote:

Being unaware of His law is not the same as "no law".


I replied:

But in fact being unaware of His law is being without law. It is the same as 'no law', because you have no guiding principles as to what God desires, and how to live.

Thus:

Romans 4:
15Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.


You then said:

4:15 is really taken out of context. Paul's thoughts here begin with 4:13 and are saying that God's promise to Abraham and his offspring for nheriting the earth is based on faith in God, not obedience to the law. In 4:14 he is arguing that if those who just live by the law become heirs, then faith and God's promise to Abraham are meaningless. 4:15 is saying that if law is the criteria, we'll receive God's wrath rather than inherit the earth (because we as humans are unable to fully abide by the law).


I haven't taken Romans 4:15 out of context. Romans 4:15 states a general principle that where there is no law, no sin is imputed. Romans 4:15 does say that the law causes wrath in the sense that it is the law which leads to God being wrathful against us (because we break it), and to this extent I agree with you,

The closing "for where no law is, there is no transgression" in 4:15 is saying that "law" is not a criteria of God's promise, so transgression resulting in wrath will not occur, and thus will not impact the inheriting of the earth. 4:16 reinforces this interpretation "Therefore the promise comes by faith...". It is not saying people unaware of the law are not transgressing.


The closing part of the passage does not say 'law is not a criterion of God's promise', it says 'where no law is, there is no transgression'. It is explaining the presence or absence of God's wrath. Paul has already said that the presence of God's wrath is caused by the working of the law, and then he goes on to say that where no law is, there is no transgression.

Let's have a look at the entire passage in a number of different versions:

(NCV)
13 Abraham and his descendants received the promise that they would get the whole world. He did not receive that promise through the law, but through being right with God by his faith.
14 If people could receive what God promised by following the law, then faith is worthless. And God’s promise to Abraham is worthless,

15 because the law can only bring God’s anger. But if there is no law, there is nothing to disobey.

16 So people receive God’s promise by having faith. This happens so the promise can be a free gift. Then all of Abraham’s children can have that promise. It is not only for those who live under the law of Moses but for anyone who lives with faith like that of Abraham, who is the father of us all.


(NLT)

13 It is clear, then, that God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was not based on obedience to God’s law, but on the new relationship with God that comes by faith.
14 So if you claim that God’s promise is for those who obey God’s law and think they are “good enough” in God’s sight, then you are saying that faith is useless. And in that case, the promise is also meaningless.

15 But the law brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)

16 So that’s why faith is the key! God’s promise is given to us as a free gift. And we are certain to receive it, whether or not we follow Jewish customs, if we have faith like Abraham’s.
For Abraham is the father of all who believe.


(CEV)

13 God promised Abraham and his descendants that he would give them the world. This promise wasn’t made because Abraham had obeyed a law, but because his faith in God made him acceptable.
14 If Abraham and his descendants were given this promise because they had obeyed a law, then faith would mean nothing, and the promise would be worthless.

15 God becomes angry when his Law is broken. But where there isn’t a law, it cannot be broken.

16 Everything depends on having faith in God, so that God’s promise is assured by his great kindness. This promise isn’t only for Abraham’s descendants who have the Law. It is for all who are Abraham’s descendants because they have faith, just as he did. Abraham is the ancestor of us all.


(TEV)

13When God promised Abraham and his descendants that the world would belong to him, he did so, not because Abraham obeyed the Law, but because he believed and was accepted as righteous by God.
14 For if what God promises is to be given to those who obey the Law, then faith means nothing and God’s promise is worthless.

15 The Law brings down God’s anger; but where there is no law, there is no disobeying of the law.

16 And so the promise was based on faith, in order that the promise should be guaranteed as God’s free gift to all of Abraham’s descendants—not just to those who obey the Law, but also to those who believe as Abraham did.


Paul says that transgression resulting in wrath will not occur because the law has been taken away. Unless we believe that the Law of Moses is still in force.
Other laws of God still apply, of course, but if they did not exist, there would be no sin.

You have already agreed that sin is defined as the transgression of law. If there is no law to transgress, there is no sin. That is a general principle, to which Paul appeals here.

If God has made no commandment against an action, then there is nothing against that action - it is not a sin to commit that action.

Romans 5:13 says the same thing - that sin is not imputed where there is no law.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#4 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 01:27 AM

On this passage:

14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.


...you wrote:

Why 'from Adam to Moses'? Because these were the two occasions on which Divine law was Divinely revealed, and defined sin as transgression of law.


What Paul is saying here is that people who lived between Adam and Moses still died, even if they did not transgress a law of God, as Adam had.
Thus:

(NCV)

13 Sin was in the world before the law of Moses, but sin is not counted against us as breaking a command when there is no law.
14 But from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, everyone had to die, even those who had not sinned by breaking a command, as Adam had.


(NLT)

13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. And though there was no law to break, since it had not yet been given,
14 they all died anyway—even though they did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. What a contrast between Adam and Christ, who was yet to come!


But I think we agree here, because you say:

If I'm interpreting your 5:13-14 discourse correctly, I agree with it. Sin existed prior to the law being revealed to Moses, but God did not hold sin (or transgression if you prefer) against us because the law had not been given to us.


Yes, that's true.

It is saying that God had given only one command to Adam, he messed up, and everyone suffered for it through death, but other transgressions were not counted until specific instructions for everyone, the law, was given to Moses.


Yes, I agree.

I think the Living Bible said it best:

"because he had not yet given his laws to them nor told them what he wanted them to do".

The law existed, but had not yet been revealed to us.


Yes, I agree.

The other versions use the phrase "no law" which I interpret to mean the law had not yet been communicated to man, not that none existed.


Yes, I'll agree with that. And my point is that those who have not had God's law communicated to them, cannot be held responsible to it. They have not known it, so they cannot be held accountable to it. No one before the Law of Moses was held as having broken the Law of Moses, for example.

I'll quote and agree with you:

"What this quote is not saying is 'Sin was in the world before there was any law, even though sin is not imputed where there is no law'. "


Fine.

1 John 3:4 defines sin as transgression of the law. I hold that the law is eternal, so "before there was any law" is an impossibility. Sin did exist, but the law had not been revealed.
I would restate and support this statement as "Sin was in the world before God revealed the law to man, even though God did not hold our sin against us before the law was revealed."


Well, I'll go with that as far as it goes.

These verses do not address anything post-Moses, post-revealing of the law. It does not say that people after Moses who have not seen the law are not judged by it.


I agree. But it does say that wherever God's law has not been revealed to people, they are not responsible to it. You have already agreed with this. So even after Moses had received the Law from God, no one was responsible to it until they had been made aware of it. That was why Moses had to read the Law to Israel, and why Israel were to read the Law regularly.

I wrote:

Romans 7:
7What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet

Paul says very clearly that we would have no knowledge of sin if we had no knowledge of law.


You replied:

Agree.


I then wrote:

The absence of knowledge of law is equivalent to the absence of law.


To which you replied;

I don't understand this conclusion. Paul is saying that the only way he can understand sin is by knowing the law. I don't see where he says sin didn't exist, just that he didn't know of it. Just because we don't understand something (either sin or the law) doesn't mean it's not there. Same as 5:13-14, sin was there even without the revealed law, it just did not count against us until Moses got the hardcopy.


For the sake of the argument, I'll agree with this. We can say that the law technically existed in that God knew of it, and had ordained it, but that it did not exist in the experience of humans until it was revealed to them. The bottom line is that until they were made aware of it, they were ignorant of it, and while they were ignorant of it, they were not held accountable to it.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#5 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 01:29 AM

I wrote:

Infants cannot possibly be transgressors of God's law, simply because they have never known it, never comprehended it, and therefore can never be held accountable to it.


You replied:

Again, ignorance of the law is not an excuse. I do admit having difficulty with the concept of a sinful infant, with the exception of a father's/mother's sins being passed down through the bloodlines, and like all mankind bears the burden (mortality) resulting from Adam and Eve's sin.


To which I replied:

Nowhere are we told that sins are passed down through bloodlines. Sin is a moral act, it is a transgression of God's law. It is not a physical property.


You then said:

I hold that sin is a function of God. God created the law, and sin is transgression of the law. God punishes us for sin.


I agree that God created the law, I agree that sin is transgression of the law, and I agree that God punishes us for sin

On this basis, infants cannot be punished for sin, since they have not committed sin, since sin is a transgression of the law, and infants don't even know the law, much less break it.

Exodus 20:5-6 "...for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments."

If sin is not passed down through bloodlines, then God is punishing the innocent. This contradicts my belief in a just and merciful God.


This is not saying that sin is passed down through bloodlines. If sin is passed down through bloodlines, then children are being punished as if they are guilty of the sins of their fathers.

But God does not hold us guilty for the sins of our parents. What God is saying in Exodus 20:5-6 is that the sinners will be punished in a manner which will bring long lasting consequences - consequences under which their children will suffer. This is a standard Hebraism.

You will note that the antithesis in the next verse is that the children of the obedient will enjoy the blessed consequences which God will bring on the obedient. This does not mean that as long as your parents were obdient to God, He will bless you as if you are obedient to Him, even if you are not obedient to Him.

In each case, the point being made is that the punishment or blessing will be such that the children will either suffer or benefit from the consequences of their parents.
There is no mention here of sin or guilt being imputed to the children of the disobedient, any more than there is any mention of blessedness and rightouesness being imputed to the children of the obedient.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#6 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 01:30 AM

You asked:

Is an infant truly "born innocent"? Don't we today still bear the repercussions of Adam and Eve's sin, our own mortality?


I replied:

Yes, infants are truly born innocent. They would not be used as metaphors for guilelessness if this were not the case. Yes, we still bear the repercussions of Adam and Eve's sin - mortality.


You replied:

Infants are not innocent; see previous discussion referring to Exodus.


The passage in Exodus says nothing about children not being innocent. It doesn't mention their moral status at all.

Infants and children are used as metaphors not because of innocence, but rather because they lack the concept of things being owed to them.


Isaiah 7 is a classic example of the fact that children are accounted innocent (and ignorant of good or evil):

Isaiah 7:
15-16 Even before the boy is old enough to know how to choose between right and wrong, he will eat yogurt and honey, and the countries of the two kings you fear will be destroyed.


You wrote:

Your question is at what age does the infant become accountable? My answer is "at conception", since already at that point we know he or she will be mortal thanks to Adam and Eve.


I replied:

The infant becomes accountable when it becomes aware of Divine law. See above - I had not known sin but by the law.


You then said:

I don't know of any specific verses addressing infants and accountability.


You have claimed that infants become accountable to God's law at conception. I would like to see evidence of this please. I would especially like to know how someone can be held accountable to a law which they do not know, and cannot possibly comprehed. I would like to know how an infant can start breaking the law of God immediately after conception.

Paul's verse refers to him understanding what sin was, not whether he was accountable or not.


Paul's verse makes it clear that until he had sin revealed to him through the revelation of law, he was not aware of sin. You have already agreed that without the revelation of law there is no revelation of sin, and you have already agreed that while men had not had law revealed to them, their actions were not counted against them.

I am fully comfortable leaving the question of when an infant becomes accountable as one of those things God knows and I don't...


In which case, you cannot assert (as you have done), that infants become accountable to God's law (which they do not know, nor can comprehend), at conception.

You wrote:

We have babies that die. We have babies that are stillborn. I don't think they had sin of their own to cause their mortality, but isn't our mortality the result of mankind losing its innocence in the Garden?


I replied:

Our mortality is the result of Adam and Eve's sin, but the fact that we die is independent to the fact that we sin. We die whether we sin or not, precisely because we are mortal.
Infants don't start off life in an undying state, and then start dying the moment they sin. They start mortal, which is why they die.


You already agreed with this when you wrote:

...God had given only one command to Adam, he messed up, and everyone suffered for it through death...


That's as simple as it gets. Adam sinned, and became a dying creature. All humans ever since have been dying creatures, because they were made of dying creatures.
When you have mortal parents, you end up a mortal.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#7 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 01:31 AM

You wrote:

I hold we are mortal because of the sin in our bloodlines.


Sin is a moral state, not a physical property. You are saying that 'sin' is in our blood somewhere? You make it sound like a physical property, or gene. Sin is the transgression of God's law, as we have both agreed. How can the transgression of God's law be passed down through our bloodlines?

Come to think of it, we could settle this very quickly by you showing me the passages which speak of sin being passed down through our bloodlines.

You wrote:

There is no option that we are without sin.


If you believe that sin is the transgression of God's law (as you have already agreed), then you have to admit that someone who has not transgressed God's law has not sinned.
Christ did not transgress God's law. Therefore we cannot say that Christ has sinned.

Your statement that we are sinners from birth is Augustine's doctrine of 'Original Sin' from the 5th century. This invention caused a multitude of problems, which is why a number of other doctrines had to be invented to deal with the consequences.

One of the most immediate and problematic consequences was that if all humans are born guilty of sin, then Christ was born guilty of sin - but the Scriptures are adamant that Christ was never counted a sinner. So the doctrine of the 'Immaculate Conception' had to be invented, stating that when Mary was born, God (by an act of 'special grace'), removed Original Sin from Mary, so that she was born without 'Original Sin'. This meant that she would not pass on 'Original Sin' to Christ, and so he would not be a sinner.

But even this falls down, by your definition, because you insist that sin is passed down 'through the bloodlines', and Mary definitely sinned after she gave birth to Christ (who was the only human who never sinned). So by your definition, Mary passed down 'sin through the bloodlines' to Christ, and Christ was counted a sinner 'from conception'.

Your view actually makes it impossible for Christ to have been without sin. That is just one of the major problems it causes.

You wrote:

I believe that Adam was created immortal, but his (and our) mortality resulted from his transgression (sin).


I agree that Adam was made mortal as a punishment for his transgression. I agree that we are mortal because we are descended from a mortal. When you have mortal parents, you can't help but end up mortal.

Is mortality mentioned anywhere in Genesis prior to 3:19, which is part of the description of Adam's punishment? If mortality is the result of Adam's sin, does God continue to punish the innocent today by imposing mortality upon our babies? Not the just God I believe in. My only conclusion is that we are never sin-free.


We bear the consequences of Adam's sin, not the guilt. Paul says that death passed on all men as a consequence of Adam's sin, but he does not say that guilt of sin passed on all men as a consequence of Adam's sin.

I'm not certain as to why you consider a God who imputes guilt to those who have not broken His law to be any more just than a God who permits the children to be bearers of the consequence of the punishment of their parents.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#8 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 01:32 AM

I wrote:

An infant should be baptized when they are no longer an infant, and have demonstrated an understanding of the meaning of God's law, the meaning of baptism, and the manner of life which is expected of those who have been baptized.


You replied:

A well thought out opinion, and doctrine for some, but where is scriptural support for this (without requiring extrapolation). Because as Paul wrote in Romans 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

Show me the law forbidding the baptism of infants that we are transgressing.


I then said:

It's not necessarily a law you're transgressing, it's just that sprinkling a bit of water on an infant won't make one scrap of difference to their relationship with God.


You replied:

Disagree. Under U.S. law, contracts do not have to be written. Oral contracts are enforceable except for contracts involving real estate. Real estate deals must be on paper. Why does the paper matter for real estate and not for, say, purchasing a car? Because the law says so.


The contract under question is a contract made between an individual and God. It is a voluntary contract. It is made consciously. It is not made on behalf of someone else.

The contract under question - of which baptism is an outward sign - is a committment to God. It is a demonstration of one's faith in Christ Jesus, just as circumcision was a demonstration of Abraham's faith in God.

You have claimed that infants may legitimately be baptized, despite the fact that they have no knowledge of God, do not know His law, have no faith in anything (let alone Christ Jesus), and do not know the gospel message (which they are incapable of comprehending). You have not provided any evidence to demonstrate that this is a legitmate view.

The only defence of this position you have offered, has been to request that I show you some passage in Scripture which forbids the baptism of infants. I might as well ask you to show me the law forbidding the baptism of complete atheists.

You wrote:

The water in the baptism of John doesn't do anything (either for adults or infants). I'm unaware of any passage saying it washed away sins or anything else.


I agree with this. The ritual of water baptism is the outward sign of the inward change - it is the symbolic representation of the washing of our consciences by the forgiveness of God, as a result of our repentance and faith in Christ Jesus.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#9 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 01:34 AM

You wrote:

One still has to repent and ask for forgiveness. So why bother with the water? Because someone, God, through the Bible, tells us it is needed as a sign.



I agree that the water is a sign. It is a sign of what has occurred - and what has occurred is repentance on our part, and forgiveness on God's part. Infants have no part in this. They have nothing whatever to repent of, nothing whatever to be repented of.

The sign can be initiated by the individual, or by their guardian.


I need some evidence from Scripture that baptism is a sign of something which hasn't been done, and can be initiated by someone else on behalf of another individual. There are plenty of baptisms recorded in Scripture, starting with Naaman in the Old Testament. If you can find one which involves someone baptizing someone who is ignorant of the gospel message, or who has not repented, or an example of anyone being baptized on behalf of the faith of someone else, you will start to have a case.

You've already agreed that:

I believe baptism is a sign of our contract with God: repentance on our part ill result in forgiveness on His part.


I replied:

It is not possible for an infant to make this contract.


You then wrote:

No, the infant does not make the contract, the head of the household does.  e values of the father flow down to his family in God's eyes.


Please give me your examples from Scripture that the contract we make at baptism can be made on our behalf, by someone else - head of the household or anyone else.

Reread the story of Noah in Genesis 6. Nowhere does it say Noah's wife, sons or their wives are righteous. Genesis does not say that it was a righteous family, only that Noah was righteous. God's plan was to destroy the wickedness of this world, yet he had Noah take his family with him. You could argue that his wife was needed to repopulate the earth, but this doesn't apply to the sons and daughter in-laws. The human race descended from a single pair of beings (Adam and Eve), it could have been done again.


Noah's family were all grown adults with a knowledge of God's commandmets. Noah's family had sufficient faith to enter into the ark, at the commandment of God. The fact that Noah's family both obeyed God and entered into the ark by faith, is sufficient demonstration that they were saved by faith just as much as Noah was.

There is no hint that they were only saved 'by proxy' through the faith of Noah. They could have remained faithless and refused to enter into the ark, just as Lot's sons laughed at his warning and refused to leave Sodom. But were Lot's sons saved by his faith? Was Lot's wife saved by his faith? No they were not.

Noah's age is not a factor, consider God's will with Zechariah and Elizabeth, parents of John the Baptist. The importance of family is ingrained in the human race, apart from religion.


This is all true, but none of it proves your case.

Consider the concept of royal families and monarchies. Infants are "contracted" to roles and responsibilities from birth.


We are not discussing the concept of royal families and monarchies, we are discussing whether or not someone who is ignorant of the gospel message can be legitimately baptized as a sign of a contract with God which someone else is making for them, by proxy, on their behalf. The issue that baptism is a sign of personal repentance and forgiveness by God is also involved here - two actions which an infant cannot perform, and which are never delegated or displaced 'by proxy' to someone else on another's behalf.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#10 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 01:35 AM

I wrote:

Paul says that salvation is dependent on this:

Romans 10:
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.


I asked:

Is it possible for an infant to do this? Can they confess with the mouth, the Lord Jesus, and can they believe in their heart that God has raised him from the dead?  Can their hearts believe unto righteousness, and can their mouths make confession unto salvation?


You replied:

Agreed, an infant cannot do this.


Very well, we are agreed on this.

But this is the execution of a contract, not the formation of the contract (and deals with the non-watery salvic contract).


You are attempting to make a distinction which Scripture does not make. Baptism by water is always made subsequent to the confession of faith in Romans 10, not prior to it. It is a sign that the contract has already been made, and the contract can only be made by that confession of faith. Otherwise you might as well baptise an atheist and say that they have made a covenant with God. When we make the confession of our faith, we enter into a relationship with God. The sign that this relationship with God has been established, is baptism.

Baptism is not represented as the formation of a covenant which we intend to fulfil at some unspecified time in the future, it is a sign of the covenant which we have just made with God by the confession of our faith.

Even for the contract of forgiveness others (the parents) have formed the contract on the infant's behalf. Same as when you buy a house.You might sign a dozen papers, but it does not belong to you until you have made payment (executed your part of the agreement).


See above - in no case does baptism in Scripture precede faith in Christ, and repentance before God. If you can prove otherwise, I'd be very interested.

Same here, the contract exists, but the individual still needs to make good on their part of the deal: repent and ask for forgiveness.


See above - in no case does baptism in Scripture precede repentance and the request for forgiveness.

Note that I'm addressing the watery baptism for forgiveness. The spiritual baptism for salvation does not involve water.


Scripture does not distinguish water baptism as being no sign of salvation (indeed, it specifies the opposite), from a spiritual baptism which is a sign of salvation. Scripture identifies baptism as the sign of salvation in Christ.

I don't know about Australia, but in the U.S. infants can own U.S. Government Savings Bonds, with interest being paid against the infant's social security number. This is a legal contract between the infant and the government, yet the infant has no idea it exists or what it means.


The issue that baptism is a sign of personal repentance and forgiveness by God is also involved here - two actions which an infant cannot perform, and which are never delegated or displaced 'by proxy' to someone else on another's behalf.

Please give me your examples from Scripture that the contract we make at baptism can be made on our behalf, by someone else - head of the household or anyone else. See above - in no case does baptism in Scripture precede faith in Christ, and repentance before God. If you can prove otherwise, I'd be very interested.

I need some evidence from Scripture that baptism is a sign of something which hasn't been done, and can be initiated by someone else on behalf of another individual. There are plenty of baptisms recorded in Scripture, starting with Naaman in the Old Testament. If you can find one which involves someone baptizing someone who is ignorant of the gospel message, or who has not repented, or an example of anyone being baptized on behalf of the faith of someone else, you will start to have a case.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#11 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 01:37 AM

I wrote:

The gospel message must affect both heart and mind, as we are told in Romans 10. This transformation of individuals by the Word of God, their response to Him, must at all times be first mental, then moral, and finally physical.

You replied:

Notice that Romans 10 does not mention the watery baptism of John.


It doesn't need to. It is giving the details of the salvic necessity of the confession of faith in Christ Jesus. This is a confession of faith which an infant cannot make.

It talks about faith, belief in Jesus, and calling on the Lord exclusively (the spiritual baptism), nothing about making anyone wet, and doesn't even use the word baptism when describing the requirements for salvation.


It says nothing of a 'spiritual baptism', and describes very clearly the confession of faith which was always required of those who submitted to water baptism. Examples of such a confession of faith preceding water baptism are numerous.

I wrote:

This is a process which I shall demonstrate briefly here:

Acts 2:
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Mental - 'When they heard...' - this was the mental comprehension of a law, and the intellectual realisation that this law has been broken.

Moral - '...pricked in their heart...' - this was the emotional and moral response to the realisation of our sin - a remorse, a humility and a repentant attitude.

Physical - '...what shall we do?' - this was a demonstration of their understanding that the process of repentance would not be shown without a change of life, the result of a change of mind.

The answer which Peter gives is something impossible for an infant to do - repent and be baptized, for the remission of your sins.


You replied:

Note that Peter is talking about remission of sins, not salvation, hence the water. He does not say that the water "does" anything, so these verses do not contradict that water is a sign of the contract for forgiveness.


Peter does more than this. He does not distinguish between the remission of sins and salvation, as you do. Moreover, I am not arguing that the water 'does' anything, so we don't have to argue over that. What I am arguing is that water baptism always succeeded a public confession of faith in Christ Jesus, it never preceded it, as you have claimed it may.

I am also pointing out that the confession of faith found in Romans 10 (which you agree is of salvic efficacy), is the very confession of faith found here in Acts, and indeed found everywhere preceding baptism in water. It is this very confession of faith which is the apostles' reply to the question 'What must we do?' and 'What must we do to be saved?'.

This demonstrates to us that this confession of faith is of salvic efficacy, and that this confession of faith always precedeed water baptism. It was never the successor, always the requirement. No one was ever baptized in water who did not make this confession. Christ was the first to state this in Mark 16 - 'He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved'. Belief always precedes baptism.

You wrote:

Yes, the Bible specifically describes only the baptism of adults. However, it is the story of recruiting people for a new movement, and you generally don't recruit babies.


This is an argument from silence. It is therefore invalid.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#12 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:23 AM

Please provide scripture supporting the previous paragraph about excluding infants from baptism.


I have provided plenty. I have demonstrated that infants are unable to make the confession of faith which is required of those who wish to be baptized. I have demonstrated that baptism always succeeded the confession of faith in Christ Jesus which is found in Acts 2, and in Romans 10. It is the case both with John's baptism and the baptism into Christ that a confession was required prior to the baptism.

Have a look at this:

Baptism of John:

Matthew 3:
6And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.


Public confession of sins, baptism.

Luke 1:
77  To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,


Public confession of sins, baptism.

Baptism of Christ:

Mark 16:
16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

Acts 2:
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.


Belief in the gospel, confesision of sins, repentance, baptism.

Acts 2:
41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, confesision of sins, repentance, baptism.

Acts 8:
12  But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

Acts 8:
13  Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, confesision of sins, repentance, baptism.

Acts 8:
36  And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is  water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

Acts 10:
47  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

Acts 16:
14  And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
15  And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

Acts 16:
30  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
32  And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
33  And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

Acts 18:
8  And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

Acts 22:
12  And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,
13  Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
14  And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
15  For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

I have demonstrated that baptism always succeeded the confession of faith in Christ Jesus which is found in Acts 2, and in Romans 10. It is the case both with John's baptism and the baptism into Christ that a confession was required prior to the baptism.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#13 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:24 AM

I wrote:

What excludes infants from baptism is not a passage which says 'Infants aren't allowed to be baptized'. What excludes infants from baptism is that they are unable to fulfill the clear Scriptural conditions for baptism. They are actually incapable of entering into the salvic process.

Let's go into the salvic process in more detail. Let's see if this is something an infant can do.


You replied:

The salvic process is the spiritual baptism from Jesus.


Please show me evidence of this. Scripture says that the salvic process is a mental and moral transformation, followed by a confession of faith, repentance, and forgiveness. Baptism then follows as a sign that this process has taken place.

Water is part of John's baptism of repentance/forgiveness. People need both, but they are not the same.


Please show me evidence that John's baptism was of water, whilst baptism in Christ was not of water, and that people need both but they are not the same.

This is evidenced by people being baptized twice, see Mark 1:8, Acts 1:5, 11:16 as examples.


No, what these instances demonstrate is that people baptized by John were not baptized with a knowledge of Jesus Christ. They could not be baptized with a knowledge of Jesus Christ, because he had not yet shown himself.
Once they had a knowledge of Jesus Christ, they needed to confess their faith in him - something they could not do without a knowledge of him. This demonstrates again that baptism requires a confession of faith prior to the act of baptism.


Infant baptism by water is not the salvic process.


I agree that infant baptism by water is not the salvic process. Infant baptism by water does absolutely nothing for them, and is totally meaningless. You might as well baptize an atheist.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#14 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:26 AM

I wrote:

Let's start with the words of Christ:

John 5:
39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of me.
40 But you are not willing to come to me that you may have life.

John 5:
(RSV)
39 You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me;
40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

John 5:
(NRSV)
39 "You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf.
40 Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

John 5:
(NAB)
39 You search the scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf.
40 But you do not want to come to me to have life.

I have highlighted the critical phrase here. It is a critical phrase because it demonstrates the essential role of the Scriptures in the salvic process. Without the Scriptures, the salvic process cannot take effect - indeed, without the Scriptures, the salvic process cannot even commence.

Why not? Becuase without the Scriptures, we have no knowledge of Christ, and salvation is utterly dependent on a knowledge of Christ. An infant is incapable of this.


You replied:


Agreed. Again, the watery baptism of John is for forgiveness, not salvation.


Scripture does not make this distinction. On the contrary, Scripture identifies forgiveness of sins as the means by which we are saved:

Luke 1:
77  To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,

Acts 5:
31  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Acts 13:
38  Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

Acts 26:
18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Ephesians 1:
7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Colossians 1:
14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Matthew 26:
28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.


Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#15 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:26 AM

What is the difference between the preaching of John here:

Mark 1:
4  John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Luke 1:
77  To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,

Luke 3:
3  And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;


...and the preaching of Christ and his apostles here:

Luke 24:
47  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Acts 3:
19  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

Acts 5:
31  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Acts 13:
38  Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

Acts 26:
18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

James 5:
20  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

1 John 1:
9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 3:
5  And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.


The only difference is that John did not preach Christ - he simply prepared the way for him.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#16 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:27 AM

You wrote:

John 5 is referring to coming to Jesus through spiritual change.  The word baptism is not used, and water is not mentioned. It does not relate to putting water on anyone.


I agree that John 5 refers to coming to Jesus through spiritual change (or, as I would put it, moral change - faith in Christ and repentance). This change, we are told, always precedes baptism, it does not come after it. The sign of that change, Scripture tells us, is always baptism by water.

I wrote:

Christ tells us that:

1) The Scriptures of themselves cannot save, but...

2) ...that the Scriptures testify of the Saviour (directing men to him), but...

3) ...despite this witness to Christ, the Pharisees are refusing to heed the call of the Scriptures.

Yes, without the Scriptures, men will never come to Christ. Why is this?

1) Because we can only come to Christ when we know him.

2) Because we can only know him when we hear of him.

3) Because we can only hear of him through the Scriptures.

4) Because it is ony the Scriptures which testify of Christ.

Let's listen again to the apostle Paul explain to us the role of Scripture in the salvic process:


You replied:

All of the preceding are totally relevant for the spiritual baptism of salvation...


I agree. Why do you say they are not relevant for baptism in water?
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#17 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:28 AM

I wrote:

Romans 10:
14How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Paul insists that men can only be saved if they are called from without by the gospel message preached. It doesn't get much clearer than that. This is not possible for an infant.


You replied:

Still talking about spiritual change, belief, but not about repentance or forgiveness...


As we have seen, the spiritual change is belief, confession, repentance and forgiveness.

I wrote:

Let's go through it and see how it agrees with the passage in John:

13 Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Call upon the Lord, eh? And who would that be? How would we know?

14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?

If it comes to that, we're not going to call upon someone in whom we do not believe...

14...and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?

...and it's not going to be possible for us to believe unless we have first heard - you can't believe in someone of whose very existence you are completely ignorant...

14...and how shall they hear without a preacher?

...and unless someone reveals their existence to us, you're going to remain ignorant. We need someone to teach you about that person.

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

But if no one is sent to teach us, then we will never know. How valuable the work, how lovely the efforts, of those sent to perform that teaching work!

16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

Nevertheless, not everyone who hears will obey. Isaiah himself testified to the rejection of his message.

17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The salvic process requires faith, which comes by hearing - hearing the Word of God.

The role of Scripture in the salvic process is very clear. It testifies of Christ, it brings men to him. Without the Scriptures, there can be no initiation of the salvic process.  The salvic process commences with the Word. It is the Word which develops salvic faith.


You replied:

Again, I totally agree. However, this is a tangent discussion which is not addressing the baptism of John which can be summarized : water + repentance = forgiveness.


It is not a tangental discussion, because the issue under discussion is whether or not an individual can be brought into a relationship with Christ whilst being totally ignorant of him. It also addresses the issue of whether or not 'spirit baptism' is necessary for salvation. These verses say nothing of the necessity of spirit baptism, yet you are asserting that this is the process of salvation which they are describing. If spirit baptism is necessary for salvation, and these verses are describing the process of salvation, then where is spirit baptism in these verses?
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#18 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:30 AM

You wrote:

Instead, this discussion is addressing: faith in Christ = salvation. They are two different things...


Faith in Christ is identified as being necessary for salvation, I agree. But as we have seen, faith in Christ necessitates confession and repentance, which results in the remission, the forgiveness of sins, which is salvation.

I wrote:

Now let's examine the parallels between Paul's systematic treatment of the salvic process in Romans 10, and Christ's systematic treatment of the salvic process in John 5:

John 5:39

The Scriptures of themselves cannot save, but...

John 5:39

...the Scriptures testify of the Saviour (directing men to him)...

Romans 10:14-15,17

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

And how shall they preach, except they be sent? Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

John 5:40

...but despite this witness to Christ, the Pharisees are refusing to heed the call of the Scriptures.

Romans 10:16

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

Both Christ and Paul have the same understanding of the salvic process, and testify explicitly to the critical role of the Scriptures in that process.  Without the knowledge which the Scriptures provide, there can be no salvation, for without the knowledge of Christ, we can have no personal relationship with him - and it is our personal relationship with Christ which is the means of our salvation.

You have stated that spiritual baptism is necessary for salvation - how can an infant be 'spiritually baptized', especially since such a baptism is - we are told - conditional on a certain knowledge and understanding of Christ, and a personal comittment to a relationship with him?


You replied:

I never said infants are 'spiritually baptized'. They are not.


Very well, I apologise for misunderstanding you.

Infants are partaking in the watery baptism of John, receiving the sign of the agreement that repentance will lead to forgiveness. In later years they will have to fulfill their part of the agreement, repentance, to receive God's part, the forgiveness.


Where are we told that water baptism is a sign of something which has not yet happened, and that water baptism precedes (or can precede), repentance and forgiveness? In this paragraph you appear to be saying that since they are not yet saved, they will have to repent and be forgiven later in life. But previously you have argued that repentance and forgiveness does not constitute salvation. What more is necessary for salvation, other than repentance and forgiveness?

You further wrote:

This is not salvation, nor is it automatic or guaranteed. I have not found any scripture saying forgiveness = salvation. Two different concepts unless you can show me differently.


Right here:

Luke 1:
77  To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,

Acts 5:
31  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Acts 13:
38  Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

Acts 26:
18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Ephesians 1:
7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Colossians 1:
14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:


Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#19 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:31 AM

You wrote:

Note that there are verses that, while not specifying children in particular, do indicate that entire households were baptized and don't list any exceptions:

Acts 16:15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

Acts 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway


I agreed that these verses make no case either way. The question then becomes 'Are infants capable of meeting the conditions for baptism, and of entering into the salvic process?', and I argue that they are not.

What you have here are two verses, neither of which say that infants are baptized. You then attempt to make a case for infant baptism based purely on the absence of infants from the record. This is a textbook argument from silence, and is therefore invalid.

You then replied:

Again, just to address the preceding paragraph, watery baptism of anyone has nothing to do with the salvic process. You have quoted enough scriptures to prove that.



I have quoted enough Scripture to show that water baptism is the sign of salvation - this is why we always find it succeeding the process of faith in Christ, repentance and forgiveness. It is a sign of what has occurred, not a forecast of what might happen in the future.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#20 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:32 AM

You wrote:

Where they said faith and belief in Jesus lead to salvation, there was no asterisk or footnote saying, "Oh, by the way, you need some water too."


Where they said faith and believe in Jesus lead to salvation, this is what happened:

Mark 16:
16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

Acts 2:
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.


Belief in the gospel, confesision of sins, repentance, baptism.

Acts 2:
41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, confesision of sins, repentance, baptism.

Acts 8:
12  But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

Acts 8:
13  Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, confesision of sins, repentance, baptism.

Acts 8:
36  And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is  water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

Acts 10:
47  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

Acts 16:
14  And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
15  And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

Acts 16:
30  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
32  And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
33  And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

Acts 18:
8  And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

Acts 22:
12  And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,
13  Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
14  And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
15  For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.


Public statement of belief in the gospel, baptism.

I have demonstrated that baptism always succeeded the confession of faith in Christ Jesus which is found in Acts 2, and in Romans 10. It is the case both with John's baptism and the baptism into Christ that a confession was required prior to the baptism.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#21 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:33 AM

Water is a sign, and only a sign, of an agreement between us and God that repentance will lead to forgiveness.



Water baptism is a sign that the washing away of sins has occurred - that we have confessed Christ, that we have repented of our sins, and that God has forgiven them:

Acts 22:
16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.


Infants and children are frequently committed to agreements without their knowledge or consent.

This is true, but this is beside the point. What you have to demonstrate is that infants may be meaningfully baptized, that baptism is merely the sign of something which we might do in the future, rather than something which has happened.
The issue that baptism is a sign of personal repentance and forgiveness by God is also involved here - two actions which an infant cannot perform, and which are never delegated or displaced 'by proxy' to someone else on another's behalf.

Please give me your examples from Scripture that the contract we make at baptism can be made on our behalf, by someone else - head of the household or anyone else. See above - in no case does baptism in Scripture precede faith in Christ, and repentance before God. If you can prove otherwise, I'd be very interested.

I need some evidence from Scripture that baptism is a sign of something which hasn't been done, and can be initiated by someone else on behalf of another individual. There are plenty of baptisms recorded in Scripture, starting with Naaman in the Old Testament. If you can find one which involves someone baptizing someone who is ignorant of the gospel message, or who has not repented, or an example of anyone being baptized on behalf of the faith of someone else, you will start to have a case.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#22 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:34 AM

I wrote:

An individual is accountable by virtue of their knowledge and understanding of these things, not necessarity their age. Some may come to a knowledge and understanding while they are yet young, some may come to that understanding later.


You replied:

I agree that people can reach understanding at different ages, but again, a lack of understanding does not relieve us of accountability.


I then replied:

See above on lack of understanding and accountability.


To which you responded:

Addressed on previous note, hold that accountability exists even without understanding. I believe Paul is writing that he was always sinning, but needed to understand the law to even understand what sin was. I don't think he ever stated that he was sin-free before he received the law, just that he did not know what sin was.


Very well, even if we take this as true, the point remains that no one is imputed guilty unless they have knowingly transgressed the law of God. No one is held guilty for sins which they have not committed. And this is precisely why you then find yourself forced to argue that children are in some way held guilty for the sins of their parents.

You wrote:

Unfortunately, infants and children are also mortal thanks to the original sin.


I replied:

They are mortal, but they are not guilty of sin. They are not guilty of sin, because they have not transgressed Divine law. Scripture is adamant that only those who have transgressed Divine law have sinned - and that sin is not imputed where knowledge of that law is absent.


You then asked:

Here is a very basic question. Were we created mortal, or did mortality come into existence as punishment for Adam's sin? I don't believe Adam was mortal prior to his disobedience, which leads me to conclude mortality is punishment, as introduced in Genesis 3:19.


I agree that mortality came into existence as punishment for Adam's sin.

If mortality is punishment, then infants and children (who are certainly mortal) are being punished like the rest of us. Either they deserve to be punished and are not as innocent as we'd like to believe, or God is punishing them for no reason.


Infants are not being punished for the sins of their parents. No one is held guilty for the sins of Adam and Eve. The simple fact is that we are all experiencing the consequences of Adam and Eve's sin. When they sinned, they were made mortal. From thenceforth, the could only bear mortal children. That is not a punishment on their children, that is the natural consequence of the punishment which was visited on Adam and Eve.

I believe sin is within us. We are born with sin. Man is sinful in nature.


I believe that we are naturally biased towards sin. I do not believe that we are guilty of sin the moment we are born, and I do not believe that God holds us guilty for sins committed by other people.


I don't believe God punishes the innocent.


Nor do I, which is why I do not believe that we are guilty of sin the moment we are born, and I do not believe that God holds us guilty for sins committed by other people. I believe that He holds those guilty who transgress His law.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#23 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:35 AM

You wrote:

>
I hold that baptism is a sign of our contract with God: we repent, He forgives.
>

I replied:

>
I agree. This is why I believe it is impossible for an infant to make this contract - they have not repented, they have not been forgiven. They don't even have anything to repent of.
>

You replied:

>
They do have something to repent for since they are not innocent.
>

I need to see some passages of Scripture which tell us that children are not innocent before they transgress, and that they have something to repent of.

You wrote:

They are committed to this contract by their elders.


I need to see some passages of Scripture which demonstrate children being 'committed to this contract by their elders' - that is, by water baptism.

You wrote:

It is true that they have not repented at this point in their lives, and have not been forgiven.


I need to see some passages of Scripture which tell us that children are not innocent before they transgress, that they are in need of forgiveness at this point in their lives, and that they have something to repent of.

You wrote:

Throughout the ages, infants have been committed by contracts set by their parents or others: arranged marriages; children of slaves sold or bartered to other slave owners. Baptism represents the same type of contract, but the contract won't be completed until the child becomes of age to repent, at which point God forgives.


I need to see some passages of Scripture which demonstrate children being 'committed to this contract by their elders' - that is, by water baptism.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#24 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:36 AM

I wrote:

Scripture nowhere makes any provision for baptism to be made on this basis. Nowhere is the process of salvation 'deferred' in this way. If you've found somewhere which tells us this, I'd love to see it. ^_^


You replied:

Not talking about the spiritual baptism of Jesus for salvation, but rather the watery baptism of John for forgiveness.


I don't mind which baptism we're talking about. Say we're talking about water baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
Ok, so I say again, Scripture nowhere makes any provision for water baptism to be made on this basis. Nowhere is the process of salvation 'deferred' in this way. If you've found somewhere which tells us this, I'd love to see it. ^_^

You wrote:

1 Peter 3:21 says baptism is a sign, and Acts 3:19 states that repentance leads to having our sins wiped out.


Neither of these passages akes any provision for water baptism to be made on this basis of the 'deferral' to which you refer.

You wrote:

I have not found reference that the ater of baptism washes away sin or does anything in itself, so I'll stick ith the sign definition.


I am not arguing that the water of baptism washes away sin or does anything in itself, I am arguing that the confession of faith in Christ Jesus, repentance and forgiveness of sins washes away sin, and that the sign of this is water baptism:

Acts 22:
16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.


Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#25 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:38 AM

You wrote:

If you know where it states the water actually does anything, please point it out to me!!!


I am not arguing that the water of baptism washes away sin or does anything in itself, I am arguing that the confession of faith in Christ Jesus, repentance and forgiveness of sins washes away sin, and that the sign of this is water baptism:

Luke 1:
77  To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,

Acts 5:
31  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Acts 13:
38  Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

Acts 26:
18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Ephesians 1:
7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Colossians 1:
14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Matthew 26:
28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.


Thus the preaching of John here:

Mark 1:
4  John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Luke 1:
77  To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,

Luke 3:
3  And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;


...and the preaching of Christ and his apostles here:

Luke 24:
47  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Acts 3:
19  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

Acts 5:
31  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Acts 13:
38  Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

Acts 26:
18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

James 5:
20  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

1 John 1:
9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 3:
5  And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.


Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#26 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:39 AM

You wrote:

Going back to Acts 16:15 and 16:33, they very clearly state entire households were baptized. Even if you hold that children were
not in those particular households, just the fact that "household" was mentioned means there were others. I believe the others were baptized by the order of the head of the household; the scriptures do not talk about additional preaching and repenting of the individuals within the household.


You have only two passages here, and in both of them you are arguing from silence. This is invalid. You need to argue from what is said, not what is not said.

"Infants are necessarily excluded" is an extrapolation of scripture. It is not written.


Infants are incapable of 'calling on the Lord', infants are incapable of repenting, infants are incapable of having faith in Christ Jesus, infants are incapable of believing the gospel - and all of these are stated very clearly as the requirements of water baptism.

Infants are necessarily excluded from water baptism, because they cannot meet the requirements of water baptism.
That is not an extrapolation, that is the truth. You know it's the truth, which is why you then have to argue that the covenant is being made for them, by proxy. So you do, in fact, realise that they are incapable of meeting these requirements, and you make the case that someone else is fulfilling the requirements for them.

Which is why I ask you for Scriptural evidence that the requirements for baptism may be fulfilled by one person on another's behalf.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#27 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:40 AM

You wrote:

The scripture describes recruiting adults, but does not address when young people (including infants) should join the movement.



The Scriptures describe the requirements of water baptism. Infants are necessarily excluded from water baptism, because they cannot meet the requirements of water baptism. Anyone who cannot meet the requirements of water baptism is necessarily excluded from water baptism.

You wrote:

This same exclusion argument should apply to doctrine and denominations: at what age does a child become a Catholic, a Lutheran, a Baptist, a Christadelphian? I can't speak for the other denominations, but I've been a Lutheran all my life, and my Sunday School kids are Lutherans.


If we're talking about when an individual becomes a member of a particular group, that would depend on that particular group.
But if we're talking about when an individual enters into a relationship with God (which is the topic under discussion), then the answer is that an individual enters into a relationship with God when they are capable of fulfilling the requirements of entering into a relationship with God.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#28 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:41 AM

I wrote:

Infants are necessarily excluded because it is written that:

1) We can only come to Christ when we know him.

2) We can only know him when we hear of him.

3) We can only hear of him through the Scriptures.

4) It is ony the Scriptures which testify of Christ.

5) Infants cannot confess with the mouth, the Lord Jesus.

6) Infants cannot believe in their heart that God has raised him from the dead.

7) Infants cannot believe unto righteousness.

8) Infants cannot make confession unto salvation.

Scripture is adamant that salvation is available only to those who are capable of this process - and who undertake it.


You replied:

Agreed. However, all of this pertains to salvation, not to a watery baptism as a sign that repentance leads to forgiveness.

Scripture makes no such distinction. On the contrary, Scripture identifies forgiveness of sins as the means by which we are saved:

Luke 1:
77  To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,

Acts 5:
31  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Acts 13:
38  Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

Acts 26:
18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Ephesians 1:
7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Colossians 1:
14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Matthew 26:
28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.


Thus the preaching of John here:

Mark 1:
4  John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Luke 1:
77  To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,

Luke 3:
3  And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;


...and the preaching of Christ and his apostles here:

Luke 24:
47  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Acts 3:
19  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

Acts 5:
31  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Acts 13:
38  Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

Acts 26:
18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

James 5:
20  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

1 John 1:
9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 3:
5  And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.


Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#29 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:43 AM

I had written:

Acts 2:41 'They that gladly received His word were baptized...'

Acts 8:12 'When they believed...they were baptized, both men and women.'

Acts 8:13 'Then Simon himself believed also, and when he was baptized...'

Acts 8:36,37 'See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.'

Acts 10:44,48 'While Peter spoke these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word...And he commanded them to be baptized...'

Acts 16:14,15 'And a certain woman...whose heart the Lord opened...And she was baptized...'

Acts 18:8 'And Crispus...believed; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed and were baptized.'

Acts 19:4,5 '...That they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized...'

See also Acts 9:17,18, 16:31-33 and all other references to baptism after Pentecost. No one was baptized until he had intelligently received the plan of salvation offered in the gospel. Baptism in no instance preceded definite acceptance of Christ.


You then replied:

Baptism certainly preceded the acceptance of Christ.


The qualification I gave was after Pentecost. I repeat that after Pentecost no one was baptized until they had intelligently received the plan of salvation offered in the gospel. Baptism after Pentecost in no instance preceded definite acceptance of Christ.

You wrote:

Watery baptism by John began before Jesus began his ministry, before people were aware of Jesus.



The qualification I gave was after Pentecost. I repeat that after Pentecost no one was baptized until they had intelligently received the plan of salvation offered in the gospel. Baptism after Pentecost in no instance preceded definite acceptance of Christ.

But the same principle applies to John's baptism - no one was baptized with John's baptism until they had intelligently received the plan of salvation offered in the message he preached. Baptism before Pentecost in no instance preceded definite acceptance of that plan of salvation in the one who was to come.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#30 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:44 AM

You wrote:

John was sent to "prepare the way".


See above. Baptism in John's ministry before Pentecost in no instance preceded definite acceptance of that plan of salvation in the one who was to come.

You wrote:

Most of the passages from Acts pertain to the spiritual baptism.


Please prove to me that 'Most of the passages from Acts pertain to the spiritual baptism'.

You wrote:

One exception is the eunuch in 8:36-38 who apparently both accepted Christ and repented in the water. I'm wondering about how 8:37 is being translated by different versions. For what reason would NIV chose to entirely omit that seemingly straight-forward passage?


The eunuch accepted Christ before he was baptized, and there is no evidence that he was 'baptized spiritually' or 'baptized with the Spirit'. Even if we omit verse 37, we still have the eunuch professing Jesus as Christ, and asking to be baptized in water.

You wrote:

Also, in 10:47, it is interesting that Peter suggested baptizing with water since they already had the Holy Spirit. Why did he need to say "with water"?



He didn't say 'with water', he said 'Can any man forbid water that they should be baptized', which is further evidence that baptism after Pentecost no one was baptized until they had intelligently received the plan of salvation offered in the gospel, and explicit testimony that baptism in Christ was with water. Baptism after Pentecost in no instance preceded definite acceptance of Christ. This passage proves that water baptism was still considered necessary for those who had received 'Spirit baptism'.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics




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