From: Cepuch, Pete (AZ15) (
Date: Tue Jun 04 1996 - 01:40:13 EDT

Allow me to muddy the baptismal waters a little. As far as I can tell
the discussion, thus far has had to do with salvation by faith and/or
salvation by faith with baptism etc. I believe this kind of discussion
has occured as long as there has been people studying the N.T.
I think there is another alternative. As was stated previously, John's
baptism was a baptism of repentance to the people(Israel). No one asked
John what he was doing as if this were some new thing, but as is
evidenced by archeological finds, Israel is packed with Mikvaoth(ritual
immersion baths-if you will). The residents at Qumran
had them and there was a whole ritual-immersion-bath complex at the
temple etc. Baptism(to dip or totally immerse)was also known among
pagans as an initiation practice. As truly, the symbology of washing
away the old life and entering into the new life is quite effective
Having said all that, I think Paul's writings hold the proper answer
for "Christians" as far as what is proper "Christian-halacah" concerning
baptism and all other rituals which might be considered.
Jesus mentioned a baptism with which He must be baptized(with),
clearly a reference to His impending death. Paul states:
That " many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized
into His death, therefore we are buried with Him in THE baptism into the
death...."(ROM. 6:3,4)He is speaking of a particular baptism...
In Colossians, Paul states that:..."In Him you are complete, who is
head of all pricipality and power, in WHOM also ye are circumcised
with THE circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of
the sins of the flesh by THE circumcision of Christ, buried with Him
in THE baptism wherein also ye are risen with(HIM)through THE faith
of the operation(energizing)of God who raised Him out of the dead..."
Now, if the Circumcision of Christ is not done ritually--and I think
if the book of Galations wasn't so clear on this point we might well
be arguing about whether circumcision was needed for salvation:)--then
why does this baptism into His death need any ritual connotation for
us. We are out of "types and shadows" and into reality, here, He is
risen etc. A careful study of Paul's "word of the cross" makes it
evident that once one believes in Christ, he is cut off from this
world-system and this world-system is cut-off from him/her...a
NEW CREATION. There is much more to this. In 1 COR. 10:2 we are informed
that the fathers..."were all baptized into Moses in the
cloud and in the sea...". Well, who got wet!!??!! Paul states that
Christ sent him Not to baptize but to evangelize, not with wisdom of
words, lest the CROSS be made of none effect...". I'm rambling here,
but just one more observation with question: In Eph. 4:3-6, Paul states that
we should be "diligent to keep(guard) the unity(oneness)
of the spirit in the joint-bond of peace, one body and one spirit even
as you are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord one faith
Question: with all baptisms mentioned in Christian Theology i.e.
baptism of Holy Spirit, baptism in water, baptism in Christ and
any other baptisms either scriptural or made up by theologic design,
to which baptism is Paul referring to that we should be diligent
to keep?
I realize that I'm treading very close to a theologic post, here,
please excuse...but the whole point of this is to point out that
in studying the N.T. one needs to realize who is writing to whom.
Paul is writing to the gentiles(nations)after the ressurection, and
he is writing according to revelation what he alone received to
announce to the gentiles--who were already well aware of water baptism
,of some sort, in their pagan practices....soooo, I think the whole
discussion on "eis" is really moot and a more accurate idea of
"Christian-practice" can be obtained by cutting the word of truth
straight(2 Tim 2:15--notice how we all love to quote this verse to
prove our points:)---)

xapis kai eiphnh

pete cepuch

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