Salvation through Judgment

Baptism, like Noah’s Ark, portrays Salvation through Judgment (1 Peter 3:18-22).

A comparison is drawn between salvation in the ark and baptism. In both instances, believers are saved through the waters of judgment, since baptism portrays salvation through judgment. The mere mechanical act of baptism does not save, for Peter explicitly says, “not as a removal of dirt from the body,” meaning that the passing of water over the body does not cleanse anyone. Baptism saves you because it represents inward faith, as evidenced by one’s appeal to God for the forgiveness of one’s sins (for a good conscience). Furthermore, baptism “saves” only insofar as it is grounded in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism is a visual representation of the fact that Christians are clothed with Christ (cf. Gal. 3:27), and in union with Christ they share his victory over sin.

(from the ESV Study Bible notes on 1 Peter 3:21)

Credo v. Paedo (baptism)

Raised more-or-less Baptist, with the influence of Dispensational theology, I’ve been increasingly influenced by Reformed theology. One aspect of what is typically considered Reformed theology is infant baptism.

Here are some resources I’m looking at to inform my view on this subject:

You might notice that these are primarily from the credobaptist viewpoint (with the exception of the Lutheran page). That’s mainly because that’s the view I currently hold, and I want to see the arguments for this view. If I’m going to be convinced to change my mind, I’m not going to do it lightly. When I read the arguments in favor of paedobaptism, I need to be convinced that the case is stronger than the case for credobaptism if I’m going to change my view.

At this point, it appears to me that the strongest arguments for paedobaptism are historical precedent and the framework through which one understands the Old and New Covenants. I’m sure there are other reasons, but the comparison of baptism to circumcision seems to be the primary argument, backed up by historical practice.

While not pertaining to baptism, per se, this is another link I’m perusing:

Conversion and Baptism in the Book of Acts

Salvation expressed through baptism

Three types of baptism:

Baptism of John – water baptism of repentance; precursor to Jesus; getting the heart right through repentance.

Act 13:24 (NIV)
Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel.

Baptism of the Holy Spirit – indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Act 1:5 (NIV)
For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Act 1:8 (NIV)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Baptism of Jesus – a testimony of salvation. Water baptism representing spiritual cleansing and rebirth.

There are ten passages in Scripture documenting a conversion to Christ in the early church. All passages in Acts, and in all cases immediately followed by baptism.

1. Acts 2:38-41 – Peter’s sermon; the conversion of 3,000
Act 2:41 Those who accepted his message were baptized.

2. Acts 8:9-13 – Simon the magician
Act 8:13 Simon himself believed and was baptized.

3. Acts 8:26-38 – The Ethiopian eunuch
Act 8:38 Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.

4. Acts 9:15-18 – the Apostle Paul (Saul)
Act 9:18 He got up and was baptized.

5. Acts 10:47-48 – Cornelius et al
Act 10:48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

6. Acts 16:13-15 – Lydia and her household
Act 16:15 She and the members of her household were baptized.

7. Acts 16:30-33 – The Philippian jailer and his family
Act 16:33 Then immediately he and all his family were baptized.

8. Acts 18:7-8 – Crispus
Act 18:8 Many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

9. Acts 19:1-6 – unnamed disciples
Act 19:5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

10. Acts 22:12-16 – the Apostle Paul (flashback)
Act 22:16 Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.

Why don’t we baptize immediately today?

1. Inconvenience; lack of water
2. perceived as a barrier to the gospel
3. desire for the entire church to be witnesses
4. perceived as adding works to the gospel