Baptism for Forgiveness

Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38, ESV)
Those who deny the clear teaching of Scripture regarding baptism play endless shell games to avoid the truth presented repeatedly throughout the New Testament. (Note, for example, Acts 22:16, Hebrews 10:22, Galatians 3:27, and 1 Peter 3:21.)
The normal dodge to get around the Apostle Peter?s command on the day of Pentecost, is to claim that the word ?for? in this instance means ?because of? rather than ?to secure.?
While it is true that the English word ?for? can be used in the sense of ?because of,? the Greek construction of the original is the same as we see in the words of Christ: ??for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.? (Matt 26:27-28, ESV) His blood was not poured out because the sins were already forgiven, but rather Jesus died so that sins could be forgiven. In the same way, we are not commanded to be baptized because we are already forgiven, but so that we can be forgiven.
Even looking only at the English words of our common translations, however, we see that the word ?for? in Acts 2:38 cannot mean ?because of.? The command to be baptized is joined with the command to repent. One can no more be right with God without baptism than one can be right with God without repentance. Both are essential to the Lord?s way of salvation.

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Greg Tidwell

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One thought on “Baptism for Forgiveness

  1. What is repentance and is it as important as water immersion? Why don’t we teach repentance as much as we do water immersion? Is water immersion valid without real faith? Has our over emphasis of water immersions turned salvation into a onetime thing instead of a lifelong ongoing transformation? We can baptize people all day long and never make one single disciple. Has our over emphasis on the religious act of water immersion separated salvation and discipleship?

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