Would it surprise us to learn that within the New Testament’s original language, the label “believer” (pistos) is rather rare? I did not expect this. Did you? Or how surprised would we be if we discovered that perhaps the most common usage of believer today differs from what the New Testament meant by believer?
The previous article in this series is here.
Did Paul’s and Luke’s missionary companionship influence how they used the word believe? Did they share the same understanding of how to respond to Christ crucified? These are very interesting questions for two reasons.
First, early Christian tradition asserts Luke wrote the gospel Paul proclaimed. If this is true, then Luke’s usage of believe might very well reflect Paul’s viewpoint. What can we discover regarding whether their perspectives aligned?
Second, in the first article the evidence led us to the conclusions: Luke was comfortable using “believe” and “turned to the Lord” as general terms for conversion indicating baptism had occurred. Thus, when Luke recounted that someone believed, that conversion story encompassed more than just believing; it signified a faith response involving baptism. Continue reading “Did Paul agree with Luke that to believe includes baptism?”
Our world abounds with controversial issues ranging from politics to scientific theories, from social policy to religion. Among the chorus of dissenting voices rise competing perspectives regarding baptism.
It is my belief that scripture provides an unequivocal voice inviting us to rely upon Christ in baptism in order that we might receive the benefits of our Savior’s death. My experiences have also led me to conclude that one major barrier against accepting this understanding lies not with scripture’s failure to positively teach about baptism, rather false assumptions about faith are negating the biblical message.
How might someone tackle such a scenario? Here is one possibility.