I Was Not Sent to Baptize - What Exactly Did Paul Mean?

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presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
6,701
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#21
Water baptism is an act of obedience. We are saved by grace THROUGH faith, not through obedience.
Water baptism done right should be an act of faith.

Colossians 2
11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God,
(NKJV)

Bold emphasis mine.

Faith should manifest in obedience

Romans 1:5
5 Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,
(NKJV)

Romans 16:26
26 but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith—
(NKJV)
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
6,701
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#22
FreeGrace2 said:
The ONLY VERSE you have to support the claim that salvation requires water baptism is a disputed verse in Mark 16.

Every other verse regarding salvation or eternal life does NOT mention water baptism.

This doesn't prove that baptism saves at all. Water baptism follows salvation as a sign o being identified with Christ.


When one reads v.20 with v.21 a clear picture emerges. In v.20 Peter said that Noah was saved THROUGH water. What he didn't say was that Noah was saved BY water. In fact, the rest of humanity was KILLED by water.

Then, we have v.21-
New International Version
and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

New Living Translation
And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

English Standard Version
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Berean Study Bible
And this water symbolizes the baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

The terms "this water" and "that water" refers to literal water, as in the flood in v.20. We see that literal water "symbolizes baptism" or "is a picture of baptism" that saves.
We know from other scripture that Peter understood baptism to involve real water. He grew up Jewish, where they would use actual water to do a mikveh, a Jewish 'baptism' for ritual cleaning. John the Baptist baptized in a location that had much water, and baptized in actual water. Jesus was baptized in actual water. Jesus said to preach teach, and baptize nations. We can see how Peter interpreted and applied this in Acts 10-11, showing that he used real water to baptize. Water is explicitly mentioned in the passage about baptizing the Ethiopian.

In the verses you mention, the water of the flood symbolizes baptism. It does not say that baptism is symbolic or that it is not in real water. The verse does not give any evidence for that interpretation.
So, what is "the baptism that saves"? It is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
You can offer not scripture to support your Quaker reinterpretation. It doesn't stand up to the pattern in Acts either.

Acts 11-
15 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning.
16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
17 So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”
18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”
Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit, not the apostles. Jesus told the eleven to baptize. They baptize in water. Look in the Acts 10 account of the same events. Peter asked if any man could forbid water. These brothers were baptized in water in addition to being empowered by the Spirit.

This passage clears up the debate. v.16 is a statement from Jesus that distinguishes BETWEEN water baptism and the baptism with the Spirit. They are different, and Jesus distinguishes between them.
Christians should experience both. This is clear from Peter's references to water in the passage. Jesus sent Peter and others to teach the nations, so you should listen to their teaching on this topic.

These were Gentiles, too. So water baptism was not just for the Jews.

When a person is water baptized, the immersion is a PICTURE or SYMBOL of being buried with Christ, and the bringing out of the water is a PICTURE or SYMBOL of being raised with Christ.
Maybe it has the symbolic dimension in addition to the teaching of Paul in Colossians. But the Bible does not call baptism a symbol. The flood was a symbol/type of baptism. But it was also a real event.

So water baptism is what the verses (and many more) say it is; a SYMBOL or PICTURE.
You have not shown any scripture to show that it is a symbol, much less only a symbol.
 

ResidentAlien

Active member
Apr 21, 2021
727
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#23
Baptism is the first step a new believer takes after faith in Christ. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word. Paul came to preach the word, he left baptizing to others. He had one responsibility and the others another.

Baptism is important. Through it we die to self and put on Christ. But the New Testament clearly teaches that we're justified through grace by faith. Not faith plus baptism or anything else. However, the Christian walk is more than coming down front and "getting saved." Baptism is a very important part of our walk with Christ, but Paul didn't consider it his responsibility, for in one body there are many parts.
 

FreeGrace2

Well-known member
Jan 31, 2021
2,502
322
83
#24
Water baptism done right should be an act of faith.
Right. Water baptism is a SYMBOL of one's act of faith in the Messiah and being identified with Him.

Colossians 2
11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God,
(NKJV)

Bold emphasis mine.

Faith should manifest in obedience
Absolutely. It should. And that's why so many commands for obedience. We should be obedient.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
6,701
1,009
113
#25
Right. Water baptism is a SYMBOL of one's act of faith in the Messiah and being identified with Him.
I often hear the idea that baptism is a symbol repeated. I cannot find it in scripture. But some preachers rarely mention certain things the Bible does say about baptism, like being buried and raised with Christ by being baptized, through faith in the operation of God Who raised Him from the dead.

Are you saying there is no 'operation of God' in it, and that it is a just a symbol?
 

FreeGrace2

Well-known member
Jan 31, 2021
2,502
322
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#26
We know from other scripture that Peter understood baptism to involve real water.
The Bible presents two kinds of "baptism". A real identification, such as the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and a ritual baptism, such as waster baptism, which is symbolic of one's faith in Christ and being identified with Christ.

Water baptisms are ALWAYS a ritual, which identify the person with something or someone.

He grew up Jewish, where they would use actual water to do a mikveh, a Jewish 'baptism' for ritual cleaning. John the Baptist baptized in a location that had much water, and baptized in actual water.
Yes, and all of it was ritual baptism. Not a real baptism.

Jesus was baptized in actual water.
Again, this was a ritual baptism (in literal water) that symbolized Jesus' identification with the Father's plan for Him.

If water baptism relates to being saved, then for sure Jesus didn't need it. So His baptism proves that water baptism isn't for salvation.

Jesus said to preach teach, and baptize nations. We can see how Peter interpreted and applied this in Acts 10-11, showing that he used real water to baptize.
Did you notice that the Holy Spirit had already come upon Cornelius' household and the Jews recognized that they were saved BEFORE they were water baptized.

In fact, they distinguished betweens water baptism and Spirit baptism.

Acts 11-
15 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning.
16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized withwater, but you will be baptized withthe Holy Spirit.’
17 So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”
18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

Water is explicitly mentioned in the passage about baptizing the Ethiopian.
Every time we find water baptism, it is a RITUAL baptism, a symbol for an identification.

In the verses you mention, the water of the flood symbolizes baptism. It does not say that baptism is symbolic or that it is not in real water. The verse does not give any evidence for that interpretation.
Are you kidding?? The flood water killed humanity. Noah was saved FROM THE WATER by being in the ark, which was a picture of salvation IN Christ. The water had nothing to do with "baptism". But if you find a verse that mentions baptism in regard to the flood, please share. I've already explained how 1 Pet 3:20,21 doesn't link flood water with baptism.

If you want to see my point, let's examine 1 Cor 10-
1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.
2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.
3 They all ate the same spiritual food
4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

v.1 notes the reality. The "cloud" was the "Shekinah Glory" or the preincarnate Christ, guiding them through the desert.
v.2 is clear. Paul said they were ALL "baptized" INTO Moses IN the cloud and IN the sea.

So, let's think about this. Did any of the Israelites get immersed in the Red Sea? Uh, no. They in fact stayed on dry ground.

Ex 14:22 - and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

Yet, Paul said all of them were baptized in the sea. Since they didn't get wet, THIS is a real baptism. They were IDENTIFIED with or in the sea. They were SAFE (saved) from being drowned as the whole Egyptian army was drowned IN THE SEA. Yet, Paul never said the army was "baptized in the sea". It was the Israelites that were baptized in the sea, all the while staying bone dry.

You can offer not scripture to support your Quaker reinterpretation.
This is absurd. What do the highly unbiblical Quakers have to do with anything??

It doesn't stand up to the pattern in Acts either.
i've proven my position from Scripture. All you've done is find verses with water baptism and think you understand baptism.

Do you know how many DIFFERENT baptisms there are in Scripture? Please give me your list.

Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit, not the apostles.
Explain what it means for Jesus to "baptize with the Holy Spirit". And use Scripture.

Jesus told the eleven to baptize. They baptize in water.
That's right. It's SYMBOLIC for identifying themselves with faith in Christ.

Look in the Acts 10 account of the same events. Peter asked if any man could forbid water. These brothers were baptized in water in addition to being empowered by the Spirit.
Scroll above to see the explanation of Acts 10 found in ch 11.

Christians should experience both.
Every saved person is a Christian and HAS experienced Spirit baptism. It occurs WHEN one believes in Christ. At that MOMENT, they are identified with Christ and God's own possession. See Eph 1:13,14.

This is clear from Peter's references to water in the passage. Jesus sent Peter and others to teach the nations, so you should listen to their teaching on this topic.
I suggest you learn the DIFFERENCE between real and ritual baptisms. It's clear you do not.

Maybe it has the symbolic dimension in addition to the teaching of Paul in Colossians. But the Bible does not call baptism a symbol. The flood was a symbol/type of baptism. But it was also a real event.
This really shows that you do NOT understand the difference between real and ritual baptisms.

You have not shown any scripture to show that it is a symbol, much less only a symbol.
1 Pet 3:21 clearly shows this.

New International Version
and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

New Living Translation
And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Berean Study Bible
And this water symbolizes the baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

New American Standard Bible
Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

NASB 1995
Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you— not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience— through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

NASB 1977
And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Good News Translation
which was a symbol pointing to baptism, which now saves you. It is not the washing off of bodily dirt, but the promise made to God from a good conscience. It saves you through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

International Standard Version
Baptism, which is symbolized by that water, now saves you also, not by removing dirt from the body, but by asking God for a clear conscience based on the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah,

New Heart English Bible
This is a symbol of baptism, which now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the body, but an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,


World English Bible
This is a symbol of baptism, which now saves you--not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

If you want to keep arguing about water baptism being a symbol, please take it up with the Greek scholars who translated the verse as above.

I am eager to see your list of the 7 biblical baptisms. Oh, and note the real ones and the ritual ones.

Then I'll know that you learned what baptism means. :)
 

FreeGrace2

Well-known member
Jan 31, 2021
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#27
I often hear the idea that baptism is a symbol repeated. I cannot find it in scripture. But some preachers rarely mention certain things the Bible does say about baptism, like being buried and raised with Christ by being baptized, through faith in the operation of God Who raised Him from the dead.

Are you saying there is no 'operation of God' in it, and that it is a just a symbol?
It's as much a symbol of one's faith in Christ as circumcision was a symbol of the Jew being God's chosen people.

God is in everything biblical. Ritual baptism is God's plan. Not some man's plan. It's a demonstration of one's faith in Christ, just as circumcision was a demonstration of being God's chosen people (in the OT at least). No it's a common procedure for most male babies.
 

Runningman

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2020
2,712
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#28
The first part of the verse references baptism and preaching. The second part refers to how he personally preaches the gospel, (void of eloquence, etc.) and relates in no way to the topic of baptism. The preceding verses make this apparent. The people were esteeming their ministers rather than the Lord Jesus who was crucified for them.
Adding anything to the crucifixion of Christ makes His death inadequate to save people. That's the major theological problem with saying water baptism is necessary for salvation.

Either Christ's sacrifice is enough or He didn't offer a worthy sacrifice. The latter would be considered blatant heresy of a high order.

Pivoting back to water baptism now. Why is it necessary for salvation considering Christ's sacrifice is supposed to be enough? Water baptism doctrines don't offer a good solution here.

Water baptism is for something else besides salvation.
 

Webers.Home

Well-known member
May 28, 2018
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#29
.
Eph 4:4-5 . .There is . . . one baptism,

Which baptism is the one one baptism; ritual baptism or Spirit baptism?
_
 
Feb 22, 2021
454
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Midwest
#30
.
Eph 4:4-5 . .There is . . . one baptism,

Which baptism is the one one baptism; ritual baptism or Spirit baptism?
_
Precious friend, Great Scriptural question! My "study" summary may answer:

Prophecy/Law for ISRAEL:
►►► The Twelve Were Sent to {water} baptize! ◄◄◄

The TWO Main (of 12) baptismS =

A) water, For remission of sins/induction into Israeli "priesthood!":
(Matthew_3:5-6; Mark_1:4; Luke_3:3; John_1:31; Luke_7:29-30; Acts_10:37)
(Matthew_28:19; Mark_16:16; Acts_2:38, 22:16; Ezekiel_36:25)
+
B) WITH The Holy Spirit, Poured Out By CHRIST, for power, signs And wonders!
(Isaiah_44:3; Matthew_3:11; Mark_1:8, 16:17-18;
Luke_24:49; Acts_2:17-18, 38, 8:15-17, 11:16)
Prophecy/Law

Rightly Divided (2_Timothy_2:15 KJB!) From Things That Differ!:

Mystery/GRACE! =
our "apostle to the Gentiles" for The Body Of CHRIST:

►►► Paul Was Not Sent to {water} baptize! Why Not?: ◄◄◄

Today: Only ONE Baptism = "BY" The ONE Spirit = God's OPERATION,
Spiritually
Identifying members In (The ONE Body Of) CHRIST!!
(Ephesians_4:5; Colossians_2:12; Galatians_3:27;
Romans_6:3-4; ►►► 1 Corinthians 12:13 KJB! ◄◄◄)

ONE "Spiritual" BAPTISM, Correct?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Conclusion: God's ONE Baptism Today? = ONE
OR, EQUALS TWO? {NO "critic" has Explained this WITH {ADDED} WATER, ...
...yet... STILL waiting :cry:}

Is it not Possible That God's Answer Of "NO water baptism, for
us Today," Under HIS Pure GRACE, absolutely vanquishes Satan's
{Many Severely DIVIDED denominations?} Confusion into oblivion!?
-------------------------
IF NOT "answered" then please peruse/review FULL "studies" here:
12 baptisms Rightly Divided From: ONE Baptism
----------------------------------------
Please be Richly Encouraged, enlightened, exhorted, and edified!
God's Simple Will!
 

Wansvic

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2018
2,739
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#31
Baptism is the first step a new believer takes after faith in Christ. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word. Paul came to preach the word, he left baptizing to others. He had one responsibility and the others another.

Baptism is important. Through it we die to self and put on Christ. But the New Testament clearly teaches that we're justified through grace by faith. Not faith plus baptism or anything else. However, the Christian walk is more than coming down front and "getting saved." Baptism is a very important part of our walk with Christ, but Paul didn't consider it his responsibility, for in one body there are many parts.
What many fail to realize is that the commands to repent and be water baptized are part and parcel of the gospel message. Belief and obedience to the entire gospel message is what brings about one's spiritual rebirth according to Jesus. (John3:3-5, Mark 16:15-17)
 

Wansvic

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2018
2,739
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#32
Adding anything to the crucifixion of Christ makes His death inadequate to save people. That's the major theological problem with saying water baptism is necessary for salvation.

Either Christ's sacrifice is enough or He didn't offer a worthy sacrifice. The latter would be considered blatant heresy of a high order.

Pivoting back to water baptism now. Why is it necessary for salvation considering Christ's sacrifice is supposed to be enough? Water baptism doctrines don't offer a good solution here.

Water baptism is for something else besides salvation.
Christ's sacrifice paid the penalty for sin. Nothing else could do that.

However, the process of one's personal sins being actually washed away requires belief and corresponding action to what is also described in the gospel message. Jesus said this message would BEGIN in Jerusalem. (Luke 24:47) And it did BEGIN on the Day of Pentecost. Everyone is to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus for the remission of sin. (Acts 2:38) Again, let me stress the point that Jesus said the message would BEGIN in Jerusalem. His comment speaks to the fact that the message would continue on after that and it did. And continues even today.
 

Wansvic

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2018
2,739
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#33
.
Eph 4:4-5 . .There is . . . one baptism,

Which baptism is the one one baptism; ritual baptism or Spirit baptism?
_
The one baptism reference speaks to water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus. Prior to the NT mandate Jews had many different washings for purification purposes.
 

Webers.Home

Well-known member
May 28, 2018
2,502
352
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Oregon
#34
.
Matt 3:13-14 . .Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized
by John. But John tried to deter him, saying: I need to be baptized by you,
and do you come to me?

I have yet to discover a passage speaking of either Jesus or one of his
disciples baptizing John. Does that mean he left this life with none of his sins
washed away?
_
 

Wansvic

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2018
2,739
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#35
.
Matt 3:13-14 . .Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized
by John. But John tried to deter him, saying: I need to be baptized by you,
and do you come to me?


I have yet to discover a passage speaking of either Jesus or one of his
disciples baptizing John. Does that mean he left this life with none of his sins
washed away?
_
John was beheaded before Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. Therefore John was under the OT mandate. Notice what Jesus said concerning the NT mandate in Luke 24:47. Repentance and remission of sin (connected with water baptism) would be preached in His name beginning in Jerusalem.

Peter preached that message for the first time on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem. The message presented was for everyone to repent, and be baptized. How were they to be baptized? In the name of the Lord Jesus. For what? For the remission of one's sin. (Acts 2:38)

Lastly, Notice what Jesus told John about water baptism. He said it must be done in order to fulfill all righteousness. (Matt. 3:15)
 

Runningman

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2020
2,712
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#36
Christ's sacrifice paid the penalty for sin. Nothing else could do that.

However, the process of one's personal sins being actually washed away requires belief and corresponding action to what is also described in the gospel message. Jesus said this message would BEGIN in Jerusalem. (Luke 24:47) And it did BEGIN on the Day of Pentecost. Everyone is to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus for the remission of sin. (Acts 2:38) Again, let me stress the point that Jesus said the message would BEGIN in Jerusalem. His comment speaks to the fact that the message would continue on after that and it did. And continues even today.
Then what do you do with John 1:29? John the Baptist said Jesus is the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.

29The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
 

Wansvic

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2018
2,739
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#38
Then what do you do with John 1:29? John the Baptist said Jesus is the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.

29The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Saving faith is accepting Jesus' sacrifice as the sole means of salvation. It is applied to each one individually through repentance, (death to sin) water baptism (burial) and being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. (new life in Christ)
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
6,193
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#39
What did Paul mean by his comment that he was not sent to baptize?
It is God who Baptizes unto Salvation. We are given baptism in Holy Spirit when Born Again. We are cleansed by the Blood of jesus. Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.

water baptism is not an essential part of the NT spiritual rebirth process.
Correct.
 

Webers.Home

Well-known member
May 28, 2018
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#40
.
The so-called great commission per Matt 28:16-20 was given to the eleven
original apostles, but Paul's commission was somehow different, e.g. "Christ
sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel" (1Cor 1:17)

For example: at Rom 10:9 he says:

"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.

. . . For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the
mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever
believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

. . . For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same
Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon
the name of the Lord shall be saved."

And at 1Cor 15:1-4 he says:

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto
you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye
are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have
believed in vain.

. . . For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that
Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried,
and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures."

That's it. Not one word about ritual baptism in water; whereas Peter, one of
the original eleven, typically concluded his sermons with a call to baptism;
which is curious because Paul himself was called to baptism (Acts 9:18) and
is known to have been involved in some. (Acts 19:1-8 and 1Cor 1:14-16).

It's as though Christ's commission via the original apostles was old school,
and in time, Christ's commission via Paul became the new school. I realize it
seems impossible; but I'm hard pressed to think of any other reason why
Paul's message would de-emphasize ritual baptism unless the Lord
instructed him to.

Gal 1:11-12 . . I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached
of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught
it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
_