Baptism: is it required to be baptized in water?

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KelbyofGod

Senior Member
Oct 8, 2017
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#41
Just out of curiosity, where do you attend church? Oneness Pentecostal or church of Christ perhaps?

Regardless of which translation, the structure of Acts 2:38 illustrates that the command to be baptized is parenthetical and is not syntactically connected to remission of sins. When Peter commanded the people to repent, he was speaking to the crowd. Then the command to be baptized was directed to each individual. In the "remission of your sins" phrase, Peter again directed his words to the crowd collectively.

As Greek scholar A. T. Robertson points out - “One will decide the use here according as he believes that baptism is essential to the remission of sins or not. "My view is decidedly against the idea that Peter, Paul, or any one in the New Testament taught baptism as essential to the remission of sins or the means of securing such remission. So I understand Peter to be urging baptism on each of them who had already turned (repented) and for it to be done in the name of Jesus Christ on the basis of the forgiveness of sins which they had already received.” (Robertson, Grammar, page 592).

Greek scholar Daniel Wallace explains in Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: It is possible that to a first-century Jewish audience (as well as to Peter), the idea of baptism might incorporate both the spiritual reality and the physical symbol (although only the reality remits sins). In other words, when one spoke of baptism, he usually meant both ideas—the reality and the ritual. Peter is shown to make the strong connection between these two in chapters 10 and 11. In 11:15-16 he recounts the conversion of Cornelius and friends, pointing out that at the point of their conversion they were baptized by the Holy Spirit. After he had seen this, he declared, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit…” (10:47). The point seems to be that if they have had the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit via spiritual baptism, there ought to be a public testimony/acknowledgment via water baptism as well. This may not only explain Acts 2:38 (that Peter spoke of both reality and picture, though only the reality removes sins), but also why the NT speaks of only baptized believers (as far as we can tell): Water baptism is not a cause of salvation, but a picture; and as such it serves both as a public acknowledgment (by those present) and a public confession (by the convert) that one has been Spirit baptized.

The Greek word for "repent" is "metanoia" (noun) and "matanoeo" (verb) you see as defined in the Strongs #3340, 3341: to think differently or afterwards, reconsider. After thought, change of mind. So we change our mind when we repent and the new direction of this change of mind is faith in Christ for salvation. Two sides to the same coin in obtaining salvation. In regards to water baptism and Romans 6:3-5, being buried and raised with Christ is the picture, but not the reality. As Greek scholar AT Robertson points out - a symbol is not the reality, but the picture of the reality.

Jesus freed us from our sins and provided for us eternal life through His death, burial and resurrection. Being united in the likeness of His death and resurrection is pictured, but not procured in the waters of baptism. Spirit baptism is the reality and water baptism is the picture of the reality.

In 1 Peter 3:21, Peter tells us that baptism now saves you, yet when Peter uses this phrase he continues in the same sentence to explain exactly what he means by it. He said that baptism now saves you-not the removal of dirt from the flesh (that is, not as an outward, physical act which washes dirt from the body--that is not what saves you), "but an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (that is, as an inward, spiritual transaction between God and the individual, a transaction that is symbolized by the outward ceremony of water baptism).

*Just as the eight people in the ark were "saved THROUGH water" as they were IN THE ARK. They were not literally saved "by" the water. Hebrews 11:7 is clear on this point (..built an ARK for the SAVING of his household). *NOTE: The context reveals that ONLY the righteous (Noah and his family) were DRY and therefore SAFE. In contrast, ONLY THE WICKED IN NOAH'S DAY CAME IN CONTACT WITH THE WATER AND THEY ALL PERISHED.
Wow. You write profusely/abundantly. I don't think I can keep up trying to address each and every point, so I'll hit some that stood out. Perhaps 1 per post for easy isolation of my points if someone wants to reply, and to fit times I have available to write.
 

KelbyofGod

Senior Member
Oct 8, 2017
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#42
Just out of curiosity, where do you attend church? Oneness Pentecostal or church of Christ perhaps?
I don't mind that you compare me to a oneness pentecostal. From what I understand of them, they hold some biblical truths that others have turned away from. For example... they (like those who came with Peter in Acts 10) acknowledge that speaking in tongues is evidence that a person(or persons) has received the Holy Ghost.

As for where we meet, we rotate houses because our group is small enough not to need a separate building most of the time.
 

KelbyofGod

Senior Member
Oct 8, 2017
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#43
[Re: baptism for remission of sins]

As Greek scholar A. T. Robertson points out - “One will decide the use here according as he believes that baptism is essential to the remission of sins or not.” (Robertson, Grammar, page 592).
Notice that your guy is saying that it is not an "only-one-possible-interpretation" kind of phrase.... He realizes a person will interpret it either way depending on their beliefs. Mr. Robertson happens to hold the same side of the argument as yourself but is wise enough to understand that he interprets this verse the way he does because of his personal beliefs...not because the verse is clearly stating it that way. The other guy is just another example of the same side of the argument.

This doesn't detract from your assertion... but neither does it bolster it.

Love in Jesus,
Kelby
 

mailmandan

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2014
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#44
I don't mind that you compare me to a oneness pentecostal. From what I understand of them, they hold some biblical truths that others have turned away from. For example... they (like those who came with Peter in Acts 10) acknowledge that speaking in tongues is evidence that a person (or persons) has received the Holy Ghost. As for where we meet, we rotate houses because our group is small enough not to need a separate building most of the time.
Speaking in tongues may be "an" evidence that a person has received the Holy Spirit, but it's not "the" evidence for all.

Oneness Pentecostalism: (Jesus Only) A heresy that emerged from the mainstream Pentecostal movement during the years 1914–1916. Unlike traditional Pentecostals, "Oneness" followers deny the doctrine of the Trinity in favor of a view similar to Monarchianism. In addition to this heresy, most Oneness Pentecostal organizations also teach that speaking in tongues, baptism (in Jesus' name only), and maintaining various moral "standards" are necessary for salvation. See Salvation by Works, Modalism. Profile available. - https://www.watchman.org/index-of-cults-and-religions/

Oneness Pentecostalism is basically a cult, but you don't mind being compared to it? :cautious:
 

mailmandan

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2014
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#45
Notice that your guy is saying that it is not an "only-one-possible-interpretation" kind of phrase.... He realizes a person will interpret it either way depending on their beliefs. Mr. Robertson happens to hold the same side of the argument as yourself but is wise enough to understand that he interprets this verse the way he does because of his personal beliefs...not because the verse is clearly stating it that way. The other guy is just another example of the same side of the argument.

This doesn't detract from your assertion... but neither does it bolster it.
Bottom line, scripture MUST harmonize with scripture and your interpretation of Acts 2:38 clearly does not harmonize with (Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 10:43-47; 11:17,18; 15:8,9; 16:31; 26:18). If water baptism was absolutely necessary for salvation, then God would not make so many statements in which He promises eternal life/salvation to those who simply believe/place faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. (Luke 8:12; John 1:12; 3:15,16,18,36; 5:24; 6:29,40,47; 11:25,26; Acts 10:43; 11:17; 15:8,9; 16:31; 26:18; Romans 1:16; 3:22-28; 4:5-6; 5:1; 10:4; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 3:9; 2 Timothy 3:15; 1 John 5:13 etc..).

There are a handful of alleged prooftexts which are often cited to prove that the Bible makes water baptism mandatory for salvation, yet a careful examination of each of these texts in context will show that none of them prove that baptism is absolutely required for salvation, although they do prove that baptism was an assumed initiatory response to the gospel of salvation. In other words, these texts only prove that water baptism is regularly associated with conversion and salvation, rather than absolutely required for salvation.

Elsewhere, AT Robertson said - Change of number from plural to singular and of person from second to third. This change marks a break in the thought here that the English translation does not preserve. The first thing to do is make a radical and complete change of heart and life. Then let each one be baptized after this change has taken place, and the act of baptism be performed “in the name of Jesus Christ” (εν τωι ονοματι Ιησου Χριστου — en tōi onomati Iēsou Christou). So I understand Peter to be urging baptism on each of them who had already turned (repented) and for it to be done in the name of Jesus Christ on the basis of the forgiveness of sins which they had already received.”

Greek scholar E Calvin Beisner said something similar - In short, the most precise English translation of the relevant clauses, arranging them to reflect the switches in person and number of the verbs, would be, “You (plural) repent for the forgiveness of your (plural) sins, and let each one (singular) of you be baptized (singular)….” Or, to adopt our Southern dialect again, “Y’all repent for the forgiveness of y’all’s sins, and let each one of you be baptized….”

When I showed this translation to the late Julius Mantey, one of the foremost Greek grammarians of the twentieth century and co-author of A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (originally published in 1927), he approved and even signed his name next to it in the margin of my Greek New Testament. *These arguments, lexical and grammatical, stand independently. Even if one rejects both lexical meanings of for, he still must face the grammatical argument, and even if he rejects the grammatical conclusion, he still must face the lexical argument.

Does Acts 2:38 prove baptismal remission? No, it doesn’t even support it as part of a cumulative case. — E. Calvin Beisner
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
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#46
I wasn't attempting a bait and switch. I was addressing your use of the word shenanigans.

If man created and established Baptism, then "shenanigans" seems appropriate.

But if it was God that established it, sent John the Baptist to establish its use, and had Jesus incorporate it's use in his ministry and to command his disciples to continue its use, and recorded that they continue it's use even after the Holy Ghost is given...then "shenanigans" doesn't seem appropriate.
Misappropriating sacraments is not appropriate and should be called a 'shenanigan'. Good night, "KelbyofGod".
 

Wansvic

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2018
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489
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#47
The keywords are REQUIRE and NEED. I agree that it is good and important, just like Holy Communion. But I think we all know that the thief on the cross is not going to go to hell just because he didn't get dunked in the lake.

Matthew 22
22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
22:39 And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
The thief on the cross was not required to follow the New Testament mandates/keys given by Peter on the Day of Pentecost.
 

Wansvic

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2018
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#48
Only through the Blood.

John 14
14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Your sacramental shananagans cannot save you, Kelby.
As mentioned, Acts 22:16 teaches not WHAT washes away sin; that's Jesus' blood, but WHEN one's sins are washed away. (water baptism)
 

KelbyofGod

Senior Member
Oct 8, 2017
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#49
Speaking in tongues may be "an" evidence that a person has received the Holy Spirit, but it's not "the" evidence for all.

Oneness Pentecostalism: (Jesus Only) A heresy that emerged from the mainstream Pentecostal movement during the years 1914–1916. Unlike traditional Pentecostals, "Oneness" followers deny the doctrine of the Trinity in favor of a view similar to Monarchianism. In addition to this heresy, most Oneness Pentecostal organizations also teach that speaking in tongues, baptism (in Jesus' name only), and maintaining various moral "standards" are necessary for salvation. See Salvation by Works, Modalism. Profile available. - https://www.watchman.org/index-of-cults-and-religions/

Oneness Pentecostalism is basically a cult, but you don't mind being compared to it? :cautious:
Acts 28:22 KJV: But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.

These people in Acts were wise enough not to run from a group (ignorantly) just because it is spoken against "every where". They desired to know what was really going on, and desired Paul to explain it to them, as a representative OF that group.

Love in Jesus,
Kelby
 

KelbyofGod

Senior Member
Oct 8, 2017
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#50
Speaking in tongues may be "an" evidence that a person has received the Holy Spirit, but it's not "the" evidence for all.
Please don't freak out at this compliment as though it will be used against you...

It was a pleasant surprise to see you acknowledge speaking in tongues as "an" evidence. And I didn't overlook the part where you only said it "may be" instead of a solid "is". I don't think I expected to see even that much happen.

BTW, I'm actually going to compliment you a few more times in this post, because I have a policy of "Never leave an honest compliment unspoken". Plus, sometimes it's nice to have a change of pace.

Ok. First one goes like this: I appreciate that you continue to discuss the topic rather than just get frustrated and leave, because we do have opposing viewpoints on the subject(s), and I think this is the longest we've spoken together without one of us bowing out.

Secondly, One of the things I watch for in discussions is completeness or consistency of thought in the doctrine the person holds. (And that is using the word "doctrine" simply as referring to the specific beliefs or the belief system as a whole, but not suggesting validity OR invalidity OF the beliefs.) And I'm struggling to find the right words to say the compliment part, but, from what I've gathered so far... your belief that (paraphrased) Belief = Repentance = RemissionOfSins = ReceivingTheHolyGhost is rather "scalable", so to speak. (Scalable is a compliment here). Basically, any time someone mentions any of those starting with 'R', you simply say "THAT is accomplished at and by the one starting with 'B' ". Is that kinda what you are saying?

Okay, that paragraph seems muddy as I was trying to do several things at once. Those things were:
1. To say that "I see scalability in your belief system, and scalability is good! Bravo!" (as cheesy as that sounds)
2. To express the doctrine in a shortened form B=R=R=R to see if i am getting what you are saying.
3. To give an example of your doctrine in use to see if I correctly understand how it would be applied.

Thanks.

Love in Jesus,
Kelby
 

KelbyofGod

Senior Member
Oct 8, 2017
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#51
Misappropriating sacraments is not appropriate and should be called a 'shenanigan'. Good night, "KelbyofGod".
Oyster67,
In honesty, I am confused by your use of the word 'sacraments'. Specifically, I don't know if you consider a 'sacrament' to be something that is godly or just man-ly (a correct thing, or a false). I rarely use that word and had to look it up, but the dictionary only says it is a ritual BELIEVED to be divine (without clarifying if it actually is).


However, I took the "Goodnight, 'Kelbyofgod'. " as a statement that you were not interested in conversing further, so please forgive me in asking for clarification on the other part. And if you wish to step completely out of the conversation, you may simply reply "I'd rather not speak to you on this matter" and I'll do my best to avoid replying to you further on it, other than to acknowledge.

Love in Jesus,
Kelby
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
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#52
Oyster67,
In honesty, I am confused by your use of the word 'sacraments'. Specifically, I don't know if you consider a 'sacrament' to be something that is godly or just man-ly (a correct thing, or a false). I rarely use that word and had to look it up, but the dictionary only says it is a ritual BELIEVED to be divine (without clarifying if it actually is).


However, I took the "Goodnight, 'Kelbyofgod'. " as a statement that you were not interested in conversing further, so please forgive me in asking for clarification on the other part. And if you wish to step completely out of the conversation, you may simply reply "I'd rather not speak to you on this matter" and I'll do my best to avoid replying to you further on it, other than to acknowledge.

Love in Jesus,
Kelby
Good morning, Kelby.

A sacrament is something we do for the sake of rememberance (not salvation).

1 Corinthians 11
11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread:
11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
11:25 After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.
11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

Love in Jesus,
Oyster.
 

mailmandan

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2014
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#53
And I'm struggling to find the right words to say the compliment part, but, from what I've gathered so far... your belief that (paraphrased) Belief = Repentance = RemissionOfSins = ReceivingTheHolyGhost is rather "scalable", so to speak. (Scalable is a compliment here). Basically, any time someone mentions any of those starting with 'R', you simply say "THAT is accomplished at and by the one starting with 'B' ". Is that kinda what you are saying?
Repentance is a change of mind which precedes consummated belief, the new direction of that change of mind.

Matthew 21:32 - For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

Mark 1:15 - ..repent and believe the gospel.

Acts 20:21 - testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Those who have truly repented believe the gospel and those who believe the gospel have already repented in the process of changing their mind and choosing to believe the gospel.
 

mailmandan

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2014
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#54
As mentioned, Acts 22:16 teaches not WHAT washes away sin; that's Jesus' blood, but WHEN one's sins are washed away. (water baptism)
Sins are not literally washed away during water baptism. As I previously mentioned, here is an excellent article on Acts 22:16 - https://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2015/03/acts-2216-baptism-essential-for.html

*No scripture is to be interpreted in isolation from the totality of scripture. Practically speaking, a singular and obscure verse is to be subservient to to multiple and clear verses, and not vice versa.
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
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#55
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

That one little phrase is the cause of all this confusion? A simple logical "and" in no way implies a cause-and-effect relationship.
 

Wansvic

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2018
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#56
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

That one little phrase is the cause of all this confusion? A simple logical "and" in no way implies a cause-and-effect relationship.
Ananias instruction to Paul parallels with Peter's instruction given at Pentecost; ..."be baptized everyone of you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sin..."
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
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#57
Ananias instruction to Paul parallels with Peter's instruction given at Pentecost; ..."be baptized everyone of you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sin..."
The whole point is that we DO need to be baptized in the Blood of Jesus, but we DO NOT need to be baptized in H2O. Being baptized in water is profitable because it testifies to others that we have decided to follow Jesus. In this, it is similar to confessing with our tongue that Jesus is Lord. The willingness to do so is important, I agree. It is, however, by Jesus' blood, and that alone, that we can be saved. Anything more amounts to salvation-by-works heresy.
 

KelbyofGod

Senior Member
Oct 8, 2017
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#58
Good morning, Kelby.

A sacrament is something we do for the sake of rememberance (not salvation).

1 Corinthians 11
11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread:
11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
11:25 After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.
11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

Love in Jesus,
Oyster.
(please forgive the length of this particular post. I wanted to be thorough)

Ah. Thank-you. Someone once said "A measurement not clearly defined is worse than useless." And I pretty much believe the same is true about words. I'm glad your definition is clear enough to be used. And you provided an example that demonstrates your definition quite well. I believe I now understand your meaning.

I simply suggest that baptism is not a sacrament, when using your definition.

The lesser (almost negligible) reason is that, as far as i understand, both you and Mailmandan teach that baptism is used for declaration rather than remembrance. But I can see how you could be saying it is being done as an act pointing backwards to something already accomplished, rather than being itself the mechanism of accomplishing the thing. However, I acknowledge that you were most importantly saying that a sacrament is something a person can omit and still get into heaven without doing or believing.

If baptism were mainly for the purpose of public declaration, I would agree it to be unnecessary. However, if baptism is the mechanism itself, it cannot be omitted safely...even if we don't understand why or how it functions in that capacity.

Plus, some things can be necessary even if not considered part of "Salvation".

An example that comes to mind is that of Jesus attempting to wash Peter's feet.
  1. it is a washing (not even as complete as baptism as only the feet got wet);
  2. it requires another physical person(sent by God) in order to be accomplished
  3. it would not be considered "salvational" by your definition;
  4. its function as a mechanism wasn't clear but its application was required;
  5. it was to be submitted to in faith as a matter of love and obedience;
  6. it was commanded to be continued and done to others;
  7. it is repeated in churches today with expectation of lesser necessity (though not all practice it that way)
  8. it needed to be done correctly
  9. it was a deal breaker if left unaccomplished. (yes I realize you would dispute this one regarding baptism)
There are several other similarities to baptism but I at least wanted to show you that there can be things that fall outside your definition of a sacrament, AND fall outside of your definition of salvation, and yet can be necessary. I'm simply claiming that baptism is one of them.

And I appreciate that you didn't break off communication.

Love in Jesus,
Kelby
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
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#59
you were most importantly saying that a sacrament is something a person can omit and still get into heaven without doing or believing
Amen, but we must believe in what the sacraments POINT to. Marriage between a man and a woman is also a sacrament. It points to the proper relationship between God and man, but I am not hell bound just because I am a single.

Revelation 19
19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
 

mailmandan

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2014
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#60
Amen, but we must believe in what the sacraments POINT to. Marriage between a man and a woman is also a sacrament.
Speaking of marriage, a man and a woman become united through their wedding vows and the ring symbolizes this. Just as we become united with Christ through faith and water baptism symbolizes this.

Strictly speaking, the husband is united to his wife because of the marriage vows rather than the ring. Yet since the latter is the sign of their union, it is natural to speak of the ring to mean the reality it represents. "With this ring, I thee wed," although the ring is not the actual cause of the change in the marital status, just like water baptism is not the actual cause of our salvation.

Baptism is a symbol of salvation in that it pictures Christ's death, burial and resurrection and our identification with Him in these experiences. In reality, believers are literally saved by what baptism symbolizes--Christ's death, burial and resurrection.

Baptism would have no meaning without Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, but Christ’s death, burial and resurrection would still have meaning, even if there were no baptism. In other words, Christ’s death, burial and resurrection is the substance and baptism is the sign/symbol/picture. Without the substance there would be no sign/symbol/picture.

Baptism put it in it's proper place, subsequent to salvation through faith in Christ as all rites and works must be. Baptism is for believers, and believers are already saved, for the Bible says we are saved by grace through faith, not by rites or religious works, or good works. This does not remove good works/acts of obedience (including water baptism) from the Christian life, it just puts them in their proper place, subsequent to regeneration and salvation.