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Thread: Believer's Baptism

  1. #161
    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabibito View Post
    To the best of my knowledge, three people are recorded to make mention of baptism in the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter. Paul perhaps in 1 Cor 12:13, but it would be difficult to make a case for it.
    Opinion is divided w.r.t. 1 Cor. 12:13. Fee holds that it does indeed refer to baptism in the Spirit (not in the Pentecostal sense, but in the sense of conversion), that nothing anywhere, especially in the Pauline corpus, necessitates a connection with water baptism, and that Spirit is the "element," not the "agent," of baptism (i.e "in," not "by"). (God's Empowering Presence, pp. 179-182.) Keener calls it "baptism in the Spirit," considers it an initiation, concedes that Paul "probably" connects it with water baptism "at least" in a symbolic sense. (His NCBC commentary on 1-2 Corinthians, p. 102.) Witherington does not address the wording in his Conflict and Community in Corinth.

    I will go with Fee.

    Peter calls for water so that people may be baptised (Acts 10:47) after they had received the Holy Spirit. He is then said to have commanded them to get baptised into the name of the Lord (v 48)
    Peter calls on people to be baptised into the name of Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38)
    Paul finds believers who had been baptised with John's baptism, baptises them into Christ and then lays hands on them so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. (Acts 19:2-6)
    Philip and John laid hands on believers who had only been baptised into Christ so that they could receive the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8: 15-17) - Baptism into Christ is baptism in water, not the Holy Spirit:
    Paul recounts his instruction by Ananias to get baptised and have his sins washed away (Acts 22:16) The actual event being recorded in Acts 9:17
    Peter declares that baptism saves (1 Peter 3:20-21)
    Paul claims that as many as have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ (Galatians 3:27)

    It would be hard to make a case for baptism into Christ becoming obsolescent, I think.
    I am aware of all these passages, and more. I do not deny that water baptism has been practiced since the earliest days of the Church.

    Nonetheless, I stand by what I said regarding the wording of the Spirit-baptism passages "especially in the Gospels."
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  2. #162
    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorrinRadd View Post
    Opinion is divided w.r.t. 1 Cor. 12:13. Fee holds that it does indeed refer to baptism in the Spirit (not in the Pentecostal sense, but in the sense of conversion), that nothing anywhere, especially in the Pauline corpus, necessitates a connection with water baptism, and that Spirit is the "element," not the "agent," of baptism (i.e "in," not "by"). (God's Empowering Presence, pp. 179-182.) Keener calls it "baptism in the Spirit," considers it an initiation, concedes that Paul "probably" connects it with water baptism "at least" in a symbolic sense. (His NCBC commentary on 1-2 Corinthians, p. 102.) Witherington does not address the wording in his Conflict and Community in Corinth.

    I will go with Fee.



    I am aware of all these passages, and more. I do not deny that water baptism has been practiced since the earliest days of the Church.

    Nonetheless, I stand by what I said regarding the wording of the Spirit-baptism passages "especially in the Gospels."
    There remains the point of "baptism in the spirit" never being mentioned by that term other than by the gospel authors (which includes Acts, given that Acts was written by the author of one of the gospels.) However, do you have any specific gospel reference in mind - or is it just a matter of the over-all "feel?"
    1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

  3. #163
    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabibito View Post
    There remains the point of "baptism in the spirit" never being mentioned by that term other than by the gospel authors (which includes Acts, given that Acts was written by the author of one of the gospels.) However, do you have any specific gospel reference in mind - or is it just a matter of the over-all "feel?"
    In all four, John explicitly noted his baptism was "water," and that of Jesus was "the Holy Spirit." If the authors -- or the speaker -- had not intended that Spirit-baptism be seen as a replacement to water baptism, I would have expected at least one of them to say "water and also the Spirit," but when any of them *do* add another element, it is fire, not water.
    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

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  4. #164
    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorrinRadd View Post
    In all four, John explicitly noted his baptism was "water," and that of Jesus was "the Holy Spirit." If the authors -- or the speaker -- had not intended that Spirit-baptism be seen as a replacement to water baptism, I would have expected at least one of them to say "water and also the Spirit," but when any of them *do* add another element, it is fire, not water.
    Interesting point - but as I recall that was what Jesus himself would do, with one reference pointing out that Jesus did not baptise anyone though his followers did. I'll check into it further, but that is the way I think the write-up goes.

    Also - seems to me that "fire" is affliction(s), but I haven't seen any commentator draw that inference.
    1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

  5. #165
    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabibito View Post
    Interesting point - but as I recall that was what Jesus himself would do, with one reference pointing out that Jesus did not baptise anyone though his followers did. I'll check into it further, but that is the way I think the write-up goes.

    Also - seems to me that "fire" is affliction(s), but I haven't seen any commentator draw that inference.
    I got a bit careless there, by neglecting the subsequent verses in Matt. and Luke. I don't think the fire accompanies the Spirit in those passages. I think the sense is that everyone collectively will be baptized, some with the Spirit, all others with the fire of eternal destruction.

    I acknowledge that in Acts 2, that is not the case. I think there it's possible that the flame-like manifestation might have been intended to call the words of John the Baptizer to their remembrance, but mostly I think it was an attention-grabber and symbol of purification.
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  6. #166
    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorrinRadd View Post
    I got a bit careless there, by neglecting the subsequent verses in Matt. and Luke. I don't think the fire accompanies the Spirit in those passages. I think the sense is that everyone collectively will be baptized, some with the Spirit, all others with the fire of eternal destruction.

    I acknowledge that in Acts 2, that is not the case. I think there it's possible that the flame-like manifestation might have been intended to call the words of John the Baptizer to their remembrance, but mostly I think it was an attention-grabber and symbol of purification.
    I put some weight on the references by Jesus to his forthcoming baptism, which refers to his crucifixion (or more generally, the passion). At the same time I note that nothing explicit makes that connection - but agreed, nothing whatever connects the tongues of flame in Acts 2 with baptism of fire. (I note that "baptism of fire" was sometime in history adopted to indicate an initiation through conflict and suffering. The use of the term and the meaning seem logically connected with the scriptural usage here, and one which seemingly caused no difficulty for the disciples to understand.)

    Given that Paul identifies baptism as baptism into Christ - coupled with the Acts references where one group was baptised into Christ before being baptised into the Holy Spirit despite having received John's baptism, and another group who had been baptised into Christ were accordingly baptised into the Holy Spirit, the two baptisms appear to have different effects. Minimally - baptism in water is a matter of repentance from and the remission of sins (or at least, attending repentance and remission) and brings the member to be in Christ, and - baptism in the Spirit lends power and knits the member into the body of Christ.

    I consider that a solid foundation exists for believing that baptism in water is not superseded by baptism in the Holy Spirit.

    A case could possibly be made that both are necessary for baptism to be complete, however.

    Therefore, I believe that the correct explanation is: Christ baptises into the Holy Spirit (either directly, or through the laying on of hands by authorised delegates); and authorised delegates baptise into Christ.
    Last edited by tabibito; 06-02-2019 at 06:55 AM.
    1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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