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Offline 3 Resurrections

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #490 on: Sun Jul 01, 2018 - 22:53:44 »
After a couple years since visiting this post, there’s a slight alteration I would like to make to my original comments on this verse in light of a new understanding of the Greek. 

In this John 3:5 context, Christ was correcting Nicodemus’ error. As a member of the Sanhedrin, Nicodemus was laboring under the delusion that being naturally born as an ethnic Israelite automatically entitled him and any other Israelite to a position in God’s family. 

The typical interpretation of John 3:5 (that I once shared) is that Christ’s requirement for being born of water AND of the Spirit are TWO separate things, with the word “AND” meaning “in addition to “.   This is one possible meaning for the word “AND” (kai) in Greek, but “kai” also has several other meanings.  It can also be used in an explanatory sense, meaning “namely”, or “even”, or “that is”, or “in other words”.

Here are a couple examples of this use of the word “kai” in scripture:  Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God AND (kai) Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”  God is here equated with being the Father of our Lord Jesus - it’s not speaking of two separate identities. 

Galatians 6:16 is another: “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, AND (kai) upon the Israel of God.”  The Israel of God here is the same as the group that Paul is blessing with peace - it’s not two separate groups. 

So, this phrase in John 3:5 can be understood in the following manner according to the Greek grammar: “...Except a man be born of water, even the Spirit” (or “namely, the Spirit”), “he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”  “Water” is just a symbolic name for the Spirit here.  This is why verse 8 in this text does not include Christ making any further mention of being born of water, since being born of water IS the same as being born of the Spirit.

This idea of water and the Spirit being the same thing is verified by Christ’s words in John 7:38-39: “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of LIVING WATER. (But this spake He of THE SPIRIT, which they that believe on Him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”. Here, the Spirit is presented as being the equivalent of living water.

Conclusion:  Being “born of water, and (even) the Spirit”  is a symbolic way of saying that the person has had the inexhaustible source of the living water of the Spirit put within them.  John 3:5 should NOT be interpreted as an additional stipulation that a physical, baptismal dunking is also necessary to achieve salvation. 

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #490 on: Sun Jul 01, 2018 - 22:53:44 »

Offline soterion

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #491 on: Sun Jul 01, 2018 - 23:20:13 »
 
So, this phrase in John 3:5 can be understood in the following manner according to the Greek grammar: “...Except a man be born of water, even the Spirit” (or “namely, the Spirit”), “he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”  “Water” is just a symbolic name for the Spirit here.  This is why verse 8 in this text does not include Christ making any further mention of being born of water, since being born of water IS the same as being born of the Spirit.

This idea of water and the Spirit being the same thing is verified by Christ’s words in John 7:38-39: “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of LIVING WATER. (But this spake He of THE SPIRIT, which they that believe on Him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”. Here, the Spirit is presented as being the equivalent of living water.

Conclusion:  Being “born of water, and (even) the Spirit”  is a symbolic way of saying that the person has had the inexhaustible source of the living water of the Spirit put within them.  John 3:5 should NOT be interpreted as an additional stipulation that a physical, baptismal dunking is also necessary to achieve salvation.

The Greek word kai can also be used to link together two things, and so John 3:5 can be talking about water and spirit as two separate things. That Greek conjunction is not what determines if water and spirit are the same.

The immediate context as well as the rest of scripture is what we should be looking at to determine the meaning of those words and their possible equivalence. You did the right thing to bring up John 7 in trying to prove your point, but others can bring up a myriad of other passages to prove the opposite.

Coming to the right conclusion in this question through holistic, or at least contextual, study is how to determine the correct use of kai in that passage.

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #491 on: Sun Jul 01, 2018 - 23:20:13 »

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #492 on: Sun Jul 01, 2018 - 23:34:45 »
3 Resurrections,
First I commend you for your diligent study and your meticulous and well explained breakdown of the word Kai. And how it relates to John 3:5. It was very well presented. That being said, allow me to illuminate the flaws as well. You went from "So, this phrase in John 3:5 CAN be understood in the following manner..." to "John 3:5 SHOULD NOT be interpreted as an additional stipulation..."
You really don't have the authority to make the leap from the first to the second statement. Yes, it can, but it also can go in the other direction. That's as far as you can say. You also quoted (But this spake He of THE SPIRIT, which they that believe on Him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” both passages in John we're prediction of something that was to happen later. And the leader, when it did start to happen, was it next to. In the manner in which it was promised, was spoken by Peter in Acts 2 38 39 Peter replied, Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the Forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, This Promise is for you and your children, for all who are far off, for all whom the Lord our God will call." This is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the "out of his belly shall flow rivers of Living Water." Holy Spirit, the indwelling described in Romans 8:9, 1st Corinthians 3:16 and 6:19, not the just the outward pouring of power such as with the 120 or with Cornelius and company, but when the Holy Spirit takes up residence and stay for the long-haul. In John 3 Jesus also made a prediction of when he'd be lifted up like a snake in the desert to show the kind of death he was going to die. In both cases he was talking about future events.
« Last Edit: Sun Jul 01, 2018 - 23:51:28 by e.r.m. »

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #492 on: Sun Jul 01, 2018 - 23:34:45 »

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #493 on: Sun Jul 01, 2018 - 23:49:44 »
soterion,
Well explained.

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #493 on: Sun Jul 01, 2018 - 23:49:44 »
Pinterest: GraceCentered.com

Offline 3 Resurrections

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #494 on: Mon Jul 02, 2018 - 00:09:38 »
soterion -  I am in total agreement that scripture should be interpreted holistically - just banging one text against another doesn’t work.

For every verse that appears to require dunking in water to obtain salvation, those texts have to be reconciled with verses such as Titus 3:5: “NOT by works of righteousness which we have done” (and baptism for a believer truly is a work of righteousness) “but according to His mercy He saved us, by the WASHING of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (there’s that link again between the WATER of the SPIRIT washing us in the regeneration, just as was spoken by Christ in John 7:38-39.)

It is verses such as these that determine for us that “kai” for the word “AND” in John 3:5 is NOT used as a conjunction in that case - it’s used as a connective in that verse, showing the equivalence of water and the Spirit- NOT a distinction between two concepts.

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #494 on: Mon Jul 02, 2018 - 00:09:38 »



Offline RB

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #495 on: Mon Jul 02, 2018 - 04:23:41 »
soterion -  I am in total agreement that scripture should be interpreted holistically
Agreed~ the scriptures are ONE cohesive whole teaching one truth concerning a particluar doctrine.

While I agree that we are born of the Spirit, apart from any "energy/works" that come from the flesh of man, yet the context of John 3:1-8 drives the interpretation of the word "water" for us, NOT the Greek! If poor old Nicodemus had not asked such a dumb question of re-entering his mother's womb, then Jesus would have NEVER mentioned the word water, NEVER. After he corrected Nicodemus, he NEVER mentions water again when explaining the new birth in John 3:6-8~ what it was not and what it was! See my replies in #7, 13, 19, 25,32, 98, 108, 173, 184, and 194~I finally just stop posting in this thread.

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #495 on: Mon Jul 02, 2018 - 04:23:41 »

Offline 3 Resurrections

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #496 on: Mon Jul 02, 2018 - 06:23:37 »
RB. -  So, what you’re saying is that you agree for the most part with my final conclusion, but you just don’t think that Greek should be used to prove the point.  That is why I also gave two basic KJV examples using just the English (Galatians 6:16 and Ephesians 1:3) to illustrate that the word “AND” obviously does not always mean “in addition to”: it can also mean “namely”, or “that is” by way of explanation.  I am trying to prove that “water” means the same thing as the “Spirit” in either Greek OR English.  Take your pick.

RB, you aren’t reading my comment carefully enough.  In a manner of speaking, I AM agreeing with you that Nicodemus WAS talking about a natural, physical birth process.  He was thinking that his birth into the natural, ethnic nation of ISRAEL would give any Jew a lock-down on being included in God’s kingdom. 

You can hardly blame them for falling into this misconception.  After all, God had dealt exclusively with Israel as His covenant people since the days of the Fathers, and had repeatedly reminded them of this (Amos 3:2, for example - “You only have I known of all the families of the earth...”, and in Deut. 7:6 - “...the Lord your God has chosen you to be a special people to Himself, above all people that are on the face of the earth.”).

Nicodemus and almost every one of Jewish lineage had developed the mindset that their very birth as an Israelite entitled them to the advantage of an automatic status of belonging to God’s kingdom.  Jesus was driving home the point to Nicodemus that his natural birth into the nation of Israel was not the entrance requirement for the kingdom of God: he had to be born AGAIN by the WATER of the SPIRIT giving him regeneration.
« Last Edit: Mon Jul 02, 2018 - 06:31:33 by 3 Resurrections »

Offline RB

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #497 on: Mon Jul 02, 2018 - 06:33:02 »
RB, you aren’t reading my comment carefully enough.  In a manner of speaking, I AM agreeing with you that Nicodemus WAS talking about a natural, physical birth process.
I know you believe that maybe I was rushing my thoughts this morning and maybe I did not make myself clear.   I'm on the run at the moment, to a doctor's appointment~talk later. RB

Offline soterion

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #498 on: Mon Jul 02, 2018 - 07:19:45 »
Agreed~ the scriptures are ONE cohesive whole teaching one truth concerning a particluar doctrine.

While I agree that we are born of the Spirit, apart from any "energy/works" that come from the flesh of man, yet the context of John 3:1-8 drives the interpretation of the word "water" for us, NOT the Greek! If poor old Nicodemus had not asked such a dumb question of re-entering his mother's womb, then Jesus would have NEVER mentioned the word water, NEVER. After he corrected Nicodemus, he NEVER mentions water again when explaining the new birth in John 3:6-8~ what it was not and what it was! See my replies in #7, 13, 19, 25,32, 98, 108, 173, 184, and 194~I finally just stop posting in this thread.

So, a person's new birth consists of exiting the womb of mommy and then the work of the Spirit of God? It makes sense to you that Jesus is telling Nicodemus that a person's new birth consists of first being born as a human, and then be renewed by the Spirit?

No, I believe verse 3 and 5 are saying the same thing with different wordings. The answer Jesus is giving is how to see, or enter, the kingdom of God. It takes the new birth, which consists of water and the Spirit. Both water and the Spirit apply to the new birth.

That a person must first exist as a human, whether born or not, should go without saying...and it does.

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #498 on: Mon Jul 02, 2018 - 07:19:45 »

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #499 on: Mon Jul 02, 2018 - 13:00:22 »
3 Resurrections,
Quote
For every verse that appears to require dunking in water to obtain salvation, those texts have to be reconciled with verses such as Titus 3:5: “NOT by works of righteousness which we have done” (and baptism for a believer truly is a work of righteousness)
Why are you taking the place of the Bible authors, and saying this on their behalf? If baptism in water in Jesus's name was a work, they had more than ample opportunity to say that. They tore PHYSICAL circumcision apart as a work of the law
Galatians 2:12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. ... 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in[d] Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

With as much as they talked about baptism in water in the NT, they never ONCE associated it with works. There's no way you can say that they thought of baptism in water in Jesus's name that way.
« Last Edit: Mon Jul 02, 2018 - 13:03:16 by e.r.m. »

Offline 3 Resurrections

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #500 on: Mon Jul 02, 2018 - 16:36:39 »
e.r.m.  -  If you are convinced that baptism is not a “work of righteousness”, you might want to do a little cross-referencing. 

You know, of course, the directive Christ gave His disciples sometime before His ascension in Matt. 28:19-20 - the “Great Commission”.  “Go ye therefore, and (#1) make disciples of all nations, (#2) baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (#3) teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you...”. 

Baptism is included here along with these other activities in the list of tasks the disciples were to perform.  “Works”, in other words.  I also believe they are deliberately put in this particular order by design.  Baptism is listed SECOND, because a person has to become a disciple / a Christian FIRST before they can make an overt, public confession of that discipleship by baptism. 

Now go to Mark 16:20 and see the result of the apostles’ “Great Commission” of making disciples, baptizing, and teaching them.  “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord *WORKING* WITH THEM, and confirming the word with signs following.  Amen”.

By comparing this Matt. 28:19-20 text and its companion verse in Mark 16:20, baptism is proven to be a work.  Even Christ at His own baptism called it an occasion where He and John could both “fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15).  Christ’s baptism was a work of righteousness.

Baptism is a physical rite having an administrator, a participant, the medium of a body of water, and is done in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, usually in the presence of certain witnesses.  How could it not be a “work of righteousness”, especially since Christ gives it that description?

Offline soterion

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #501 on: Mon Jul 02, 2018 - 19:49:39 »
e.r.m.  -  If you are convinced that baptism is not a “work of righteousness”, you might want to do a little cross-referencing. 

You know, of course, the directive Christ gave His disciples sometime before His ascension in Matt. 28:19-20 - the “Great Commission”.  “Go ye therefore, and (#1) make disciples of all nations, (#2) baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (#3) teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you...”. 

Baptism is included here along with these other activities in the list of tasks the disciples were to perform.  “Works”, in other words.  I also believe they are deliberately put in this particular order by design.  Baptism is listed SECOND, because a person has to become a disciple / a Christian FIRST before they can make an overt, public confession of that discipleship by baptism. 

Now go to Mark 16:20 and see the result of the apostles’ “Great Commission” of making disciples, baptizing, and teaching them.  “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord *WORKING* WITH THEM, and confirming the word with signs following.  Amen”.

By comparing this Matt. 28:19-20 text and its companion verse in Mark 16:20, baptism is proven to be a work.  Even Christ at His own baptism called it an occasion where He and John could both “fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15).  Christ’s baptism was a work of righteousness.

Baptism is a physical rite having an administrator, a participant, the medium of a body of water, and is done in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, usually in the presence of certain witnesses.  How could it not be a “work of righteousness”, especially since Christ gives it that description?

Okay, first of all, in Matthew 28:18-20, disciples are made by baptizing them and teaching them. A person cannot be considered a disciple if he has not been added or attached to the teacher and is not being taught the expectations of the teacher. We see in Acts 2:38-47 that the first thing those people did was receive baptism, and then they were involved in the teaching and group dynamics. We see baptism as the very first thing, after hearing the gospel and believing it, in the conversions in Acts.

Second, if you want to say that no works can be involved in our salvation, then out goes believing:

John 6:28-29.
They said therefore unto him, What must we do, that we may work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Do you agree? Allow me to point out two things in this matter.

Any time Paul and others say that works on our part are excluded from salvation, then it has to do with those efforts that originate in man and are an attempt to accomplish salvation by our own power. This can include works of the law of Moses, which Paul writes about with much contempt when to comes to our salvation. It can even include any good deeds and efforts with honest motives, but still have no salvific value as far as God says.

Also, if God says to do a thing in order to be saved, then the doing of that thing is not a work, as defined and excluded by Paul. What is a person to do when God asks him why he didn't do what he was told to do to receive God's gift of grace? Is he going to answer to God that he didn't want to be saved by works? The Israelites had to cross the dry seabed to be saved from slavery to Egypt. Were they saved by their works, or wholly by God's grace and power? Nobody in their right mind would attribute any saving power to the obedience of the Israelites. God did all the work and paved the way for the Israelites to obey a command that would further glorify God for the salvation He had accomplished for them.

In Titus 3:5, Paul is simply saying that he and his readers had done nothing that would earn them God's grace (no works which we did ourselves), but it was all done out of God's mercy. Paul is not excluding any obedience to God given commands that will give Him all the glory for their salvation. Any such obedience is not "works which we did ourselves," but rather are God given and required.

Offline Jaime

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #502 on: Mon Jul 02, 2018 - 21:03:12 »
AND God does the work in baptism, forgiveness of sin and the conveyance of the indwelling gift of the Spirit. Otherwise baptism is just getting wet. The water is spiritually inert. God chose the mode and revealed it in scripture.

If it wasn’t a faith response he required and did His work in, it would just be a fancy way of getting wet.

Also, per 1 Peter 3:21, baptism is not like washing dirt off of our bodies, It IS an appeal to God FOR a clear conscience. Exactly what Ananias told Paul about why he needed to arise and be baptized washing away his sins, calling upon the Lord. No work by Paul, all God’s work, answering Paul’s appeal.
« Last Edit: Mon Jul 02, 2018 - 21:14:07 by Jaime »

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #503 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 08:50:18 »
3 Resurrections,
Within your arguments, there are a few instances of evangelical lingo and paradigm which I will illuminate as separate from scripture.
Quote
e.r.m.  -  If you are convinced that baptism is not a “work of righteousness”, you might want to do a little cross-referencing. 

You know, of course, the directive Christ gave His disciples sometime before His ascension in Matt. 28:19-20 - the “Great Commission”.  “Go ye therefore, and (#1) make disciples of all nations, (#2) baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (#3) teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you...”. 

Baptism is included here along with these other activities in the list of tasks the disciples were to perform.  “Works”, in other words.  I also believe they are deliberately put in this particular order by design.  Baptism is listed SECOND, because a person has to become a disciple / a Christian FIRST before they can make an overt, public confession of that discipleship by baptism.
I agree about the apostles baptizing disciples. We can get into the specifics of that at another time. Jesus instructed them to make disciples (learners) of all nations, to baptize those disciples, and to teach them to obey everything he had commanded them. It doesn't say they they were saved. In fact Jesus had told some of the Jews who had believed in him
John 8:31-32,34-36 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. [32] Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” [34] Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. [35] Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. [36] So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Jesus put being set free (from sin) after being his disciples. So you don't have a case to say being baptized is done after being saved.
You then inserted "in other words" in order to add the idea of works, where it is not written. Evangelical influence number 1.

And you said before they can make an overt, public confession of that discipleship by baptism., which was never even the purpose for baptism in water in Jesus's name. No one in the Bible ever told anyone to get baptized as a public confession. Evangelical influence # 2. This comes  exclusively from, and never prior to John Calvin
“Baptism serves as our confession before men, in as much as it is a mark by which we openly declare that we wish to be ranked among the people of God, by which we testify that we concur with all Christians in the worship of one God, and in one religion; by which, in short, we publicly assert our faith…” ~ Institutes of the Christian Religion 4.15.13 John Calvin.

John Calvin was even wrong on the confession part. No one in the Bible told anyone to make a public "coming out" confession.
Luke 12:4-5,8-9 "I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. [5] But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! [8] "And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God; [9] but he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
refers to not shrinking back when asked, hence the denying part. And yes of course a disciple should preach God's word as well. But there was never expected a "Step", where someone comes out and says, "Hey world, I'm a Christian now!", much less for baptism to fill this non existent step. A Biblical baptism in water in Jesus's name can be done in the most private of rooms, in the most guarded castle with the baptizer and the baptizee and still be valid, because public confession was never the written purpose

But yes, they do need to be a disciple before their baptized in Jesus name for the Forgiveness of your sins, as is in Scripture.

Quote
Now go to Mark 16:20 and see the result of the apostles’ “Great Commission” of making disciples, baptizing, and teaching them.  “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord *WORKING* WITH THEM, and confirming the word with signs following.  Amen”.

By comparing this Matt. 28:19-20 text and its companion verse in Mark 16:20, baptism is proven to be a work.
God was working with them in much the same way He supported the Israelite army under Moses and Joshua. You're trying to use the reference of God working with them to include baptism in the definition of work. Basically grasping at straws. The evangelical playbook often tries to connect dots, in the absence of confirming scriptures. But sorry, if the authors viewed baptism in water in Jesus's name as a work, it would have been painfully explicitly stated, not hiding in obscurity, that you'd be forced to connect these kind of dots to try to see it.

Quote
Even Christ at His own baptism called it an occasion where He and John could both “fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15).  Christ’s baptism was a work of righteousness.

Baptism is a physical rite having an administrator, a participant, the medium of a body of water, and is done in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, usually in the presence of certain witnesses.  How could it not be a “work of righteousness”, especially since Christ gives it that description?
Are you familiar with the terms inferring and eisigesis? The burden of proof to authenticate a Biblical teaching is an explicit statement in the Bible. If these guesses that you're making were true, just like in your previous attempt to connect the dots, then someone in the Bible would have followed up with an explicit statement. You're trying so hard to see something that is not there, that you even added the word work to what Jesus said. Jesus didn't say it let's do this work of righteousness, Jesus said let us do this to fulfill all righteousness. Not to mention, Jesus was the only person in recorded human history who ever got baptized to fulfill all righteousness, everyone else who got baptized did so in relation to their sin. I get it, it's not just you. This is the warehouse of evangelical arguments that you draw from. It's the whole belief system. I've heard these arguments time and again. But just like they try to turn Luke 18:13-14 into a possible beginning for "the sinner's prayer" and there was never any follow-up on this from anyone, revealing that the story was only a lesson on humility, so the Matthew 3:15 attempt has similarly failed to be confirmed by anyone calling baptism a work, which I believe would have been done if they actually considered it that way. There must be an explicitly stated confirming scripture somewhere for that idea to be true, and there's not. Inference is not enough.
« Last Edit: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 13:52:09 by e.r.m. »

Offline 3 Resurrections

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #504 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 12:45:21 »
soterion  -  Perhaps on some points we are both saying the same thing, but in different ways.

Your quote:  “We see baptism as the very first thing, AFTER hearing the gospel and believing it, in the conversions in Acts.” 

This means you agree with me that hearing the gospel and believing it PRECEDES being baptized.  It’s the same 1-2-3 order I listed from the Matt. 28:19-20 text.  One must have the “good conscience “ (I Peter 3:21) of a child of God in place before any actions of ours (including baptism) are an acceptable offering before God. 

I happen to believe scripture teaches that “the hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.” (Prov. 20:12).  Spiritual sight and spiritual hearing capabilities are made and given by God at His discretion, so that a person is made capable of believing and comprehending God’s commands. 

I can’t say it any simpler than scriptures’ own testimony for the reason the saints are able to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  We are only capable of performing this on one condition:  “For it is GOD that worketh in you BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO of His good pleasure”. (Phil. 2:12-13).  By giving credit to God when credit is due for any righteous actions of ours, the result is that “no flesh should glory in His presence” (I Cor. 1:29-31). 

The John 6:28-29 text you raised agrees perfectly with God being the initiating source of all belief.  It is HIS work within us -  “...the work OF God” - that renders us capable of exercising belief on Him whom He hath sent. 

I think we agree that discipleship is an ongoing process once begun, but it is NOT the obedient act of baptism that bestows salvation in a new birth.  That is the point of my comments above.  The “water” Jesus spoke of in John 3:5 and 7:38-39 - the “LIVING WATER” - is the unceasing spring of the Holy Spirit’s power planted within that gives the new birth.

Not only does this “Living Water” provide the new birth, but it also continues to provide the power needed to perform acts pleasing to God - one of which is the act of baptism done afterward in obedience to Christ.  How soon afterward?  As soon as is reasonably possible for each believer’s situation.  Personally, mine followed about 5 years after becoming a believer at 10.


Offline soterion

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #505 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 13:04:27 »
soterion  -  Perhaps on some points we are both saying the same thing, but in different ways.

Your quote:  “We see baptism as the very first thing, AFTER hearing the gospel and believing it, in the conversions in Acts.” 

This means you agree with me that hearing the gospel and believing it PRECEDES being baptized.  It’s the same 1-2-3 order I listed from the Matt. 28:19-20 text.  One must have the “good conscience “ (I Peter 3:21) of a child of God in place before any actions of ours (including baptism) are an acceptable offering before God. 


Actually, the passage says that a person is seeking a clear conscience, a conscience cleansed of guilt, in baptism.

Quote

I happen to believe scripture teaches that “the hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.” (Prov. 20:12).  Spiritual sight and spiritual hearing capabilities are made and given by God at His discretion, so that a person is made capable of believing and comprehending God’s commands. 

I can’t say it any simpler than scriptures’ own testimony for the reason the saints are able to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  We are only capable of performing this on one condition:  “For it is GOD that worketh in you BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO of His good pleasure”. (Phil. 2:12-13).  By giving credit to God when credit is due for any righteous actions of ours, the result is that “no flesh should glory in His presence” (I Cor. 1:29-31). 

The John 6:28-29 text you raised agrees perfectly with God being the initiating source of all belief.  It is HIS work within us -  “...the work OF God” - that renders us capable of exercising belief on Him whom He hath sent. 


You are putting scriptures together to make conclusions that none of the passages were meant to make. It's a form of cherry-picking to make an unsound case.

Scripture consistently presents believing/faith as what we freely respond to God with from within ourselves. If God puts belief in us, then He is just responding to Himself with robots.

Offline Jaime

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #506 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 13:28:48 »
1Peter 3:21 is rendered two ways depending on the translation.

Some say, “an appeal to God FOR A clean conscience”

And some say “an appeal to God FROM a clear conscience.

A clear indication of one or more translational biases.

However I harken back to Acts 22 for some background: Ananias told Paul to arise and be baptized washing a mway his sins, calling upon the Lord. (Indicating to me a clear appeal FOR A clear conscience). Which would make baptism for remission of sin clearly congruant with other NT scripture.

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #507 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 13:34:48 »
Jaime. - If I am understanding the Greek correctly, the I Peter 3:21 “answer “ of a good conscience is not an “appeal” to God FOR a good conscience in order to get one by baptism.  Instead, the sense of the word is more of a “DEMAND” (eperotema), or a type of legal claim towards God as a result of having ALREADY BEEN GIVEN a place in God’s kingdom as sons and daughters, and fellow-heirs with Christ.

I Peter 3:21 presents the same idea of “having therefore, brethren, BOLDNESS to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus...” that is found in Heb 10:22.  Our confident “full assurance of faith” is not a presumption on our part before God’s throne, since we are wrapped completely in Christ’s imputed righteousness.  It is His blood, shed and individually applied to us, that can “DEMAND” God’s attention and allow us to confidently profess to having a claim to God’s kingdom.  This claim believers already possess before they testify of it in baptism.

Baptism is not the means of obtaining forgiveness and the presence of the Holy Spirit; it is a God-ordained method of publicly professing that such has already taken place, and of showing where our allegiance lies.  Baptism is one of the basic, foundational doctrines that Hebrews 6:1-2 includes on its short list of beginning instruction for believers.  As mature saints, we should strive to develop beyond this “milk” topic to “perfection”. 

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #508 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 13:45:45 »
All I am saying is the verse can be translated to mean 180 degrees differently depending on if it is an appeal FOR and an appeal or answer FROM. I submit that FOR is congruent with other scripture in the NT.

If baptism is for remission of sin and it IS, please furnish scripture documenting that such has taken place prior to baptism. And that baptism is only a public display of what has already occurred.

Jesus said "He that believes and is saved shall be baptized." NO, WAIT, he said, "He that believes AND is baptized shall be saved."

Yes, baptism is very much a milk topic, not misunderstood by the first century folks as it is now.

« Last Edit: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 13:48:44 by Jaime »

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #509 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 14:21:19 »
Quote
If baptism is for remission of sin and it IS, please furnish scripture documenting that such has taken place prior to baptism. And that baptism is only a public display of what has already occurred.

Yes Please someone furnish the scripture where it states baptism as  a public display of what has already occurred. I hear this a lot but have never had someone point me to that passage and to be honest I cannot find it in my version of the bible and I have checked many translations.

Maybe it is because it is read into scripture if so can you please show me how one comes to that conclusion verses what seems to be clearly taught by several passages stating the purpose of baptism is for the remission of sin and giving of the indwelling spirit.


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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #510 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 14:27:22 »
3 Resurrections,
Quote
Baptism is not the means of obtaining forgiveness and the presence of the Holy Spirit; it is a God-ordained method of publicly professing that such has already taken place,
How can you use this as a counter argument come up without a scripture saying this is what baptism is for?

Quote
Baptism is one of the basic, foundational doctrines that Hebrews 6:1-2 includes on its short list of beginning instruction for believers.  As mature saints, we should strive to develop beyond this “milk” topic to “perfection”.
This passage also mentions repentance and faith toward God. So, no, he's not only talking about things that happen after a person is saved.
« Last Edit: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 15:31:31 by e.r.m. »

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #511 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 15:07:48 »
Yogi Bear,
Quote
Yes Please someone furnish the scripture where it states baptism as  a public display of what has already occurred. I hear this a lot but have never had someone point me to that passage and to be honest I cannot find it in my version of the bible and I have checked many translations.

Maybe it is because it is read into scripture if so can you please show me how one comes to that conclusion verses what seems to be clearly taught by several passages stating the purpose of baptism is for the remission of sin and giving of the indwelling spirit.
You gotta wonder what principle is in effect that causes people to accept such an obvious scriptureless teaching.
I suspect a deeply ingrained culture and incessant repetition. But maybe there's more.

Offline soterion

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #512 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 15:11:43 »
Jaime. - If I am understanding the Greek correctly, the I Peter 3:21 “answer “ of a good conscience is not an “appeal” to God FOR a good conscience in order to get one by baptism.  Instead, the sense of the word is more of a “DEMAND” (eperotema), or a type of legal claim towards God as a result of having ALREADY BEEN GIVEN a place in God’s kingdom as sons and daughters, and fellow-heirs with Christ.

I Peter 3:21 presents the same idea of “having therefore, brethren, BOLDNESS to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus...” that is found in Heb 10:22.  Our confident “full assurance of faith” is not a presumption on our part before God’s throne, since we are wrapped completely in Christ’s imputed righteousness.  It is His blood, shed and individually applied to us, that can “DEMAND” God’s attention and allow us to confidently profess to having a claim to God’s kingdom.  This claim believers already possess before they testify of it in baptism.

Baptism is not the means of obtaining forgiveness and the presence of the Holy Spirit; it is a God-ordained method of publicly professing that such has already taken place, and of showing where our allegiance lies.  Baptism is one of the basic, foundational doctrines that Hebrews 6:1-2 includes on its short list of beginning instruction for believers.  As mature saints, we should strive to develop beyond this “milk” topic to “perfection”.

Your interpretation for the purpose of baptism in 1 Peter 3:21 is completely contrary to what it says in the context. Allow me to clarify.

1 Peter 3:20-21.
that aforetime were disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water: which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ;

Why do you think Peter points out that Noah and family were saved through the water and then he compares that with baptism and says of baptism that it now saves you? Noah and family were saved from the sinful world of that time. How does that compare with baptism and how it now saves you?

Baptism saves by means of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In 1 Peter 1:3, we read that we have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Christ. What is this living hope? It is our hope in being resurrected from the grave to live with God forever (Romans 8:23-25). This living hope is the one hope to which we were called through the Gospel message (Ephesians 4:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:14).

Read 1 Peter 1:18-19 & Acts 2:24. Because Jesus was sinless, it was impossible for death to hold Him in the grave. If Christ had not been raised, then that would mean He had sinned; there would be no atonement through His blood; there would be no hope for us after death.

The phrase "now saves you" in the Greek is interesting here. I believe Peter is pointing out the continuing result of that which was done and completed in the past. I was baptized sometime in the past and I am saved now because of it. This could be said for Noah at any point in his life after the flood. He could look back and acknowledge that the flood now saves him.

By the way, the Greek word for "interrogation" (appeal) is said by Robertson to mean "inquiry"; it never means "answer." In other words, a person is inquiring God for a clean conscience in baptism; salvation is being sought for. Zodhiates says the same thing. The word means "to ask, inquire of, beg of."

Offline 3 Resurrections

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #513 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 15:35:15 »
e.r.m.  -  Baptism was indeed intended to be a public profession.  According to scripture patterns, the usual method is for 2 or 3 witnesses to establish testimony of any given truth. 

Have you considered the very PUBLIC anointing, sprinkling with blood, washing, and consecration of Aaron and his sons in Leviticus?  Read Lev. 8:1-30.  The ENTIRE ASSEMBLY was gathered together to witness the initial dedication of Aaron and his sons to serve as high priest and priests. 

We, as adopted children of God, are each turned into priests that can enter the holiest place in heaven.  Our hearts have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood (as in Heb. 10:22 cp. Lev. 8:30), and our bodies have been washed with pure water (as in Heb. 10:22 cp. Lev. 8:6), to consecrate us to God’s service as individual priests. 

Just as in the case of Aaron’s sons, this dedication ceremony ought to involve witnesses.  This symbolic type is provided for us in Leviticus 8, and Hebrews 10:22 shows the fulfilled anti-type. 

Also, just as Aaron’s sons already had a filial relationship as biological sons even BEFORE they were presented to the congregation in their role as priests, so the saints already have a relationship with their Heavenly Father even before their baptism ceremony of public consecration to God’s service.

For those who see Paul’s case as an example of baptismal regeneration, (as in “arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins,  calling on the name of the Lord”), they should read this in the context of Ananias calling him “BROTHER Saul”, even BEFORE he is baptized by Ananias.  Also, when God first instructs Ananias to go to meet with Saul, He tells Ananias that “he *IS* a chosen vessel unto me...”  This is Saul’s spiritual condition even BEFORE Ananias makes the trip to see Saul and baptize him.

God also told Ananias that Saul was PRAYING and SEEING VISIONS at that time, which compares to the story of Peter praying prior to his vision of unclean animals, and Cornelius with his prayers and his visions before Peter came to baptize him.  This puts Saul / Paul in the same salvation category as these other two men at that point in his life, as far as I can tell.
« Last Edit: Thu Jul 05, 2018 - 01:49:17 by 3 Resurrections »

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #514 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 15:37:15 »
soterion,
Isn't. ..."baptism that now saves you also"   the elephant in the room that everyone steps around?

Offline soterion

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #515 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 16:20:15 »
soterion,
Isn't. ..."baptism that now saves you also"   the elephant in the room that everyone steps around?

As a comparison to the waters of the flood through which Noah and family were saved, yes.

Offline Kenneth Sublett

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #516 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 16:37:19 »
Most people cannot read BLACK text on BROWN paper.  Paul told me so in 2 Corinthians 3.


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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #517 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 16:59:11 »
3 Resurrections,
Quote
e.r.m.  -  Baptism was indeed intended to be a public profession.  According to scripture patterns, the usual method is for 2 or 3 witnesses to establish testimony of any given truth. 

Have you considered the very PUBLIC anointing, sprinkling with blood, washing, and consecration of Aaron and his sons in Leviticus?  Read Lev. 8:1-30.  The ENTIRE ASSEMBLY was gathered together to witness the initial dedication of Aaron and his sons to serve as high priest and priests. 

We, as adopted children of God, are each turned into priests that can enter the holiest place in heaven.  Our hearts have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood (as in Heb. 10:22 cp. Lev. 8:30), and our bodies have been washed with pure water (as in Heb. 10:22 cp. Lev. 8:6), to consecrate us to God’s service as individual priests. 

Just as in the case of Aaron’s sons, this dedication ceremony ought to involve witnesses.  This symbolic anti-type is provided for us in Leviticus 8, and Hebrews 10:22 shows the fulfilled type. 

Also, just as Aaron’s sons already had a filial relationship as biological sons even BEFORE they were presented to the congregation in their role as priests, so the saints already have a relationship with their Heavenly Father even before their baptism ceremony of public consecration to God’s service.
All indirect deductions. Do you have any straightforward passage that says "Get baptized as your public confession" or "they were baptized to publically display..." ?  Any explicit scripture? That's the only legitimate proof. We can connect all sorts of dots and see shapes in the clouds all day and it doesn't mean anything.

Quote
For those who see Paul’s case as an example of baptismal regeneration,
That may only be Catholics. The rest of us don't believe in baptismal regeneration, we believe in regeneration by God, at belief and baptism.

Quote
(as in “arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins,  calling on the name of the Lord”), they should read this in the context of Ananias calling him “BROTHER Saul”, even BEFORE he is baptized by Ananias.
Another attempt at "indirect" proof.
Acts 21:30-31,34-37 The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. [31] While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. [34] Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. [35] When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers. [36] The crowd that followed kept shouting, “Get rid of him!” [37] As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?” “Do you speak Greek?” he replied. Acts 22:1-2 “Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.” [2] When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet....

I can look for more examples if you wish. Paul called them brothers on the basis of their Judaism. Ananias calling Saul brother is not an argument.

Quote
Also, when God first instructs Ananias to go to meet with Saul, He tells Ananias that “he *IS* a chosen vessel unto me...”  This is Saul’s spiritual condition even BEFORE Ananias makes the trip to see Saul and baptize him.
God has the ability to choose him as a vessel and then forgive his sins. Do you think the "vessel" thing cancels out what Ananias said to him about having his sins washed away? Because and then I said that after God told him that he is a chosen vessel. Explicit statements beat out innuendo every time.

Quote
God also told Ananias that Saul was PRAYING and SEEING VISIONS at that time, which compares to the story of Peter praying prior to his vision of unclean animals, and Cornelius with his prayers and his visions before Peter came to baptize him.  This puts Saul / Paul in the same salvation category as these other two men at that point in his life, as far as I can tell.
Are you saying that Cornelius was saved before he even sent for Peter? 3 Resurrections, Evangelical arguments consistently rely on indirect inferences such as you have been presenting. That is the evangelical way. And it is this way because they don't have any Scripture to explicitly confirm that people were baptized in order to make a public confession. This is evidence that the evangelical belief system tries to read between the lines in retrospect only after getting it from John Calvin's 1527
“Baptism serves as our confession before men, in as much as it is a mark by which we openly declare that we wish to be ranked among the people of God, by which we testify that we concur with all Christians in the worship of one God, and in one religion; by which, in short, we publicly assert our faith…”
« Last Edit: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 20:36:37 by e.r.m. »

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #518 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 17:04:34 »
Soterion,
I agree.

Offline Kenneth Sublett

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #519 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 17:41:41 »
Philip baptized the eunuch without any human witnesses.  Witnesses are not required to make the Command and Effect of Jesus effective.

The Jews who confessed to others that they had become Christians were faithful to their commitment and suffered for it.

Trying to use human reasoning to try to TRUMP simple statements of Scripture may be DENYING baptism because they don't want to be removed from a society or confess that THEIR SINS must be confessed

Matt. 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
Mark 1:5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem,
      and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins..

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #520 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 20:32:45 »
Kenneth Sublett,
Acts 8:38-39 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. [39] When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

Sorry Kenneth, there had to be a driver, unless he gave orders to the horses, lol. Hence, a witness.
« Last Edit: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 21:07:08 by e.r.m. »

Offline soterion

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #521 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 21:02:55 »
Kenneth Sublet,
Acts 8:38-39 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. [39] When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

Sorry Kenneth, there had to be a driver, unless he gave orders to the horses, lol. Hence, a witness.

Actually, the eunuch was an important official, so he likely had a caravan escorting him.

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #522 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 21:05:28 »
Good point.

Offline Kenneth Sublett

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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #523 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 21:22:55 »
When I used to command my wagon, plow or harrow to stand still I said "WHOA there Andy."
I try never to speak unless the Bible speaks. Human imagination is a dangerous thing when you are discussing Holy Scripture. If a witness was required then Jesus would have commanded it.

If the eunuch had a driver and Philip joined them it would be a bit crowded. I would wonder why no one preaches to the driver.



Acts 8:34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee,
       of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said,
       See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
Acts 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.
         And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

As far as I can determine most of the chatty kathies on this forum DENY that Jesus Christ is the SON of God: they confess that Jehovah-God IS the Son.

Philip does not add "and you must have a withess" in order to be baptized. The witness is:

Matt. 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
 


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Re: John 3 revisited Our Spiritual Births
« Reply #524 on: Tue Jul 03, 2018 - 21:29:58 »
W. Robertson Nicoll: "To remove as far as possible the difficulty of Nicodemas as to the how (how, dp) of the new birth our Lord declares that the two great factors in it are 'water' and 'spirit.'" (Expositors Greek Testament, Vol. I, p. 713).

Marvin R. Vincent: "The exposition of this much controverted passage does not fall within the scope of this work. We may observe,

    1. That Jesus here lays down the preliminary conditions of entrance into His kingdom, expanding and explaining His statement in ver. 3.

    2. That this condition is here stated as complete, including two distinct factors, water and the Spirit.

    3. That the former of these two factors is not to be merged in the latter; that the spiritual element is not to exclude or obliterate the external and ritual element.

    We are not to understand with Calvin, the Holy Spirit as the purifying water in the spiritual sense: 'water which is the Spirit.'

    4. That water points definitely to the rite of baptism, and with a twofold reference to the past and to the future." (Word Studies In The New Testament, Vol. 2, p. 91).

B. F. Westcott: "It can, then, scarcely be questioned that as Nicodemus heard the words, water carried with it a reference to John's baptism, which was a divinely appointed rite (i.33), gathering up into itself and investing with a new importance all the lustral baptisms of the Jews." (The Gospel According To John, p. 50).

A. T. Robertson: "We are puzzled by the placing of 'water' here before 'Spirit' as a necessity to entering the Kingdom of God. But Nicodemas was troubled about 'Spirit.' He was thinking only of the physical birth.

    On the whole it is probable that by 'water' Jesus refers to baptism. John the Baptist preached repentance and practiced the baptism of those who confessed their sins." (Minor Characters In The New Testament, p. 6).

H. A. W. Meyer: "water, inasmuch as the man is baptized therewith (1 John v. 7, 8; Eph. v. 26) for the forgiveness of sins (Acts ii. 33, xxii.16; 2 Cor. vi. 11), and spirit, inasmuch as the Holy Ghost is given to the person baptized in order to HIS spiritual renewal and sanctification" (Critical And Exegetical Hand-Book To The Gospel Of John, p. 123).

Egeria, Itinerarium XIII,3-XV,5 (381-384 A.D.) Then I remembered that according to the Bible it was near Salim that holy John baptized at Aenon. (John 3:23) So I asked if it was far away. "There it is", said the holy presbyter, "two hundred yards away. If you like we can walk over there. It is from that spring that the village has this excellent supply of clean water you see." Thanking him I asked him to take us, and we set off.

He led us along a well-kept valley to a very good clean spring of water which flowed in a single stream. There was a kind of pool in front of the spring at which it appears holy John Baptist administered baptism. "This garden", said the holy presbyter, " is still known in Greek as Cepos tu Agiou Ioanni, or in your language, Latin, "St. John's Garden". "A great many brothers, holy monks from different parts, travel here to wash at this place. So once more we had a prayer and a reading at the spring as we did in the other places. We said a suitable psalm, and did everything which was usual when arriving at a holy place.

The holy presbyter also told us that nowadays at Easter the candidates who are to be baptized in the village, in the church called Opu Melchisedech, receive their actual baptism in the spring itself. Then, directly afterwards, they go off by torchlight singing psalms and antiphones, and accompagnied by the clergy and monks
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