We hear from some the claim that the physical act of Baptism need not be practiced. Some scholars working with their self-adopted interpretative strategies write long essays, even books, to make the case that believer/faith Baptism may be helpful, perhaps important in some ways, but whatever else it is, it need not be practiced or called for if a person has faith in the Lord Jesus. These writers aren’t at all interested in undermining completely the millennial-long practice and much less bringing it to a halt.
Just the same, the story they now tell is that it is not required and so it should not be spoken of as if it were definitively linked with forgiveness or entrance into the Lord Jesus and His death. (See closing notes.) The result is, that on this view, if faith in the Lord Jesus is present, New Testament Baptism is definitively linked with nothing.
This is so because, on this view, if it were not practiced at all (as is the case with some Christian-faith groups) it would be no departure from the New Testament Holy Scriptures. That would also be true because ‘rightly understood,’ those Holy Scriptures don’t link the physical Baptism of believers to salvation, forgiveness, union with and initiation into the Lord Jesus Christ. They only appear to do that!
So we’re told.
With the right hermeneutical strategy gained by personal reflection and borrowing from others and their personal reflection, we would know, so we’re told, that the New Testament Holy Scriptures don’t link a physical faith-Baptism with such fundamental gifts of God in the Lord Jesus, His person and work.
(It’s true, of course, that with the ‘right’ hermeneutical strategy we can show that the New Testament Holy Scriptures approve of homosexuality in any of its forms. That’s not an uncommon view now.)
“Interpretative strategies are handy that way. A bit like Lego pieces, don’t you see. Choose one or a combination of numerous strategies (a sort of Lego store) that allows you to construct Lego structures that suit your current view of life or Scriptures.
But after all the ‘combining,’ ‘explaining, ‘adjusting,’ ‘modifying,’ ‘defending,’ ‘interpreting’ and the required new terminology, we open the New Testament Holy Scriptures and look: the physical act of Baptism of believers is commanded, called for, pleaded for, even repeated where it is thought doubtful in the first place and it is linked explicitly and definitively to the Lord Jesus and all God’s blessings that are found in Him.
Peter said, “…baptism now saves you…by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
(See 1 Peter 1;3 and 3:21.)
On this matter, the Spirit of God kills every self-chosen hermeneutical strategy. We can argue until the cows come home about what believer-Baptism doesn’t do—the voice of God in this text through His appointed envoy tells us what it does do and definitively, explicitly links it with salvation through the resurrection of the Blessed Lord Jesus, the Redeemer.
Why would God through Peter say such a thing if it were not so?
And who loses if we all accepted this truth about Baptism? The resurrected Savior and Redeemer Peter here speaks about in 1:3? The repentant and trusting believer in such a Lord? The trusting and forgiven person who is now a part of the Holy Nation that Peter speaks about in 1 Peter 2:9-10?
Would unity be *destroyed* if we all embraced and practiced such Baptism?
Would grace be denied or undermined if we followed the teaching and personal practice of the ‘apostle of the grace of God’? (Cf. Acts 22:16 and Acts 19:1-5.)
“Woe unto you scholars. You take away the key of knowledge…and those who were entering into [the kingdom] you hindered.” Luke 11:52