“Just To Take Him At His Word.”

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 youby 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.)
Sigh.
“Woe unto you scholars. You take away the key of knowledge…and those who were entering into [the kingdom] you hindered.” Luke 11:52

 

 

This entry was posted in REFLECTIONS ON THIS AND THAT on by .

About Jim McGuiggan

Jim McGuiggan was Ethel's husband for fifty-three years. They have three children and eight grandchildren. Ethel went to be with Christ on Easter Sunday, 2009 at the close of a gallant life. He has written some books including: Celebrating the Wrath of God; Heading Home with God; Life on the Ash Heap; Jesus: Hero of Thy Soul; The God of the Towel, The Scarlet Letter; and The Dragon Slayer.

1 thought on ““Just To Take Him At His Word.”

  1. ichthus007

    Great article from 1/29/2020

    Challenging and inspiring.

    Peace

    Virgil

    On Fri, Jan 31, 2020 at 18:15 Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan wrote:

    > Jim McGuiggan posted: “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, perha” >

    Like

    Reply

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