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#1 splitpea_*

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 03:01 PM

Hi :)

I'm almost embarrassed to ask these questions as they're so simple in comparison to the topics other people have brought up, but, what the hay! :P

My first question is, if baptism is necessary for salvation, what about the repentant fellow in Luke 23:39-43?

Next up, what about someone who truly believes, and is prepared to take action on that belief, but hasn't had the opportunity to be baptized? (For example, their baptism is set for Saturday, but Christ returns Friday.)

Finally, if I'm understanding the concept right, baptism is symbolical of dying. This kind of reminds me of the lesson behind circumcision, how Israel was to be circumcised at heart. From the story of Naaman, (and others stories where people recognised and gave thanks to the God of Israel without actually converting) it seems that a person could be circumcised at heart without actually being circumcised. So, if we have observed the lesson that the action is supposed to teach (following the spirit of the commandment, not the letter), then is the action entirely necessary?

#2 Evangelion

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 03:50 PM

SP -

I'm almost embarrassed to ask these questions as they're so simple in comparison to the topics other people have brought up, but, what the hay!


What the hay! :P

My first question is, if baptism is necessary for salvation, what about the repentant fellow in Luke 23:39-43?


Extreme circumstances merit extreme privileges. A man who has the favour of our Lord can scarcely be denied access to the kingdom of God. (After all, he was literally dying with Christ!) In this case, God's judgement would transcend the ritual in recognition of the reality.

Next up, what about someone who truly believes, and is prepared to take action on that belief, but hasn't had the opportunity to be baptized? (For example, their baptism is set for Saturday, but Christ returns Friday.)


If their heart is right, God will save them. That is His divine prerogative.

Finally, if I'm understanding the concept right, baptism is symbolical of dying.


Not just dying - but also being resurrected to new life!

Thus:
Romans 6:3-4.
Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death:
that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.
Paul says that the baptism of which he speaks, is symbolic of death and resurrection. Only water baptism can fulfil this typology.

Observe:
  • You descend into the water (death.)
  • You remain under the water for a moment (burial.)
  • You rise from the water (resurrection.)
Thus B. W. Johnson (People’s New Testament) on Romans 6:3-5...
3-5. So many of us as were baptized into Christ, etc. The fact that every follower of Christ has died to sin is shown by his baptism. All its symbolism points to death. To be baptized into Christ means to enter into a vital union with him, so as to be found in him (Gal. 3:27). But this baptism into Christ implies death, for it is a baptism into the death of Christ. That the subjects of baptism are partakers of his death is shown by the form of baptism. It is a burial.

4. We are buried (Revision) through baptism into death. The argument is that a burial implies death. Baptism is a burial, therefore its subject has died. As Christ died through sin, we die to sin; as the Crucified Christ was buried, we who have died to sin through the gospel are buried with him. As death and burial separate from the natural life, so death to sin and burial into Christ should completely sever our relation to sin. That like as Christ was raised up from the dead. The glorious power of the Father lifted up Christ from the tomb. So we, too, rise from the watery burial, with death and burial between us and the old life of sin, in order to walk in newness of life.

‘This passage cannot be understood unless it is borne in mind that the primitive baptism was by immersion.’
--Conybeare and Howson.

‘That the custom of baptism by immersion is alluded to is generally admitted, but the emersion is as significant as the immersion.’
--Dr. Philip Schaff.

‘It seems to us very probable that the apostle alludes to the external form of the baptismal rite in the primitive church.’
--Godet.

‘The apostle alludes to the ancient manner of baptizing by immersion.’
--John Wesley.

5. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death.
As the seed, planted, buried out of sight, rises again in a new life, so we are planted in the likeness of Christ's death when we are buried in baptism, and rise in the likeness of his resurrection, when we are lifted out of the water, and are found henceforth to have a new life. Compare Col. 2:12: 'Buried by baptism, wherein ye are also risen with him.'


See also:
  • J. P. Lange (Lutheran), Commentary on Romans 6.4:
    Buried in death, an oxymoron, according to which burial precedes and death follows, as is illustrated in the immersion into the bath of baptism.
  • William Sanday (Episcopalian), International Critical Commentary:
    Baptism has a double function. (1) It brings the Christian into personal contact with Christ, (2) It expresses symbolically a series of acts corresponding to the redeeming acts of Christ:

    Immersion = Death.
    Submersion = Burial (ratification of Death.)
    Emergence = Resurrection.


    That plunge beneath the running waters was like a death; the moment's pause while they swept overhead was like a burial; the standing erect once more in air and sunlight was a species of resurrection.

  • J. B. Lightfoot (Episcopalian), Commentary on Colossians 2:12:
    Baptism is the grave of the old man, and the birth of the new. As he sinks beneath the baptismal waters, the believer buries there all his corrupt affections and past sins; as he emerges thence, he rises regenerate, quickened to new hopes and a new life.
  • A. S. Peake (Methodist), The Expositor's Greek Testament:
    The rite of baptism in which the person baptized was first buried beneath the water, and then raised from it, typified to Paul the burial and resurrection of the believer with Christ.
As you can see for yourself, Paul’s entire argument is predicated on the fact that baptism is symbolic of death, burial and resurrection. :)

This kind of reminds me of the lesson behind circumcision, how Israel was to be circumcised at heart.


It's similar, but it's definitely not the same. Even the basic underlying message is different. Circumcision and baptism are not equivalent.

From the story of Naaman, (and others stories where people recognised and gave thanks to the God of Israel without actually converting)


Naaman did indeed convert. This is made very clear in the text. (I Kings 5:17-29.)

it seems that a person could be circumcised at heart without actually being circumcised.


Yes, a person could be circumcised at heart without actually being circumcised.

So, if we have observed the lesson that the action is supposed to teach (following the spirit of the commandment, not the letter), then is the action entirely necessary?


If it is possible to perform the action of baptism - yes, it should be done, for it is necessary. If it is not possible for the action to be performed before the death of the convert - then God's mercy applies.

Speaking personally, I trust His judgement. :)
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#3 splitpea_*

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 06:02 PM

Hi Evangelion,

Thanks again for answers on yet another topic!

As you can see for yourself, Paul’s entire argument is predicated on the fact that baptism is symbolic of death, burial and resurrection


Gotcha! B)

Speaking personally, I trust His judgement.  


I second that notion!!

#4 Phebe_*

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 06:49 PM

I'm almost embarrassed to ask these questions as they're so simple in comparison to the topics other people have brought up


Ooh, bad girl! No embarrassment to be felt mate! You're doing great! ;)

#5 Phebe_*

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 07:07 PM

Here's a question for you Evangelion! ;) In Roman 6:7 it states - "For he that is dead is freed from sin". Now if we read the chapter in context we can discover that the word "dead" refers to burial in water. Now Christ never sinned. Why did he then have to be baptised? I suppose the next question is - "Why did a sinless man have to die?" To save us for sure (Heb. 9:24) but he also needed redemption for himself.

Heb 9:12 - "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." The words "for us" in NOT in the original manuscript so this is speaking of Christ benefiting from his own death.

Why did a perfectly righteous man need redeeming? :unsure:

#6 splitpea_*

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 07:39 PM

Hey Phebe,

I've been thinking on this one (for a whole 5 minutes - don't expect anything profound), so if it's okay I'm going to put my 2 cents in on this one!

In light of Hebrews 9:12, maybe Christ was baptized to show that his death was just because he was human, even though he didn't sin. Cause if he had that same something in him as the rest of us that wanted to gratify the flesh and not do God's will, Christ's agreeing with that and showing that by baptism would be showing forth God's righteousness. (something in that statement sounds heretical! :unsure: Pardon me!)

Matthew 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

I'd think it's got to be something about fulfilling all righteousness, :blink: whatever that might be.

I can't wait to see what Evangelion has to say! :D

#7 Phebe_*

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 08:21 PM

You absolute LEGEND Splitpea!!!!!!! I knew the answer but I thought I'd put forth the question to generate discussion. Who needs a response from Evangelion? You answered it girl .. in a matter of minutes!!!!!!! Woohoo .. :lol: ;)

#8 Evangelion

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Posted 18 January 2003 - 10:24 AM

SP -

I've been thinking on this one (for a whole 5 minutes - don't expect anything profound), so if it's okay I'm going to put my 2 cents in on this one!

In light of Hebrews 9:12, maybe Christ was baptized to show that his death was just because he was human, even though he didn't sin.


That's right! You're 100% correct. :D

Bearing in mind the fact that baptism represents death, burial and resurrection, we see that Christ acknowledged the mortality and frailty of his flesh - and in baptism, symbolically acted out the work that he would later perform.

Cause if he had that same something in him as the rest of us that wanted to gratify the flesh and not do God's will, Christ's agreeing with that and showing that by baptism would be showing forth God's righteousness. (something in that statement sounds heretical!  Pardon me!)


Nothing heretical here, I assure you. You're right on target. :)

Matthew 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

I'd think it's got to be something about fulfilling all righteousness,  whatever that might be.


Let's see if we can clear it up by reference to an alternative translation...
  • International Standard Version.
    But Jesus answered him, "Let it be this way for now, for this is the proper way for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then John let him.
  • Contemporary English Version.
    Jesus answered, "For now this is how it should be, because we must do all that God wants us to do." Then John agreed.
  • God's Word.
    Jesus answered him, "This is the way it has to be now. This is the proper way to do everything that God requires of us." Then John gave in to him.
  • Green's Literal.
    But answering, Jesus said to him, Allow it now, for it is becoming to us this way to fulfill all righteousness. Then he allows Him.
Does that help? :)
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#9 splitpea_*

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Posted 20 January 2003 - 03:52 AM

Evangelion, Thanks for the different translations, it did clear things up :)

Going back a bit, I've been thinking on your reply, and I'm afraid I'm still not clear on a couple points...

It's similar, but it's definitely not the same. Even the basic underlying message is different. Circumcision and baptism are not equivalent.


I wonder if I could bother you to explain this further, or direct me to some reading on this. There does seem to be a link between the two...

Col. 2
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

I figured that the two were related because they both appear to be a sign of a covenant made with Abraham. (Gen 17:11; Gal. 3:27-29)

An underlying principle appearing to be showing no confidence in the flesh.
Phil 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Deut. 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

So where circumcision was literally cutting off the flesh to be a seperate nation for God and a part of the promises to Abraham, baptism symbolically shows no faith in the flesh and is necesary to be part of the nation that's heir to the promises to Abraham.

I did follow you on how baptism is symbolic of death, burial and resurrection (so much for sprinkling!), and in that, I can see how they're not the same. Then again, all of the nation was circumcised when they came into the promised land. That seems to point towards resurrection and immortality.


Naaman did indeed convert. This is made very clear in the text. (I Kings 5:17-29.)


Very clear? :( If it's that conclusive I'm afraid I'm very blind. Although he swallowed his pride, went for a dip in the Jordan to have his leprosy healed, and ended up believing in the God of Israel, he didn't join the nation. Yet, he was told to go in peace. But to be a part of the promise before the time when Christ extended it to the Gentiles, I thought a person had to be circumcised to convert (Gen 17:12) or they'd be cut off from the people. Naaman comes to mind as something of an exception, because it's obvious that he believed in God, and stopped being stiffnecked (Deut. 10:16), but didn't proselytize.

This account with Naaman really confuses me. Please excuse me for dragging on about such a short account, but this story makes me wonder if I'm missing out on something fundemental to understanding the message of the Bible. I was thinking that the dunking in the Jordan has something to do with the lesson behind baptism, and therefore joined him up with God in a covenant way. If not, then the promises to the nation of Israel were really to all nations even before it was extended to them through Christ. I don't understand how that could be.

Thanks again!

#10 Evangelion

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Posted 20 January 2003 - 02:24 PM

SP - sorry I don't have time for a proper reply tonight. It's been a hectic evening. :blink:

If you click here, you will see an exhortation (you might call it a "sermon") that I once wrote on the life of Naaman.

It might help to clarify some of your questions concerning (1) the full extent of his conversion, and (2) the salvific efficacy of baptism (which, as far as I am concerned, was indeed in effect before the time of Christ.)

Anyway, just thought I would mention it. :)
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#11 splitpea_*

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 02:59 AM

Hey Evangelion, take your time and thanks for the link! It was a good read. :D

#12 Evangelion

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 01:44 AM

You're welcome, SP. :) While you're waiting for my tardy reply, you might want to read this.

It may help to clarify a few points about baptism. B)
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#13 Phebe_*

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 02:55 AM

Crikey Evangelion, can you get yourself organised please. :lol: ;)

#14 Evangelion

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 08:40 AM

SP -

I wonder if I could bother you to explain this further, or direct me to some reading on this. There does seem to be a link between the two...

Col. 2
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.


Yes, these are both ways in which it is possible to "put off the body of the sins of the flesh" - but this does not mean that they both perform the exact same function. Circumcision spoke only of separation, while baptism points forward to salvation. Unlike baptism, circumcision was not, itself, a salvific ritual; but it did endorse the principle behind baptism, ie., the removal of sinful flesh.

I figured that the two were related because they both appear to be a sign of a covenant made with Abraham. (Gen 17:11; Gal. 3:27-29)


They are certainly both a sign of a covenant - but they are not both a sign of a covenant made with Abraham. They represent two entirely different things. Notwithstanding this, they are both certainly ways of entering into that covenant which was made with Abraham.

An underlying principle appearing to be showing no confidence in the flesh.

Phil 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Deut. 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

So where circumcision was literally cutting off the flesh to be a seperate nation for God and a part of the promises to Abraham, baptism symbolically shows no faith in the flesh and is necesary to be part of the nation that's heir to the promises to Abraham.


Hmmm, I guess you could make that connection. :)

I did follow you on how baptism is symbolic of death, burial and resurrection (so much for sprinkling!), and in that, I can see how they're not the same. Then again, all of the nation was circumcised when they came into the promised land. That seems to point towards resurrection and immortality.


This is why they were circumcised:
Joshua 5:2-7.
At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.
And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.
And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt.
Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised.
For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD swore that he would not show them the land, which the LORD swore unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.
And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way.
There is no connexion with resurrection and immortality here.

QUOTE  
Naaman did indeed convert. This is made very clear in the text. (I Kings 5:17-29.)

Very clear?  If it's that conclusive I'm afraid I'm very blind. Although he swallowed his pride, went for a dip in the Jordan to have his leprosy healed, and ended up believing in the God of Israel, he didn't join the nation. Yet, he was told to go in peace. But to be a part of the promise before the time when Christ extended it to the Gentiles, I thought a person had to be circumcised to convert (Gen 17:12) or they'd be cut off from the people. Naaman comes to mind as something of an exception, because it's obvious that he believed in God, and stopped being stiffnecked (Deut. 10:16), but didn't proselytize.


Now that you've read my exhortation, I hope you can see where I'm coming from with this one. :)

This account with Naaman really confuses me. Please excuse me for dragging on about such a short account, but this story makes me wonder if I'm missing out on something fundemental to understanding the message of the Bible. I was thinking that the dunking in the Jordan has something to do with the lesson behind baptism, and therefore joined him up with God in a covenant way. If not, then the promises to the nation of Israel were really to all nations even before it was extended to them through Christ. I don't understand how that could be.


God occasionally extended the blessings of the New Covenant to those who still lived under the Old. (This was His divine prerogative.) But the exception proves the rule. God's decision to transcend His own law in a few select cases, did not give carte blanche to ever single sinner on the planet.

God only did this because (1) He is merciful, and (2) He wished to give a taste of the New Covenant to a handful of faithful inviduals under the Old. Naaman the Syrian and King David are two examples of men who benefited immediately from the New Covenant while the Old was still in effect.

Hope this helps. :)
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#15 splitpea_*

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Posted 23 January 2003 - 03:07 PM

Hi Evangelion,

Thanks for the reply and for the 2nd link. Was that ever long (two cups of tea!), but it made alot of sense. That baptism is essential for salvation does seem quite clear.

This did concern me though:

God occasionally extended the blessings of the New Covenant to those who still lived under the Old. (This was His divine prerogative.) But the exception proves the rule. God's decision to transcend His own law in a few select cases, did not give carte blanche to ever single sinner on the planet.

God only did this because (1) He is merciful, and (2) He wished to give a taste of the New Covenant to a handful of faithful inviduals under the Old. Naaman the Syrian and King David are two examples of men who benefited immediately from the New Covenant while the Old was still in effect.


To say that these occurances were an exception that proved the rule is tough to accept. Usually, when there's a couple verses or examples that don't fit with my beliefs it's because I'm wrong in my understanding (I've got a lot of experience at that! :P ), not that they're exceptions. Do you have any verses that back up they these were exceptions?


This is why they were circumcised:


Joshua 5:2-7.
At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.
And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.
And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt.
Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised.
For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD swore that he would not show them the land, which the LORD swore unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.
And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way.


There is no connexion with resurrection and immortality here.


I'm not sure that there isn't a connection. Sorry I didn't explain before why I figured there is. Briefly, in 1 Cor. 10:2, it says that when Israel crossed the Red Sea, they were baptized into Moses (a type of Christ). So, they were freed from Egypt (sin), wandered through the wilderness (life), then crossed the Jordan into the promised land. Once they were there they were circumcised (referring to the change from mortality to immortality).

I sort of let my imagination run wild with the verse from 1st Corinthians, so perhaps I made too much of it! You could be right - it seems you've got something of a habit of that! :P I'll have to give this some more thought :)

#16 Evangelion

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 12:27 AM

Hi SP. Nice to see you again. :)

Thanks for the reply and for the 2nd link. Was that ever long (two cups of tea!), but it made alot of sense. That baptism is essential for salvation does seem quite clear.


You're welcome, and thankyou. :)

This did concern me though:

QUOTE  
God occasionally extended the blessings of the New Covenant to those who still lived under the Old. (This was His divine prerogative.) But the exception proves the rule. God's decision to transcend His own law in a few select cases, did not give carte blanche to ever single sinner on the planet.
 
God only did this because (1) He is merciful, and (2) He wished to give a taste of the New Covenant to a handful of faithful inviduals under the Old. Naaman the Syrian and King David are two examples of men who benefited immediately from the New Covenant while the Old was still in effect.


To say that these occurances were an exception that proved the rule is tough to accept. Usually, when there's a couple verses or examples that don't fit with my beliefs it's because I'm wrong in my understanding (I've got a lot of experience at that!  ), not that they're exceptions. Do you have any verses that back up they these were exceptions?


We know that they were exceptions because the Law of Moses was in force during their day. It was the default system. Under normal circumstances, therefore, they should not have access to the kind of privileges which God extended - but they did, as we see from the Biblical record.

To summarise, then:
  • The rule at that time, was the Law of Moses. This was binding upon everybody.
  • The exceptions (David, Naaman, and perhaps a few others who enjoyed the blessings of the New Covenant whilst still under the Old) prove the rule.
Do you see what I'm saying? :)

QUOTE  
This is why they were circumcised:


Joshua 5:2-7.
At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.
And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.
And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt.
Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised.
For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD swore that he would not show them the land, which the LORD swore unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.
And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way.


There is no connexion with resurrection and immortality here.  


I'm not sure that there isn't a connection. Sorry I didn't explain before why I figured there is. Briefly, in 1 Cor. 10:2, it says that when Israel crossed the Red Sea, they were baptized into Moses (a type of Christ). So, they were freed from Egypt (sin), wandered through the wilderness (life), then crossed the Jordan into the promised land. Once they were there they were circumcised (referring to the change from mortality to immortality).

I sort of let my imagination run wild with the verse from 1st Corinthians, so perhaps I made too much of it! You could be right - it seems you've got something of a habit of that!  I'll have to give this some more thought.


OK. Here's how it works:
  • The Israelites were indeed baptised into Moses (a type of Christ) when they crossed the Red Sea.
  • They were baptised again when they entered the promised land by crossing Jordan.
  • Their status as the separated people of God was re-confirmed by their submission to circumcision. Circumcision represented (1) cutting of the flesh (self-denial) and (2) separation (as the people of God.)
The essential difference between baptism and circumcision is that circumcision was never spoken of in a soteriological context. The only correlation between the two is that they are both initiation ceremonies; they provided initiation into a distinct and separate group. (On the one hand, the people of Israel; on the other hand, the household of faith.)

Circumcision is never equated with baptism - nor can it ever be.

Hope this helps. :)
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#17 Anastasis

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 09:32 AM

Hi Evangelion,

I agree with your view on baptism. Your first response on this thread is very sound.

God Bless

#18 splitpea_*

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 11:59 AM

Hi Evangelion,

Okay, I think I'm with you now :) After mulling it over for a bit, what you've said does make a lot of sense. Thanks for taking the time to explain! :D

#19 Evangelion

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 12:21 PM

Thanks to both of you - Anastasis and splitpea. :)

I'm glad it's all making sense. B)
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#20 Evangelion

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 01:11 PM

Just a few more thoughts for you to... uh... think about. :blink:
  • Circumcision was instituted by God, and then ceased.
  • Baptism was instituted by God, and never ceased.
Clearly, these two cannot be equated - especially if (as some Christians now argue) the latter is intended to replace the former. This argument requires baptism to have ceased and/or been replaced with another ritual. And yet, it never was.

  • Circumcision was
    • A mark of separation.
    • A mark of a covenant relationship.
    It was not a guarantee of salvation.
  • Baptism is not a mark of separation, but it is a mark of a covenant relationship. This being said, it is still not a guarantee of salvation.
There is a distinct difference between the significance of these two acts. They don't even mean the same thing. Remember also that God did not guarantee salvation to those who were circumcised - nor did He guarantee it to those who were baptised. Those of us who believe that baptism is essential for salvation are frequently misrepresented as believing that it is the act of baptism which assures our salvation. This is patently false. We do not believe this at all.

  • Circumcision was performed on men only. There was no female equivalent.
  • Baptism was (and is) performed upon all believers, regardless of their gender.
If circumcision was performed for the sake of salvation, it would have meant that only men could be saved under the Law of Moses.

  • Circumcision was performed on an infant of eight days old.
  • Baptism was (and is) performed on adult believers, following a good confession of faith.
It is difficult to imagine a more striking point of contrast!

The latter is not intended to replace the former, nor was the former required for salvation. It was a mark of separation, and it was the mark of a covenant relationship. In every case, therefore, it is impossible to equate circumcision with baptism.

The only thing that these two rituals have in common is that both constitute the mark of a covenant relationship. :)
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.




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