Why Baptismal Regeneration is un-Biblical and wrong


About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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38 Responses to Why Baptismal Regeneration is un-Biblical and wrong

  1. Jim says:

    Both unbiblical AND wrong? WRONG? How is it wrong?
    C’mon Ken. It is both biblical and right.

  2. Jim says:

    I started reading that cornball article and couldn’t past the absurdity of the first paragraph;

    “Right off the bat, we most note that neither of these passages mention baptism in connection with “water”… or “washing” … Thus right away we must question the insistence of baptismal regenerationists that these texts are even about water baptism.
    To insist that “water,” “washing,” and any related words must refer to physical water is arbitrary and absurd.”

    Absurd? ABSURD? Only if you shoe horn Zwinglianism into the text. ( Absurd indeed! )

    • Ken Temple says:

      I was already convinced, by years of study and thinking about it before, that the Roman Catholic Church, (and EO, and Churches of Christ) are wrong about Baptismal Regeneration, but this article was so good and so confirmatory, that I really enjoyed reading it and putting it up at Beggar’s All.

      Also, Tim Kauffman did a good job of poking holes in the belief that all the early church unanimously believed in baptismal regeneration.

      The examples of how Kauffman showed Justin Martyr was not teaching baptismal regeneration (Justin was the one who I had before thought taught it, but after Kauffman’s analysis, I agree with him.) and the one I just gave from Cyril of Jerusalem there at his blog (White Horse blog) are powerful.


  3. Jim says:

    Ken! Ken! Ken!
    Your article starts of by questioning if Baptism has any connection to water. Your article actually says it is “absurd” to think Baptism requires water.

    “And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”[b] 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water,…”.

    I count 4 uses of the word “water” in connection with Baptism. As a matter of fact, the eunuch says that since there is some water close at hand, the obstacle against being baptized is removed.

    Was it absurd for the eunuch to think the availability of water had anything to do with baptism?

    • Ken Temple says:

      Obviously that Acts passage is about water. He did not mention that passage. He established that those other passages do not mean literal water – like John 4:14, 7:37-39, etc.

  4. Jim says:

    Glutton for punishment that I am, I went back to your article and tried to get through one more paragraph. Alas, I got what I deserved and was met with such downright inanity I had to stop after just a few lines.
    The author lists several passages in which the word “water” is obviously not to be taken literally. He then tries to cast doubt on those passages (like the one about the Ethiopian eunuch ) in which the word cannot mean anything but an aqueous solution of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen.
    It would be kinda’ like me saying that since the expression about “raining cats and dogs” is not be taken literally, ergo, there are no real cats and dogs anywhere including the furry critter snoozing on my sofa behind me as I write.
    Maybe I will try to choke down a third paragraph. Maybe I won’t. What would be the point?

    • Ken Temple says:

      He didn’t cast doubt on the passages that do mean baptism, but established that not all passages that mention water or washing mean “baptism”.

      We have to distinguish and discern the difference between External washing / baptism vs. internal unseen washing/cleansing power of the Holy Spirit.

  5. Jim says:

    Okay, okay. I will do penance and force myself to trudge on a bit further.

    The article continues with Titus 3:5.
    “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit”.

    Because the passage explicitly says the “washing of regeneration” is not a “work” done in righteousness, and everyone knows Baptism is a work, the author thinks he has demonstrated that Paul is not talking about water Baptism here.
    A couple of problems; firstly, until one is regenerated ( in Baptism ), he can do no works of righteousness. The effect follows the cause. So, of course, no one is saved by good works prior to being given the ability to do good works. Nobody is saved before they are saved.
    Secondly, the author seems to think the works Paul is referring to are actually works of the Mosaic ceremonial Law. Okay, fine, maybe he is. He says that since circumcision is a work of the law, Baptism must be a work of the law too. Doesn’t the author distinguish between the law of Moses and the law of Christ? Kinda’ like, since the sacrifice of bulls and goats don’t save, the sacrifice of Christ doesn’t either.

    The author then repeats his snickering remark about water having any connection to Baptism with,
    “We have already demonstrated the absurdity of insisting this passage must speak of water baptism simply because it mentions “water.” I throw this quote in only to demonstrate the incredible question begging of the author. Until he shows that the Ethiopian eunuch was not talking about the wet stuff, he has a long, long way to go.

    • Ken Temple says:

      The author does not use the obvious passages (like the one you bring out) to say they don’t mean water baptism. He shows quite a number of passages that don’t mean baptism just because they speak of water, washing, and cleansing.

  6. Jim says:

    Just a quick aside; if the author says works are anything men do, then repenting, believing, professing, etc. etc. are all works too. If the rebuttal is that faith and repentance are not works but gifts from God, fine. But does that mean it is God who repents and believes? ( yes, yes, God repented of his wrath in the O.T. but we know he was not repenting of sin ).

    • Ken Temple says:

      John 6:29 – “this is the work of God, that you believe in Him who sent Me.”
      2 Tim. 2:24-26 – God granted the repentance
      Acts 11:18 – “. . . wow . . . God has granted even the Gentiles repentance that leads to life.”

      “works of the law” include all the works of God’s law – ceremonial and moral. Man cannot do God’s moral law either in order to earn justification / salvation – until man is regenerated, even good moral works have been tainted by evil motives.

      But Romans 4 and the book of Galatians is clear that adding the rule/law to faith in Christ, that one must be circumcised in order to be saved – that is wrong and false doctrine.

      Colossians 2:11-12 equates baptism with circumcision; and there is a baptism of the Holy Spirit vs. water baptism. (John the baptist’s saying, in all four gospels and Acts ( I think) – “I baptized with water, but one who is coming will baptize with the Holy Spirit.”

      So, there is a regenerating internal baptism of the Spirit at the point of faith and repentance; and then the external water baptism is a rite/ritual that only has meaning if the internal has first taken place. It is not a cause of regeneration, but the result of regeneration. It is a picture/symbol/illustration/commitment before witnesses of being a disciple of Jesus and coming into the church.

      • Jim says:

        “until man is regenerated, even good moral works have been tainted by evil motives.”
        Even our best works can be mixed with self seeking or vainglorious motives, even after regeneration. To say this “taints” them or to call those motives “evil” would be a bit harsh. A father is pleased by his child’s finger paintings regardless of the mixed motives ( fun, curious about his new box of crayons, showing off, meriting a cookie,etc. ) Before regeneration, those works, whether perfect or imperfect, are not the works of a son but of a hireling. Despite the constant harping on the term, the Protestant understanding of regeneration is puny and only partial at best.

  7. Jim says:

    Moving right along,
    The Beggars All article continues;
    “Here we have it: there is nothing man can do to cause the new birth. Hence he can neither “will” himself to be born again by getting water baptized, nor “will” himself to cause others to be born again by baptizing them in water.”

    Then why the command in Mark 16 ( and elsewhere ) to be Baptized? Why command men to do something they can’t do?

    The author mentions that the Holy Spirit blows where he will. Fine. So, after the Holy Spirit fell upon Cornelius prior to being baptized, just what was that Baptism that Peter commanded he undergo? Was it with water? Fire? What? And why?
    Had Cornelius merely received the charismatic gift of tongues ( similar to Balaam’s ass )or had he been regenerated? I am good with either interpretation. Neither of them take away from the necessity of water Baptism.

    • Ken Temple says:

      why the command? (Acts 2:38 and Matthew 28:19 are better passages than Mark 16:16, since there is some doubt about the verses in Mark 16:9-20.

      Justin Martyr’s description is right. A person first hears the gospel, and God works in them and then they repent and believe and want to make a commitment to Jesus, etc. They go through a period of discipleship/teaching/instruction/learning and then are baptized. No infant baptism.

      The author mentions that the Holy Spirit blows where he will. Fine. So, after the Holy Spirit fell upon Cornelius prior to being baptized, just what was that Baptism that Peter commanded he undergo? Was it with water?

      Yes, obviously it was with water. There was evidence of repentance and faith FIRST (internal), then the outward was applied. (water baptism)

      The Roman Catholic Church thinks one can change the internal by doing some ritual or formula outwardly. (visiting relics, praying to statues, saying words over bread and wine, baptizing babies)

      • Jim says:

        Baptizing babies and praying over bread and wine are Sacraments. However, praying over bread and wine changes the bread and wine. It does nothing to the priest or people.

        Visiting relics and praying BEFORE statues are not Sacraments. Apples and oranges.
        After all these years, despite a life devoted to trashing Catholicism, you still attack a straw man that no Catholic can even recognize let alone defend.
        Put down the Webster, Kauffman, and Jack Chick hysteria and start studying what we actually believe.

  8. Jim says:

    Not wanting to stray off topic, but the author needs to read up on the history of interpretation of John 1:12-13. It is about Mary’s Virginity “In Partu”.

    Back on topic, Matthew 28 has Jesus commanding the Apostles to Baptism all nations. Does that Baptism have to do with a rite involving water? The Spirit blows where he will right? Man has nothing to say about it, huh? Jesus can’t mean for the Apostles to do something that will ( magically? ) draw down the Holy Spirit, can he? Which is it? Explain Jesus command.

    Paul Baptized a few guys in Corinth. Did he use water? If Baptism is not about water, according to your article, just what did he do?

    • Ken Temple says:

      We already discussed that issue of “bloods” about Mary – what a ridiculous interpretation. Goofy.

      The baptisms in Matthew 28 and I Cor. are obviously in water. the whole issue is whether an external ritual can cause automatically something internal to happen (as in Roman Catholicism ex opere operato rituals in baptism, Eucharist, and ordination, etc.)
      vs. internal repentance and faith and then baptism in water as a seal and testimony and picture of the internal reality – a commitment to discipleship and following the Lord, and to the church.

  9. Ken Temple says:

    Visiting relics and praying BEFORE statues are not Sacraments.

    I did not say that they were sacraments; I said they are external works or rituals that your RCC thinks causes merit to come into the soul and adhere to the soul, almost like glue.

    Does not the good works of giving to the poor, fasting, praying to Mary (with statues, icons, pictures, or without) and going to graves and shrines and praying there and kissing or touching relics count as merit and gets grace to come down from the treasury of merit in heaven and adhere to the soul and cause one to increase in justification?

    • Jim says:

      Your first paragraph makes no sense. “Merit” does not come into the soul. Grace does.
      As for glue, glue is a substance. Grace isn’t. And it doesn’t “come into”. It is educed. ( Ever wonder why a spoon, a cat, or a flower cannot be holy or made holy? Why is that only an angel or a man can be holy with sanctifying grace? )

      The second paragraph is a little better but no much. Still, grace does not travel from point A to point B. Any Catholic source on the subject of grace will explain that, despite such phrases as “pour grace into our hearts”, it is not like a fluid or something coming from a pipe or tube down from heaven. The imagery does help to show that the increase of grace in our souls is wrought by the Holy Spirit though.

      Prayer, good works, reception of the Sacrament do indeed cause to increase in grace/justification. The Bible says so. We go from justification to justification. For example, the already justified Abraham is justified further when he offers Isaac.
      As a Protestant, you believe there are degrees of sanctification, that we grow in grace, yes? The adjective “holy” can be in the comparative ( holier ) and superlative ( holiest ). Paul says that some are like the stars in glory and some like the sun and moon*. ( 1 Cor 15:41 )
      So, it comes back to whether or not our entry into heaven is based on our holiness ( merited by Christ and accepted by us ) or is it the grace in Christ’s own human soul applied to our “account”. Is it “imputed”? ( Although we say “imparted”, once again, no substance is travelling from one place to another”. Only that it is really within us. )

      As I said previously, sonship cannot be merited by us. It is a gift. A baby cannot earn his birth into the family of a millionaire. We cannot earn to be heirs. Our human works and the elevation to participation in the divine nature have no parity. That is why theologians use the word “merit” in lieu of “earn”. In Latin, there is a real distinction.
      Having said this, the Bible shows loud and clear that whether or not we inherit that inheritance is contingent upon our actions, No where, NOWHERE, is anyone judged in the final judgement on whether or not an alien righteousness is reckoned to some mythological account somewhere.

      • Jim says:

        Upon proof reading, I see I better state that a baby neither earns nor does he merit being born int a royal family. Neither term is used for obvious reasons. Babies can do nothing.
        Being born into God’s family is necessary before one can begin to merit ( not earn ) an increase in the gift of sonship. Protestant continually accuse Catholics of putting the cart before the horse. We do NOT merit INITIAL JUSTIFICATION/REGENERATION/ADOPTION!
        Let me repeat in case you didn’t catch it; We do NOT merit INITIAL JUSTIFICATION/REGENERATION/ADOPTION! ( If only the Kevin Falloni’s of the world could comprehend simple English. )
        First, we are born again. Gratuitously. Then, and only then, we start to merit an increase or holiness ( grace ). This what what Jesus means by using the word “REWARD”. Wages are earned due to equivalence between work done and payment. Rewards are merited based on the generosity of the one making the offer and completion of the stipulations set by him.

        Both Jesus and Paul speak of our adoption, our heirship. Both say we can fail to receive that inheritance if we sin grievously though.

  10. Jim says:

    I just so happen to have stumbled on this KJV Only, geocentric, 6 days of creation, Trail of Blood reading yokels. http://oldpathsbaptistchurch.org/ I immediately recognized the picture as the same one you have on your site. Please tell me it is merely a coincidence.

    • Ken Temple says:

      That is just one of the standard “word press” template choices for having a blog. There is no relation, except we both have a word press blog.

      • Jim says:

        Maybe I’ll get me one of them blogs and start refuting those who deny the Sacraments.
        I’ll start at the beginning with the the first of seven, Baptism.
        I will start with Mark 16:16. Belief ***AND***Baptism.
        Or how about the Great Commission. Or Peter’s sermon on Pentecost.
        What do you think, shall I stress baptismal regeneration, water, infants or that it’s not magic?

  11. Ken Temple says:

    Robert Sungenis, a Roman Catholic apologist, is a Geocentrist – and, I think, all of the “Traditional” Roman Catholics who reject the Popes after Pius XII and Vatican 2 – some are Sedevacantists and others are just seemingly putting up with grudgingly with the modern Popes and Vatican 2 theology, but disagree with Vatican 2 theology and want the RC to go back to the tradition of “no salvation outside the church” (that Protestants are heretics and not “separated brethren” and Muslims and atheists and Jews are not saved unless they repent and turn consciously to Christ (and submit to the RCC and the Pope, etc.) and the Latin Tridentide Mass, etc.. I met several Geocrentrist Traditional Roman Catholics at the You Tube video lecture of Rod Bennett’s “The Four Witnesses Brought Me Home”. Dave Armstrong calls them “Rad Trad” (Radical Traditionalists) – one guy goes by “St. Peter” and other “St. Jerome” and another Ron Hahn and another is Salam Khan (former Muslim turned Roman Catholic). If I remember right, maybe St. Jerome is not radical traditionalist, but I think the other 3 are.

    See below in the 242 replies to my comment – Under “Rod and I were pretty good friends” (10 months ago)

    Ron Hahn about 6 days ago is just putting massive amount of text of early church fathers and quotes from old Popes, and just trying to overwhelm me but also states, “I don’t want to talk to you anymore”. I am busy with family and work and did not have time to read through all that and respond. Anyway, you can go there and enjoy their Geocentrism and Traditional Pre-Vatican 2 Roman Catholicism.

  12. Ken Temple says:

    I don’t deny that the Lord’s supper (Eucharist) and Baptism are commands of Jesus, and ordinances and external pictures and symbols of faith in Christ. But if by “sacrament” you mean inherent power to cause grace to adhere to the soul, yes, I and most, if not all, deny they have that inherent ex opere operato power.

    But they are “means”, channels of strengthening faith, which then gives sanctifying grace, if the person has true justifying faith in Christ first.

    Mark 16:16 is true, but there are doubts about the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20, because we just don’t have ANY manuscripts of it early.

    If a person says, “I believe” but refuses to be baptized or grow or want to join a Biblical local church, that person is not truly regenerated, or does not have true justifying faith in Christ to save him/her.

    So, there is a sense in which Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38 are true in the Protestant understanding. Acts 2:38 – I already pointed to good articles that explain that.



  13. Ken Temple says:

    I think Acts 2:38 is the combination of 2 points that Storms makes, although he says the “because of” view of “eis” is grammatically unlikely or awkward.

    “. . . the preposition translated “for” in v. 38 (Greek, eis) can also be translated “because of” (it may be used this way in Matthew 3:11; cf. also Mt. 10:41; 12:41). Thus the idea would be that a person should be baptized not in order to be saved and forgiven of sins but because they are already saved and forgiven.” I agree with that, which points to the next view:

    “The view that is most consistent with what we read elsewhere in the New Testament is that Acts 2:38 says nothing about the relationship between baptism and forgiveness but everything about the relationship between baptism and repentance.”

    external water baptism is a sign and symbol and demonstration of repentance.

    • Jim says:

      “If a person says, “I believe” but refuses to be baptized or grow or want to join a Biblical local church, that person is not truly regenerated,…”.

      Huh? The statement, “Repent and be baptized” is in the imperative mood mood. It’s a command. If what you assert is correct, it would be in the indicative. It’s not.

      “Be baptized because your sins are already forgiven”? What about the admonition to “repent”? Does Peter tell the Jews to repent because they have already been forgiven?

  14. Ken Temple says:

    Yes, it (be baptized) is command; but it does not cause new birth or justification.
    Obey the command to prove you are truly justified, is the thought. Show and demonstrate that you are a follower of Christ. “repent and believe” is the condition.

    “that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in all the nations” – Luke 24:46-47

  15. Jim says:

    “Obey the command to prove you are truly justified,”

    Prove to whom you are justified? God? Doesn’t he know already?
    Prove to men? No way. People can fake faith and repentance and be dunked. ( weren’t you involved in the discussion on Simon Magus over on Kauffman’s a couple of weeks ago? )

  16. Jim says:

    Matthew 28 makes Baptism part of the Great Commission. It is that important. You however reduce it down to a mere “proof” that does nothing at all.

    I actually have that proof you speak of. I have a certificate that says I was Baptized as a little kid. I neither repented nor gave evidence of faith prior to getting wet because I ( at that point ) had not committed any sins nor held any heretical opinion that would be an obstacle to the free gift of regeneration.
    Later. as a teenager, I was required to present that document certifying I had been baptized not with John’s baptism but with Christ’s Baptism and had been regenerated and was a member of the Body of Christ in order to receive the laying on of hands and be Confirmed in the Holy Ghost.
    As a grown man, I was again required to present my baptismal certificate before marrying.

    Acts 22 says, “why tarriest thou? Rise up, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, invoking his name.” It seems pretty clear the washing away of sins takes place with the Baptism and calling on Christ’s name.

  17. Jim says:


    Let’s look at some of the shenanigans you and the author of the article have been appealing to in order to avoid the plain words of scripture.
    For starters, you have even gone so far as to insinuate that we cannot trust that Mark 16:16 even belongs in the Bible! ( You are in good company with Luther who threw out the entire epistle of James to side step what it said. ) Think about that Ken. When all else fails, take your scissors to the Bible and snip out those problem texts.
    Probably the silliest is denying that water means H2O. You Protestant guys have grasped at straws as to claim water equals amniotic fluid. Think about that, Ken. Jesus said that unless one is first born of a woman’s amniotic fluid, they cannot be born of the Spirit. HOW ABSURD! Who isn’t born of a woman’s amniotic fluid? Why would Jesus make that a condition?
    Or how about the last one you tried feeding me, that we are to “Repent and be Baptized” ***for/on account of/because***our sins have already been forgiven. Since “repent” is half of that command, you must therefore mean we are to repent because our sins have been forgiven already. WOW!
    Your author friend has tried using Baptism of fire to avoid water ( Peter says the water of the flood is to be compared to the same water as used in Baptism now saving us.)
    Ken, bamboozling is unbecoming a truth-seeker. Switching the subject to Rod Bennett, denying water means water, chopping up the Bible, etc. etc. won’t help you. You can run but you can’t hide. The Bible is clear. So are the Fathers ( please don’t refer me to Tim Kauffman’s wild obfuscations ). 2,000 years of Tradition is against you ( including Protestant tradition ).

    As for your denial of regeneration taking place in Baptism, please go back and prayerfully read what our Lord said to Nicodemus.

  18. Jim says:

    Let’s address the number one charge against the Sacrament. Since the Bible says the Holy Spirit blows where he will, you there claim Catholics are using magic to bind the Spirit or force him to regenerate somebody, baby or adult, by the words of a man. Like “abracadabra” works automatically.
    For starters, you forget that, unlike in magic, a person’s disposition determines whether or not a sacrament actually conveys any sanctifying grace or not. That is one place where the Holy Spirit comes in. Without his promptings, no one would even avail themselves of a sacrament.
    As for binding God to act at a human’s command, let me ask you a question; Does God snap to and act every time a man and woman come together in a sexual embrace where sperm meets egg? Even in an adulterous union, God acts by creating and infusing an immortal soul into the material supplied by the couple.
    The process of procreation was, just like the sacramental system, set up by the Three Persons of the Trinity ( including the Holy Ghost ). If you say Catholics bind the Spirit because sacraments work “exopere operato”, remember that God has bound himself. It’s HIS system. He is not nor was not required to set up that sacraments.

  19. θ says:

    External rite is important to make a human nature an internal subset of Christ.
    Jn 13:8
    Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

    What makes a person saved is the obedience alongside trials of life.
    Lk 6
    46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

    Due to trials of life, any saved person is not immune from falling deeper into a worse thing. Seducing spirits can undo a salvation.
    14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
    20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
    1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.

    External rite deals with various trials of life. That’s why the Laws & good works are needed:
    27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
    20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

    Except a few extraordinary prayers, the Holy Spirit usually needs to wait the baptism before then re-generating the soul of common repentant.
    Acts 10
    31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

    Water of washing is used to heal the extraordinary defects.
    Jn 9:11
    He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

    External rites work toward a “full assurance” of salvation. Faith alone is not full.
    Heb 6
    10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
    22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.
    Heb 10
    22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
    Eph 5
    26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.
    1Cor 6
    11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

  20. Ken Temple says:

    On the John 13:8 and 13:14-15 example, you left out verses 9-13, which are key to understanding that. Jesus said that the disciples were ALREADY clean, except for Judas. (John 13:10-11)
    John 15:3 explains that – “You are already clean because of the WORD which I have spoken to you.” He is talking about an internal cleansing by the Word of God, and the external feet washing symbolized the daily need to confess our sins and be cleansed. (see 1 John 1:5-10)

    Baptism in water is an external symbol and picture of an internal reality. The external ritual does not cause things to happen on the inside.

    You are mixing internals and externals throughout your examples.

    Hebrews 10:22 – “our bodies washed with pure water” is about baptism, which comes after repentance and faith, and is a symbol of repentance and faith (“having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience” – same as in 1 Peter 3:21 – repentance – an appeal to God for a clean/good conscience.)

    I Cor. 9:27 – “I buffet my body and make it my slave” = self-control, external disciples by the power of the Holy Spirit are the results of first being changed on the inside.

    I Cor. 6:9-11 – internal cleansing

    Ephesians 5:26 – internal cleansing by the Holy Spirit applying the word to our hearts.

    Acts 10 – water baptism AFTER Spirit baptism.

  21. θ says:

    “Ken Temple says: Baptism in water is an external symbol and picture of an internal reality. ”

    Your argument is minor or exception as in the story of Cornelius and his household, they get baptised after the Holy Ghost was received – after their internal is cleansed – but in most occasion the Holy Spirit usually needs to wait the baptism first – external cleansing – before then indwelling and re-generating the soul of common repentant.
    Acts 10
    31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

    By comparing the effect of sin to the process of decaying soul, one’s repentance would stop the degradation further. Afterward the baptism is a way for Holy Spirit to come to regenerate again the “static soul”.
    Acts 8
    15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:16
    For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
    Acts 2
    38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

  22. Pingback: Refutation of Baptismal Regeneration in the early church | Apologetics and Agape

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