Qcmbr, you missed out the important part:
Acts 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46For they heard them speaking in tongues[b] and praising God.
[ So the Gentiles ALREADY had been granted the gift BEFORE any baptism. ]
Then Peter said, 47"Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." 48So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
The Symbol is akin to circumcision. It is an identification of commitment to a group. If baptism was important to attain salvation Jesus would have done it. So, how many times did Jesus baptize people?
Do you have to get baptized to be saved?
Qcmbr, you missed out the important part:
Nowhere do we (LDS) claim nor do I think any christians claim that the spirit cannot fall upon people anywhere anytime regardless of faith or lack thereof. Its not logical to claim that God actually only inspires by his spirit a tiny group of people across the earth leaving the other 99% to wander untouched by His Spirit. I just contend that a spiritual baptism (by fire) is required as well as the physical (water) baptism to fulfill all righteousness. That's why the LDS do both.
There is no where in the scripture that we can say for a surety that no one did lay hands on them at some point; anyway the ability to speak in tongues or have the spirit poured out upon people isn't the same as being born again - do you claim to be born again each time you talk in tongues or feel the spirit?
(New Testament | Acts 8:14 - 18)
14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
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.)
17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
I struggled to find any evidence of baptism by the spirit recorded as such in the NT - the pentecost fulfilled scripture but I don't think it was the baptism of fire (if so you and I haven't had it since I suspect none of us have seen fire above our heads nor heard a rushing wind from God ..I could be wrong.)
Afterwards Peter taught a fairly simple pattern - repentence, baptism and then gift of holy ghost
(New Testament | Acts 2:37 - 41)
37 ¶ Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
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.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 ¶ Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Auld Soul: "since those who are dead have no sin any longer—their accounts sheet is perfectly balanced, their life has paid their sins." While this is the JW teaching, isn't the usual interpretation that the wage sin pays is _spiritual_ death, death to God? This is how Christians explain the mysterious fact that even though people have been saved they die physically. I do not think our life per se is enough, according to traditional Chrisitianity, to pay for our sins. That's why we need the value of Jesus' life. (I still can't seem to format. Sorry.)
stevenyc: So, how many times did Jesus baptize people?
[*raises hand animatedly*]
Oooh! Mr. Cart-ah! I know, Mr. Cart-ah! I know!
Never. Not once.
stevenyc: It is an identification of commitment to a group.
I am not so sure this is what it started out to be. It seems to me this is a perversion that entered later. It seems initially to have been an identification of commitment to a way of life, not to a group. There are several instances of this view available in Acts. For instance, the Ethiopian eunuch did not join a group. (Acts 8) Vs. 39 says: "And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing." He went back to Ethiopia, to the service of Queen Candace, he did not join a group by being baptized.
I think the perversion of linking baptism to "group joining" was a control mechanism and an abuse of Biblical authority over other humans. A devise that would have delighted those Paul scathed in Galatians 5. " 1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage . 7 Ye did run well: who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9 A little leaven [perversion, curruption] leaveneth [perverts, corrupts] the whole lump. 12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you."
Imagine, for a moment, the severity of such a penalty in the mind of one schooled in Jewish law at the feet of Gamaliel. He was angry about it. I am angry about burdens added to the law of Christ as well. One of these burdens added by many churches is the burden of belonging to a specific group, as signified by baptism into that group. In my opinion, it is exclusionary and demonstrates a gross lack of understanding of the genuine constitution of the body of Christ, His congregation.
(New Testament | John 3:22) 22 ¶ After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judæa; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
Acts 16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. 27The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"
29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
31They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.
"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." Not "Believe in the Lord Jesus, AND GET BAPTIZED, and you will be saved—you and your household,"
Sorry about the capitals, I'm not shouting, but this sight doesn't support mac's for highlighting and alike.
I apologize, veradico. I should have placed a smiley at the end of that sentence. I sometimes forget that sarcasm doesn't translate well into written form and that emoticons are needed to reflect the tone on occasion.
qcmbr: There is no where in the scripture that we can say for a surety that no one did lay hands on them at some point.
I think it can be very clearly inferred from the account of Cornelius' family as related in both Acts 10 and recounted again in Acts 11. In fact, I can't see how any other inference can be drawn. If there was laying on of hands there would be no surprise at the result. But there was surprise at the result. Awe, even. Amazement. There was no laying on of hands.
Since—as you made clear—Peter himself set out the order of events in Acts 2, it is peculiarly noteworthy that he is the one who directly reported having witnessed that baptism with water was not necessary in order to be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
qcmbr: ...anyway the ability to speak in tongues or have the spirit poured out upon people isn't the same as being born again...
The occasion of the first granting of these gifts is the same as being born again. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is the same as being born again. That is when one is born of spirit, is it not?
I ask that you frame your answer to a simple question Scripturally: Is baptism with the Holy Ghost the occasion of being born again? If not, why do you say so?
qcmbr: ...do you claim to be born again each time you talk in tongues or feel the spirit?
I claim that unless I was born again I could not do so. I further claim that since Cornelius and his household did so they were born again when they did so; i.e. they were born again prior to water baptism. Do you claim otherwise? If so, why? You can't reasonably use Acts 2 as your basis because Acts 2 chronologically preceded Acts 10, 11. Peter was astonished that he saw what he saw, no doubt his astonishment was in no small measure due to how he thought it had to work (per Acts 2).
I am curious how you can just sweep this account away so easily.
Qcmbr, the first instance recorded is of John the baptist. It also explains the perpose of baptism :
Matt 3:1In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." 3This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
"A voice of one calling in the desert,
'Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.' "[a]
4John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
It was a form of repentance from sin. So, did Jesus have to wash away his sin?
Did Jesus have to be baptised for sins?
(New Testament | Matthew 3:15)
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'm still failing to see any real justfication for no baptism by immersion.
(New Testament | Colossians 2:8 - 12)
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
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.
AuldSoul: am not so sure this is what it started out to be. It seems to me this is a perversion that entered later. It seems initially to have been an identification of commitment to a way of life, not to a group.
Yeah, 'way of life' is probably closer. But, would it be possible to baptize oneself, in private? The initial usage of baptism was repentance. We know that salvation is gained through faith alone, Acts and Romans demonstrates this. Also the same for the gift of Holy Spirit. But, baptism was also a requirement for early christians. Why, other than identification?