Baptismal regeneration

by Laika 15 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Laika

    I've decided to start a thread on Christian theology, wherein I will lay out what I believe scripture teaches about baptism... because I can. This is a continuation from another thread where I said that we are born again (born from above) at baptism, a statement a few posters took issue with. But if you prefer I'd argue that scriptures on baptism also present an issue to the JWs who also believe baptism is just a symbol (albeit it one that ties you to their organisation)

    Throughout the first 1500 years of Christian history, it was universally understood that the Christian is 'born again' at water baptism (and the majority of Christians still hold to this) but then many Christians started to argue that baptism was just a symbol of obedience, but I posit that nowhere in the bible will you find a verse that claims baptism is just a symbol, instead scriptural references to baptism always claim that it actually achieves something:

    John 3:5 - Born of water and spirit

    1 Peter 3:21 - 'Baptism now saves you'

    Acts 2:38 - 'Repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins

    Romans 6 - 'We were therefore buried with him in baptism...'

    Titus 3:5 - 'He saved us... by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the holy spirit'

    Many protestants will try to argue that many of the above verses refer to a kind of spiritual baptism, but I would respond that this interpretation runs into a problem when you get to Ephesians 4:5 (one baptism) as this suggests two baptisms (much like exists in JW theology) and it is much easier to get around this if we say the spirit is connected to water baptism (as described in Titus 3:5)

    As an addendum to this, here is something from 'Luther's small catechism' that might help:


    What is Baptism?--Answer.

    Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the water comprehended in God's command and connected with God's Word.

    Which is that word of God?--Answer.

    Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Matthew: Go ye into all the world and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.


    What does Baptism give or profit?--Answer.

    It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.

    Which are such words and promises of God? Answer.

    Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Mark: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.


    How can water do such great things?--Answer.

    It is not the water indeed that does them, but the word of God which is in and with the water, and faith, which trusts such word of God in the water. For without the word of God the water is simple water and no baptism. But with the word of God it is a baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Ghost, as St. Paul says, Titus, chapter three: By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior, that, being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying.


    What does such baptizing with water signify?--Answer.

    It signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

    Where is this written?--Answer.

    St. Paul says Romans, chapter 6: We are buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that, like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life

  • unstopableravens

    i believe that baptism happens after a person believes, and belief happens after a person is born again. in other words a person is born again(ez 36:25-27) because they now have a new heart they believe (john 1:12;12) 1 john 5:1) notice being born again preceeds belief. than they are baptized(matthew 28:19,2o)

  • Laika

    Unstop, what do you think water baptism does?

  • anonymouz

    It seems Paul was anointed when he saw the light in a literal and also internal way. Cornelius was anointed prior to baptism. But it shows he got baptized thereafter directly. And Christ was anointed at baptism. It is possible some are anointed prior to or at baptism and realize it more fully later. It is apparent conversely, some are not anointed at all, but believe they are.

    But since a baptized human is not instantly actually reborn as spirit being, it has to be a symbol of an actual event to come later, as with Christ who had to actually die, be baptized into death, first. Earth the planet was baptized into death state at the flood. And is baptized by fire into a life state under Christ for "regeneration" purposes, as Peter makes that connection.

    Interesting concept. Babies do come from water so to speak as well when they leave their mother.

  • Laika

    Hi anonymouz, good post

    But since a baptized human is not instantly actually reborn as spirit being, it has to be a symbol of an actual event to come later

    When you say reborn as a spirit being, do you mean a resurrection in Heaven?

  • unstopableravens

    put simply: it is a outward represanation of what god has done to us, thats why it always comes after believeing, dont forget we are saved by faith, john 5:24 when you believe you pass from death to life

  • fakesmile

    i have to ask you to define "born of spirit". that sounds metaphorical. i want literal. if i wanted to perform the ceremony tommorow with my buddy, an online registered minister, how can i get born into the spirit.

    edit. i only read the op before answering.

  • Laika

    Fakesmile, it's literal (I think) Romans 8:14-15 might help.

    And yes, you can do it tomorrow, but remember, it's not you doing it, it's God. ;)

  • Ucantnome

    in 1 corinthians 10 paul mentions passing through the sea and a baptism into moses and peter talks of the ark and the flood as corresponding to baptism. both involved water and in both people went into it and came out saved from death.

  • KateWild

    I dont think Jesus or God really care about if we repent our sins. I see no eveidence they care about human affairs, so going through a ritual seems to me like worshipping an idol.

    I have lost my faith in the scirptures, the more I read the more I get frustrated with the hypocrisy of it all.

    I have mentioned on other posts the things I find the most hypocritical, was how Jesus treated women and how Paul treated women. But also, how God destroyed millions of people, and then forgave others like Mennasah.

    Thats my opinion at the moment

    Kate xx

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