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I received the following question:

Gentlemen, I have recently finished a rereading of Mr. Sellers’ ten Seed and Bread articles on baptism (#134 – 139 and #143 – 146). I am very thankful for his exposition of this subject and these texts.

However I want to ask your thoughts regarding a statement that he makes in #146. This particular one is titled “Baptism in the Epistles.” I will copy and paste one portion of that:

1 Corinthians 15:29. This passage presents no problems when baptizo is translated into English. Paul asks: “If the dead rise not then what shall they do who are being identified with a dead Christ?” There is no value in being identified with a dead Savior.

The NASB reads this way:
Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?

Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

1 John 5:6,8

Hi Nathan,

Hope you’re doing well, need your opinion on the use of the word “water” in the above subject verses. Does it have anything to do with water baptism?

Best Regards

6. This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.

8. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

The key in this portion is the witness. The Greek is the word martureo, from which we get our English word “martyr.” This same word occurs in two important places in the gospel of John. First consider John 1:32-34. Read the rest of this entry »

puzzleman02Colossians 2 Part 2

New King James Version 9. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

The Resultant Version 9. Seeing that in Him the entire fullness of the Deity is dwelling in essence.

The idea of the word “fullness” here states the same thing we saw back in Colossians 1:19. The word for “fullness” is pleroma, a word often used of the full complement of a ship, including its officers and crew. It comes from the verb pleroo (pronounced plair-AH-oh,) which means “to fill full” or “to complete.” The full complement, the entire panoply, the completeness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus Christ. Christ embodies the fullness of the Deity. Read the rest of this entry »

water02I received the following question:

Nathan, will you please explain to me your views on water baptism? Thanks.

Thanks for the question regarding water baptism. I will try to answer as briefly as I can, and as clearly as I can. Yet this is a complicated issue, and the answer is not simple.

The fact is that the word “baptism” is basically a Greek word that has not been translated when bringing it into English. Whatever our English ideas about baptism might be, the real question is what the idea of baptism was to one who spoke Greek? To answer this, we would need to consider the use of the Greek word baptisma, and its related verb baptizo. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

I know what I believe about baptism but I’ve already had some discussions about it with others from the church and they keep saying “it’s the outward act” to show you’re a believer and that it’s not necessary.  What do you say to that?

I always have a hard problem when they bring up the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8. Any tips for me? There’s also some that will say yes it’s necessary.

I’m afraid they have no Scriptural backing for that statement at all. The assumption in Scripture is always that every true believer is baptized. Of course, you have to separate between water baptism and the reality of baptism with Christ, which takes place when we believe and are placed in Him in God’s sight. The fact that they confound water baptism and being identified with Christ makes their position confused and in many ways indefensible from a Biblical standpoint. Read the rest of this entry »

waterThe Greek word baptismos, which we have transliterated into English letters in our Bibles (rather than translated) as “baptism,” is the subject of much controversy in Christian circles. This word actually only appears in the Bible 23 times, once in plural. Related words, such as Baptist or baptize, occur a total of 93 times, making a total of only 116 occurrences in the New Testament, which should make the topic a relatively easy one for the diligent student to study from a Biblical standpoint. However, for sake of time, I will confine these next few paragraphs to the study of ONLY those occurrences of baptism in which water is specifically mentioned as having been used. In looking at these occurrences, I will examine the question of baptism and authority, and how the men who baptized in Biblical times received the authority to perform this ceremony. Read the rest of this entry »