Does Acts 2:41 discount the necessity of baptism for salvation? That is what the Cross-Examined ministry believes. In their blog post dated Aug 20, 2014 they make that argument. This is my third post against that blog post. Click here for my first rebuttal and click here for my second rebuttal. Let us look at the full quote:
"Acts 2:41 speaks of “those who accepted his message” (i.e., believed) as having been baptized later on. Receiving (believing) the message is the means by which one is saved (John 1:12; 12:48; Rom. 1:16). And verse 44 speaks of “those who believed” as being constituents of the early church, not all of whom were baptized."
They add their own theological assumptions into Acts 2:41. Notice that they said those who accepted his message were baptized "LATER ON". Where in Acts 2:41 does it say later on? It doesn't. Here is the whole verse:
"So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls." (Acts 2:41)
They fail to take into account the context of Acts 2:41. Have we even stopped to ask, "Why were these people baptized?" Or better yet, "What was the message that they received?" When we look back to the context it encompasses the whole chapter. To summarize;
They fallaciously limit the conditions of salvation to "belief" only. What does that mean? I mean, they pick out a few verses in the New Testament that say you have to "believe" to be saved and then conclude that this is all one has to do to be saved. Notice in our quote from them at the top of the page it says, "Receiving (believing) the message is the means by which one is saved". The reason why they say this is to argue that baptism has nothing to do with salvation. Therefore, they limit our response to the Gospel message to simply believing it. But is that what the New Testament actually says? According to this logic I guess we can throw out repentance as having anything to do with salvation too?!?!
They fail to understand the grammatical uses of synecdoches in the New Testament. There are many grammatical devices used in the New Testament (hyperboles, similes, metaphors, antithesis, paradox, appositions, etc...) What is a synecdoche? It is a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa. Here are a few examples:
My point is that Acts 2:41 uses "receive" as a synecdoche for the whole response to the Gospel. I base this further upon the evidence that Luke does the same thing in Acts 3:19 where he only tells the people to repent. If Cross-Examined used their same logical & hermeneutics on Acts 3:19 they would tell us all we need to do is repent to be saved and everything else, including belief, is unnecessary. But if we use proper hermeneutics and understand grammatical devices we can see that Luke is using "repent" is a synecdoche for all the conditions of salvation (belief, confession, repentance, and baptism).
Lesson One. Im teaching through the book "The Question of Canon" by Michael Kruger
When does a new believer in Christ receive the Holy Spirit?
This is my second blog post (first one is here) responding to an article posted by the CrossExamined ministry (click here). Let me preface my blog by saying this
Today I am addressing the article's second point, which is as follows:
"In Acts those who believed Peter’s message clearly received the Holy Spirit before they were baptized. Peter said, “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the holy Spirit even as we have?” (Acts 10:47)."
One good point of hermeneutics is to always check the context of any passage so that we don't misinterpret it. Therefore, let us do some foundation work. The context of Acts 10:
But here is the crux of the matter with Acts 10. And this is literally the most important thing to keep in mind. THE HOLY SPIRIT'S INVOLVEMENT IN ACTS 10:44-47, TO THE HOUSEHOLD OF CORNELIUS, WAS NOT THE PROMISED GIFT THAT ALL CHRISTIANS RECEIVE. How do we know that? Well we need to take a closer look at what actually happened. There are 2 major clues that lead us to this conclusion:
In conclusion, I believe that the episode in Cornelius' house is referring to the Holy Spirit coming upon a group of people in order to give them the ability to do some sort of miraculous sign (speaking in tongues in this instance). But they still had to obey the Gospel by being baptized (10:47) in order to receive forgiveness of sins and the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
Howdyl!! I’m Billy Dyer a Teacher and Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is my blog page. It is focused on “coffee table apologetics”..... continue reading >>
What I'm Reading