This past evening in our Bible Study we looked at how one becomes a Christian. The topic of Baptism came up as the final step required for salvation. For me this is really one of the first times I have been in a conversation with someone who truly believes in Baptism Regeneration, or the belief that through Baptism we are forgiven of our Sins ( ie. saved ). Our group leader gave a very compelling case for this and had a lot of scriptures to back up this idea. So I must say that as I begin writing this I am seeking out the truth. Yet I do need to preface that I have been taught that Baptism is something that all believers in Christ do out of obedience, and that is the first act of obedience that we should follow. So I will write as I study and see where we end up.
As I muddled over how to tackle studying this I realized we place Baptism into the same framework of thinking as “Which came first the Chicken or the Egg?” The Bible tells us that God created Adam & Eve as well as the animals whole, not as eggs or babies so we can then deduce that it was the Chicken that came first and not the Egg. The Baptism argument is similar to this. It can quickly become a heated discussion about which came first Salvation or Baptism? So what is the Chicken? Is it Salvation or is it Baptism? Some would say it is Salvation, but others say Baptism.
Since I am interested in finding out what the Chicken is I have decided to dig into the scriptures to figure this out. The process I am going to follow is. What did Jesus say regarding Salvation and Baptism? What did Jesus disciples teach regarding Salvation and Baptism? What did Jesus disciples practice regarding Salvation and Baptism? Then finally a review of the conversion accounts found in the New Testament. I want to do a wholistic approach so that I do not pick out specific verses to come to a preconceived conclusion. I desire to find out what the New Testament as a whole teaches regarding salvation and what it teaches about Baptism, regardless of what I have been taught or what I believe.
PS: Maybe I should call this study “What is the Chicken?”
Update: 3/08/2007 – I have gotten myself fairly busy with a lot of studies and activities so it may be a while before I can provide a good write up of my findings on this topic. I have written two more brief outlines of what I believe regarding Baptism and salvation after a few weeks of study. Hopefully at some point in the future I will be able write up the detailed findings of my study.