another one on baptism

I try not to make a habit of posting on the weekend, but I’ve got a question for all of you.

I’ve been talking with a co-worker of late about baptism.  She is a Baptist and honestly, I think, cannot wrap her head around how we in Churches of Christ connect baptism and salvation.  Yesterday, we were talking about Ephesians 2.1-10.  I was attempting to explain how we do not consider baptism to be a “work.”  I’m not sure I was clear, though.

So, here’s the question: how would you explain baptism working from Ephesians 2?  Personal stories also welcome on this one.


4 responses to “another one on baptism

  1. The Mrs is a Baptist so we have plenty of these discussions. When discussing the book of Ephesians and the issue of works I’ve pointed to Ephesians 4:25-27. Paul points out that Christ is the one doing the sanctifying- using the washing of water. I’ve had some success with that. You could say she is almost persuaded.

  2. Errr..make that chapter 5.

  3. I wonder if that is because Baptists see baptism as a mere “ordinance”, a work that has to be done for the good order of the church, but something not connected to salvation because salvation is a free gift.

    On the other hand, Churches of Christ view baptism in a sacramental sense, in which the grace of salvation is imparted to the individual through certain symbolical actions.

    Frankly, it would be hard to suggest avenues for discussion because there are many varieties of Baptists. If she’s not going to be convince by John 3:5, Acts 2:38 or Titus 3:5, I’m not sure what will do it.

    BTW, ya’ll both wrong on the immersion thing.

  4. Baptism is a work, but it is not a meritorious work whereby we earn salvation.

    I love to use the example of the blind man in John 9 to try to help people see the difference. The blind man was healed by God’s grace, but still had to accept his grace by washing in the pool of Siloam. The washing in the pool of Siloam wasn’t a meritorious work. He could have washed 10,000 times and without God’s grace he would have stayed blind. Using the terminology of Eph. 2, his healing wasn’t “of works” so that he could boast, but rather of grace. But, he still had to wash in the pool to receive God’s grace and see.

    In the same way, our baptism isn’t something that earns salvation. We could be baptized 10,000 times and without God’s grace we would still be in our sins. To use the terminology of Eph. 2 again, our salvation is not “of baptism” in the sense of being based on it so that we could boast about it. It’s based on God’s grace! However, just as the blind man had to receive God’s grace by washing, so must we. God’s grace didn’t remove the need for the blind man to wash, and neither does it remove our need for baptism.

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