Questions & Answers
BLUE LETTER BIBLE
The following answer was forwarded to me via e-mail.

Q. "Could you tell me why so many so-called Christians think baptism is not important in their
salvation? Try Acts 2:38: Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus
Christ for the remission of your sins."

A. "Baptism is important because Jesus asked us to be baptized in water to give visible
testimony of the fact that the Holy Spirit has placed us into the Body of Christ — identified us
with Jesus in his death, burial and resurrection. Acts 2:38 does not exactly apply to us today.
Peter was appealing to Israel to step out of their Old Covenant and join the New Covenant
Church which had just come into existence. They already knew lots about God and had ignored
Jesus and all the prophets before him, so Peter is giving them one last clear chance. Not long
after this the Apostles turned to the gentiles, (us) most of whom had never heard of Jesus."
— Lambert Dolphin iambert@ldolphin.org, dolphin@best.com Blue Letter Bible Team Member

These are the questions which I submitted to Mr. Dolphin:

Where did Jesus ask "us to be baptized to give visible testimony that the Holy Spirit has
placed us into the Body of Christ"?

Could you please explain to me the meaning of "for the remission of sins" in Acts 2:38?

Why do you believe that "Acts 2:38 does not exactly apply to us today"?

Could you please explain to me the meaning of Acts 2:39?

Since Mr. Dolphin did not respond to my inquiry, let me answer for him.

Nowhere did Jesus ask "us to be baptized to give visible testimony that the Holy Spirit has
placed us into the Body of Christ."  Jesus baptized people during his ministry (John 4:1-2).
Jesus commanded that his disciples baptize (Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 16:15,16). Baptism as
practiced by his disciples was: a) for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38); b) to wash away sins
(Acts 22:16); e) to put on Christ (Galatians 3:26,27); d) to become without spot, blemish, wrinkle
or any such thing (Ephesians 5:25-27); e) to bury the old man of sin, and raise the new man of
righteousness (Romans 6:1-10); and, f) to save (1 Peter 3:21). We are baptized into the body (1
Corinthians 12:13).

"For the remission of sins" means "in order to obtain remission of sins/'   Eis, the word
translated for, is a preposition indicating direction with verbs of action. The same phrase is
used in Matthew 26:28 were Jesus says his blood was shed "for the remission of sins." Jesus'
blood was shed "in order to obtain the remission of sins," it brought about, or made possible,
the remission of sins. That is what 'tor the remission of sins" means in both instances.

There are two reasons why one would say "Acts 2:38 does not exactly apply to us today": a) they
do not understand the context of Acts 2:38; or, b) they just don't want to. See the answer to the
next question to clarify a).

What does Acts 2:39 mean? "For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all those
who are far off, even as many as the Lord our God will call." The promise of salvation (the
remission of sins) is for the Jews who are present, for the descendants of the Jews,
and to the Gentiles. The promise is to every one who will hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. And,
what does that gospel say about the promise: you need to repent and be baptized for the
remission of sins, or as Jesus said it: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but
he who believes not will be condemned." Both the promise and the commands are the same
for the Jews and the Gentiles (see Acts 10 & 11; Acts 16:25-34; etc.): both were told to believe,
repent, and be baptized.

The internet is a tool that can be used for great good. It is also a tool that can be used for great
harm. There are several churches which have links to BLUE LETTER BIBLE on their websites. I
would think that they might wish to reconsider that link in light of the teaching BLUE LETTER
BIBLE and its staff. Let us spread the truth of the gospel in every way we can; but, let us make
sure that it is the truth that we are spreading.
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