Not at all. The English translations simply use the word “for.” But what does “for” mean here? That is the question at hand. It seems to me that you are assuming/attributing to the translators a causal meaning for “for.” But as my illustrations were intended to demonstrate, “for,” isn’t always or even usually causal in meaning. Consider again:
The man is a member “for” life. (Here “for” has a temporal meaning.)
The man took the exam “for” his son. (Here “for” means “on behalf of.”)
The man is searching “for” meaning. (Here “for” indicates a purpose.)
The man is leaving “for” Florida. (Here “for” indicates a destination.)
Examples can be multiplied. So when we say, “baptism for the forgiveness of sins,” why do you and others assume the causal meaning such that baptism is the cause of the forgiveness of sins and not, say, the response to having been forgiven?
Sorry, I can’t go down that path. The gospel message is to all persons everywhere and it is God’s will that all would respond.
I agree that the gospel is to be preached to all. This is for two reasons. First, we don’t know who the elect are and so since anyone could potentially be among them we preach to all firm in the knowledge that the Holy Spirit will have mercy on whom He will have mercy. Second, the gospel is not only salvation for the elect, but it is also judgment for the reprobate. The gospel message not only saves, it also hardens–both of which are what God wills to do in his sovereign freedom. Remember, God doesn’t owe mercy to anyone, but only judgment. That he shows mercy to anyone is what makes grace truly amazing.
The Holy Spirit can convict but He cannot compel, at least He does not compel.
Fascinating. This sounds like your tradition is getting in the way of your exegesis. The Holy Spirit can do whatever he wills to do. “So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills” (Romans 9:18).
Whether to follow Christ is a choice made by us exercising our own free will.
Again, your tradition seems to be getting in the way of your exegesis. First, let me simply point out that you will never find the words “free will” in the Bible. Now, depending on what you mean by the those words, you might not even find the concept in the Bible either. So what is “free will?” If by that you mean that man is sovereign in his own salvation, that when push comes to shove it is finally man’s decision to save himself by choosing and/or cooperating with God, then you are gravely mistaken. Please read the gospel of John and prayerfully reconsider. I am confident that you will see that from start to finish it is God’s free decision to save man and that we can only choose God because he has first chosen us (cf, John 1:13; 15:16)
No one can consider Acts 2:38 or 22:16 and give it any meaning other than baptismal regeneration—unless one already has a preconceived belief that baptismal regeneration is untrue.
Quite the opposite, I’m afraid. Only by taking those two passages out of context, both immediate, and biblical can you possibly conclude that baptism is what causes our regeneration. Acts 10:44-48 shows us that people are regenerated before they are baptized. In other words, it is your tradition in favor of baptismal regeneration that is guiding your interpretation of those verses. (At least consider this as a possibility.)
Like I said, the English translators have been rather uniform in their work here.
Uniform in choosing the word “for” to translate eis. But you’re the one that is assuming “for” is causal, not the translators.
A common problem of exegesis is to look at something in scripture and say, “That can’t mean what it seems to say because we know it is not true.” Then we go looking for ways to make it say something else. Perhaps before we go looking for alternative meanings we ought to consider the possibliity that the plain meaning is the real meaning.
Well said. Consider that you may be the one with this problem.