[quote=BOBKAT]First of all baptism is definitely a “symbolic act” John the Baptist states:
John 1:25-26 States : And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizes thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither a prophet? 26- John answered them, saying I baptize with water: but there standees one among you, whom ye know not; JESUS ALONE CAN BAPTIZE AND JESUS IS NOT HERE SO IT IS THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT WHICH IS AT THE MOMENT OF SALVATION.
How do you know Jesus wasn’t there among the crowd? Three verses later we’re told that John saw Jesus coming toward him the next day. Possibly he knew that Jesus was around but hadn’t been able to pick him out in the crowd the day before. There are a bunch of different ways to read it, but you certainly can’t base an argument on the supposition that Jesus wasn’t there and so John is referring to some kind of spiritual Jesus. Go that route, and you will leave us with no real Jesus at all.
[quote=BOBKAT] BAPTISM IS JUST A PICTURE OF WHAT THE SOUL OF THE PERSON IS PUT THROUGH CHRIST’S DEATH , BURIAL , AND RESURRECTION. WHEN A PERSON GET’S SAVED HE IS SPIRITUALLY DEAD WITH CHRIST, BURIED WITH CHRIST AND RISEN WITH CHRIST. IF A SAVED PERSON NEVER GETS BAPTIZED HE STILL GOES TO HEAVEN.
I don’t think anyone is claiming that a repentant and believing person is excluded from heaven because they weren’t baptized. If someone is willing to defend that position, then fine, I’ll back you up . . . .
But this does not prove that baptism is just a symbol. You assert this, but you give no evidence. Baptism with the spirit and baptism with water are not separated in Scripture. Spirit baptism is more than water baptism, but they aren’t in opposition to each other.
One way to put this is that baptism is a sign that (when received with faith) effects what it signifies. Can you accept that?
[quote=BOBKAT] Romans can explain Rom.6:3-4
3 - Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptize into his death? how can we be baptized if Jesus is not, how can we be baptized with Jesus? because is is a symbol of salivation through faith.
I’m not clear on this–presumably you mean because Jesus isn’t being baptized at the same moment we are? But how is that necessary? The point is that our baptism (our real, physical water baptism, which if done as it should be gets us wet all over with real water) unites us to Christ’s death and resurrection. I don’t see how you get anything else out of this passage (well, I do see, because I know how much your tradition has indoctrinated you–I was taught the same stuff).
[quote=BOBKAT] 4- Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
No mention of “just a symbol” here. You’re totally reading this into the text with no justification for doing so. All the evidence indicates that Paul is speaking of regular old water baptism.
That’s the God I worship. He made water. He likes the stuff. Why can’t He use it to unite us to Christ if He wants to? Who are you to tell God that the means He has chosen are too humble?
P.S. I realize that you are answering a family member’s question. I won’t rewrite my post, but bear in mind that I’m addressing the person who made the argument, not you!