Theology · Uncategorized

Baptism in Acts Chapter 8

There are only about three sections in scripture that can be twisted into seemingly supporting the heresy of baptismal regeneration, but the tremendous weight of the entirety of scripture crushes the arguments based on those sections. I will go through the rest of the New Testament, as I have been doing, to demonstrate this. Keeping in mind the greater context of Acts chapter eight, please note the two instances of baptism here are preceded by faith in Jesus. The crowd of people in the first instance was comprised of men and women. The second instance was the individual Ethiopian eunuch of Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians.

In the first instance we read, “But when they believed Philip proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, both men and women.”

(Acts 8:12 Legacy Standard Bible)

12 ὅτε δὲ ἐπίστευσαν τῷ Φιλίππῳ εὐαγγελιζομένῳ περὶ τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ ὀνόματος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἐβαπτίζοντο ἄνδρες τε καὶ γυναῖκες. Acts 8:12

You can see that they believed the good news of what Jesus had accomplished on the cross, that Philip had preached. Then they were baptized. The Greek word is the same one translated as, “faith” in other sections of scripture. The word is, “ἐπίστευσαν.”(episteusan) It means; “to believe, put one’s faith in, trust, with an implication that actions based on that trust may follow; (pass.) entrust”

In Acts 8:25-40 we read about the Ethiopian eunuch coming to the true faith. The eunuch was returning to Ethiopia after visiting Jerusalem to worship. Implying he had believed in God in some fashion, probably in Judaism. It is interesting to note that as a eunuch he would not have been allowed access to the temple, or to become a full proselyte to Judaism. This eunuch was in service to the Queen of Ethiopia as her treasurer, or minister of finance in modern terms. The Bible mentions her as being called Candace. This could very well be a title like Caesar, and not truly her name.

As a wealthy, influential, and powerful convert to Judaism, the eunuch had access to the Jewish scriptures as evidenced by him reading from the scroll of Isaiah in the middle of nowhere on his way back to Ethiopia. One has to wonder what other texts he had access to due to his position. It is also interesting that he didn’t understand what he was reading until the appointed time of God intervening by sending Philip to him via the direction of one of His angels/messengers to preach the good news of Jesus.

The portion of the scroll of Isaiah that the eunuch was reading from was Isaiah chapter fifty three. This section is a prophecy about the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. We read that God extended His grace to the eunuch by directing Philip to preach the Messiah to him. Consequentially, due to his conversion he desired baptism. Then returning to Ethiopia he would have been obedient to Jesus in sharing the same life giving good news to the people he had acquaintance with. Delivering the faith to the people of Ethiopia extended God’s grace to them likewise and providentially. Historically there has been a Christian presence in Ethiopia to this day, despite the influence of the evil Roman church in Europe, and the Antiochians in the east. The eunuch believing what Philip had preached to him about Jesus from the scroll was the impetus of his desire for baptism. God sovereignly arranged for the eunuch to be truly believing, and for him to return to Ethiopia, and spread the faith.


Molinism Seems Silly

I think the inveracity of Molinism can be demonstrated by considering the attributes/perfections of God in relation to each other. Consider the perfect omniscience of God in conjunction with His aseity, and eternality. God has perfect knowledge. He possesses this complete, and unerring knowledge inside of time, and outside of time. He possesses this knowledge eternally. He has never, not known, what He has done. I write in the past tense of what He has done to illustrate that in eternity, His will is already a reality that is not to come, but is actual at the moment of His one word being spoke, but logically preexisted in Him. For us it is like ripples on a calm lake that emanate from a central impetus. This is due to our nature as temporal, finite, creatures. Time unfolds for us here. Eternity is an anthropologically unseen reality without the dimension of time. For us time, and space are connected in a profound way, as we cannot move through one without moving through the other. Consider God’s omnipresence as well. He is present in times, outside of times, and in between times. This last notion demonstrates His hyperdimensionality, and this necessitates God being more than one person, thus Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Trinity). Only one has locus in spacetime, and that is the Son. The Father and the Spirit are both spirit. They do not have physical bodies, and the attribute of simplicity is found in their lack of parts. According to His attribute of aseity, He is perfectly without need, and has always been, is being, and will always be. He is not a created being, but the Creator of all beings that have existed, exist, and will exist. To exist means to come out of nothing, into being. This can only be said of creatures, not God Himself. He is being. To us, the future is uncertain. It hasn’t been actualized yet in temporal existence. We are temporally bound to this existence which will one day be destroyed by God with fire, and remade incorruptible, and will not be destroyed again. Those in Christ will be with Him in eternity. Those outside of Christ will be in Hell, undergoing conscious eternal torment, for all eternity at the hand of God, who is the just judge. Their punishment will bring glory to God by being vessels of His wrath on which His perfect justice is demonstrated. Those in Christ will bring glory to God, by being rescued by the grace of God, demonstrating His mercy.

Molinism is the attempt of the earthly bound mind to fit God into their small diorama of existence, and morality. For them, a God who does not create them with a completely autonomous free will is the author of evil, and a puppet master. This is ludicrous to anyone who has even superficially examined God’s perfections in relation to themselves. That is my overly judgmental opinion, and I understand if you don’t find it amiable.