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  #201  
Old 02-07-2023, 07:12 AM
coksiw coksiw is offline
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Re: Forgiveness or Remission?

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Originally Posted by Costeon View Post
Why has there ever been a debate in this history of the church? If indeed nothing is ambiguous, how have sincere believers disagreed on anything?
Where did you get that information?

From The New Birth by David K. Bernard:
Early post-apostolic Christians affirmed baptism as part of salvation. Latourette remarked, “Baptism was believed to wash away all sins committed before it was administered. After baptism, the Christian was supposed not to sin.”9 He also said, “Baptism seems to have been regarded as requisite for the ‘remission of sins’ and for the new birth through which alone one could enter the Kingdom of God.”10

With respect to baptism in the first and second centuries the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics states, “The dominant ideas were those of forgiveness of sin, regeneration, and the gift of the Holy Spirit . . . The change effected by baptism was attributed to the ‘name’ and to the water, which were regarded as actually effective and not merely symbolic.”11 According to Heick, the postapostolic fathers (AD 90-140) taught that “baptism confers the forgiveness of sins.”12 For example, this was the teaching in the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas. For the Greek Apologists (AD 130-180) baptism was “a washing of forgiveness and a regeneration.”13 They said it “brings pardon and the new life, and is therefore necessary to salvation.”14

Other early theologians who taught that God remits sins at water baptism were Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Origen, Tertullian, and Augustine.15 Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, and Cyprian specifically described water baptism as the birth of the water in John 3:5, and Hippolytus and Cyprian identified water baptism as the laver of regeneration in Titus 3:5. The Constitutions of the Holy Apostles paraphrases John 3:5 as, “Except a man be baptized of water and of the Spirit, he shall by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven.”16

Tertullian taught that at water baptism the believer has his sins washed away, is born in water, and is prepared for the Holy Spirit.17 He believed that John’s baptism pointed towards future remission of sins and that Christ’s disciples continued John’s baptism during Christ’s earthly ministry. He described baptism as a seal of faith that is necessary to salvation, stating that John 3:5 “has tied faith to the necessity of baptism.”
These men and writings represent many different theological factions, and we do not endorse all of their doctrines; nevertheless it is interesting to see that all agreed on the necessity of baptism. Third-century controversies over heretic baptisms demonstrate that all Christendom of the time agreed that “there can be only one baptism, and that this baptism is essential to salvation.”18

9Latourette, I, 135.
10Ibid., p. 194.
11“Baptism (Early Christian),” ERE, II, 389.
12Heick, I, 54; see Klotsche, pp. 20-21, 99.
13Heick, I, 62.
14Ibid; see Klotsche, p. 27.
15Heick, I, 62, 122, 129, 135; “Baptism (Early Christian),” ERE, II, 385. For further documentation of this paragraph see ANF, I, 444 & 574; ANF, III, 674-75; ANF, V, 237, 276, & 378.
16Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, 6.3.15, ANF, VII, 457.
17Tertullian, On Baptism, ANF, III, 669-679.
18“Baptism (Early Christian),” ERE, II, 391.

There was not "debate", the understand was clear, generally speaking, and reflected on writing.

Last edited by coksiw; 02-07-2023 at 07:17 AM.
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  #202  
Old 02-07-2023, 12:21 PM
Costeon Costeon is offline
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Re: Forgiveness or Remission?

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Originally Posted by Esaias View Post
Perhaps if you had the habit of following up with those who respond to your posts, then they would be more inclined to follow up with you.

Just a thought.
Unfortunately I don't have the hours you apparently do every day to respond in detail to multiple posts or to every point that is raised, and I may forget to respond at times as well. But your reply, however, seems to be just a clever dodge to avoid answering a yes/no question. Why don't you want to admit that you don't believe that tongues is the sign of the birth of the Spirit? You surely don't believe tongues is the sign based on what you've said about baptism.
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  #203  
Old 02-07-2023, 12:34 PM
Costeon Costeon is offline
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Re: Forgiveness or Remission?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coksiw View Post
Where did you get that information?

From The New Birth by David K. Bernard:
Early post-apostolic Christians affirmed baptism as part of salvation. Latourette remarked, “Baptism was believed to wash away all sins committed before it was administered. After baptism, the Christian was supposed not to sin.”9 He also said, “Baptism seems to have been regarded as requisite for the ‘remission of sins’ and for the new birth through which alone one could enter the Kingdom of God.”10

With respect to baptism in the first and second centuries the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics states, “The dominant ideas were those of forgiveness of sin, regeneration, and the gift of the Holy Spirit . . . The change effected by baptism was attributed to the ‘name’ and to the water, which were regarded as actually effective and not merely symbolic.”11 According to Heick, the postapostolic fathers (AD 90-140) taught that “baptism confers the forgiveness of sins.”12 For example, this was the teaching in the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas. For the Greek Apologists (AD 130-180) baptism was “a washing of forgiveness and a regeneration.”13 They said it “brings pardon and the new life, and is therefore necessary to salvation.”14

Other early theologians who taught that God remits sins at water baptism were Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Origen, Tertullian, and Augustine.15 Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, and Cyprian specifically described water baptism as the birth of the water in John 3:5, and Hippolytus and Cyprian identified water baptism as the laver of regeneration in Titus 3:5. The Constitutions of the Holy Apostles paraphrases John 3:5 as, “Except a man be baptized of water and of the Spirit, he shall by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven.”16

Tertullian taught that at water baptism the believer has his sins washed away, is born in water, and is prepared for the Holy Spirit.17 He believed that John’s baptism pointed towards future remission of sins and that Christ’s disciples continued John’s baptism during Christ’s earthly ministry. He described baptism as a seal of faith that is necessary to salvation, stating that John 3:5 “has tied faith to the necessity of baptism.”
These men and writings represent many different theological factions, and we do not endorse all of their doctrines; nevertheless it is interesting to see that all agreed on the necessity of baptism. Third-century controversies over heretic baptisms demonstrate that all Christendom of the time agreed that “there can be only one baptism, and that this baptism is essential to salvation.”18

9Latourette, I, 135.
10Ibid., p. 194.
11“Baptism (Early Christian),” ERE, II, 389.
12Heick, I, 54; see Klotsche, pp. 20-21, 99.
13Heick, I, 62.
14Ibid; see Klotsche, p. 27.
15Heick, I, 62, 122, 129, 135; “Baptism (Early Christian),” ERE, II, 385. For further documentation of this paragraph see ANF, I, 444 & 574; ANF, III, 674-75; ANF, V, 237, 276, & 378.
16Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, 6.3.15, ANF, VII, 457.
17Tertullian, On Baptism, ANF, III, 669-679.
18“Baptism (Early Christian),” ERE, II, 391.

There was not "debate", the understand was clear, generally speaking, and reflected on writing.
I was speaking more broadly about theological debates in general. There would be no debates if everything in Scripture could only be understood in one way.

Neither you nor Bernard believe like the writers you just quoted. They all believed that the regeneration of the Spirit occurred in baptism along with the forgiveness of sins. They did not believe that forgiveness occurred at baptism and the regeneration of the Spirit or the birth of the Spirit or being raised from the dead by the Spirit (or however else we might describe the new life we receive from the Spirit in salvation) occurred at another moment and the sign of this is speaking in tongues. Separating forgiveness and the new birth of the Spirit into two distinct experiences that occur at different times was an innovation by some Oneness Pentecostals in the early part of the 20th century.
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  #204  
Old 02-07-2023, 02:31 PM
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Esaias Esaias is offline
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Re: Forgiveness or Remission?

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Originally Posted by Costeon View Post
Unfortunately I don't have the hours you apparently do every day to respond in detail to multiple posts or to every point that is raised, and I may forget to respond at times as well. But your reply, however, seems to be just a clever dodge to avoid answering a yes/no question. Why don't you want to admit that you don't believe that tongues is the sign of the birth of the Spirit? You surely don't believe tongues is the sign based on what you've said about baptism.
Ah yes, the old "I ask the questions, but I don't have time to answer them" cavil.
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  #205  
Old 02-07-2023, 03:34 PM
Costeon Costeon is offline
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Re: Forgiveness or Remission?

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Originally Posted by Esaias View Post
Ah yes, the old "I ask the questions, but I don't have time to answer them" cavil.
LOL!

"Cavil" good word!
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  #206  
Old 02-07-2023, 05:28 PM
coksiw coksiw is offline
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Re: Forgiveness or Remission?

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Originally Posted by Costeon View Post
I was speaking more broadly about theological debates in general. There would be no debates if everything in Scripture could only be understood in one way.

Neither you nor Bernard believe like the writers you just quoted. They all believed that the regeneration of the Spirit occurred in baptism along with the forgiveness of sins. They did not believe that forgiveness occurred at baptism and the regeneration of the Spirit or the birth of the Spirit or being raised from the dead by the Spirit (or however else we might describe the new life we receive from the Spirit in salvation) occurred at another moment and the sign of this is speaking in tongues. Separating forgiveness and the new birth of the Spirit into two distinct experiences that occur at different times was an innovation by some Oneness Pentecostals in the early part of the 20th century.
The burden of proof is on you. Go ahead, show historical conclusive evidences.
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  #207  
Old 02-07-2023, 07:48 PM
Costeon Costeon is offline
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Re: Forgiveness or Remission?

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Originally Posted by coksiw View Post
The burden of proof is on you. Go ahead, show historical conclusive evidences.
Actually it's not. This is so thoroughly established historically that the burden would be on you to show they did not believe the Spirit was given in baptism.

But, we could start with one of your own quotes: "With respect to baptism in the first and second centuries the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics states, “The dominant ideas were those of forgiveness of sin, regeneration, and the gift of the Holy Spirit . . ."

Baptism was thought to save because it was there that the Holy Spirit was conferred. You do not believe that. The common Oneness Pentecostal view is that you can be baptized and have all your sins forgiven and removed from your record but still be lost and going to hell if you haven't spoken tongues yet. You don't believe that you rise up from the water forgiven, regenerated by the Spirit, and thus saved. These early writers did.

Hermas: "Explain to me a little further, sir, I said. What is it that you desire? he asked. Why, sir, I said, did these stones ascend out of the pit, and be applied to the building of the tower, after having borne these spirits? They were obliged, he answered, to ascend through water in order that they might be made alive; for, unless they laid aside the deadness of their life, they could not in any other way enter into the kingdom of God. Accordingly, those also who fell asleep received the seal of the Son of God. For, he continued, before a man bears the name of the Son of God he is dead; but when he receives the seal he lays aside his deadness, and obtains life. The seal, then, is the water: they descend into the water dead, and they arise alive. And to them, accordingly, was this seal preached, and they made use of it that they might enter into the kingdom of God."
https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/02013.htm

Justin Martyr: "I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ; lest, if we omit this, we seem to be unfair in the explanation we are making. As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, “Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0126.htm

Irenaeus: "And when we come to refute them, we shall show in its fitting-place, that this class of men have been instigated by Satan to a denial of that baptism which is regeneration to God."
https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103121.htm

Irenaeus: "For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions; being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: “Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0134.htm

Theophilus of Antioch: "Moreover, the things proceeding from the waters were blessed by God, that this also might be a sign of men's being destined to receive repentance and remission of sins, through the water and laver of regeneration — as many as come to the truth, and are born again, and receive blessing from God."
https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/02042.htm

Cyprian of Carthage: "While I was still lying in darkness and gloomy night, wavering hither and there, tossed about on the foam of this boastful age, and uncertain of my wandering steps, knowing nothing of my real life, and remote from truth and light, I used to regard it as a difficult matter, and especially as difficult in respect of my character at that time, that a man should be capable of being born again — a truth which the divine mercy had announced for my salvation — and that a man quickened to a new life in the laver of saving water should be able to put off what he had previously been; and, although retaining all his bodily structure, should be himself changed in heart and soul."
https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/050601.htm

Aphrahat: "Remember the warning that the Apostle gives us:— Grieve not the Holy Spirit whereby you have been sealed unto the day of redemption. For from baptism do we receive the Spirit of Christ. For in that hour in which the priests invoke the Spirit, the heavens open and it descends and moves upon the waters. Genesis 1:2 And those that are baptized are clothed in it; for the Spirit stays aloof from all that are born of the flesh, until they come to the new birth by water, and then they receive the Holy Spirit. For in the first birth they are born with an animal souls which is created within man and is not thereafter subject to death, as he said:— Adam became a living soul. Genesis 2:7 But in the second birth, that through baptism, they received the Holy Spirit from a particle of the Godhead, and it is not again subject to death."
https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/370106.htm

Cyril of Jerusalem: " This is in truth a serious matter, brethren, and you must approach it with good heed. Each one of you is about to be presented to God before tens of thousands of the Angelic Hosts: the Holy Ghost is about to seal your souls: you are to be enrolled in the army of the Great King. Therefore make you ready, and equip yourselves, by putting on I mean, not bright apparel , but piety of soul with a good conscience. Regard not the Laver as simple water, but rather regard the spiritual grace that is given with the water. . . .
" For since man is of twofold nature, soul and body, the purification also is twofold, the one incorporeal for the incorporeal part, and the other bodily for the body: the water cleanses the body, and the Spirit seals the soul; that we may draw near unto God, having our heart sprinkled by the Spirit, and our body washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 When going down, therefore, into the water, think not of the bare element, but look for salvation by the power of the Holy Ghost: for without both you can not possibly be made perfect. . . .
"For you go down into the water, bearing your sins, but the invocation of grace , having sealed your soul, suffers you not afterwards to be swallowed up by the terrible dragon. Having gone down dead in sins, you come up quickened in righteousness. For if you have been united with the likeness of the Saviour's death Romans 6:5, you shall also be deemed worthy of His Resurrection. For as Jesus took upon Him the sins of the world, and died, that by putting sin to death He might rise again in righteousness; so thou by going down into the water, and being in a manner buried in the waters, as He was in the rock, art raised again walking in newness of life."
https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310103.htm

Augustine: "And this is the meaning of the great sacrament of baptism which is solemnized among us, that all who attain to this grace should die to sin, as He is said to have died to sin, because He died in the flesh, which is the likeness of sin; and rising from the font regenerate, as He arose alive from the grave, should begin a new life in the Spirit, whatever may be the age of the body?"
https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1302.htm

Your challenge will be to produce evidence before the rise of the modern Oneness Pentecostal movement of people dividing forgiveness from the regeneration of the Spirit into two separate experiences occurring at different times with the regeneration of the Spirit occurring only when someone speaks in tongues. I'm pretty sure you will not find any. I don't mean finding evidence of people speaking in tongues but who explicitly say this is the new birth of the Spirit.
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  #208  
Old 02-09-2023, 10:20 AM
Costeon Costeon is offline
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Re: Forgiveness or Remission?

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Originally Posted by Esaias View Post
1. The Bible connects water baptism and remission of sins directly, by direct plain statements.
I agree.

Quote:
2. The Bible nowhere makes the same type of connection between receiving the Spirit and remission, in the same way.
I do not agree.

Paul does so explicitly, for example, in Col 2.13-14: "And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands."

Paul explicitly says that God made us alive having forgiven us, that is, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us. Paul directly connects being given new life by the Spirit with being forgiven. In addition, we can easily see the logic of this, that these things necessarily occur at the same time. If our trespasses are what made us dead, then we cannot come alive when what made us dead still remains. When what made us dead is removed, the Spirit at once makes us alive.

Paul makes the same point in Eph 2.4-5, 8: "4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved. . . . 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith."

We were dead in trespasses, but God made us alive. Obviously this is parallel to Col 2.13-14, so what I said there including the logic of it all applies here too.

Paul also adds here that, when they were raised to life from being dead in trespasses, this meant that they were saved--saved by his grace through their faith. To be saved, that is to be "in him," by definition means to be both forgiven and to have the Spirit. (See Eph 1.7 and 1.13.) You can't be said to be saved by grace through faith if one of those essential elements is lacking, so when he describes them as having been raised to life and so saved, this necessarily means they had also been forgiven.

Quote:
3. To connect receiving the Spirit to remission one has to do so indirectly, by a series of assumptions, which are not spelled out as clearly as the situation with number 1 above.
I have shown that they are directly connected and logically required.

I would add another example that shows that receiving the Spirit and being forgiven cannot logically be separated.

In 2 Thes 2.13, Paul says we were saved “through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.” Being forgiven cannot be separated in time from the initial work of sanctification received in salvation. To be sanctified is to be made holy and set apart for God. This obviously must include the removal our our sins. We can’t be holy in God’s sight when what had made us unholy in his sight, our sin, remains. In 1 Cor 6.11, Paul says that, when we were saved, we were washed and sanctified in the name of Jesus and by the Spirit of God, that is, we were cleansed of sin and made holy, and as a result, we were justified, that is, declared righteous before God because we’re now forgiven and holy in his sight. Again, we can’t be cleansed and made holy by the Holy Spirit while what had polluted us and made us unholy before God, our sin, remains.

In short, forgiveness and the regenerating, sanctifying work of the Spirit must occur simultaneously. Scripture says they do, and logic recognizes that they must.

Quote:
4. Those assumptions include some that are not necessary inferences. That lack of necessary inferences makes the teaching (no. 2, Spirit and remission) essentially a speculative "what if?" scenario.
I have shown that connecting forgiveness with the Spirit is not an assumption and is also logically required, and so it is not a “what if” scenario.

Quote:
5. Speculative what ifism cannot be the basis of anything sound or authoritative.
Agreed

Quote:
Therefore, it would be perfectly reasonable to reject such a thing.
But since I have shown this is not a speculative "what ifism," we cannot reasonably reject it.

Quote:
I understand what you are saying, but I think you are basically assuming too many things to be true, in order to support the claim that remission of sins is a requirement to be met prior to or synonymously with receiving the Spirit. And I just don't see such claims being made by Jesus or the apostles.
If people did not receive the gift of the Spirit with the sign of tongues before baptism, that is, if they were not born of the Spirit/raised from the dead by the Spirit/regenerated by the Spirit before baptism, I would agree with you that baptism is what effects the forgiveness of sins. But since people constantly do receive new life from the Spirit before baptism, I do not believe that baptism can be what effects forgiveness.

I have given some of the reasons why I think it is unscriptural and logically impossible for forgiveness to occur at a different time from receiving new life in the Spirit. If forgiveness cannot be separated from the Spirit and the Spirit can be received before baptism, then baptism can’t be what effects forgiveness. What comes after can’t effect what comes before. Obviously.
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  #209  
Old 02-10-2023, 12:22 AM
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Re: Forgiveness or Remission?

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Originally Posted by Costeon View Post
Why has there ever been a debate in this history of the church? If indeed nothing is ambiguous, how have sincere believers disagreed on anything?
First, I never said "nothing is ambiguous", rather I pointed to what Simon Peter wrote about baptism under inspiration as being clear. Second, much of the debate in history regarding the Scriptures is just as easily chalked up to flesh and ignorance. I wouldn't go alleging that the Scriptures aren't written in a clear, direct, ready to understand, so easy a child can receive them and be saved kind of way.

Quote:
The birth of the Spirit is essential to salvation (John 3.5). I'll ask you what I asked Esaias: Do you believe that the birth of the Spirit occurs automatically in baptism and is not accompanied with the sign of tongues?
I don't see the word "salvation" in John 3:5. Do you? I also don't see the phrase "the sign of tongues" there, either. Do you?
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Old 02-10-2023, 12:27 AM
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Re: Forgiveness or Remission?

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Originally Posted by Costeon View Post
I agree.



I do not agree.

Paul does so explicitly, for example, in Col 2.13-14: "And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands."

Paul explicitly says that God made us alive having forgiven us, that is, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us. Paul directly connects being given new life by the Spirit with being forgiven. In addition, we can easily see the logic of this, that these things necessarily occur at the same time. If our trespasses are what made us dead, then we cannot come alive when what made us dead still remains. When what made us dead is removed, the Spirit at once makes us alive.

Paul makes the same point in Eph 2.4-5, 8: "4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved. . . . 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith."

We were dead in trespasses, but God made us alive. Obviously this is parallel to Col 2.13-14, so what I said there including the logic of it all applies here too.

Paul also adds here that, when they were raised to life from being dead in trespasses, this meant that they were saved--saved by his grace through their faith. To be saved, that is to be "in him," by definition means to be both forgiven and to have the Spirit. (See Eph 1.7 and 1.13.) You can't be said to be saved by grace through faith if one of those essential elements is lacking, so when he describes them as having been raised to life and so saved, this necessarily means they had also been forgiven.



I have shown that they are directly connected and logically required.

I would add another example that shows that receiving the Spirit and being forgiven cannot logically be separated.

In 2 Thes 2.13, Paul says we were saved “through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.” Being forgiven cannot be separated in time from the initial work of sanctification received in salvation. To be sanctified is to be made holy and set apart for God. This obviously must include the removal our our sins. We can’t be holy in God’s sight when what had made us unholy in his sight, our sin, remains. In 1 Cor 6.11, Paul says that, when we were saved, we were washed and sanctified in the name of Jesus and by the Spirit of God, that is, we were cleansed of sin and made holy, and as a result, we were justified, that is, declared righteous before God because we’re now forgiven and holy in his sight. Again, we can’t be cleansed and made holy by the Holy Spirit while what had polluted us and made us unholy before God, our sin, remains.

In short, forgiveness and the regenerating, sanctifying work of the Spirit must occur simultaneously. Scripture says they do, and logic recognizes that they must.



I have shown that connecting forgiveness with the Spirit is not an assumption and is also logically required, and so it is not a “what if” scenario.



Agreed



But since I have shown this is not a speculative "what ifism," we cannot reasonably reject it.



If people did not receive the gift of the Spirit with the sign of tongues before baptism, that is, if they were not born of the Spirit/raised from the dead by the Spirit/regenerated by the Spirit before baptism, I would agree with you that baptism is what effects the forgiveness of sins. But since people constantly do receive new life from the Spirit before baptism, I do not believe that baptism can be what effects forgiveness.

I have given some of the reasons why I think it is unscriptural and logically impossible for forgiveness to occur at a different time from receiving new life in the Spirit. If forgiveness cannot be separated from the Spirit and the Spirit can be received before baptism, then baptism can’t be what effects forgiveness. What comes after can’t effect what comes before. Obviously.
Whether or not you realize it, you're simply shifting the remission of sins from water baptism, to Spirit baptism.

You could just as easily argue that remission of sins is only effected by the blood of Jesus, based on Matthew 26:28. But a more holistic approach is best:

1 John 5:6-7 (ESV),

Quote:
6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.
There are three elements, for lack of a better word, that agree, or come together, in the life of a believer:

1.) The Spirit
2.) The Water
3.) The Blood

All three are involved in granting remission of sins. And there is ample proof of all three of these elements being received in baptism.
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