Thursday, September 17, 2009

Spirit poured out in Baptism! It is the Washing of regeneration.

Titus 3:4-7 (ESV)
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, [5] he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, [6] whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, [7] so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

This is the answer to our foolishness, we have been baptized. We have had the Holy Spirit poured out on us richly in the washing of regeneration and renewal. If I had a dime for every time I have heard that this is not talking about baptism, I would be a rich man. Problem is, I have never heard anyone tell me what this verse is talking about if it is not talking about baptism. We are saved not by our works, but by the washing of regeneration. Can someone point to another washing Jesus might be talking about here other than Baptism? Why the washing language?
Lutheran’s often don’t realize this, but the Bible is on our side, not on that of the Baptists. Baptists actually have to ignore scripture to come up with their theology. There is a reason us Lutherans are the first to proclaim sola Scriptura. It is a shame that so many Lutherans don’t know scripture well enough to argue effectively with the Baptists, and therefore are led astray by them. But that some are ignorant of the scriptural basis for our theology does not mean that we do not have a scriptural basis for our theology. We do, it is the Baptist who is on shaky ground defending his doctrine on the basis of Scripture, not the Lutheran.


Steve said...

Absolutely right!

Baptism! Water baptism!

They always try and pull the baptism of the H.S. line and seperate it from the water.

Almost every time baptism is mentioned in the N.T. it is connected to water.

We are right, they are wrong.

Sorry, Baptists.

Jonathan said...

It's also interesting how this passage iteself indicts the Baptists' version of baptism as an ineffectual work of righteousness, as they believe it is something that "we do" to show our "obedience."

Why do the anabaptists have such disdain for the sacramental nature of the Eucharist and Holy Baptism, as if God can't really use ordinary elements to impart grace, forgiveness and faith to us poor humans, but yet they do confess other supernatural mysteries of the faith such as the incarnation, the virgin birth, our Lord's miracles, the physical resurrection, and the Holy Trinity? Do they actually find these other mysteries of the faith easier to explain and understnad and therefore somehow more palatable than the Sacraments?

Bror Erickson said...

The other miracles have nothing to do with the Baptists own person. That is the crux. If they are saved by God working through baptism, this leaves nothing more for them to do, it deflates their self-righteousness, and makes them face up to their sinfulness. That is why they can't have forgiveness coming to them objectively through these things. They need to feel better than you.

Jonathan said...

I guess I just don't understand how in our post-modern, consumerist culture the idea of a religion where you don't actually have to "do" anything to be saved because someone else has already done it for you totally for free would not be wildly appealing to consumers (especially in the rapidly developing nanny-state, but I digress.) Maybe it's the idea instilled in us that "there's no such thing as a 'free lunch'." I, for one, do find the notion of sola gratia/sola fide quite liberating!