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Debate: Cornelius and Baptism

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  • Debate: Cornelius and Baptism

    Round One
    Topic: Was Cornelius (and those with him) saved only after they were baptized in water or were they saved when they received the Holy Spirit before being baptized in water?





    Trist will defend the affirmative.
    Faber will defend the negative.

    The participants have requested that the debate consists of 5 rounds, rather than 3, and I have agreed.

    Trist you have 48 hours to make your first post.

    No one is allow to post comments until the debate is finished.

  • #2
    Justification for baptism being necessary for salvation.

    Cornelius the Centurion and his household were most certainly saved (at that time) through water baptism.
    [These bullet points are in chronological order in accordance to Acts 10 KJV]

    1. "There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band. A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always." (Acts 10:1-2 KJV)

    We see that he and his household are devout and God fearing.


    2. "And when he looked on him he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God." (Acts 10:4 KJV)

    An angel of the Lord spoke unto Cornelius that his devout prayer has been heard, and that because of his good report he will be used as a memorial before God.


    3. "And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee." (Acts 10:22 KJV)

    Another good report of Cornelius; he is a man of good heart. God has sent him and his household to hear the words of Peter. (IMPORTANT: Warned to HEAR the words of Peter)


    4. "And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshiped him." (Acts 10:25 KJV)

    Interesting, what is the second commandment of the 613 Jewish Mitzvot? (The commandments traditionally accepted by the Jews) It is “You shall have no other gods before me.” To have had a good report of the nation of the Jews and be chosen by God for a special purpose and to do this should make it quite obvious that Cornelius knows little to nothing of God’s doctrine being that his prayers were heard.

    For it is written in Proverbs 28:9 KJV, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.”

    Matthew 3:10 KJV even says plainly, “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

    Yet it was written in Acts 10:31 KJV "And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God."


    5. "Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God." (Acts 10:33 KJV)

    To HEAR ALL THINGS that are commanded thee of God.

    It was said in 1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV, “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”

    And was also spoken by Jesus in Matthew 28:19 KJV, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”


    6. "But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." (Acts 10:35 KJV)

    This does not mean saved. If being accepted with him meant saved then all of the Jews prior to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ were saved because the Jews were accepted with him. They were his chosen people. This statement stands to make clear that the Gentiles may also partake in the inheritance of eternal salvation.


    7. "That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." (Acts 10:37-38 KJV)

    The word started with the baptism of John, and was well known to all of the Jews.


    8. "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." (Acts 10:43 KJV)

    If a person were to believe in him, they would go and receive the remission of sins.

    It was said earlier in this book of Acts:

    Acts 2:38 KJV: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

    And soon after in Acts 2:40-41 KJV, “With many other words he testified, and he urged them, "Be saved from this corruption generation." Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

    If you believe, you will be baptized.

    More evidence in Acts 18:8 KJV: “Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized.”


    9. "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 10:44-45 KJV)

    Before Peter had even spoke the words, the Holy Ghost fell on all of them. (Who afterwards heard the word.)

    The next chapter is Peter’s recount of the event which confirms this by saying in Acts 11:15 KJV, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.”

    Remember, Cornelius does not have faith yet. He truly has nothing to have faith in other than the concept of there being a God. (As stated in my fourth point) He did not even express the fundamental knowledge written in the book of James, brother of Jesus (James 2:19 KJV)—exhibited by his worship of Peter—which said:

    “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”


    10. "For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commended them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days." (Acts 10:46-68 KJV)

    Peter sums up the arguments against baptism in two verses. No man can forbid that even those who have received the Holy Ghost be baptized, because they should.

    It is written in 2 Peter 3:9 KJV, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

    The Lord gives us adequate time in our lives to come to his promise of repentance so that we may not perish. The promise of repentance is the holy covenant of baptism, as it is written only a verse after Acts 2:38 KJV, in Acts 2:39 KJV:

    “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”


    Conclusion and closing thoughts:

    Cornelius and his household received the Holy Ghost prior to ever having faith. The Lord sent Cornelius to HEAR the gospel, but the Spirit was upon him before ever having done this. Why would the Lord send Cornelius to HEAR the gospel if he’d already been saved, and how can one contradict all of God’s instructions on salvation in the gospel and still be saved? They cannot.
    Baptism is as necessary for surviving perdition as the Ark was for Noah. (Remember, Noah was on the waters for forty days and forty nights, and he sent forth a dove. Likewise, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus Christ in the form of a dove where he immediately went and fasted forty days and forty nights…)

    Many of you that read this may not see baptism as necessary, yet call unto the Lord and even partake in communion at church. I warn you with a good heart with the words of Jesus Christ in Luke 13:23-28 KJV who is speaking to self-proclaimed followers:

    “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us (P.S. This is a reference to the Ark of Noah); and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.”



    For those who say baptism is a work, it is not, but it is an act of faith according to 1 Peter 3:20-21 KJV which said:

    “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"



    Does baptism alone save oneself? No

    Matthew 24:13 KJV “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”



    Can you be saved without baptism? Perhaps, but highly unlikely to happen, and Cornelius was no exception.

    Matthew 19:26 KJV “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    Baptism is of God though, so that is why I say “Perhaps.”



    To say that baptism is not necessary for salvation is to blaspheme against the Holy Ghost

    Matthew 12:31-32 KJV “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”



    To say that baptism is not necessary for salvation is to disobey the will of the Father, who gave John the task of preaching baptism for the repentance of sins, as did Jesus Christ.

    Matthew 7:21 KJV “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

    Matthew 20:22-23 KJV “But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.”

    Matthew 28:19-20 KJV “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

    Amen.
    Last edited by Trist; 06-11-2017, 12:55 AM.
    Comment>

    • #3
      Thank you Trist.
      Faber you 48 hours to reply.


      No one is allow to post comments until the debate is finished.
      Comment>

      • #4

        First, I want to thank Trist for debating this topic with me as well as Origen for setting it up.

        Trist asserted that "Before Peter had even spoke the words, the Holy Ghost fell on all of them. (Who afterwards heard the word.)"
        This is a serious misunderstanding of Acts 11:15 which I will address from the beginning.
        Acts 11:15
        And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning. (NASB)
        Before getting into the technical aspects of this verse a modern day example will demonstrate that "began" ought to be understood more freely than what Trist allows.
        If my preacher was describing to me a previous sermon by saying, "As I began to preach the Holy Spirit convicted the congregation" it would be perfectly plausible to believe that he was emphasizing the abruptness of the Holy Spirit's conviction. What my preacher said during his sermon was secondary. He wanted to underscore what the Holy Spirit did more than what he preached on. The same holds true with Luke's record of Peter's defense in Acts 11. Luke does not repeat everything that Peter said in Acts 10 but instead he focused on what the Holy Spirit accomplished.
        Scholarly sources:
        1. George Abbot-Smith: (a) absol.,...(b) relatively...Acts 11:15 (A Manuel Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, page 62)
        2. Ernst Haenchen: Luke presents it in this way because then the coming of the Spirit has even more unexpected and decisive effect. The speech in Chapter 11 is comprehensible only to the readers of the book, not to Peter's audience in Jerusalem (The Acts of the Apostles, page 355)
        3. Simon Kistemaker: The words as I began to speak should not be taken literally but rather figuratively. What Peter intends to convey is that he had only begun to preach an outline of Christ's gospel and that in the succeeding days of his visit he continued to explain the way of salvation to his Gentile audience. Hence, at the outset of his stay the Holy Spirit descended upon Cornelius and his household. The outpouring of the Spirit on the Jews in Jerusalem was a major event in the history of the church. Now Peter explains that the Gentiles also have received the gift of the Spirit. Accordingly, the Christian church now consists of Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles (Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles, page 413).
        4. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Often used also, not for the absolute beginning, but, relatively, for the starting-point of some important movement (1 John 2:7, 24; Acts 11:15; Philippians 4:15, Begin, H. E. Jacobs).
        Begin - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
        5. Robert Jamieson, Andrew Robert Fausset, and David Brown: And as I began to speak - in point of fact, it was not until he was closing his address; but the apostle's design was to intimate how quickly, as cause and effect, the one was followed by the other.
        Acts 11 Commentary - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Unabridged Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
        Finally, one should note Peter's words in reference to what took place with Cornelius and the Gentiles with him as found in Acts 15:7-9.
        Acts 15:7 - These Gentiles did indeed "hear the word of the gospel" in which they "believed."
        Acts 15:8 - Based on their belief the omniscient God gave them the Holy Spirit.
        Acts 15:9 - Thus their hearts were cleansed by faith.
        And we know they must have heard the gospel because "faith cometh by hearing" (Romans 10:17).

        Trist also asserted that: Baptism is as necessary for surviving perdition as the Ark was for Noah.
        Noah was inside the Ark and then the flood came (Luke 17:27). Likewise, Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were inside of Christ (their "Ark") before the waters of baptism came (Acts 10:44-48).
        13. The Typology of the Ark.


        Acts 10:44-48
        (44) While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.
        (45) All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
        (46) For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered,
        (47) “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?”
        (48) And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days. (NASB)

        Acts 10:44 - Fell
        The fact that the Holy Spirit "fell upon" Cornelius and the Gentiles with him demonstrates they are now saved.
        1. Simon Kistemaker: In the house of Cornelius, Peter once more observes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But now the Spirit descends on Gentiles and thereby indicates that the Gentiles are part of the church and on equal footing with the Jewish Christians (Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles, page 399).

        Acts 10:44 - Poured
        The fact that the Holy Spirit had been "poured out" upon Cornelius and the Gentiles with him demonstrates they are now saved.
        1. NIDNTT: God's love is "poured out" in the hearts of believers (Rom. 5:5), and this has been done by the bestowal of the Holy Spirit, who is several times said, following Joel 2:28-29, to have been "poured" upon those who receive Christ (Acts 2:17-18, 33; 10:45; Tit. 3:6) (2:855, Pour, R. T. France).

        Acts 10:45 - Gift
        The fact that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him had received "the gift of the Holy Spirit" demonstrates they are now saved.
        1. TDNT: The very same gift of the greatest thing that man can receive, the gift of the Holy Spirit, accomplishes and bears witness to the equality of the recipients before God, and establishes the unity of the Church (3:349, isos, Stahlin).

        Acts 10:46 - Worshiping God in the Spirit
        The fact that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were worshiping God in the Spirit demonstrates they were saved.
        1. NIDNTT: When later in Caesarea the first pagans received the Holy Spirit and became members of the church, they also shared in the grace of worshipping and praising God "in other tongues", as again later the disciples of John the Baptist who became believers in Ephesus (Acts 10:46; 19:6) (3:1080, Word, H. Haarbeck).
        By possessing the Holy Spirit and magnifying God Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were Christians in that they belonged to "the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3; cf. Colossians 2:11). Indeed, since they were "praying in the Holy Spirit" they were building themselves up on their "most holy faith" (Jude 1:20). Only Christians belong to the most holy faith.

        Acts 10:47 - Receive
        The fact that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him had received the Holy Spirit demonstrates they are now saved.
        1. TDNT: Reception of the pneuma distinguishes Christians from the world (Jn. 14:17) and so unequivocally constitutes them Christians that (in Ac.) the answer to the question whether there has been reception of the Spirit determines absolutely whether a man is a Christian or not (Ac. 10:47; 19:2) (4:7, lambanō, Delling).

        Acts 11:15-17
        (15) “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning.
        (16) “And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
        (17) “Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” (NASB)

        Acts 11:15 - Fell
        The fact that the Holy Spirit "fell upon" Cornelius and the Gentiles with him demonstrates they are now saved.
        1. Citing Acts 11:15 the NIDNTT reads: the Spirit was the eschatological gift par excellence, and possession of the Spirit would be the mark of one who belonged to the messianic community of the last days (3:699, Spirit, James Dunn).

        Acts 11:16 - The baptism with the Holy Spirit
        The fact that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were baptized with the Holy Spirit demonstrates they are now saved.
        1. Robert H. Stein: This "baptism of the Spirit" comes upon every believer at Pentecost in fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32 (Acts 2:1 ff.) and is promised to all who will become Christians (Acts 2:38-39).
        The Spirit's presence is the single most distinctive mark of the Christian. Cornelius's possession of the Spirit was proof that God had accepted him and the other Gentile believers into full membership in the church despite their uncircumcised status (Acts 10-11). Thus circumcision could not be required of Gentile believers because the gift of the Spirit witnesses to God's acceptance of them in their uncircumcised state. As a result Peter baptized Cornelius (10:44-48), the church recognized that God had granted repentance to the Gentiles (i.e., that God had accepted believing Gentiles apart from circumcision [11:17-18]), and the church concluded that nothing more was needed of Gentiles but to live in faith and to be sensitive with respect to various Jewish traditions (15:12-21). If the question arose about whether someone was a Christian, this could be addressed by a simple but definitive question, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" (19:2) (The New American Commentary: Luke, Robert H. Stein, page 48, part 3 under "The Holy Spirit ").
        The following terms synonymously describe what the Holy Spirit does only once to a person being saved/entering the NT Church (the filling of the Holy Spirit can occur again, Acts 9:17; Acts 13:9).[*1] Those in Acts 2:4 were already saved but it was this event that placed them into the NT Church.
        a. Fell (Acts 8:16; 10:44; 11:15)
        b. Poured (Acts 10:45; Romans 5:5; Titus 3:6)
        c. Received (John 7:39; 14:17; 20:22;[*2] Acts 1:8; 2:38; 8:15, 17, 19; 10:47; 19:2; Romans 8:15; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 3:2, 14)
        d. Baptized (Acts 1:5; 11:16[*3]; Romans 6:3; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 4:5[*4]; Colossians 2:12)
        e. Filled (Acts 2:4[*5]; 11:17; 15:8)
        f. Given (Luke 11:13; Acts 5:32; 8:18; 11:17; 15:8; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 1 Thessalonians 4:8; 1 John 4:13)
        g. Obtain (Acts 8:20)
        h. Came (eperchomai in Acts 1:8 and erchomai in Acts 19:6)
        i. Begun (Galatians 3:3)
        j. Provides (Galatians 3:5)
        k. Sealed (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30)
        l. Clothed (Luke 24:49)

        [*1] William Mounce: Even after people are permanently filled with the Spirit at conversion, the Spirit can again fill them in a sense that he possesses and empowers them in a special way for a temporary, specific task, such as when Peter spoke to the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:8) and the church prayed for boldness (4:31). Paul is filled with the Spirit (9:17) and almost immediately begins to testify (9:20). He is later filled with the Spirit again and denounces Elymas the magician (13:9) (Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Fill, page 250).
        See also Ephesians 5:18.

        [*2] When the Lord Jesus said "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20:22) it is to be understood prophetically to what took place in Acts 2:4 because: a. Thomas wasn’t there when this event took place but he was there with the others during Pentecost.
        b. According to Luke 24:49 The Lord Jesus is "sending" the Holy Spirit to them whereas the second half of the passage points to this taking place at a later date. W. E. Vine asserts that what is described in John 20:22 "was symbolic of the Holy Spirit about to be sent in the world, and with the effect of their ministry of the gospel in the forgiveness of sins by the Spirit's power, or the retention of sins by the rejection of the message (vv. 23, 24). It was a prophetic act as well as symbolic" (John: His Record of Christ, page 183).Wayne Grudem concurs: When Jesus breathed on his disciples and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20:22), it probably was an acted-out prophecy about what would happen to them at Pentecost. In the same context - in fact, in the verse immediately preceding - Jesus had told them something that would not happen until Pentecost: "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you" (John 20:21). But even though he said this before he had ascended into heaven, he did not really send them out to preach the gospel until the Day of Pentecost had come. Therefore his words were looking forward to what would happen a Pentecost. It is best to understand the words in the next sentence, "Receive the Holy Spirit," in the same way - he was speaking in advance of something that would happen on the Day of Pentecost. On that day they would receive the new covenant fullness and power of the Holy Spirit, a much greater empowering of the Holy Spirit than what they had experienced before (Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, page 769, footnote 13).

        [*3] Acts 10:45 teaches the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Gentiles which is the same thing as them being baptized with the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 11:16). The Greek word for "poured" in Acts 10:45 is ekcheō and it is the same word used in Titus 3:6 in application to all who are Christians. Thus all Christians have been baptized with the Holy Spirit.

        [*4] Some may insist that the "one baptism" refers only to water baptism in Ephesians 4:5 but this is refuted by (1) the fact that all Christians have been baptized with the Holy Spirit (see footnote #3) and (2) because there still remained a “baptism” (Mark 10:35-39) for the Apostle John to undergo (i.e., his death) years after Ephesians was written.
        William Murkle: In Spirit baptism the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have fully accomplished the divine purpose in our eternal redemption. In water baptism we have a visible picture of this finished redemption, which is done in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
        Some will inquire, "But are there two baptisms?" Certainly not! There is one visible baptism which is an analogy of the one invisible baptism (Four Kinds of Water Baptism, page 54).

        [*5] What took place in Acts 2:4 is regarded as the "birthday of the Church." These individuals were already saved but by being baptized with the Holy Spirit they have now been placed in the NT church which is Christ's body (Colossians 1:24).
        1. NIDNTT: What until Pentecost, the decisive date for the universal church, was the privilege of only a few individuals, is from that day forward the most important characteristic of the Jewish and subsequently (cf. Acts 10) the Gentile church. According to Acts 2:4, all were "filled with the Holy Spirit" (1:739, Fullness, R. Schippers).
        2. NIDNTT: Under the heading "Significance of Pentecost for Luke" we read "it is the fulfilment of the covenant promise (2:39; 3:25; 13:23, 32; 26:6), emphasizing the role of Pentecost as the institution of the new covenant. So too his description of events before and after Pentecost underlines that for Luke Pentecost is the birthday of the church (2:38, 41, 42, 43-47). (2:786, Pentecost, James Dunn).
        3. TDNT: Concerning Acts 2:4, "This event is regarded by Luke as the birthday of the church" (6:50, Pentecost, Lohse).
        4. The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible: It is almost universally agreed among theologians that Pentecost marks the beginning of the church as an institution (4:783, Pentecost, C. L. Feinberg).

        Acts 11:17 - The same gift given (filled with the Holy Spirit)
        The fact that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him received the "same gift" (i.e. the Holy Spirit) as those in Acts 2:4 demonstrates they are now saved.
        1. NIDNTT: The equality among Christians, which transcends all national and religious frontiers, with regard to their participation in salvation is experienced as a supernatural act, through one and the same experience of the Spirit, which removes all barriers between Jewish Christians and Gentiles (Acts 11:17) (2:499, Like, Beyreuther).

        Acts 15:7-9
        (7) After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe.
        (8) And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us;
        (9) and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. (NASB)
        1. TDNT: In Peter's speech in 15:7 "to believe" is used in the sense "to be converted" (7:728, epistrephō, Bertram).
        2. Based on their salvific belief Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were "given" the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:8). This demonstrates they are now saved (see 1 John 4:13).
        3. By possessing the Holy Spirit their hearts were "cleansed" (Acts 15:9). To have a cleansed heart is the spiritual condition of a Christian (cf. Ephesians 5:26).

        Other passages
        Ezekiel 36:25-26
        (25) I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
        (26) And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (ESV)
        1. TDNT: In an obvious figure of speech Ez. 36:25 speaks of God's eschatological action: "I will sprinkle pure water on you that ye may be clean." Like the restoration of Israel (v. 24), the gift of a new heart of flesh (v. 26) and the gift of the Spirit (v. 27), God's cleansing sprinkling is an act of eschatological re-creation of the people of God (6:980, rantizō, Hunzinger).
        For "the gift of the Holy Spirit" see "Acts 10:45 - Gift" above.
        Joel 2:32
        And it shall come to pass afterward,
        that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
        your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
        your old men shall dream dreams,
        and your young men shall see visions. (ESV)
        1. Duane Garrett: The prophets often associated the Spirit with the eschatological era, but they did not always do it in precisely the same manner as did Joel. As H.W. Wolff points out, Ezekiel promised that in the age to come God would by his Spirit enable people to obey God from the heart (Ezek 36:26-27). Isaiah foretold a day when God would pour out his Spirit in order to create a new community and a new people of God (32:14-18; 44:3-5). In Joel, by contrast, the gift of the Spirit is prophetic. It enables people to prophesy, to experience revelatory dreams, and to see visions. These different aspects of the eschatological outpouring of the Spirit do not contradict but complement each other. The gift of the Spirit canotes direct experience with God, as in Joel, as well as the grace that enables his people to love God from the heart, as in Ezekiel. It also is the distinctive sign and mark of membership in the new people of God, as in Isaiah. In short, the coming age would be an age marked by the presence of the Spirit (contrast 1 Sam 3:1)...The major characteristic of the outpouring of the Spirit is its universality. All the people of God receive the Spirit. The text specifically erases the major social distinctions of the ancient world: gender, age, and economic status. In an era which men (not women), the old (not the young), and the landowners (not slaves) ruled society, Joel explicitly rejected all such distinctions as criteria for receiving the Holy Spirit. For Paul the fulfillment of this text is that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither male nor female, and neither slave nor free (Gal 3:28). In this text, however, the Spirit is universal in that he is given to all Israel (cf. Ezek 39:29; Zech 12:10) rather than to all humanity (note "your sons and daughters...your old men...your young men"). This does not mean, however, that Joel altogether excluded the Gentiles from participation in the kingdom of God. Rather, speaking to his own dispirited generation, he emphasized that Israel and not some other nation would have this great proof that God is among them. From the biblical perspective the Gentiles' reception of the Spirit does not mean that God is no longer the God of Israel but that Gentiles have submitted to Israel's God. In summary, for Joel the gift of the Spirit to Israel was vindication of their status as the people of God as well as the source of their power to reconstitute as a community of obedience under God's favor. The surprising turn of events in the New Testament (Acts 10:45) has not invalidated that vision but has extended it (The New American Commentary, Hosea, pages 368-369).
        For "the gift of the Holy Spirit" see "Acts 10:45 - Gift" above.

        John 7:39 (cf. 4:10, 14)
        Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (ESV)
        Cornelius and the Gentiles with him "received" the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:47) thus they were among those who "believed." This belief refers to possessing eternal salvation (see Acts 15:7-9 above).

        John 14:17
        even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (ESV)
        See "Acts 10:47 - Receive."

        Acts 5:32
        And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him. (ESV)
        1. Ernst Haenchen: The witness to these "things" are the Apostles and the Holy Spirit, whom God bestows on every one who obeys him = every believer (The Acts of the Apostles, page 251).
        The same Greek word for "given" is used in Acts 11:17 and 1 John 4:13 (see below) which demonstrates that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him had already obeyed God and had become Christians.

        Romans 8:9
        You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (ESV)
        1. TDNT: In R. 8:1-11 the Spirit of God in you (v. 9) alternates with Christ in you (v. 10), you are in the Spirit (v. 9) with to those in Christ (v. 1). No material distinction can be discerned here (6:433, pneuma, Schweizer).
        That Cornelius and the Gentiles with him possessed the Holy Spirit demonstrates they were also "in Christ" which of course describes the spiritual condition of a saved person (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17).

        Romans 8:15
        For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (ESV)
        1. According to Acts 10:47 Cornelius and the Gentiles with him had "received" the Spirit of adoption (see "Acts 10:47 - Receive"). This would of course describe the spiritual condition of a saved person.

        Romans 8:23
        And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (ESV)
        1. BDAG (3rd Edition): since we possess the first fruits of the Spirit, i.e. as much of the Spirit as has been poured out so far and a foretaste of things to come Ro 8:23...birth-certificate also suits the context of Ro 8:23 (aparchē, page 98).
        Cornelius and the Gentiles with him had the Holy Spirit "poured out" upon them (Acts 10:45) which demonstrates their "birth-certificate" of the New Testament Church.

        1 Corinthians 2:12
        Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. (ESV)
        1. NIDNTT: Christians are characterized by having, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God (1 Cor. 2:12), for the natural man does not understand anything that comes from the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:14 f.). Only the spiritual man is capable of knowing God (1 Cor. 2:11) (2:75, God, J. Schneider).
        Cornelius and the Gentiles with him did not receive the spirit of the world but they did receive the Spirit who is from God which proves they are "Christians" (see "Acts 10:47 - Receive").

        Galatians 3:2, 3, 5 and 14 all demonstrate that it is the reception of the Holy Spirit that begins the Christian life.
        1. NIDNTT: It is the reception of the Spirit through faith which marks the beginning of the Christian life (Gal. 3:2 f.), a gift which fulfils the promise to Abraham and which therefore is another name for justification (Gal. 3:14; 1 Cor. 6:11) - that is, the gift of righteousness understood as having "the character of power". Alternatively expressed, it is by being baptized in the one Spirit, drenched with the one Spirit, that individuals become members of the one body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). For Paul it was precisely the gift of the Spirit which distinguished the Christian from the Jew, the new age from the old (Rom. 2:29; 7:6; 2 Cor. 3:6-8; Gal. 4:29; Phil. 3:3) (3:701, Spirit, James Dunn).
        Cornelius and the Gentiles with him received the Holy Spirit which proves that it marked the beginning of their Christian lives (see "Acts 10:47 - Receive").

        Ephesians 1:13
        In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. (ESV)
        1. Joseph Thayer: respecting God, who by the gift of the Holy Spirit indicates who are his, Eph. 1.13; 4.30; 2 Co. 1.22 (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, sphragizō, page 609).
        Cornelius and the Gentiles with him received the gift of the Holy Spirit thereby indicating they were Christians (see "Acts 10:45 - Gift").

        1 John 4:13
        By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. (NASB)
        The Greek word for "given" is didōmi and it is the same word used in Acts 11:17 which describes how Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were "given" the Holy Spirit. Thus they they were abiding "in God" at that time. This of course describes the spiritual condition of a saved person.

        Finally, in reference to Acts 11:15f. and 15:8 we read that "at critical or problematic moments of the early mission thereafter what was looked for above all else was the reception or possession of the Spirit" (NIDNTT 3:699, Spirit, James Dunn) because “the receiving of the Spirit is the decisive thing, not baptism” (TDNT 6:623, Jordan, Rengstorf).
        Last edited by Faber; 06-11-2017, 07:13 AM.
        Comment>

        • #5
          Thanks Faber.
          Round Two

          Trist you have 48 hours to reply.

          No one is allow to post comments until the debate is finished.
          Comment>

          • #6
            I will respond briefly to tackle the concept of faith by quoting Acts 15:7-9 KJV as you have in your post.

            "And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that agood while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith."

            Purifying their hearts is understood as the washing away of sins through the baptism of repentance.

            How so? It says "by faith."

            What is faith? It is quite simple.

            "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." - Galatians 3:24-29 KJV

            Faith is to be baptized into Christ, putting him on. If one wears Christ, he is therefore in Christ. This is what is meant by faith in Christ Jesus.

            Why? Because faith in Christ is faith in the will of the Father and baptism is how you display it to Him; your works are how you display it unto others.

            "For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him." - Luke 7:28-30 KJV

            Also, to counter a separate point you made about the Ark, you said that Cornelius and the Gentiles were "inside of Christ" prior to baptism. They were not in Christ for they had not yet put him on as stated above.
            Comment>

            • #7
              Faber you have 48 hours to reply.

              No one is allow to post comments until the debate is finished.
              Comment>

              • #8
                A. It should be pointed out right away that virtually all of the evidence that I supplied that demonstrates Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were saved when they received the Holy Spirit went ignored. Indeed, no further appeal to Acts 11:15 was made at all because the evidence clearly teaches that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him did hear the word of the gospel, they believed it and were given the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 15:7-9). This proves they were Christians.
                In fact, the events of Acts 15:7-8 correspond with the salvation scenario described in Ephesians 1:13.
                Acts 15:7-8
                (7) After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you
                that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe.
                (8) And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. (NASB)
                Ephesians 1:13
                In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise. (NASB)

                B. One passage that I forgot to mention in "Acts 11:16 - The baptism with the Holy Spirit" in "f. Given" is 2 Corinthians 5:5. It reads: Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. (NASB)
                Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were given the Holy Spirit before their water baptism. The Spirit is given as a "pledge" (2 Corinthians 5:5; cf. 1:22; Ephesians 1:14).
                The Greek word for "pledge" is arrabōn and as the NIDNTT makes clear it refers to the Holy Spirit being the: "down-payment and guarantee" (arrabōn) that God will complete the work begun in Christ and through the Spirit (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13 f.); the Spirit is the "first fruits" (aparchē) of God's harvest at the end of time (Rom. 8:23) (3:701, Spirit, James Dunn).[*1]
                God will carry through the work He begins in Christ through the Holy Spirit for every Christian. It is guaranteed. This work began for Cornelius and the Gentiles with him when they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-47) before their water baptism (Acts 10:48).

                [*1] Concerning 2 Corinthians 5:5 see also William Mounce in section E, number 2.

                C. Since Trist mentioned Acts 2:38 in his first post I would like to address this passage here.
                Acts 2:38 reads as follows:
                Peter said to them, Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NASB)
                1. To possess "the gift of the Holy Spirit" demonstrates that one is saved (see "Acts 10:45 - Gift" in my first post). Furthermore, the gift of the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit in both Acts 2:38 and Acts 10:45.
                a. BDAG (3rd Edition): receive the Spirit as a gift Ac. 2:38; cp. 10:45 (dōrea, page 266).
                b. TDNT: In Ac. the Spirit is called the dōrea of God in 2:38; 8:20; 10:45; 11:17 (2:167, dōrea, Buchsel).
                c. Joseph Thayer: with an epexegetical gen. of the thing given, the Holy Ghost, Ac 2:38, 10:45 (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, dōrea, page 161).
                2. The expression "for the forgiveness of sins" in Acts 2:38 corresponds to "for the forgiveness of sins" in Matthew 26:28 (see footnote #2).
                εἰς ἄφεσιν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν (Acts 2:38) = εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν (Matthew 26:28)
                G. R. Beasley-Murray: Whatever the relationship between baptism and the gift of the Spirit elsewhere in Acts, there appears to be no doubt as to the intention of Acts 2:38; the penitent believer baptized in the name of Jesus Christ may expect to receive at once the Holy Spirit, even as he is assured the immediate forgiveness of his sins (Baptism in the New Testament, page 108).[*2]
                3. Cornelius and the Gentiles with him received the Holy Spirit (i.e. were saved) before their water baptism while those in Acts 2:38 received the Holy Spirit (i.e. were saved) after their water baptism.
                It was only to the Jews during this transitional time period who had rejected the Lord Jesus that were told to be water baptized in the name of the Lord for the forgiveness of sins (cf. Acts 2:38; 22:16). They were responsible for delivering (paradidōmi) Christ up to Pilate (John 18:35) which constituted "the greater sin" (John 19:11). In fact, Peter would later tell the Jews in his audience they delivered (paradidōmi) Christ up to Pilate (Acts 3:13; cf. Acts 3:17). Compared with all other people these Jews were not strangers to the covenants of promise (Ephesians 2:12) which testified of Christ (John 5:39). They saw many of His miracles and heard many of His words. Their greater sin required a greater form of repentance – water baptism in the Name of their Messiah whom they crucified.
                NIDNTT: In the report of the trial before Pilate into which are interwoven many legal ideas Pilate pronounces his repeated conclusion that he can find no guilt in Jesus deserving death (in Jn. 18:38; 19:4, 6, aitia; in Lk. 23:4, 14, 22, aition). Hence in the Gospel accounts the demand of the crowd for the death of the innocent one is all the more culpable (2:139, Guilt, Thiele).
                Finally, Acts 2:39 reads: For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself. (ESV)
                The "promise" refers to the Holy Spirit (cf. Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4; 2:33) not to how one attains the Holy Spirit.

                [*2] NIDNTT: "Liddel-Scott list no casual uses of eis" (3:1187, Appendix D3, Murray Harris) and "It is significant that A. Oepke, who notes an occasional casual eis in the NT, finds eis to be final in both Matt. 3:11 and Acts 2:38 (eis, TDNT 2:429)" (3:1209, Appendix A, Prepositions with baptizō, 3. eis, Murray Harris).
                The BDAG (3rd Edition) reads: to denote purpose in order to, to
                for forgiveness of sins, so that sins might be forgiven Mt 26:28 cp. ...Ac 2:38 (eis, page 290).

                D. Trist cited Galatians 3:24-29 and then affirmed the following: "Faith is to be baptized into Christ, putting him on. If one wears Christ, he is therefore in Christ. This is what is meant by faith in Christ Jesus."
                I agree. This is what took place when Cornelius and the Gentiles with him had been baptized with the Holy Spirit (see "Acts 11:16 - The baptism with the Holy Spirit" in my first post).
                Galatians 3:27
                For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (NASB)
                1. Being baptized into Christ is to be clothed (endyō) with Christ (Galatians 3:27). This “clothing” (endyō) occurs when one is baptized with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; cf. Acts 1:5). When Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were baptized with the Holy Spirit they were at that very moment clothed with Christ. This took place before their water baptism.
                2. Furthermore, this Spirit baptism (Galatians 3:27) occurs to those who “receive the promise of the Spirit” (Galatians 3:14). The reception of this “promise” (the Holy Spirit) signifies one is a spiritual descendant of Abraham, i.e. a Christian.
                Galatians 3:29
                And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. (ESV)
                Since Cornelius and the Gentiles with him “received” the promise of the Holy Spirit (cf. Galatians 3:14) this proves that they were already spiritual descendants of Abraham (i.e. Christians) before their water baptism (Acts 10:44-47).
                NIDNTT: The fulfilment of the blessing promised to Abraham is now seen as God's redeeming act in Christ. The gift of the blessing is no longer that of a great nation or of the fruitfulness of the land but the promised Spirit of Christ (v. 14) (1:214, Blessing, H. G. Link).

                E. Another proof that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were saved when they had received the Holy Spirit is the fact that they spoke in tongues (Acts 10:46).[*3] This took place before they were water baptized (Acts 10:48). This gift is for those "in the church."
                1 Corinthians 12:28
                And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. (ESV)
                1. NIDNTT: Acts also records speaking in tongues, and recognizes in it the work of the Holy Spirit...The strong spiritual consciousness which meets us in the NT writings is founded on the certainty that the church has been given a new revelation in Christ, transcending all that has gone before. The examples of ecstatic pious experiences are to be seen as a result but not as the cause of this faith (1:528, Ecstasy, W. Mundle).
                2. William Mounce: Just as a down payment for a house today serves as a guarantee that the rest of the payment will come, so God sends his Holy Spirit into the hearts of believers as a deposit, guaranteeing that some day the full inheritance of salvation will be ours (2 Cor 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14). All Christians should understand that the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, is living in them and is empowering them to exercise his gifts and to live for God (Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Pledge, page 520).

                [*3] Three points are worth noting.
                1. Whether or not the gift of tongues has ceased or continues is irrelevant to this discussion. The fact that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him spoke in tongues is powerful testimony that they were Christians.
                2. Not all spoke in tongues (1 Corinthians 12:30) but those who happened to have this gift are "in the church" (i.e. Christians).
                3. Some of pointed out that God can allow a donkey to speak in a tongue/language (Numbers 22:28) but this doesn't prove the donkey is saved. In answer to this it is noted that this event did not take place during the New Covenant (see footnote #5 in my first post). Under the New Covenant if a person spoke in a tongue or tongues (in truly magnifying God, cf. Acts 10:46) this would demonstrate that he/she is a Christian.

                F. Questions for Trist
                1. Why is that in reference to Acts 11:15f. and 15:8 we read that "at critical or problematic moments of the early mission thereafter what was looked for above all else was the reception or possession of the Spirit" (NIDNTT 3:699, Spirit, James Dunn)?
                2. Did Cornelius and the Gentiles with him hear the word of the gospel, believe it and were given the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 15:7-9) before their water baptism?
                3. Concerning Acts 2:33 and Acts 10:45, since both groups had the Holy Spirit "poured out" (ekcheō) on them were both groups then "in the Spirit"?
                4. Who has been baptized with the Holy Spirit?
                5. Why do you believe that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were not yet "adopted as sons" (Romans 8:15) despite having "received the Spirit of adoption" (Romans 8:15; cf. Acts 10:44-47) before their water baptism (Acts 10:48)?
                Last edited by Faber; 06-13-2017, 09:06 AM.
                Comment>

                • #9
                  Last Round



                  Trist you have 48 hours to give your closing remarks.

                  No one is allow to post comments until the debate is finished.
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    My points have been essentially established so I'll wrap up with a few concluding summations I've come to understand about this topic from Faber.

                    To believe that Cornelius was saved prior to baptism in this scenario, one must read "as I began to speak" as a figurative statement. They must also believe that "to believe" does not include the requirement of taking action in the form of baptism, and that Cornelius and the Gentiles, after already having been saved, climbed down a river bank to get their robes soaked for no discernible reason.

                    I can only say that I do not find "as I began to speak" as a figurative statement, that believing entails action--including baptism--and true belief and action are never separate, and that Cornelius was baptized because the Holy Spirit alone was not enough to save him; he needed the seal of baptism for the Father and Son too.

                    Amen.
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      A. In my 2nd response I wrote the following concerning what I had written in my 1st post: "It should be pointed out right away that virtually all of the evidence that I supplied that demonstrates Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were saved when they received the Holy Spirit went ignored."
                      In this my 3rd post it is to be noted that every question I asked in my 2nd response went ignored.

                      B. I gave clear evidence in the beginning of my 1st and 2nd posts concerning the use of "began" in Acts 11:15 that went virtually unchallenged. I am not sure why Trist would refer to this passage again without addressing the points I have made concerning it.

                      C. In regards to the assertion that the belief mentioned in Acts 15:7 "does not include the requirement of taking action in the form of baptism" notice that immediately afterwards that the giving of the Holy Spirit is mentioned not their water baptism. This is why asked the following question at the conclusion of my 2nd post:
                      Why is that in reference to Acts 11:15f. and 15:8 we read that "at critical or problematic moments of the early mission thereafter what was looked for above all else was the reception or possession of the Spirit" (NIDNTT 3:699, Spirit, James Dunn)?
                      No response was given by Trist.
                      Trist also asserts that according to my position that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him "after already having been saved, climbed down a river bank to get their robes soaked for no discernible reason."
                      To the contrary.
                      Charles W. Carter and Ralph Earle: (Acts 10:47): The incontestable right of these uncircumcised Gentile Christians to be baptized, as a token of their acceptance into the body of Christ, is made evident by the miraculous divine approval, and the apostle's declaratory question of verse 47. Peter then commands their baptism and thus shows a vital, saving relationship through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of men. God had witnessed to His acceptance of the Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, and Peter witnesses to their acceptance into the Church by baptizing them in the Name of Jesus without the requirement of circumcision (The Acts of the Apostles, page 149).

                      D. Since Trist would not answer the questions I posted to him in my 2nd post I will answer them.
                      1. Why is that in reference to Acts 11:15f. and 15:8 we read that "at critical or problematic moments of the early mission thereafter what was looked for above all else was the reception or possession of the Spirit" (NIDNTT 3:699, Spirit, James Dunn)?
                      Answer: Because if one had received the Holy Spirit meant that he/she is a Christian.
                      Robert H. Stein (Acts 19:2): If the question arose about whether someone was a Christian, this could be addressed by a simple but definitive question, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" (19:2) (The New American Commentary: Luke, page 48)
                      2. Did Cornelius and the Gentiles with him hear the word of the gospel, believe it and were given the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 15:7-9) before their water baptism?
                      Answer: Yes
                      3. Concerning Acts 2:33 and Acts 10:45, since both groups had the Holy Spirit "poured out" (ekcheō) on them were both groups then "in the Spirit"?
                      Answer: Yes
                      To be "in the Spirit" means to be "in Christ" (a Christian).
                      NIDNTT: Phrases such as in Christ, in the Spirit, in the body, in faith, and in truth indicate states which Christians live and act (3:1191, Appendix F. "en" 4. Figurative Sense, Murray Harris).
                      To claim that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were not saved despite being "in the Spirit" is an attack on the Trinity (John 14:23; Romans 8:9-11; Ephesians 2:18).
                      4. Who has been baptized with the Holy Spirit?
                      Answer: All who are Christians (see "Acts 11:16 - The baptism with the Holy Spirit" in my 1st response).
                      5. Why do you believe that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were not yet "adopted as sons" (Romans 8:15) despite having "received the Spirit of adoption" (Romans 8:15; cf. Acts 10:44-47) before their water baptism (Acts 10:48)?
                      Answer: Since they received the Spirit of adoption demonstrates they were no longer held captive to "a spirit of slavery" (Romans 8:15).
                      Furthermore by receiving "the Spirit of adoption" they also received Him as the Spirit of "life and peace" (Romans 8:2, 6). Those who are not Christians abide in death and do not have peace (Romans 8:2, 6; cf. Isaiah 48:22).

                      E. Trist asserted, "that Cornelius was baptized because the Holy Spirit alone was not enough to save him."
                      1. See question #4 in "D."
                      2. NIDNTT: it is by being baptized in the one Spirit, drenched with the one Spirit, that individuals become members of the one body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13) (3:701, Spirit, James Dunn).
                      3. William Mounce: The OT stress laid in Isaiah's promise of a Messiah who would have a special endowment of the Spirit (Isa. 61:1-3) and on Joel's prophecy about the pouring out of the Spirit on the godly in the last days (Joel 2:28-29)...Just as John baptized with water, the one coming after him would baptize with the Holy Spirit (Mt. 3:11, 16). Such imagery describes the type of "Spirit baptism" the believer receives - a baptism of the Spirit prophesied in the OT and fulfilled in the ministry of Jesus (Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Spirit, page 676).
                      4. When Cornelius and the Gentiles with him believed in the Lord Jesus they drank the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13; cf. John 7:37) who is described as "living water" (John 4:10). As possessors of "eternal life" they would "never thirst" again (John 4:14).

                      F. Since Cornelius and the Gentiles with him possessed the Holy Spirit they had "the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16).
                      1. BDAG (3rd Edition): Paul "is using the scriptural word nous to denote what he usu. calls pneuma (vs. 14). He can do this because his nous (since he is a 'pneumatic' person) is filled w. the Spirit, so that in his case the two are interchangeable" (nous, page 680).
                      Obviously, to have "the mind (Spirit) of Christ" means that one is a Christian.
                      TDNT: Christians have received the nous of Christ. They have the Spirit of God who searches out even the deep things of God, v. 10f. (7:765, symbibazō, Delling).

                      G. Other challenges
                      1. Those who insist that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were not yet saved often appeal to Acts 2:38 (cf. 22:16). I addressed this in my 2nd post in C.
                      F. F. Bruce: The sequence of the component elements in Christian initiation varies from one occasion to another in Acts. Peter's hearers in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost repent, are baptized, and receive the Spirit (2:38, 41); the Samaritans evangelized by Philip believed and are baptized "into the name of the Lord Jesus", but do not receive the Spirit until apostolic hands are laid on them (8:12, 14-17); Cornelius and his household receive the Spirit while they are still listening to the message and are then baptized (Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free, page 280).
                      2. Acts 11:4
                      But Peter began speaking and proceeded to explain to them in orderly sequence, saying, (NASB)
                      The Greek word for "in orderly sequence" is kathexēs. Some have insisted that this means that Peter was even more precise in Acts 11 as opposed to what is described in Acts 10 concerning Cornelius and the Gentiles with him - thus the "began" in Acts 11:15 is not used figuratively.
                      Foy Wallace: Sectarians cling tenaciously to the case of Cornelius as an example of salvation before baptism. They assert that Cornelius received the Holy Spirit before baptism and must therefore have been saved before he was baptized. That proves too much. According to Peter's account of the case in 11, the Holy Spirit fell on house of Cornelius before he believed. It should by observed that there are two records of the events connected with this conversion-the record of Luke in Acts 10 And the record of Peter himself in Acts 11. Luke does not claim that his account was given in the order of events but he does say that Peter "expounded the matter unto them in order" (Acts 11:4). Hence, Peter's own account of the happenings "to those of the circumcision" at Jerusalem represents the order of occurrence. In the order of occurrence Peter said that the Holy Spirit fell on Cornelius before he believed. Does that prove that he was saved before he believed? No denominationalist will allow that it does; hence, their argument is lost. The fact is that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the house of Cornelius did not effect his salvation nor affect the issues involved in it.[*1]
                      Baptism in the Acts of the Apostles (by Foy E. Wallace, Jr.)

                      There are gaffes in Foy Wallace's assertions. First, there are not "two records of the events connected with this conversion-the record of Luke in Acts 10 And the record of Peter himself in Acts 11." Wallace conveniently leaves out the third record of this event described by Peter in Acts 15[*2] which demonstrates that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him did indeed hear the gospel message, they believed it and were thus given the Holy Spirit (see the beginning of both my 1st and 2nd posts). Second, kathexēs does not have to mean in strict chronological order. The BDAG (3rd Edition) defines it as "sequence in time, space, or logic" (page 490). Luke's account is "orderly" but it is not strictly chronological. In fact, kathexēs ("in order") is also used in Luke 1:3 but the events recorded in Luke 3:18-21 demonstrate that it is not to be understood in strict chronological order. John is preaching (v. 18) which is followed by Herod reproving him (v. 19). John is then imprisoned (v. 20). Afterwards the baptism of the Lord Jesus (performed by John) occurs (vv. 21-22). Luke's account is orderly (logical) but not strictly chronological.

                      [*1] This argument is much the same as here:
                      Was Cornelius Saved Before Water Baptism?

                      [*2] TDNT: On the other hand, in 15:7 the comparatively distant days of the first community in and around Jerusalem are intended, i.e., the time of the conversion of Cornelius, which is shown to be particularly venerable by use of archomai (1:487, archaios, Delling).

                      H. I'll conclude with the BDAG (3rd Edition) concerning the Spirit (pnuema).
                      For Paul: "His conviction that the Christian possesses the (divine) pneuma and thus is different fr. all other people...All those who belong to God possess or receive this spirit and hence have a share in God's life. This spirit also serves to distinguish Christians fr. all unbelievers" (page 833-834).
                      Cornelius and the Gentiles with him received the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 10:47) which demonstrates that they were Christians before their water baptism.
                      Last edited by Faber; 06-15-2017, 09:15 PM.
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                      • #12
                        Thank you Trist and Faber. Anyone who wishes to make a comment on the debate by do so now.
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                        • #13
                          Was Cornelius (and those with him) saved only after they were baptized in water or were they saved when they received the Holy Spirit before being baptized in water?
                          The short answer is that Cornelius and his household were saved when they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. In their case the evidence was that they spoke in tongues. On the basis of this evidence they were commanded to be baptized. Cornelius is called "a just man" which can be understood as one who is justified by grace through faith. At the same time it is evident that he had not heard the Gospel and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, which is a requisite for salvation. Also the Bible says regarding the New Birth that "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit", and only those who have received the gift of the Spirit experience the supernatural New Birth. And this is a result of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:12,13). Peter was sent specifically to this Gentile household to (1) bring the Gospel to Gentiles and (2) establish the fact that Gentiles would be within the Church (the Body of Christ) as well as Jews. Therefore the sequence of events was (1) Peter preached the Gospel, (2) while the Gospel was being preached these Gentiles believed on Christ, (3) the result of their faith was that they received the gift of the Holy Ghost, (4) the Holy Spirit within them enabled them to speak in tongues, (5) seeing this evidence of salvation Peter commanded them to be baptized as believers.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lucas View Post
                            Also the Bible says regarding the New Birth that "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit", and only those who have received the gift of the Spirit experience the supernatural New Birth. And this is a result of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:12,13).
                            Hi Lucas,

                            To clarify, what is the result of believing?

                            God bless,
                            William
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by William View Post

                              Hi Lucas,

                              To clarify, what is the result of believing?

                              God bless,
                              William
                              Well the Bible is crystal clear about the result of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. The result is the gift of salvation, the gift of eternal life, the gift of the Holy Spirit, the gift of the New Birth, and many more blessings included in salvation.

                              And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:15,16)

                              And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:30,31)

                              That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:9-13).



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