Ironically, the CoC teaches that as long as one is water baptized “for (‘eis’ in Greek) the remission of sins” then there’s no need for re-baptism, or for doubting their standing with God. Yet, some Ephesians who had received John’s baptism of repentance “for (eis) the remission of sins,” were re-baptized later to demonstrate the Holy Spirit’s effects of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection upon their lives (Mk.1:4, Acts 19:1-6).
So, with this being the case, CoC baptism falls way short, for it doesn’t even teach the necessity of the eternal indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Instead, it has a very generic and unbiblical view of the Holy Spirit that can be gained in water baptism and lost again when one sins. Its main focus is solely upon being baptized literally “for the remission of sins.” And, though it will usually deny it, such a stance also implies that John’s baptism was equal to Peter’s baptism, simply because both were “for (eis) the remission of sins.”
This creates a double-bind for the CoC, for it teaches that once one has “achieved” remission of sins “through water baptism” then they are to be considered saved, or at least until they sin again…(ugh). This issue alone, proves that water baptism is to be “in reference to” Jesus’ blood and righteousness, “for the remission of sins,” NOT “in order to obtain” remission of sins through water!!
Because if the Ephesians had actually “obtained” regeneration during their first baptism “for the remission of sins,” then according to the CoC, there shouldn’t have been a need for them to be re-baptized, especially considering the CoC’s generic view of the Holy Spirit. So, the fact of the matter is that neither one of the baptisms were “in order to obtain” a literal remission of sins through a baptismal regeneration formula!
Although Jesus preached the gospel, which is Himself, the CoC claims that the gospel wasn’t preached until after Pentecost, hence its obsession with Acts 2:38. However, the Bible shows that John the Baptist preached the same “remission of sins” doctrine before Pentecost that Peter preached on Pentecost, and both pointed to the righteousness of Christ for the remission of sins.
This is why true believers are “to declare His righteousness—“for the remission of sins” (Rom. 3:25), instead of their own works of righteousness, such as baptism.
In the parable of the Pharisee and the publican, Jesus said the publican was justified, because he pleaded to God for mercy when he realized that he had no saving righteousness of his own. But the Pharisee declared his own “works of obedience” for approval, because he didn’t want to fully rely upon the righteousness of another to save him. He boasted in himself and what he had done in his own power to “activate” salvation. Because Pharisees “trusted in themselves that they were righteous” (Lk. 18:9).
Likewise, the CoC implies one can “activate” salvation by “coming into contact with Jesus’ blood in baptism,” for it misinterprets all of the Bible verses that have to do with baptism “for the remission of sins.” By doing so, it makes use of a sacrament to soothe people’s conscience and to create false converts, which is an abomination to God.
But true believers are baptized from a different motive….gratefulness and love to God for granting them faith in the righteousness of Christ alone—for the remission of sins. For only those, whom God has renewed in heart and spirit, are divinely enabled to perceive the true beauty and purpose of God’s ordinances.
The Pharisee mindset is displayed when many boast about how they think they are accepted by God based on their works, with no emphasis on Jesus and His perfect atoning sacrifice. But the humble mindset fully relies upon the mercy of God through Christ. And those with this heart condition have truly had their sins remitted by the work Jesus did on the cross.
But CoC leaders even claim that their “church” didn’t come into effect until Pentecost, although the Bible reveals that God’s church was in full function way before Pentecost (e.g. Mt. 18:17, Lk. 12:32, Acts 2:47).
So considering the fact that the CoC teaches that one must be baptized into its “church,” and that salvation is only in its “church membership package,” it must first answer the question…..exactly what church did John’s baptism allegedly put people into, if there was supposedly no church until Pentecost?
So far, no CoC leaders have ever been able to give a biblical explanation for such heretical inconsistencies, for then they would have to admit that their religion did not originate at Pentecost, but in the early 1800’s by their false prophet, Alexander Campbell. But, sad to say, even after learning the truth, many would still rather follow in the footsteps of Esau, and forfeit an eternal inheritance for a bowl of Campbell’s soup (Gen. 25:29-34).
The English word “for” never has a casual function?? Surely the CoC is NOT serious. And to say that the Greek word eis never means “because of,” is a patently false statement, for it flies in the face of hundreds of years’ worth of evidence to the contrary.
But this is no surprise, for even Alexander Campbell’s own “Living Oracles” version of the Bible, was proven to be tainted with false interpretations designed to give his own scheme of salvation the appearance of being supported by Scripture.
For instance, Campbell said “for” (eis) was always “forward pointing” assuming that the word translated “for” in this verse meant “in order to get.” However, in both Greek and English, there are many possible usages of the word “for,” especially when it denotes reference to a person or thing. In the case of ordinances, it is “with respect to” “because of” or in “reference to.”
And ironically, for something to be “forward pointing,” it must be pointing to something that is ALREADY in existence, which actually coincides perfectly with the true purpose of baptism being an outward sign of what’s ALREADY occurred inwardly!
Here are just a few more proofs that the CoC is not being honest with it’s people:
I. Some Bible translations that recognize the Greek word “eis” to mean more than just “in order to obtain” are as follows:
Amplified and Renaissance recognize that it can mean “because of.” Phillips says “as a sign of,” Goodspeed says “in token of,” Williams says “to picture,” Twentieth Century NT says “to teach,” Living Bible says “those who repent of their sins”
2. Greek Lexicons that recognize the Greek “eis” to mean more than just “in order to obtain” are as follows: Thayers Greek Lexicon, p. 184 makes it clear that eis can be used “with reference to” or “of relation to,” “with regard to,” or “as regards.”
An Intermediate Greek N.T. (Liddell & Scott Classical Greek), p. 231 also makes it clear that “in regard to” is one of the uses of the Greek word eis.
A Greek-English Lexicon of the N.T. (Green), p. 54 also indicates that eis can mean “in accordance with”
Art and Gangrit, A Greek-English Lexicon of the N.T., p. 229 shows that eis can also have the causal use “because of” and even mentions Mt. 3:11, which is an exact parallel.
3. Greek Scholars
Dana and Mantey, who produced the most well-known, well-used Greek grammar in this century, indicated that the Greek word eis can mean “because of” or “in reference to.” Also, Greek Scholar A.T. Robertson made it clear that whenever eis is used in connection with baptism, it’s always “unto” repentance. Just as in John’s baptism.
Along with Marshall’s Greek Interlinear and Dr. Randy Yeager concerning Acts 2:38
Also, Kenneth Veiths (Professor of Greek) translation of the N.T. revealed that eis in Acts 2:38 means “in relation to” sins having been put away.
Randy Acres, Renaissance N.T. — baptize (eis) “because of” forgiveness
The famous Weymouth Translation— baptize (eis) “with a view to”
But no matter how much evidence to the contrary, the CoC will always falsely assume that the word translated “for” in Acts 2:38 must mean “in order to get” because it’s whole system collapses without such an interpretation. As a result, it remains inconsistent with the rest of Scripture and even the message recorded in Peter’s next two sermons to unbelievers, where he associates the forgiveness of sins with repentance and faith in Christ, without even mentioning baptism (Acts 3:17-26; Acts 4:8-12).
Whether CoC’ers want to admit it or not, in both Greek and English, there are many possible usages of the word “for” (eis). And the context determines which one is correct. It doesn’t even take a Greek scholar to come to such a conclusion, because Scripture interprets Scripture.
In the Great Commission, Jesus never even implied that one must be water baptized “in order to obtain” remission of sins. Instead, His Great Commission made it clear that identifying with His death, burial and resurrection, is part of one’s discipleship, which is symbolically demonstrated in water baptism, as part of one’s public profession of faith.
Because true disciples of Christ will inevitably work out (sanctification), what God has worked within (regeneration). Jesus never said that He made water baptism the initial entry point to salvation! That idea came from Romanism, which also confuses sanctification with justification which can only be by faith in Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
Although there are many ways to Hell, there is only one way to Heaven, which is why Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (Jn. 14:6). Jesus never even gave the slightest impression that He opened a baptismal door to Heaven as an initial entry point to God….for Jesus said that He is the door (Jn. 10:7-9)!
Yet, the CoC blasphemously claims that water baptism is the entry point of salvation! By doing so, it obscures the narrow way to Heaven and opens a broad way to everlasting destruction. For Christ is of no effect to those who fall from grace into performance-based “salvation” (Gal. 5:4-6).
Therefore, the CoC and its blind leaders of the blind come under the same condemnation as the Pharisees in Matthew 23:12-13, where Jesus says: “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”