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“Baptism For Remission.”
By S. H. Ford

      A short, plain, exposition of the words of Peter, as quoted above, having been requested, there follows an unelaborated exegesis of the passage. To bring the meaning clearly out, let it be asked WHAT IS BAPTISM FOR?

      A scriptural investigation and answer to that question shed light and beauty over all that is connected with the ordinance. We answer, baptism is for a testimony or witness. It is a memorial rite. It is a commemorative act. It is a monumental institution. It is a voiceful witness of certain wondrous facts and living principles. It is a witness which speaks the same in all languages, and to all tribes, and in all ages.

      Of the Lord's Supper the same may be said. This is also for a testimony, a witness, speaking to all ages the same grand and melting story. What is the Lord's Supper for except it be for a testimony of his death and our trust in that death? “Ye do shew forth my death till I come.” It is for that or in view of that.

      Baptism is for his resurrection, and our hope based upon it. It is for that or in view of that. We need not pause to prove this. It is self-evident. Now as we have “redemption through his blood,” so are we saved “by his resurrection from the dead.”

      Baptism is for a testimony or witness of Christ's resurrection; and we are baptized, eis, for the resurrection, in view of it, declaring it.

      Baptism is for a testimony of our faith in a risen Lord, and our acceptance of him as our leader and

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Savior, and we are baptized, eis, for Christ, in view of this faith and acceptance, declaring it.

      Baptism is for a testimony of remission of sins through him who has risen for - if Christ be not risen we are still in our sins, and we are baptized, eis, for the remission of sins, in view of it, declaring it.

      John baptized, eis, for repentance, a testimony of the need of it or the fact of it; and they were baptized, eis, for repentance in view of it, declaring it.

      “All our fathers,” says Paul, I Corinthians, "passed under the cloud and through the sea, and were all baptized, eis, unto Moses in the sea and in the cloud. It is the same word, eis, for which is here translated unto. This deep sea baptism through which the whole population passed was, eis, for a solemn witness that Moses was their accepted leader, in view of it, declaring it."

      Why then are we baptized for the dead?" asks the Apostle Paul. The word for, here, though not eis in the original, involves the same idea. Baptism is a witness of the resurrection of the dead. Upon our faith in this we are baptized. It is for a testimony that the dead shall rise, it is for the resurrection, in view of it, declaring it.

      “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" says Paul in Romans. "It is Christ that died; yea, rather that is risen;" therefore, on account of his death, yea, rather of his resurrection we are justified, have remission, and none can lay anything to our charge. We are baptized, eis, for this glorious fact and for this wondrous blessing, the resurrection of Christ, the remission of sin.

      Baptism for, in testimony of, in view of the remission of sins.

      This is, in brief, our view of the passage and a view,

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we think, which can be easily understood when presented to a popular audience.

[From S. H. Ford, editor, The Christian Repository, 1860, pp. 467-469. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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