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God's Not Mad at You
“‘Should I be re-baptized?'”

“‘Should I be re-baptized?'”

JULY 23, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “‘Should I be re-baptized?'”

Steve Brown:
Should I be re-baptized? Let’s answer that question on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
This is Key Life, dedicated to the message that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them, anyway. That teaching raises a lot of questions. So here’s author and seminary professor Steve Brown along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with answers to the Bible that’ll make you free.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hey Peter.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. How you doing?

Steve Brown:
I’m doing good.

Pete Alwinson:
Good.

Steve Brown:
Now that you’re here, I’m doing better.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, we can share the blame as you often say.

Steve Brown:
That’s right. Well, you know, we ought to bring in five or six guys to join us in this. And then we could always say, I didn’t say that. Sam said it.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
Bill said it. We didn’t say it.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
That works for me. That’s Pete Alwinson by the way. Do check out ForgeTruth.com and you’ll be glad that you listened to me by doing that. Hey, has your audio book come out yet?

Pete Alwinson:
Not yet. We’re still working on it.

Steve Brown:
Okay.

Pete Alwinson:
We’re making tracks.

Steve Brown:
Maybe, by the way, that book is Like Father, Like Son, if you haven’t read it, you ought to, if you don’t like reading, and you’d rather listen, we’ll let you know when it comes out in it’s audio version. And Pete, as you know, comes in each Friday and we spend the entire broadcast answering questions and we don’t speak from Sinai. We’re 50% wrong on our answers. So that means you got to get a Bible and check them out, but we’ll tell you what we think. And we’ll apologize when shown that we are wrong. You can ask a question by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 7. And, you can record your question anytime and often we put your voice on the air on our phone lines. Or you can send your question to

Key Life Network

P.O. Box 5000

Maitland, Florida 32794

If you live in Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can e-mail your question to Steve@keylife.org. And all of those places are touch places, where should the Spirit move, you decide to help us financially, you will. And we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. By the way, you can even give on your phone, text Key Life at 28950 and just follow instructions. If you can do that, please do. If you can’t, we understand and say a prayer for this ministry. Pete, why don’t you lead us in prayer? And we’ll get to some of these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright, let’s do it. Our Father, how great it is to be able to come into your presence, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We come on this Friday in faith and in trust in all that you are and what you have done, how you’ve revealed yourself to us in creation, but also and more importantly, in your word, how we see your truth and Jesus in your person. We worship you. We thank you for who you are. We thank you that you brought us into a relationship with you and we want to keep growing. And, so we have so many questions. We have so many needs. We come to you and we ask that you would continue the great work that you started in us. Thank you for your love, your grace, your mercy and your power. And would you give all of that to our priests and pastors and spiritual leaders this weekend, as they lead us, as we come back to church, as we get in the presence of our living God together. Lord, would you use your word, by your Spirit and through the means of grace, to draw us closer to you and to then unleash us into a world that needs to know you. So, we thank you for who you are in this time of Q & A and we just commit it to you in the strong the name of our risen savior, Jesus. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Pete let’s first go to the phone lines.

Caller 1:
Anyway, I had a question on, Acts chapter 18 verses 24 to 26. It says.

A certain Jew named Apollos was born from Alexandria, an eloquent man, mighty in Scriptures came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed by the way the Lord being fervent in spirit, and he taught the Word accurately the things of the Lord, though he only knew the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue, when Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way God more accurately.

So, I’m a little confused about this passage. He was already speaking accurately, yet he only knew the baptism of John. Could you unpack that for me and tell me what was more accurate?

Steve Brown:
That’s a thoughtful question.

Pete Alwinson:
It really is, yeah, I don’t think we’ve gotten that one before.

Steve Brown:
No, we really haven’t. And I, you’ve gotta be careful about Acts. I’m teaching that on our Key Life program right now. And you and I both, are going to be teaching Acts at our church, or my church, and you’re going to be preaching in there too. And Acts is a wonderful and delightful book. It’s fun. You’re reminded of what God does with his people, but you can’t draw doctrine from the book of Acts. If you do, you get into trouble. We’re in a transition period, a lot of things were new. The church organization had not been put together properly. There were all kinds of questions. Everything was in flux. And so, if you try to prove something from the book of Acts, it’s simply a report. It’s not a doctrinal book that you build a castle on.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And so, yeah, it would be normal that somebody like Apollos didn’t know everything about the Christian faith, but he was saved and man he was telling everybody he could find. And, Priscilla said, hey honey, come over here. I’m going to tell you some things that you need to know. So, it becomes more adequate in that. But the issue also is baptism. The text doesn’t say that he was specifically baptized, but you could assume that.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, he was acquainted with the baptism of John and so I think you’re absolutely right. The narrative Scriptures need to be interpreted by the didactic or the teaching parts. Right?

Steve Brown:
Absolutely.

Pete Alwinson:
So that point needs to be reinforced, because too many Christians take doctrine out of Acts. Having said that, it seems like if you look at verse 25, that he got it right about Jesus’ salvation by grace, through faith alone in Jesus. But he may not have had everything accurate about baptism, what it represents, because he was thinking in terms of John’s baptism, which was preparatory. So, maybe that’s where the issue was. That’s what you were kind of getting at.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. And, can you, it’s, you know, are you an Anabaptist? I mean, can you be baptized a second time, if it wasn’t done right the first time?

Pete Alwinson:
You know, what do you say, well, there’s one baptism, right? And, you know, you can’t, I bet you can, but there’s only one baptism of the Spirit that takes place in the heart. Right?

Steve Brown:
That’s true, do you know as a teenager I was re-baptized?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
I mean, that was

Pete Alwinson:
I believe that.

Steve Brown:
before I developed the wisdom of age and theological insight, if I had to do over again, I wouldn’t, but I, you know, I think God knew that.

Pete Alwinson:
Sure.

Steve Brown:
And I don’t think he was as upset as a lot of my brothers and sisters are, and I think God knew my heart.

Pete Alwinson:
I think so too, you know, in pastoral ministry a lot of times there’s just that personal dimension then I think God does understand, like we had people that came to our church and they had accepted Christ as an adult, but were baptized as infants. Right. And they said, I want to be, I want to be baptized as an adult. And I, I wouldn’t allow that to happen. You know.

Steve Brown:
You know, there’s some people that think you’re ugly and your mother dresses you for having done that.

Pete Alwinson:
I know.

Steve Brown:
But I agree with you. I did exactly the same thing. I would try to explain the theology behind that.

Pete Alwinson:
Right. Right.

Steve Brown:
That what you’re doing by your stand in your witness, is you’re confirming what happened to you when you were an infant.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
But listen, if you don’t think it was done by your parents, who weren’t Christians. Then I, you know, I’d go ahead and do it.

Pete Alwinson:
It’s controversial, in our denomination, I know.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. It’s controversy all over. So, the baptism of John was legitimate in the sense of a baptism that was looking forward.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
But it was not the Christian baptism that we read about in Scripture.

Pete Alwinson:
Exactly. Exactly. And by this, by this time in history, Israeli guides told me when I was in Israel last time, that this was done often, with re-dedications. Water baptisms were common, by the spiritual leaders that people would do that, pouring, immersion as a sign that they wanted to repent and come back and rededicate themselves to God. So, John the Baptist is preparatory looking forward to Jesus.

Steve Brown:
Good stuff. I hope you found that helpful and not more confusing, but, it seems reasonable as an answer to me. This is an e-mail question. What Bible version should I read? I found online that I shouldn’t start with a book of John and then Matthew and Luke and Acts, and then the rest of the New Testament. Does that sound like a good plan to you?

Pete Alwinson:
Well, there’s two big questions there. What version? I say the original Greek and Hebrew.

Steve Brown:
Of course.

Pete Alwinson:
Yes.

Steve Brown:
But of course.

Pete Alwinson:
Right. And Aramaic, you know, in the Old Testament. So, and then secondly, if you can’t get that read the Latin Vulgate.

Steve Brown:
Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
I’m sorry. So, so the ESV is a great one. The NIV is English as we speak it. I like to teach out of the New American Standard, that’s English as it’s never been spoken, but the New Living Translation is very helpful for people just jumping into the Bible.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, it really is. And almost all of the translations of Scripture that are done by legitimate Christian scholars are good.

Pete Alwinson:
They are.

Steve Brown:
And they agree with one another in surprising and deep ways. And so don’t worry so much about, find the version that you like, ask your pastor and then read it. Then there was, another part of that. What about the plan?

Pete Alwinson:
You know, I used to always say, read John too first, as well, but you know, John is a highly theological book.

Steve Brown:
It is.

Pete Alwinson:
And it was written last. And so I’m less likely to say that now. I’m a little bit, I want to hear what you say, but I’m more likely to say to a brand new Christian, Hey, especially if it’s a guy, Hey, jump in and read Mark.

Steve Brown:
That’s good.

Pete Alwinson:
Cause it’s short and it’s action-oriented, and you get Jesus. And then, the bottom line is get started somewhere.

Steve Brown:
That’s true. Of course, you contradict Billy Graham.

Pete Alwinson:
Billy.

Steve Brown:
You know that Billy always said read John first.

Pete Alwinson:
Read John. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And if you want to go there, you go ahead. But I’m not. I agree with you about Mark. That’s a good idea.

Pete Alwinson:
It’s kind of English. It’s kind of like, written for Romans and Romans and Americans are not dissimilar.

Steve Brown:
That’s true. So now you know, start with Mark, but don’t stop there. There’s a lot more in the Bible, besides the book of Mark. Okay. One more thing before we’re finished. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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