Question:

Patternists abandon their theology when imposing water baptism in order to obtain salvation on all lost Gentiles today. There was not one Gentile in the crowd in Acts two when these words were spoken. A lost Gentile was told what to do (pattern) in Acts 16:30-31, and the "pattern" given as the response to the question did not involve water baptism. Why do patternistic baptismal remission advocates consistently abandon their own "pattern" theology when it comes to lost Gentiles?


Answer:

It is interesting how you refer to a command of God as if it is some bad thing.

  • "Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us" (Philippians 3:17).
  • "Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus" (II Timothy 1:13).
  • "But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered" (Romans 6:17). The word "form" is the word for a pattern.

Of course, I don't know anyone who calls himself a patternist. It is clearer to say a person is obedient to both the commands and examples laid out by God in His Word.

You also seek to make a distinction between Jew and Gentile, a distinction the Lord eliminated. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).

"Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh -- who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands -- that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father" (Ephesians 2:11-18).

Thus, what applied to the Jews in regards to salvation applies to the Gentiles as well. "So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith" (Acts 15:8-9).

Yes, the first gospel sermon was preached to a Jewish audience. And when the gospel was taught to the Gentiles, ""Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days" (Acts 10:47-48).

Your example concerning the Philippian jailer indicates either you have not read the context or that you are purposely leaving out verses. "And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household" (Acts 16:30-34). So your example of a Gentile who was saved without being baptized failed to prove your point. But then, the truth is that all Christians are baptized. "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:3-4). That includes the Gentiles. In speaking to the Gentiles at Colosse, Paul said, "In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead" (Colossians 2:11-12).

So the real question is why do you deny the teachings of God?

Patternists insist that Nicodemus was "required to be water baptized" in order to be saved. They also insist that Simeon was "not required to be water baptized" in order to be saved the second time; why? They were to respond to the instructions given them. Why will patternists not allow the Phillippian jailer to respond to the instructions given Him also ("believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved")? All church of Christ theologians follow the salvation patterns for Nicodemus and Simeon, and I will assume that you do as well. Again, why do you abandon the "pattern" when it comes to Acts 16:30-31? Why will you not be consistent and allow this man to respond in like manner, and not impose Acts 2:38 on Him just as you do not impose Acts 2:38 on Simeon?

You make it clear that you did not read what I wrote before, so why should this monologue continue? You asked questions, but you gave no consideration to the answers. Instead of replying, you reiterated your points and change to other examples.

To Nicodemus Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). Being born of water is a reference to baptism.

Regarding Simon, "But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done" (Acts 8:12-13). Simon was baptized, just like every other Christian.

You claim that the Philippian jailer was not baptized, but Acts 16:33 says he and his household were baptized. Concerning that action, Acts 16:34 that he had believed. You separated belief from the action, but Acts 16:30-34 stands as testimony that belief is shown by one's actions. "But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works" (James 2:18). As the Lord said, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16). The jailer did respond to the apostles instructions and it can be seen in his baptism.