This is the last sermon in the "Getting to know God Better" series that began a few weeks before Easter Sunday way back in March. The first part of the series focused on the grace of God. The second part focused on the peace of God. And this final part, which was introduced last week, was on the patience or longsuffering of God. Pastor Carlo chose 1 Peter 3:20 as the key verse for this idea, which is right before one of a dozen or so key passages on Baptism found in the Bible.
Pastor Carlo usually begins by reading a passage, and then offering a long (usually 45-60 minute) commentary on the passage or sermon topic. In this case, however, he could not help but offer a running commentary. The Scripture is in red, and Pastor Carlo's interjections are in blue.
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just [meaning Christ] for the unjust [the sinner], that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but being quickened by the Spirit, 19 by which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison, 20 which sometimes were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. [A lot of people get confused with that. Verse 21:] 21 The like figure whereunto even Baptism doth also now saves us [Then it goes on to say:] (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, [the finished work of Christ. No one ever got saved by Baptismal regeneration. Anyone who believes in baptismal regeneration--that you can get saved in the waters of Baptism--does not--and I repeat--does NOT understand the Word of God. Verse 22:] 22Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
I believe in baptismal regeneration. So do 1 billion other Catholics. So do millions upon millions of Protestants. So did Martin Luther. So did the earliest Christians. So did the students of the apostles. So did nearly all Christians for the first 75-80% of Christian history. And apparently, so did St. Peter, and the Holy Spirit who inspired him to write "Baptism now saves you."
Could it be, Pastor Carlo, that some Christians who understand the Word of God simply interpret it differently than you do?
I guess you can't get quite the same rhetorical effect by saying:
"Anyone who believes in baptismal regeneration--that you can get saved in the waters of Baptism--does not--and I repeat--does NOT follow MY interpretation of Scripture."
My response will be forthcoming soon. Check back often! :)