Here is an interesting passage that makes me think of God’s saving grace for people of faith at the point of Baptism. “7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.” 1 John 5.
When I read that I can’t help but think of the connection with what John wrote in John 3:3-5 about being born again by water and the Spirit, and with what Titus wrote in Titus 3:5 about the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.
Certainly we in the church of Christ are people of faith who do not believe in magic “voodoo” water or in “works salvation” as deceivers are want to accuse us of teaching, because we understand that it’s the blood of Christ, and our faith in the atoning work of Christ, where the actual power of salvation lies. We understand from passages like I have mentioned here as well as others like Colossians 2:12; Galatians 3:26 & 27 (read them combined); Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21 which show us that the saving grace of God occurs when a person of faith takes God at His Word and gets into the waters of Baptism.
God’s plan is simple enough for children to understand, and people with child-like faith get it, but if you have been indoctrinated into denominational dogma, what I explained and proved in a short paragraph will seem like heresy.
Let me quote something else from John 3:32 “What He has seen and heard, of that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.” Jesus and His disciples were baptizing where there was much water because Baptism is an immersion. And Baptism is related to forgiveness which is why it sparked a discussion on purification, John 3:25.
Back to 1 John 5. The three in agreement – the Spirit and the water and the blood – sounds to me like he’s saying that at the waters of baptism there is the convergence of God’s saving grace through the Holy Spirit and man’s obedient faith (“obedience of faith, Rom. 1:5; 16:26). But just as many did not receive Jesus’ simple teaching in John 3, there are many who will not receive this simple, common sense teaching which I have put forward here.
Respectfully yours, Dan M