Tertullian on The Necessity of Baptism to Salvation

To faith which believes in His nativity, passion, and resurrection, there has been an amplification added: the sealing act of baptism; the clothing.

Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume III. Latin Christianity: Its Founder, Tertullian

Jesus said that without being born AGAIN of Water and Spirit or Water and the Word you CANNOT, SHALL NOT enter into His kingdom or rule which is the Ekklesia or Christian synagogue or school of the Bible. The seven "spirits" of Isaiah 11:1-4 which would rest on the BRANCH are all related to forms of spiritual knowledge. Jesus said "My Words are Spirit and Life." Therefore, you might join a venue for Rock and Roll peddled as "worship" but Jesus Christ WILL NOT be your free-of-charge Teacher until He washes your spirit or mind. Only then do you have access to the seven spirits represented by the Menorah or Candlestick which gave LIGHT to the Holy Place along with the table of bread and the incense altar. Each Christian "priest" must look into the Most Holy Place with their own prayers. Then, you can enter into the Most Holy Place to meet God. Jesus said that the ONLY new PLACE is the human spirit as it gives heed to the Spirit of Truth through the Word. Don't believe the lie that "musical teams" lead you into the presence of God: that makes them claim to be God standing in the Holy Place. Not in the vilest pagan temple could singers and musicians enter into the holy precincts on the penalty of death. Don't follow people making "Christianity" viler than paganism. If you are part of the 5 out of 13,000 congregations then you have become a laughing stock just like the musical idolatrs at Mount Sinai which forfeited and continues to forfeit the Covenant of Grace.

People who refute this have a "spirit" which intends to hurt you real bad.

b. c. 155, /160, Carthage [now in Tunisia]
d. after 220, , Carthage

Latin IN FULL QUINTUS SEPTIMUS FLORENS TERTULLIANUS, important early Christian theologian, polemicist, and moralist who, as the initiator of ecclesiastical Latin, was instrumental in shaping the vocabulary and thought of Western Christianity.

About 210 Tertullian left the orthodox church because of its laxity of morality and joined the Montanist. Even the Montanists, however, were not rigorous enough for Tertullian. He eventually broke with them to found his own sect, a group that existed until the 5th century in Africa. According to tradition, he lived to be an old man. His last writings date from approximately 220, but the date of his death is unknown. Tertullian is usually considered the outstanding exponent of the outlook that Christianity must stand uncompromisingly against its surrounding culture.

Chapter XII.-Of the Necessity of Baptism to Salvation.

When, however, the prescript is laid down that "without baptism, salvation is attainable by none" (chiefly on the ground of that declaration of the Lord, who says, "Unless one be born of water, he hath not life" (John 3:5) ),

there arise immediately scrupulous, nay rather audacious, doubts on the part of some, "how, in accordance with that prescript, salvation is attainable by the apostles, whom-Paul excepted-we do not find baptized in the Lord?

Nay, since Paul is the only one of them who has put on the garment of Christ's baptism, either the peril of all the others who lack the water of Christ is prejudged, that the prescript may be maintained, or else the prescript is rescinded if salvation has been ordained even for the unbaptized."

I have heard-the Lord is my witness-doubts of that kind: that none may imagine me so abandoned as to ex-cogitate, unprovoked, in the licence of my pen, ideas which would inspire others with scruple.

[We might add that as long as a Testator lives they can dispose of their property any way they wish. However, after the death, the will or testament takes control.]

And now, as far as I shall be able, I will reply to them who affirm "that the apostles were unbaptized." For if they had undergone the human baptism of John, and were longing for that of the Lord, then since the Lord Himself had defined baptism to be one; (saying to Peter,

who was desirous of being thoroughly bathed, "
He who hath
once bathed hath no necessity to wash a second time; "
which, of course, He would not have said at all to
one not baptized; )
even here we have a conspicuous proof against those who,
in order to destroy the sacrament of water,

deprive the apostles even of John's baptism.

Can it seem credible that "the way of the Lord," that is, the baptism of John, had not then been "prepared "in those persons who were being destined to open the way of the Lord throughout the whole world?

The Lord Himself, though no "repentance" was due from Him, was baptized: was baptism not necessary for sinners? As for the fact, then, that "others were not baptized"-they, however, were not companions of Christ, but enemies of the faith, doctors of the law and Pharisees.

The expression: "to fulfill all righteousnes" means to FULLY PREACH Baptism. Therefore, we have the DIRECT COMMAND of Jesus and the APPROVED example.

From which fact is gathered an additional suggestion, that,

since the opposers of the Lord refused to be baptized,
they who followed the Lord were baptized,

and were not like-minded with their own rivals: especially when, if there were any one to whom they clave, the Lord had exalted John above him (by the testimony) saying," Among them who are born of women there is none greater than John the Baptist."

Others make the suggestion (forced enough, clearly "that the apostles then served the turn of baptism when in their little ship, were sprinkled and covered with the waves: that Peter himself also was immersed enough when he walked on the sea."

It is, however, as I think, one thing to be sprinkled
intercepted by the violence of the sea;
another thing to be baptized in
obedience to the discipline of religion.

But that little ship did present a figure of the Church, in that she is disquieted "in the sea," that is, in the world, "by the waves," that is, by persecutions and temptations; the Lord, through patience, sleeping as it were, until, roused in their last extremities by the prayers of the saints, He checks the world, and restores tranquillity to His own.

Now, whether they were baptized in any manner whatever, or whether they continued unbathed to the end-so that even that saying of the Lord touching the "one bath" does,

under the person of Peter, merely regard us-still, to determine concerning the salvation of the apostles is audacious enough, because on them the prerogative even of first choice, and thereafter of undivided intimacy, might be able to confer the compendious grace of baptism, seeing they (I think) followed Him who was wont to promise salvation to every believer.

"Thy faith," He would say, "hath saved thee; " and,

"Thy sins shall be remitted thee," on thy believing, of course, albeit thou be not yet baptized.

If that was wanting to the apostles, I know not in the faith of what things it was, that, roused by one word of the Lord, one left the toll-booth behind for ever; another deserted father and ship, and the craft by which he gained his living; a third, who disdained his father's obsequies, fulfilled, before he heard it, that highest precept of the Lord, "He who prefers father or mother to me, is not worthy of me."

Chapter XIII.-Another Objection: Abraham Pleased God Without Being Baptized. Answer Thereto.

Old Things Must Give Place to New, and Baptism is Now a Law.

And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Gen 26:4

Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. Gen 26:5

Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing but the keeping of the commandments of God. 1 Cor 7:19

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love Gal 5:6

Here, then, those miscreants provoke questions. And so they say, "Baptism is not necessary for them to whom faith is sufficient; for withal, Abraham pleased God by a sacrament of no water, but of faith."

But in all cases it is the later things which have a conclusive force, and the subsequent which prevail over the antecedent.

Grant that, in days gone by, there was salvation by means of bare faith, before the passion and resurrection of the Lord.

But now that faith has been enlarged, and is become a faith which believes in His nativity, passion, and resurrection, there has been an amplification added in the sacrament, viz.,

the sealing act of baptism; the clothing, in some sense,
of the faith which before was
bare, and which cannot exist now without its proper law.

For the law of baptizing has been imposed, and the formula prescribed: "Go," He saith, "teach the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

The comparison with this law of that definition,

"Unless a man have been reborn of water and Spirit,
he shall not enter into the kingdom of the heavens,"
has tied faith to the necessity of baptism.

Accordingly, all thereafter who became believers used to be baptized. Then it was, too, that Paul, when he believed, was baptized; and this is the meaning of the precept which the Lord had given him when smitten with the plague of loss of sight, saying,

"Arise, and enter Damascus;
there shall be demonstrated to thee what thou
oughtest to do,"
to wit-be baptized, which was the only thing lacking to him.

That point excepted, he bad sufficiently learnt and believed "the Nazarene" to be "the Lord, the Son of God."

Chapter XIV.-Of Paul's Assertion, that He Had Not Been Sent to Baptize.

But they roll back an objection from that apostle himself, in that he said, "For Christ sent me not to baptize; " , as if by this argument baptism were done away!

For if so, why did he baptize Gaius, and Crispus, and the house of Stephanas?
However, even if Christ had not sent
him to baptize, yet He had given other apostles the precept to baptize.

But these words were written to the Corinthians in regard of the circumstances of that particular time; seeing that schisms and dissensions were agitated among them,

while one attributes everything to Paul, another to Apollos. For which reason the "peace-making" apostle,
for fear he should seem to
claim all gifts for himself, says that he had been sent "not to baptize, but to preach."

For preaching is the prior thing, baptizing the posterior. Therefore the preaching came first: but I think baptizing withal was lawful to him to whom preaching was.

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