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[quote:3qqnzjl7]Here is one that will hopefully at least strike your curiousity further.
[b:3qqnzjl7]Titus 3:5-7[/b:3qqnzjl7] ‚Äì [color=green:3qqnzjl7]”He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ, so that we might be justified by His grace and become heirs of eternal life.”[/color:3qqnzjl7] This is a powerful text which proves that baptism regenerates our souls and is thus salvific. The [color=green:3qqnzjl7]”washing of regeneration” “saves us.”[/color:3qqnzjl7] Regeneration is never symbolic, and the phrase [color=green:3qqnzjl7]”saved us”[/color:3qqnzjl7] refers to salvation. By [color=red:3qqnzjl7]baptism[/color:3qqnzjl7], we become justified by His grace (interior change) and heirs of eternal life (filial adoption). Because this refers to [color=red:3qqnzjl7]baptism[/color:3qqnzjl7], the verse is about the beginning of the life in Christ. No righteous deeds done before [color=red:3qqnzjl7]baptism[/color:3qqnzjl7] could save us. Righteous deeds after [color=red:3qqnzjl7]baptism[/color:3qqnzjl7] are necessary for our salvation.[/quote:3qqnzjl7]
I (of course) disagree. My NKJV tells me -Titus 3:5- [b:3qqnzjl7][i:3qqnzjl7]Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; [/i:3qqnzjl7][/b:3qqnzjl7]
Then I looked at washing and got this verse from Ephesions 5:26 – [i:3qqnzjl7][b:3qqnzjl7]That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,[/b:3qqnzjl7][/i:3qqnzjl7]
Now if you claim baptism saves you, wouldn’t you be able to boast, “I got baptized” when Jesus asks why we should get into Heaven? And doesn’t Ephesians 2:8,9 forbid this? [i:3qqnzjl7][b:3qqnzjl7]For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. “[/b:3qqnzjl7][/i:3qqnzjl7]
Also I wrote an article on this baptism – Article #33 – “are you born again?”