Summary: To clarify that the preposition “for” in the phrase: ”for the remission of sins" does not mean "because." The Greek word "eis" means into, unto, or toward, “the remission of sins.” To deny this truth, is to reject God's "pattern of conversion."
1. For the Remission of Sins
1. In this lesson today, we will be discussing the theme: “For the Remission of Sins." This is the ninth lesson in the sermon-series entitled: "Re-digging in Old Wells." There will be many others bearing this title. We are re-digging in old wells to receive what Isaiah promised: "With joy, you will draw water from the wells of salvation," Isaiah 12:3. There are times we must re-dig in old wells to obtain the joy found in the: "waters of salvation." This sermon type is called "expository preaching." Our goal will be: "to dig a little deeper" in the text of emphasis in these lessons. We will allow the writer, the characters in the verses, and the Master's words to shed new meaning to His words of eternal life, John 6:63; John 6:67-69.
2. We will consider this prepositional phrase: "For the Remission of Sins.” By this, we mean: does the preposition "eis" means because rather than into or unto the remission of sins? Is there such a thing as being baptized: “because of the remission of sins?” We will re-dig in old wells to find a biblical answer. Ulysses Shields called this kind of teaching: "digging a little deeper," in the word of truth. He was my grandfather in Christ. We will use as a foundational text for this sermon-series: "And Isaac re-dug the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Abraham...for the Philistines had stopped them (closed them up) after Abraham’s death,” Genesis 26:18. The Philistines: “Stopped them, and filled them with earth,” because they envied Isaac’s possessions, Genesis 26:14-15.
3. Our scripture of emphasis reads in this fashion: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,” Acts 2:38. This verse has troubled many over the years. Prominent ministers and teachers have inferred that baptism is unnecessary for salvation or the remission (forgiveness) of sins. Noted Baptist and evangelical leaders teach that baptism if done at all, is: “because of,” and, not for, “the remission of sins.” They take this position because they do not believe: “baptism is essential to salvation.”
4. We must do some extensive background work to understand this prepositional phrase of promise fully! It’s essential to consider every text within its context of the scriptures. With God’s help, we will do just that, to draw: “New water from old wells.” With this introduction, let’s consider this topic carefully, with both our bibles and hearts opened unto the words of the living God.
BODY OF LESSON
I FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS
A. Background study. We will now begin to lay a foundation to investigate the teaching of baptism: “For the Remission of Sins.” By this, we mean: does the preposition “eis” means “because” rather than “into or unto”: the remission of sins, in Acts 2:38. Is there such a thing as being baptized: "because of the remission of sins?" John preached a “baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." This work was preparatory for Christ's message: "repentance and the remission of sins," Luke 24:47. Consider--
1. The primary preposition “for” in Gr., is “eis” or “as,” which is translated: i.e., to or into, for (intent, purpose), fore, forth, in (among, at, unto, -so much that, -to), to the intent that, etc. The word "eis" is repeatedly translated in the New Testament: i.e., into, unto, to, towards, for, at, or among. The word “eis” is not translated in English as: “because” in any reputable Greek-English Interlinear.
b. Another preposition of the word “for” in Gr., is peri or pe-re' which is translated: i.e., about, concerning, on account of, because of, around, forsake, or near. Still, another word should be considered at this time, and that is “because.”
c. The word “because” in Gr., is the conjunction hoti or ho'-te, which is translated: i.e., because:—as concerning that, as though, because (that), for (that), how (that), (in) that, though, or why. Still another word--
d. The word “gar” is a primary particle, translated in Gr., as “for,” which could also mean:—and, as, because (that), but, even, for, indeed, no doubt, seeing, then, therefore, verily, what, why, or even yet.
e. Conclusion: To understand the meaning of prepositions, conjunctions, particles, phrases, and other words in Greek, it is always vital to consider them in the text's context within the scriptures. Not all Greek words bear the same meaning in their English translation of the scriptures—the words "for" and "because" are different terms in Greek. And therefore, their meaning must be understood within the context of the text itself. We must never permit our religious bias to dictate the meaning of prepositions or conjunctions; that is not an accurate translation of the word from the Greek text. Consult an Interlinear if you doubt these words' true meaning, being translated from Greek to English.