It doesn’t matter to them that every English translation of the Bible translates this word in Acts 2:38 as “for” or “into” and never “because of”, because these Christians know in their hearts that God would never, ever say that baptism has anything to do with the forgiveness of sins.
Below is an excellent article by Lutheran pastor, Matt Richards on this subject:
the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost
My children, before they turned age 8, were accountable for some things in their lives. I am sure they were able to commit sin before 8. There is no sudden change in them at age 8, rather, the change occurs over time starting before age 8.
This is what I have seen.]]>
Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. [Nephi states the need to enter in by the gate and then defines the gate in the entire following sentence:] For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; [this semicolon does not indicate the start of a new topic. Nephi is still talking about (defining) the gate.] and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
And then are ye in this strait and narrow path (only after the baptism of fire are we in the path) which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; [then Nephi defines again what the gate is:] ye have done according to the commandments [faith, repentance, baptism, "receive the Holy Ghost" (said to us during confirmation)] of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, [which is the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost] which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in [Nephi is again referring to the gate, which is entered. The path is what we are in after we have entered in the gate] by the way ye should receive. (2 Nephi 31: 17-18)
It is arguable that the baptism is not part of the gate. At least if you’re using 2 Ne 3:17.
What that verse says is:
For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
A strict reading of the verse says the gate is repentance and baptism, and that baptism by fire follows that (perhaps the first step on the path).
I admit that it is unclear and can see how one would think baptism by fire is included. In fact, I debated whether to include it in my first comment. I decided to go with a strict interpretation.
True enough. It’s not a simile.]]>
As he said.]]>
The sacrament does not “re-new” the baptismal covenant. That is non-scriptural and an invention by modern LDS. It’s a nice idea and works for a lot of people, but the sacrament is a demonstration (witness) of our willingness to do certain things and to keep the Lord’s commandment to partake of the sacrament in remembrance of his atonement.
Baptism is a witness that we have entered into a covenant, it is not a covenant in and of itself. We may have covenanted with God that same day or 10 years before. Just as legal documents need witnesses to be valid, the covenant needs a witness (baptism) to be fully valid.
In 2 Ne 31:17 the gate is not baptism and repentance, the gate is repentance + baptism + fire and the Holy Ghost.
Baptism does not remit sins. Kim Siever is correct, “for the remission of sins” is the same as saying “in order to receive the remission of sins.” The reception of the Spirit remits sins, both prior (D&C 20: 37) and after baptism.
Although forgiveness (remission) of sins can and does occur prior to baptism through faith and repentance, baptism is necessary in order to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, which, once the Spirit is received, by following the instructions found in Mosiah 4: 11-12, allow a person to indefinitely retain a remission of sins, never ever falling from grace, because of the justification, purification and sanctification powers of the Holy Ghost. This is impossible to do prior without baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost.