Does Acts 2:38 Mean We Are Baptized “Because Of” The Remission Of Sins?

Acts 2:38 reads “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 ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” This verse clearly makes water baptism essential to the forgiveness of sins.

But some try to get around this plain meaning by saying the word “for” means “because of” such that the verse is saying we are baptized because our sins are already remitted, not in order to obtain said remission. But is that argument sound? It is true our English word “for” can mean “because of,” but the Greek word translated “for” in this text (“eis”) never means that. As a matter of fact, not one standard translation can be produced that translates “eis” as “because of” in Acts 2:38. The prepositional phrase “for the remission of sins” also modifies the verb “repent.” Does Acts 2:38 also mean → repent “because of” the remission of sins already received? That would mean a person would be saved without repenting of their sins.

Consider these illustrations of how the same word is used in other verses:

· Matthew 26:28 reads “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for (eis) the remission of sins.” Did Jesus die “because” sins were already remitted previously by other means?

· Acts 3:19 says “Repent … and be converted, for (eis) your sins may be blotted out.” Does that mean our sins are blotted out before we repent and are converted?

· Romans 10:10 states “with the heart man believeth for (eis) righteousness.” Does God declare us righteous before we believe?

· II Corinthians 7:10 declares “godly sorrow worketh repentance for (eis) salvation. Does that mean we repent because we have already received salvation?

Why one meaning for "eis” in Acts2:38, and another meaning in all these other verses?

We see then that water baptism is unto (in order to obtain) the remission of sins.


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