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And once again, as Luke carefully qualifies the events: Acts 8 confirms that the Spirit and water baptism do indeed go together even as Acts indicated. This strong understanding of water baptism as conveying forgiveness and the Holy Spirit will not conform to a theology with a diluted view of water baptism, as in Reformed theology. Nor will it permit a charismatic theology that urges Christians to see themselves as having "something missing" in their experience of the Spirit. Rather, the pastor ought to encourage members to recognize that the Holy Spirit was granted to them in their baptism.

People ought to be encouraged to make use of the Spirit's power in their daily lives. The search for spiritual renewal and power finds its answer at the baptismal font. In our next discussion, we will expand on baptism's role in bringing together believers of various persuasions and backgrounds into a unity. We will look at baptism's role in Paul's Epistle to the Galatians.

The Apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter "baptism now saves you. I want to work through these verses as well in order to place them within the surrounding context of what precedes v. This passage has always really intrigued me, long before I began any formal training in the Scriptures. We learn about Christ visiting the spirits in prison in v. My guess is that many of you have probably been tantalized by this text as well.

Let me take a stab at this text in the next hour and a half. No guarantees I'll be able to answer all your questions, but with reckless abandon, why don't we just dive in anyway? The Relation to Context I think the best place to start would be to ask how our paragraph of vv.

Christ is a great model of suffering for doing good. But unfortunately, v. The thought continues in the following verses. And it's hard when we look at v. So it doesn't look like vv. A more likely option is that vv. The topic in vv. Look especially at vv. But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. But vv. So what's the relationship between vv. The very same Christians who are surrounded by hostile forces in vv. Then in Peter will make the connection explicit between Christ who suffered in the flesh and Christians who must suffer in the flesh in order to live according to God's will.

In short, the point of this passage in vv. Christ, the righteous one, can lead them, the unrighteous, to God since by his suffering and resurrection he has overcome all the hostile forces that could hinder their access to God. On the basis of Baptism, Christians can face their future with confidence, no matter what suffering the future may hold since Christ has already triumphed over the powerful forces of the universe.

Christ's salvation promise is sure and will sustain us until the judgment and Christ's return to rescue us from tormented lives. Let's now look at these verses in a little more detail. Verse 18 Christ certainly suffered even as Christians may suffer according to v. But the similarities end there. Christ suffered "once and for all. Now the point of v. No, something far more significant is going on. No Christian can suffer for sins once and for all as the righteous for the unrighteous.

Rather Peter is now giving the objective basis for salvation and for the readers' confidence in the face of their own unjust sufferings. Christ by his suffering and resurrection has emerged victorious over the opposing powers in his unique death. Peter is not promoting ethics here but confidence. An emphasis on Christ's suffering rather than his death ] The point of Christ's suffering is "in order to bring you to God. Christ's sufferings allow the Christian readers access to God.

That's not a biblical distinction but a Greek one. Nothing else in 1 Peter suggests that he is thinking in the Greek tradition. We have to realize that we live in a culture that has inherited the Greek tradition that the soul is capable of existing apart from the body. But not 1 Peter. Whenever the New Testament speaks of Christ being "made alive," it is referring to his bodily resurrection e.

This is not a contrast between Christ's physical body and his vital principle or divine nature, but with Christ as a PERSON who was put to death and raised. But if we grant all that, what does Peter mean by contrasting flesh and spirit? Our author uses "flesh" in in the biblical way: the whole of mortal humanity. See also ; ; , 2, 6; for "spirit" see , 11, 12; ; ; , In 1 Peter , "flesh" refers to "humanity" and the same translation would work well here too. Humanity is simply the agent of Christ's death. Christ was put to death by humans and raised by the agency of the divine Spirit.

The advantage of this view is that it maintains the same bodily resurrection of Christ that is spoken of elsewhere in the NT, and it maintains the same agency of the Spirit in that resurrection spoken of elsewhere in the NT. Its presence and the strong notion of Christ's redemption of sinners through his death and resurrection renders the suffering of Christ inimitable. Verse 19 V. To what does "in which" refer? The most natural antecedent would be "spirit" at the end of v. We have translated v. The point in v.

And nothing indicates that this proclamation took place between Christ's death and resurrection. The "also" signals the second act that takes place by means of the Spirit: the first being the resurrection and the second Christ's proclamation. Now who are "the spirits in prison"? It may be tempting on first glance to take this as a reference to humans who have died. Mark , 26, 27; ; , 8]. The absolute use of "spirits" in the NT as we are seeing here is rare but when it occurs, it always refers to evil spirits [see Matt.

That means that these "spirits" are most likely supernatural beings. In the gospels Jesus traces evil on the earth at one point to Satan in Luke , but nowhere else do we hear that Satan's angelic followers are imprisoned. But we have to keep in mind that in first century Jewish writings there was an entire tradition revolving around the interpretation of Gen. They are identified as "spirits" in 1 Enoch ; , 6, 7; cf. Their sin was to take human wives So Gen.

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The offspring of their sinful union became the source of the world's evil in Jewish tradition. Nowhere in the New Testament is the word "prison" used for an abode of the dead. The word referred either to actual physical prisons e. Acts ; ; ; ; 2 Cor. That such a prison exists for evil "spirits" is assumed both in Revelation and in Jewish tradition, especially in the Jewish traditions revolving around the biblical figure of Enoch. But the location of that prison is unclear: whether on earth Rev. Levi or at the end of both heaven and earth 1 Enoch ; ; cf. Jewish tradition varies on the location, and so we cannot be sure at this point.

Christ's activity is described with two verbs: "went" or "proceed" and "made a proclamation [preached]. The assumption is that Jesus descended in v. BUT: the Greek word for "went" or "proceed" never means "descend. John , 3, 28; There is no reason why it could not mean "ascend" here as well. Levi ; cf. Thus, it is more natural to understand it in the same way here.

Both vv.

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Christ not only went but he preached. This word group in the Greek kerusso is used most frequently for salvific proclamation, but not always. Some think that if these are human beings who are the "imprisoned spirits," then the content was the gospel of salvation, perhaps an announcement of the need for repentance to the human dead. It can be used in a strictly neutral sense e.


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Luke ; Rom. In fact, Jude cites the Enochic legends on Genesis Jude's readers need not know 1 Enoch as such. They need only know the gist of the legends in order to comprehend its application to the risen Christ. In the context of 1 Peter, the preaching would not have been of salvation but their condemnation. In the context of Christ's resurrection in v. The evil powers have been defeated by the risen Christ on his way to the right hand of God In the process of his ascent to glory, Christ announces to the imprisoned angelic powers his victory and their defeat.

It also maintains the normal usage of "spirits" as angelic beings.

It retains for "go" or "proceed" poreutheis the SAME meaning it will have in , where it is used for the final step in Christ's ascension to the right hand. In other words, although there are hostile forces in their world arrayed against them, they need not fear since even the supernatural forces of evil have been defeated. Christ's victory over the supernatural forces of evil serves to guarantee their own ultimate victory and encourages their steadfastness. Any suffering they endure is to be preferred to caving in to pressure and denying Christ If God relented on such evil entities or souls, why even bother to endure suffering.

Why not just go ahead and deny Christ, avoid suffering, and then count on some future saving message after death? In that case these verses would hardly offer any encouragement to suffering Christians. On the contrary, all this fits very neatly the Jewish tradition of fallen angels who became a source of evil on the earth. Then, according to Jewish tradition, came Enoch, the man who walked with God, who was taken up into heaven and announced doom to the rebellious angels.

Only in 1 Peter's version, it's not Enoch, but Christ announces their doom, a Christ who rises from dead, victorious over all the forces of evil and sits at God's right hand. Christ is the one who announces their doom and thereby instills confidence in those who would follow him. Verse 20 Let's move on now to v. We have to always keep in mind that the context of vv.

God saved Noah and his family from an evil world through the waters of the flood, even as God saves Christians from an evil world through baptism, a victory to be consummated with the return of Christ. Both the content and context in vv. They were certainly disobedient, but there is more. The words "did not obey" is a participle in the Greek and the participle is not in attributive position. Or perhaps because they were disobedient Christ announced his victory over them. The reference to the time of Noah does not indicate that the "spirits" are human.

It can be used to indicate a contrast with a former condition with "now" in Rom. Thus, God patiently endured for a while the evil of a society that opposed him. The attention in v. Noah's building activity is ignored here. The sense is probably that they entered the ark and were saved IN it rather than eis being confused with en.

The passive form points to God as the deliverer of those in the ark. As instrumental it would mean that the water was the instrument by means of which those in the ark were saved. In the next verse, the water of baptism is instrumental in human salvation. Perhaps we ought to think in terms of a less literal locative construal here. Thus the waters effected Noah's deliverance from his evil world even as baptism effects the deliverance of Christians from the contemporary, evil world. Verse 21 We've really already begun to take into account v.

If, as seems likely, the relative pronoun is the subject of the verb, then the two remaining nouns stand in apposition to it. The complexity of the sentence is, however, in all likelihood the result of the complex attempt to relate Noah and the flood as a means of deliverance to Christian baptism as a means of salvation, and ought thus to be allowed to stand. The emphasis in v. In other words, there is a continuity in God's actions in both the old and the new Israel. The central thrust of the verse is the affirmation that "baptism saves you. By the way, the reference to water at the beginning of the verse guarantees that we are indeed talking about the rite of baptism.

We see this affirmed in the final phrase of the verse "through the resurrection of Christ". Baptism incorporates us into that power and that victory. Baptism is NOT "the putting off of the filth of the flesh" sarkos apothesis rhupou. We're surely not saying that baptism ISN'T the putting off of the flesh in terms of moral impurity.

The foreskin is unclean in Lev. Uncircumcision is uncleanness in 1 Sam. The foreskin is the "flesh" in Gen. We see a similar idea in Colossians. In Col. It is not a purely physical act. This would neatly dovetail with the emphasis all throughout 1 Peter's emphasis on how the Gentile recipients of the letter have become God's people through Christ. The titles of Israel as God's people are now theirs. The Gentiles are simply saved through baptism and not the rite of circumcision.

The next phrase in the verse, though, is more difficult suneideseos agathes eperotema eis theon. First, the verbal noun "conscience" suneidesis identifies shared or joint knowledge and is used in antiquity for "awareness" or "consciousness. Second, what does "appeal" eperotema mean? The word occurs only here in the New Testament. It can also refer in the Greek papyri to stipulations of a contractual nature. In non-biblical Greek, the verb is used for "having been asked" or the verbal noun "what has been asked".

Since the verb "ask a question, make a request" is more frequent in the NT, one can derive the meaning of the less clear noun from the clearer verb and thus "request" or "plea" and since it is directed toward God, as "PRAYER," perhaps also with the further idea that this request will also shape one's behavior on light of that which one requested. The early church's baptismal liturgy included a confession of faith in response to a corresponding question.

At Qumran, one had to make a pledge along with the ritual. There are two ways of understanding the relationship between pledge or prayer and good conscience. First, this could be [subjective genitive] the pledge that arises or proceeds from a good conscience. But the problem with this view is that baptism would no longer be the saving agent through the power of Christ's resurrection. One would ALREADY have had a good conscience and then baptism would just be the expression of a prayer or pledge arising from that state.

In other words, a good conscience would have been present prior to the baptismal act. But such a good conscience is precisely what baptism was intended to mediate by "saving" the individual. If it is a subjective genitive, then it is the prayer or pledge that arises or proceeds from a good conscience. If it is a pledge, then it is a pledge to God of unspecified content arising from the good conscience the believer already possesses.

If a prayer, then the baptisand addresses a prayer to God for a good conscience, that is, for a consciousness of God and the ensuing appropriate activity, that he or she will maintain a "good conscience," i. Arguments can be made for ALL these positions. Least persuasive is the position that the phrase is a prayer to God arising from a good conscience, since then the content of the prayer is left unspecified, and the salvation through the resurrection of Christ provided in baptism must presume a commitment to God and its corresponding activity, in this verse identified as the way baptism saved, as being already present PRIOR to that salvific act.

A similar problem arises from understanding the phrase to be a pledge to God arising from a good conscience, since although the content of the pledge good conscience is clear, the results of the baptismal salvation must again be assumed to be present PIROR to the baptism itself. To understand the phrase as defining baptism made salvific by its relationship to the risen Christ in terms of the baptisand's prayer to God that he or she may hold fast to a sound consciousness of God and so act appropriately is attractive theologically and fits the larger context of the letter.

Baptism is the pledge of a good conscience, that is, for a consciousness of God and the appropriate activity that involves. The individual is also praying in the baptismal act for a "good conscience," a consciousness of God and the good and decent conduct that goes with that consciousness. And how is this so? Let me summarize vv. And it delivers by allowing Christians, through their participation in the power of the risen Christ and his defeat of the powers of evil, to live a life pleasing to God and appropriate to their redemption through Christ.

TO be saved in baptism also entails responsibility in the form of the baptismal pledge. One must maintain a proper Christian lifestyle in the midst of a hostile world. This is central to the letter as a whole. Verse Moving on to v. Christ has ascended and is exalted at God's right hand and has ascended. He has subjugated the superhuman powers. The introductory pronoun is less creedal hos than part of the structure of the verse. Allusions to this tradition may retain ek dexion from the psalm or use the comparable phrase en dexia. The same verb is used here for the ascension as in v.

In other words, this is the same event. The powers are subjugated, then, by means of Christ's proclamation of victory to them. Perhaps also 1 Cor. It is also used for powers affecting human life see Rom. See Rom.

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Christ's authority will soon become visible with God's final judgment. The Context of 1 Peter The "therefore" oun in resumes the discussion of The reference to Christ's suffering in recalls the reference to Christ's suffering in a. Similarly, the putting away of sin in b reflects a similar point in a. The contrast between flesh and spirit in recalls b. The exhortations in must be therefore be understood in relation to this wider unit. In fact, the quotation of Ps. Thus is part of a broader unit of thought. The exhortations in apply to the lives of readers the point made about Christ's triumph over the supernatural evil powers in , Believers are free now to live in accordance with the will of God rather than in conformity with the expectations of their contemporary culture Despite the abuse that comes from nonconformity to contemporary cultural values , God's final judgment will vindicate the way they have chosen to live in And all this began with the believer's salvation through the waters of baptism.

Peter believes that baptism entails a commitment to right action in Christ. Sanctification is included as a pledge in our very justification. Christ will therefore triumph over the evil in our individual lives as well. We live as a church militant, but a church in victory! The "for" indicates that v. There is no subject for the verb "was preached.

So most likely Jesus Christ is the subject of this passive verb. He was preached. Since this is contrasted with living, there is a clearly negative thrust. Note the three formal parallels: a. Acts ; ; 2 Tim. The latter is the meaning in ; ; the immediately preceding verse! Whether it refers to final judgment, as in v. It would be peculiar to describe God's final judgment as taking place "in the flesh" and in some way related to human standards kata anthropous.

Understanding death as the judgment on sin, while widespread, is not entirely relevant in this context, particularly if kata anthropous is taken to refer to the opinion of non-Christian contemporaries, since such an understanding of death would be foreign to them. Judgment occurs within the realm of human existence while life occurs within the realm of the divine. The latter is the final result of living in accord with the will of God So does v. BUT: a Nothing indicates that Christ is the one doing the preaching.

He is more likely the subject matter than the agent of the preaching. Who then are we to understand did such preaching to the dead? That would still pose a problem for universal judgment. The sole outcome is eternal life in the divine sphere; no mention of any rejection of those who have rejected Christ. That is quite foreign to the NT, where the final judgment is a time of separation of good from evil where all must give an account. Such a use for the word nekros for those who are, or were, spiritually dead is known to NT authors and is favored by some early Christian authors.

An explanation that honors the context would be preferable to one requiring a radical change of meaning. It would be like Thessalonica's problem, although not explicitly raised. Christians who had suffered not only at the hands of their contemporaries but also DIED in the seeming fruitlessness of their beliefs and life of self-denial may nevertheless look forward to vindication.

So, although undergoing in death a divine judgment on sin, they will nevertheless be awakened to live in the spiritual realm with God! That takes nekrois in a more limited fashion in v. Thus: no connection between these two verses, and each ought to be understood in its own context apart from any reference to the other, lest damage be done to the author's intention in both verses. Rather, the same judgment that will require an account from those who have blasphemously opposed the Christians v.

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And we'll want to return to that topic at the end. But this text is significant for a number of reasons. First and most especially, we are likely dealing with an early Christian baptismal creed here. Second, it is very interesting to see how this baptismal creed functions within the argument of Paul's letter.

As we see how it functions, we will gain a new and deeper understanding of baptism, and we'll also be able to evaluate the role that this verse plays in the debate over women in the ministry. A Baptismal Creed I mentioned to you the possibility of a baptismal creed. Let me give you the evidence for it. First, there is a convergence of elements here that we find in other places where Paul talks about baptism. Let me list them for you. Take a look at 1 Corinthians "For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

And Colossians although not regarding Baptism : "[You] have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewing there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all! This sort of formulaic language suggests the possibility of pre-Pauline material.

But the best evidence for a baptismal creed is within Galatians itself. Thus, a second line of evidence is that Paul's categories of opposites in Gal. Nowhere else does Paul mention "male" and "female" in this letter. The ordinary sociological sense in departs from Paul's usage elsewhere in the letter. What is the purpose, then, of this baptismal instruction at the center of this letter? The crucial issue in this letter is already in vv. Who are the rightful heirs of God's promises? Paul answers that it is those who have been baptized and taken into a oneness with Christ.

But to appreciate his point, we must take a look at the situation of the letter, the situation at Galatia. And notice how Paul describes the Galatians? The Galatians were Gentiles. While the Galatians themselves are Gentiles, there's another group at Galatia.

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While we're in we can begin to say something about the identity of these certain others. They were advocates of circumcision. The Gentiles used to deride the Jews for their practice of circumcision. They saw it as self-mutilation or castration. These advocates of circumcision must also have been pressing the Galatians to observe the Mosaic Law. In Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to beings that by nature are not gods. How can you want to be enslaved to them again? Why would Paul even bother to call it a gospel in the first place only to have to correct himself.

These Jewish Christians were operating a competing missionary movement to the Gentiles alongside Paul's own. We see this especially in My little children, for whom I am again in pain of childbirth until Christ is formed in you. One woman, in fact, is Hagar, from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery. Hagar is giving birth to slave-children. Sarah to the free. Paul never uses "Jerusalem" for the Jews in his writings. Paul is therefore opposing a competing Law-observant missionary movement that saw itself as derived from the Jerusalem church, a missionary movement that was operating parallel to Paul's own efforts at Galatia.

Let's compare these two missionary movements. One fact that I don't think we as Missouri Synod Lutherans are always that aware of is that there is a great deal of shared ground between Paul and his opponents. Let me show you what I mean. Interestingly, this affirmation can be translated in two different ways.

Let me give you the common translation of the verse. But he also seems to be recognizing an apparent ambiguity in the formulation. Notice how he restates the affirmation in unambiguously exclusive terms by the end of the verse. Paul quickly adds in the rest of v. Why would he do this? Simply because the initial formulation could have been read in a very different way. Let me translate a in differently, but in a manner equally appropriate to the Greek. Now let me emphasize a point about this dispute that you may not have realized.

Paul's opponents and he both agreed that one must have faith in Jesus Christ to be saved. Let me repeat: Paul's opponents and he both agreed that one must have faith in Jesus Christ to be saved. The issue is whether the Mosaic Law is an additional factor alongside faith in the Messiah for salvation. I just think that it would fit more with the intention of creating Nekros and that it will make him truely the master of the forces of life and death. For each slot I came up with two possible powers and loosely outlines their effects.

If the target is immune to crowd control then Necrotic Bomb deals flat rate damage based on Nekros's level. This effect can happen up to four times per use. If cast at an ally the spirits will heal and boost the ally's shield capacity and recharge for a limited duration. If cast at an enemy the spirits will seek out enemies to knockdown and deal various elemental damage to. This ability can also be cast on an ally, healthy or fallen.

Am I wrong? I apologize for any typos and grammatical errors I have missed. Read through the abilities, feels like your 2nd is his 4th. And your 4th is like nyx's chaos. The 3rd is kind of like nekros agument for his ult. Just asking. With a good agument build, nekros can be a monster, either with having a tank build, or being a god of survival for your squad. I honestly think Necros is fine. He doesn't need a complete rework, though I don't mind a rework of sorts. The only ability I want to see reworked is Terrify.

It should lower armor and slow enemies as they run away. A lot of people harp on Desecrate, but on survivals it's an amazing thing. When a Necros is around, there's no shortage of health for the team. That and it can spawn LS. Just because Desecrate doesn't damage enemies doesn't mean it's useless. Edit: Also keep in mind that Necros' archetype isn't meant to be a damage dealing caster type like Ember or Nova.

He's a summoner and probably one of the best we have in this game. Hey, I saw your suggestions in another thread, and I do think they're really cool. However, I do disagree with your point of Nekros's abilities only being marginally useful. My thoughts on your suggestions is that they have more of a plague mage theme than a Necromancer one, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it's stepping a little into Saryn's realm.

First of all, Soul Punch sucks. You're right about that one, that's all there is to it. Even the augment for it sucks. You can just cast Terrify and revive them safely anyway. Speaking of which, Terrify is a useful CC tool. Your enemies do nothing but run away for ish seconds. I forget the exact number. And even though it only affects a limited number of enemies, it's recastable.

With high Power Strength, it can affect about 30 enemies per cast, which is a whole room in a cast or two. No, it's not as good as Chaos, for instance, since all your enemies run away and you have to chase them down, but if you have a Slowva, for instance, they'll be running away far slower than normal and be completely subdued.

Slow and fear are extremely powerful together.

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It's still a useful CC without Nova. Desecrate is more than marginally useful. But what you need to make it truly powerful is its augment, Despoil. Using health to cast it might not sound good, but health orbs are the only guaranteed drop from Desecrate. Despoil with Equilibrium, especially combined with flow, means you can entirely neglect power efficiency, opening mod space for Terrify and Shadows. Now I will admit that my 3 key suffers greatly for this ability, and it does need work, but it is a very useful ability. If you have the augment, you can be a loot machine, but still be a menace with your other abilities as well, so you're not just dead weight.

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