Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead The intimacy of the believer's relationship with Christ is revealed through expressions like "baptized into Christ Jesus," "baptized into His death," and "buried with Him through baptism. Death to sin. In baptism believers "have been united together in the likeness of His [Christ's] death" Rom. This means "our old man was crucified with Him, that the old body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
For he who has died has been freed from sin Rom. Believers have renounced their former lifestyle. They are dead to sin and confirm that the "old things have passed away" 2 Cor. Baptism symbolizes the crucifixion of the old life. It is not only a death but also a burial. We are "buried with Him in baptism" Col.
As a burial follows a person's death, so when the believer goes down into the watery grave the old life that passed away when he accepted Jesus Christ is buried. In baptism believers renounced the world.
Do not touch what is unclean'" 2 Cor. In the apostolic church the call to repentance included the call to baptism Acts Thus baptism also marks true repentance. Believers die to their transgressing of the law and abtain forgiveness of sin through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. The baptismal ceremony is a demonstration of an inner cleansing--the washing away of sins that have been confessed. Alive to God. Christ's resurrection power goes to work in our lives.
It enables us to walk in newness of life Rom. We testify that the only hope of a life victorious over the old nature is in the grace of a risen Lord who has provided a new spiritual life through the energizing power of the Holy Spirit. This new life lifts us to a higher plateau of human experience, giving us new values, aspirations, and desires that focus on a commitment to Jesus Christ.
We are new disciples of our Saviour, and baptism is the sign of our discipleship. The Abrahamic covenant had both spiritual and national aspects. Circumcision was a mark of national identity. Abraham himself and all the males of his family eight days old and older were to be circumcised Gen. That the covenant was made between God and Abraham, an adult, reveals its spiritual dimension.
Abraham's circumcision signified and confirmed his previous experience of justification by faith. His circumcision was "a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised" Rom. But circumcision alone did not guarantee entrance into the true spiritual dimension of the covenant. Frequently God's spokesmen warned that nothing less than spiritual circumcision would suffice. The "uncircumcised in the heart" were to be punished with the Gentiles Jer.
When the Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah they broke their covenant relationship with God, terminating their special status as His chosen people Dan. Although God's covenant and His promises remained the same, He chose a new people. Spiritual Israel replaced the Jewish nation Gal. Christ's death ratified the new covenant. People entered this covenant through spiritual circumcision--a response of faith to Jesus' atoning death. Christians have "the gospel for the uncircumcised" Gal.
The new covenant requires an "inward faith" and not an "outward rite" of those who would belong to spiritual Israel. One can be a Jew through birth; but one can be a Christian only through the new birth.
As if to be baptised with water, according to the precept of Christ, had been a contemptible thing, a benedicion, or rather incantation, was devised to pollute the true consecration of water. Solely, therefore, on the condition of repentance, were they restored to the covenant which God had once made with them in circumcision, though this which they had received at the hand of a covenant-breaking priest, they had themselves as much as in them lay polluted and extinguished. At least three of the baptisms mentioned in the New Testament are difficult to imagine as immersion. Its existence in infants. In this commission Christ made it clear that He required baptism of those who wished to become a part of His church, His spiritual kingdom. Romans , 1 la: "How was it then reckoned?
What matters is "circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit" Rom. Baptism, the sign of a saving relationship with Jesus, represents this spiritual circumcision. As a result he is in line to receive the fulfillment of the covenant promises.
If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise" Gal. His experience reveals that water baptism and Spirit baptism belong together, that a baptism void of the reception of the Holy Spirit is incomplete. In the apostolic church the outpouring of the Holy Spirit generally followed water baptism. So today, when we are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we are dedicated, consecrated, and united with the three great powers of heaven and to the spreading of the everlasting gospel.
The Holy Spirit prepares us for this ministry by purifying our hearts from sin. Isaiah revealed that God would cleanse His people from their impurities "by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning" Isa. The Holy Spirit will purify the lives of all who surrender to Him, consuming their sins. Then the Holy Spirit provides them with His gifts. His gifts are "a special divine endowment, given at the time of baptism, to enable the believer to serve the church and to minister to those who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ. Symbol of Entrance Into the Church As a sign of a person's regeneration or new birth John ,5 , baptism also marks that person's entrance into Christ's spiritual kingdom.
Through baptism the Lord adds the new disciples to the body of believers--His body, the church Acts ,47; 1 Cor. Then they are members of God's family. One cannot be baptized without joining the church family. Qualifications for Baptism Scripture compares the relationship between Christ and His church to a marriage. In marriage, both parties should know well the responsibilities and commitments involved.
Those desiring baptism must reveal in their lives faith, repentance, and the fruits of repentance, as well as an understanding of the meaning of baptism and the subsequent spiritual relationship. In the apostolic church only those who believed the gospel were baptized Acts ,36,37; Since "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" Rom.
Becoming a disciple involves thorough instruction. Instruction in the Word of God produces not only faith but repentance and conversion. In response to God's call people see their lost condition, confess their sinfulness, submit themselves to God, repent of their sin, accept Christ's atonement, and consecrate themselves to a new life with Him.
Without conversion they cannot enter a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Only through repentance can they experience death to sin--a prerequisite for baptism. Fruits of Repentance Those who desire baptism must profess faith and experience repentance. Their lives ought to demonstrate their commitment to the truth as it is in Jesus and express their love to God through obedience to His commandments.
In preparing for baptism they ought to have surrendered erroneous beliefs and practices. The fruits of the Spirit displayed in their lives will reveal that the Lord abides in them and they in Him John Unless they give this evidence of their relationship with Christ, they are not yet ready to join the church. Those administering baptism are responsible for determining the readiness of candidates for baptism. They must ascertain the candidate's understanding of the principles for which the church stands and give evidence of a new creation and an enjoyable experience in the Lord Jesus.
Self did not die. These did not receive a new life in Christ. Those who have joined the church in this way have brought with them the seeds of weakness and apostasy. Their "unsanctified" influence confuses those within and without the church and jeopardizes its witness. Should Infants and Children Be Baptized? Baptism incorporates new believers into the church within the context of "being born again. Incorporation takes place at the "new birth," not at "infant birth. Beasley-Murray confessed, "I find myself unable to recognize in infant baptism the baptism of the New Testament Church.
Does that mean they are excluded from the new covenant community? Certainly not! Jesus did not exclude them from His kingdom of grace. Believing parents fulfill a vital role in guiding their children into a relationship with Christ that will eventually lead them to baptism. Jesus' positive response to the mothers who brought their children to Him to be blessed has led to the practice of child dedication.
For this service parents bring their children to church to be presented or dedicated to God. At what age should a person be ready for baptism? Individuals can be baptized if they 1 are old enough to understand the meaning of baptism, 2 have surrendered to Christ and are converted, 3 understand the fundamental principles of Christianity, and 4 comprehend the significance of church membership. A person puts his salvation in jeopardy only when he has come to the age of accountability and then rejects the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Because individuals differ as to their spiritual maturity at any given age, some are ready for baptism at an earlier age than are others. So we can set no fixed minimum age for baptism. When parents consent to their children's being baptized at an early age, they must accept the responsibility for their spiritual growth and character development.
The Fruit of Baptism The pre-eminent fruit baptism bears is a life lived for Christ. Goals and aspirations focus on Christ, not on self. Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth" Col. Baptism is not the reaching of the highest peak attainable to the Christian. As we grow spiritually, we acquire Christian graces to be used in serving others on God's plan of multiplication: "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord" 2 Peter As we remain faithfully committed to our baptismal vows, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in whose name we have been baptized, guarantee that we have access to divine power to assist in every emergency we may face in the postbaptismal life.
The second fruit is a life lived for Christ's church. We are no longer isolated individuals; we have become members of Christ's church. As living stones we make up God's temple 1 Peter We maintain a special relationship to Christ, the head of the church, from whom we receive our daily graces for growth and development in love Eph. We assume responsibilities within the covenant community, the members of which, bear a responsibility for the newly baptized 1 Cor.
For their own good, as well as that of the church, these new members must be involved in a life of worship, prayer, and loving service Eph. The final fruit is a life lived in and for the world. It is true that we who have been baptized hold our citizenship in heaven Phil. But we have been called out of the world simply to be trained within the body of Christ to return to the world as servants, participating in Christ's saving ministry.
True disciples will not withdraw from the world into the church; we are born into Christ's kingdom as missionaries. Faithfulness to our baptismal covenant involves leading others into the kingdom of grace. Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord'" Acts References 1. An ordinance is an established symbolic religious rite or observance that sets forth the central truths of the gospel and that is of universal and perpetual obligation. Christ prescribed two ordinances--baptism and the Lord's Supper.
An ordinance is not a sacrament in the sense of being an opus operatum--an act that in and of itself imparts grace and effects salvation. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are sacraments only in the sense of being like the sacramentum, the oath taken by Roman soldiers to obey their commander even unto death. These ordinances involve a vow of total allegiance to Christ.
Jemison, Christian Beliefs, p. Many evangelicals also feel the need to attach the event of baptism to salvation—however in this case, through profession of faith. Citing from a number of biblical references, one could propose that there seems to be an attachment of baptism following a profession of faith. In our estimation, many Reformers reacted to the incorrect attachment of salvation with infant baptism by Roman Catholicism. They argued that salvation is certainly beyond the understanding of the child, and that the act of baptism has no power to save, to which we agree and it is impossible to refute.
Simply put, infant baptism recognizes that the child is part of the body of Christ and receives the same blessings and benefits from God that the rest of the body receives. The confusion surrounding the issue of baptism truly resides in the aspect of the profession of faith.
Throughout the book of Acts, the apostles are faced with several opportunities to baptize individuals. The resulting New Testament letters also contain the explanation of baptism to people who had no previous connection to the Hebrew rite of circumcision. Accordingly, this outward identification was no longer essential for Gentile believers. Acts helps us to view a few such conversions—but in each case, the decision-making adult needed to repent and profess Christ as King. This seems to be clearly spelled out by Paul as he writes pertaining to how believers were not identified through circumcision any more.
Paul carries a similar thought when discussing the Abrahamic covenant in Galatians chapter 3, concluding,. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. This is strong language about how one is identified within the covenant people of God. Lastly, Paul explicitly uses the word baptism when referring to the ancient Hebrews who traveled with Moses through the Red Sea see 1 Corinthians We contend that the best understanding of baptism would be similar to identification , and carries with it the idea of attachment, connection, infusion, or initiation into the movement that Jesus began and that the Church has embodied up until today.
We are not imparting any recognition of salvation upon them. This community of grace through its teaching and obedience to the Gospel provides the opportunity for God to engage the young hearts of these children and for their lives to be shaped within the Gospel community toward their own personal salvation. On the other hand, for cognizant adults it would always be necessary for them to acknowledge Christ as King and to embrace his kingdom principles for their own lives. Yet we could very easily include people with severe mental limitations and without any understanding of salvation to be worthy candidates as well based on their identification and connection within the local body of believers.
This seems very fitting. We realize that this statement regarding infant baptism is not the final word on the subject and does not negate the debate in the Church about this subject. Please Login. Service Schedule. We are located at Reedsville Road, Schuylkill Haven, PA For customized directions from your location, click on the map below: View Larger Map If you need to contact us, please call our office at Our Beliefs.
The Cloud of Circumcision. JOHN SHOULD NOT HAVE BAPTISED JESUS (Part 2). - Kindle edition by Charles Sankey Emanuwa DipRSA. Download it once. The Cloud of Circumcision. JOHN SHOULD NOT HAVE BAPTISED JESUS. - Kindle edition by Mr. Charles Sankey Buck Emanuwa. Download it once and read.
Paul carries a similar thought when discussing the Abrahamic covenant in Galatians chapter 3, concluding, You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Church website design - Elexio Amp Vibe.