Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Baptism Is No Small Thing

Question Received:

I have put my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior, but have yet to be baptized. Can one still be baptized by a church and not want to be apart of it, if you do not agree doctrinally? Or does it mean you have to be a member there?



MY ANSWER:

Congratulations on your salvation experience in Jesus Christ. We believe that baptism is by immersion after a person is converted.

You are right not to take the awesomeness of Baptism lightly. We believe it is an ordinance of the church, not a sacrament.

A sacrament dispenses grace. An ordinance shows the significance of what Jesus Christ has done. Yes, baptism shows what has happened in the washing away of your sins by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross for atonement of our sins. Yes, Baptism shows membership in the universal and usually the local church. Yes, baptism shows death to self and sin in the grave of water by immersion. There is even more.

The sinless Jesus Christ was baptized as he started his public ministry as you can read below in Acts 3. You should follow Him. His baptism "fulfills righteousness" and marked the beginning of His public ministry. All Christians have a public ministry whether it is as a lay person or clergy. The local church body you fellowship with is VERY important. You need to be apart of one.



Matthew 3:13-17 [ESV] 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" 15But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. 16And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."



The following Scripture in Romans shows why we sinners when converted are baptized. Baptismal belief and practice is one of the most divisive subjects in the universal church. Are you willing to agree with baptismal beliefs you do not agree with? Do you understand when you find a local church to fellowship with you might have to be baptized again due to the doctrine of those who baptized you?



Romans 6:3-4 [ESV] "3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."



Many churches teach baptism also as your entrance in the church. Your salvation is your entrance into the universal church. Baptism is the entrance into most local fellowships. Most churches usually allows transfer to other like minded congregations. Remember baptism is understood differently by different churches and denominations. Some churches and denominations do not even believe in the act of physical baptising as they spiritualize the significance of baptism..



In the below passage from Acts 8 the Ethiopian Eunich hears the word, is converted and baptised. The Eunich then departs back to Ethiopia and Phillip leaves him. The Eunich we assume took the gospel back to Ethiopia which had no New Testament church. Spontanious baptism was great in that situation. No church New Testament church was yet in Ethiopia.



Acts 8:34-39 [ESV]34And the eunuch said to Philip, "About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?" 35Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?" 38And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing."



If you live in America you should be able to find a church you are in agreement enough to join. Baptism, along with salvation, evangelism, missions, spiritual gifts and church government, and end times belifs are things you will find are no small things in the life of a church. I would want to be baptised by believers who were like minded and in whose local ministry I would want to minister. Some times spontanious baptisms are called for. In most cases in America I would say a time of learning is the wisest choice to prepare for baptism. Do not delay your search. Know why and into what belief you are being baptised and by who.

2 comments:

  1. Fletcher Law Do no Episcopalians read my blog? Come on Willie and Martin!
    Yesterday at 6:59pm · Like · 1 person
    Bill Lovell Hey, Fletcher! I am not a blog reader -- what a funny word, blog! Anyway I missed your blog post. Thanks for calling it to my attention. I do believe very much in infant baptism. After all, I'm a Calvinist!
    17 hours ago · Like
    Bill Lovell Like our brother, Jean Calvin, I look at baptism through the lens of circumcision -- a connection which appears to be established by Paul in Colossians 2:12. Quoting Calvin on this passage: "[B]aptism is now to Christians what circumcision was to those of ancient times..." (Institutes, Book 4, Chapter 14, Sec 24).
    17 hours ago · Like
    Fletcher Law Just wanted you to give the Anglican state of address on it William. My low readership has led me to stoop to CNN sensationalist comments to salvage any readership.
    17 hours ago · Like · 1 person
    Bill Lovell ‎@Fletcher My Anglicanism is reformed and evangelical!
    16 hours ago · Like
    Fletcher Law I know I can count on your faithful witness Williams. This article answers a question sent to me by GotQuestions.org an internet ministry I answer some questions for. They are Baptistic not officially Baptist.
    16 hours ago · Like
    Abigail Hosford Cutchshaw What a beautiful and uplifting blog! Tell Kay to get on Facebook and see the senior pictures of her little Jolie. When I say my prayers at night to thank God for incredible teachers, I think of her. Sending lots of love to your family! ♥
    11 hours ago · Like
    Buddy Bowman Good read Fletcher. Hope to get by and hear a sermon, soon.
    10 hours ago · Like
    William B. Edmonds As a Baptist, I enjoyed the uplifting experience of the demonstration of my personal resurrection from sin. I think the significance of the burial and resurrection symbolized by immersion is unforgettable. I also like the Christening of infants as the dedication of parents to rear their child as a Christian. Remember, these are my PERSONAL beliefs, because I am not an evangelist.
    3 hours ago · Like
    Fletcher Law Abigail I will pass the news to Kay, she will love the photos.. Thanks for the comment. I am still proud to be driving dr. Mike's old silver Mazda truck.
    28 minutes ago · Like
    Fletcher Law Great quote on the Baptist position Bill!
    27 minutes ago · Like
    Fletcher Law Thanks for reading Coach Bowman.
    27 minutes ago · Like

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  2. The comment above is all the comments gathered on Facebook about this blog. Good to hear from some great Anglicans and some well raised in the faith Baptists.

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