ThoughtShades FrameWork

Essays, Themes, Opinions

Constructs, Practical Ideas, Applications

Poetry, Impression Writing

Sermons, Devotions

Personal Revelations, Illustrations

Viewpoint: Politics, Contemporary Issues, Editorials


Choice Offerings by Others

Powered by Squarespace
« What Shall We Name the Baby? | Main | Ballpark Religion »

Don’t Abandon Baptism

Spiritualizing and over-intellectualizing the sacrament of baptism has the ironic effect of insulting the very God who instituted the practice.  Unnecessary.  Superficial.  A human work.  Merely an outward show of an inward faith.  These and other disparaging assertions render the divine ordinance as silly, and call God’s intelligence into question.  Some who dispute the need for baptism have even voided the clear command for baptism in the Scriptures.  

Baptism’s prominence in the Scriptures is irrefutable.  “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 2:38. This was not a one-shot deal.  It was repeated at the Samaritan revival.  “For as yet He [the Holy Spirit] had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 8:16. And, again when the Gentiles were added to the church.  “’Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’  And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.” Acts 10:47-48.  The Apostle Paul reinforced the command.  “’And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’” Acts 22:16.  

Moreover, the phrase “for the remission of sins” found in Acts 2:38 causes much angst for baptism deniers.  The foremost authority on New Testament Greek, Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, unequivocally states that the phrase means “in order to,” or “for the purpose of,” remitting sins.  It strongly indicates that baptism is essential from the perspective of atonement.  Paul evidently thought so when he said, “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins.”   

Don’t pit faith against baptism as though it’s one against the other.  It’s a specious argument that erodes the power of the sacrament. Your faith in Jesus Christ should lead you to baptism, not excuse you from baptism.  Faith should enhance, not diminish baptism’s meaning.  In addition to the remission of sins, baptism represents the moment when the name of Jesus Christ is invoked over a believer.  In fact, Thayer says that the Greek word for “calling upon,” epikaleo, is “to permit oneself to be surnamed.”  In other words, we receive the name of Jesus Christ in baptism! 

Your baptism is more than going down dry and coming up wet.  It connotes a therapeutic process.  Baptism embodies the principle of identification. Through baptism, a believer enters into Christ. (Galatians 3:27.)  Baptism provides access to every victory Jesus won for us. His death, burial, and resurrection belong to the church. We become identified with Christ in the waters of baptism. “… Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:3-4. Baptism swallows up our blemished, corrupt identity. We then become one with Christ.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. 

Christ’s victory over Satan, the flesh, and the world belong to the church. His triumph over sin belongs to the church. Baptism positions you in an unbeatable place. 

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (2)

This is really a spot on article. I would LOVE to e-mail it to a couple of friends, but they won't pay any attn. to it. I will pray over the idea and maybe ..................; I know we can't be weary in well doing, but sometimes that wall starts hurting your head.

December 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSydney Heimericks

I enjoy the notes on the Name, arise... wash away thy sins. Thank you Lord! Blessings always Pastor Jordan

December 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul B Thomas

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>