Been Baptized? (a look at baptism)

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by HeDied4U, May 16, 2002.

  1. HeDied4U

    HeDied4U
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    Been Baptized?
    (by Pastor James MacDonald)

    The Christian practice of baptism is confusing for a lot of people. They wonder, “What does it accomplish? Does it wash away my sin? If not, then why should I do it? Will I go to hell if I don’t? How should it be done? Some churches sprinkle, others pour, and still others immerse. Who is right?” For those who didn’t grow up in church, it can all seem pretty mysterious. Even for those who did, its true significance is not always recognized. So what is baptism good for, anyway?

    Here it is in a sentence: Baptism is public identification with Christ. It’s standing up in front of a group of people and saying, “Do you know what? I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. I am in Him, and He is in me. I am not my own; I have been bought with a price. I am a card-carrying, flag-flying member of the family of God. I don’t care who knows it! He is my Savior!”

    It is essential for every new believer to go public like this. If you see a person walking around with a badge on, you think to yourself, “Wow, he must be the sheriff.” Or if you see a woman wearing a wedding ring, you think, “Oh, she must be married.” The ring on her hand says, “I belong to someone else.” In the same way, by being baptized you are saying to the world, “I am a Christian; I belong to Jesus.” Baptism is the biblical way to profess your faith in Christ.

    Now we live in a very private culture. “Don’t stick your nose where it doesn’t belong” and “Mind your own business” are the words that we use to build our protective walls. This attitude carries over into Christianity, “Well my faith is a private matter. I really wish you wouldn’t talk to me about it. It’s just my own personal thing with God.” That’s not biblical Christianity.

    Biblical Christianity emphasizes the importance of public confession. Romans 10:9 says, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” This shows that holding it privately in your heart isn’t good enough; you also have to confess it with your mouth. It’s not just some personal I-went-away-on-a-private-retreat-and-received-Jesus thing. You’re supposed to testify publicly. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 10:32-33? “Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” Jesus is saying, “If you live your life as though we’re not plugged in together, either by verbally denying Me or failing to confess Me before men, then I will deny you before My Father.” This matter of confessing Christ publicly is very serious.

    Do you know how they used to profess faith in Christ when I was a kid? My church would give an invitation to walk forward at the end of the service. The minister would stand at the front and say, “Come forward and publicly profess your faith in Christ.” Maybe you’ve been in a service like that. While it is a great thing to get people to publicly acknowledge Christ, that’s not the biblical way to do it. The biblical way is to step into the water, publicly state your faith in Christ, and then be plunged beneath the water and raised up again as a symbol of Christ’s death and resurrection.

    Does this mean that baptism saves a person? No. Not everyone who wears a badge is a sheriff and not everyone who wears a ring is married. Some people go through the motions, but without faith in their heart. Such people were unbelievers when they got into the water, and they were still unbelievers when they got out. The only difference is that now they’re wet. Salvation occurs when a person believes in their heart and confesses with their mouth (Romans 10:9).

    So how about you? Have you taken this important first step as a Christian? Have you stood before a group of people and made known to them that you belong to Jesus? If not, I encourage you to get that done. It is the most basic step in the Christian life. If you have been baptized, I encourage to think back on that day. Do you remember the love that you had for Christ then? Is it burning just as strong today? If not, maybe you need to reaffirm your commitment to walk with Him and to let the world know that you are His.

    [ May 16, 2002, 09:50 PM: Message edited by: HeDied4U ]
     
  2. Son of Consolation

    Son of Consolation
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    Amen Bro. Adam! I have done that most important step on July 3, 1955 - and have never regretted it since. [​IMG]
     
  3. MissAbbyIFBaptist

    MissAbbyIFBaptist
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    Been Baptized twice! [no, I do not beleive in multiple baptisums. It should be done once after a person's salvation to show obediance and as a testimony}
    The first time, I had made a false profession of faith. So the Baptisum didn't mean anything.
    I got saved about three years ago on july 16 1999{thats where i get my screen name} and two weeks later I got Baptized.
     
  4. hrhema

    hrhema
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    The only thing I find strange is that some Baptist church wants you to be rebaptized if you join their church membership no matter what.
     
  5. Gina B

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    hr: I understand that, and thought the same thing. I changed my mind after thinking about it though. It helps to prove yourself if you move to a different church. Churches need to be much more vigilant about checking out a new members claims!
    It's much too easy to just say you're a Christian and not really know or care about the true meaning of what that is. If you truly are it shouldn't be a problem to re-announce it to new people. [​IMG]
    Gina
     
  6. Andrey

    Andrey
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    I agree that re-baptism as a requirement to join a local church is something that I do not understand.

    Is this a case of us looking at the outside, to see if they are wet, while God is looking on the inside, at their heart?

    Andrey
    www.achievebalance.com
     
  7. Glyndwr

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    I was baptized twice as well! Not than anyone really cares, but immediately after I was born my birth-mother had me baptized; then I was adopted and baptized by them.

    As an aside, I used to think that that was my free ticket to heaven/salvation/etc. But I realize now it was just another way to be tested in life--believing everything is okay and I'm going to heaven and others aren't.

    Well, that attitude is quite poor. I've been trying to live the good life, be kind, love others as myself, practice forgiveness, remove the log in my eye before pointing out the splinter in another, etc....
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    Actually a person can only be BIBLICALLY baptized one time - after conversion. What the world "calls" baptism or christening is not valid.

    But even some of our ancestors were called "ana" baptists (again baptized) because of their requirement for immersion AFTER conversion.

    Baptism is a local church ordinance. So if a particular local church does not think your baptism as a believer was valid (maybe you were baptized in an E-Free or other evangelical denomination, but not baptist) you will have to submit to THEIR rules if you want to join.

    I personally would not want to join such a church, but that is just my own thoughts. Know that some in the Landmark tradition see baptism as invalid if not in a TRUE church [read: Their decision on what is true].

    I was baptized on Easter Sunday 1958.
     
  9. FundamentalDan

    FundamentalDan
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    As long as baptism is done after salvation in testimony to other believers, I do not see what the problem with accepting someone's baptism is. Sometimes, I get the feeling that there are people going around looking for ways to exclude people from their church. Perhaps we should have them sign the doctrinal statement before we allow them in the baptismal waters...
     
  10. ddavis

    ddavis
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    I became a believer on the 24th of September 1980 but wasn’t baptized until 1991 after the new Pastor came to our church. Its funny but I believe the Lord with held blessings because I knew I was saved but there was really no desire to learn more about Christ. Then I was baptized and it was like I couldn’t get enough info about the things of God. I was after that and still am like a sponge, just can not get enough. Thats what I like about the BB. :D
     
  11. susanpet

    susanpet
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    I got saved in Jan. of 1989 and baptized on Easter of the same year. It was a very cold day and the water was very cold ( although I remember not once feeling the coldness). I was baptized in a creek by my pastor and my Dad.
    And I agree, it is a public confession of our new life in Jesus.

    Susan
     
  12. susanpet

    susanpet
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    Dr. Bob, you were baptized on the day I was born! :D

    Susan
     
  13. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Hey, maybe we're twins! :rolleyes:

    I was saved on Sunday, March 17, 1957, then baptized Easter the next year. Another coincidence is that my wife was baptized on that same day! (Of course we were 1000 miles apart and did not know each other then). God's humor.

    Could you share the calendar "date" with me? I only recorded it as "Easter Sunday evening, 1958" and don't know what date that was.

    If you tell me, I'll send you a present next year! :eek:
     
  14. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    In 1958 Easter fell on April 8
     

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