Wednesday, March 14, 2007

B-A-P-T-I-S-M...The Final Spelling

We have been using the letters to the word “baptism” to help define and describe this Biblical ordinance. So far we have covered the first four letters which stand for:

B = Believers only
A = After salvation
P = Picture of spiritual cleansing
T – Trine immersion

Over the last two blog entries we have seen the window of theology and the window of grammar to give us support for trine immersion as a Biblical mode of baptism. A third window is also the window of history. Church leaders throughout history have spoken of the legitimacy of the baptismal mode of trine immersion. Below are two examples:

Trine immersion was the general practice of Christians from the end of the second century to the close of the twelfth century. The proof of this statement is overwhelming.” (William Cathcart [a Baptist], The Baptism of the Ages and of the Nations)

As to the public act of baptism, let her be dressed in a garment…and be placed in a bathing tub, up to the neck in water; then let the baptist dip her head three times in the water...” (Martin Luther, 1530A.D.)

The letter “I” in the word baptism stands for “Identifying with the Trinity.” As we talked about in yesterday’s blog, Matthew 28:19 tells us that baptism is a public way of identifying with the God of the Bible who is a Triune God. The God of the Bible is one God in three persons. This is beautifully pictured through trine immersion which is one baptism with three dips.

The letter “S” stands for “Symbolizes dying to sin and being raised to new life in Christ.” When you received Christ you started over (2 Corinthians 5:17). When you got saved you died to self and were born again through faith in Christ (John 3:3). From a positional standpoint, we are crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20). Being immersed in water represents a burial of your old life (Romans 6:3-4).

Finally, the letter “M” stands for “Mandate to be obeyed.” As we saw in last week’s blog, you don’t have to be baptized to be a Christian but you do need to be baptized to be an obedient Christian. Not only was Jesus Himself baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, baptism was also Jesus’ command to the church (Matthew 28:19-20). As a result, baptism is an issue and act of love and obedience. As Christ-followers we should want to follow the example of Christ. As Christ-followers we should demonstrate our love for Him by doing what He did and obeying what He commanded (John 14:15, 21; 15:14; 1 John 2:3). Have you been baptized since you turned from you sin and trusted Christ to be your savior? If not, what is stopping you from taking this step of obedience? Come on...Just Add Water!!

1 comment:

Tammy Schafer Bordeaux said...

I sat down to fine the correct spelling of Baptism I was guided to your web page. Thank you for helping me to understand more clearly what it is that I am about to do on August 8th.

I have known that Christ was my savior since I was a young child. the thought of eternity keep me awake many of nights trying to comprehend the meaning of forever. I have wanted to be baptized for many years. All my children except my youngest whom I adopted in 2001 have been baptized in the church my grandmother and Grandfather were charter members of. Valley View Baptist church has been my home for my whole life. I did not attend every Sunday and some times it was years in between my visits. I recently have been notified that Valley View will be closing its doors on September 5th.
My father being the last of my family to have his funeral there, my sister being the first in 1962, my brother in 1969, my baby sister in 1970. for me to be guided to this internet sight was truly a intervention from God. Thank you Lord.