References to: baptism
I was baptized more than 30 years ago. Many things have happened in my life since then. There were times when I doubted my conversion, and there were times when I, like Jonah, sought to run from God’s presence. But one thing could never be changed: I had stated in public that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.
We gathered around a swimming pool anticipating the ceremony about to begin. One person stepped into the shallow end of the pool. She walked through the water toward the minister who was about to baptize her.
In a religion based on faith, why do we have rituals?
What does this have to do with the gospel?
Rituals were a prominent part of Old Testament worship. Christianity, in contrast, has only two basic rituals: baptism and the Lord’s Supper — and there are no detailed regulations for either observance.
In a religion in which faith is primary, why have any rituals at all?
Is baptism essential to the Christian life? Should people be baptized again if they change churches or denominations? Is it essential to be baptized in a specific way, such as sprinkling, pouring or immersion?
Rituals were a prominent part of Old Testament worship—there were annual rituals, monthly rituals and daily rituals. There were rituals for birth and rituals for death, rituals of sacrifice, rituals of cleansing, rituals of ordination. Faith was needed, but rituals were prominent.
The New Testament, in contrast, has two basic rituals: baptism and the Lord’s Supper —and there are no detailed regulations for either observance. Why these two? In a religion in which faith is primary, why have any rituals at all?
Chad and I cling to each other in the roaring rip tide of the Persian Gulf. We can feel the sand under us being scoured by the strong undercurrent as we are turned and twisted in the rough sea.
Chad is about to die. As we hold on to each other in the waves, my mind goes back some 37 years to my own death. Tonight we have both rejoiced, for these are no ordinary deaths. This is baptism.
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When should a person be baptized?
A lot of people see baptism as something you do when you get your life straightened out. Others see it as the thing to do when you are ready to fully commit yourself to straightening out and flying right. But that’s not really what baptism’s all about!