Monday, December 14, 2009

New Theological Treasure Hunting...Baptism

I must confess that I have forgotten about this blog. It has always been an avenue of expressing myself theologically as I deal with different things in God's Word, His wisdom, and the discernment and revelation by the Holy Spirit. There are some things I am now unsettled about and I am wrestling with the concept of BAPTISM. It's not that I don't believe in baptism or immersion. My question is that: Do we really understand biblical baptism and its meaning?

I belong to a Southern Baptist Church and feel like my beliefs are comparable to the Baptist Faith and Message ( With the name "Baptist" in the denomination, there must be some great importance on the theological meaning of this act. There is so much in God's Word about baptism, that I believe we overlook it. We also need to look at some history of theologians and what they said....starting with Martin Luther, a major player in the Reformation, who stood against infant baptism which was and is the practice of churches; who sought true understanding of baptism:

"Baptism is first of all a sign of the death and resurrection of the believer with Jesus Christ. But it is much more than a sign, for by its power we are made members of the body of Christ. Baptism and faith are closely tied, for the rite itself without faith is not valid. But this does not mean that one must have faith before being baptized, or that infants capable of faith ought not to be baptized. To come to such conclusion, Luther declares, would be to fall into the error of believing faith to be a human work, something we must do, and not a free gift of God.

In salvation, the intiative is always God's, and this is precisely what the church proclaims in baptizing infants who are incapable of understanding what is taking place. Baptism is not only the beginning of the Christian life, but also the foundation and the context in which the entire life of the believer takes place. Baptism is valid, not only when it is received, but throughout life. we are told that Luther himself said, "I am baptized", when he felt sorely tried. In his own baptism lay the strength to resist the powers of evil."
*taken from The Story of Christianity by Justo Gonzalez, Volume 2, page 34

So, what is your understanding of baptism? Where do you get that understanding from?
I want to blog about this in the coming months to explain what I have found.
I hope that you will dig in with me!! God Bless, Brian