surf fisher: baptism, anyone?

surf fisher wants to know: baptism, anyone?

the questions being…

“What I find confusing about the subject of baptism is not who should get baptised – I’m pretty confident that is open to believing adults and their children – nor what is it – it’s a covenantal sacrament….
The big question for me is, what happens at baptism? …..
the most simple question asked of baptism today: if I am saved by grace, why do I need to get baptised?

Baptism is a type of crossing the Rubicon…

Or more accurately it is a type of crossing the Red Sea. It is a spiritual marker between the old life and the new, resurrected in Christ. This is the reality that Paul spoke of when he adamantly professed: It is no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me. Spiritually speaking he recognized that he was dead, and life at that point became lived out within Christ. That meant spiritually:
…that he as believer was raised up above the grasp of the devil, accusations of his past life, sins hold upon him- the power of it to compel through the weakness of Adam, and the power of the worldly cosmos, Pharaoh, to take him captive again. It is a place where we look back to, where the devil must recognize, and where the world’s system no longer is in force.

It means, practically:
… a public profession of ones burial, of Christ’s resurrection and power to raise, of past sin’s payment and end of demands on us- including that of original sin.

The next step… communion… builds upon this. We live by virtue of the life of Christ, individually and corporately. His continuing strength to resist sin and do good works, as ordained by the Father. His continuing cleansing power over our failure to recognize and live within our new life… resulting in whatever sins we afterwards commit. Our recognition of both mercy and judgment which is found within Christ as Judge.

Salvation by grace is a continual process… and these acts of baptism and communion are the signposts in the spiritual realm of the start point and the continuance of that saving grace. We resort to them in our works of witness to the truth of Christ. They are not works which save us, in themselves, but memorials of salvation, instituted by God through the person of Christ in his life upon the earth. His example, in other words.

====this is my understanding of it=====

3 thoughts on “surf fisher: baptism, anyone?”

  1. Ah, baptism… this subject has been burning a hole in my brain for the past couple of weeks or so. I’m still pretty convinced of believer’s baptism but to give the paedobaptists a fair shake I’ve been trying to understand their position. And I feel pretty dumb because I have yet to really understand what they think transpires and what they think the actual benefits of infant baptism are. If you know of any good links on this please pass them on… 🙂

    You also might be interested in these links, here and here.

  2. Excellent analysis, as usual.

    Of course, we don’t *have* to get baptized for salvation reasons – it’s a symbolic, covenantal ritual – we *have* to get baptized because Jesus commanded it.

  3. My understanding of “paedobaptists” is that they believe they are dealing with original sin. In order to accept their view you will also have to accept the idea that God condemns babies on that basis, instead of condemnation coming from punishment of volitional sin by one whose conscience has been “exercised”.

    I’ll look over the links.
    ===
    in the final argument:
    “we *have* to get baptized because Jesus commanded it.” says it all.

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