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Baptism In The Bible

Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift….We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God’s Lordship (ccc. 1216)

Quite contrary to what many may think and say about baptism, the sacrament of baptism is deeply rooted in the Bible.  Here are some:

Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  19 Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time. Matthew 28:18-20. It is very important to note here that Jesus commanded them to all nations and baptise them.  He did not send them just to a specific set of people – like adults only.  He sent them to all nations.

Another scripture passage that speaks of baptism and specifically speaks about children is Acts 2: 37 – 39 – 37 Hearing this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘What are we to do, brothers?’  38 ‘You must repent,’ Peter answered, ‘and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  39 The promise that was made is for you and your children, and for all those who are far away, for all those whom the Lord our God is calling to himself.

The following other passages speak about baptism and its important in God’s plan of salvation for us all

15 And he said to them, ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the gospel to all creation.  16 Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned..” – Mark 16:15-16

In John chapter 3, there is a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, and in verses 4 and 5, the conversation is as follows: 4 Nicodemus said, ‘How can anyone who is already old be born? Is it possible to go back into the womb again and be born?’ 5 Jesus replied: In all truth I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born through water and the Spirit;…

And the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus continues. Then in verse 22 of that same chapter, the bible tells us, “22 After this, Jesus went with his disciples into the Judaean countryside and stayed with them there and baptised.“There is a very powerful account in Acts chapter 16, of one of the instances when Paul was imprisoned. In this chapter, Paul and Silas were imprisoned after being beaten because Paul has cast a demon out of a young girl. While they were imprison, they sang songs of praise unto God and in the middle of the night, there was an earthquake, and all the chains were broken and the prison doors swung open. When the guard on duty say this, he assumed that the prisoners had escaped, and so fearing from his life, he drew his sword to kill himself.  28 But Paul shouted at the top of his voice, ‘Do yourself no harm; we are all here.’ 29 He called for lights, then rushed in, threw himself trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas, 30 and escorted them out, saying, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ 31 They told him, ‘Become a believer in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, and your household too.’ 32 Then they preached the word of the Lord to him and to all his household. 33 Late as it was, he took them to wash their wounds, and was baptised then and there with all his household. 34 Afterwards he took them into his house and gave them a meal, and the whole household celebrated their conversion to belief in God. (Acts 16: 28 – 34)

God has a plan for all of us, a plan of salvation, and the importance of baptism in this plan is seen in  Luke 7: 29-30, where it says, “29 All the people who heard him, and the tax collectors too, acknowledged God’s saving justice by accepting baptism from John; 30 but by refusing baptism from him the Pharisees and the lawyers thwarted God’s plan for them.

According to the Apostle Paul, the believer enters through Baptism into communion with Christ’s death, is buried with him, and rises with him:  Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. The baptized have “put on Christ.” Through the Holy Spirit, Baptism is a bath that purifies, justifies, and sanctifies. (CCC. 1227)


Other passages on Baptism:

Matthew 8: 5-13

Matthew 15: 21-28

Luke 7: 1-20

Luke 18: 15-17

Acts 10: 47-48

Acts 16: 15

Romans 6: 2-4

Titus 3: 3-7

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