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Old 10-21-2013, 07:53 PM
 
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The Symbolism of Water Baptism

June 5, 2011 by William Higgins

As we begin this service of baptism, let’s remember the words of our Lord, who said,
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:19-20
Jesus teaches us to baptize those who choose to follow him. And this is what we’re doing here today.
As we get started, let’s review again the symbolic meaning of water baptism. We begin with -
Israel’s crossing of the Red Sea
On the diagram below notice Egypt as the place of slavery and then Mt. Sinai – the mountain of God. And in between these two are the waters of the Red Sea.

Remember, as the Israelites tried to escape their misery and slavery in Egypt, Pharaoh’s army came to kill them. And the waters of the Red Sea blocked Israel and they were about to be destroyed. In Hebrew thought the deep waters are evil. They represent judgment and death.
God, however, acted to deliver Israel from judgment and death. He divided the sea, making a path for Israel to make it to the other side; to fully escape their old life.
There are five parts to this event.
1. Israel left Egypt behind.
2. Israel was set free from judgment and death. They went through the waters of destruction safely to the other side.
3. They had a Spirit experience. As the came up on the other shore they sang prophetic songs by the Spirit.
4. They became a new people. As they came up on the other side, they were no longer a ragtag group of slaves. They were the people of God.
5. They committed to obey God. After they came out of the waters, they traveled to Mt Sinai and committed to obey God’s Law.
Christian Water Baptism
Well there is a parallel between this Red Sea crossing and Christian water baptism.
Like we just saw, the waters here also represent judgment and death. But God has intervened for us. Through Jesus, God delivers us from judgment and death. He makes a way for us to cross over to the other side.
And there are five parts to this.
1. When we come to the waters of baptism, we portray that we have left behind our old life through repentance. Just like Israel left Egypt behind, so we leave our old, sinful life in the world behind.
2. When we go through the waters of baptism, we acknowledge that we are set free and forgiven. Just as with Israel, judgment and death can’t touch us anymore. We testify that our sins are forgiven (or washed away). That’s why we can go through the waters and not be harmed.
3. As we come up out of the water “on the other shore,” as it were, we acknowledge that we have received the Spirit. Just like when Israel came up on the other shore and they had a Spirit experience, so we testify that we have received the Spirit who gives new life.
4. When we come up out of the waters, we acknowledge that we are now a part of God’s people. Just as Israel became God’s people, we show that we have left the world behind and we are now a part of God’s people; that this is our true community.
5. When we come up out of the waters, we acknowledge that we are committed to follow Jesus. Just as Israel went on to Sinai and committed to obey God, we show our commitment to a new way of life; to doing God’s will from now on, just as Jesus has taught us.
Baptism is a symbolic testimony that this is all true in our lives. And this is the testimony of each of these who will come forward today.
William Higgins
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,804 posts, read 10,929,152 times
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Baptism (much less re-baptism) is an outward 'sign' of an inward condition/change and a commitment to follow Christ ('believer's baptism). Unless one truly has a Christ-based relationship with God, baptism has no more merit than a 'bath.'

I've seen churches go to both extremes on baptism: Some declare that a person must be baptized in their church in order to join that church ... other's declare that a person cannot be re-baptized under any condition (including infant Christening/baptism). Scripture does not really support either extreme, but, rather puts baptism in its proper context and perspective.

Sometimes people will choose to be re-baptized as a symbol/sign of a 're-dedication to Christ,' but, this is only a personal statement/commitment, with no real efficacy in one's Salvation. Similarly, there is no real damage caused by a symbolic 're-baptism' ... which seems typically designed to demonstrate that one is submitted to the 'priestly authority and/or doctrine' of that organization.

If you disagree with the 'requirement' or believe that it is redundant and unnecessary, you should probably think-out your reasons for wanting to join a church with which you disagree. In any case, at least ask for a clear explanation of why they believe 're-baptism' is required.
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:56 PM
 
2,532 posts, read 2,027,327 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheila Renae View Post
Have you ever went to a church that before they would let you become a member, you had to be baptized AGAIN into their CHURCH?
I have and it's something that I absolutely refuse to do. I've been baptized into Jesus Christ and belong only to His church and no other. I understand becoming a member of a church so that your name, address and phone number are on record to other members, etc. but not having to be baptized again.
What does everyone else think about this?
Well, you know your standing with God and that is sufficient but man being what he is makes all kinds of needless rules. Therefor if you what to join a new church then play by their rules which in this case does no harm per say but will bring harmony.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:22 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
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I have been told I have to be baptized again. I just walked walked away. I have never been emotionally attached to any church. Even when I first was given the gift of faith. I was told by a church of Christ clan, that I had to be baptized again because the baptism I had was not good. I just said no thanks and walked away. The sad thing was that they were a good group of folks who really seemed to care.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:27 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
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"
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:19-20
"
We all know that is not how it works. We take part of it and disregard the rest of that verse.
The way we have changed it is :
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, then bring them to a church so they can take baptism classes and be baptized by an ordained person..
Individual Christians have the authority to baptize. But we have been conditioned to let only some ordained person do it. And that is sad.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:31 PM
Status: "Those damned cellphones!" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Galaxy’s Edge
16,454 posts, read 8,973,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torpedos View Post
"
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:19-20
"
We all know that is not how it works. We take part of it and disregard the rest of that verse.
The way we have changed it is :
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, then bring them to a church so they can take baptism classes and be baptized by an ordained person..
Individual Christians have the authority to baptize. But we have been conditioned to let only some ordained person do it. And that is sad.
That doesn't make sense. The Scripture passage doesn't say what you're saying.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,977 posts, read 22,259,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torpedos View Post
Individual Christians have the authority to baptize. But we have been conditioned to let only some ordained person do it. And that is sad.
I'm curious as to your scriptural support for this belief. What's so "sad" about it? I've never found my belief to be "sad" at all.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:09 PM
 
9,922 posts, read 6,792,294 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torpedos View Post
"
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:19-20
"
We all know that is not how it works. We take part of it and disregard the rest of that verse.
The way we have changed it is :
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, then bring them to a church so they can take baptism classes and be baptized by an ordained person..
Individual Christians have the authority to baptize. But we have been conditioned to let only some ordained person do it. And that is sad.


From the Catechism:

Quote:
V. WHO CAN BAPTIZE?

1256 The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and priest and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon.57 In case of necessity, anyone, even a non-baptized person, with the required intention, can baptize58 , by using the Trinitarian baptismal formula. The intention required is to will to do what the Church does when she baptizes. The Church finds the reason for this possibility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation.59
In the CC the person is also anointed with oil.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:05 AM
 
Location: NY
9,075 posts, read 15,125,240 times
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I tend to dislike churches which get too pushy or force people to be "card carrying members" in the first place, whether or not they require people to be re-baptized in their building.

That isn't to say I am against church membership either. Just that churches which seem to really emphasize it in my experience tend to have un-Godly motives behind it.

If your uncomfortable with the church's rules for membership, just attend as a guest, or find another congregation where you are comfortable.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,228 posts, read 45,917,324 times
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I wouldn't do it either. Catholics have rules about this, and I guess any church can make whatever rules they want, but I just wouldn't go there.
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