An Introduction to Christian Baptism

 

W.J. Seaton

[Other articles at botton of page]


 

Introduction

There are two main views of baptism held and practiced within the professing 'visible' Churches of Christ: that which involves the sprinkling of infants, and that which involves the immersion of those who confess their sins towards God, and profess their faith in Jesus Christ the Lord.

The first view of baptism rests essentially on the understanding of the 'Covenant of Redemption,' – the arrangement and the agreement of redemption – that God made with Abraham and his 'seed' after him. The second rests on the fact that throughout the New Testament Scriptures of God, baptism is seen only to be offered to, and received by, those who do confess their sins towards God and their faith in Jesus Christ.

The first view of baptism is that which is usually referred to as Paedo-baptism, that is, the baptism of children; the second view is usually called the Baptistic view.

Both, of course, look to the Scriptures of the Word of God to validate their positions, and both also seek to draw support from the practice of the Churches of Christ following on from the days of the apostles. The paedo-baptists especially, lay great stress on the Old Testament Scriptures; the Baptists, on the New.

It is the Baptistic view of baptism that this booklet will state; and the first foundational remark that we would like to make is this – that: There is only one place to begin a study of Christian baptism, and that is in the pages of the New Testament Scriptures of God.

We may not begin a study of baptism with the Old Testament, as though the New Testament was not the final revelation of God. And we ceitainly must not finalise a study of baptism by resting on what may have become an accepted and traditional practice at some point in the Church's History.

Once the true nature of baptism, as revealed in the New Testament, has been settled and established, only then may we look back into the Old Testament to those things that preceeded the Christian ordinance. And only then, also, may we look forward from the New Testament to see the validity of any view of baptism, or anything else that followed.

It is the New Testament that contains God's full revelation concerning baptism and, therefore, all Old Testament references that would be related to the issue of baptism must be related to it in the light of that New Testament revelation. It is the New Testament that contains God's full revelation concerning baptism and, therefore, all the findings and pronouncements of the Church of a later age must be judged in the light of that New Testament revelation.

This rule of interpretation is absolutely basic to a right understanding of Christian baptism, and it is the rule that must be satisfied and applied if we would ever have a conscience "void of offence" on the baptism question.

 

In the New Testament Scriptures of God, WHO were baptised?

There is really only one, clear, satisfactory answer to the question, "Who according to the New Testament Scriptures were baptised?" It was 'believers' in our Lord Jesus Christ. It was those who confessed their sins towards God, and professed their faith in Christ, who were then "baptized" and "added to the church," where they "continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread,and in prayers." (Acts 2:41,42.)

It won't do to say that 'others'– meaning infants and babies may have been baptized, as well, and would have been baptized, as well, when their 'believing parents' were baptized. The Bible with stark simplicity, says– "They that believed were baptized.,"

There is no more devastating blow against the practice of infant baptism than the simple fact that on all the pages of the Word of God we do not read of so much as one specific incident, or have one specific reference, to one infant ever being baptized! That is a fact compelling in its simplicity, and, in a sense, makes the practice of infant baptism stand out as completely inconsistent with every other major doctrine of the Church. For what other major point of doctrine or practice is there that cannot furnish even one direct, and specific, and clearly-stated Biblical incident or text to support it?

Just think of that:– an issue so important and so vital to so many people's religion as infant baptism; an issue that determines a person's place and standing in the 'visible' Church of Christ; an issue that has resulted in controversy for the Church over hundreds of years– and yet, there is not so much as one specific statement that can be referred to in the Bible to verify it and substantiate it! That fact, in and of itself might be sufficient for any professed 'Bible believing Christian.' The stark simplicity of the words, "Believe and be baptized," with the corresponding reaction, "They that believed were baptized."

Nowhere do we ever read of any other than a believer being baptized.

 

What of household baptism?

The question of 'household' baptism is often raised. "Don't we read in the Word of God about certain people believing and being baptized, and then, their whole 'household,' their whole 'house' being baptized as well?"

There are three such incidents in the Word of God: the house-hold of the Philippian jailer, in Acts chapter 16; the household of Stephanas, in 1 Cor.1&16: the household of Lydia, also in Acts 16.

Acts 1 6:34 tells us that when the Philippian jailer brought Paul and Silas into his house, "he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house." The jailer believed; the members of his household believed.

In 1 Cor 16:15, the description that is given of the household of Stephanas is that "they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints." In other words, the whole household were of such ages and spiritual disposition as to have devoted themselves to a whole hearted Christian service to the people of God.

Any reasonable reading of the first two cases in question will show that the members of each of the two households involved display the marks of being believers in Christ. This fact should then determine how we view the third.

On the basis, then, that two out of the three references to household baptism obviously refer to believing households, it would be unreasonable to assume that the household of Lydia that was baptized came into any other category but this.

With regards to the question of household baptism, the incidents recorded rather affirm than deny the New Testament order– "Believe and be baptized."

 

What of the "Seed of Abraham?"

As we mentioned in the introduction, paedo-baptists lay great stress on the continuation of the principle laid down in Genesis chapter 17, where God speaks to Abraham concerning His covenant arrangements and agreements. As the promise was to Abraham and his seed after him, so the promises of the gospel are to believers and their seed after them. As the 'sign and seal' of the covenant was then administered to Abraham's seed, in circumcision, so the sign and seal of the New Covenant, in baptism, is to be administered to the believer's children. There are three basic questions to ask and answer in relation to this: 1. What was contained in the covenant promise made to Abraham? 2. What was its initial fulfilment? 3. What did it really mean?

1. What was contained in the covenant promise?

The promise is essentially threefold: God would give to Abrham a multitudinous "seed;" that seed would inherit a "land; in that land God would bless them by being in their midst, where He would be their God and they would be His people. On the grounds of that covenant promise, then, circumcision was instituted as the "sign and seal." Abraham himself was circumcised, and then, all his male children (and servants etc.) as well.

2. What was its initiat fulfilment?

The initial fulfilment of the covenant made with Abraham is found in the nation of Israel of which Abraham stands as patriarchal father. Israel itself as a nation is the "seed" of Abraham, as the most fundamental reading of the Old Testament will show. Canaan, into which Israel eventually entered, is the "land" that God spoke to Abraham concerning. And the "blessing" of God's presence in their midst in Canaan is visibly manifested to them, first of all in the Tabernacle and later, in the Temple. In Israel as a nation, then, the promises of the covenant meet their initial fulfilment; and to Israel as a nation, the "sign and seal" of the covenant in circumcision belongs.

3. What did it REALLY mean?

It only requires a very basic reading of the New Testament scriptures to show how and where the fulness and the finality of the covenant promises really belong. The "seed" of Abraham are those who exercise faith in our Lord Jesus Christ– believers; the "land" of promise and inheritance is ultimately heaven itself; and in heaven at last the "blessing" of the real and ever-abiding presence of God with His people is realised– "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." "land," "seed," and "blessing," all find their real fulfilment in the believing people of God. As Paul tells the Galatians, (GaI.3:2 6ff) "for ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesuand if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise".

The deduction is a very simple one:

In the Old Testament, Abraham's "seed" is first and foremost, physical– the children of Israel who inherit the promised land of Canaan. To them alone was given the "sign and seal" of the covenant in circumcision. To no others.

In the New Testament, Abraham's "seed" is spiritual– those who, like their father Abraham, have believed and been justified "by faith," and who inherit heaven at last. To them alone, then, must be given the "sign and seal" of the New Covenant in baptism. To no others. Baptism is for believers only, because believers only are the heirs of heaven– the"heirs according to the promise" that God really gave to Abraham in that blessed 17th chapter of Genesis.

Failure to see this belongs to that cardinal error of Presbyterianism, etc. – i.e. failing to adhere to the supremacy of New Testament revelation in the scheme of God's history of redemption given to man. Their is no 'physical' link in the terms of the New Covenant (believers and their children,) just as there is no physical "land" to be inherited by the New Covenant heirs. Abraham's "seed," rightly understood,' 'are' the "children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." To them alone belongs the New Covenant "sign and seal"– baptism.

In conclusion. In the New Testament Scriptures of God, who were baptized? The answer can only be, believers and believers only.

 

In the New Testament Scriptures of God, HOW were they baptized?

The question regarding the 'mode' of baptism has been every bit as vexed as the question regarding the actual recipients of the ordinance. The battle has very much raged around the meaning of the Greek word translated baptise, baptism, etc. in our English bibles. Does it mean immerse? Does it mean pour? Does it mean sprinkle?

From the Baptist standpoint, there seems little doubt that the Greek word, Baptizo, means to dip, or to immerse. This is the normal rendering in the Greek lexicons; and it would be accurate to say that the word would be generally understood in this way, even by those who would not be of the baptist persuasion. For example, John Calvin in trying to establish that infant sprinkling is valid, still has to concede that immersion alone gives the real meaning of the Greek word for baptise, and also, that immersion was the mode of baptism in apostolic times.

"The very word baptize, however, signifies immerse; and it is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church." (Institutes,IV, xv: 19.)

It is significant to note that when the Westminster Confession looks for a scriptural 'proof' for its statement on sprinkling as the mode of baptism, it has to resort to a passage of Scripture that has nothing whatsoever to do with baptism.

Confession: Chap.28:3. "Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but baptism is rightly administered by pouring or sprinkling water upon the person."Scripture proof: Hebrews 9:19....Hebrews 9:19 "For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves, and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people."

It is easily seen that the Scripture cited as "proof" in no way refers to the act of baptism. Not only that, but the actual word that is translated "sprinkled" in the text is not the biblical word for baptism anyway. It is not the Greek word baptizo, but the Greek word rantize. This means, of course, that there is a Greek word for sprinkle, but it is never used in connection with baptism.

It is one thing to make a confessional statement; it is quite another to substantiate and really prove that statement from the Word of God.

Another interesting fact is the fact that baptism by immersion was the almost universal practice of the churches of christendom until about the 13th century–albeit it was infants who were immersed.

From the point of view, therefore, of language, history, and Scripture, it is a mistake to think that the act of baptism can be adequately displayed in a process of sprinkling. The great primary meaning of the word baptise is to immerse. No other process than the enactment of immersion will do justice to either the simplicity of the New Testament narrative, or the symbolism and the significance of the ordinance itself. These two facts we should honestly face.

 

The simplicity of the New Testament narrative

Whereas there are certain doctrines and truths of the Word of God that require a great deal of concentrated and detailed study to arrive at their full meaning, their are others that must be allowed to speak most loudly by their very simplicity and clarity of utterance. Such a truth, in reality, is the truth of baptism, both in its subjects and in its mode. The fact that a misapplication of the noble art of Systematic Theology has turned "light into darkness" for some on this issue should never obscure the clear revelation concerning Christian baptism.

We might think of the sublime simplicity of the scenes involving the Ethiopian eunuch and Philip the evangelist, in Acts chapter 8. Philip preached the gospel to that man; on the basis of his belief he was baptized. He was not baptized right away, however. He waited until they came to a "a certain water," and then he asked his famous question– "Here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized?" Nothing, in fact, need hinder him if he is now a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ; "And Philip said, if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." He professed his belief– commanded the chariot to stand still – went down into the water with Philip– Philip baptized him there– they came up out of the water– and he "went on his way rejoicing."

What simplicity; what sublime simplicity!

We might think of the account of our Lord's own baptism in the river Jordan. Matthew ch.3:13, "Then came Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him." (Our Lord walked seventy miles from Galilee to Jordan...to be baptized! No small consideration for any professing Christian.) "And Jesus, when he was baptized," it says in verse 1 6, "Went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened," etc. He "went up straightway out of the water."

We might think of the location that John the Baptist chose for his baptizing and the reason for his choice. John 3:23, "And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salom, because there was much water there..." Literall–-because there was an abundance of water there.

"Much water!," That is exactly like the Ethiopian's "certain" water. A pool of water, or an area of water, or an expanse of water down into which both he and Philip might go in order for Philip the evangelist to baptise him there in the light of his confession of faith.

"Much water," and "believers only." We are clearly told that the Ethiopian eunuch was on a journey between Jerusalem and Gaza,"which is desert." It is unthinkable that a man on a desert journey would not have had, at least, enough water for a "sprinkling" ceremony. But no; he must wait until he comes to "a certain water," and there he is baptized.

'Much water" and "believers only." To fail to read "in accents loud and clear" such accounts is to do much violence to the clear testimony of the revealed Word of God.

 

The symbolim and significance of the ordinance itself Romans 6:1-4

One of the most majestic statements in the Word of God relating to the symbolism and significance of the ordinance of Christian baptism is found in the first four verses of Romans chapter six. In Romans six, the apostle Paul is dealing with the issue of the ethical behaviour of the people of God, and in the first four verses of the chapter he refers them back to what was signified and symbolised in their baptism.

In verses l&2, he answers the idea that a Christian might continue in sin– in habitual sin– on account of the gospel truth that where sin abounds grace much more abounds. "God forbid," says the apostle, "how shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Then he points them to what took place in their baptism. Verses 3&4, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."

What is the symbolism? It is death, burial, resurrection, with their Lord Jesus Christ. And the significance of that is clear if they have died, been buried, and have risen again to walk in newness of life, then, "how shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein?" Paul uses the whole symbolism and significance of the Christian baptism that the Roman Christians have received for an ethical and practical purpose. But what baptism, other than baptism by immersion, can satisfy that symbolism and significance? Where else but in the act of total immersion and emergence again from the waters of baptism can a Christian symbolise and signify that they have died, are being buried, and rising again by the grace of God, to walk in newness of life?

 

Colossians 2:11-12

The second chapter of the epistle to the Colossians conveys the same basic truth and ideas. In verse 8 of the chapter Paul is warning the Colossian Christians about being waylaid through "philosophy," or "vain deceit," or the "traditions of men;" and he is reminding them of how they are "complete in Christ." "In whom also," he tells them, in verse 11, "ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead."

It need only be simply noted that those who have been "buried with Christ in baptism," in verse 12, are those who have had a "circumcision made without hands," in verse 11. That is, they have had a spiritual circumcision– not with the flesh made with hands, but of the heart, made by the Spirit. They have been regenerated, involving the death and burial of the old nature, and the resurrected life of the new. They are believers.

And again, it is that very dying, burial, and resurrection that is symbolised and signified in the act of believer's baptism. But again, it is only baptism by immersion that can do justice to that symbolism and significance. What significance can there be in the sprinkling of a few drops of water on the head of an unconscious infant that would, even remotely, approach that required symbolism and significance?

 

Luke 12:50.

We might think also on the depth and the significance of the language used by our Saviour Himself, when He spoke, in Luke chapter 12:50, about the sufferings and the death that awaited Him. "But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened until it be accomplished!" His sufferings and death under the hand of a righteous God for sin and for transgression He calls His "baptism." We may well ask: was He merely "sprinkled" with that justice and judgement of God? Surely not. But He Himself had already spoken in prophecy concerning what such a baptism would be like: Psalm 42:7– "all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me." Christ was not "sprinkled" with suffering, but was immersed in suffering– a "baptism," indeed. It was that very immersion of Himself in the judgements and justice of a righteous God that He had already signified and symbolised in the "much water" of the river Jordan where He had begun His course to "fulfill all righteousness" for His people's sins.

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him, But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering, said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness . . .And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him . And, lo, a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:13-17.)

 

In the New Testament Scriptures of God WHY, were they baptized?

Apart from the obvious New Testament fact that baptism served as a "badge of initiation" into the fellowship, work, and worship of a local Church of Christ, there are two other reasons that spiritually compelled the New Testament believers to observe the ordinance. In the first place, they were responding to an injunction (or a command) of the Word of God: in the second, they were rejoicing in an identification with the Saviour who had loved them and given Himself for them.

 

Injunction (or command)

A fact that ought to be self-evident from any reading of the Scriptures is the fact that the call to baptism is an injunction; it is a command of the Word of God. It is a command that is given, in the first place, to the individual professing faith in Christ, and it is a command that is also given to the Church of Christ as the baptizing agency under God. These two commandments , however, or these two aspects of the baptism commandment, are not to be confused. In the first place, the individual exercising faith in Christ is called to be baptized; in the second, the Church is called to baptize. Both injunctions are distinct, and each must be complied with in accordance with its distinctiveness.

With regards to the first, then, it must be clearly seen, that as baptism involves a command given to each and every individual within the gospel call, that command can only be obeyed and complied with on the part of the individual in question. No one else at all can fulfill a command of God's Word given to me, except me. I alone am responsible for the obeying of God's explicit commands to my soul. No one else may obey for me, or undertake to obey for me, in those commands.

Now this is fundamental to the whole question of Christian baptism. "Believe and be baptized" is the very essence of the gospel call. And as no other person can fulfil the command to "believe" for me, so no other person can fulfil the command to "be baptized" for me.

This principle of fact runs nght through the pages of the Word of God. When the Word of God exhorts me to take up my cross daily and follow Christ, no one else can fulfil that exhortation for me. When the Word of God tells me to hold fast the profession of my faith without wavering, I alone am responsible for the observing of that precept– not someone else. The command of God's Word concerning baptism is for me, the individual in question, to be baptized, and no one else may fulfil that commandment, in any way for rne but me.

Although the commandment relating to baptism involves the agency of the Church of Christ to baptize, that commandment, in the first place, is a commandment that involves the activity of the believing individual to be baptized. As the command to "believe" is laid personally at the feet of all those who hear the gospel, so the command to be "baptized" is laid personally at the feet of all those who receive the gospel. All commands of God's Word directed at the individual may only be complied with and obeyed by the individual in question. This is fundamental, and is not to be quietly ignored when it comes to the great commandment to "believe and be baptized."

It ought to be clearly noted and observed that there are no other commands, or no other aspects of the baptism commandment, apart from these two alone. The first, concerning the individual who is commanded on the exercise of faith in Christ to be baptized; the second, concerning the Church of Christ to baptize all who exercise such faith in Christ. There is no other commandment concerning baptism; and there is certainly no commandment given to any parents to have baptism performed on their unconscious infant children.

This lack of any such commandment, or any such notion within the baptism commandment, is a source of great embarrassment and perplexity to many good and able paedo-baptist advocates. But whereas this absence of any such commandment is admitted, the clear conclusions fail to be arrived at. For example:

"There is no express command to baptize infants in the New Testament, and no express record of the baptism of infants." B.B. Warfield.

We are compelled to ask why those two facts alone should not prove conclusive in the whole issue of infant baptism. Surely, the clear reason why there is "no express command," and "no express record," is because the New Testament Church of Christ never had any such ordinance as infant baptism within its apostolic doctrine and practice.

"It is only too apparent that if we had an express command or even a proven case with apostolic sanction, then the controversy(over infant baptism) would not have arisen." John Murray.

Indeed, it would "not have arisen!" And how, in the name of all Scripture and reason, did it ever arise – seeing that there is "no express command," and "not one proven case with apostolic sanction" in the whole of the Bible?

That is a question that paedo-baptists must answer.

 

There are, then, one or two practical matters that ought to be faced in the light of the foregoing.

First of all, can infant sprinkling really be conceived of as Christian baptism in any sense? The short, biblically– conclusive answer to that is no. Not only is an unconscious infant not the proper subject for Christian baptism, and not only is sprinkling not the proper mode of Christian baptism, but there is also missing and absent this tremendous element of true Christian baptism as being a response in obedient faith to a command of God given. "Believe, and be baptized."

Secondly, since the command to be baptized is, indeed, a command of the Word of God to be actively complied with on the part of a believing individual, there are several portions of God's Word that unbaptized Christians need to consider. (that is – Christians only sprinkled in infancy at the instigation of some-one else.) For example, when our Lord Jesus Christ says, "if ye love me, keep my commandments,"( John 14:15). Or again, when He says, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you,"(John 1 5:14). Or again, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me."(John 14:21).

The issue to be faced is clear: is the commandment to be baptized a commandment of the Word of God or not? And if a commandment of the Word of God, then, it must be complied with in obedient faith, and received in obedient faith on the part of the person to whom the commandment is given.

It should be noted that it is fundamental to the whole historic understanding of Pnotestant theology, as opposed to Roman Catholic theology, that an ordinance is only an effective means of grace when it is received by faith on the part of the recipient of it. This is held to be the case in the other ordinance of the Church, the Lord's Supper; why not in this ordinance of baptism? In the majestic words of the apostle Peter, baptism is "the answer of a good conscience towards God." There is only one way for a Christian to have a good conscience towards God, and that is through obedience in faith to those things commanded by God in His Word. As Paul puts it, in relation to his whole Christian life-style and belief. In the light of God's Word, "And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men."

Baptism is the believer's conscious response in faith to what God has said in His Word, when He has commanded us to "Believe, and be baptized."

 

Identification

There can be little doubt that when those who believed the gospel were also called to be baptized, they were being called to take part in an act in which they were associating themselves, and identifying themselves, with the work of the Saviour that had brought that gospel to them. The inescapable symbolism of baptism, already referred to death, burial, resurrection– makes this abundantly clear.

When a professed believer in Christ is baptized into Christ, that believer is making open avowal that he believes that Christ died for him, was buried for him, and rose again for him on the third day. It is this death, and burial, and resurrection of Christ that the apostle Paul sees as the very essence of the gospel of God's redeeming grace to sinners. 1 Cor.1 5:3-4, "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again, the third day according to the scriptures." Death, burial, resurrection.

The act of baptism, then, when it is in accordance with the true mode of total immersion, and involves the true subjects, believers in Christ, does two things. In its symbolism, it allows the believer in Christ to signify his own death, and burial, and resurrection in Christ; and it also allows the believer in Christ to openly identify with the Christ who died, was buried, and who rose again on his behalf.

The implications of this should not be missed. In the first place, to rob any professed believer in Christ of such a biblically-enjoined opportunity of thus openly identifying with the Saviour who died, and was buried, and rose again for them, is no small matter. And secondly, it is yet another evidence of the total inadequecy of the rite of infant sprinkling to meet the requirements of true biblical, and, therefore, true Christian baptism.

There is not even the slightest possibility for the fulfilling of this element of personal identification with the death, and burial, and resurrection of Christ on the part of an unconscious infant; and those only sprinkled in infancy have yet to make such an open identification in this biblically-understood fashion. As no one may obey a command of God to me apart from me, so no one may identify with the death of Christ for me apart from me; and I may only identify with the death of Christ for me in the act of baptism once I have come to that point of believing faith that Christ, indeed, loved me and gave Himself for me.

Again, as this is true of the other ordinance of the Lord's Supper, why not of baptism? In the Lord's Supper, it is the participent in the ordinance who is owning Christ as Saviour by faith, and identifying with the death of Christ in the bread and in the wine partaken of. This blessed oppbrtunity afforded in the ordinance of the Lord's Supper for believers in Christ to proclaim the death of their Saviour until He comes, is the self-same kind of opportunity that is afforded to believers in believer's baptism to confess the death, and the burial, and the resurrection of their Saviour for them.

Baptism then is a gracious opportunity that God has granted to us to proclaim our interest, and our hope, and our position in Jesus Christ His Son. As surely as the Old Testament believing Israelite could lay his hands on the head of the sacrifice, and identify himself with the lamb being offered up in accordance with God's Holy Law, so- in a far, far higher sense- the New Testament believer in Christ may stand identified with Christ his Lord in the sublime act of Christian baptism.

"My faith would lay her hand On that dear head of thine;
While like a penitent I stand, And there confess my sin."

 

In Conclusion

Those who were baptized in the New Testament Scriptures of God were professed believers in Jesus Christ the Saviour

They were those who, having gladly responded to the command and the injunction of the gospel to "believe," also gladly responded to the command and the injunction to "be baptize

They were baptized by immersion, thus identifying themselves openly with the Christ who had died, been buried, and who rose again for them on the third day.

The command and the injunction stands written yet for all the believing people of God,

"Believe and be baptized."
"Jesus and shall it ever be,
A mortal man ashamed of Thee?
Ashamed of Thee, whom angels praise?
Whose glories shine through endless days?"

 


An Introduction to Christian Baptism. W.J. Seaton.Blue Banner Productions. 12 Forrest Road, Edinburgh. EH1 2QN. 1982


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The Sign of the Covenant is to be placed on all the Children of Abraham - Bible Verses
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