I would like to share some thoughts which have challenged me on the subject of baptism. Like many others I grew up in a tradition that did not put into practice believer’s baptism. When I read what the Bible has to say about baptism, I became confused.
What some people believe about baptism, like me, may be traced back to their religious heritage; what they grew up to believe. Because there are differences of opinion traditions have crept in over time. We need to examine what the Bible has to say on this important matter.
Let us consider the word “baptise”. I believe understanding its meaning can resolve many questions. The word ‘baptise’ is not a Baptist, Methodist, Reformed, or Catholic term; it is a Greek term. Baptizo in the Greek it means to “submerge” or “immerse.” Originally, it had no religious meaning. It was used to describe a ship that had sunk or a piece of cloth that was dipped in dye. It means everything is submerged.
Being baptised by immersion was well illustrated when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. The Bible says, “He went up from the water” (Matthew 3:16) showing that He had been in a place where He needed to go into the water. The significance of immersion is that one is identifying with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3, 4). While this passage speaks about the spiritual death, burial and resurrection, we share in Christ as believers, the symbolic connection is most important. When we are baptised, we identify with Christ in what He has done for us.
In Matthew 28: 19 Jesus commands us to go and make disciples “baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus commands us to be baptised, so following in obedience this should be a part of every believer’s life. Being baptised as a believer is a sign of allegiance to and identification with Christ. As obedient children, we must consider baptism as the next step after salvation; one that should be taken without delay.
Baptism, however, is not merely about being immersed, or making a commitment. Ultimately the real meaning of baptism is about publicly identifying with Christ. It is an act of obedience. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward decision to align oneself with Christ and what He lived and died for.
If you have any further questions about baptism, please feel free to approach one of the elders at IBCZ. On Sunday, 25 June, another church is using our baptismal pool in the afternoon, so the pool will be filled, and we could hold a baptismal service at the morning service. Therefore, if you are thinking about baptism this is a good opportunity to take the step of obedience.
There will also be a Prayer Meeting before the service at 10:00 am. Do join us!
The next Church Membership Class will take place on Sunday at 09:15. Everyone interested in knowing more about our church is welcome. Transport from the station at 09:05.
Worship Service: 10:30 and Communion, followed by after church fellowship.
In His grace,
Bruce Davie, Pastor/Elder.