[forthright] Christian Baptism

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 15:35:14 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: From Friend to Friend

Christian Baptism
by Phil Sanders

We can all learn a little more about baptism.
Baptism is the culmination of our obedience to the
gospel. Baptism without faith is useless (Hebrews
11:6), without repentance is futile (Luke 13:3;
Acts 2:38), and without love is empty (Matthew
22:37-40). It does little good to baptize anyone
who doesn't understand what he is doing or why he
is doing it. Baptism is a willful, knowledgeable
act of faith and obedience toward God.

Christian baptism takes place by the authority of
Jesus Christ. Jesus has all authority and has
authorized his followers to preach and to baptize
(Matthew 28:18-20). When we are baptized, we act
in the name of Jesus Christ, i.e., by his
authority. Whatever we do in word or deed,
Christians are to do everything in the name of
Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38; Colosians 3:17).

We are baptized into the name of the Father and
the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). In
Christian baptism one comes into the possession,
protection, and blessing of God (Romans 6:4; 1
Corinthains 12:13; Galatians 3:27).

We are united with Christ in his death, burial,
and resurrection. We are crucified with Christ in
baptism (Romans 6:4-7) so that our body of sin may
be done away with. We are raised with Christ to
walk in newness of life. Baptism is the time of
transformation from death to life, from sin to
salvation, from slavery to sin to slavery to
righteousness (Romans 6:16-18).

Baptism is passive on the part of man and active
on the part of God (Colosians 2:12,13). Baptism is
an act of faith in the working of God. In baptism,
God works on us to cleanse us from sin (Acts
22:16), to cause us to be born again (Titus 3:3-
7), to add us to his church (Acts 2:41,47), and to
raise us up to walk in newness of life (Romans
6:4).

Baptism is the time the blood of Christ looses us
from sin (Revelation 1:5; Ephesians 1:7). There is
no forgiveness without the blood of Christ
(Hebrews 9:22). Since we are baptized into the
death of Christ (Romans 6:3), baptism (unlike
anything else) unites us with him in his sacrifice
on the cross.

The New Testament records show that people did not
put off their baptism until a later date Acts
2:41; 8:12; 8:34-39; 16:33). They were baptized
immediately because they knew their salvation
depended upon obedience.

What is hindering you from baptism? What are you
waiting for? Arise and be baptized and wash away
your sins (Acts 22:16).

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