“ . . . the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’  I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”  John 1:33b-34 NIV

Baptism is one of those topics possessing widespread views among Christians.  It seems that each church can craft a scriptural justification for its doctrine on this subject.  Take a verse here, pull a verse there, blend them together and create a meaning that matches what you believe.  Cite one Biblical teaching while ignoring others and claim you have it right and everyone else has it wrong.  Forget about what the Bible states and just go with one’s own feelings.  You know what I’m talking about!

I’ve read the positions of numerous churches on this subject, and there’s widespread disagreement on baptism and misunderstanding by many over what others believe, It’s rather interesting–or disheartening–that well-intended Christians reading the same Bible can come up with so many varying viewpoints.  

I’ll throw my two cents into the picture.  Here is what I believe.

Infant baptism isn’t for salvation of the infant.  Churches that don’t practice it get their shorts in a knot by refusing to understand what it really means.  It’s simply a ceremony that the parents commit to raising the child as a Christian, and the congregation agrees to support their efforts.  That’s it.  Nothing more and nothing less.  

What is baptism anyway?  The Scriptures talk about two types:  spiritual and water.  When one accepts Jesus as the Christ and commits to making Him Lord of their life, it constitutes a spiritual baptism–that is, one receives the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as a result.  There are many instances of spiritual baptism resulting in people’s salvation apart from water baptism–for example, most of the apostles had such an experience.  Water baptism is a public display that one has accepted Jesus Christ.  It symbolizes the death of sin in the grave and resurrection of life eternal.  Spiritual baptism is the more important one by far.   

Sprinkle, pour or immerse–which one is right?  Initially my water baptism consisted of sprinkling.  I can’t tell you how many people over the years informed me that I didn’t have salvation because I had not been immersed.  I guess they never heard of spiritual baptism taught in the Bible.  Years later I repeated my water baptism by immersion in the Jordon River, about 1/2 mile upstream of where it is believed Jesus was baptized.  Guess what?  Folks from these same brands of churches claimed only their preachers in their churches are qualified to baptize by immersion; therefore, I still lack salvation.  Legalism prevails in their minds.  

What do you believe?  Have you accepted Jesus Christ and received spiritual baptism?  

Prayer:  Thank you, God, for your amazing grace!  Amen.  

Last Modified on June 8, 2018
This entry was posted in Daily Devotional
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