The Holy Baptism

 

 THE HOLY BAPTISM

1  What is the Holy Baptism?

It is part of the regeneration.  John 3:4-5  The

promise of a good conscience towards God.  I Peter

3:21  The way of Salvation.  Mark 16:16

 

2  Who can participate in the Holy Baptism?

Jesus said to His Apostles:  “Go ye therefore, and

teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of

The Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”.

Matt. 28:19  Thus – there is no man excluded from

this act of Grace.

 

3  What are the preconditions for partaking in the Holy Baptism?

The preconditions are the belief and faith in the

Trinity of God and the desire for salvation.  “He that

believeth and is baptised, shall be saved.”  St. Mark

16:16

 

4  What does a person vow by accepting the Holy Baptism?

Such a person promises to consecrate his life to God

and to renounce all ungodly essence, the world, the

sin and the devil.

 

5  Why are children also baptised?

Because they are also subjected to the Grace of God

contained in the act of Baptism, in the same way as

the adults.  Jesus said:  “Suffer the little children to

come unto Me, and forbid them not;  for of such is

the Kingdom of God.”  “And He took them up in His

arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them.”

 

Mark 10:14 and 16

The Church proclaims and believes in the baptism

with water, because this is the baptism instituted

and preached by Jesus Christ.  Baptism is a Holy

Sacrament which serves as a sign of the cleansing of

hereditary sin.  The amount of water used during the

baptism ceremony is irrelevant as it is only a sign or

symbol.  The important point about the baptism is

the symbolic cleansing of hereditary sin as it is done

in the name of Jesus Christ.  The water being used

should be seen as spiritual, not natural water.  The

water in this instance is an external (natural) symbol

which performs an internal (spiritual) task.  The

following texts in Scripture shows why, according to Jesus Himself;  children should be

baptised.  It also shows that the water at the ceremony is only a symbol and not the

nucleus of the baptism.  According to Luke 2:21-24 the Lord Jesus was baptised at His

birth and was circumcised on the eighth day.  According to Mark, Jesus was then baptised

in the Jordan where John the Baptist baptised because that was the only running waters in

those days.  Mark 1:9  The Lord Jesus had to undergo this baptism because John was sent

to fulfil the task of baptising Christ.

 

From Luke 7:18-28 it is clear that John himself did not believe the Lord Jesus’ mission and

did not follow Him.  John sent two of his disciples to Jesus to ask Him if there was another

to be expected after Him.  John the Baptism declares that his baptism was unique and

meant for Jesus:  “I indeed baptise you with water unto repentance:  but He that cometh

after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear:  He shall baptise you

with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”  Matt. 3:11

 

Baptism is thus the cleansing with spiritual water to cleanse the inner-self and is

confirmed with a visual symbol.  In Luke 12:50 our Lord Jesus makes it clear that this is a

spiritual matter:  “But I have a baptism to be baptised with:  and how am I straitened till it

be accomplished!”  Another proof of the baptism as an inner matter is reflected in Apostle

Paul’s view regarding baptism, namely that which the ordinary Christian does not

understand, is that the baptism with the Holy Ghost is far more important than the

baptism with water.  Apostle Paul was one of God’s

Greatest servants on earth and should the baptism by immersion be regarded as being as

important as some of the churches interpret it, it would be difficult to understand Paul’s

words in I Cor. 1:14-16:  “I thank God that I baptised none of you, but Crispus and Gai’us;

lest any should say that I had baptised in mine own name.  And I baptised also the

household of Stephanas:  besides, I know not whether I baptised any other.”

 

6  How is it possible that small children can  already enter the Bond of Grace through Baptism?

This is possible through the will and faith of parents who possess the right and duty for the

care of their children.  If there are no parents alive or through circumstances such can

never be present, persons can be deputised to take over the rights and duties.

 

7  What duties do parents have to fulfil?

They have a duty to educate children in the Faith and to teach them, or to have them

taught that they will become conscious of the Bond of Baptism.