The Sacrament of Baptism

There can be no denial of the fact that from the very commencement of the Christian movement, baptism was the initiating rite. John “the Baptist” baptised in anticipation of the coming of the Saviour. The disciples of Jesus baptised at the beginning of his ministry. During it he stressed the importance of baptism, and at the end he commanded its observance in the missionary work that followed his ascension. The apostles carried out this command whenever they made converts, and it became established as a very definite indication of the fidelity of the Christian to the Captain of his salvation.

In course of time a division of opinion arose in the Church as to the mode of administering the sacrament. The western or Roman section performed it by “affusion of water,” i.e., sprinkling or pouring water upon the individual; whereas the eastern or Greek section maintained the original form of “immersion in water”. So to-day, when the Greek Christian wishes to speak disrespectfully of his western brother, he calls him a “sprinkled” Christian.

In our own country, baptism of infants is regarded as an important duty, and neglect of the ceremony is viewed with something akin to horror, as though the child were being deprived of some vital advantage.

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Author: A. Norris

Keywords: Sacraments, Baptism, Water baptism, Roman Church, Roman Catholic Church, Catholic, Catholic Church, Church of Rome, Christen, Christening, Christened, Infant baptism, Infant sprinkling, Sacrament of Baptism, adult baptism, full immersion, Full immersion baptism, believer's baptism

Bible reference(s): Matthew 3:6, Matthew 3:7, Matthew 3:11, Matthew 3:13, Matthew 3:14, Matthew 3:16, Matthew 21:25, Matthew 28:19, Mark 1:4, Mark 1:5, Mark 1:8, Mark 1:9, Mark 11:30, Mark 16:16, Luke 3:3, Luke 3:7, Luke 3:12, Luke 3:16, Luke 3:21, Luke 7:29, Luke 7:30, Luke 12:50, Luke 20:4, John 1:25, John 1:26, John 1:28, John 1:31, John 1:33, John 3:5, John 3:22, John 3:23, John 3:26, John 4:1, John 4:2, John 10:40, Acts 1:5, Acts 1:22, Acts 2:38, Acts 2:41, Acts 8:12, Acts 8:13, Acts 8:16, Acts 8:36, Acts 8:38, Acts 9:18, Acts 10:37, Acts 10:47, Acts 10:48, Acts 11:16, Acts 13:24, Acts 16:15, Acts 16:33, Acts 18:8, Acts 18:25, Acts 19:3, Acts 19:4, Acts 19:5, Acts 22:16, Romans 6:3, Romans 6:4, 1 Corinthians 1:13, 1 Corinthians 1:14, 1 Corinthians 1:15, 1 Corinthians 1:16, 1 Corinthians 1:17, 1 Corinthians 10:2, 1 Corinthians 12:13, 1 Corinthians 15:29, Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:5, Colossians 2:12, Hebrews 6:2, 1 Peter 3:21

Source: “The Sacraments,” The Testimony, Vol. 3, No. 29, May 1933, pp. 135-9.

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