Baptism, Its Mode And Meaning

There has been very much written on the subject of baptism, perhaps more in an endeavor to evade the force of New Testament teachings than in support of them. The very fact that so much skill has been employed on the negative side of the question is a strong proof of the truth of the affirmative side. One glancing over the New Testament statements, implications and inferences on the subject cannot but be impressed with the boldness, not to say the presumption, of that undertaking which seeks to make the sprinkling of water in the face of a babe or an adult answer the purpose of baptism; nor is it any less surprising that there should be an effort to treat the subject as one of indifference,—as a doctrine which is not a vital part of the plan of salvation.

The carnal mind is responsible for these evils. It reasons with itself, asking, “What difference can it make as to the quantity of water; or whether one is sprinkled with a few drops, or immersed in a quantity sufficient for that purpose?” In others the same carnal mind asks, “What virtue can there be in water to save one from sin and death? Why should salvation be made dependent upon the use of water at all? It is the blood of Christ that saves; and surely one can receive the benefit of the precious blood of Christ without going to a pond or a river. Suppose one should be where there is no pond or river? Why, if you say baptism is a saving ordinance, then you make out that salvation is in a pond or in a river or in a bath tub,” etc., etc.

Reasoning thus the carnal mind can easily satisfy itself, because when the wish is father to the thought, “the way may seem right unto a man,” while “the end thereof is the way of death;” and it is quite as easy for the same fleshly mind to carry the same argument to the matter of belief (which many do) and to the efficacy of the blood of Christ. Leave God and His revealed plan of salvation, with all its requirements, out of the question, and the natural man, the man of mere sight without scripturally-produced faith, can assume premises from which to reason and reason, to his own conceited satisfaction, yet ignorant all the time of the fact that he is sowing to the wind only to reap the whirlwind, and knowing not that God has declared that “Your thoughts are not my thoughts; neither are your ways my ways.” The “wisdom” of the natural man is foolishness with God, and “the world by [its own] wisdom knew not God.” The really wise man, he who desires to know and do the right and to obtain salvation, will seek to know what God hath spoken and required; then he will find that he is not required to obey blindly; but he will see why it is so, and the real fitness of God’s requirements will be manifest to him and command his admiration and true devotion.

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Author: Thomas Williams

Keywords: Water baptism, Baptism, Baptist, Baptized, Baptised, Baptize, Baptise, Baptizer, Baptiser, Sprinkling, Is baptism mandatory, Is baptism essential, Is baptist required, Baptism salvation, Baptized by water, Infant baptism, Infant sprinkling, Christening, Baptizing babies, Baptizing infants, Baptizing children, Baptising babies, Baptising infants, Baptising children, Immersion, Ritual bath, Water immersion, baptizo, baptisma, baptismos, Pouring, Baptism essential to salvation, Dip, Dipping, Plunge, Plunging, Dipped in water, Plunged in water

Bible reference(s): Matthew 3:6, Matthew 3:7, Matthew 3:11, Matthew 3:13, Matthew 3:14, Matthew 3:16, Matthew 11:11, Matthew 11:12, Matthew 21:25, Matthew 28:19, Mark 1:4, Mark 1:5, Mark 1:8, Mark 1:9, Mark 10:38, Mark 10:39, 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 20:4, John 1:25, John 1:26, John 1:28, John 1:31, John 1:33, 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 2:37-38, 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, 1 Peter 3:21

Source: The World’s Redemption (Chicago: Advocate Pub. House, 1892-1908?).

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