Disclaimer: About This Blog
THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.
Monday, June 25, 2012
Baptism Summary Thoughts
I hesitate to write a summary because I don't have many solid thoughts on what immersion (baptism) with the Holy Spirit is. Part of me wants to think it is a process, but the way it is talked about in Scripture sounds like it can also be initiated by a one time event. I suspect I have a lot more to learn in regards to the Holy Spirit.
But here is what I have learned in this study so far:
What Did Baptism Mean? - I looked at how the Greek terms get used and translated in other literature and saw how the term meant submerged, immersed, dipped, plunged, dyed, and other meanings. It did not always have a connection with water. Objects that were dipped or submerged in a variety of liquids were said to have been 'baptized' in that substance.
Baptism without Water - The term for baptism is also used in the New Testament to refer to dipping/submerging/immersing in substances other than water. It sounds like Jesus was going to baptize with the Holy Spirit instead of with water.
Baptism and Culture - It seems Christianity adopted a common custom of the time. Jesus and the early church did not invent a water dipping and cleansing ritual. They likely adapted a common custom and gave it a new meaning.
The Heart of Baptism - We have been immersed/dipped/dyed into Christ. We have become one with Christ. Paul continues describes baptism in Rom 6:3-13 as becoming one with Christ. Our selfish will died with Christ on the cross, so that we can truly live.
Who Can Baptize? - I believe Matt 28:18 - 20 is addressed to all believers, not just clergy.
When Should Believers Be Baptized? - If we believe children can receive the Holy Spirit, It doesn't look like anyone should hinder children from taking the step of immersion by water as well. As for adults, the example we see in Scripture is that baptism follows conversion as soon as possible.
Baptism With The Holy Spirit - John the baptist was said to have baptized with water, but Jesus was going to baptize with the Holy Spirit. Looking at passages in Acts we also see both types of baptisms in the early church.
Immersion by water is a great symbol of being baptized with the Holy Spirit. The command for us in Matt 28:18 - 20 is likely referring to baptism or immersion with the Holy Spirit (and Father, Son). I suspect God is most interested in the matters of the heart. The early church, and most Christians throughout history have made an outward expression of this with immersion in water.
So that summarizes what I have learned. I believe both immersion with water and immersion with the Holy Spirit are important steps in the lives of believers.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.