Summary: Why are their disagreements concerning baptism? There should be agreement. The scripture is clear concerning the need for baptism. Let's look at the basics of baptism.
Back to the Basics - Baptism
It was in April 1986 that I was baptized by immersion of my own choice into Christ Jesus. Of course a few weeks ago I talked about being baptized in the Lutheran Church when I was 8 days old. That is a baptism is one I do not remember, nor did I choose of my own accord to give my life to Christ.
My parents back then were doing what they knew and they thought it was the right and proper thing to do in the will of God. They made a commitment to raise me the God would want and of course for all of my childhood years it was the Lutheran Church who formed my beliefs.
Honestly baptism is a subject that I don’t remember talking about or learning about as a child. And as I said a few weeks ago I didn’t know that my confirmation in the Lutheran Church was confirming my baptism as a baby until after I became a preaching minister while at the last church I served.
With my up bringing and once I began going to the Christian Church and I began to hear and learn about baptism. Also, in seeing others be baptized my interest in the subject was peaked.
I will admit I did not understand why a person would need to be baptized. I did as a child see other babies get baptized being, held over a basin and the priest pouring water over their head. I thought it was kind of mean to pour water over the baby and make the baby cry like that.
I knew it was an important thing that was done, but again I didn’t know why. So as a young adult I had a lot of questions concerning baptism. I tried getting answers in various ways. My step dad was a huge source for me. Of course going to Sunday school, listening to sermons and reading the Bible on my own helped.
But as I continued to search for the reason for baptism I kept coming up with disagreements and arguments concerning baptism. I even went to a deacon in my church to talk to him about baptism but my response from him was, “You know Mark, I don’t completely understand baptism and I have questions myself.”??WE
With all of that said, I was confused and I completely understand why others, and maybe even some of us may not fully understand and/or be confused about the act of baptism and why we baptize. But this one thing is for sure. Baptism is a Basics of the Church.
So what is some of the discussion concerning baptism and what are some of the arguments being made today?
Before I get to that I want go back to the New Testament, First Century Church. The very first time we see Christian baptism is in the forming of the church. Back in Acts 2 as Peter is preaching the first Gospel message and the people were pierced to the heart and wanted to know what they needed to do to be saved.
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. Acts 2:38-41
So in the purest sense of baptism, before arguments, before differences in opinion, before any confrontation or any confusion about baptism we see straight from the mouth of Peter what it is we do to be saved and we see that baptism is a part of God’s plan in the process of salvation.
Honestly, how could have a person to whom Peter was talking take it any differently? Take a look at a few verses preceding Acts 2:38. Peter is concluding his sermon and making his main point of it all they say, —
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Acts 2:36-37
You could put it into other words as far as what they said to make it a little more clear. Brothers, what shall we do to save us from what we have done?
So let’s take a look at what happened in this moment in time when the church was formed.