Thursday, May 19, 2011

John 3:22

After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean, where he spent some time with them, and baptised.

It seems here to be clear that part of the ministry of Jesus was baptism. Was this the same baptism as John's or a different one? We Baptists hold a high view of baptism. We see it first as an act of symbolic cleansing. This is a fresh start; our old sins are washed away, but that would by itself be of no use because we would get dirty again. The Emperor Constantine only got baptized on his death bed so that he would commit no more sins afterwards. No for us Baptists there is a second symbol to do with total immersion. It is like going down into a grave and re-emerging newborn, symbolising the new birth of the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit in control sin is constrained.

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