February 17th in the Year of Our Lord, 2021
Dear brothers and sisters,
This morning I read from the Psalms. There are several types of Psalms; however, in them are the elements of a converted man unto salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. For the past few weeks I have been studying baptism in the Bible and in Christian history. It seems that historically, there is disagreement around four issues: to baptize or not to baptize, whom to baptize, how to baptize, and the effects of baptism. Why is their so much disagreement about this subject? Baptism to some is of little importance but for others it is inflated. I believe that baptism is of high importance but do not credit to baptism the means of grace as some traditions do. There are five elements historically and biblically that a Christian should have: repentance, faith, confession, regeneration and baptism. Here is the conclusion that I have come to when studying this very important issue.
In Christian history these elements have been separated but should be understood together in the conversion experience.
I believe that the problems around our understanding of baptism can be traced to separation of the elements. Instead of thinking about the elements of conversion separately, we should understand them together. A Christian repents from sin, a Christian believes in the gospel, a Christian confesses Jesus Christ as Lord, a Christian is regenerated by the Spirit and a Christian is baptized. To baptize or not to baptize, whom to baptize, how to baptize, and the effects of baptism melt away one baptism is understood as an element in the one conversion of a soul. You will find that the apostles never separated the elements, nor gave any one element higher importance in conversion.Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit...So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:38, 41)
In Christ alone,
The Nurse Theologian