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Wordwise Insight, Issue #090
February 14, 2012

WORDWISE INSIGHT is the free monthly newsletter of


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Looking at baptism--Christ's baptism and our own, and infant baptism

WORDWISE HYMNS: My Blog called Wordwise Hymns for you to check out!

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Baptism Meaning

(About Christ's Baptism and Ours)

QUESTION: I've been wondering about baptism for years. Why was Jesus Himself baptized at age 30, when He had matured enough, while in our time children as low as day-born, who do not understand even the meaning of baptism, are being baptized?

ANSWER: Excellent questions. Baptism has been used to picture various things, down through history. The Jews of ancient times baptized Gentiles when they became adherents of the Jewish faith. But you have raised two particular issues.

Let’s first think about the baptism of little children. This practice goes back many years, but there is absolutely nothing in the Bible instructing us to baptize little babies. Nothing! It is a tradition of some branches of the church, but it is based on error, and leads to dangerous presumption.

My father was baptized as an infant, in England, in 1902. His baptismal certificate reads: "Christian, dear child, we call thee....Now is thy heavenly rest begun." But sprinkling water on a baby’s head does not make him a Christian, or a member of the church. Salvation comes through faith in Christ alone, apart from any works or rituals (Jn. 3:16; Acts. 16:30-31; cf. Eph. 2:8-9).

There’s a reason why the rite is sometimes called "believer’s baptism." It’s because the examples we have in Scripture are of adults being baptized as a sign of their personal faith in Christ (Acts 2:41; 8:12, 35-37). And water baptism by immersion seems to fit the biblical pattern best. For one thing, it best interprets the meaning of the Greek word for "baptize." And it best pictures the death of Christ (down into the water) and the resurrection of Christ (up out of the water).

In baptism we bear witness to our identification with Christ, confessing the value of His death and resurrection for ourselves. Water baptism is for Christians, those who have ...

For the rest of this article, click on Baptism Meaning.


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

I have developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

Through 2010, almanac entries dealt with what happened in hymn history on each day of the year. Beginning in 2011, I hope to analyze hymns from a biblical standpoint, linking to the material that has come before.

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.

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