Introduction. Historically, Baptism Has Not Been Understood

1659 WordsMar 8, 20177 Pages
Introduction Historically, baptism has not been understood to be an optional practice. It is commanded by God. But there has often been disagreement about whom baptism is for, how it should be done, and why it is significant. This debate has divided Christians over the years, and it is mainly focused on what the purpose and merits of Baptism are; of whether baptism should be only for adults or infants as well; or on the correct mode of baptism. As any debate, there are two sides to each area. We will analyze all of them to gain a wider perspective on what it means to get baptized. Purpose and Merits of Baptism As stated before, one thing Christians agree on is that baptism is not an optional practice. Christians have recognized that…show more content…
Although baptism is a step of obedience, it is not necessary for salvation. They view it as an outward ceremony that will guarantee them salvation, when the way they live their lives say otherwise. In Luke 23:43, Christ’s reply to the thief next to him, after he had repented was, “truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” He had not been baptized yet Christ assured him he was saved. “Repentance, but not baptism, is necessary for the forgiveness of sins.” Repentance entails recognizing the sinful life that has been lead up to that point, and the need for salvation. Even though, baptism is very important, it is not what determines a Christians salvations. Baptism for Believers Only or Infants? When it comes to baptism the greatest debate that exists is whether it should be only for adults or infants as well. Those who argue that infant baptism is biblical, base their belief on church tradition and the importance of God’s initiative in salvation. While those that argue that baptism should only be for adults, base their arguments on how Scripture specifies that baptism is a decision that has to be made with a clear understanding, and on how it does not at any point reference infant baptism as being a biblical practice. Many Christians who support infant baptism, have done so because it has been part of the church tradition. It all began with the persecution of Christians. After several years and leaders there came a

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