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The Sacrament of Baptism - Research Paper Example

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Name Institution Course Instructor Date The Sacrament of Baptism Introduction The basis of the whole Christian life is the Holy Baptism; it is the gateway to life in the spirit. Moreover, it is the door that gives access to the other sacraments. According to the New Testament, baptism is to wash and cleanse with water…
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Download file to see previous pages Furthermore, Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration by way of water in the word. It is also defined as the sacrament of supernatural rebirth. Moreover, it gives us a new life. The sacrament of baptism is the first of the seven sacraments not only in time but in priority. This is because other sacraments depend on it (catholicism.about.com). The sacrament of Baptism is necessary to Christians as Christ Himself ordered His disciples to preach the Gospel to all nations and baptize those the accept the message of the Gospel. (John 3:1-21), during His encounter with Nicodemus, He made it clear that for salvation baptism was necessary: "Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man is born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Furthermore, for Catholics take baptism as a mark of a Christian as it brings Christians into a new life in Christ. The biblical root of the sacrament of baptism The biblical root of the sacrament of baptism is evident as many events in Israel’s salvation history direct to the saving grace found in the waters of baptism e.g. Israel Crossing the Red Sea, the great Flood and the Israel crossing the River Jordan into the promised land. In the Gospel, at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, he was baptized by John in the River Jordan. In and during this event, Jesus, the sinless One, identified himself with sinful humanity whom he came to set free from the slavery and power of sins. Jesus filled the waters with his divine presence by stepping into River Jordan just as he does when the water is blesses during the sacrament of baptism. Furthermore, before Jesus returned to His Father, He issued the Great commission: to preach in his name, make disciples and baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:16-20). Types of sacrament of baptism Churches recognize that apart from the baptism of water there is also baptism of desire. This is baptism employs both to those who, die early in time before being baptized while as they wished to be baptized, and those who through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who still seek God with an open and genuine heart, and moved by grace, make an effort in their actions to do His will as they know it through the guiding principle of conscience (Constitution on the Church, Second Vatican Council). Similar to baptism of desire, baptism of blood refers to the martyrdom of those believers who were killed for the faith before they had an opportunity to be baptized. This was widely known to occur in church during the early centuries, but also, later on in missionary lands. Consequently, the baptism of blood has the same effects as the baptism of water. The principal symbols of Baptism The main symbols of the sacrament of baptism portray the meaning of this sacrament. These symbols include; water, oil, white garment and candle. Water is symbolic as it can both destroy and save life. In the sacrament of baptism, pouring of the blessed water is the outward obviously seen sign of the interior transformation being brought about in the soul (Jensen, 69). In the Old Testament, oil was used to anoint kings and queens to symbolize the coming of God’s Spirit to enable them to be godly leaders of God’s people. Similarly, the anointing of a candidate at Baptism with sacred chrism, blesses by the bishop, symbolizes an interior anointing in ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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