Baptism

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Research Paper

Baptism

Name of student: Terrance Dixon
Student ID: 23046618
Class: NBST 522
Instructor’s Name: Dr. Jeffery Cockrell
Date submitted: 8/12/2012

Table of Contents

IntroductionPg. 2
Forms of baptism and various ways to perform BaptismPg. 2 Views about BaptismPg. 4
Baptism in the book of ActsPg. 7
ConclusionPg. 13

Introduction:
The importance of baptism in the life of the Christian is found in the belief system of the individual, and can include various forms of baptism, various ways to perform baptism, and various views about baptism, depending on the individual’s beliefs. Baptism, as defined by Oxford Concise Dictionary of the Christian Church, is the sacramental rite, involving the use of water, by which a candidate is admitted to the church.1 It is the Christian belief that all of mankind is stained by the original sin of Adam and Eve and every person bears their part of this sin from birth. Within the Christian belief system, the stains of the original sin are removed by accepting salvation through the Christian faith of receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Through this ritual a person formally states his belief and is accepted into the Christian community. Most importantly, freed of original sin, the person is now eligible to enter heaven upon his death. Of course, even after baptism, any sinful activity jeopardizes the heavenly reward.2 Forms of Baptism and various ways to perform Baptism

Baptism (from the Greek baptizo, meaning to “wash” or “dip”) is the Christian rite of initiation in which participants are either immersed in water or have water poured upon their heads. It symbolizes not only admission into full participation in the church, but also the forgiveness of sins and the spiritual regeneration of the believer.3 In the early Christian church, the person being baptized was completely immersed in a large body of water such as a lake or river. This practice continued for years for adults, but as the baptism of children became more common baptismal fonts were constructed inside churches. These fonts, which were made of stone or metal, provided a large, raised bowl of water which could easily allow total immersion baptism to be practiced on a scale suitable for infants. Water within the font would be solemnly and formally blessed and would thus be viewed as “holy water.” Often the holy water was in the font for some time and was considered valuable and held by some to have curative powers for the body, as well as the soul. Therefore, the holy water could not be disposed of carelessly. In fact, there was such concern about the holy water being stolen and used for profane purposes that fonts were often fitted with large, lockable lids to guard the water within.4 In addition, a guide for priest in the Middle ages advised that the water in the font only needed changing if a child defecated in the font during baptism but not if the child only urinated. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a doctrine best known in its Pentecostal form. Pentecostals generally claim that the believer is empowered for Christian witness through a unique action of Christ, distinct from conversion or sacramental water baptism. They maintain that, as the Holy Spirit fell on the Apostles, so those summoned to be likewise ‘filled’ are ‘baptized with the Holy Spirit’, and that the normal outward sign of this ‘baptism’ is their breaking (speaking) into tongues.5 The baptism or “infilling” of the Holy Spirit is usually associated with the prayer and laying on of hands of other Christian believers. There is also an expectation or anticipation that the baptism of the Holy Spirit would be accompanied by a manifestation of spiritual gifts, such as those mentioned by Paul in chapter 12 and 14 of 1 Corinthians. Yielding to these gifts is seen as a way of cooperating with the renewing work of the Spirit.6 The relationship between the Holy Spirit and the...
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