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Baptism..What is it all about? By Greg.





 

Question: What is Baptism?
Christian denominations differ widely on their teachings about baptism. Some believe baptism accomplishes the washing away of sin. Others consider baptism a form of exorcism from evil spirits. Still others teach that baptism is an important step of obedience in the believer’s life, yet only an acknowledgment of the salvation experience already accomplished - baptism itself has no power to cleanse or save from sin. The following takes a look at the latter perspective called "Believer's Baptism:"
 
Answer: A general definition for the word baptism is “a rite of washing with water as a sign of religious purification and consecration.” This rite was practiced frequently in the Old Testament. It signified purity or cleansing from sin and devotion to God. Since baptism was first instituted in the Old Testament many have practiced it as a tradition yet have not fully understood its significance and meaning.
Where did we get then word "baptize"? Well, let's research it a bit......
GREEK DEFINITION OF ‘BAPTIZE’
The word ‘baptize’ is a Greek word that has been transliterated into the English language.  The English language did not have a word for the Greek word ‘baptize’ so the Greek word was borrowed and put into the English language, retaining its Greek definition.  In other words, the translators taught us a Greek word and the Greek words meaning.  The root Greek word for ‘baptize’ is ‘bapto’.
 
BAPTO -- STRONG'S GREEK DICTIONARY, 911[1]
baptw bapto bap'-to
 
1.    a primary verb; to whelm, i.e. cover wholly with a fluid; in the New Testament only in a qualified or special sense, i.e. (literally) to moisten (a part of one's person), or (by implication) to stain (as with dye):
 
2.    --dip.
 
We see that there are two definitions for the root word ‘bapto’... one is to ‘cover wholly with a fluid’ and the other definition is to ‘dip’.
 
There are only three places in the Greek text where the word ‘bapto’ is found and in each case this word was translated into English as ‘dip’.
 
Luke 16:24 (KJV) And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
 
John 13:26 (KJV) Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
 
Revelation 19:13 (KJV) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
 
BAPTIZO -- STRONG'S GREEK DICTIONARY, 907[2]
baptizw baptizo bap-tid'-zo
 
from a derivative of 911;
 
1.    to immerse, submerge;
 
2.    to make whelmed (i.e. fully wet); used only (in the New Testament) of ceremonial ablution, especially (technically) of the ordinance of Christian baptism:
 
3.    --Baptist, baptize, wash.
 
See Greek 911
 
Notice something in the definition of the word ‘baptizo’, IT DOES NOT CONTAIN THE WORD ‘DIP’ AS PART OF IT’S DEFINITION!  The Greek word ‘baptizo’ does not mean ‘dip’!
 
Also, the Greek word ‘baptizo’ was not translated... it was transliterated into the words ‘baptize’ and ‘baptized’ and in EVERY case it used as ‘immerse’ or ‘submerge’... ‘cover wholly with fluid’.
 
‘Bapto’ means ‘dip’.
 
‘Baptizo’ means ‘immerse’ or ‘submerge’.
 
The phrase ‘John the Baptist’ could have correctly been translated ‘John the Immerser’ or ‘John the Submerger’.
 
ENGLISH DEFINITION OF ‘BAPTIZE’
The word ‘baptize’ as used in English is not the same as it is used in the Greek language.  Alternate meanings are attached to the word so to use an English dictionary for the definition will not give as precise a meaning as the Greek dictionary will.
 
For example...
 
WEBSTER'S 1828 DICTIONARY
baptize
 
BAPTI'ZE, v.t. See Baptism.
 
To administer the sacrament of baptism to; to christen. By some denominations of Christians, baptism is performed by plunging, or immersing the whole body in water, and this is done to none but adults. More generally the ceremony is performed by sprinkling water on the face of a person, whether an infant or an adult, and in the case of an infant, by giving him a name, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which is called Christening.
 
In the New Testament, the significance of baptism is seen more clearly. John the Baptist was sent by God to spread the news of the coming Messiah—Jesus Christ.  
John 1:33
New International Version (NIV)
33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 
 
John was directed by God to baptize those who accepted his message. John’s baptizing is called “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” 
 
Mark 1:4
New International Version (NIV)
4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
 
 Those baptized by John acknowledged their sins and professed their faith that through the coming Messiah they would be forgiven. Baptism then is significant in that it represents the forgiveness and cleansing from sin that comes through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
The Purpose of Baptism:
 
Water Baptism identifies the believer with the Godhead – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
 
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19 (NIV)
 
Water Baptism identifies the believer with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
Colossians 2:11-12
New International Version (NIV)
11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh[a] was put off when you were circumcised by[b] Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
 
Romans 6:4
New International Version (NIV)
4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.)
 
Water Baptism is an act of obedience for the believer. It should be preceded by repentance, which simply means “change.” It is turning from our sin and selfishness to serve the Lord. It means placing our pride, our past and all of our possessions before the Lord. It is giving the control of our lives over to Him.
Acts 2:38
New International Version (NIV)
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
 
Water Baptism is a public testimony - the outward confession of an inward experience. In baptism, we stand before witnesses confessing our identification with the Lord.
Water Baptism is a picture representing profound spiritual truth: 
 
Death: 
Galatians 2:20
New International Version (NIV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.)
Resurrection:
Romans 6:4-5
New International Version (NIV)
4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
 
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.
 
“He died once to defeat sin, and now he lives for the glory of God. So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to its lustful desires. Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God." Romans 6:10-13 (NLT)
 
Cleansing:
1 Peter 3:21
New International Version (NIV)
21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[a] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
 
1 Corinthians 6:11
New International Version (NIV)
11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
 
    I hope this clears up what the whole idea of baptism is about. In my opinion, it isn't about the "washing away of siN"as some teach because if you look into scripture, that was done by our Lord and savior Jesus Christ when He took our sins upon himself and was crucified for them.
 
1 Peter 2:24
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
 
 Only His blood can wash away our sins. No man can forgive them, no water can wash them away. It has been done and does,t need to be "redone". Thank you for reading this.  
                                     God Bless, Greg.









Copyright © by Crossroad2Faith All Right Reserved.

Published on: 2013-05-17 (992204 reads)

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