What is All This Fuss About?
From the Book of Acts until today there has been a point of doctrine that has been the subject of debate.
All differences between denominations are pretty well hinged on this point.
In any public debate between factions of faith, this point usually gets top billing.
What is really strange, is the folks who carry the name of this point of doctrine are on the debate's minority side.
In fact you would think that the sides would be reversed if you were an innocent bystander to the debate.
I speak of the very important doctrine of Baptism.
You might think that the major debate is on the method of Baptism.
Most Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Churches use the term "baptism"
when they speak of the ceremony where someone, even an infant, is
"baptized" by either having water sprinkled or poured upon them. This
is regarded as a sign or a token that the subject has become a "Christian."
Some Churches teach that this act is the actual act of a person becoming
a "Christian" or at least the second part of a person becoming a "Christian."
Normally the sprinklers, include in their core beliefs that this
ceremony has to do with cleansing. They go to great lengths to show
that God initiated such with Moses and Aaron during their trek through
the wilderness. They bring their argument down to John the Baptist
and Peter in the book of Acts. There are a couple of verses in the
New Testament that can be read either way.
Acts 2:38 is one of those
verses. Washing or being remitted from sin by baptism.
must go deeper than this. (pun)
Some Churches who insist on immersion also insist that the act of
immersion in water washes away sin. "If you do not get baptized then
you do not get into Heaven!"
The seldom considered aspect of the debate is formed with a question.
"What about the blood of Jesus Christ?" Some theologians have gone
so far as to say that the blood of Jesus was no more efficacious than
any mortal man's blood would be." They say that in order to uphold
some power to the baptismal regeneration doctrine.
The fact is Jesus' precious blood is the only thing that will wash away sin. Anything
else alone or in conjunction with his blood will not wash away sin.
Anyone who trods under foot the blood of Jesus Christ have only the
judgement of God to expect.
The true purpose and meaning of Scriptural Baptism is that it pictures
the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Anyone who follows
the Lord in Scriptural Baptism identifies with Christ, and does so
as an expression of his or her testimony of receiving Jesus Christ
as personal saviour.