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The Meaning And Significance Of Baptism

2741 words - 11 pages

The Meaning and Significance of Baptism

Baptism is a very important part of the Christian faith, in the Roman
Catholic Church it is the initial sacrament of initiation, the other
two being Holy Communion and Confirmation. It is the start of the
religious journey through Christianity. By being baptised it is
showing a commitment to the Christian faith it is both a public as
well as personal commitment and declaration to show your dedication to
your faith. Baptism signifies a life long covenant between God and
the candidate. As Christians we share a private relationship with God
and baptism is commitment to that relationship.

Baptism is also special as it is a tradition of the Christian church.
It has been a significant part of the church for a very long time;
even before Christianity the Jews were performing a ritualistic
cleansing to rid themselves of sin. Jesus said to the people “turn
away from your sins and be baptised.” God also showed he believed
baptism was the way to begin the faith as at Jesus’ baptism in the
River Jordan by John the Baptist, the skies opened and a voice said
“you are my own dear son, I am pleased with you.” This moment
signified the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and for us too as
Christians it signifies that before we may begin to do God’s work we
are baptised. Jesus expressed his thoughts on baptism, saying “go,
then to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples, baptise
them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Peter
also reinforced this telling people to turn away from their sins and
be baptised. Most Christian denominations believe in the importance of
baptism, with exception of Quakers and the Salvation Army who do not
believe in its significance.

Infant baptism cleanses us of original sin. We are all born with
original sin due to Adam and Eve. By being baptised as an infant we
are brought into the Christian faith and given the opportunity to
develop our faith from a very young age. Believers’ baptisms take
place when the candidate is an adult; this allows them to make their
own choices to do with their religious life. Jesus was baptised as an
adult, he stands as an example for all those who wish to receive the
believer’s baptism that they can begin their new spiritual journey in
Christ. Baptism gives us strength from the Holy Spirit as Jesus
received at his baptism, to resist temptation to sin.

Baptism may offer cleansing of sin and protection from evil, however
each individual also have the ability to make decisions for
themselves, this free will may assist them to decide whether to live
in accordance to Jesus’ teachings or live a life of sin. Through
baptism we should be able to make good and moral decisions. This is
because we have the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us through our
journey of faith....

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