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Certain key criteria must be complied with for it to be valid, Nains Baptism, i. If these key criteria are met, violation of some rules regarding baptism, such as varying the authorized rite for the ceremony, renders the baptism illicit contrary to the church's laws but still valid.
One of the criteria for validity is use of the correct form of words. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the use of the verb "baptize" is essential. Use of the Trinitarian formula "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" is also considered essential; thus these churches do not accept as valid baptisms of non- Trinitarian churches such as Oneness Pentecostals.
Another essential condition is use of water. A baptism in which some liquid that would not usually be called water, such as wine, milk, soup or fruit juice was used would not be considered valid. Another requirement is that the celebrant intends to perform baptism. This requirement entails merely the intention "to do what the Church does",  not necessarily to have Christian faith, since it is not the person baptizing, but the Holy Spirit working through the sacrament, who produces the effects of the sacrament.
Doubt about the faith of the baptizer is thus no ground for doubt about the validity of the baptism. Some conditions expressly do not affect validity—for example, whether submersion, immersion, affusion or aspersion is used. However, if water is sprinkled, there is a danger that the water may not touch the skin of the unbaptized.
As has been stated, "it is not sufficient for the water to merely touch the candidate; it must also flow, otherwise there would seem to be no real ablution. At best, such a baptism would be considered doubtful. If the water touches only the hair, the sacrament has probably been validly conferred, though in practice the safer course must be followed. If only the clothes of the person have received the aspersion, the baptism is undoubtedly void.
According to the Catholic Church, baptism imparts an indelible "seal" upon the soul of the baptized and therefore a person who has already been baptized cannot be validly baptized again. This teaching was affirmed against the Donatists who practiced rebaptism. The grace received in baptism is believed to operate ex opere operato and is therefore considered valid even if administered in heretical or schismatic groups. The CatholicLutheranAnglicanPresbyterian and Methodist Churches accept baptism performed by other denominations within this group as valid, subject to certain conditions, including the use of the Trinitarian formula.
It is only possible to be baptized once, thus people with valid baptisms from other denominations may not be baptized again upon conversion or transfer. For Roman Catholics, this is affirmed in the Canon Lawin which it is written that "[e]very person not yet baptized and only such a person is capable of baptism. Specifically, "Methodist theologians argued that since God never abrogated a covenant made and sealed with proper intentionality, rebaptism was never an option, unless the original baptism had been defective by not having been made in the name of the Trinity.
In the still recent past, it was common practice in the Roman Catholic Church to baptize conditionally almost every convert from Protestantism because of a perceived difficulty in judging about the validity in any concrete case. In the case of the major Protestant Churches, agreements involving assurances about the manner in which they administer baptism has ended this practice, which sometimes continues for other groups of Protestants.
The Catholic Church has always recognized the validity of baptism in the Churches of Eastern Christianitybut it has explicitly denied the validity of the baptism conferred in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Practice in the Eastern Orthodox Church for converts from other communions is not uniform.
However, generally baptisms performed in the name of the Holy Trinity are accepted by the Orthodox Christian Church. If a convert has not received the sacrament mysterion of baptism, he or she must be baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity before they may enter into communion with the Orthodox Church.
If he has been baptized in another Christian confession other than Orthodox Christianity his previous baptism is considered retroactively filled with grace by chrismation or, in rare circumstances, confession of faith alone as long as the baptism was done Nains Baptism the name of the Holy Trinity Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The exact procedure is dependent on local canons and is the subject of some controversy.
Oriental Orthodox Churches recognise the validity of baptisms performed within the Eastern Orthodox Communion. Some also recognise baptisms performed by Catholic Churches. Any supposed baptism not performed using the Trinitarian formula is considered invalid. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stresses that baptism must be administered by one having proper authority; consequently, the church does not recognize the baptism of any other church as valid.
Jehovah's Witnesses do not recognise any other baptism occurring after  as valid,  as they believe that they are now the one true church of Christ,  and that the rest of "Christendom" is false religion. There is debate among Christian churches as to who can administer baptism. Some claim that the examples given in the New Testament only show apostles and deacons administering baptism.
Then anyone may baptize, provided, in the view of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the person who does the baptizing is a member of that Church, or, in the view of the Catholic Church, that the person, even if not baptized, intends to do what the Church does in administering the rite. Many Protestant churches see no specific prohibition in the biblical examples and permit any believer to baptize another. In the Roman Catholic Church, canon law for the Latin Church lays down that the ordinary minister of baptism is a bishop, priest or deacon,  but its administration is one of the functions "especially entrusted to the parish priest ".
In the Eastern Catholic Churchesa deacon is not considered an ordinary minister. Administration of the sacrament is reserved to the Parish Priest or to another priest to whom he or the local hierarch grants permission, a permission that can be presumed if in accordance with canon law. However, "in case of necessity, baptism can be administered by a deacon or, in his absence or if he is impeded, by another cleric, a member of an institute of consecrated life, or by any other Christian faithful; even by the mother or father, if another person is not available who knows how to baptize.
They require the baptizer, even in cases of necessity, to be of their own faith, on the Nains Baptism that a person cannot convey what he himself does not possess, in this case membership in the Church.
For the Orthodox, while Baptism in extremis may be administered by a deacon or any lay-person, if the newly baptized person survives, a priest must still perform the other prayers of the Rite of Baptism, and administer the Mystery of Chrismation. For Methodists and many other Protestant denominations, too, the ordinary minister of baptism is a duly ordained or appointed minister of religion.
Newer movements of Protestant Evangelical churches, particularly non-denominational, allow laypeople to baptize. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, only a man who has been ordained to the Aaronic priesthood holding the priesthood office of priest or higher office in the Melchizedek priesthood may administer baptism. A Jehovah's Witnesses baptism is performed by a "dedicated male" adherent. Anabaptists and Baptists recognize only believer's baptism or "adult baptism". Baptism is seen as an act identifying one as having accepted Jesus Christ as savior.
Early Anabaptists were given that name because they re-baptized persons who they felt had not been properly baptized, having received infant baptism, sprinkling.
The traditional form of Anabaptist baptism was pouring or sprinkling, the form commonly used in the West in the early 16th century when they emerged. Since the 18th century immersion and submersion became more widespread. Today all forms of baptism can be found among Anabaptist. Baptism memorializes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
For the majority of Baptists, Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is a testimony to the believer's faith in the final resurrection of the dead. For a new convert the general practice is that baptism also allows the person to be a registered member of the local Baptist congregation though some churches have adopted "new members classes" as a mandatory step for congregational membership. Baptism in Churches of Christ is performed only by full bodily immersion,  :  : based on the Koine Greek verb baptizo which means to dip, immerse, submerge or plunge.
Churches of Christ have historically had the most conservative position on baptism among the various branches of the Restoration Movementunderstanding baptism by immersion to be a necessary part of conversion.
More recently, the rise of the International Churches of Christ has caused some to reexamine the issue. Churches of Christ consistently teach that in baptism a believer surrenders his life in faith and obedience to God, and that God "by the merits of Christ's blood, cleanses one from sin and truly changes the state of the person from an alien to a citizen of God's kingdom.
Because of the belief that baptism is a necessary part of salvation, some Baptists hold that the Churches of Christ endorse the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. The Methodist Articles of Religionwith regard to baptism, teach: . Baptism is not only a sign of profession and mark of difference whereby Christians are distinguished from others that are not baptized; but it is also a sign of regeneration or the new birth.
The Baptism of young children is to be retained in the Church. While baptism imparts regenerating grace, its permanence is contingent upon repentance and a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. Of this great new-covenant blessing, baptism was therefore eminently the sign ; and it represented "the pouring out " of the Spirit, "the descending " of the Spirit, the "falling" of the Spirit "upon men," by the mode in which it was administered, the pouring of water from above upon the subjects baptized.
As a seal, also, or confirming sign, baptism answers to circumcision. Methodists recognize three modes of baptism as being valid—"immersion, sprinkling, or pouring" in the name of the Holy Trinity. In Reformed baptismal theologybaptism is seen as primarily God's offer of union with Christ and all his benefits to the baptized. This offer is believed to be intact even when it is not received in faith by the person baptized.
Reformed Christians believe that immersion is not necessary for baptism to be properly performed, but that pouring or sprinkling are acceptable. In Catholic teaching, baptism is stated to be "necessary for salvation by actual reception or at least by desire". This teaching is based on the Gospel according to John which says that Jesus proclaimed: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
However, if knowledge is absent, "those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church also states: "Since Baptism signifies liberation from sin and from its instigator the devil, one or more exorcisms are pronounced over the candidate". We pray for this child: set him her free from original sin, make him her a temple of your glory, and send your Holy Spirit to dwell with him her. Through Christ our Lord.
In the Catholic Church by baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins. Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte "a new creature," an adopted son of God, who has become a "partaker of the divine nature," member of Christ and co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Sanctifying grace, the grace of justification, given by God by baptism, erases the original sin and personal actual sins. Catholics are baptized in water, by submersion, immersion or affusion, or aspersion sprinklingin the name singular of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit  —not three gods, but one God subsisting in three Persons.
While sharing in the one divine essence, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct, not simply three "masks" or manifestations of one divine being. The faith of the Church and of the individual Christian is based on a relationship with these three "Persons" of the one God. Adults can also be baptized through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
It is claimed that Pope Stephen ISt. The correct interpretation of their words is disputed. The Church recognizes two equivalents of baptism with water: "baptism of blood" and " baptism of desire ".
Baptism of blood is that undergone by unbaptized individuals who are martyred for their faith, while baptism of desire generally applies to catechumens who die before they can be baptized. The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes these two forms:.
The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of bloodlike the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.
For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charityassures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament. The Catholic Church holds that those who are ignorant of Christ's Gospel and of the Church, but Nains Baptism seek the truth and do God's will as they understand it, may be supposed to have an implicit desire for baptism and can be saved: "'Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.
It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity. In Eastern Orthodoxy, baptism is considered a sacrament and mystery which transforms the old and sinful person into a new and pure one, where the old life, the sins, any mistakes made are gone and a clean slate is given. In Greek and Russian Orthodox traditions, it is taught that through Baptism a person is united to the Body of Christ by becoming an official member of the Orthodox Church.
During the service, the Orthodox priest blesses the water to be used. The catechumen the one baptised is fully immersed in the water three times in the name of the Trinity. This is considered to be a death of the "old man" by participation in the crucifixion and burial of Christ, and a rebirth into new life in Christ by participation in his resurrection.
Babies of Orthodox families are normally baptized shortly after birth. Older converts to Orthodoxy are usually formally baptized into the Orthodox Church, though exceptions are sometimes made.
Those who have left Orthodoxy and adopted a new religion, if they return to their Orthodox roots, are usually received back into the church through Chrismation. Properly and generally, the Mystery of Baptism is administered by bishops and other priests; however, in emergencies any Orthodox Christian can baptize.
This is not considered to be a second baptism, nor is it imagined that the person is not already Orthodox, but rather it is a fulfillment of the proper form. The service of Baptism in Greek Orthodox and other Eastern Orthodox churches has remained largely unchanged for over years. This fact is witnessed to by St. Cyril of Jerusalem d. The Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses believes that baptism should be performed by complete immersion submersion in water and only when an individual is old enough to understand its significance.
They believe that water baptism is an outward symbol that a person has made an unconditional dedication through Jesus Christ to do the will of God.
Only after baptism, is a person considered a full-fledged Witness, and an official member of the Christian Congregation. They consider baptism to constitute ordination as a minister. Prospective candidates for baptism must express their desire to be baptized well in advance of a planned baptismal event, to allow for congregation elders to assess their suitability regarding true repentance and conversion. Most baptisms among Jehovah's Witnesses are performed at scheduled assemblies and conventions by elders and ministerial servants, in special pools, or sometimes oceans, rivers, or lakes, depending on circumstances,    and rarely occur at local Kingdom Halls.
Only baptized males elders or ministerial servants may baptize new members. Baptizers and candidates wear swimsuits or other informal clothing for baptism, but are directed to avoid clothing that is considered undignified or too revealing.
It is followed by confirmationwhich inducts the person into membership in the church and constitutes a baptism with the Holy Spirit. Latter-day Saints believe that baptism must be by full immersion, and by a precise ritualized ordinance: if some part of the participant is not fully immersed, or the ordinance was not recited verbatim, the ritual must be repeated.
In addition, members of the LDS Church do not believe a baptism is valid unless it is performed by a Latter-day Saint one who has proper authority a priest or elder. All new converts to the faith must be baptized or re-baptized. Baptism is seen as symbolic both of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection  and is also symbolic of the baptized individual discarding their "natural" self and donning a new identity as a disciple of Jesus.
According to Latter-day Saint theology, faith and repentance are prerequisites to baptism. The ritual does not cleanse the participant of original sinas Latter-day Saints do not believe the doctrine of original sin. Mormonism rejects infant baptism   and baptism must occur after the age of accountabilitydefined in Latter-day Saint scripture as eight years old.
Latter-day Saint theology also teaches baptism for the dead in which deceased ancestors are baptized vicariously by the living, and believe that their practice is what Paul wrote of in Corinthians This occurs in Latter-day Saint temples. Quakers members of the Religious Society of Friends do not believe in the baptism of either children or adults with water, rejecting all forms of outward sacraments in their religious life.
Robert Barclay 's Apology for the True Christian Divinity a historic explanation of Quaker theology from the 17th centuryexplains Quakers' opposition to baptism with water thus:. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Barclay argued that water baptism was only something that happened until the time of Christ, but that now, people are baptised inwardly by the spirit of Christ, and hence there is no need for the external sacrament of water baptism, which Quakers argue is meaningless.
The Salvation Army does not practice water baptism, or indeed other outward sacraments. William Booth and Catherine Booththe founders of the Salvation Armybelieved that many Christians had come to rely on the outward signs of spiritual grace rather than on grace itself. They believed what was important was spiritual grace itself. However, although the Salvation Army does not practice baptism, they are not opposed to baptism within other Christian denominations. There are some Christians termed " Hyperdispensationalists " Mid-Acts dispensationalism who accept only Paul's Epistles as directly applicable for the church today.
They do not accept water baptism as a practice for the church since Paul who was God's apostle to the nations was not sent to baptize. Ultradispensationalists Acts 28 dispensationalism who do not accept the practice of the Lord's supper, do not practice baptism because these are not found in the Prison Epistles.
Hyperdispensationalists also teach that Peter's gospel message was not the same as Paul's. Water baptism found early in the Book of Acts is, according to this view, now supplanted by the one baptism  foretold by John the Baptist. The one baptism for today, it is asserted, is the "baptism of the Holy Spirit " of the believer into the Body of Christ church.
Many in this group also argue that John's promised baptism by fire is pending, referring to the destruction of the world by fire. John, as he said "baptized with water", as did Jesus's disciples to the early, Jewish Christian church. Jesus himself never personally baptized with water, but did so through his disciples. Other Hyperdispensationalists believe that baptism was necessary until mid-Acts. The great commission  and its baptism was directed to early Jewish believers, not the Gentile believers of mid-Acts or later.
Any Jew who believed did not receive salvation   or the baptism of the Holy Spirit  until they were water baptized. This period ended with the calling of Paul. Also significant is the lack of any instructions in the Acts 15 apostolic conference requiring Gentiles to be water baptized. Most Christian churches see baptism as a once-in-a-lifetime event that can be neither repeated nor undone. They hold that those who have been baptized remain baptized, even if they renounce the Christian faith by adopting a non-Christian religion or by rejecting religion entirely.
But some other organizations and individuals are practicing debaptism. The modern Japanese practice of Miyamairi is such as ceremony that does not use water. In some, such evidence may be archaeological and descriptive in nature, rather than a modern practice. Apuleiusa 2nd-century Roman writer, described an initiation into the mysteries of Isis.
The initiation was preceded by a normal bathing in the public baths and a ceremonial sprinkling by the priest of Isis, after which the candidate was given secret instructions in the temple of the goddess.
The candidate then fasted for ten days from meat and wine, after which he was dressed in linen and led at night into the innermost part of the sanctuary, where the actual initiation, the details of which were secret, took place. On the next two days, dressed in the robes of his consecration, he participated in feasting. The water-less initiations of Lucius, the character in Apuleius's story who had been turned into an ass and changed back by Isis into human form, into the successive degrees of the rites of the goddess was accomplished only after a significant period of study to demonstrate his loyalty and trustworthiness, akin to catechumenal practices preceding baptism in Christianity.
The word "baptism" or "christening" is sometimes used to describe the inauguration of certain objects for use. Baptism of Ships : at least since the time of the Crusadesrituals have contained a blessing for ships.
The priest begs God to bless the vessel and protect those who sail in. The ship is usually sprinkled with holy water. The name Baptism of Bells has been given to the blessing of musicalespecially church bells, at least in France, since the 11th century. It is derived from the washing of the bell with holy water by the bishop, before he anoints it with the oil of the infirm without and with chrism within; a fuming censer is placed under it and the bishop prays that these sacramentals of the Church may, at the sound of the bell, put the demons to flight, protect from storms, and call the faithful to prayer.
Mandaeans revere John the Baptist and practice frequent baptism masbuta as a ritual of purification, not of initiation. They are possibly the earliest people to practice baptism.
This is then followed by a handshake kushta- hand of truth with the priest. Living water [ further explanation needed ] is a requirement for baptism, therefore can only take place in rivers. All rivers are named Yardena Jordan and are believed to be nourished by the World of Light. By the river bank, a Mandaean's forehead is anointed with sesame oil and partakes in a communion of bread and water. Baptism for Mandaeans allows for salvation by connecting with the World of Light and for forgiveness of sins.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Christian and Mandaean religious ceremony. For other uses, see Baptism disambiguation. For the Baptist churches and denominations, see Baptists. For the Daughtry album, see Baptized album. Christian rite of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water.
Jesus Christ. Jesus in Christianity Nativity Crucifixion Resurrection. Bible Foundations. History Tradition. Denominations Groups. Related topics.
Mandaean prophets. Related religious groups. Sabians Nazarene sect Manichaeism. Ablution and al-Brakha Baptism Fasting Charity. Main article: History of baptism. Main article: Reformed baptismal theology. Main article: Baptism in Mormonism.
Main article: Debaptism. Main article: Initiation. See also: Ceremonial ship launching. Louisville: Knox. The Gospel of Matthew. Collegeville, MI: Liturgical Press. Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Vatican Publishing House. Archived from the original on February 21, Retrieved February 24, Livingstone The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Oxford : Oxford University Press. December 6, Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: sacrament: Baptism. Baptismas the initial rite, took the place of circumcision in Judaism in which this ancient and primitive custom was the covenant sign Nains Baptism a legal injunction rather than a sacramental ordinance.
Baptism al immersion in water was practiced in Judaism for some time before…. Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration and initiation into the church that was begun by Jesus, who accepted baptism from St. Baptism is normally performed by triple immersion as a sign of the death and Resurrection of Christ; thus, the rite appears essentially as a gift of new life.
It is immediately followed by chrismation, performed by the priest who anoints the newly…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox! Email address. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.
If there is insufficient assurance, "it will be prudent to delay baptism", while keeping contact with the parents in the hope of securing the required conditions for celebrating the sacrament.
As a last resort, enrollment of the child in a course of catechetical instruction on reaching school age can be offered in lieu of immediate celebration of baptism. How can we discern that there are guarantees of an authentic Christian education? Can a priest propose an alternative celebration in the case where baptism is to be delayed?
In some German speaking countries, bishops have opened the door to a "two step baptism", i. In this case, the rite of baptism itself is to be performed in the second celebration, when parents are supposed to have enough maturity to raise the child in the Catholic faith.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Since Baptism signifies liberation from sin and from its instigator the devil, one or more exorcisms are pronounced over the candidate". We pray for this child: set him her free from original sin, make him her a temple of your glory, and send your Holy Spirit to dwell with him her. Through Christ our Lord. The Eastern Orthodox ChurchOriental Orthodoxy and the Assyrian Church of the East also insist on the need to have infants baptised as soon as is practicable after birth.
Similar to the Roman Catholic Church, they teach that baptism is not merely a symbol but actually conveys grace. Baptism is a sacrament because it is an "instrument" instituted by Jesus Christ to impart grace to its recipients. Infants are traditionally baptised on the eighth day,  recalling the biblical injunction to circumcise on the eighth day.
However, this is not mandatory. In many of these churches, the Sacred Mystery of Chrismation Confirmation is administered by the priest immediately after baptism. Holy Communionin the form of consecrated wine and bread, is also given to infants after they are baptised. Lutherans practice infant baptism because they believe that God mandates it through the instruction of Jesus Christ"Go and make disciples of all nationsbaptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Matthew ", in which Jesus does not set any age limit:.
The command is general. It includes infants, women, men, and teenagers, even though none of these groups is specifically named. Each of these groups is included in "all nations. They also cite other biblical passages such as Mark —15MarkJohn —7 and Acts —39 in support of their position. For example, in the Acts of the Apostles Saint Peter 's teachings on Pentecost included children in the promise of Baptism, "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. The promise is for you and your children ". For them baptism is a " means of grace " through which God creates and strengthens "saving faith"   as the "washing of regeneration" Titus in which people are reborn John —7 : "baptismal regeneration".
Since the creation of faith is exclusively God's work, it does not depend on the actions of the one baptised, whether infant or adult. Even though baptised infants cannot articulate that faith, Lutherans believe that it is present all the same. Lutherans believe that babies are conceived and born sinful Psalm and therefore need to be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven John —6.
Through Baptism the Holy Spirit works rebirth Titus —7creates faith in them, and saves them 1 Peter Although some deny the possibility of infant faiththe Bible clearly teaches that babies can believe MarkLuke — Methodists contend that infant baptism has spiritual value for the infant.
John Wesleythe founder of Methodismheld that baptism is a means of grace, but that it was symbolic. Wesley's own views of infant baptism shifted over time as he put more emphasis on salvation by faith and new birth by faith alone. This has fueled much debate within Methodism over the purpose of infant baptism, though most agree it should be continued. Wesley and the Methodists would agree with the Reformed or Presbyterian denominations that infant baptism is symbolic.
Infant baptism is particularly illustrative of the Methodist doctrine of prevenient grace. The principle is that The Fall of Man ruined the human soul to such an extent that nobody wants a relationship with God.
In order for humans to even want to be able to choose, God must empower their will so that they may choose Christ which he does by means of prevenient grace.
Thus God takes the very first step in salvation, preceding any human effort or decision. Methodists justify infant baptism by this principle of prevenient grace, often arguing that infant baptism is God's promise or declaration to the infant that calls that infant to eventually believe in God's promises God's Word for salvation.
When the individual believes in Jesus they will profess their faith before the church, often using a ritual called confirmation in which the Holy Spirit is invoked with the laying on of hands. Methodists also use infant baptism symbolically, as an illustration of God approaching the helpless. They see the ceremony additionally as a celebration of God's prevenient grace. Wesley was an Anglican minister who held to Arminian theology, unlike most Anglicans who held to Reformed Calvinist theology as taught in the 39 Articles.
They interpreted the Anglican formularies of the 39 Articles of Religionthe Book of Common Prayerand the Second Book of the Anglican Homilies from a Calvinist perspective and would have been more in agreement with the Reformed churches and the Puritans on the issue of infant baptism. The Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer shows that baptism was an outward sign of an inward grace. Prevenient grace, according to the Calvinist Anglicans, referred to unconditional election and irresistible grace, which is necessary for conversion of the elect.
Infants are to be baptised because they are children of believers who stand in surety for them until they "come of age" and are bound to the same requirements of repentance and faith as adults. Presbyterian, Congregational and Reformed Christians believe that baptism, whether of infants or adults, is a "sign and seal of the covenant of grace ", and that baptism admits the party baptised into the visible church.
Elect infants those predestined for salvation who die in infancy are by faith considered regenerate on the basis of God's covenant promises in the covenant of grace. Presbyterian, Congregational and many Reformed Christians see infant baptism as the New Testament form of circumcision in the Jewish covenant Joshua Circumcision did not create faith in the 8-day-old Jewish boy. It merely marked him as a member of God's covenant people Israel.
Likewise, baptism doesn't create faith; it is a sign of membership in the visible covenant community. Presbyterian, Congregational and Reformed Christians consider children of professing Christians to be members of the visible Church the covenant community.
They also consider them to be full members of the local congregation where their parents are members and members of the universal Church the set of all true believers who make up the invisible church unless and until they prove otherwise. Baptism is the mark of membership in the covenant of grace and in the universal church, although regeneration is not inseparably connected with baptism. Christians disagree about infant baptism because they disagree about the nature of faith, the role of baptism, the means of salvation, the nature of grace, and the function of the sacraments.
Pedobaptism and credobaptism are positions which bubble up from theological views at a more fundamental level of one's theological system. Paedobaptists do not completely agree on the reasons for baptising infants, and offer different reasons in support of the practice.
Among the arguments made in support of the practice are:. Some supporters of infant baptism argue that circumcision is the sign of the covenant God made with Abraham and should be received by all the members of his covenant. PresbyterianCongregationalists and Reformed Christians base their case for infant baptism on Covenant theology. Covenant theology is a broad interpretative framework used to understand the Bible.
Reformed Baptists are in many ways Reformed yet, as their name suggests, adhere to Believers Baptism. According to Covenant theology God makes two basic covenantsor agreements, with humans. The first one, the Covenant of Works is an agreement that bases man's relationship with God on human obedience and morality. The covenant was made with Adam in the Garden of Eden.
Adam broke this covenant so God replaced it with a second more durable covenant—the Covenant of Grace. The Covenant of Grace is an agreement that bases man's relationship with God on God's grace and generosity. The Covenant of Works failed because it was based on human performance. The Covenant of Grace is durable because it is based on God's performance. All the covenants that God makes with humans after the Falle.
In Covenant theology, however, there is a long-standing understanding that the Mosaic Covenant is also a republication of the Covenant of Works, which required obedience to receive its benefits. The underlying Covenant of Grace extends through the whole Old Testament, which suggests that two covenants are in play throughout the history of Israel. Consequently, Covenant theologians see that the Church, or the people of God, existed in the Old Testament. These are the people who placed their faith in Christ in advance, and they are saved in the same way Christians are.
Not every Israelite is in the Church or electmany exist under the Covenant of Works and its strict unattainable requirements, but not under the Covenant of Grace. According to Presbyterian and Reformed Christians, this theological framework is important to the Biblical case for infant baptism because it provides a reason for thinking there is strong continuity between the Old and New Testaments.
It provides a bridge linking the two Testaments together. Covenant Theologians claim that the New Testament book of Hebrews demonstrates that much of Israel's worship has been replaced by the person and work of Christ.
The result is that some important forms of worship in the Old Testament have New Testament equivalents. The Passover festival, for example, was replaced by the Lord's Supper or Eucharist. It is across the bridge of Covenant Theology that the sign of Abraham's covenant, circumcision, walks into the New Testament. The sign of the Covenant changes its external form to reflect new spiritual realities. It was a bloody sign in the Old Testament but because Christ has shed His blood, it has been transformed into a bloodless sign, i.
Passover was a bloody form of Old Testament worship and also transitions into the New Testament in the bloodless form of bread and wine. Covenant theologians point out that the external sign of the covenant in the Old Testament was circumcision. Circumcision was performed upon the male children of Israelites to signify their external membership in God's people, not as a guarantee of true faith; the Old Testament records many Israelites who turned from God and were punished, showing that their hearts were not truly set on serving God.
So while all male Israelites had the sign of the covenant performed on them in a once off ceremony soon after birth, such a signifier was external only and not a true indicator of whether or not they would later exhibit true faith in Yahweh. In the New Testament, circumcision is no longer seen as mandatory for God's people. However, there is compelling [ citation needed ] evidence to suggest that the Old Testament circumcision rite has been replaced by baptism.
For instance: "In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism.
Some paedobaptists, then, think the analogy of baptism to circumcision correctly points to children, since the historic Israelite application of circumcision was to infants, not to adult converts, of which there were few. Covenant theology, then, identifies baptism less as a statement of faith than as an assumption of identity; that is to say that infant baptism is a sign of covenantal inclusion.
Paedobaptists point to a number of passages in the New Testament which seem to corroborate the above argument. In the Old Testament, if the head of a household converted to Judaism, all the males in the house, even the infants, were circumcised.
Some paedobaptists argue this pattern continues into the New Testament. Reference is made, for example, to baptising a person and their whole household —the households of LydiaCrispusand Stephanas are mentioned by name Acts —15, ; 1 Cor
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