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Baptism Day


Today, water baptism is most readily identified with Christianity, where it symbolizes the cleansing (remission) of sins, and the union of the believer with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection so that he becomes one of Christ's Faithful. Most Christian groups practice some form of literal water-based baptism and agree that it is important, yet strongly disagree with other groups regarding any or all of several aspects of baptism, such as:

* form of the baptism
* recipients of baptism
* meaning/effects of the act of baptism

However, a few Christian groups assert that water-based baptism has been supplanted by the promised baptism of the Holy Spirit, and water baptism was unnecessarily carried over from the early Jewish Christian practice.

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Water Baptism


Today, water baptism is most readily identified with Christianity, where it symbolizes the cleansing (remission) of sins, and the union of the believer with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection so that he becomes one of Christ's Faithful. Most Christian groups practice some form of literal water baptism and agree that it is important, yet strongly disagree with other groups regarding any or all of several aspects of baptism, such as:

- form of the baptism
- recipients of baptism
- meaning/effects of the act of baptism

However, a few Christian groups assert that water-based baptism has been supplanted by the promised baptism of the Holy Spirit, and water baptism was unnecessarily carried over from the early Jewish Christian practice.

Form of Baptism

Among those Christians espousing the practice of baptism, the ritual is performed as:

Aspersion - sprinkling water over the head,
Affusion - pouring water over the head, or
Immersion - lowering the entire body into a pool of water.

For Christians who baptize by pouring or sprinkling, the washing with water from above pictures the cleansing of one's sins by the blood of Christ, by the Holy Spirit, who unites the baptized person to Christ in his death, and in His resurrection from the dead. It is administered from above to point to that gift of the life-giving Spirit, and to portray baptism as an act not of man, but of God. In contrast, a person baptized by immersion is enclosed under the water and brought out, to signify cleansing through death and burial with Christ, and consequent raising again in newness of life by the Holy Spirit. Regardless of the form, baptism is a public rite, in testimony to others of the grace of God bestowed upon the person, and as a seal of God's promises in Christ to those who believe.

Recipient of Baptism

The choice to be baptized is made by a 'confessing believer' (believer baptism, or credobaptism), regardless of age, as a 'confession' or public profession of his or her faith in Christ; or on behalf of the child by his or her parents (infant baptism or paedobaptism) if the parents had themselves been baptized, and professed faith. Infant baptism was delineated as necessary by Augustine of Hippo in the fourth century. Augustine argues that baptism washes away sin and so must be administered to the newborn, as they are in fact stained with Original Sin and thus damned should they suddenly die prior to baptism. However, at least a century earlier Tertullian argued for credobaptism: "according to the circumstances and disposition, and even age, of each individual, the delay of baptism is preferable; principally, however, in the case of little children ... let them become Christians when they have become able to know Christ.." Many evangelical Christians hold that baptism is something of an "outward expression of an inward change". Baptism is done in obedience to Christ, showing others outwardly that they were changed inwardly when they committed their life to Christ and became a new creation (2. Cor. 5:17).

source: Wikipedia


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