What is baptism?

44) What is baptism?

Baptism is the washing with water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; it signifies and seals our adoption into Christ, our cleansing from sin, and our commitment to belong to the Lord and to his church.

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)

 

In submitting to baptism, we identify ourselves with Christ (Romans 6:1-11; Colossians 2:12), and specifically with His death, burial and resurrection. It is a profound act of submission, and of personal commitment.

In being baptised, we publicly declare that we wish to be counted among the people of God, and we swear allegiance to the One in whose name we are baptised (i.e. to Jesus Christ). Thereafter, we belong to Him – for baptism puts God’s Name on us – and we can be formally recognised as members of His Church.

Baptism symbolises cleansing: it is a public demonstration that our sins are forgiven through Christ’s death. By being baptised, the candidate is saying: “I belong to Christ, I allow Him to cleanse me from my sins, and I commit myself to following Him.” And God replies, saying: “You are now born again of My Spirit, you are now clean, you are now holy, you are now a citizen of My Kingdom and one of My priests.” It is a defining moment – the beginning of a new life.

Read more about baptism here.

Lord,
Through the hand of Your friend and servant,
Place Your hand upon my head.

Place Your right hand upon my head, Lord,
And claim me as Your own.

I call on all heaven to witness today
That I have put on Christ.
                   (from Celtic Daily Prayer: A baptismal prayer)

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