Skip navigation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BY WATER, BLOOD & SPIRIT

THE INSEPARABLY & TRINITARIAN NATURE OF BAPTISM

TRENTON C. RINDOKS

RLGN 335

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

FEBRUARY 22, 2016

 

 

Image result for baptism

Introduction

Although, all Christians view Baptism as the receiving of Grace and the reversal of the curse of Original Sin and a necessity for Salvation dogmas and traditions differ within the various denominations on the role of the individual, church and the nature of Baptism. Three modes of Baptism should be seen as an indwelling inseparability of faith and necessary in the life of the believer and the universal church. The Trinitarian modes are the Baptism of water, the indwelling of the Spirit and the Covering of Blood or the death and Resurrection of Jesus upon the cross.

Doctrines, Dogmas, & Perspectives on Baptism

The Anglican Tradition states, “Baptism is for people of all ages, both adults and infants. Baptism is to be administered after preparation and instruction of the candidates,

Or where they are unable to answer for themselves, of their parent(s) or guardian(s)[1].” Additionally, the household of the child or anyone who is lacking the ability to receive instruction, or is mentally deficit should be a household of Christian standard. Where the appointed representatives in conduct and action embody the heart and mind of Christ and serve as examples or guides during the Spiritual maturation process until the believer can think and act on their own in a Christ-like manner. Baptism is a prerequisite for communion and rites of the Church and is a onetime symbolic act of repentance and commitment to the Church. If one denounces one’s faith however must forego pastoral counseling and instruction and be baptized into the Body of Christ. Thus, Baptism is a prerequisite for Church membership and is the unity of faith of both the individual and the church.[2]

The Methodist Tradition is similar to the Anglican view and rebaptism is not uncommon. Infant Baptism is a common Practice but as this Church has a mixed heritage many parents chose to follow the practice of the believers’ immersion Baptism described below, which is commonly associated with the Evangelical movement ant the Baptist Church. The Distinction of the Methodist is that Baptism is not only a sign of distinction and requirement for church membership but also the symbolism of the New Birth and regeneration after the repentance of sin has occurred and is seen as requirement for the admittance into Heaven.” The rite for youth and adults begins: “Dearly beloved, forasmuch as all men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and our Savior Christ said, ‘Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.’  I beseech you to call upon God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that of his bounteous goodness he will grant that this person may receive the forgiveness of sins, be baptized with water and the Holy Spirit, and may be received into Christ’s holy Church, and be made a living member of the same.”[3]

The Baptist Church or Believer Baptism Perspectives is that The Holy Spirit is the activator of faith that is in a direct correlation to receiving the Gospel of Christ. The Spirit thus, convict’s one of sin leads to repentance and bestows upon the believer the Gift of Salvation. When one is baptized in water, one is thus sealed in to a relationship with God, or a Covenant. This symbolic representation of the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and receives the blessings of love, mercy and power of God. Most Baptist Churches require a period of instruction before one is baptized and admitted as a member of the church. Additionally, although some Baptist churches do practice infant Baptism and recognize The Baptism of the Spirit, and thus admit believers based on the altar call or the former practice. The general belief among The Baptist Church is that although one’s Christian Journey may originate with infant Baptism, it continues with the nurturing of the child in a Christian home with marked encounters with the Risen Christ and then the acknowledgement or profession of faith.  Once one decides to dedicate one’s life in the ways of Christ the process of inanition is undergone concluding in the believer’s Baptism of water and leading to Holy Communion and membership within the Body of Christ.[4]

The Lutheran Perspective which is based on an understanding of justification by faith alone states Baptism provides three necessary functions. First, it appeals to numerous spiritual needs of the individual and provides a complete freedom in Christ. Much like the basic need for food, water and shelter, it sustains and protects the individual and “the community of believers who recognize the realities of human finiteness and the necessity for divine assistance in light of the experience of sin, suffering, and mortality, and who act upon it for the sake of individual and collective benefit.” Next, it provides the necessary function of a reminder of God’s unfolding love as a Holy Sign and functions as the capstone of faith in the community “through the vocalization and performance upon God’s Presence in light of the deliberate interpretation of scripture and Christian Faith in conjunction with the collective faith of the community and individual.” Final it is an effective sin but not as magical empowering act upon itself. “Finite creature need healing and hope the promise of scripture provides.  The Good Necessities stated above are the provisions and blessings of Baptism.” Also in regards to paedobaptism Luther states “the Practice is Pleasing to God and Christ has sanctified many  in such a manner and thus given over to the Holy Spirit Had God not accepted infant Baptism he would have not blessed this tradition.” [5]

John Calvin offers a response on Baptism stating, “Baptism is to be received by faith when the mind is awakened by the Word of God, whether one is 9 or 90 and under the direction of the Holy Spirit.”[6] This Premise forms the basis for what is known as The Traditional Evangelical Belief or Believers Baptism. This view  is the basis of many church traditions however, the specific age requirements do imply an age of accountability and exclude infants from being baptized leaving a question on what happens to those who are not able accountable or able to choice should they die unbaptized.

Carl Barth claims Baptism and all sacraments are action of obedience and not an act of God. Additionally, being born does not guarantee anyone membership into the people of God. No Human act can claim to be a divine act and No human being can force God to act. Baptism and Spirit Baptism can occur at a variety of proximity in time and space depending on the will of Christ, God and Holy Spirit. What God does is an invisible act performed in his own time, thus any sacraments of man only prepare one for these acts God administers.[7]

Baptism, confirmation, and the Eucharist together constitute the norm for Christian initiation for Roman Catholic Church. The initiation period consist of one living in a Christian home a receiving guidance and instruction in the liturgy of the Church however the specific timeframe is specifically stated. In addition, one is expected to learn to spread the Gospel to others and build up the Church by providing a testimony of Faith. “The rite of Christian initiation should normally consist of a unified sacramental

Event in which the three now-separated moments (baptism, confirmation, Eucharist) are now integrated. The full rite should be used at any age when a person is initiated (during infancy, childhood, or adulthood) and be properly celebrated in the midst of the congregation. The traditional time of the celebration is during The Easter Vigil.[8]

Although difference vary on the role, mode and nature among the various churches most Christians view water Baptism as the receiving of Grace and the reversal of the curse of Original Sin. Some see the act merely as a symbolic action where others view God, Christ and the Holy Spirit as being actual present at the event. Still a few claim that if The Baptism Of John, or water is merely symbolic than precedence should be placed on the  Baptism of the Spirit or that ritual baptism is not necessary at all in the life of the believer.

A Variety Views on Spirit Baptism[9]

The Wesleyan Position on Spirit Baptism is that is process and result of the conversion of the believer.  The terminology and accounts, used in the various verses of  throughout Scripture, such as  the filling of the Spirit ,the pouring out of the Spirit, the receiving of the Spirit by the action of water Baptism, or through  the ability of disciple to lay hands upon another can be associated with the Resurrection, and should be viewed  as “interchangeable”.[10] The covering of Blood or the atoning sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ for all sins past, present and future is all that is required foe salvation.  By repentance or a commitment to be forgiven from one’s sinful nature, followed by a profession of faith one receives the gift of salvation and begins the journey of sanctification, which comes only by the grace of God and through Christ commandment of Love for God and others. Sanctification is equivocal to spiritual maturation and is an expression of growing love through the indwelling and gifting of the Spirit.[11]

The Pentecostal View holds one receives an initial Baptism or service, sanctification, and the Gifting of the Spirit maintain indwelling of the Spirit by obedience in Christ. The initial indwelling is a pledge for one who does not have the Holy Spirit within and is Not of Christ ( Romans 8:9), Furthermore, it is a down payment for the removal of sins and a seal or sense of ownership or a belonging to the inheritance of the Kingdom of God. This serves as a promise of protection and care from the Holy Spirit. Finally, the Holy Spirit serves a duality of function representing the role of the tabernacle residing in the hearts of man and a belonging in the unified Body of Christ or church. After the initial indwelling, stage the process of sanctification aided by the Holy Spirit by the provision of gifts along with the individual dying from the nature of flesh leads to Spiritual Maturation. The premise is justification and judgement befalls the nonbeliever but unto the believer, the indwelling of the Spirit is a promise and is blocked when one sins[12]. “Pentecostal belief turns Luke’s argument on its head by claiming that some Christians are not baptized in the Holy Spirit. In the Book of Acts Luke proves, to those who might question it that all who call upon the Lord may have the prophetic Spirit available to them and can no longer be denied equal status within the Kingdom.[13]

The Reformed Perspective states, “Upon receives Christ the Holy Spirit is also received. In Paul’s words: ‘Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong.to him (Rom. 8:9).’One cannot declare Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:3). The Baptism into the Body of Christ occurs in conjunction with the baptism of the Spirit[14].” Salvation Sanctification and Justification both are actions of faith and form the duality of Salvation.  Sanctification is a continual process throughout the life of the believer. Baptism is a sign and seal accomplished by Water and Spirit Baptism. This does not account for a multitude of blessings from the Spirit during the act of Salvation, or the workings of faith. These actions include the receiving of the Spirit before regeneration, the ability to pray for and seek Salvation or the works of the Spirit after conversion. It also understates the need to be activated or filled with Spirit by placing an overemphasis on the process of Baptism.[15]

An Anglican view on Baptism of the Spirit holds that water Baptism does not guarantee Spiritual Gifts or Spirit Baptism to All believers. Water Baptism is the initial act of dedication and a desire to repent from Sin. In addition, the Water –Baptism is a symbolic action or commitment to the Church itself. Spirit Baptism was reserved for the Apostles and those with a direct connection to the Apostles and was the source for the Gifts necessary for the Proclamation of the Gospel and the fulfillment of Kingdom Calling to All People of All Groups as Stated in The Great Commission. Spirit Baptism could be transferred from an Apostle by the laying of Hands, be received during Water Baptism, or come upon a believer any time before or after conversion based on the desire of the Holy Spirit and the precedence of God. Additionally, Spirit Baptism is also symbolic of judgement in the End of Days. Thus, what is most important to the believer is the development of faith and the desire to serve the will and Glory of God by caring out the Great Commission. In doing so, “One will find their way in the Kingdom of God[16].”

A final view holds that Spirit Baptism leads to becoming in oneness of Spirit and unity of heart and mind for the Church and the believer. Bruce Terry defends  this perspective by comparing the indwelling at Pentecost to the various conversion to Christ in Acts  and the procession of Gifts as Follows. “There are not some in the church who have been baptized in the Spirit and some who have only been saved but are seeking to be baptized in the Spirit. All who are in the body of Christ were baptized in one Spirit into it.[17]” A complementary view is presented by Walvoord states all reference to Holy Spirt Baptism can be as prove of a universal Baptism of Spirit among all Christian. Secondly, Baptism of the Spirit joins the believer to the Body of Christ without distinction of any cultural or worldview prejudice.  Next, Baptism also place the believer with a direct connection to our Lord Jesus Chris himself. “His justification, sanctification, deliverance, access to God, inheritance, and glorification are actual and possible because of the believer’s position in Christ.” Final considerations include that although Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit Acts on his own enabling the believer to fulfill the Will of God. In addition, although one can experience the Holy Spirit indwelling, sealing, and baptism, “The grounds for the filling of the Spirit and all subsequent experience, is not experimental in itself. As no one ever experienced a process in regeneration, so no one ever experienced a process in the baptism of the Spirit. As the entire process is universal to all Christians[18].”

The Trinitarian Nature of Baptism

If one was to study the various traditions concerning Baptism, the teachings of Jesus and the Scriptures a logical and reasonable conclusion can be deduced. First as all Sins past, present and Future are forgiven by the Covering Blood, Christ atoning sacrifice, and further exalted in the Resurrection and Ascension of or Lord Faith alone in him provides the foundation for Salvation. However, Christ himself was Baptized and Baptized with water but promised to the Apostle they would be Baptized in Spirit at Pentecost. This provides evidence to the Holy Spirit being the key to the kingdom or the activator of Faith while Jesus Christ is the door into one enters Heaven. In relation to water baptism is may be seen as a symbolic representation or an actual event in which one makes a commitment to be one with Christ and his people and can be compared to circumcision in the Old Testament. However, as to when the Baptism of the Spirit occurs and whether or not it is necessary for one to receive water Baptism to be admitted to the church is a matter of tradition.

Additionally, one could view the water Baptism as a commitment to enter into the Kingdom of God and as a symbolic of a relation with the Father. The Baptism of the Spirit obviously relational to the third person of the trinity and the profession of repentance is symbolic of the acceptance of the Blood sacrifice or receiving the covering of Blood. That is admitting one is a sinner and only through Jesus Christ and the gift of grace is Salvation possible. Thus, all three forms of Baptism should be seen as an indwelling inseparability of faith and necessary in the life of the believer and the universal church.

 Conclusion

The debate over Baptism has divided the Body of Christ for centuries and unfortunately dogmas and traditions such as this will more than likely continue to do so until Our Lord Jesus Christ returns and unifies the Church and Government under his ultimate authority during his second coming.  The Defense of Stephen in Acts Chapter 7 clearly states a few points on this issue. First God Does not live in House made by Men but in the tabernacle. Thus, any image of God made by man is inferior to that which God designs or worse yet is a form of idolatry and an offense to God. Secondly, men receive the Law but reject it choosing not to obey it. Paul illustrates this further, “Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe (Galatians 3:21-22 NIV).”  Thus, all three forms of Baptism should be seen as an indwelling inseparability of faith and necessary in the life of the believer and the universal church

Bibliography

Arrington, French. “The Indwelling, Baptism, and Infilling with the Holy Spirit: A Differentiation of Terms.” Pneuma 3, no. 2 (Fall 1981): 1-10.

Bloesch, Donald G. “The Wind of Spirit: Thoughts on a Doctrinal Controversy.” Reformed Journal 23, no. 8 (1973): 11-16.

Bok, Nico den. “Barth on baptism: concerning a crucial dimension of ecclesiology.” Zeitschrift Für Dialektische Theologie 5 (2011): 135-151.

Brown, Schyler. “Water-baptism and Spirit-baptism in Luke-Acts.” Anglican Theolgical Review 59, no. 2 (April 1977): 135-151.

Callam, Neville G. “Baptists and the subject of baptism: any real progress during the last 25 years?” Ecumenical Review 67, no. 3 (2015): 334+.

Dollard, Jerome R. “Roman Catholic theology and practice of baptism.” Southwestern Journal Of Theology 28, no. 2 (1986): 59-64.

Hickman, Hoyt L. “The role of baptism in the faith and life of the United Methodist Church today.” Perkins Journal 34, no. 2 (1981): 22-27.

Hill, John W. B., and Rowena J. Roppelt. “Christian Initiation in the Anglican Communion.” Anglican Theological Review 95, no. 3 (Summer 2013): 419-434.

Lee, Mark. “An Evangelical Dialogue on Luke, Salvation, and Spirit Baptism.” PNEUMA 26, no. 1 (Spring 2004).

Lyon, Robert W. “Baptism and Spirit-Baptism in the New Testament.” Wesleyan Theological Journal 14, no. 1 (Spring 1979): 14-26.

Raitt, Jill. “Three Inter-related Principles in Calvin’s Unique Doctrine of Infant Baptism.” The Sixteenth Century Journal 11, no. 1 (1980): 51–62.

Rindoks, Trenton C. “THE BAPTISM OF SPIRIT THRU THE COVERING OF BLOOD.” Research Paper, BIBL 364, Liberty University, Lynchburg, 2016.

Stjerna, Kirsi. “Seeking hospitable discourse on the sacrament of baptism.” Dialog 53, no. 2 (2014): 92-100.

Terry, Bruce. “Baptized in One Spirit.” Restoration Quarterly 21, no. 4 (1978): 193-200.

Walvoord, John F. “The Person Of the Holy Spirit Part 7 The Work of the Holy Spirit in Salvation.” Biblotheca Sacra 98, no. 392 (October 1941): 422-446.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

[1] Hill, John W. B., and Rowena J. Roppelt. “Christian Initiation in the Anglican Communion.” Anglican Theological Review 95, no. 3 (Summer 2013): 419-434.

 

[2] Hill, John W. B., and Rowena J. Roppelt. “Christian Initiation in the Anglican Communion.” Anglican Theological Review 95, no. 3 (Summer 2013): 419-434.

 

[3]Hickman, Hoyt L. “The role of baptism in the faith and life of the United Methodist Church today.” Perkins Journal 34, no. 2 (1981): 22-27.

 

[4] Callam, Neville G. “Baptists and the subject of baptism: any real progress during the last 25 years?” Ecumenical Review 67, no. 3 (2015): 334+.

[5]Stjerna, Kirsi. “Seeking hospitable discourse on the sacrament of baptism.” Dialog 53, no. 2 (2014): 92-100.

 

[6] Raitt, Jill. “Three Inter-related Principles in Calvin’s Unique Doctrine of Infant Baptism.” The Sixteenth Century Journal 11, no. 1 (1980): 51–62.

 

[7] Bok, Nico den. “Barth on baptism: concerning a crucial dimension of ecclesiology.” Zeitschrift Für Dialektische Theologie 5 (2011): 135-151.

 

[8] Dollard, Jerome R. “Roman Catholic theology and practice of baptism.” Southwestern Journal Of Theology 28, no. 2 (1986): 59-64.

 

[9] Rindoks, Trenton C. “THE BAPTISM OF SPIRIT THRU THE COVERING OF BLOOD.” Research Paper, BIBL 364, Liberty University, Lynchburg, 2016.

 

[10]Lyon, Robert W. “Baptism and Spirit-Baptism in the New Testament.” Wesleyan Theological Journal 14, no. 1 (Spring 1979): 14-26.

 

[11] Lyon, Robert W. “Baptism and Spirit-Baptism in the New Testament.” Wesleyan Theological Journal 14, no. 1 (Spring 1979): 14-26.

 

[12] Arrington, French. “The Indwelling, Baptism, and Infilling with the Holy Spirit: A Differentiation of Terms.” Pneuma 3, no. 2 (Fall 1981): 1-10.

 

[13] Lee, Mark. “An Evangelical Dialogue on Luke, Salvation, and Spirit Baptism.” PNEUMA 26, no. 1 (Spring 2004).

 

[14] Bloesch, Donald G. “The Wind of Spirit: Thoughts on a Doctrinal Controversy.” Reformed Journal 23, no. 8 (1973): 11-16.

 

[15] Bloesch, Donald G. “The Wind of Spirit: Thoughts on a Doctrinal Controversy.” Reformed Journal 23, no. 8 (1973): 11-16.

 

[16] Brown, Schyler. “Water-baptism and Spirit-baptism in Luke-Acts.” Anglican Theolgical Review 59, no. 2 (April 1977): 135-151.

 

[17] Terry, Bruce. “Baptized in One Spirit.” Restoration Quarterly 21, no. 4 (1978): 193-200.

 

[18] Walvoord, John F. “The Person Of the Holy Spirit Part 7 The Work of the Holy Spirit in Salvation.” Biblotheca Sacra 98, no. 392 (October 1941): 422-446.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: