Last time we looked at water as a symbol and we discovered that water has been used as a symbol in all the major religions.  I now want to turn to the Church and ask the question: What does baptism mean to the Church?

Baptism is seen as an inititiation ceremony into the Church.  However not all churches use baptism as a gateway to church membership.  Some churches practice dedication as the main way for church baptism and put more emphasis on adult baptism.

I am not making any theological judgements on what I believe.  I am only stating these from an educational standpoint.

From my point of view, one of the best places to start is to look at the baptism of Christ our Saviour and Lord.  The fullness of the Godhead is found in him and yet he is also fully human.  Having past the various tests Satan threw at Jesus, he then went straight away to the river Jordan to be baptised by his cousin John the Baptist.  In the Jordan we see the fullness of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The Father from the heavens says “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”.  The Holy Spirit taking on the form of a dove descends onto Jesus.

For everyone else except Jesus this was a baptism of repentance.  Jesus’ baptism was different as Jesus ‘had no sin’!  There was no need for Jesus to be baptized as far as sin was concerned.  However the credentials of Jesus were being made clear and public at the beginning of his ministry culminating in his death and resurrection.  Anyhow Jesus being fully God within the economy of God and being fully human in the economy of man shows us the way into the presence of God.  Our baptism which is in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit leads us on a beautiful journey of blessing and help from this life and into eternity.

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