Baptism, The Baptist Perspective

(08/07/2001)

Dear Bob, The article and pictures of the baptism was great. As are all of your pictures and most of your articles.

However, in the article you give two reasons for baptism. You say, "some believe it's an appeal to God for a clean conscience, while others believe it is a symbolic washing away of sin." That's two views but there is yet one more that I feel must be offered as an option to be considered.

Within the Baptist perspective, we believe that when Jesus was ready to begin His earthly ministry, He was baptized. He had never performed a miracle or delivered a sermon or called for anyone to follow Him. However, when He decided it was time for Him to be 'about His Father's business', He went to John to be baptized. He then spent the 40 days and nights in the wilderness and came out of that experience and started to preach and one of the things He did was to call disciples with the challenge to "Follow Me."

Therefore, we believe that when a person has decided to follow Jesus and to begin their earthly walk and ministry, that the first step of obedience is to follow Christ in baptism. We do not believe that it washes away sin because only the shed blood of Christ on the cross can do that. Neither do we believe that it gives one a clear conscience because only the indwelling of the Holy Spirit can do that.

There you go. Another perspective on this great act of baptism. Regardless of the reason, it is a beautiful thing to behold and I wish these new converts and followers of Jesus the very best in their Christian walk.

Respectfully Submitted,

James W. Pearson
Beacononthehill@juno.com