By Jon Weatherly
This article is no longer available online, but all of the articles about baptism that appeared in the March 1 and 8, 2009, issues of CHRISTIAN STANDARD–plus a bonus article–are available for purchase as a single, redisigned, easy-to-read and easy-to-use downloadable resource/pdf (a fuller explanation is below).
Baptism: 7 Practical Perspectives
Item 02973 • $2.99
What does the Bible teach about baptism? What does baptism symbolize and what does it accomplish? Why is there so much disagreement?
Seven writers offer their insights on this controversial but fundamental topic in this 14-page resource that—with the exception of one article—originally appeared in the March 1 and 8, 2009, issues of Christian Standard.
The writers closely examine the Scriptures, while also offering insights drawn from personal experiences. As one writer puts it in his summary statement: “Baptism is a richly meaningful act, commanded by Christ, in which we humbly ask the risen Lord for what he alone can give. It is a prayer that confesses our need and his supremacy. It does not detract from truth that the Lord alone saves; it confesses that truth.”
All downloads include permission to reproduce the material up to 10 times for ministry and educational purposes. To order this resource, CLICK HERE; To sample the first few paragraphs of Jon Weatherly’s article, continue reading below . . .
Why be baptized? Nearly every Christian group practices baptism in some form. Most Christians affirm that baptism is somehow important. Nevertheless, Christians today express conflicting views about baptism’s meaning.
However, one segment of Christians, New Testament scholars, has in the last generation developed a significant consensus about baptism. Those whose work is to understand the New Testament in its historical, linguistic, and literary setting today express impressive agreement on the meaning of baptism in the New Testament. Disagreements persist, but the scholarly community reflects a growing, significant convergence of opinion on baptism, one that crosses over denominational lines.
The thrust of the consensus is this: In its biblical setting, baptism belonged in the context of conversion. Early Christians understood that a person should be baptized when becoming a Christian, not before or after.
Of course, this is the view of baptism historically affirmed by the Restoration Movement. How is it that this position has emerged as the consensus among New Testament scholars, regardless of church affiliation? It is because of the evidence of the New Testament itself, not because of the influence of modern individuals or groups.
In its original setting, baptism was an act by which a person responded to the gospel with a foundational request to God. . . .