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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Grace of Baptism & Later Personal Awareness

It took me awhile to understand Baptismal grace. I was raised Baptist and we were tought that it was a work that we do for God out of Obedience, and that it was nothing more than a symbol of our dying and rising with Christ.

The Prespyterians have a little stronger view, in the sense that they teach that Baptism is a means of grace.

It is unclear at this time, what they mean by that. And their interpretation of that statement may vary in each Prespyterian church....or denomination.

The Anglicans are suppose to believe in Baptismal regeneration, but because of the influence of the Reformed, it may be a bit watered down. I know that some of the highchurch Anglicans have a different interpretation of it then the other groups within Anglicanism.

And when I was Anglo-Catholic I believed that it was something God did for us. Therefore it was grace........not a work.

The Lutherians are supposed to believe in Baptismal regeneration, but some of them seem to be embarrased of the doctrine.

But those that do embrace it, claim that it is something that God does for us. So they see it as Grace.

The Cambellites (The Church of Christ) also embrace a form of Baptismal regeneration, although some of them may reject that term for the doctrine that they believe in. I kind of forgot how they view it, so I won't comment about their view of it.


The Methodhists seem to hold to a form of Baptismal regeneration for infants, but it is still unclear to me how they understand Baptism. Sometimes it seems as if they have been influenced by a Baptist Zwinglian understanding or a Reformed understanding of it, but it is still unclear to me what they mean when they talk about Baptism.


The Orthodox believe that Baptism is grace, the same is true for Rome. Now how this relates to a later personal awareness is this:


The seed found in 1st John

1 John 3:9
No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.


The seed planted in us through Baptism & Chrismation may be dorment for a time, but when we make the faith of our parents our own, then the emotional experience that some get when they repent and say a protestant "sinners prayer", or walk up to an alter call (at a protestant gathering)


What they are really experiencing is nothing more than the grace that was already givin at water Baptism & Chrismation. It was just awakened at a later time, or the person was made personally aware of that grace at a later time.

And this is what I believe is happening to alot of people that were Baptized as infants in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

But as they get older, some of them astray and no longer attend the church of their parents. Some may wonder in the World until they find a T.V. or Radio preacher, and so they say the sinners prayer.

Or maybe they have friends that were protestant, so they were invited to a church revival, in where they walked up to the alter call.

And they are told that such an experience is what it means to be born again, when in reality, what they experienced was the grace givin to them at Baptism when they were infants.

They were just made aware of the seed put in them, at a later age.


Well, this is my 2 cents of what's going on. Not only with myself, but with a host of other Americans and now people in the third world countries.


There needs to be a re-teaching in the land/culture that being born again is at water Baptism, for that is when we are united with Christ's death and resurrection. If it is only a mere symbol then that would mean that our Union with the dying and risen Lord is mere symbolic. Which would also mean that salvation itself is mere symbolism.


I hope I didn't offend anyone, but there needs to be both, an embrace of one's infant baptism as well as a personal interier awareness & commitment to follow the Lord for the rest of our days.





JNORM888

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