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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Bap­tism – the uni­on of good cons­cien­ce

Siionin Lähetyslehti
Vieraskieliset / In-english
16.11.2016 10.56

Juttua muokattu:

1.1. 23:39
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Bap­tism is one of our church’s holy sac­ra­ments. It is of­fi­ci­a­ted ac­cor­ding to Christ’s com­mand: “Bap­ti­ze them in the name of the Fat­her, Son and Holy Ghost.” The com­mand of bap­tism is part of the mis­si­on com­mand gi­ven by Je­sus: “Te­ac­hing them to ob­ser­ve all things that I have com­man­ded you.” (Matt. 28:18-20). A per­son who has be­co­me Je­sus’ dis­cip­le must be bap­ti­zed and re­cog­ni­zed as be­lon­ging to the triu­ne God. He must al­so be taught ac­cor­ding to the doct­ri­nal com­mand.

Child and adult bap­tism

The New Tes­ta­ment tel­ls us of bap­tism in which whole fa­mi­lies were bap­ti­zed. Some examp­les are the bap­tisms of Ly­dia and her hou­se­hold (Acts 16:14-15) and the Phi­lip­pi­ne pri­son gu­ard and his en­ti­re fa­mi­ly (Acts 16:30-34). Fa­mi­lies inc­lu­ded the fat­her, mot­her, child­ren, re­la­ti­ves li­ving in the home and ser­vants. It is im­por­tant to note that al­re­a­dy at the be­gin­ning of Chris­ti­a­ni­ty very small child­ren were bap­ti­zed. The church fat­her Ori­ge­nes said in his time (Kris­ti­nop­pi 1948, 60): The apost­les have gi­ven the church the prac­ti­ce of bap­ti­zing child­ren.

A child’s faith

Our cre­a­tor bles­ses us with child­ren. Ac­cor­ding to the Bib­le, they are “gifts of the Lord”. Al­re­a­dy in the Old Tes­ta­ment, the be­lie­vers ex­pe­rien­ced how the child was bles­sed al­re­a­dy in the mot­her’s womb (Ps. 22:10-11). A child re­cei­ves the gift of faith through grace and is sa­ved through Christ’s re­demp­ti­on work. The mes­sa­ge of the Bib­le is that “a man is jus­ti­fied by faith wit­hout the deeds of the law” (Rom. 3:28). Even a child does not be­co­me righ­te­ous wit­hout faith. When a child or adult be­lie­ves, God sees him as being righ­te­ous. In the bap­tism ce­leb­ra­ti­on, we can ad­mi­re the child’s faith which God lifts up for us as an examp­le.

What does a child have that al­lows him to en­ter God’s king­dom? Ac­cor­ding to God’s word, there is not­hing good in the child him­self. He has the ef­fects of in­he­ri­ted sin. So we can not base the child’s wort­hi­ness on his hu­man qu­a­li­ties. The Bib­le al­so does not give per­mis­si­on to think that a child is spi­ri­tu­al­ly dead be­fo­re bap­tism. If this was so, Je­sus would not have pla­ced a child as the examp­le of faith. A child is ac­cep­tab­le in the face of God be­cau­se of righ­te­ous faith. Ac­cor­ding to the Bib­le, and al­so Lut­her’s con­fes­si­on, faith is the af­fect of the Holy Spi­rit. Each per­son who owns Christ’s Spi­rit is his own, in ot­her words a be­lie­ver.

A child is the examp­le of faith al­re­a­dy at birth: He is a par­ta­ker of the Sa­vi­or’s grace. His sins were re­dee­med on Gol­got­ha.

Bap­tism is a uni­on

Bap­tism is cal­led the uni­on of grace and the uni­on of good cons­cien­ce. Bap­tism te­ac­hes and re­minds God’s child­ren that they are joi­ned with Christ in de­ath and that they will al­so rise from the dead as he did. A bap­ti­zed one’s life is tra­ve­ling in a new life un­to God (Rom. 6:4-5). God’s child­ren strive through faith in the grace uni­on of bap­tism. In the bap­tism ce­leb­ra­ti­on, pa­rents, god­pa­rentst, grand­pa­rents and near ones ask that the bap­ti­zed one would be pro­tec­ted in the uni­on of bap­tism and would one day re­ach their home in he­a­ven.

The res­pon­si­bi­li­ty of bap­tism

When bap­tism is the uni­on of the good cons­cien­ce, it te­ac­hes us to keep faith and a good cons­cien­ce. Stri­ving with a good cons­cien­ce al­wa­ys me­ans figh­ting against sin and re­pen­ting of sin. Lut­her pa­raph­ra­ses the sixth chap­ter of the let­ters to the Ro­mans: What does this type of bap­tism with wa­ter then sig­ni­fy? It sig­ni­fies that the old por­ti­on found in each of us is re­mor­se­ful eve­ry day and must be im­mer­sed in re­pen­tan­ce. It must die with all its sins and evil temp­ta­ti­ons. Ins­te­ad, eve­ry day a per­son must come forth and rise anew as one who li­ves in righ­te­ous­ness and cle­an­li­ness fo­re­ver in the face of God. (Kris­ti­nop­pi 1948, 59.)

As a bap­ti­zed one in the care of God’s king­dom

God’s king­dom car­ries the child and ca­res for him in the grace uni­on. It is im­por­tant for the bap­ti­zed one to be­co­me roo­ted in the es­cort of God’s king­dom for his whole life. Many have lost faith and good cons­cien­ce when they have stra­yed in­to the world. Then, on­ly through re­pen­tan­ce can one come in­to the es­cort of God’s king­dom and the re­demp­ti­on flock. With faith one can own righ­te­ous­ness which is ac­cep­tab­le to God. When the lamp of faith re­mains flic­ke­ring in our he­arts, we will one day re­ach glory.

Text: Mat­ti Kin­nu­nen

Sour­ce: Vuo­si­kir­ja 2006, Oi­kea ja vää­rä (Ye­ar­book 2006, Right and wrong)

Trans­la­ti­on: A. H.

Jul­kais­tu eng­lan­nin­kie­li­ses­sä nu­me­ros­sa 16.11.2016

28.5.2020

Kun To­tuu­den Hen­ki tu­lee, hän joh­taa tei­dät tun­te­maan koko to­tuu­den. Joh. 16:13

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