What Is The True Meaning Of Baptism – Baptism is the first of the sacraments that establish the true birth of a Christian. It is through baptism that we are cleansed from original sin and become part of the Church and of the body of Christ.
Thanks to baptism, we have access to the other sacraments and begin to walk the path of the Spirit. Cleansed by God’s unconditional forgiveness, we become His children in reality.
What Is The True Meaning Of Baptism
The word baptism comes from the Greek βάπτισμα, or báptisma, meaning “immersion”. That is exactly what this is, an immersion in purifying water. The symbolism of water as an instrument of purification appears in many ancient religions. Especially in Judaism, it was necessary to practice purifying ablutions before one could enter the cult. The water cleansed the body and with it the spirit of all impurities and washed away sin. Over time, these practices, thinking of water as an instrument of purification, spread more and more and took different forms among the different communities.
Baptism — Venture Church
Ritual ablutions and cleansing baths are in some ways a prelude to baptism as we know it, but already in the Old Testament men had recognized the saving power of water, as it was a tool for God’s will to save the righteous. Think of the universal flood, or Moses’ crossing of the Red Sea and the chosen people fleeing Egypt.
We have to wait for the baptism of John the Baptist to find something closer to our idea of baptism. In fact, in addition to using the cleansing function of water, it made those who received it an integral part of the descendants of Abraham, of the people who waited with faith and hope for the coming of the Messiah. In order to gain access to John’s baptism, it was necessary to repent of one’s own sins and ask for forgiveness. Those who asked for it should be aware of the purpose of this choice in their lives and commit to carry it out to the end. John himself declared that his baptism was only provisional and was the prelude to the baptism that the Messiah will bring: a baptism made of water awaiting the one made of fire.
When Jesus presented himself to John to receive baptism, he fully accepted his own destiny. When Jesus came up out of the water, Jesus saw the heavens open and the Holy Spirit appear in the form of a dove, while a voice came from heaven: “You are my beloved child”. The Holy Spirit came upon him, invested him in his role, and transformed him into the Lamb of God. It was the beginning of a new life and forebodings of the death that would lead to the resurrection. The destiny of one man and of all mankind was fulfilled on the banks of the Jordan River, in a single gesture of submission and humility that was destined to change everything.
Christian baptism was created at Pentecost, that is, with the descent of the Holy Spirit to the apostles, fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection.
Baptism: Immersion Only?
Just as Jesus’ baptism in the waters of the Jordan represented the beginning of his work among men, Pentecost represented the baptism of the Holy Spirit in fire, the beginning of the apostle’s mission and, in general, the beginning of the Christian Church. As commanded by Jesus, Peter and the other disciples from that moment began to preach about the need to repent of our sins and receive baptism to obtain forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
A Christian baptism involves immersion in water or alternatively a sprinkling of water on the head. Immersion in water symbolized the death of Jesus, while the resurrection came out of it. Sin dies in water, as a body polluted by it dies symbolically.
This symbolic gesture, followed by the laying on of hands on the celebrant, sanctions the release from all sin and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
From this moment on, believers will be united with Christ, in his death, resurrection and glorification. The old man will no longer exist, now there will be a new man, a Christian freed from evil and an effective member of the Church. One who has become in all respects a son of God, born again through the water and the Spirit, born again by the Holy Spirit, enlightened by the light of Christ and saved from the darkness of sin, made a partaker of God’s new people.
Baptism And The Lord’s Supper
Baptism, like all the sacraments, involves the use of material elements, words and songs, symbolic gestures and non-verbal signs that, taken together, give life to this precious and indispensable celebration in the life of a Christian.
As already mentioned, the water serves the function of cleansing the baptized person, of washing from his or her body and from his or her soul every sign of sin. Water is universally recognized as the symbol of life par excellence. It is the element that extinguishes and nourishes the earth so that it can bear fruit. It makes everything clean, and in the same way it cleanses our soul from every stain.
The chrism is used to sanctify and sanction the entry of the baptized into the great family of the Church. It is a fragrant and consecrated oil. Used not only for baptism, but also for confirmation and in the ordination of priests. In baptism, it is used to anoint the head of the baptized, giving him or her a kind of seal that initiates him or her into their new role. In Crism, the priest draws a cross on the forehead of the confirmed as a symbol of the Holy Spirit falling upon them to enlist them as Christ’s ‘soldier’. In ordination, it is used to anoint the palms of presbyters and the foreheads of bishops.
Together with the oil for the sick and the oil for the catechumens, it is blessed once a year by the bishop during Christmas Thursday Mass and then distributed to each parish.
Where Did Baptism Come From?
Furthermore, the oil of the catechumens is of great symbolic importance. In fact, it declares the baptized person a believer and a champion of Christendom. Not surprisingly, in ancient times
Oil was used by athletes to lubricate their limbs before exercise, and by wrestlers to escape the grip of their opponents. With the oil of the catechumens, the priest draws a cross on his chest and another between the baptized person’s shoulder blades. This symbolizes strength in the fight against temptation, a kind of shield against sin.
The light given to the parents or to the godfather of the baptized symbolizes Christ, the light of the world, in the hope that he will enlighten the child and allow those who love and support him or her to accompany him or her in faith. It symbolizes the help that the Church must give its new member to find their own light in the world. Light was God’s first gift, his first creation. In the Old Testament it was a symbol of faith, and with the advent of Jesus this symbolism was enriched with new fundamental meanings in the life of a believer. “I am the true light” said Jesus to the disciples: “You are the light of the world … let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify the Father who is in heaven!” (Matthew 5:16).
The light, or baptismal light, represents the Christian’s obligation to find the light in his own life of faith, in order to in turn be a light to the world through his deeds and actions,
Types Of Baptism In Christianity And Other Religions
The white dress is given during a baptism as a symbol of new life and the new dignity the baptized person has. In ancient times, those who were baptized had to wear a new, white garment before they joined the other believers in the Church. The white garment expresses the purity of the soul that has returned without blemish after a baptism, the profound change and inner renewal that the sacrament has brought into the person who received it.
Baptism for adults or children over the age of seven requires a catechumenate period in which they are prepared for the step they face. In addition, an adult must have expressed a desire to receive baptism in order to receive baptism; to have been instructed in faith and in one’s duties as a Christian; he gave evidence of Christian life during the catechumenate; has repented of his sins.
For the baptism of children, it is necessary that the parents give consent and that they undertake to give the child a Catholic, Christian education. The code also stipulates that in case of danger of death, a child can be baptized even against the wishes of the parents. Baptisms must be administered by the ordinary priest of the parish to which they belong, but he may, in an emergency, grant permission to any person.
A baptism, especially a child’s, is an important occasion, the first big celebration to welcome
Teaching Kids The Purpose And Practice Of Baptism
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