Last week at OTCC, a major part of the message had to do with water baptism as an important part of being a genuine disciple, or follower, of Jesus Christ. I said that if you have not been baptized, then you haven’t really publicly identified yourself as a Christ-follower. (You can listen to the whole message here.)
Because there are so many questions on this topic, I am going to answer the most common questions through a short series of posts. In this series we’ll explore these questions:
- What is baptism?
- What is baptism not?
- Who can / should be baptized?
- When should a person be baptized?
What is baptism?
Our English word “baptism” is really nothing more than a transliteration (a letter-for-letter exchange) of the Greek word baptisma. Basically, instead of using one of our English words to explain the meaning of their word, we just brought their word into our language.
Unfortunately, that has caused all sorts of problems in understanding what it means. As a result, different churches baptize people of different ages in different ways for different reasons. Can we all be right?
There are three things that we need to know about baptism that we can learn from the word itself and from its usage by Jesus’ followers who spoke the Greek language:
- Is there a proper method for Christian baptism?
- What is the significance of water baptism?
We will explore the answers to these in Part 2.