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January 19, 2007

Chapter-a-Day Romans 6

That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we're going in our new grace-sovereign country. Romans 6:3-5 (TM)

I have to get a little something off my chest today. I have worshipped and served in many different denominations. For the past ten years I've been back to my Dutch roots by worshipping in the Reformed church. Now, I've always abided by St. Augustine's creed: "In the essentials unity, in the non-essentials liberty, in all things charity." So, I am happy to agree to disagree with my brothers on things I find non-essential to salvation. One of the places I disagree with my Reformed brothers is in the area of Baptism. The Reformed Church, like the Methodist Church where I was raised, teach and practice infant baptism by sprinkling.

One of the main reasons I disagree that infant baptism is God's intent is found in today's passage. Baptism (from the Greek word meaning to plunge) was intended as a metaphor of the changed life that happens when we are buried with Christ in the likeness of his death (plunged in the water) and raised with Him in the likeness of His resurrection (raised out of the water), our sins washed away by his blood. A public declaration of our faith and changed life. Infant baptism is an incomplete metaphor.

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