I was baptized when younger, but when I realized that Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit, I asked Him to come into me... and He did! That not only drove me to my knees but drove me down to the river to truly be baptized, for it meant something I never recognized or could relate to before. It isn't a "doctrinal" thing, it is between you and Jesus.
Question for you all who advocate re-baptism - Is baptism a man made ordinance or a God made ordinance. Or in other words, is Baptism OUR profession of faith, or GOD's seal upon US. Is not Baptism GOD's sign and seal upon us after our confession of faith? If that is the case, then why would you want to be re-baptized. Re-baptism is like saying that God's promise, seal, and sign is of no effect because "we didn't mean it the first time." GOD meant it it the first time. Or do you view baptism as just some empty rite that is equal to something symbolizing "I believe"? That's what the Apostles Creed is for...or I guess today it has been replaced by t-shirts with writing on them...
Again, my own father, now a 30+ year pastor and missionary, was re baptized. But he realized only a few years later that it was not the way to go. And he could easy repent for that second baptism saying "Father, forgive me for not trusting your promise in my first baptism!" Again, Baptism is Christ's sign, seal, and promise, and, in a sense, confession on you.
Let me give this illustration. Let's say a man is married after barely getting to know a girl. He is excited about being married, but being a young and unwise, as well as sinful, and he soon falls into sin. He has an affair and is always lusting after other women. And then a few years later he has a complete change in heart - the Lord moves in him, and he comes to his wife and he asks her to forgive him for "not being a real husband." He reforms his ways, and is completely faithful to his wife from that point on. Question: should he be re-married? (he had a ring on the whole time - a sign, like baptism, of his marriage). Can we not say that in a sense, the day he repented was the first day he was a "true husband"? Sure. But was he not a husband before? Does he consider his marriage void, and go to the pastor and say, "We need to get married!" What would the pastor say? - "you're already married." But the man responds, "But now it's for real!" and the pastor would say, "Good - you're finally being a husband, but re-marrying you would be to desecrate, to call worthless, what was done in the sight of God those years ago. I can't. You're already married."
Do not have the seal of God put on you twice, as if to say, "God, sorry, first one didn't work/didn't count - now I'M ready."
So I ask you again - why would you call worthless what God did in Baptism the first time? Another way to view Baptism would be to call it a naming Ceremony. Just as a wife takes on a husbands name, so you, baptized Christian, the bride of Christ, take on the name of Christ in baptism.
Blessings to you as you think through these issues.
My understanding of baptism is, in fact as you indicate, as a marriage. When the man literally comes into his wife, they are "married". No two ways about that. Regardless whether they had a "justice of the peace" speak words and ordain a state marriage. Marriage is more than that. It is the intamacy of two becoming one.
When I was first "baptized", it was like an unconsumated marriage.
Christ didn't come into me then because I didn't let him. My life after that reflected that He hadn't come into me in that marriage of two becoming one. I didn't know that baptism was about consumation of His Spirit coming into me. So no matter how deep or how long I was under that water, the baptism was at best, a baptism of repentance such as those disciples of John only knew;
(Act 19:2)He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. (Act 19:3) And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. (Act 19:4) Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. (Act 19:5) When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
For the exact same reason as they, because I knew not that Jesus was the Holy Spirit nor did I know to ask Him to come into me, I was driven by the Lord to be baptized TRULY in His Name. It was His Spirit that led me then. It was only me and my actions of baptism the first time. It was Christ's Spirit moving in me the second time to be truly baptized. I think that is the same Spirit that is moving our dear "IloveUSA911" to inquire into this. YES! You can't do too much of a good thing dear friend! God knows your heart! He will only Bless you in your renewed committment to Him
Son of Jesus,
You said, "regardless of whether they had a "justice of the peace" speak the words..." - you might have put your finger on the issue. If you have not been declared married, in a public event, before God and witnesses, then union is adultery. So no, the public ceremony is very very important to a marriage (as baptism is to being a Chrstian, though I will add, not the sina qua non of being a Christian - like marriage. Just as if you're stranded on an island for your life and might marry a girl with only God as your witness, so a man can be a Christian if he doesn't have a pastor to baptize him because he's on an island. Just wanted to get that out of the way). But let's take your example of non-consummation. If a man and woman are married before God and witnesses, and then they get sepearted by a natural disaster and only years find each other (poor couple), they don't need to redo the whole process. It is a legal, forensic, marriage that has already happened. You can look at the church documents, and look at pictures, and prove that it happened. Now the only difficulty that I might not have the answer for is, what if someone actually, in an acute way, renounces their baptism. That might be like divorce. And perhaps (though I'm not convinced) would warrant re-baptism. But 99% do not actively renounce their baptism. It might even be argued that true renunciation of baptism is tantamount to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and is an unforgivable sin - perhaps, but I digress.
The point is, baptism is as real and as tangible as a wedding. And non-consummation, while it could be grounds for divorce, is not grounds for re-marriage. Ultimately, every "unconsummated" baptism will be "divorced" into hell. But I don't think that it ever warrants re-marriage or re-baptism.
This has all gotten very confusing to me. It seems like more is being placed on baptism then God intended. It does not save you in the least bit. And re-baptising does not in any way take away from what Gods intention for it is.
RiverRock, just take this away from it: Baptism is God's sign, seal, promise, naming of US. We can be unfaithful and ultimately reject this sign, but we can't "undo it" or make it void. A baptized person is under more condemnation if he rejects the gospel than a Christian who has never been baptized. He forever has the name of Christ on him - can't do anything about it. Therefore, there is never any occasion that causes a Christian to need to be re-baptized.
Any Baptism made in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is valid - eternally valid.
I agree with what Son of Jesus has said....it just makes sense to me. The Lord can lead us to do things that may not make sense to others but He moves upon our hearets to do it. We have to listen to what the Lord places in our hearts and follow His lead no matter if it makes sense or goes with what others say.
The Lord can lead us to do things that may not make sense to others but He moves upon our hearets to do it. We have to listen to what the Lord places in our hearts and follow His lead no matter if it makes sense or goes with what others say.
Foucachon you make me smile
No, what made sense is what I said earlier.
Let me ask you this, were Isaac and Rebecca married?
(Gen 24:67) And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
Marriage is what God has instituted and declared in the enjoining together of a man and a woman.
Let us not become confused with replacing God with a "justice of the peace" just because it is the "State" thing to do now.
When baptism occurs, it is not "words spoken by someone else" that brings us into a binding agreement with God. I deny that idea. Babtism is the outward act we take as a result of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Riverrock, if you weren't baptized in the Holy Spirit and submitted to the rite of baptism, your younger life dunking obviously didn't mean a thing. God doesn't "save" you because you were water baptized my dear. Since your life was sinful after that you said, it is evidence to that fact. It didn't mean anything to you so it's not like God is arguing with you about it lol.
But NOW, your heart is right, you are ready to receive His Coming into you as Promised, and your childlike obedience in entering into that relationship by cleansing your earthen vessel to prepare for Him to COME INTO you is a Wonderful testimony!! Let no man prevent you from that wonderful testimony!
You are right in saying what you say below River, many people place way to much importance on the act than on what it means.
Two people who don't love each other can fake there way through a "justice of the peace" marriage. But no "justice of the peace" was around when Isaac and Rebecca were "Married" in the tent.
It is the intimacy in Love and Fidelity before God that counts as the real thing.
It is the same with baptism as in marriage, for that is absolutely what it is!
(Rom 7:4) Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
That "fruit" is His Son being birthed in us, His Wife, in this new Marriage Testament!