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Church Ordinances

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Church Ordinances






STUDENT ID 35.....

August 3, ....


There are two ordinances instituted by Christ for observation by the church. These would be baptism and communion. Over the past two thousand years of church history people have talked, people have argued, people have divided, and people have been persecuted over the issues of the correct age, mode and meaning of baptism and communion; the two church ordinances we are to practice. Why? Why is this issue so controversial? Does the Scripture spell out the issue strong enough to make a case for one view or the other? Is one certain view completely unbiblical? That is exactly what this paper will be wrote about. This paper will give a brief examination of these ordinances of baptism and communion. Furthermore, the next few pages will talk about the who, what, when, where, and how for these two topics.

First we will learn a bit about baptism. Baptism is an important ordinance to take part in for one who has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Not only does this act of obedience publicly declare your identification with the Triune God, Christ, and Holy Spirit, but it also shows the death to your old life and ways, and resurrection to the new ways of following Christ. It also shows a "From a physical standpoint, baptism is a ceremony by which a person is immersed, dunked, or submerged into water." ( Macarthur 292) Depending on your denomination, you may practice this ordinance in a variety of ways. This could include sprinkling, or pouring water over the head instead of full immersion. I believe, as does our reading as well, that full immersion is the best practice. This way fully shows or symbolizes the death, resurrection, and raising from the dead just as Christ. We see this in Scripture in Colossians 2:12 and Romans 6:4. There are two words used throughout the New Testament to describe this act of obedience, and both verbs. These two verbs are bapto and baptizo which both always mean to completely dip. This is another support for immersion. Also John the Baptist baptized in a river with "much water" (John 3:23) why would they need a river with this much water unless for immersion. A small creek could give enough water for sprinkling. One problem in today's culture is that I believe too many people wait too long to perform this ordinance. All throughout Scripture this is performed almost immediately after a decision to follow after Christ. The longer one puts off this public act of obedience the harder it becomes. John MacArthur shows us that the why of not being baptized could be of several reasons such as ignorance, pride, indifference, defiance, or lack of regeneration. Whatever the reason may be we must preach the importance of baptism to sway those opinions to follows Christ commandments John 14:15 tells us that if we truly love Christ then we must keep His commandments. So what is it saying when we are not following one of the only two ordinances in which Christ Himself instituted for the church. We may partially blame ourselves. We are too quiet when it comes to preaching about the importance of this ordinance. This is a key commandment from Jesus as he called out in Matthew 28:19 to "Go make disciples of all nations, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you..." When you are not able to follow this basic commandment it could set up a lifetime of failures to follow Christ. Some church denominations believe baptism to be a saving act which gets them into heaven or that one is not truly saved until baptized, but this just is not true as described in the first part of this section. In fact, baptism actually has its origins all the way back into the Old Testament when people wanted to be converted into our faith. They would have to be go through a three step process including circumcision, sacrifice, and baptism. This



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