The teaching throughout the New Testament is that the new covenant is the fulfillment of the old covenant and that we are saved by the same faith as that of Abraham through the essentially same eternal covenant. Thus we can only understand the new covenant ceremonies in the context of their fulfillment of the old covenant rites.
The approach taken in this study on baptism begins with exploration of the covenant, as it is foundational to understanding the purpose and meaning of baptism, and especially how it forms the basis for the practice of infant baptism. Next, a more detailed explanation of the meaning of baptism clears up many misinterpretations which are played out in its practice. Having a correct understanding of the meaning of baptism leads to how baptism relates to our salvation, as many confuse the sign with the thing signified. Does it mean that a child who dies in infancy is lost if not baptized? Once the meaning is clarified, we can proceed to understand why infant baptism continues the covenantal sign given in the Abrahamic covenant into the new. Certainly Christian parents feel the need to give their child to God and to receive his blessing, so we discuss whether child dedication services can be an alternative to baptism.
Having established the rationale for infant baptism, we proceed to study the mode of baptism, which clearly exemplifies its meaning of purification from sin, in-filling with the Holy Spirit, and claiming the promises of the covenant found in Christ.
The validity of certain “baptisms” is discussed along with whether it should ever be repeated. Then the spiritual significance of baptism as a sacrament is defined and explained. Finally, the value of baptism throughout our Christian life provides encouragement and assurance to our faith in Christ with its many spiritual benefits. Helpful comparison charts provide easy summaries of key concepts related to baptism. Many practical questions regarding the application of baptism are answered throughout the book, from rebaptism and the place of infants who die, to baptism of converts from Islam.
The Message of the Holy Book of God Concerning the True Path to Life
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