[21]    Church: Baptism and the Lordís Supper

71.    What is symbolized by baptism? What is the proper mode of baptism?

a. Institution of baptism: Christ instituted baptism after His resurrection (Mt 28:19; Mk 16:16).

b. Symbolism and Meaning:

(1) Cleansing and purification:
(2) Identification with the death of Christ: (3) Entry into the church: c. Mode: (1) OT: OT baptisms were all sprinklings (Nu 8:7; Ps 51:7; Eze 36:25; Heb 9:10,13). None of the present modes symbolizes OT circumcision.

(2) Johnís baptism: It is one of repentance (Mt 3:2,6; Ac 19:4), and cleansing of sin (Jn 3:25-26). The mode is unknown but most likely following the OT tradition of sprinkling.

(3) Jesus did not prescribe a certain mode of baptism, and the Bible never stresses any particular mode.

(4) Greek words: baptizo employed by Jesus and baptisma can mean immersion, pouring, or sprinkling.

(5) NT baptisms: There is not a single case of baptism mentioned in the NT of which we are sure that it was baptism by immersion. However, there are many examples in which immersion was unlikely.

(6) Baptists hold strongly that the only proper mode of baptism is by immersion because they believe that baptism symbolizes burial and resurrection. This interpretation of the Bible is inaccurate.

d. Requirement for participation: e. Infant baptism: (1) Support for infant baptism: (2) Objection to infant baptism: (3) Many churches practise infant baptism while many others do not. Both have biblical support. As this is not an essential point of faith, each church should adopt their own practice. 72.    Is the Lordís Supper merely a symbol to remind us about the death of Christ? a. Name: "supper of the Lord" (1Co 11:20), holy communion (1Co 10:16), "eucharist" from Gr. eucharisteo meaning to give thanks or to be grateful (Mk 14:22; Mt 26:27; 1Co 10:16; 11:24)

b. Institution of the Lordís Supper: Christ instituted the Lordís Supper during the Last Supper at Passover.

c. Jewish celebration of Passover has two meanings:

(1) memorial of deliverance from bondage in Egypt; similarly, the Lordís Supper is a sign of the deliverance from the bondage of sin and death

(2) sign of and renewal of covenant sealed with sacrificial blood; similarly, the Lordís Supper is a sign of the new covenant (salvation by faith) sealed with the blood of the Lamb of God (1Co 5:7)

d. Additional Symbolism: (1) representation and proclamation of the Lordís death (1Co 11:26): remembrance (1Co 11:24)

(2) believersí participation in the crucified Christ

(3) unity (oneness) of the believers as we share the one body of Christ

(4) representation of the effects of spiritual eating and drinking as giving life, strength, and joy

e. Meaning of remembrance:
(a) "Godward" reference: the petitioning of God to "remember" Jesusí atoning death and thus show mercy to his people.

(b) "humanward" reference: reminding believers to "remember" their deliverance through Jesus.

f. Means of grace: g. Meaning for our lives: (1) Past: Christ died for us to redeem us: our Faith; we are to receive grace and blessings from God through the participation of the eucharist

(2) Present: we are of one body with brothers and sisters and should love them: our Love; we were in the bondage of sin but now we are in the bond of love

(3) Future: we partake the Lordís Supper until Jesusí second coming (1Co 11:26): our Hope; we joyfully look forward to sharing the feast in heaven with all our brothers and sisters

h. Requirement for participation: