What is baptism?

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Water baptism - signs of the believer's repentance, signs that he accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior - is part of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Being baptized "with the Holy Spirit and with fire" refers to the renewing and purifying work of the Holy Spirit. The Worldwide Church of God practices baptism by immersion (Matthew 28,19, Acts 2,38, Romans 6,4-5, Luke 3,16, 1, Kor 12,13, 1, Peter 1,3-9, Matthew 3,16).

On the eve of his crucifixion, Jesus took bread and wine and said, "... this is my body ... this is my blood of the covenant ..." Whenever we celebrate the Lord's Supper, we take bread and wine to commemorate our Redeemer and proclaim his death until he comes. The Lord's Supper is part of the death and resurrection of our Lord, who gave his body and shed his blood so that we may be forgiven (1, Kor 11,23-26, 10,16, Matthew 26,26-28.

Ecclesiastical orders

The baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two ecclesiastical orders of Protestant Christianity. These orders are signs or symbols of God's grace working in the faithful. They visibly proclaim the grace of God by pointing to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

"Both ecclesiastical orders, the Lord's Supper and holy baptism ... stand together, shoulder to shoulder, proclaiming the reality of the grace of God through which we are unconditionally accepted and through which we are under the unconditional obligation to be for others What Christ has been for us "(Jinkins, 2001, p. 241).

It is important to understand that the Lord's baptism and the Lord's Supper are not human ideas. They reflect the grace of the Father and were used by Christ. God established in Scripture that men and women repent (turn to God - see lesson # 6) and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2,38), and believers "in memory" of Jesus' bread and wine should (1Kor 11,23-26).

The ecclesiastical ordinances of the New Testament differ from the Old Testament rituals in the fact that the latter were merely "a shadow of future goods" and that "it is impossible to take away sins through the blood of bulls and goats" (Hebr 10,1.4). These rituals were designed to separate Israel from the world and sing it out as God's property, while the New Testament shows that all believers from all peoples are one in and with Christ.

The rituals and sacrifices did not lead to permanent sanctification and holiness. The first covenant, the Old Covenant, under which they acted, is no longer valid. God "picks up the first one so he uses the second one. By this will we are sanctified once and for all by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ "(Heb. 10,5-10).

Symbols that reflect God's bestowal gift

In Philippians 2,6-8, we read that Jesus forsook his divine privileges for us. He was God, but became human for our salvation. The baptism and the Lord's Supper show what God has done for us, not what we have done for God. Baptism is an outward expression of inner commitment and devotion to the believer, but first and foremost it is a participation in God's love and devotion to humanity: we are baptized into Jesus' death, resurrection, and ascension.

"Baptism is not something we do but what we do" (Dawn & Peterson 2000, p. 191). Paul declares, "Or do you not know that all we who are baptized Christ Jesus are baptized into his death?" (Rom 6,3).

The water of baptism that covers the believers symbolizes the burial of Christ for him or her. Rising out of the water symbolizes Jesus' resurrection and ascension: "... with Christ being risen from the dead through the glory of the Father, we also walk in a new life" (Rom 6,4b).

Because of the symbolism that we are completely covered in water, representing "that we are buried with Him through baptism into death" (Rom 6,4a), the Worldwide Church practices God's baptism by total immersion. At the same time, the Church recognizes other methods of baptism.

The symbolism of baptism shows us "that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, so that from henceforth we shall not serve sin" (Rom 6,6). Baptism reminds us that just as Christ died and rose again, so we also spiritually die with Him and are raised with Him (Rom 6,8). Baptism is a visible demonstration of God's self-giving to us and proves "that Christ died for us when we were still sinners" (Rom 5,8).

The Lord's Supper testifies to the sacrificial love of God, the highest act of salvation. The symbols used represent the broken body (bread) and the shed blood (wine) so that humanity can be saved.

When Christ instituted the Lord's Supper, he shared the bread with his disciples and said, "Take, eat, this is my body that is given for you" (1Kor 11,24). Jesus is the bread of life, "the living bread that came from heaven" (Jn 6,48-58).
Jesus also gave the wine goblet and said, "Drink all of it, this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins" (Mt 26,26-28). This is "the blood of the eternal covenant" (Hebr 13,20). Therefore, by ignoring, disparaging, or rejecting the value of the blood of this New Covenant, the Spirit of Grace is reviled (Heb. 10,29).
Just as baptism is another imitation and participation in the death and resurrection of Christ, so the Lord's Supper is another imitation and participation in the body and blood of Christ sacrificed for us.

Questions arise in relation to the Passa. The Passover is not the same as the Lord's Supper because the symbolism is different and because it does not represent the forgiveness of sins through the grace of God. The Passover was also clearly an annual event, while the Lord's Supper can be taken "as often as you eat of this bread and drink out of the cup" (1Kor 11,26).

The blood of the Passover lamb was not shed for the forgiveness of sins because animal sacrifices can never take away sins (Hebr 10,11). The Passover tradition, a night of waking held in Judaism, symbolized the national liberation of Israel from Egypt (2Mo 12,42; 5Mo 16,1); she did not symbolize the forgiveness of sins.

The sins of the Israelites were not forgiven by the celebration of the Passover. Jesus was killed on the same day that the Passover lambs were slaughtered (John 19,14), which led Paul to say, "For we too have a Passover lamb, that is Christ who is sacrificed" (1Kor 5,7).

Togetherness and community

Baptism and the Lord's Supper also reflect unity among one another and with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Through "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph 4,5) believers were "connected with him and became like him in his death" (Rom 6,5). When a believer is baptized, the church acknowledges in faith that he or she has received the Holy Ghost.

By receiving the Holy Spirit, Christians are being baptized into the fellowship of the Church. "For we are all baptized by one Spirit into one body, we are Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, and are all soaked with a Spirit" (1Kor 12,13).

Jesus will never leave or fail the fellowship of the Church that is his body (Rom 12,5, 1Kor 12,27, Eph 4,1-2) (Hebr 13,5, Mt 28,20). This active participation in the Christian community is reinforced by the taking of bread and wine at the Lord's table. The wine, the blessing-cup, is not only "the communion of the blood of Christ," and the bread, "the communion of the body of Christ," but it is also the participation in the common life of all believers. "So we are many a body, because we all share in a bread" (1Kor 10,16-17).


Both the Lord's Supper and baptism are a visible participation in God's forgiveness. When Jesus commanded his followers to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit wherever they went (Mt 28,19), it was an instruction to baptize believers in the community of those who receive forgiveness. Acts 2,38 declares that baptism is "for the forgiveness of sins" and for the reception of the gift of the Holy Ghost.

When we are resurrected with Christ (resurrected from the water of baptism into a new life in Christ), we should forgive one another as the Lord has forgiven us (Col 3,1.13, Eph 4,32). Baptism means that we grant forgiveness and receive forgiveness.

The Lord's Supper is sometimes referred to as "communion" (the idea is emphasized that we have fellowship with Christ and other believers through the symbols). It is also known as the "Eucharist" (from the Greek "thanksgiving" because Christ gave thanks before giving the bread and wine).

When we come together to take the wine and the bread, we gratefully announce the death of our Lord for our forgiveness until Jesus returns (1Kor 11,26), and we participate in the communion of saints and with God. This reminds us that forgiving one another means sharing in the meaning of the sacrifice of Christ.

We are in danger when we judge that others are unworthy of Christ's forgiveness or our own forgiveness. Christ said, "Do not judge so that you will not be judged" (Mt. 7,1). Is that what Paul is talking about in 1? Corinthians 11,27-29 refers? That if we do not forgive, we will not distinguish or understand that the Lord's body would be broken for the forgiveness of all? So if we come to the sacrament altar and have bitterness and have not forgiven, then we eat and drink the elements in an unworthy manner. Authentic worship is associated with forgiveness (see also Mt 5,23-24).
May the forgiveness of God always be present in the way we take the sacrament.


Baptism and the Lord's Supper are ecclesial acts of personal and communal worship that visibly represent the gospel of grace. They are relevant to the believer because they were ordained in the Scriptures by Christ himself, and they are means of active participation in the death and resurrection of our Lord.

by James Henderson