Fresh from God, refresh our spirits, Into joy and laughter lead.
Child of JOY, our dearest treasure, God’s you are, from God you came.
Back to God we humbly give you; live as one who bears Christ’s name.
Child of God, your loving Parent, Learn to know whose child you are.
Grow to laugh and sing and worship, Trust and love God more than all.
DEFINITION of Baptism is generally a water purificationritualpracticed in many of various religions including Christianity, Fundamentalism, and Sikhism, and has its origins with the Jewish ritual of mikvah. The word baptize derives from the Greek word "baptisma," which loosely means "to dip, bathe, or wash". To some groups it is a matter of religious conviction to assert that baptism is literally equivalent to, to plunge something entirely into the water, so that the water closes over it. To other groups, baptism is a symbolic term meaning "identification with" (e.g. Jesus the Christ) having no connection with earthly ritual.
Today, water baptismis most readily identified with Christianity, where it symbolizes the cleansing (remission) of sins, and the union of the believer with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection so that he becomes one of Christ's Faithful. Most Christian groups practice some form of literal water-based baptism and agree that it is important, yet carry strong opinion between groups regarding any or all of several aspects of baptism, such as:
form of the baptism
recipients of baptism
meaning of the act of baptism
However, a few Christian groups assert that water-based baptism has been supplanted by the promised Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and water baptism was unnecessarily carried over from the early Jewish Christian practice. Among those Christians espousing the practice of baptism, the ritual is performed as:
Aspersion - sprinkling water over the head,
Affusion - pouring water over the head,
or Immersion - lowering the entire body into a pool of water.
For Christians who baptize by:
Pouring or Sprinkling: the washing with water from above pictures the cleansing of one's sins by the blood of Christ, by the Holy Spirit, who unites the baptized person to Christ in his death, and in His resurrection from the dead. It is administered from above to point to that gift of the life-giving Spirit, and to portray baptism as an act not of man, but of God.
By Immersion: enclosed under the water and brought out, to signify cleansing through death and burial with Christ, and consequent raising again in newness of life by the Holy Spirit. Regardless of the form, baptism is a public rite, in testimony to others of the grace of God bestowed upon the person, and as a seal of God's promises in Christ to those who believe.
Recipient of Baptism: The choice to be baptized is made by a 'confessing believer' (believer baptism, or credobaptism), regardless of age, as a 'confession' or public profession of his or her faith in Christ; or on behalf of the child by his or her parents (infant baptism paedobaptism) if the parents had themselves been baptized, and professed faith. Some churches practice credobaptism and some practice paedobaptism, and some churches practice both. Some practice immersion, some practice pouring, and some practice sprinkling.
Meaning of Baptism: There are grave differences in views about the nature of Christian baptism. Some groups assert:
Baptism is a requirement for salvation and sacrament for Christians;
others argue it is a significant "act of obedience" to Christ, but has no inherent bearing on salvation.
Early leaders in the Protestant Reformation, for example, Martin Luther, placed great importance on baptism - as a Sacrament - Luther states in The Large Catechism of 1529:
"To put it most simply, the power, effect, benefit, fruit, and purpose of Baptism is to save. No one is baptized in order to become a prince, but as the words say, to 'be saved.' To be saved, we know, is nothing else than to be delivered from sin, death, and the devil and to enter into the kingdom of Christ and live with him forever."
By contrast, more conservative or fundamental theological thinkers and groups espouse:
"Baptism as a worthy and important practice, but deny that baptism has any sacramental power, but rather only testifies outwardly to the operation of God's power, which is invisible, internal, and completely 'separate' from the rite itself. Other groups teach and preach that the baptism 'ceremony' is 'meaningful and necessary."
The final and one unifying factor about baptism is that baptism is a deep spiritual matter that deserves great contemplation and consideration for all individuals involved, as the vows and experience of baptism, for Christians, is the "identification with the one who is our Godhead, who showed us the way the truth and the life and the action of baptism places us with Him now and forever."
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