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The Sacrament Of Baptism Essay

1604 words - 7 pages

In the United States Christianity is the largest religious group followed by Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism (Kohut and Rogers). According to the Pew Research Council Christianity was comprised of over 82 percent of the population in America as of March 2002 (Kohut and Rogers). Most of the world’s Christians live in the America’s and Europe (Pew Research Center). However, the population of Christians that currently live in the America’s and Europe is significantly lower than in the early 1900’s (Pew Research Center). Christianity is divided into three main branches: Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants. The Protestants make up the largest branch of the Christian religion in the ...view middle of the document...

Scripture in the Bible accounts for a number of examples of the different perceptions embraced by the numerous diverse denominations (Sacrament of Baptism). Baptism was instituted and recorded in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ through the divine scripture. “And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash away your sins in his name” (Ac 22:16 NIV). Baptism is described as the outward sign of an inward work of grace in certain faiths (NIV 2318) However, the technique of baptism is still the center of disagreements between the faiths.
Because the bible does not directly state the proper method for baptism, various Christian denominations disagree on the way in which a person should be baptized. Although there are various methods used for baptism it is still a controversial topic. Christian baptism is always performed with water. Symbolically the water represents the cleansing of the believer by the Holy Spirit (Martin). “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through whom we have access by faith into his grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Ro 5:1-4 NIV). There are three different ways to be baptized. They are sprinkling, pouring, and immersion. Some denominations submerge the person completely in water, while others pour water over the persons head and others simply sprinkle water on the person’s forehead. When a person is baptized by immersion it demonstrates the person’s belief in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Martin).Some doctrines such as the sprinkling with water have caused controversy between the faiths because some individual believe that baptism can only be achieved through submersion. Another type of baptism that is used by the Brethren also called the Greek Church use triune immersion or trine immersion where the believer is immersed three times in the name of the triune God. The controversy over triune immersion is not about the mentioning of the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit but whether or not the believer should be immersed once or three times.
Another topic which the majority of Christian denominations disagree about is whether baptism is a sacrament or ordinance (Challies). The sacramental concept is held by the Roman Catholic Church and it is believed that God expresses his grace through baptism and a number of other sacraments that are required for salvation (Challies). The sacrament view of baptism was instructed by the Lord, and given to the believers. The Catholics have seven sacraments including Baptism they are: Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Orders, and Matrimony. A Sacrament achieves three things: it is an outward sign, it is established by God, and it bestows grace (Sacrament). Baptists and other fundamental churches like the...

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