|image courtesy of lumix2004 via sxc.hu|
For all you Irish folks, I honor your heritage with a link to this video from Tripp & Tyler.
Hey, what a great reason to read this blog and tell your friends about it (and what great evidence that the gospel is real): where else can you find a southern Irish boy and a yankee Hispanic Jew come together to talk about Jesus?
Even more, I'm excited to be spending much of today and the weekend with Jeremy, as he is leading a group of college students down here in Allendale for a mission trip.
As you can see from the last post, baptism and communion are the two ordinances that all Christians have historically observed. Both are commanded in Scripture and both proclaim the gospel message of grace and acknowledge our need for Jesus. Participation in these two ordinances does not make you a Christian. In fact, both of them proclaim the message that Jesus death, burial and resurrection is all that makes salvation possible for mankind.
So with that background information in mind, here is why I believe “the norm” should be baptism before communion:
- Baptism is intended to be one of the main marks of a Christian. For those who claim to be Christians and partake in communion without baptism, they send mixed signals to non-believers, those with a weaker faith, and to the Christian community they are identifying with.
- It is the first act of obedience. Throughout the New Testament, the first thing that converts are told to do is to be baptized. All non-baptized Christians need to seriously ask themselves why they haven’t been baptized.
- It signifies blessings/coverings without identification. You can be married and enjoy the benefits of it without a ceremony, exchanging rings, sharing the same name or telling anyone that you are married. But you won’t find anyone that recommends it. In fact, it would take another blog or two to unpack why it is such a terrible idea. Likewise, there is something wrong with those who want to participate in the benefits of the cross but are unwilling to identify with Christ through baptism.
- It provides a false sense of comfort. When we take communion, we take comfort in partaking in the benefits of Christianity. However, without being baptized, we need to seriously ask ourselves if we truly are covered by the blessings of Christ if we are being directly disobedient to such a specific biblical mandate.
Can someone be a Christian, not be baptized and partake in communion. Absolutely. Should it happen as often as it does? Absolutely not! Can we all think more seriously about the biblical mandate of baptism, what it signifies, and why all Christians should observe it? I think so.
For a closer look at baptism within the NT study the following texts:Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38, Acts 8, Acts 10:48, Acts 16:33, Acts 18:8, Acts 22:16.