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part of River Ministries (Norfolk)


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A deeper look at the Statement of Faith

Baptism By Immersion in Water

In obedience to the command of Christ the Christian Church has practiced water baptism from its inception. The original simple rite, however, suffered much through the Christian era from distortion and addition.

We seek to conduct this sacred ceremony according to the scriptures, and so make their appeal to the practice and teaching of the Apostles. The mode of baptism is by total immersion in water.

Etymological proof; the word “baptism” means to dip or plunge in water.

Comparative proof; the word is used of an overwhelming experience of God in “the baptism in the Holy Ghost”, it is also used of being submerged under an avalanche of suffering.

Factual proof; John needed “much water” for baptism. Again, Jesus was baptised “in” Jordan, and “came up out of the water.” Figurative proof; baptism is spoken of as “buried with Christ”, “planted together in the likeness of His death”.

Add to all this the indubitable fact from Church history that no other mode was known in New Testament times and for long after, and we have testimony enough to convince any person capable of weighing evidence.

Water baptism is an act of discipleship, therefore limited to believers only. Infant sprinkling is invalid. Water baptism is an initiation into Christian fellowship; it is a public acknowledgment of Christ; it is a symbolic act of complete separation from the past, a burial of “the old man” and the beginning of a new life - “risen with Christ"; it is a consecration of the body to the service of God; it is a preparation for the greater baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Scripture references: Matthew 28:29; Mark 16:16; Matthew 3:11; John 3:23; Mark 1:9,10; Romans 6:4,5; Matthew 28:19,20; John 4:1; Acts 8:12,37. 18:8; Acts 2:41. 11:48; Galatians 3:27; Hebrews 10:22; Acts 2:38. 19:5,6.

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