Baptism is the sacrament through which a person is born again and accepted into the membership of the church after being dipped into water three times in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
II. Types in the Old Testament.
(1) The Ark of Noah. “When once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us.” (1 Pet. 3: 20, 21)
III. Baptism of John the Baptist
Although it was from heaven yet it was “the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. “(Luke 3:3) and had no power of rebirth. It was to prepare the Jews to accept Christ, and was, at the same time, a sing or preparation for Christian baptism.
IV. Baptism by the Disciples before the Death of Christ
It was said that the disciples used to baptize during the days of our Lord on earth. (John 4:2) But this baptism was also to prepare the Jews to accept Christ. John Chrysostom says that it was exactly the same as the baptism of John the Baptist.
V. Institution of the Sacrament
Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself instituted this sacrament after His resurrection when He said: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”(Matt 28: 18, 19)
VI. The Visible Sign
The signs are the dipping into water three times, and the words said by the minister; “I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”
VII. The Invisible Grace.
(1) Rebirth. “Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time in his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily I say unto thee except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3-5)
VIII. One Baptism
Our church teaches that those who have been validly baptized must not be baptized again. This is what St. Paul affirmed: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Eph. 4:5)
IX. Baptism of Infants
Some churches say that baptism should be given only to grown up persons. But our church believes that babies too should be baptized for the following reasons:
X. Baptism of Blood
Martyrs who shed their blood for the sake of Christ before being baptized are considered to have received this kind of baptism according to the statement of our Lord “whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. “ (Matt 10: 32) Again: “whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matt. 16:25)
XI. Who has the Right to Baptize?
This right was primarily given to the Apostles by the Lord Himself. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt. 28:19). Then it was given to bishops, and afterwards to the priests.
XII. Obligations of the Baptized
(1) Before receiving baptism. One must publicly declare:
Rev. Marcos Daoud, The Orthodox Church Sacraments,
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