The Christian faith is the completion of the Jewish law; it came under Jesus Christ to call the world to salvation; and an integral part of salvation for all Christians is their willingness and obedience to be baptised. Christian rites are very reminiscent of ancient Jewish rites and this right of passage into the church, baptism even had its origins and it’s parallel in the Jewish purification rites of Mikvah and circumcision.
Mikvah purified a person before they entered the temple, washing away their temporal sins, circumcision made a physical mark to determine Jews from non-Jews, but baptism went a step further. It removes from us the initial sin, our human inclination to sin, making us a new creation in union with God through Christ Jesus, therefore it is performed only once when they are in acceptance of God’s grace and not thereafter. In the words of Christ it is to be born again.
This man, Benjamin Izakiel, is a Jewish man who has decided to convert to Christianity. He has accepted Christian doctrine inwardly, but now he must profess his faith through an outward show of obedience and experience the true saving power of following Jesus’s own baptism, the passion, death and resurrection. The resurrected person will feel different, they have just been initiated into God’s family, the church and begun their Christian journey of life. As such, they partake in new responsibilities, identity, understanding of God, a new way of life imbued with deeper spiritual meaning.
As such, Benjamin prays deeply before his baptism, the most important sacrament, and the instruments of god’s love, dedicated to us by Christ himself. He will adorn himself in pure white robes, and as such be seen in the true purity and inherent goodness of all of God’s creation when reconciled with God.
This sacrament is not just important to the baptised, it is equally important to their sponsors or godparents, their family and the wider community. They use this time to reflect upon their own baptism, and their journey up to this point; also accepting, actively inviting a new member into their ecclesia, their church community
As you can see the baptismal font is placed at the back of the church since only those who have been baptised can partake in the church and the communion, according to common Christian belief. Quote, person who approved this.
As the ‘spirit hovered over the waters of the Earth’ [Genesis 1] before creation began, they are symbolically the two most integral ingredients for new creation, the holy spirit must be present for the baptism to truly be a new birth for the individual, and Jesus himself supported this when he said to Nicodemus- ‘Unless one is born of the water and the spirit, they can not see the kingdom of God’ [John 3: 1-5]. Therefore baptism itself through water and Holy Spirit is the means by which one can enter the Kingdom of God; the water is only a physical metaphor, it is the Holy Spirit which initiates the change within the person, grace and salvation made resolute within them.
As Christ was and is the light of the world, the lighting of candles represents his appearance and presence throughout the baptism, hence the true decision the person is making by being baptised, to unite with Christ. The crucifix also is present, to recall to those present the death and resurrection of Christ, which provided the means to our salvation through baptism and the person is chrismated, they are anointed with oil, which symbolises strength against temptation and the devil, initiated through the chrism of King David in classical times, by tradition it is also meant to make you slippery to the grasp of the devil, reinforcing the idea that it release you from your inclination to sin.
As a final representation of splitting from all evil in your previous life, the convert and all present are invited to either initiate or renew their promises to God, rejecting Satan to accept Christ. True, believing assent, not...
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