April 26, 2002

Jesus’ Baptism and Ours

Category: Theology - Liturgical :: Permalink

I can’t say that I had thought much about the relationship between Jesus’ baptism by John and the meaning of our baptisms. Here’s a quotation from Geoffrey Bromiley’s Sacramental Teaching and Practice in the Reformation Churches:

The clue to the meaning of baptism is to be found in the baptism of Jesus Himself at the hands of John. As was noted by many sixteenth-century exegetes, all the persons of the Trinity are present and active at this baptism. The Father speaks the word of election from heaven, acknowledging Jesus as the elected Son. Baptism is thus a sacrament of the covenant of election. The Son is the One baptized, accepting the baptism of repentance, and thus entering the way of identification with sinners which was to reach its climax in His obedient self-offering on the cross. Baptism is thus a sacrament of the fulfillment of the covenant in the substitutionary death and resurrection of the incarnate Son. The Holy Spirit is the One who descends upon the Son, empowering Him for the ministry upon which He enters. Baptism is thus a sacrament of the outpouring of the Holy Ghost (p. 21).

Bromiley goes on to say that baptism indicates to us that our salvation is not grounded in our own decision, but in the Father’s loving choice of us, that it rests on the finished work of the Son, and that now, by the Holy Spirit, we are “called and claimed for the new life effected in Christ” (p. 22). To my mind, this section on baptism was the most interesting part of the book and I won’t be done thinking about it for quite a while.

Posted by John Barach @ 10:55 am | Discuss (0)

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