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Explain the meaning and significance of Baptism for Christians today with particular reference to how being baptised might affect the behaviour, lifestyle and decision making of Christian believers today.

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A01 Explain how Marks account of Jesus Baptism has influenced Christian beliefs and understanding of the sacrament of Baptism. Refer to the central features of Infant and Believers baptism in your answer. A Sacrament is an outward sign of an inward, spiritual blessing. Christians celebrate Sacraments as they believe that they are special channels for bringing God's love and blessing to them. They are viewed as a very important part of worship in many Christian Churches. The word Baptism was initially derived from the dipping of sheep to kill parasites. The same principle is used in baptism; those who are cleansed with water are cleansed from their sins. It is also believed that the term derives from the Greek word baptizein, which is thought to have the meaning "to dip repeatedly" or "to immerse". The Christian sacrament of baptism is the service by which people become members of the Church. There are many references to Baptism in the scriptures and Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist. In Christian Churches, there are two types of Baptism; Infant baptism; mainly practised by the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Anglican Church, and Believers Baptism; which is practised mainly by the Baptist Church. Infant baptism is based on the principles that when baptised, you are freed from original sin and you enter the Catholic Church. ...read more.


The Baptist church was formed when a group of people left the Church of England and moved to Holland in the 17th century. They formed their own church and they were known as Anabaptists but later became known as Believers Baptists. They did this because they believed that only adults should be baptised, mainly as the only reference of baptism in the bible was of Jesus' which was carried out when he was 30, so he was an adult. In both Baptisms, Jesus' baptism is recalled by both the Ministers and the Priests. Many of the rituals in the Baptisms today are derived from Jesus' own Baptism. In Believers Baptism, the candidates who wish to be baptised, are submerged in a pool of water. Before being baptised, the candidate must show knowledge that they know and understand the scriptures and their meanings. The candidates are aware of the promises they are to make, just as Jesus was 2,000 years ago. Jesus was baptised in the Jordan and Baptist Churches try to recreate his baptism by using a pool of water (the Baptistery) to baptise the candidates. Some candidates go to great lengths to be baptised in rivers and even the Jordan itself. The ceremony is conducted in front of the public and Jesus' was also a public ceremony. ...read more.


The oil of chrism is also present and this represents that the child has been chosen by god for a special task. The sign of the cross is made on the infant's forehead and this represents the trinity e.g. the father, son and Holy Spirit which were also present at the Jordan. During the proceedings a candle is lit, and this shows that the child has been lead from spiritual Darkness to light. The child wears a white robe and this represents purity and forgiveness. For many, infant baptism is a very important part of a child's Christian journey and is the foundation for receiving all of the other sacraments. To conclude, I think that Mark's account of Christ's baptism has influenced the sacrament of baptism substantially. His baptism has affected the way we think of the sacrament and changed our beliefs and the way we carry out the ceremonies. I believe that neither church is right, and neither church is wrong. Both baptisms have their roots in the Christian Church. As long as water is used during the service and the reference to the trinity, "I baptise you in the name of the father, and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, then it is considered valid by most Christian. When it comes to baptism these two factors are the main sign of unity between the Christian Churches. ?? ?? ?? ?? By James Killen S2B ...read more.

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