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Explain the meaning and significance of Baptism for Christians today.

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Introduction

Explain the meaning and significance of Baptism for Christians today. Baptism is recognized in the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches as a welcome into the family of God. They believe that from the moment of Baptism the child has a responsibility and dedication to God and the Church. Baptism is important to Christians as it allows the person to make a fresh start and turn away from sin. It allows Christians to symbolically experience the death and resurrection of Jesus. Christians receive strength to resist temptation through baptism and are then invited into the family of God. Christians feel united in the one family. The term "Born Again", describes a Christian who has been baptized. The Holy Spirit that he or she receives during the sacrament gives them new life, and a fresh start. Receiving the Holy Spirit brings them closer to Jesus and therefore the will instinctively want to follow his example more closely and be more like him. ...read more.

Middle

The candidate who wants to be baptized has truly shown remorse for their sins and wants to follow a life similar to that of Jesus'. There are a number of Signs and Symbols used in all the rites of Baptism. The most important of all the symbols is water. Water is a very powerful symbol as it has the power to give life and to take it away. A person cannot survive without water and water is known to cause death by drowning. In baptism, this symbolism is important as it represents a death to the old sinful life and a rise to a new life as a Christian. Water is used to cleanse and during Baptism, an infant is cleansed of original sin or a believer is cleansed of personal sin. In addition, the submersion in water represents Jesus' own death and resurrection. ...read more.

Conclusion

The oil of chrism is also used at confirmation. It is a symbol that the person or child has been chosen for a special task, and in the case of baptism, this special task is to live a life according to Jesus' example. The words and gestures the priest makes during the ceremony also contain great symbolism. The most important words the priest says are; "I baptize you in the name of the father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen" By saying these words, Jesus is fulfilling the role Jesus appointed his disciples before he left them. While saying this, the priest makes the sign of the cross with his hand. This expresses how it was Jesus who saved us by dying on the cross. The vows said at the baptism, are promises to reject Satan and turn away from sin. Being baptized is the first step towards living a life similar to that of Jesus as he was also baptized. Therefore, this sacrament has great significance. ...read more.

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