Christian Baptism Ceremony
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Christian Baptism Ceremony
Page 33

Justin Martyr

Writings Of Justin MartyrJustin Martyr (100-165 AD), an Early Christian apologist begins where the Christian life begins in Christian baptism. Christian baptism is the public declaration by a person that he or she has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord or that godparents had made the same promise. Baptism is administered on a child's behalf by two or three godparents who make the same promises but also commit to bringing up the child in the Christian faith. This dates back to the Jewish concept of the dedication of a child in the Temple or synagogue and the tradition in the later Early Church of baptizing whole households including infants and babies. This was to become the norm in the institutional church that grew up in the fourth and later centuries. Justin explains Christian baptism, "We tell those who accept Christian teaching, and promise to live the Christian life, to pray and fast for forgiveness, praying and fasting with them."

Washed in the Name

Waterway Amongst The TreesJustin Martyr continues, "We then bring them where there is water, and they are born again, just as all we Christians have been. Washed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as we learned from the Apostles. We then bring them to the place where the other Christians are assembled." When Christian buildings are later built, this idea is reflected in the notion of a separate building as a "Baptistery" such as at Assisi in Italy where the round baptistery building stands next to the rectangular church and the Bell Tower, still with its astonishing lean! Once a person is baptized and only then is he or she allowed into the worship building proper "where other Christians are assembled" to join the rest of the believers. The famous "Leaning Tower of Pisa" in Italy is the tall bell tower which is one of three structures together including a round baptistry and a rectangular church.

Tertullian

TertullianAnother prolific early Christian author and church leader from Carthage in North Africa called Tertullian (160-220 AD) explains the baptism ceremony. "We all pray, for ourselves, the newly baptized, and for others everywhere, asking God that, as we have learned the truth, we may now show by our deeds that we are good citizens and keepers of the commandments, and so we may be saved with eternal salvation. After the prayers, we greet each other as brothers." Tertullian was a Roman lawyer born in Carthage in North Africa and became a Christian in 195 AD. As a lawyer, he is renowned for his vivid and persuasive words.

Tertullian Writing

Tertullian At Writing Desk IconTertullian later returns to Carthage and uses this skill as a Christian teacher, presbyter, and writer. Tertullian always has something to say which makes the hearer listen, think, and remember.

"Christian Baptism Ceremony"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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