Christian Baptism Ceremony
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33. Christian Baptism Ceremony

Justin Martyr

 Of Justin Martyr's WritingsJustin Martyr (100-165 AD), an Early Christian apologist, begins where the Christian life begins in Christian baptism. Christian baptism is the public declaration that a person accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord or that godparents make the same promise on a child's behalf. Baptism is administered by two or three godparents who commit to bringing up the child in the Christian faith. This initiation dates back to the Jewish concept of a child's dedication in the Temple or synagogue and the tradition in the later Early Church of baptizing whole households, including infants and babies. Infant baptism becomes the norm in the institutional church that grew up in the fourth and later centuries. Justin explains Christian initiation, "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." Justin 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 assemble." In later centuries, the church build a separate building as a "Baptistery," such as at Assisi in Italy. The round baptistery building stands next to the rectangular church and the Bell Tower, with its astonishing lean! Once a person is baptized, and only then are they allowed into the worship building proper "where other Christians assemble" to join the rest of the believers. The famous "Leaning Tower of Pisa" in Tuscany, Italy, is a 191 feet tall bell tower from 1173 AD.


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 is a Roman lawyer born in Carthage in North Africa and becomes 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 © 2021

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