The Continual Nature of Baptism

In many religious denominations baptism is considered as a material rite, a sacrament, taking place at one time to signify purification. Some people use water baptism through immersion, others use it through a sprinkling ceremony. Christ Jesus submitted to water baptism because he felt it symbolized the necessity of moral cleansing and the time and custom demanded it. He said, "Suffer it to be so now." Matt. 3:15; But it must be understood that he did not employ such a ceremony in his own ministry or advocate it for his followers.

One of the difficulties in considering baptism as a material ceremony is that we are liable to lose sight of the continual spiritual cleansing that is the essence of baptism. John the Baptist spoke of Jesus as one who would baptize "with the Holy Ghost, and with fire." v. 11; And throughout Jesus' teaching he advocated continual purification of thought and life that resulted in healing and regeneration. Christian Science corroborates this and stresses the spiritualization of thought that actually and permanently liberates one from sin and disease. Mrs. Eddy defines "baptism" in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health, as "purification by Spirit; submergence in Spirit." Science and Health, p. 581;

May 2, 1970

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