Monday, June 18, 2012

ordo saludis interruptus: circumcision>baptism>sinner's prayer.?

Viola  (below) suggests that the "sinner's prayer" has become the new baptism (as "the initial confession of faith."  He doesn't mention it, but baptism has often been seen as the new covenant parallel to circumcision..thus my  post title...raising questions of what will come next in this historical progression and what do certain cultures/traditions see as the functional equivalent..

This article also raises the issue of how long one should wait before baptism (or confirmation/church membership. Wesley had his folks wait for a year or so of teaching).  We had some great discussion on this in Acts class last week, based on this chart.  Bob Lyon at Asbury challenged us to see this as a "package deal,"...which could sometimes happen out of "order" ..ordo saludis interruptus..LOL.


Most evangelical Christians believe in and practice believer’s baptism as opposed to infant baptism.1 Likewise, most Protestants believe and practice baptism by immersion or pouring rather than by sprinkling.

The New Testament as well as early church history stand with both of these positions.

However, it is typical in most contemporary churches for baptism to be separated from conversion by great lengths of time. Many Christians were saved at one age and baptized at a much later age. In the first century, this was unheard of.

In the early church, converts were baptized immediately upon believing.3 One scholar says of baptism and conversion, “They belong together. Those who repented and believed the Word were baptized. That was the invariable pattern, so far as we know.”

Another writes, “At the birth of the church, converts were baptized with little or no delay.”

In the first century, water baptism was the outward confession of a person’s faith.6 But more than that, it was the way someone came to the Lord. For this reason, the confession of baptism is vitally linked to the exercise of saving faith. So much so that the New Testament writers often use baptism in place of the word faith and link it to being “saved.”7 This is because baptism was the early Christian’s initial confession of faith in Christ. 

In our day, the “sinner’s prayer” has replaced the role of water baptism as the initial confession of faith. Unbelievers are told, “Say this prayer after me, accept Jesus as your personal Savior, and you will be saved.” But nowhere in all the New Testament do we find any person being led to the Lord by a sinner’s prayer.

Instead, unbelievers in the first century were led to Jesus Christ by being taken to the waters of baptism. Put another way, water baptism was the sinner’s prayer in century one! Baptism accompanied the acceptance of the...continued here

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!