I’ve been asking this question for YEARS and no one has been able to answer it, satisfactorily. It, I dare admit, actually became a stumbling block for me. I didn’t see the point of being baptized if no one could give me an answer other than, “Because Jesus did it.” Ok..I wanted to know why even JESUS did it! And they’d just say, “To relate to us.” No, sorry, I’m not buying it…those aren’t actually REAL answers!! My question: WHY is a believer baptized? What’s the historical foundation of it? What is the symbolic root? Where is the origin of baptism?
This has been a very frustrating question for my previous elders, deacons, pastors, friends who’ve graduated seminary and some of the most learned men I’ve had the privilege of meeting…
I even attended a highly energetic 2 day conference/debate on The Great Debate over Baptism and the Covenant. And, much to my complete frusturation – I walked away STILL unsatisfied by the lack of information. The conference was a debate between Credo vs. Paedobaptists (believers vs. infant baptism). I thought it was going to be a 2 day seminar on baptism – guess I was WRONG. So, believe me, I was totally bored by the 2nd day and left after lunch and went shopping instead!
But even there…no one could answer my very simple question: WHERE did baptism come from? I knew it had to be in the Bible somewhere…why didn’t these very learned men know?!?! Of course, I will give the men some grace: I was a mere woman…attending the conference solo, (without my covering…er…husband), therefore I wasn’t actually allowed to ASK the question to the general audience (because of the sociological contraints of this particular crowd). I had to ask a friends’ husband, and he asked the men, and they all had no idea….I don’t even think they really understood my question! I kind of wonder if the man asked the other men the question correctly. I mean…you know… well… I won’t go there! HA!
Anyway, I KNEW there had to be a clear historical symbolic root to the belief in covenantal baptism of believers. I knew this in my gut, because God doesn’t work in unseen methods. As far as I know (which, admittedly, isn’t much) He is faithful to give us a physical example of any doctrinal point – and they are always found in the Old Testament. Where was the OT basis for baptism?!?!?! And why didn’t anyone know!?!?!
So, imagine my delight when I read I Peter 3:21 this morning and learned that the foundational, historical and spiritual root origin of believer’s baptism was exemplified by God for us through the Noadic/Noahic Flood. Christ’s water baptism was an extension of this event in order to fulfill obligations so that his work here would be complete.
More to come …. breakfast was FANTASTIC this morning!! (Yeah, that was cheezy I know…what can I say.)