Monday, 7 December 2009

Baptism: Response to Grace

John pointedly asserts that he is Jesus Christ would come to baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire; and winnow tools ready in his hand to clear his threshing place and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff will be burned - His is not the unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:11-12). This should be taken into consideration for someone when they come to God. John the Baptist rebuked with a loud and calling the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the two groups in the era of community leaders were called vipers when they came to ask themselves to be baptized. The Pharisees were people who felt themselves the most to understand the Torah and the Sadducees were felt most loved nation.

Not respect or praise that they get harsh reprimand but instead they received since John the Baptist knew what was their motivation. Pharisees and the Sadducees, but instead converted them just want to get the legality of their social status, they take with them will get baptized power and greater strength. John the Baptist was not easy to be fooled by their outward appearance is beautiful because he felt the need to correct and rebuke them openly and directly in front of their eyes. Term vipers for a fact they want to say John the Baptist. Even the Lord Jesus himself in Matthew 23 also provides the same picture as John the Baptist; sentence matching is also spoken by the Lord Jesus. Pharisees and the Sadducees did not deny it because they truly realize the reality that the title of vipers is appropriate for him. The person who said "love God and love people" really nothing more than a mere manipulator.

John the Baptist opened the presence of Jesus Christ who became the core of the Word, just because He is, he would be opening the road. John the Baptist provides a qualitative comparison between her and Jesus' baptism that he was given only as a sign of repentance will be but Christ Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11). What do John the Baptist in baptism is only a mere phenomenal response that is a baptism of repentance, but by Christ is essential. The baptism of John's baptism different quality made by Christ, then we need to understand the concept of this baptism.

Baptism is a sacrament established by the Lord Jesus (Matthew 28:19). However, since the 18th century Anabaptist flow appears, the flow is not responsible in providing theological ideas. Flow Anabaptist baptism would change the terms that have been taught the Bible and has been understood mankind since thousands of years ago. They narrowed the meaning of baptism by immersion for baptism comes from the word baptizo (Greek) which means immersion. Thus, the baptized person must diselam into the water rather than pour water over his head.

According to the logic, if the word means diving baptizo in the Bible should not be a word baptism (Matthew 3:11) because every word "baptism" must be replaced with the word "dive". Baptizo should not be understood simply from the meaning of words. Baptizo words in the Bible translated by baptism, the sacrament of baptism. We did not find a word in the Bible was written by immersion, for example in Lk. 11:38 the word there translated baptizo by washing hands. Therefore, we reject the opinion expressed by flow Anabaptists. The word "dive" as the meaning of the word "baptizo" no sense of the word in Christianity but the thought slipped into the world of Christianity.

The word logos (Greek) in the Bible means "the Word" but the word logos by a philosopher, which is defined as Heraklitos universal mind. This is a fatal mistake made by many people interpret the words in the Bible with reckless. Baptizo or baptism not only understood the extension, which is diving or splash but we must understand the essence of baptism, a sacrament that is set by the Lord Jesus himself. The Bible defines baptism as a sign of repentance in accordance with the contents of the news called: "Repent, the kingdom of heaven is near". John the Baptist baptizing of the phenomenon because after all he is just an ordinary human being so difficult for him to be able to understand exactly what is the motivation of people want to be baptized. It is not easy for us to understand whether a person has repented or not?

Remember, Christ will come and baptize with the Holy Spirit and with the consuming fire because he was ready for winnowing, cleaning and gather his wheat into the barn and the chaff will be burned in unquenchable fire is not. Hearing this, should the Pharisees and the Sadducees made aware of their motivation, but unfortunately, they think of baptism as something fun because it can raise their social status. To this day there are many people who believe that baptism is merely ordinary ceremony. Christianity reminds us that baptism should not be understood only as the baptism ceremony but must be understood in essence, is a moment that shows that the Holy Spirit had been working first for us and we just react it. Calvin also affirms that baptism is the gift of God that precedes human response, the grace of God is prior to human response.

Human beings may not be responding to God's call only the Spirit that enables us to be responding to his call. Christian faith is faith, faith in action not reaction so do not you ever, ever think that what we do right now is for the sake of helping others. No! We are not trying to help others but we are fulfilling the will of God and give an appropriate response to the grace of God. Remember, if until this moment we are still able to live and serve God is not because of our greatness, but only because of the grace of God alone. God was pleased to make our sinful human beings to be God's fellow workers, took part in the work of God. Then how do we respond?

Thus, baptism is a proclamation of ourselves is how we react to the grace of God. If we do not understand this then we just be people who just take action and just waiting for a reaction. For example, people always want to get a positive reaction as a result of the actions of their good deeds are done and people would be upset if the reaction he has received does not match the action they did. When people do good then he'll want to get rewarded and he will be angry if people react negatively. Christians should react in advance rather than action. The reaction is aware of the love of God who has redeemed us so we will show our action, namely to respond to God's love by doing other people's love with love like God. Son of God who realized the grace of God would want to please God with everything he does.

John the Baptist wanted to revive the Pharisees and the Sadducees that they should react to the grace of God. However, the question now is whether God really beranugerah over them? We will experience growth in the faith that our life is built on the essence of baptism. God's Great Commission that Jesus gave was that we went first disciple and then later to baptize them (Matthew 28:19-20) rather than vice versa so the baptism was not done in vain. And what about the baptism of children? The baptism of children was done by the grace of God descended first on their parents so they can be born in the midst of Christian families. Parents must take responsibility to educate children in faith in Christ; parents to channel God's blessing and representatives to educate the children of God entrusted them. Today, with the pretext give the child a choice on many Christian parents who do not want to baptize her son. But the fact is they do not take responsibility for educating children in the fear of the Lord Christ. Children born in the grace to get grace, too. The concept of a true baptism should be more aware of the grace of God of abundance and we can grow in the true sense baptizo.

Remember, baptism is behind the appearance of responsibility, a selection that will throw us into the fire if we are not wrong. Ironically, today people are fighting over the baptism of the phenomenon was limited to just, lasting only until the limited way if diselam or sprinkling. If we only understand baptism to dive or splash the extent it means that we have shifted the essence of appearance; we had abused the meaning of baptism to the lowest place. Remember, baptism is not a ticket to heaven because there are opinions that say that only a baptized subs we will survive. Wrong! If salvation is only obtained through a submarine, then what about the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross to atone for sin? Salvation does not lie in diving or water problems but in Christ Jesus. If in order to achieve salvation, one must be baptized by immersion and then what about sick people who can not diselam?

So, salvation is a gift of God and is God's gift also if we can realize that it is a thanksgiving, we must respond to that gift. Remember, and understand that: "The grace of God precedes the human response, the Grace of God is prior to human response"; God beranugerah humans react to the grace, the Lord is doing well in our first and human beings should respond to the goodness of God that is to love his neighbor with love like the love of God. God's first act and react as such human beings we understand who God is and who I am. Let as Christians we are always aware that life and all that exists in us is His gift; all belonged to Him belongs so we have to restore all that is in us for the sake of the glory of His name alone. Amen.