Meditation for 10/30/2019
“When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. ‘If you consider me a believer in the Lord,’ she said, ‘come and stay at my house.’ And she persuaded us.” (Acts 16:15)
The household baptisms in Acts raise the question whether babies or other nonbelievers were baptized. We certainly may suppose that there were babies, small children, slaves, and others in some of these households. Luke is very consistent: in every case he mentions that those who believed, or those who received his word, were baptized.
In verse 14, the Lord opened Lydia’s heart to receive Paul’s message; and in verse 15, she identified herself as a believer in the Lord.” Baptism is the outward sign of this inward belief in the Lord Jesus. Only believers are proper subjects for baptism. In verse 31 it states. Believe in the Lord Jesus, and your whole household will be saved—-you and your whole household.” Those who believe in infant baptism, take the vows for the child but the child upon becoming a member of the church, will make their own, informed statement of faith.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, Your church has argued over a multitude of issues throughout history, some more important than others. Regarding baptism, there is a statement of faith by believers for a candidate or they are making a statement of faith in honor of and on behalf of an infant, so they will be able to share citizenship in the Covenant, membership in Christ, and redemption by God. The promises for infants are made for them by their parents and sponsors, who guarantee that the infants will be brought up within the Church, to know Christ and be able to follow Him. Salvation is offered to all, but not all can make the declaration at the same time. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Everyone you meet will live forever, the question is where?”
“Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.” (Acts 18:8)
Always the order is absolutely important: first, believe in the Lord; then, be baptized. This occurs whether it is the individual speaking for themselves, or the parents of an infant speaking the belief for them. Baptism was the outward expression of the inward belief. In the case of Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, his entire household was not baptized because he believed. Rather, a Luke says, he and his entire household believed in the Lord. Because of this belief in Jesus they were baptized.
Ordinances, Baptismal Candidate: (Acts 2:38-41)
Peter’s sequence is important: first repent, and then be baptized. The answer Peter gave is confirmed by Luke’s comment in verse 41 that those who received his word were baptized. Baptism was the public act of confession of Christ in whose name they were baptized. Forgiveness of sins was and is the goal. Repentance and confession of Christ’s name are the way. Baptism is the outward, public symbol of repentance and confession. With repentance and baptism they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise of the Spirit is for all whom the Lord call, for them and their children, and for all who are far of. The Spirit anointed Jesus at His baptism (John 1:32). This is why in an infants baptism, the parents and sponsors renounce Satan, there is a confession of sin, and commitments to raise the child in the Church, to protect the child. During the service, they children are anointed with oil to received the Holy Spirit, as do we all.
Second Thought of the Day:
“He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—-you and your household.’ Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.” (Acts 16:31-34)
The candidate/s are required to believe in the lord Jesus Christ. This requirement is stated several times. When Jesus healed the ten lepers, He told them to go show themselves to the priests, so that they would be certified as completely healed and restored to their community. Only one, stopped and returned to thank Jesus, and His reply was, “Rise and go, your faith has made you well. (Luke 17:11-19
Do you think Jesus questioned them as to their faith? It does not say He did, but He knew their hearts and minds. I believe this is also true of children and infants. This is why I also believe that He knows them as well. This is why I believe allowing the parents and sponsors to speak for the children and make their commitment to raising the children in the faith, is also appropriate. I believe the nine lepers who were also healed simply were hurrying to show their priest that they were healed, as Jesus told them to do. I also believe that in their prayers, they also would thank God for healing them. Don’t you?