Saturday, July 20, 2019

Allen: the meaning of Baptism

Saturday, July 20, 2019
    Commemoration of Bartolomè de las Casas, Apostle to the Indies, 1566
    For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
    —1 Corinthians 12:13 (NIV)
    This total and entire conversion of the inner man, this absolute doing away of the old and acceptance of the new life, being in its nature a real breach and not a formal one, necessarily involved a corresponding outward breach with the old form of life. Of this breach baptism was the sacrament. In baptism the change was effected and realized in fact. Baptism was not a mere formal external act, a symbol of a spiritual fact which was already complete without it. A Spiritual conversion which was not also a conversion of life was no conversion at all, but a delusion... With the heart man believes, with the mouth he confesses; but a mouth which does not confess disproves the existence of a heart that believes. The soul cannot be God’s and the life not God’s at the same time. The soul can not be recreated and the life remain unchanged. The spiritual breach is proved and realized and completed in the outward breach. Where there is no outward change, it is safe to deny an inward change. Faith without baptism and all that baptism involved was consequently no part of St. Paul’s teaching.
    ... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or ours?, London: World Dominion Press, 1927, reprinted, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1962, p. 71-72 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 6:3-4; 10:9; 1 Cor. 12:13; Col. 2:11-20
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have baptized my heart.
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