Meaning and significance of baptism for Christians today
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There are many meanings and responsibilities with important significances of Christians today through baptism. Being baptised as a Christian means that you become a full member of the church community and the significance of that is that you have to worship God in church every Sunday with the community as that is what Christianity is about. We are told to keep the Sabbath holy in the Ten Commandments.
When we were baptised, we joined God’s family so we also joined the commission that Jesus his son gave us. Jesus told us to preach the Gospel, heal the sick and cast out evil sprits. A practical understanding of this for Christians today is to stand up for the Word of God and the Gospel and lead example for others according to the Gospel, to help people who are in need of someone and give your time to someone, for example, giving money to charity like CAFOD or Christian Aid, and putting a stop to any evil you see, for example, if someone is doing something wrong, you should tell them to stop and show them what is right, and also get rid of any evil and temptation in yourself.
Being baptised means becoming a child of God and the significance of this is to follow God’s will and values which means following the Ten Commandments, which all have practical meanings for Christians today as they are. Jesus also gave us these commandments; to love your neighbour as yourself, to love your enemies, to put yourself last before anyone else and to forgive everyone. Today, loving your neighbour and enemies means not treating people whom you don’t like badly or differently to others. Putting yourself last means that you live life as God wants and trying to forget about material things. Christianity means thinking of others before yourself and making sure that something you do to please you doesn’t affect others around you in a bad way.
But it doesn’t mean letting everyone walk all over you and never thinking of yourself. Other Christian beliefs include the fact that all life is sacred so some Christians, like the Roman Catholics and Protestants are totally against abortion and positive euthanasia, however some Christian denominations believe that they are acceptable under certain circumstances, for example the Methodist Church and the Anglican Church. In a practical use today, Christians must stand up to these injustices, obviously not commit them themselves and try to stop anyone else performing these acts as best you can.
Jesus also told us that we must ‘carry our cross’ and the significance of this is that we have to bear any sufferings that are in our lives that we can’t change but have to live with, and we shouldn’t constantly grumble about them. We should also help other people carry their crosses if we can so if we see anyone in trouble or upset, we should try to help them with their problems or help them to cope. However, we should not accept any suffering that we do not have to bear, like if are being bullied or abused as this is unjust and we should do everything to fight it for ourselves and for other people. Christians also strive for peace and acceptance of other Christians. The Quakers’ priority is peace and The Salvation Army’s priority is helping others.
In believer’s baptism the adults are forgiven of as well as all their previous sins and are allowed to make a fresh start as their sins are washed away. In infant baptism infants are cleansed of Original Sin, which comes from the sins that Adam, and Eve committed, which is the temptation to sin.
When we are baptised and become Christians we have many rules and beliefs that you have to live up to and follow, but you also become a member of God’s family, a member of the Christian community and gain eternal life.