I was getting ready to assist Pastor Clifford Nhlapo with baptism when I heard two kids talking. “Why are they getting in the water?” said one. The other asked “Are they going to be wet all over?” I said “Yes, they are getting baptized” I thought about that answer … What does that really mean?
There are many different views on baptism in Christendom. What do we as Seventh day Adventist mean when we say baptism? I think that baptism characterizes Christian devotion, it is a sign of Christian discipleship.
Now linguistically the English word baptism comes from a Greek word ‘baptizo’, a word which means to “dip, immerse, plunge, sink, drench, overwhelm” The word implies immersion rather than sprinkling or pouring. I looked at same passages in the Bible e.g. Mark 1:10; John 3:23; Acts 8:38-39.
As I stood there that Sabbath watching and assisting in the baptism, I thought to myself that we are making the assumption that these men and women, boys and girls in this service are expressing their faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. Paul in his theological argument for baptism says that baptism commemorates the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
On July 25, 2015 as we were closing the MN African Twin Cities Camp Meeting, we witnessed the baptism of 18 souls who received the Word. They were baptized and will be added to the church as disciples. As these souls were being baptized, they were openly and publicly identifying themselves with Christ.
We Adventists make the assumption that these people who are getting baptized have accepted Christ and thus are acknowledging that they now have died to sin. When they come out from the water they are raised anew into the newness of life. As a church, we teach that baptism is a rite of passage into the Christian church, thus those that are baptized take on a new orientation in life. They pledge to follow Jesus Christ, to serve him and support Christ’s mission through the church.
The Seventh day Adventist Church believes that the church is commissioned by Christ to a) Go to all people- preaching the everlasting gospel, b) teach and baptize, and c) make disciple by teaching them to observe all things Christ commanded. Discipleship then happens when men and women, boys and girls follow the Acts 2:41 blueprint 1) receive the word, 2) be baptized, and 3) be added to the church.
 William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1957), p 131
Brian K. Mungandi, Vice President for Administration
e-TNL is an informational bulletin issued by the Communications Department of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. You are free to re-print any portion of the bulletin without need for special permission. However, we kindly request that you identify e-TNL whenever you publish these materials.