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The water used in baptism is ordinary, clear, clean water. As such, it pictures in a spiritual sense the cleansing and life-giving qualities of water in a natural sense. The water used serves a special, spiritual, and holy purpose in baptism, but it is not special, spiritual, or holy water of itself; it contains no magical or graceinfusing ingredients, as some teach. The specialness of the water of baptism is in its spiritual use, not in its physical composition.

Holy Baptism is to be administered in the Name of the Triune God -Father, Son, and Holy Ghost -by a servant of God, an ordained minister. These two requirements are mandatory for biblical baptism. Jesus commanded His apostles, those ordained by Him, to preach and administer the sacraments, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19).

To accept a transferred member's baptism as genuine, a church must be assured of the above two requirements. A church may not examine internal matters regarding this point, e.g., if it believes that another baptizing minister is truly regenerated or internally called by God, but it must examine the outward circumstances -if the trinitarian formula was used for baptism and if the officiating male minister was duly ordained by his denomination.

The sacrament of Holy Baptism is administered by all Christian church denominations, yet pronounced differences in administration and meaning are observed. These variations center in the differing answers to the following three questions:

    1. What are the proper modes or methods of baptizing?

    2. Who are the proper subjects or persons for baptizing?

    3. What is the proper meaning or value of baptism?

Read Acts 8:36-38:

And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Is any reference made to special water being used in this example? Is this true of any scriptural example of baptism?

  • Composition -Makeup or constitution of an object; its parts and properties
  • Mandatory -Necessary; compulsory; required
  • Would a Reformed church accept the baptism of a person who was:

  • Baptized by a Roman Catholic priest?
  • Baptized by a protestant minister in the name of faith, hope, and charity? Why or why not?
  • Mode - Method; form; manner; way

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