Book Review: Quotes from Understanding Baptism by Bobby Jamieson


Quotes from Understanding Baptism
by Bobby Jamieson

“Baptism is a church’s act of affirming and portraying a believer’s union with Christ by immersing him or her in water, and a believer’s act of publicly committing him or herself to Christ and his people, thereby uniting a believer to the church and marking off him or her from the world.” (6)

“Baptism is a sign of the gospel’s application. It is a sign that this person has turned from sin and has been united to Christ by faith.” (8)

“Those who repented of sin and trusted in Jesus were baptized. Baptism is the first public act of the faith that receives Christ as Savior and Lord.” (10)

“If you’re uneasy about going public with your faith, look at baptism as a help rather than a hurdle. Jesus hasn’t left it up to your boldness or creativity to figure out how to declare yourself a Christian; he’s shown you how to do it. He’s made it simple. All you have to do is profess your faith in Christ and then lean back and hold your breath.” (11)

“To join yourself to Jesus is to join his people. Baptism, then, is a commitment to follow Christ in the company of his church. In baptism a Christian commits to loving, serving, and submitting to Christ’s people.” (13)

“In baptism, the church says to the world, ‘Look here! This one belongs to Jesus!’ And because baptism identifies someone as a Christian, it initiates that person into the company of the church, Christ’s new covenant people on earth.” (14)

“It’s important to recognize that baptism isn’t a mere human tradition. It’s not something the church invented. It’s not something we Christians only happen to do and could just as well not do. Instead, it’s a command from Christ that is binding on all believers in all places at all times.” (14)

“Being joined to Christ by faith is what saves us. The ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper portray and ratify that union; they do not effect it.” (23)

“The way into God’s new covenant people - the only way - is to be born again by the Spirit. . . . The new covenant does not operate by birth but by rebirth. So the sign of the new covenant should only be given to those who give evidence of that rebirth by their profession of faith in Christ.” (31)

“So, despite the noble intentions of Christians who practice paedobaptism, baptizing infants will make the church’s salt less salty, its light less bright (Matt. 5:13-16). Paedobaptism will, over time, make the church more like the world, because it brings the world into the church.” (32)

“Circumcision said to Israel, ‘Make yourselves new!’ Baptism says to Christians, ‘This one has been made new!” (34)

“Baptism and the Lord’s Supper ratify the covenant relation which is church membership. Therefore, there is no such thing as membership without baptism. To speak of membership without baptism is like speaking of a marriage without vows. Marriage is a covenant relation constituted by vows; membership is a covenant relation constituted by the oath-signs of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. You can’t have the relation without the oath that constitutes it. Therefore, you can’t have membership without baptism.” (49)

“Baptism pictures and promotes the gospel. And baptism designates and draws a line around the people of the gospel- those who have repented of sin and trusted in Christ. Baptism matters because of the gospel it so vividly signifies.” (71)

“The bottom line is, every Christian is commanded to be baptized. So what are you waiting for?” (22)

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