The Roles Of Baptism In Christianity

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Christianity is expressed in a variety of different ways by adherents as there are many different ways individuals interpret Christianity. Saint Francis of Assisi is a venerated figure in Roman Catholic history contributing greatly to the way Christians chose to live their lives. In the 12th century, he reminded all that Christianity was supposed to be simple and charitable. The Christian Church was becoming greedy seeking money and fame. Therefore Saint Francis of Assisi was pivotal in developing the expression of Christianity. Baptism was another major expression of Christianity used by adherents. Baptism welcomes adherents and begins their Christian mission calling them to live their lives just as Christ did.

Saint Francis was a key figure in galvanising Christianity and the way it was expressed during the 12th century. Born in 1181 in Assisi, Italy he went to war at the age of twenty where he was captured by the enemy spending almost a year in prison. Allegedly at this time, he started receiving visions from God. Following his release from prison, Saint Francis believed he had heard a message from God whilst looking at the crucifix outside the San Damiano Church saying “Francis, go repair my house, which as you can see, is falling completely to ruin.” This caused Saint Francis to rebuild the Christian Church and live a life of poverty obeying God’s orders and leaving behind his luxurious life and live as Christ did, a life of poverty and chastity. The church had become obsessed with money and power. The wealthy were considered more important than the poor yet Saint Francis had a strong belief that everybody deserved the love of Christ. He was promoting peace and the love of God during the time of the Crusades when the Jewish, Muslims and Christians were at war with one another. He asked them to live in harmony. He preached so strongly that his father dragged him to the bishop insisting he is punished as he was seen by many as a mad man. This led Saint Francis to strip himself of his clothes, lay them at his father’s feet and remark “up to today I called you father, but now I can say in all honesty, ‘Our Father who art in heaven.’” Saint Francis then walked to the San Damiano Church and began to live a life of silence and solitude. He travelled around Europe preaching the Lord’s message of simplicity, repentance and radical obedience to Christ’s teaching creating the Franciscan rule to observe the Lord’s message and live a life of obedience, with no property and in chastity. In his final years, Saint Francis popularised the living Creche (also known as the nativity set) and continued to highlight the poverty that Jesus Christ was born into. Saint Francis believed that it was important that Christians “preach the gospel at all times, using words if necessary.” There is a distinct connection between Saint Francis and the Colossians 3:9-10 scripture reference as the reference states “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” Saint Francis began to change himself and take off his old self by becoming devoted to God and by taking off his clothes and choosing to live as Jesus did. He put on his new self by beginning to devote his life to God and through doing this he grew his knowledge of the world and its connection to Christ. Saint Francis is also well known for his love of nature and the environment. “He believed that nature itself was the mirror of God so being at one with nature helped you understand God.

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Baptism also plays a major role in how Christianity is expressed by adherents as it marks the beginning of Christians mission to live out the Gospel values representative of Christ’s message. Baptism is an expression of the five principal beliefs within Christianity being divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the nature of God (creator and trinity), revelation and baptism being necessary for salvation. The white garment is one of the universal symbols of baptism linking to Christ’s divinity and humanity as receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit causes the person being baptised to essentially be enrobed in Christ. This also links to Jesus’ Great Commission of the Disciples and therefore the Baptismal Call to evangelise and to vocation for Christ. There is also a clear connection between baptism and the Genesis 9:17 scripture as the reference states “the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth”. Baptism is representative of the covenant that is created between God and humankind as it is the beginning of a Christian’s relationship with God. Water is also a universal symbol of baptism shown through various scripture references including 1 Peter 3:21 which states “and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” This is obviously referring to the belief that being immersed in water during baptism creates a clear covenant between God and the person being baptised as they are cleansed and ready to follow the gospel message. Therefore Baptism plays a significant role in how Christians choose to be more Christ-like in their expression as it renews their belief in the Holy Spirit and calls them to live a life that parallels the life of Christ. By receiving and accepting the Holy Spirit Christians are called to follow their mission of preaching the message of the Gospel to all the world.

Christianity is expressed in a variety of different ways by adherents as there are many different ways individuals can interpret what it means to be a Christian. Saint Francis aimed to rebuild the Christian Church and had a significant contribution to how adherents are called to be more Christ-like in their expression. He emphasised living a simple, non-materialistic life that was solely devoted to God. Baptism has also played an important role in how Christianity is expressed by adherents as it starts their Christian mission getting Christians to attempt to live their lives just like Christ. Baptism is representative of the covenant that is created between God and humankind as it is the beginning of a Christian’s relationship with God.

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The Roles Of Baptism In Christianity. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-roles-of-baptism-in-christianity/
“The Roles Of Baptism In Christianity.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/the-roles-of-baptism-in-christianity/
The Roles Of Baptism In Christianity. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-roles-of-baptism-in-christianity/> [Accessed 16 Jun. 2024].
The Roles Of Baptism In Christianity [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2024 Jun 16]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-roles-of-baptism-in-christianity/
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