Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Justin Martyr on Baptism

In reading through Justin Martyr's First Apology written to Emperor Titus, I came across his high view of Baptism. I find it interesting that a man who lived right after the Apostolic Fathers would have such a differing view of the efficacy of Baptism than us Moderns. I have been studying Baptism off and on for a few years and am curious to discover the changes that have occurred to the doctrine of Baptism in the history of the Church. How do those changes in doctrine play out in changing our culture? History can be a hard teacher. I have his words below for reflection:
"Those that are persuaded and believe that the things we say are true, and promise that they can live accordingly, are instructed to pray and beseech God with fasting for the remission of their past sins, while we pray and fast along with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are reborn by the same manner of rebirth by which we ourselves were reborn; for they are then washed in the water in the name of God the Father and Master of all, and of our savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit. For Christ said, 'Unless you are born again you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.'"