Baptism and Communion are necessary as the habitual reminder of Christianity to recall the sacrifice of Jesus.
BeritaMujizat.com -Theology- Almost all Christian denominations believe in and practice water baptism and communion. There are a variety of opinions about the proper mode of baptism.
Some feel that infants may be baptized while others think that only older children or adults should be baptized. There are also a variety of modes that are used. Some administer baptism by sprinkling water on the candidate, other by pouring water on them, and still others by full immersion.
In addition, there is also a difference of opinion about who may baptize, some believe that only recognized ministers, such as pastors or ordained ministers can baptize, while others think that any believer can baptize a person who comes to Christ.
While these differences exist one thing that is agreed upon is that a Christian should be baptized. The reason for this agreement is because Jesus explicitly commanded it (Matt. 28:19). Churches commonly refer to baptism as an ordinance or sacrament.
Most churches also recognize another ordinance or sacrament as well. I am referring to the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion. Jesus instituted it and commanded that it observed (Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-23). The apostle Paul gave extensive instructions about it in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. There are also differences of opinion regarding this practice.
In some groups bread and wine are used while others use bread and grape juice. The frequency of observance varies from group to group. Some churches observe communion at every service, some do it twice a month, and still others once a month. I was in a church that had communion every other month. Jesus did not specify how often it should be observed, but He did said then when we did observe it that we are to do it in remembrance of Him (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24-25). With this ordinance too there is a difference of opinion about who may administer the elements. Many feel that only recognized ministers can officiate at a communion service while others believe that any believer can distribute communion. There is, however, agreement that communion should be served because Christ commanded it (1 Cor. 11:24-25).
Biblically speaking baptism should be one of the first things that a person should do after becoming a Christian. Paul was baptized just a few days after he met Jesus (Acts 9:9, 18). In other New Testament texts we find that some people were baptized on the same day that they came to Christ (Acts 2:41; 10:44-48; 16:31-33)! Being baptized is important, mainly because Jesus commanded it (Matt. 28:19). It is also important because it is a visual representation of our death and resurrection with Christ (Rom. 6:3-5).
Communion is also important, in that it is regular reminder of the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf. The bread and the wine (or grape juice) remind us of His body and blood which He gave for us. This remembrance should evoke thankfulness on our part for what He has done for us. In addition, it should deflate our pride as we realize two things. First, our sin made His sacrifice necessary, and second, that we cannot save ourselves. He died in our place and for our sins (Isa. 53:5-6; 2 Cor. 5:21), He is the atonement for the sins of humanity (1 John 2:2).
A number of months ago I was in a communion service at the church I attend (which by the way is an Indonesian Pentecostal church) and I had a moment of revelation. I am not sure what it was that the pastor said but it triggered a thought in my mind. In Colossians 2:15 the apostle Paul wrote this “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (NIV). The communion service is a remembrance of the cross. Commentators have various ideas about what this verse in Colossians means. I think that every time communion is served it is a reminder to the devil and all of his evil forces that they are defeated. They are served notice each time communion is observed. And remember communion is served all around the world at different times and in different places. While part of the world has night the other part has day. So multiplied thousands, if not millions of times each day, the communion declares the defeat of evil and darkness and the triumph Jesus.
John P. Lathrop – United States
John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University, Zion Bible Institute, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME). He is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies and has twenty years of pastoral experience.