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Baptism and Repentance

“Why, then, does the God-man invert our expectations by seeking John’s baptism of repentance? Why does He ritually unite His sinless humanity with our corrupt humanity? Why subject His Light to our darkness and sin? Saint John, filled with the Holy Spirit, perceives this contradiction, and he “tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’” (Mt 3:14). Christ understands that the humanity He is saving must be fully assumed. He is not repenting in baptism, but rather uniting His all-pure Self to our corrupt nature in order to restore us to Himself. His pure humanity acts as a bridge from God’s holiness to our sinfulness. As Saint Paul explains: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor 5:21).” (Dynamis 1/6/2020)

“Jesus Himself does not need baptism. In being baptized, our Lord accomplished several things: (1) He affirmed John's ministry; (2) He was revealed by the Father and the Holy Spirit to be the Christ, God's beloved Son; (3) He identified with His people by descending into the waters with them; (4) He prefigured His own death, giving baptism its ultimate meaning; (5) He entered the waters, sanctifying the water itself; (6) He fulfilled the many types given in the OT, as when Moses led the people from bondage through the Red Sea (Ex 14) and when the ark of the covenant was carried into the Jordan so the people could enter the Promised Land (Jos 3; 4); and (7) He opened heaven to a world separated from God through sin.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 3:21)

“It is vital to the Christian belief in salvation from sin and death that the Father and Holy Spirit were truly present at Jesus’s own baptism and, henceforth, every baptism the church performs…baptism is not merely a sacrament of repentance and cleansing; it is also a sacrament of illumination, liberation, love, and communion.” (Vigen Guroian)

“Therefore, what unites us in Christ is not a joint hearing of the Gospel. It is not a communal baptism. It is not the same gifts of the Spirit. But what joins us together in Christ is the Holy Spirit, who is dispersed among us. Thus, the hearing of faith, the New Life of baptism, and the spiritual gifts of the Spirit all come from “one and the same Spirit who works in these things” (1 Corinthians 12:11 ).” (Fr. Basil)

“Eschatology” is both “future” and “present.” In the life of the Church, the Kingdom of God is present, yet its fulfillment is still to come. We have died with Christ and emerged from the baptismal waters in “newness of life”; yet the pathway ahead requires ascetic struggle, continual repentance and gestures of self-giving love, in the image of Christ Himself…Just as we were born once from our human parents, and inherited both our own traits, and the world that we live in from their generation, so also are we born again through Baptism in the Holy Spirit, and receive an inheritance in Christ of His likeness, and the world to come.” (Fr. John Breck, Fr. Stephen De Young)

“When the Lord entered the waters of the Jordan, He sanctified every drop of water on the face of the earth. Thus water is no longer a mere object flowing out of the tap to be either used or abused. Rather, water is now a medium for cleansing the heart, blessing the soul, and healing infirmities, for every drop has touched the sacred flesh of the Lord Christ! In being baptized, the Lord Jesus gave us not only an example to follow – to be baptized ourselves…Having united ourselves to Christ at baptism, we are united to the Lord’s basic purpose. Christ requires each of us to accept this call.” (Dynamis 1/4/2019, 9/17/2014)

“Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life…Constant repentance renews our baptism as we grow in our relationship with God.” (Saint John Climacus, Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 6:10)

"However, just as Jesus was baptized at the very beginning of His public mission, so is our baptism just the beginning. I did, indeed, receive the gift of life in the Holy Spirit, as well as the gift of His “fire,” like a spark, in my heart, at baptism. But this “fire,” which is often but a spark, needs to be constantly tended to and rekindled when necessary. A daily “re-focusing,” -that is, daily “repentance,” does this, when I take a bit of time for it, in prayer, contemplation, and self-examination. Let me remember this gift of Spirit, and fire, which I carry around in my heart, so that I tend to it on a daily basis." (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

"Baptized Christians have a responsibility to grow in faith, a calling to theosis which is the process of becoming like Christ." (Father Spyridon Baily)

“…salvation in Christ includes...a passage from death to life, from darkness to light..., through repentance, faith, and baptism...a process of spiritual growth and maturation ...through ongoing repentance, faith, and communion...” (Orthodox Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 4:16)

“Baptism and repentance have been linked from the beginning. In both Matthew 3:6 and Mark 1:5 it says that people coming to John the Baptist were being baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins…Paul said John baptized with a baptism of repentance (Acts 19:4)…Baptism initiates Christian life. We continue it though Holy Communion and repentance.” (Sacramental Living)

“After Jesus’ Baptism, He is driven into the desert. Here He fasts, He prays, He asks God to let Him serve Him faithfully, to do His will, to surrender His Life to God’s purposes and to the mission to which God has called Him. And after forty days – after all this surrender to God – He is tempted, He is challenged, He is tested. It seems that whenever we get close to God, the Devil is always at hand. Do you really mean what you say? Do you really put God first?” (Father John Zeyack)

“Christ began His mission preaching repentance. When He was baptized by John, people were coming to John to be baptized and confessing their sins. Baptism, the beginning of our Christian life, and confession (repentance), the continuation our Christian lives go hand and hand. Our Christian lives should be lived in a state of joyful repentance.” (Sacramental Living DVD/CD #1)

“…the just One who serves many well” (Is 53:11), Christ reveals through His life and teaching the high calling of servanthood. Christ Jesus illumines service and transforms serving. He raises service from a common activity and establishes it as a blessed, divine attitude of heart!...we are baptized into Christ in order to share His cup of service.” (Dynamis 8/7/2014)

“…the Lord’s call is not restricted to the clergy, or to missionaries and laypeople with specific “religious” assignments or positions. Having united ourselves to Christ at baptism, we are united to the Lord’s basic purpose. Christ requires each of us to accept this call.” (Dynamis 9/17/2014)

“The word theophany means “appearance of God.” We celebrate the Lord God’s baptism as a theophany, because on that occasion the three Persons of the Trinity were at last disclosed by name.” (Dynamis 1/6/2015)

#FatherJohnZeyack #SacramentalLivingDVDCD1 #Dynamis #SaintJohnClimacus #OrthodoxStudyBible #SrDrVassaLarin #SacramentalLiving #FatherSpyridonBaily ##VigenGuroian #FrBasil #FrJohnBreck #FrStephenDeYoung

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