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Baptism (Creation and Our Recreation)

“Since the Son of God has taken human flesh and has appeared in the world, manifesting Himself in His baptism in the Jordan, all flesh and all matter is sanctified. Everything is made pure and holy in Him. Everything which is corrupted and polluted by the sinful works of men is cleansed and purified by the gracious works of God. All death-dealing powers of the devil which poison the good world of God's creation are destroyed. All things are again made new. Through the "prime element" of water on the feast of the Epiphany the entire creation is shown to be sanctified by God's Word through the same Spirit of God who "in the beginning... was moving over the face of the waters. (Gen 1:2)” (Father Thomas Hopko)

“Christ’s baptism by St. John the Forerunner in the Jordan is narrated in all four Gospels. One element of the telling of this event found in all four is the descent of the Holy Spirit (Matt 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32). In each of these cases, the Spirit’s descent is compared to a dove… the baptism of Christ is not the first time in the Scriptures at which the movement of the Spirit in relation to water is compared to that of a bird. In Genesis 1:2, the Spirit is described at the beginning of the creation of the world as moving over the waters. The Hebrew verb used (rachaf) is used in the Piel binyan to refer to the action of a mother bird hovering over her young. The Syriac cognate, as St. Basil the Great notes, refers to a bird brooding over eggs (cf. Deut 32:11). The mode of the Spirit’s descent upon Christ as he emerges from the waters is therefore quite deliberate, pointing back to the beginning of creation. In all four Gospels, Christ’s baptism represents the very beginning of his public ministry.” (Father Stephen De Young)

“In the mystery of Christ’s baptism, the earthly waters immersing His Body are transformed. They become a means by which the Holy Spirit is conveyed to us. At our baptism, the Spirit acts through water to unite us to Christ. Part of Christ’s purpose, when He receives baptism, is to prepare the earth’s waters for our new birth in the Spirit (Jn 3:5).” (Dynamis 1/6/2020)

“That’s why He was baptized in the Jordan even though He had no sins to wash away: the water didn’t cleanse Him; He cleansed the water and gave it the power to be His instrument to cleanse us in Baptism.” (Peter Kreeft)

“Baptism is an ordination, a calling to share in the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ our Lord, making us in effect new being. From that moment, we experience a tension within ourselves between the world of the flesh, and the kingdom of God. Everything we do, each decision we make, unites us with one or the other forces demanding loyalty from us; the natural world of the flesh, or the spiritual world of Christ.” (Rev. Vladimir Berzonsky)

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