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PowerPoint Presentation:

Born of Water and the Spirit

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Jesus once said that "no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit."  Today we understand these words to describe the rite of Christian Baptism. 

Baptism is a personal event--it's a spiritual rebirth!  Baptism is also the initiation rite into the church of Christ--some churches encourage believer's baptism, others believe in infant baptism

It is in baptism that we are made a new creation in Christ Jesus.  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2. Cor 5:17

According to Romans 6, it is how believers participate in the death and resurrection of Jesus.

"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." (Romans 6:2-4)

There is evidence for every form of baptism from writings and records of the ancient church.  Christian Catacomb paintings from the 2nd and 3rd centuries, for instance, depict different baptismal practices.      

This spot is identified as one of the possible places of the origin of Baptism: Jesus himself was baptized by John in the river Jordan. According to the Gospel of Mark,

"just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."

While Judaism no longer uses the term baptism it is clear from the biblical record of John the Baptist that the Christian rite of baptism grew out of the Jewish practice of ritual washings, such as the Mikvah.

No matter the method, baptism is a source of inspiration and strength for Christians everywhere.

Different churches have different methods. There is baptism by submersion--backwards or forwards, once or three times, by pouring or sprinkling water over the head of an infant.

Locations, too, varies from tradition to tradition; baptisms are performed in sanctuaries, pools, rivers, and some even at places like the ocean beach.

Baptism is how we become “born from above” and it’s how we become part of the invisible body of Christ that supersedes all church denominations.  In the end there is only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.