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Baptism and Communion

Posted by Matt Postiff February 13, 2021 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Theology 

Here is today's question:

I was listening to your "God forgives sinners" message and at the end before communion you mentioned that people shouldn’t take communion unless they were baptized or intended to be baptized. I was not at the service and only listening to audio so it’s hard to know how the church functions by one audio message but it kind of came off as baptism was a work. Is that what you meant or was that said for possible visitors so they don’t take communion lightly?

Thanks for your inquiry. Your impression that we believe baptism to be a work is not right--if by "work" you mean "a deed necessary to acquire salvation." No works are required, or even able, to save anyone's soul, except for the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. On the other hand, baptism is a "work" in that it is something Jesus tells us to do, and it is a "good work," and it should be done by all true believers. But let me be clear: baptism saves no one.

What I was illustrating with my statement about baptism is this point: if you are refusing to obey the commands of Christ, such as baptism, then you are living in sin and need to deal with that first, before taking communion. I add the exception "or intend to be baptized" because we do not have baptism services every month, so maybe someone has newly realized they need to be baptized, or just become a Christian so they have not had the opportunity yet to be baptized because of the church schedule. I have no problem with offering communion in that case. Other churches believe differently on that, but that is where I'm at on it.

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