Catechumens must be able to express their faith either by answering certain doctrinal questions during the baptismal ceremony or reciting a formal creed.
Some reformers saw baptism as a symbolic act rather than a transforming sacrament, while others accepted the traditional view that it is through baptism that the believer is "buried" and "reborn."
Christian writers of the second and third centuries such as Justin, Clement of Rome, Victor I, and Tertullian remarked that seas, lakes, ponds and springs are equally proper baptismal sites.
After Jesus' death, however, Christians began using the ceremony of baptism as an initiation rite into the Christian faith, symbolizing dying to one's old self and being "reborn" in Christ.
At the beginning of 1 Peter the writer sets this baptism in the context of obedience to Christ and sanctification by the Spirit (1 Peter 1:2).
Many Christian groups assert that baptism is a key requirement for salvation.
Throughout the Middle Ages, there was considerable variation in the kind of facility required for baptism, especially in the Western (Catholic) tradition.
A number of scholars believe that immersion, whether partial or complete, was the dominant mode of baptism in the early church, although other forms were also admitted in certain circumstances.
By contrast, Baptist and Calvinist groups espouse baptism as a worthy practice of initiation into the Christian faith, but generally hold that baptism has no sacramental power in itself.
During the second and third centuries and beyond, immersion continued to be the normal method of baptism.
Christian baptism seems to have emerged from Jewish rituals of purification.
Some churches had baptismal pools large enough to immerse several adults simultaneously while others had smaller baptismal fonts.
Comparative Summary of Baptisms of Denominations of Christian Influence.
The idea of baptism thus came to take on the meaning of being initiated into the Christian faith by dying to one's old self and being reborn "in Christ."
Baptism played a somewhat different role in certain so-called heretical sects.
Major treatises on baptism were soon written by Christian writers like Tertullian, Cyprian of Carthage, Augustine of Hippo, and others.
Gnostic sects rejected the idea that baptism represented the believer symbolically sharing in Christ's death and resurrection, since they denied the idea that Jesus was physically raised from the dead.
The Christian ceremony of baptism evolved from the Jewish tradition of purification by immersion in a ritual bath.
The Book of Acts refers several times to baptism in the name of Jesus (2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5).
During the Protestant Reformation, new traditions of baptism and its significance began to emerge.
The liturgy of baptism in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican, and Methodist traditions makes clear reference to baptism as a symbolic burial and resurrection, and also an actual supernatural transformation.
John the Baptist performed baptisms "for the remission of sin" and Jesus and his disciples seem to have inherited this tradition from John.
Some Gnostics practiced baptism as a first stage of initiation and followed it later with a ceremony known as the bridal chamber, in which believers entered into a mystical union with God.
Today, most Christian groups practice some form of literal water-based baptism and agree that it is important.
In Christian tradition, John's "baptism of repentance" is usually considered to be distinct from Christian baptism.
The traditional churches also require that a candidate for baptism be familiar with Christian doctrines.
Concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water .
Baptism, from Greek ??????? (baptнzф), is a religious act of purification by water usually associated with admission to a Christian church.
Colossians 2:12 likewise states: "When you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead."
The Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches accept baptism performed by other denominations as valid, subject to certain conditions.
None of these accounts gives an exact description of how baptism was administered, although Acts 8:38 says that "both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him."
Instead, a period of study was usually required, in which a covert would become a candidate for baptism, known as a catechumen.
Believing that it is only possible to be baptized once, these traditions hold that people with valid baptisms from other denominations may not be baptized again upon conversion or transfer.
Controversy exists regarding whether baptism is to be administered in the name of Jesus, or in the name of the Trinity.
So baptism into Christ is seen as baptism into the Spirit (cf.
After Jesus' death, baptism became a sign of entry into the Christian faith.