Baptism – S.o.P. quotes

Disciples were being daily added to Christ, and people flocked from cities and villages to hear him. Many came to him for baptism; but Christ baptized none. His disciples performed this ordinance. And while Christ’s disciples were baptizing large numbers, there arose a question among the Jews and the disciples of John, whether the act of baptism purified the sinner from the guilt of sin. The disciples of John answered that John baptized only unto repentance, but Christ’s disciples unto a new life. John’s disciples were jealous of the popularity of Christ, and said to John, referring to Christ, “He that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou bearest witness, behold the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing except it be given him from Heaven.” {RH, March 4, 1873 par. 1}
All who live have sins to wash away. . . . True repentance of sin, faith in the merits of Jesus Christ, and baptism into His death, to be raised out of the water to live a new life, are the first steps in the new birth which Christ told Nicodemus he must experience in order to be saved. The words of Christ to Nicodemus are not only spoken to him, but to every man, woman, and child, that should live in the world. . . . We are safe in following the example of Christ (Youth’s Instructor, February 1874).
Christ rested in the tomb on the Sabbath day, and when holy beings of both Heaven and earth were astir on the morning of the first day of the week, he rose from the grave to renew his work of teaching his disciples. But this fact does not consecrate the first day of the week, and make it a Sabbath. Jesus, prior to his death, established a memorial of the breaking of his body and the spilling of his blood for the sins of the world, in the ordinance of the Lord’s supper, saying, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.” And the repentant believer, who takes the steps required in conversion, commemorates in his baptism the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. He goes down into the water in the likeness of Christ’s death and burial, and he is raised out of the water in the likeness of his resurrection–not to take up the old life of sin, but to live a new life in Christ Jesus. {6Red 22.3}
The Parents’ Work. Parents whose children desire to be baptized have a work to do, both in self-examination and in giving faithful instruction to their children. Baptism is a most sacred and important ordinance, and there should be a thorough understanding as to its meaning. It means repentance for sin, and the entrance upon a new life in Christ Jesus. There should be no undue haste to receive the ordinance. Let both parents and children count the cost. In consenting to the baptism of their children, parents sacredly pledge themselves to be faithful stewards over these children, to guide them in their character building. They pledge themselves to guard with special interest these lambs of the flock, that they may not dishonor the faith they profess. {6T 93.3}
Religious instruction should be given to children from their earliest years. It should be given, not in a condemnatory spirit, but in a cheerful, happy spirit. Mothers need to be on the watch constantly, lest temptation shall come to the children in such a form as not to be recognized by them. The parents are to guard their children with wise, pleasant instruction. As the very best friends of these inexperienced ones, they should help them in the work of overcoming, for it means everything to them to be victorious. They should consider that their own dear children who are seeking to do right are younger members of the Lord’s family, and they should feel an intense interest in helping them to make straight paths in the King’s highway of obedience. With loving interest they should teach them day by day what it means to be children of God and to yield the will in obedience to Him. Teach them that obedience to God involves obedience to their parents. This must be a daily, hourly work. Parents, watch, watch and pray, and make your children your companions. {6T 93.4}
After Baptism
The vows which we take upon ourselves in baptism embrace much. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit we are buried in the likeness of Christ’s death and raised in the likeness of His resurrection, and we are to live a new life. Our life is to be bound up with the life of Christ. Henceforth the believer is to bear in mind that he is dedicated to God, to Christ, and to the Holy Spirit. He is to make all worldly considerations secondary to this new relation. Publicly he has declared that he will no longer live in pride and self-indulgence. He is no longer to live a careless, indifferent life. He has made a covenant with God. He has died to the world. He is to live to the Lord, to use for Him all his entrusted capabilities, never losing the realization that he bears God’s signature, that he is a subject of Christ’s kingdom, a partaker of the divine nature. He is to surrender to God all that he is and all that he has, employing all his gifts to His name’s glory. {6T 98.3}
The obligations in the spiritual agreement entered into at baptism are mutual. As human beings act their part with wholehearted obedience, they have a right to pray: “Let it be known, Lord, that Thou art God in Israel.” The fact that you have been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is an assurance that, if you will claim Their help, these powers will help you in every emergency. The Lord will hear and answer the prayers of His sincere followers who wear Christ’s yoke and learn in His school His meekness and lowliness. {6T 99.1}
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:1-3. {6T 99.2}
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. . . . And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” Verses 12-17. {6T 99.3}
The Lord can take every one of us in his embrace; for his arm encircles the race. Let us remember this, after Christ had taken the necessary steps in repentance, conversion, and faith in behalf of the human race, he went to John to be baptized of him in Jordan. “John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?” Jesus answered, “Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.” When he came up out of the water, he knelt down on the banks of the Jordan, and offered a prayer such as had never before entered heaven. While he was praying, the heavens opened, and the glory of God, in the form of a dove of burnished gold, rested upon him, and from the highest heaven was heard the voice of the infinite One, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” {GCB, April 4, 1901 par. 15}
Have you thought of what this means to us;– that in this prayer is included every son and daughter of Adam, who will believe in Christ as a personal Saviour, and take the requisite steps in repentance, conversion, faith, and baptism? We are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these three great, infinite powers are unitedly pledged to work in our behalf if we will co-operate with them. We are buried with Christ in baptism as an emblem of his death. We are raised from the water as an emblem of his resurrection. We are to live as new-born souls, that we may be raised at the last great day. You are to live in newness of life; for you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” This is where you are to place your treasure. {GCB, April 4, 1901 par. 16}
Every true Christian will say from the heart, When I was baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I was buried in the likeness of Christ’s death, and raised in the likeness of His resurrection. I have taken a sacred vow to live in close communion with Christ. I am pledged to devote my life to His service. {ST, February 12, 1902 par. 8}
Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” As you openly renounced sin and Satan, the three great powers of heaven pledged themselves to help you to overcome. You were raised in newness of life by the power that raised Christ from the dead. You came forth from the watery grave pledged to devote your life to the Master’s service. You are henceforth to live a new life, as if reason, knowledge, affection, speech, property, and all else you have, had been anew entrusted to you, with a distinct intimation from heaven that they are to be used for God. You are to live a life of cross-bearing and self-denial, a life bound up with the life of Christ. {ST, February 12, 1902 par. 9}
The character of the Christian is to be a reproduction of the character of Christ. The same love, the same grace, the same unselfish benevolence, that characterized the life of the Redeemer, are to characterize the lives of His followers. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” {ST, February 12, 1902 par. 10}
In His great mercy, God gives men and women power for service, strengthening them as He strengthened Joseph, Samuel, Daniel, Timothy, and many others who availed themselves of His promises. They believed in Him and relied on Him, and this was their righteousness. Without the help that comes only from God we are in constant danger of falling into the snares that Satan has prepared for our feet. It is the one who obeys God, the one who is not satisfied unless he has the divine presence with him, that is a power for good in the world. {ST, February 12, 1902 par. 11}
When we submit to the solemn rite of baptism, we testify to angels and to men that we are purged from our old sins, and that henceforth, having died to the world, we will “seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” Let us not forget our baptismal vow. In the presence of the three highest powers of heaven,–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,–we have pledged ourselves to do the will of him who, over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, declared, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Christ forgives every penitent sinner, and as the forgiven one, at the time of baptism, rises from the watery grave, he is declared a new creature, whose life is hid with Christ in God. Let us ever remember that it is our high privilege to be purged from our old sins. {RH, May 26, 1904 par. 15}
Faithfulness to our baptismal vow gives the heart-preparation needful for saving souls. O how many we might save! As I look over the congregation before me, I realize that there is a work for every church-member to do. All may not have lived up to their baptismal vow; but let every erring one do all in his power to redeem the past, turning from the path that has led astray, to the path of humble obedience. You, my brother, my sister, are to win heaven, and a life that measures with the life of God. You know not how soon your own life may be taken away. Have you secured the better life? Make sure of salvation, I beg of you, while you still have the opportunity. {RH, May 26, 1904 par. 16}
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” {RH, May 26, 1904 par. 17}
God wants us to work for humanity. We have an onward work to do. Let us put on the whole armor of righteousness, revealing Christ in thought, word, and deed. Let us remember that we are laborers together with God. Brethren and sisters, let self be crucified, and let Christ live in you, the hope of glory. Keep reaching forward. Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The work of righteousness is to be wrought in you through the mighty power that God has given. When in weakness and feebleness you say, “Lord, I lay hold upon thee,” power from above will be given you. {RH, June 15, 1905 par. 32}
Let us cast aside all murmuring and repining, and be filled with the spirit of praise. Let us draw in even cords with Christ. He is coming soon, and we must be ready to meet him in peace. Let us repent and be converted. Let us place ourselves on the altar of service. I beg of you, my brethren and sisters, to bring Christ into your hearts and into these meetings. Then there will be rejoicing such as you have never before heard, and you will be gaining a fitness for the heavenly home, where God’s redeemed ones will sing the song of victory. {RH, June 15, 1905 par. 34}
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” What were the words spoken as you took part in the solemn rite of baptism?–“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” You were buried with Christ in baptism, and raised to newness of life. And the three great powers of heaven pledged themselves to co-operate with you in your efforts to live the new life in Christ. Then should we not praise him with every breath? {RH, June 15, 1905 par. 33}
Those who have by baptism given to God a pledge of their faith in Christ, and their death to the old life of sin, have entered into covenant relation with God. The three powers of the Godhead, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are pledged to be their strength and their efficiency in their new life in Christ Jesus. {AUCR, October 7, 1907 par. 9}
“And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” {AUCR, October 7, 1907 par. 11}
Study the whole of this chapter of Colossians [3] carefully and prayerfully. Bear in mind that they are addressed who have been buried by baptism in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. If you will ever remember that you are dead to worldly interests and attractions, and have risen to seek those things which are above, these heavenly powers are pledged to give you power to walk with Him in newness of life. {AUCR, October 7, 1907 par. 12}
In the eighth and ninth verses are presented the fruits that must not appear in the lives of those who have entered into this covenant relation with God. These are the fruits of the unregenerate heart; and they must not appear; for “ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” The fruits of righteousness appear when the soul lives to fulfil his solemn vow to God. {AUCR, October 7, 1907 par. 13}
It is the duty of every believer to fulfil faithfully his baptismal vows. If earnest perseverance and diligence are needed in order to attain success in temporal matters, how much more important that we make earnest efforts to obtain the heavenly treasure! {AUCR, October 7, 1907 par. 14}
There is far too little of self-denial and self-sacrifice among those who claim church fellowship; far too little confession of sin. Church members need to be reconverted, and sanctified in soul, body, and spirit, if they would increase in faith, and grow in grace. But an unsanctified course of action has so long been followed that the church should now be alarmed. The power of the Holy Spirit, so much needed on the human heart, is not felt. Many who profess to receive and believe the Word of God are deceived; they are not practising the truth. They are not following on to know the Lord, that they may know that His going forth is prepared as the morning. {AUCR, October 7, 1907 par. 15}
When the happiest period of their life has come, and they in their hearts love Jesus and wish to be baptized, then deal faithfully with them. Before they receive the ordinance, ask them if it is to be their first purpose in life to work for God. Then tell them how to begin. It is the first lessons that mean so much. In simplicity teach them how to do their first service for God. Make the work as easy to be understood as possible. Explain what it means to give up self to the Lord, to do just as His Word directs, under the counsel of Christian parents. {CG 500.1}
Parents’ Duty After Baptism.–After faithful labor, if you are satisfied that your children understand the meaning of conversion and baptism and are truly converted, let them be baptized. But, I repeat, first of all prepare yourselves to act as faithful shepherds in guiding their inexperienced feet in the narrow way of obedience. God must work in the parents that they may give to their children a right example in love, courtesy, and Christian humility, and in an entire giving up of self to Christ. If you consent to the baptism of your children and then leave them to do as they choose, feeling no special duty to keep their feet in the straight path, you yourselves are responsible if they lose faith and courage and interest in the truth. {CG 500.2}
God calls upon you to teach them to prepare to be members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. Co-operate with God by working diligently for their salvation. If they err, do not scold them. Never taunt them with being baptized and yet doing wrong. Remember that they have much to learn in regard to the duties of a child of God. {CG 500.3}
Thorough Conversion to the Truth.–The preparation for baptism is a matter that needs to be carefully considered. The new converts to the truth should be faithfully instructed in the plain “Thus saith the Lord.” The Word of the Lord is to be read and explained to them point by point. {Ev 308.1}
All who enter upon the new life should understand, prior to their baptism, that the Lord requires the undivided affections. . . . The practicing of the truth is essential. The bearing of fruit testifies to the character of the tree. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit. The line of demarcation will be plain and distinct between those who love God and keep His commandments and those who love Him not and disregard His precepts. There is need of a thorough conversion to the truth.–Manuscript 56, 1900. {Ev 308.2}
By our baptismal pledge we avouched and solemnly confessed the Lord Jehovah as our Ruler. We virtually took a solemn oath, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that henceforth our lives would be merged into the life of these three great Agencies, that the life we should live in the flesh would be lived in faithful obedience to God’s sacred law. We declared ourselves dead, and our life hid with Christ in God, that henceforth we should walk with Him in newness of life, as men and women having experienced the new birth. We acknowledged God’s covenant with us, and pledged ourselves to seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. By our profession of faith we acknowledged the Lord as our God, and yielded ourselves to obey His commandments. By obedience to God’s Word we testify before angels and men that we live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Ibid.). {1BC 1120.4}
The old sinful life is dead; the new life entered into with Christ by the pledge of baptism. Practise the virtues of the Saviour’s character. Let His wisdom dwell in you richly in all wisdom; “teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” . . . The sins that were practised before conversion, are to be put off, with the old man. With the new man, Christ Jesus, are to be put on “kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.” {SD 300.3}
Those who, in the spirit and love of Jesus, will become one with Him, will be in close fellowship one with another, bound up by the silken cords of love. . . . “All ye are brethren” will be the sentiment of every child of faith. . . . All will be equally one with Christ. {SD 300.4}
Chapter 16
1, 2 (Matthew 28:1; Luke 24:1; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:26). Resurrection Did Not Consecrate First Day.–Christ rested in the tomb on the Sabbath day, and when holy beings of both heaven and earth were astir on the morning of the first day of the week, He rose from the grave to renew His work of teaching His disciples. But this fact does not consecrate the first day of the week, and make it a Sabbath. Jesus, prior to His death, established a memorial of the breaking of His body and the spilling of His blood for the sins of the world, in the ordinance of the Lord’s supper, saying “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” And the repentant believer, who takes the steps required in conversion, commemorates in his baptism the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. He goes down into the water in the likeness of Christ’s death and burial, and he is raised out of the water in the likeness of His resurrection–not to take up the old life of sin, but to live a new life in Christ Jesus (3SP 204). {5BC 1113.1}
Chapter 6
1-4 (Matthew 28:19; 2 Peter 1:2, 5-7). Baptism a Mutual Pledge.–In baptism we are given to the Lord as a vessel to be used. Baptism is a most solemn renunciation of the world. Self is by profession dead to a life of sin. The waters cover the candidate, and in the presence of the whole heavenly universe the mutual pledge is made. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, man is laid in his watery grave, buried with Christ in baptism, and raised from the water to live the new life of loyalty to God. The three great powers in heaven are witnesses; they are invisible but present. {6BC 1074.8}
In the first chapter of Second Peter is presented the progressive work in the Christian life. The whole chapter is a lesson of deep importance. If man, in acquiring the Christian graces, works on the plan of addition, God has pledged Himself to work in his behalf upon the plan of multiplication. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” The work is laid out before every soul that has acknowledged his faith in Jesus Christ by baptism, and has become a receiver of the pledge from the three persons–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (MS 57, 1900). {6BC 1074.9}
(2 Corinthians 6:17, 18; 7:1; Colossians 3:1.) Imprint of God Received by Baptism.–Christ made baptism the entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Those who receive the ordinance of baptism thereby make a public declaration that they have renounced the world, and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. {6BC 1075.1}
Those who do this are to make all worldly considerations secondary to their new relations. Publicly they have declared that they will no longer live in pride and self-indulgence. Christ enjoins those who receive this ordinance to remember that they are bound by a solemn covenant to live to the Lord. They are to use for Him all their entrusted capabilities, never losing the realization that they bear God’s sign of obedience to the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, that they are subjects of Christ’s kingdom, partakers of the divine nature. They are to surrender all they have and are to God, employing all their gifts to His name’s glory. {6BC 1075.2}
Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have accepted the invitation, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” {6BC 1075.3}
Let those who received the imprint of God by baptism heed these words, remembering that upon them the Lord has placed His signature, declaring them to be His sons and daughters. {6BC 1075.4}
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, powers infinite and omniscient, receive those who truly enter into covenant relation with God. They are present at every baptism, to receive the candidates who have renounced the world and have received Christ into the soul temple. These candidates have entered into the family of God, and their names are inscribed in the Lamb’s book of life (MS 27 1/2, 1900). {6BC 1075.5}
We have died to the world…. We have been buried in the likeness of Christ’s death and raised in the likeness of His resurrection, and we are to live a new life. Our life is to be bound up with the life of Christ. {FLB 146.4}
If we are true to our vow, there is opened to us a door of communication with heaven–a door that no human hand or satanic agency can close. {FLB 146.6}
There are children … who have been taught from their youth to observe the Sabbath. Some of these are very good children, faithful to duty as far as temporal matters are concerned; but they feel no deep conviction of sin and no need of repentance from sin…. As there are no outbreaking sins in their own lives, they flatter themselves they are about right. To these youth I am authorized to say: Repent ye and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…. You are required to repent, believe, and be baptized. Christ was wholly righteous; yet He, the Saviour of the world, gave man an example by Himself taking the steps which He requires the sinner to take to become a child of God, and heir of heaven. {FLB 147.3}
If Christ, the spotless and pure Redeemer of man, condescended to take the steps necessary for the sinner to take in conversion, why should any, with the light of truth shining upon their pathway, hesitate to submit their hearts to God, and in humility confess that they are sinners, and show their faith in the atonement of Christ by words and actions, identifying themselves with those who profess to be His followers? {FLB 147.4}
Jesus was our example in all things that pertain to life and godliness. He was baptized in Jordan, just as those who come to Him must be baptized. {OHC 157.2}
Christ made baptism the entrance to His spiritual kingdom. . . . Those who receive the ordinance of baptism thereby make a public declaration that they have renounced the world, and have become members of the royal family. . . . Those who do this are to make all worldly considerations secondary to their new relations. Publicly they have declared that they will no longer live in pride and self-indulgence. . . . They are bound by a solemn covenant to live to the Lord. They are to use for Him all their entrusted capabilities. {OHC 157.3}
When the Christian takes his baptismal vow, divine help is pledged to him. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit stand ready to work in his behalf. God places at his command the resources of heaven, that he may be an overcomer. His own power is small; but God is omnipotent, and God is his helper. Daily he is to make known his wants at the throne of grace. By faith and trust, by availing himself of the resources provided, he can be more than a conqueror. {OHC 157.5}
MR No. 373 – Preparation for Baptism
The question put to Christ by a lawyer was, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” There stood the wily priests and rulers expecting to hear from the lips of Christ an answer that would give them opportunity to condemn him. He who reads every heart as an open book understood their purpose. Turning to the lawyer, Christ said unto him, “What is written in the Law? how readest thou?” He gives him an opportunity to answer his own question. And the lawyer answering said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: This do, and thou shalt live.” Christ will not accept a divided heart. The life of the receiver of truth should witness to the change wrought by the transformation of character. “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord.” Why? Because they have an indwelling Saviour, who works the mind and heart to reveal that love for Christ which leads them to do his will, not their own. They have that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. {6MR 156.1}
Before baptism there should be a thorough inquiry as to the experience of the candidate. Let this inquiry be made, not in a cold and distant way, but kindly, tenderly, pointing the new converts to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. Bring the requirement of the gospel to bear upon the candidates for baptism. Christ is represented as bearing the griefs and sorrows caused by sin, and he does this, not only as our sympathizing friend, but as our substitute. Therefore our sins of selfishness, of unamiable temper, of indolence, of wrong habits and practices, are to be positively and firmly put away. The one who breaks with Satan is to give no place to his temptations. Let the souls who come to Christ consider that He is the Sin-bearer, “wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” All this is done for the sinner, and as the sinner comes to Christ, helpless, penitent, and humble; as he views the expensive expiation made in his behalf, let the repenting soul lay hold by faith of the provision made to save him, not in his sin, but from his sin. Christ as the sin-bearer must take away the sin and rescue the sinner from his morbid spiritual condition. As he asks for a change of heart, the answer comes, “My son, give me thine heart.” “A new heart will I give thee.” I will restore you to a pure, holy atmosphere, that you, being dead to sin, may live unto righteousness. {6MR 157.1}
Thy sins be forgiven thee.” These words are spoken to the repentant, believing soul. Wonderful Saviour! All need to understand the process of conversion. The fruit is seen in the changed life. True repentance will be shown to be sincere by producing fruit in good works. None can depend upon their profession of faith as proof that they have a saving connection with Christ. It is by conformity to the will of God in our words, our deportment, our character that we prove our connection with him. We cannot depend on any other one to do our work for us. We must perform our duties for ourselves. We must work the will of God, and delight to do his commandments. Then we shall not lean upon any one but Jesus Christ for support and efficiency. {6MR 157.2}
One of the points upon which those newly come to the faith will need faithful instruction is the subject of dress. In the examination of candidates for baptism this subject should not be lost sight of. Let the new converts be faithfully dealt with. Are they vain in dress? do they cherish pride of heart? The idolatry of dress is a moral disease. It must not be taken over into the new life. In most cases submission to the gospel requirements will demand a decided change in the dress. True conversion of the heart will work wonderful changes in the outward appearance. {6MR 158.1}
There should be no carelessness in dress. Teach the young converts that dress is a talent. For Christ’s sake, whose property we are, we should seek to make the best of our appearance. In the tabernacle service, God specified every detail concerning the garments of those who ministered before him. Thus we are taught that the Lord has a preference in regard to the dress of those who serve him. Very specific were the directions given in regard to Aaron’s robes, for his dress was symbolical. So the dress of Christ’s followers should be symbolical. In all things we are to be representatives of him. Good taste should be exercised in the selection of appropriate colors. Our dress should be tidy and well-fitting. The hair should be carefully arranged. Our appearance in every respect should be characterized by neatness, modesty, and purity. But the word of God gives us no sanction in making changes in our apparel merely for the sake of fashion, that we may appear like the world. When the desire for display in dress absorbs the mind, vanity is manifested. All this must be put away. {6MR 158.2}
The words of Scripture in regard to dress should be carefully considered. The Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul says, “In like manner also, let women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” And through the apostle Peter the instruction is given, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” {6MR 159.1}
Christians are not to decorate the person with costly array of expensive ornaments. All this display imparts no value to the character. The Lord desires every converted person to put away the idea that dressing as worldlings dress will give value to our influence. The ornamentation of the person with jewels and luxurious things is a species of idolatry. This needless display reveals a love for those things which are supposed to place a value upon the person. It gives evidence to the world of a heart destitute of the inward adornment. Expensive dress and adornments of jewelry give an incorrect representation of the truth that should always be represented as of the highest value. An overdressed, outwardly adorned person bears the sign of inward poverty. A lack of spirituality is revealed. {6MR 159.2}
Extravagance in dress requires the expenditure of means that is needed to advance the work of the Lord. Extra ribbons and bows mean pennies and shillings spent needlessly. The trimming of ladies’ hats with high-standing bows is a needless expense, and it is unbecoming to a Christian. In the house of God the overtrimmed hats are a positive annoyance. The congregation desire to see the face of the speaker as well as to hear his voice; but the ladies’ hats with their high-standing ribbons and bows, obscure the view. Many in the congregation may be seen peering this way and that to get a glimpse of the speaker; but often their efforts are in vain. Their enjoyment of the service is marred, and the minister, who observes all this, is disturbed. {6MR 160.1}
Satan has a snare laid to captivate unwary souls by leading them to give more attention to the outward adorning than to the inward graces which love of truth and righteousness display as the fruit borne upon the Christian tree. If the enemy can keep the minds of believers centered upon their dress and outward appearance, he is well pleased. They injure their influence, and the cause of truth which they profess to love. {6MR 160.2}
Many indulge a passion for dress. They spend their money for that which is not bread, and are as foolish as was Esau, who sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. Many bar their own souls from entering the strait gate because they cannot indulge their love for display and yet believe in Christ and walk in his footsteps. {6MR 160.3}
“If any man will come after me,” said Christ, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Self denial and self-sacrifice will mark the Christian’s life. Evidence that the taste is really converted will be seen in the dress of all who walk the narrow path of holiness, the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. {6MR 160.4}
Christians should not neglect to search the Scriptures on these points. They need to understand that which the Lord of heaven appreciates in even the dressing of the body. Those who are earnest in seeking for the grace of Christ will heed the precious words of instruction inspired of God. Even the style of the apparel will express the truth of the gospel. Their dress bears its testimony to their own family, to the church and the world, that they are being purified from vanity and selfishness. They demonstrate that they are not idolaters. {6MR 161.1}
Wherever the grace of humility, a meek and quiet spirit, is cherished, the whole person will express the same. The grace of Christ in the heart finds expression in a dignified, decorous deportment. The truth is manifest in the flesh. And truth lived always has an influence in favor of the truth, testifying of practical godliness. All such experiences are of the highest value. The usefulness of the Christian testifies to the genuineness of his conversion. {6MR 161.2}
As those who claim to believe the truth give expression to the truth in appropriate dress and in their words and conduct, they are living epistles for God, known and read by all who behold them. Their chaste conversation is a sign of the inward adorning. They have enlarged influence; a field of usefulness is ever open before them. They are as signs in the world, perpetuating a saving knowledge of divine truth, as salt that has not lost its savour. {6MR 161.3}
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,”–the same Word that was in the beginning with God, and was God. Through his own life in human nature, Christ has revealed to us his methods of usefulness in saving souls. His character is to be revealed in his followers. The reception of the great testing truths for these last days never makes the receiver coarse and rough and uncourteous, harsh in conversation and spirit. The truth genuinely believed is a reality to the receiver. It never degrades, but always refines, elevates, and ennobles the receiver. Through sanctification of the Spirit it makes him an agency through whom the unseen angels of God work out his holy principles. {6MR 162.1}
The principles of the Christian life should be made plain to those who have newly come to the truth. Faithful, Christian men and women should have an intense interest to bring the convicted soul to a correct knowledge of righteousness in Christ Jesus. If any have allowed the desire of pleasure or the love of dress to become supreme, so that any portion of their mind, soul, and strength, is devoted to selfish indulgences, the faithful believers should watch for these souls as they that must give an account. They must not neglect the faithful, tender, loving instruction so essential to the young converts, that there may be no half-hearted work. The very first experiences should be right. If those who have been long in the way will try to help the one who is just beginning the Christian course, they will often be as the Lord’s living agencies. All who will be true and faithful in the performance of their duty are representatives of Christ, the true Shepherd. If all realized the conflict which each soul must wage with Satanic agencies that are seeking to ensnare and entice and deceive, there would be much more diligent labor done for those who are young in the faith. {6MR 162.2}
The atmosphere of the world is charged with spiritual malaria. All who accept of Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour must count themselves dead to all things in their life conduct that Christ would not approve. These newborn souls seldom have sufficient instruction. They are left too much to themselves, and are often tempted, and do not discern the evil of the temptation. Let these souls newly come to the faith feel that it is their privilege to solicit counsel. If they seek the society of those who can help them, they will soon possess the refined taste that will ever choose the company of those who love and fear God. Our conversation with these souls should be of a spiritual, encouraging character. The Lord marks the conflict of every weak, doubting, struggling soul, and he will help all who call upon him. They will see heaven open before them, and angels of God ascending and descending the ladder of shining brightness which they are trying to climb. {6MR 163.1}
After the believing soul has received the ordinance of baptism, he is to bear in mind that he is dedicated to God, to Christ, and to the Holy Spirit. These three all cooperate in the great work of the covenant made by baptism in the sight of the heavenly universe. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit receive the believing soul into covenant relation with God. {6MR 163.2}
All who study the life of Christ and practice his teaching will become like Christ. Their influence will be like His. They will reveal soundness of character. They are established in the faith, and will not be overcome by the devil because of vanity and pride. They seek to walk the humble path of obedience, doing the will of God. Their character exerts an influence that tells for the advancement of the cause of God and the healthful purity of his work. {6MR 163.3}
By the reception of the doctrines revealed and the performance of the duties required in the word of God, the professed followers of Christ are to witness to the world of their unity with Christ. They are to show that they have been given to Christ by his Father, and are overcomers through the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. They love him who hath redeemed them. They increase in knowledge of Christ through exemplifying his character. And they cherish expectations that will not be disappointed: they expect to see his face and to rejoice in the sunshine of his countenance. {6MR 164.1}
In these thoroughly converted souls the world has a witness to the sanctifying power of truth upon the human character. Through them Christ makes known to the world his character and will. In the lives of God’s children is revealed the blessedness of serving the Lord, and the opposite is seen in those who do not keep his commandments. The line of demarkation is distinct. All who obey God’s commandments are kept by his mighty power amid the corrupting influence of the transgressors of his law. From the lowliest subject to the highest in positions of trust, they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. {6MR 164.2}
In his prayer to the Father, Christ says of his followers, “The glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.” O what possibilities and probabilities are for God’s people if they will humble themselves and exalt the Lord Jesus. {6MR 164.3}
In his prayer the Saviour says further, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” {6MR 165.1}
The knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ expressed in character is an exaltation above everything that is esteemed in earth or in heaven. It is the very highest education. It is the very key that opens to us the portals of heaven, that we may obtain eternal life, an immortal inheritance, and eternal substance. All who have this knowledge are constantly advancing heavenward. They have a good report in their own family, in the church, and in the world.–Ms 56, 1900. (“Preparation for Baptism,” typed August 12, 1900.) {6MR 165.2}
The principles of righteousness must be implanted in the soul. The faith must grasp the power of Jesus Christ, else there is no safety. Licentious practices are getting to be as common as in the days before the flood. Not one should be buried with Christ by baptism unless they are critically examined whether they have ceased to sin, whether they have fixed moral principles, whether they know what sin is, whether they have moral defilement which God abhors. Find out by close questioning if these persons are really ceasing to sin, if with David they can say, I hate sin with a perfect hatred.–Letter 26d, 1887, p. 6. (To “Brother Covert and those who hold responsible positions in the Indiana Conference,” September 27, 1887.) {6MR 165.3}
My burden is that ministers of the gospel shall preach the truth as to what constitutes true conversion. They are not to lead down into the water souls who are not converted. The church is becoming composed of men and women who have never realized how sinful sin is.–Letter 134, 1899, p. 5. (To “Dear Brethren in America,” September 8, 1899). {6MR 166.1}
Those who have taken part in the solemn rite of baptism have pledged themselves to seek for those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. They have pledged themselves to labor earnestly for the saving of sinners. God asks those who name his name, How are you using the powers that have been redeemed by the death of my Son? Are you doing all in your power to rise to a greater height in spiritual understanding? Are you adjusting your interests and actions in accordance with the momentous claims of eternity?–Ms 63, 1901, p. 8. (Diary, April 30, 1901). {6MR 166.2}
No one is to take part in the solemn ordinance of baptism without giving the subject careful, prayerful thought. The candidates, and especially the youth, are to be carefully instructed in regard to the obligations they assume in taking this step. They pledge themselves to devote their lives to God’s service; and the three great powers of heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, pledge themselves to cooperate with them, to work in and through them.–Ms 118, 1902, pp. 1, 2. (“Christ’s Method of Imparting Truth,” October 6, 1902). {6MR 166.3}
The world has no claim to our service; for by a solemn, holy covenant we accepted God’s badge of service at the time of our baptism. On that occasion we pledged ourselves, in the presence of the three great heavenly Powers, to come out from the world and be separate.–Ms 130, 1902, p. 4. (Diary, October 27, 1902). {6MR 167.1}
In receiving baptism, the human agent, inspired with new purposes, pledges himself to die to the world and live in obedience to Christ. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost supply the power that makes him victorious in every conflict with the prince of darkness.–Letter 200, 1902, p. 7. (To Brother and Sister Kress, December 15, 1902). {6MR 167.2}
Our churches are becoming enfeebled by receiving for doctrines the commandments of men. Many are received into the church who are not converted. Men, women, and children are allowed to take part in the solemn rite of baptism without being fully instructed in regard to the meaning of this ordinance. Participation in this ordinance means much, and our ministers should be careful to give each candidate plain instruction in regard to its meaning and its solemnity.–Ms 10, 1905, p. 4. (“Non-essential Subjects to Be Avoided,” September 12, 1904.) Released August 13, 1974. {6MR 167.3}
The three great and glorious heavenly characters are present on the occasion of baptism. All the human capabilities are to be henceforth consecrated powers to do service for God in representing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost upon whom they depend. All heaven is represented by these three in covenant relation with the new life.–Ms 45, 1904, pp. 9, 10. (“That They All May Be One,” May 14, 1904.) Released March 11, 1975. {6MR 389.3}
As you openly renounced sin and Satan, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost pledged themselves to be your sufficiency. As you forsook sin and became dead to the world, you were raised to newness of life by the power which raised Christ from the dead. You came forth from the watery grave, pledged by the solemn covenant of baptism to devote your life to the service of God. You are henceforth to live a new life, as if reason, knowledge, affection, speech, property, had been anew entrusted to you, with a distinct declaration from the Word of God that these gifts are to be recognized as coming from Christ, to be used and improved for Him. You are to take up the life of cross-bearing, cheerfully partaking of the sufferings of Christ. Your life is to be bound up with the life of Christ in obedience to the law of God. {13MR 218.1}
[Colossians 3:1-4, quoted.]
Jesus, the Son of God, our Sin-bearer, the Giver of eternal life, speaks to His disciples. Hear what He says; “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” He understands every temptation. He can turn the cross into a means of eternal happiness. We must live His life. We must be co-laborers with Him. He calls upon His followers to tread in His footsteps of self-denial and self-sacrifice. The character of the Christian is to be a reproduction of Christ. The same love, the same grace, the same unselfish benevolence that characterized the life of the Redeemer is to characterize the lives of His followers. {13MR 218.2}
Let those who have been baptized be true to the vow they have made. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” [Colossians 3:1]. You cannot serve God and mammon. If God be God, follow Him; if Baal, then follow him. No one is compelled to serve God. The full results of a man’s choice rest upon himself, for he chooses of his own free will. Let him remember that if he chooses the principles of God, respecting and maintaining them, they become a part of his life, molding him according to the divine similitude. They are in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life. {13MR 219.1}
In the name of whom were you baptized? You went down into the water in the name of the three great Worthies in heaven–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost you were buried with Christ in baptism; and you were raised up out of the water to live in newness of life. You were to have a new life. You were to live unto God; you were not to live unto yourself, and keep yourself under your own supervision for fear someone would touch you and hurt you. {1SAT 363.1}
Here is where the work of the Holy Ghost comes in, after your baptism. You are baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. You are raised up out of the water to live henceforth in newness of life–to live a new life. You are born unto God, and you stand under the sanction and the power of the three holiest Beings in heaven, who are able to keep you from falling. You are to reveal that you are dead to sin; your life is hid with Christ in God. Hidden “with Christ in God”–wonderful transformation. This is a most precious promise. When I feel oppressed and hardly know how to relate myself toward the work that God has given me to do, I just call upon the three great Worthies, and say: You know I cannot do this work in my own strength. You must work in me, and by me, and through me, sanctifying my tongue, sanctifying my spirit, sanctifying my words, and bringing me into a position where my spirit shall be susceptible to the movings of the Holy Spirit of God upon my mind and character. And this is the prayer that every one of us may offer. {1SAT 367.3}
Candidates to Be Thoroughly Prepared
There is need of a more thorough preparation on the part of candidates for baptism. They are in need of more faithful instruction than has usually been given them. The principles of the Christian life should be made plain to those who have newly come to the truth. None can depend upon their profession of faith as proof that they have a saving connection with Christ. We are not only to say, “I believe,” but to practice the truth. It is by conformity to the will of God in our words, our deportment, our character, that we prove our connection with Him. Whenever one renounces sin, which is the transgression of the law, his life will be brought into conformity to the law, into perfect obedience. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. The light of the word carefully studied, the voice of conscience, the strivings of the Spirit, produce in the heart genuine love for Christ, who gave Himself a whole sacrifice to redeem the whole person, body, soul, and spirit. And love is manifested in obedience. The line of demarcation will be plain and distinct between those who love God and keep His commandments, and those who love Him not and disregard His precepts. {CCh 295.5}
27: Baptism
Baptism commemorates Christ’s resurrection and the candidate’s new birth.–The resurrection of Christ is commemorated by our being buried with Him by baptism, and raised up out of the watery grave in likeness of His resurrection, to live in newness of life.–EW 217. {PaM 163.1}
Preparing Candidates
Ministers should give each candidate plain instruction regarding baptism’s meaning.–Our churches are becoming enfeebled by receiving for doctrines the commandments of men. Many are received into the church who are not converted. Men, women, and children are allowed to take part in the solemn rite of baptism without being fully instructed in regard to the meaning of this ordinance. Participation in this ordinance means much, and our ministers should be careful to give each candidate for baptism plain instruction regarding its meaning and its solemnity.–RH Oct. 6, 1904. {PaM 163.2}
Great responsibility comes to those who have been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Strive to understand the meaning of the words “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” In the new life upon which you have entered, you are pledged to represent the life of Christ. . . . {BLJ 217.2}