Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Q and A

While writing on my blog has dwindled in the past couple years, I haven't altogether stopped writing. Truth be told, in the past six months, most of the writing that I've done has been on my phone actually, via ridiculously long text messages. If there were an easy way to transcribe all of them to here, I would.

Still, difficult as it may be, I thought that the following message was worth placing on the record, so here it is.

I received the following text message today from a friend of mine from church:
Does baptism forgive sins or does remission come at the moment of faith in christ?
My reply:
Union with Christ through the Spirit is the means of forgiveness, adoption, sanctification. Faith is the instrument of that process. Baptism unto Communion is the shape of that faith.

Faith cannot be reduced to a moment any more than one can be a Christian for a moment. Many people conflate 'faith' with 'intellectual assent.' While the two are related, they are not the same thing. It may be easy to identify a moment that one first 'assented' to the Gospel. It is more challenging to identify a moment of first 'faith' - in oneself or anyone else for that matter.

The best way to answer your question would be, "Remission of sins took place on the cross." In baptism, we are united to Christ's cruciform death. Thus, in baptism we are united with this death which merits remission of sins. It is in this way that it is proper to say that "baptism is the moment of remission of sins."
There ye be.