Baptism: Confession of Faith and Personal Testimony

Testimonies ought to contain both doctrinal truth and personal experience/transformation. As Evangelicals we affirm both of these important truths/realities, which reflects the longer and broader Evangelical stream of which we are a part: the Reformational means we emphasize doctrine; the pietist/revivalist means we emphasize personal experience/transformation. Both of these movements within Evangelicalism are grounded in both head and heart, but they do emphasize one more than the other. In the best of this longer and broader stream, both are highlighted and lived, without compromise or weakening in either direction.

In a previous post, I addressed the importance of sharing publicly one’s personal testimony along with doctrinal truth one affirms, and I applied it specifically to a baptism service. As we have noted, it is vital to affirm doctrinal truth, the faith once for all entrusted to the saints, and also to articulate my personal, experiential appropriation of that faith and transformation by that faith.

In the next few posts I will highlight different aspects of the baptism service I used when I served as a pastor in a local church. And, in fact, I still use these when I am privileged to participate in a baptism, as I did most recently with my daughter when she professed her personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the faith once for all entrusted to the saints.

I would be interested, as would others, to hear of your pastoral practice. Please share over the next few days as these different aspects are posted.

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