13 August 1957 A.D. Dr. J.B. Green’s Article on Baptism Published in Southern Presbyterian Journal
August 14 1957 A.D. Dr. J. B. Green on Baptism
by Rev. J. B. Green, D.D.
Columbia Theological Seminary Decatur, Ga.
- Because it is generally agreed that the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper refers to the death and resurrection of Christ. If baptism also signifies the death and resurrection of Christ, then we have two Sacraments which are signs and symbols of the same facts of the life of Christ. Why this double representation of these facts? In that case we have no sign and symbol of the work of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament it was not so. There the passover pointed to the work of Christ, but circumcision pointed to the work of the Holy Spirit. For circumcision meant the putting away of carnality, the removal of the sinful flesh. This is the peculiar work of the Holy Spirit. Baptism means the same thing; it means the washing away of sin. We object to the immersion ist’s view of the meaning of baptism for another reason. The burial of Christ has no redemptive value. Christ would have saved the world if he had not been buried. Why should a rite be ordained to signify a fact which is not essential to the accomplishment of salvation?
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.”
- According to our view of baptism there is unity and harmony in Scripture. There is one method of purification in Both Testaments and that is by sprinkling — sprinkling of water, sprinkling of blood.
- Baptism by sprinkling is universally applicable. Universally applicable as to place. Wherever there is water enough to sustain life, there people can be baptized by sprinkling. In World War I there was a large military camp in Greenville, South Carolina. The Baptists complained that no provision was made for administering baptism by their mode. They seemed to think that the government should run a river into the camp, or create a lake for their convenience. A distinguished Baptist minister, Dr. Norwood, pastor of City Temple, London, England, was a Chaplain at the battle front in France. He said the application of the rite of baptism by immersion was out of the question there. He said he did not repudiate that mode of baptism, he simply had no use for it in that situation. He could never again insist that the quantity of water was important in Baptism.