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Bishop’s Note – Profession of Faith - Part Two

Last week in my Bishop’s Note I addressed the examination during Baptism that involves the three-fold renunciation of the Devil, the deceitful promises of the world, and our own personal sin. This renunciation of evil is done in the face of the increased acceptance of “relativism” (which argues there is no real good or bad it’s all relative to your perspective.) It is vital that we name evil and sin and renounce them.
 
However, renunciation is not enough for baptism. With the renunciation we have a spiritual vacuum and it is important to fill that with our faith in the Lord. Therefore, this week the examination continues with the three-fold confession of faith, which, are literally the most important words we can or will ever say. It is upon this confession in Jesus Christ as savior that everything else in our life hinges. For example, our relationships, our professions or vocations, our relationship with our self and the divine are all predicated upon how we answer the following questions.

1.       Question Do you turn to Jesus Christ and confess him as your Lord and Savior?

Answer I do.

Note that the question is not “do you accept Jesus Christ as your savior.” It is assumed that prior to baptism the candidate has had a personal encounter with the living Lord, said the “Sinners Prayer” or something similar, and invited Jesus into their lives. The act of baptism is an outward expression of that inner relationship. In this question the candidate is asked to publicly proclaim Jesus as Lord! Too often we think of this as a simple and personal relationship but it’s not simply that. Just as my marriage is not simply a loving agreement between my wife and me. With my marriage, and all of our marriages, the foundations of society are undergirded. As both the institution of marriage and personal marriages deteriorate, so too, we have the deterioration of society. How much more so with our relationship with Jesus Christ!

2.       Question Do you joyfully receive the Christian Faith, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments?

Answer I do.

We cannot remove the Christian faith from God’s Word as proclaimed in the Old and New Testaments. It is holy scriptures that reveal God’s activity in creation and in the holy scriptures that we come to understand how God works with us individually and collectively. How important it is to publicly confess that the world doesn’t revolve around me and what I think but around God!

3.       Question Will you obediently keep God’s holy will and commandments, and walk in them all the days of your life?

Answer I will, the Lord being my helper.

Here the question of submission and authority are clearly stated. We know God’s holy will and commandments as they are revealed in scripture, the teaching of the church and through our own reason; in that order. With this question the candidate is stating that he will submit his will to the will of God and his actions to those proscribed in scripture. In the previous questions the response was the affirmative “I do.” With this question, we recognize that without the assistance of God himself we cannot be submit our will to God or obediently follow his commandments. Left to our own devices we will seek to follow our own path and place ourselves before God. However, with God’s help we can, indeed, submit to God and live godly and righteous lives. 

It is in living out our lives as Christians, transformed and forgiven, that we attract others to the faith. They, in turn accept and confess Christ as Lord, have their lives transformed, and all of society benefits. 

The Bishop continues

Question Do you turn to Jesus Christ and confess him as your Lord and Savior?

Answer I do.

Question Do you joyfully receive the Christian Faith, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments?

Answer I do.

Question Will you obediently keep God’s holy will and commandments, and walk in them all the days of your life?

Answer I will, the Lord being my helper.

The Bishop addresses the Congregation, saying

Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?

We will.

I pray you all a blessed week!

Bishop Menees

San Joaquin Anglican
Calendar
January 25
Walk for Life West Coast

February 2
Bishop @ St. Mary

February 7-8
Institute for Renewal of Christian Catechesis Colloquium

February 9
Bishop @ St. Martin of Tours

February 13-15
DiscipleLife Conference

February 16
Bishop @ Christ the King

February 26
Ash Wednesday






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Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin · 1300 East Shaw Avenue #123 · Fresno, CA 93710 · USA

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