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Quaker Beliefs -- Part 7

Quaker Beliefs -- Part 7

What do YOU believe about baptism?


In our series of “Early Quaker Beliefs'' we have discussed God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Scripture, and fallen man’s state of need, and salvation. If you haven’t caught these topics, you can see the articles in previous newsletters or on our website at spicelandfriends. org. The topic this month is what we believe about baptism. Below is the statement from “Faith and Practice” as well as a simple explanation.

Belief Statement from Faith and Practice about our salvation

“We reverently believe that, as there is one Lord and one faith, so there is, under the Christian dispensation, but one baptism, whereby all believers are baptized in the one Spirit into the one body. This is not an outward baptism with water, but a Spiritual experience; not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but that inward work which, by transforming the heart and settling the soul upon Christ, brings forth the answer of a good conscience toward God. No baptism in outward water can satisfy the description of the apostle, of being buried with Christ by baptism unto death. It is with the Spirit alone that any can thus be baptized. In this experience, the announcement of John the Baptist is fulfilled, “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” (Matthew 3:11,12) We would express our continued conviction that our Lord appointed no outward rite or ceremony for observance in His church. We accept every command of our Lord in what we believe to be its genuine import, as absolutely conclusive. The question of the use of outward ordinances is with us a question, not as to the authority of Christ, but as to his real meaning.”

Summary of Belief Statement

Spiceland Friends believes faith in Jesus Christ is represented in a simple, internal change of heart (a repentance and faith decision). This heart change is brought about through a confessing faith in Jesus Christ as one’s personal Lord and Savior. This faith continues to grow through an actively cultivated, lifelong relationship with Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:11; Acts 11:16).


There is a common misunderstanding that Friends “do not believe in baptism.” It is better said that Friends commonly do not practice outward water baptism as we believe the Scriptures teach that a believer, once acknowledging his/her fallen nature, having a repenting heart, and accepting the atoning work and lordship of Christ is baptized inwardly by the Holy Spirit as they live out a committed, Christian walk. Friends hold this baptism of the Holy Spirit in high esteem and thus downplay the ritual of outward physical water baptism (Matt 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33, Acts 1:5)

If you have questions about the next steps of your faith in Jesus Christ, always seek out one of your pastors. We would be thrilled to discuss your relationship with Christ with you.


Eric Bowman ovalEric is our associate pastor, working with outreach and youth ministry as well as adult discipleship and growth. Eric retired from a 28-year career in public education as a high school band director in 2019 and is now living his lifelong dream as a pastor. Eric and his wife, Diana, continue to live in Henry County where they have been lifetime residents. They "raised" three children and are now making their best attempt at "raising" themselves.

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