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Comparative Theology, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III
19- Would it not be better if we say that baptism is rising with Christ and not dying with Him because death is harmful and not beneficial whereas rising is beneficial?
Baptism is dying with Christ and rising with Him as the Apostle explained in his Epistle to the Romans: "For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection" (Rom.6: 5) and "Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him" (Rom.6: 8). In this matter no one may depend on his own thoughts and stray from the Church’s teaching, saying that death is useless but resurrection is beneficial. The Holy Bible says: "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life"(Rom.6: 3,4), and we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other pages. The Apostle repeats this in his Epistle to the Colossians, saying: "...buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead" (Col.2: 12). From these verses we see that baptism is both death and resurrection. Truly, those who despise dying with Christ cannot receive the blessing of His resurrection.
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