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Question: This is to inform you that I have a healthy doubt which I request you to clear.

I have worshipped God first as a Roman Catholic, then from age 10 as a Baptist, then when I got married as a Ceylon Pentecostal. Thus I have been baptised twice, once a catholic and once a Pentecostal. Lately I have read many books and after weighing the pro?s and con?s of the subject matter and come to the conclusion that the Seventh-day Adventist church is right.

I would like to know ? do I need to be baptised in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination or will my other two baptisms suffice? Please be assured, I have taken this step all by myself and none influencing me in any way. I am acting on the dictates of my own conscience.

Joseph, India

I think we have to understand clearly the meaning of baptism. This is made most clear in the first few verses of Romans 6 where Paul emphasises that the symbol of going down into the waters of baptism represents our accepting Christ?s sacrifice of death. In verse 3 he says we were ?baptised into union with his death?. Then as we come up out of the water we are raised into newness of life along with the resurrection glory of Jesus.

This then is a public symbol of our personal acceptance of Jesus. It is public in the same way that Jesus baptism in Matthew 3 was a public declaration of the start of his ministry. The symbolism of going down into the water in ?full immersion? baptism is then seen as particularly significant.& nbsp; This is why Seventh-day Adventists commend Baptists, Pentecostals and other denominations who follow this practice. It is also why we recognise their baptism as valid prerequisite for membership of the Adventist Church.

You have obviously studied this area for yourself. However, you are asking about rebaptism. I see this as mainly a personal decision that you would work out with your Pastor. There is a precedent for rebaptism in the Bible. In Acts 19:1-5 we find Paul meeting with several disciples who had been baptised by John the Baptist. They had experienced repentance and expressed their faith in the coming Messiah. As they now recognised Christ as the already present Messiah their faith deepened and developed. In recognition of this change, and as an acknowledgement of their faith in Christ, they were rebaptised.

This indicates to me that as people come to a deeper faith in Christ and discover more about him and his truth for their lives, there is provision for rebaptism. However, it is a personal decision. You would need to be guided by:

A) how you regard you previous full immersion baptism?

B) how importantly you regard the new beliefs that you have studied into?

C) how much of a witness would your rebaptism now be for those in your family, church and community?

Baptism is a symbol of what is going on in your life, your spiritual journey. May God bless you as you seek a closer relationship with him.

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