Memory Text: “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38, NKJV).
Key Thought: God has instituted ordinances that, properly understood, help to reinforce our faith.
Many societies have initiation rituals, sometimes called ‘rites of passage’. In some cultures, rites of passage were designed in order to help persons to transition from one stage of life into another. For example, rites of adulthood were performed around the onset of puberty. These rites varied from place to place; yet, all had the goal of ensuring that younger members were shaped to be productive and responsible community-oriented individuals. In the process, boys or girls were taught the ways of adulthood; that is, they were shown what was expected of them as adult members of society.
In the Christian community there are specific rites as well, acts that formalize the commitment of individuals to the faith that they profess. These sacred acts not only confirm a person’s participation and fellowship in the community, but, ideally, help to prepare individuals to become faithful and productive members of that community. They also are the means of helping members understand what their commitment to Christ must entail. This week we’ll look at three rites that express our faith: baptism, foot-washing, and the Lord’s Supper.
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, December 1.