2017-06-11 18:00:58

/ June 11, 2017 - 6:00 pm / 36 min / Viewed 345 times

Genesis 17:1-14

The Sign & Seal of Baptism

A God to you …
I. A Sign
A. The Covenant
B. In Christ
C. Sign & Seal
II. For His Church
A. Believers
B. Their Children
… and your descendants.

Heidelberg Catechism
Lord’s Day 26 & 26
69. Q. How does holy baptism signify and seal to you that the one
sacrifice of Christ on the cross benefits you?

A. In this way: Christ instituted this outward washing and with it gave
the promise that, as surely as water washes away the dirt from the
body, so certainly His blood and Spirit wash away the impurity of my
soul, that is, all my sins.
70. Q. What does it mean to be washed with Christ’s blood and Spirit?
A. To be washed with Christ’s blood means to receive forgiveness of
sins from God, through grace, because of Christ’s blood, poured out
for us in His sacrifice on the cross. To be washed with His Spirit means to
be renewed by the Holy Spirit and sanctified to be members of Christ,
so that more and more we become dead to sin and lead a holy and
blameless life.
71. Q. Where has Christ promised that He will wash us with His blood
and Spirit as surely as we are washed with the water of baptism?

A. In the institution of baptism, where He says: Go therefore and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). He who believes and
is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be
condemned (Mark 16:16). This promise is repeated where Scripture
calls baptism the washing of regeneration and the washing away of
sins (Titus 3:5; Acts 22:16).
72. Q. Does this outward washing with water itself wash away sins?
A. No, only the blood of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit cleanse us from
all sins.
73. Q. Why then does the Holy Spirit call baptism the washing of
regeneration and the washing away of sins?

A. God speaks in this way for a good reason. He wants to teach us
that the blood and Spirit of Christ remove our sins just as water takes
away dirt from the body. But, even more important, He wants to
assure us by this divine pledge and sign that we are as truly cleansed
from our sins spiritually as we are bodily washed with water.
74. Q. Should infants be baptized?
A. Yes. Infants as well as adults belong to God’s covenant and
congregation. Through Christ’s blood the redemption from sin and the
Holy Spirit, who works faith, are promised to them no less than to
adults. Therefore, by baptism, as sign of the covenant, they must be
grafted into the Christian church and distinguished from the children
of unbelievers. This was done in the old covenant by circumcision, in
place of which baptism was instituted in the new covenant.