Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Through baptism believers are assured...

Calvin's Institutes (1559)
Book 4 of 4 - External Means by which God Invites Us into the Society of Christ and Holds Us Therein

Chapter 15 - Baptism
7-9 - John's baptism and Christian baptism
7. John the Baptist's baptism was "exactly the same" as the apostles' later. Both were for repentance and forgiveness (Luke 3:3), and into Christ. Only difference: for John, Jesus was still to come.
8. The Spirit was poured out more fully in the apostles' baptism, but this doesn't make John's baptism lesser. John said he baptized with water, buty Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit - Matt 3:11; Luke 3:16. This emphasizes the greater person of Christ, not a difference of baptism. John is like ministers today, baptizing with water, while Jesus sends the Spirit who regenerates.
9. Baptism shows our mortification and cleansing in Christ, as the Exodus did - 1 Cor 10:2. Freedom (Ex 14:21) from sin (Ex 14:26-28). Cleansing shown in the cloud (Num 9:15; Ex 13:21).

10-13 - Baptism doesn't free us from original sin; we profess faith by baptism
10. Saying baptism cleanses us from original sin misunderstands original sin. Only imputed righteousness can deal with that; baptism gives assurance it is removed.
11. Baptism also promises the complete drowning of our sinful nature, which is with us until death. This should keep us from despair or apathy, in our sin. Our mortification of sin continues from baptism until our death.
12. Paul speaks of this struggle in Romans 7.
13. We also profess our faith in baptism. Our loyalty to Christ is confirmed before others, so that we can't revoke it privately, without the church knowing it.

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