Thursday: July 22, 2021
Question 94: What is baptism?
Answer: Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord's.
Baptism is not a sacrament, whereas, by calling Baptism a sacrament, the word implies conveyance of grace. No one has been or ever will be sealed our ingrafted into Christ through the act of Baptism. However, Baptism is required for church membership, that you a believer may then take part in the activities of the church, but it does not give us the benefits of the covenant of grace, for all was given to us when we first believed.
Ephesians 2:8-10For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
All Christian works follow after faith, which comes to us by grace, which is the gift of God. Baptism is, therefore, a good work. Christian Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Baptism does not save anyone, nor seal anyone into Christ, nor convey grace, nor make us the Lord’s. Baptism is an act of obedience that symbolizes a believers faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, and was buried, and was raised again the third day. Christian Baptism also symbolizes the believers death to sin, the burial of his old self, and resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Baptism is the testimony of a believers faith in the final, bodily, resurrection of the dead at Christ coming.
While Baptism is not required for salvation (see the thief on the cross, Luke 23:42-43) it is required for church membership. Since Baptism is a command of Christ, to refuse Baptism would negate entrance into the church community. The believer must be taught to observe all that the Lord Jesus Christ commanded. Baptism is the first act of obedience for the new believer, and is, therefore, a teaching moment for the church.
Your Servant for Jesus’ Sake