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Page 420

How do Jesus' Parables of the Tares, Wicked Husbandmen, and Five Wise and Foolish Virgins illustrate the truth of a two-fold relationship to God's church?

    yourselves, We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire" (Matthew 3:9-10).

    (For additional clarification and textual support for this biblical distinction of inward and outward church and covenant relationship, please refer to Chapter 24 regarding "God's Church.")

Outward baptism can be distinguished from inward in the following ways:

Characteristic External (Water) Baptism Internal (Spiritual) Baptism

1. Instrument

Cleansing water

Cleansing grace

2. Administrator

God's ordained Servant

God's Holy Spirit

3. Relationship to God's Church

Entrance into the Church Visible

Entrance into the Church Invisible

4. Relationship to God's Covenant

Outward; temporal; breakable

Inward; eternal; unbreakable

5. Relationship to Jesus Christ

External; non-saving

Spiritual; saving

6. Relationship to God's Promise

Offered (sign and seal of the truth of God's gospel offered to the baptized person)

Applied (sign and seal of the application of the gospel to the baptized person)

7. Separation from the World

Outwardly; from the heathen (non-church) world

Inwardly; from the reigning power of sin (new nature); from the unregenerated

8. Benefits

Temporal -Placed under God's Word (God's means of salvation) and the teachings, prayers, and government of God's church

Eternal- Placed within God's salvation: personal regeneration, conversion, justification, sanctification, and glorification


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