Why do four of the five questions for adult baptism refer
to misery, deliverance, and thankfulness?
QUESTIONS FOR ADULT BAPTISM
1. Dost thou believe in the only true God, distinct in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, who has made heaven and earth, and all that in them is, of nothing, and still maintains and governs them, insomuch that nothing comes to pass, either in heaven or on earth, without His divine will?
2. Dost thou believe that thou art conceived and born in sin, and therefore art a child of wrath by nature, wholly incapable of doing any good, and prone to all evil; and that thou hast frequently, in thought, word, and deed, trangressed the commandments of the Lord: and whether thou art heartily sorry for these sins?
3. Dost thou believe that Christ, who is the true and eternal God, and very man, who took His human nature out of the flesh and blood of the Virgin Mary, is given thee of God, to be thy Savior, and that thou dost receive by this faith, remission of sins in His blood, and that thou art made by the power of the Holy Ghost, a member of Jesus Christ and His Church?
4. Dost thou assent to all the articles of the Christian religion, as they are taught here, in this Christian church, according to the Word of God; and purpose steadfastly to continue in the same doctrine to the end of thy life; and also dost thou reject all heresies and schisms, repugnant to this doctrine, and promise to persevere in the communion of the Christian church, not only in the hearing of the Word, but also in the use of the Lord's Supper?
5. Hast thou taken a firm resolution always to lead a Christian life; to forsake the world and its evil lusts, as is becoming the members of Christ and His Church; and to submit thyself to all Christian admonitions?
While a person joining the church as an adult should make a profession of saving faith and should join the Church Invisible, and should receive the essence of baptism, what must the church do in the case of a serious person who confesses historical faith in the biblical doctrines, leads an outwardly blameless life, desires to join the church, but cannot truly confess experiential knowledge of the marks of grace, of true conversion?