Of Holy Baptism

26  Lord's Day

Question  69
How art thou admonished and assured by holy baptism, that the one sacrifice of Christ upon the cross is of real advantage to thee?

A. Thus:That Christ appointed this external washing with water,(1)
adding thereto this promise, 2) that I am as certainly washed by  His blood and Spirit from all the pollution of my soul, that is, from  all my sins,(3) as I am washed externally with water, by which the filthiness of the body is commonly washed away.

(1) Matt 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

(2) Mark 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;  but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Matt 3:11 
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.
Rom 6:3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?

(3) Mark 1:4  John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
Luke 3:3  And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

Additional Questions:

1. What is dealt with in this question?
It deals with the significance of holy baptism for a true believer.

2. What did holy baptism replace? 
It came in the place of circumcision.

3. What does the water in baptism signify?  
The blood and the Spirit of Christ.

4. What is done with the water? 
They immerse in the water or they sprinkle with it.

5. To what does this immersing or sprinkling point?
It points to the washing away of sins by Christís blood and Spirit.

6. What significance does holy baptism then have for a true believer?
That as certainly as water washes away the external filthiness of the body, his soul is washed by Christís blood and Spirit from all pollution.

Question  70
What is it to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?

A. It is to receive of God the remission of sins freely, for the sake  of Christ's blood, which He shed for us by His sacrifice upon the cross;(1) and also to be renewed by the Holy Ghost, and sanctified to be members of Christ, that so we may more and more die unto sin, and lead holy and unblamable lives.(2)

(1) Heb 12:24  And to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
1 Pet 1:2  Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,
through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling   of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

(2) John 1:33  And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
Rom 6:4  Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Col 2:12  Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen  with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath    raised Him from the dead.

Additional Questions:

1. What, in brief, is the significance of being washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ? 
Justification by Christís blood and sanctification by His Spirit.

2. In what does the justification by Christís blood consist? 
To have, by grace, the forgiveness of sins by God for the sake of Christís blood, which He in His sacrifice upon the cross has shed for His church.

3. In what does the sanctification consist?  
To be renewed by the Holy Ghost and sanctified to be members of Christ.

4. In what way will this certainly become evident with those who may experience it? 
They shall more and more die unto sin and lead holy and unblamable lives.

Question  71
Where has Christ promised us, that He will as certainly wash us
by His blood and Spirit, as we are washed with the water of baptism?

A. In the institution of baptism, which is thus expressed: "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost",(1) And "He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth   not, shall be damned."(2), Mark 16:16. This promise is also repeated, where the Scripture calls baptism "the washing of regeneration"(3) and the washing away of sins.(4)

(1) Matt 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

(2) Mark 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

(3) Tit 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done,    but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

(4) Acts 22:16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Additional Questions:

1. Is this based upon Godís Word?  
Yes, see Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 22:16, and Titus 3:5.

2. What is stated in Matthew 28:19?  
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

3. What is stated in Mark 16:16?
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

4. What is holy baptism called in Acts 22:16 and Titus 3:5?  The washing away of sins and the washing of regeneration.

5. Does baptism itself then wash away sin?  
No, but it is a sign and seal of it.

27  Lord's Day

Question  72
Is then the external baptism with water the washing away of sin itself?

A. Not at all: for the blood of Jesus Christ only,(1) and the Holy Ghost cleanse us from all sin.(2)

(1) Matt 3:11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.
1 Pet 3:21  The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

(2) 1 John 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. 
1 Cor.6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Additional Questions:

1. What errors are there in regard to holy baptism?  
An overvaluing of it and an undervaluing of it.

2. What is involved in the overvaluing of holy baptism? 
The belief that holy baptism is indispensable for salvation. This we find maintained by Rome and by Luther.

3. Why must holy baptism be administered?  
Because God has commanded it.

4. What is the result of overvaluing holy baptism?
The approval of the so-called baptism of necessity and a belief in the apostasy of saints.

5. What is involved in the undervaluing of holy baptism? 
A viewing of holy baptism as merely an external ceremony, or a limiting of holy baptism to a particular group of persons in the church, such as is found with the Baptists and Mormons.

6. What does the catechism teach? 
It teaches that the external baptism with water does not wash away sins, but only the blood of Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost cleanse from all sins.

Question  73
Why then does the Holy Ghost call baptism  "the washing of regeneration," and "the washing away of sins"?

A. God speaks thus not without great cause, to wit, not only thereby to teach us that as the filth of the body is purged away by water, so our sins are removed by the blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ;(1) but especially that by this divine pledge and sign He may assure us, that we are spiritually cleansed from our sins as really as we are externally washed with water.(2)

(1) Rev 1:5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.
1 Cor 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

(2) Mark 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Gal 3:27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Additional Questions:

1. Why then is holy baptism then called the washing of regeneration and the washing away of sins? 
It is because holy baptism is not only a sign, but also a seal which is given by God.

2. Of what is it a sign? 
As the filth of the body is purged away by water, so are the sins of Godís people removed by the blood and Spirit of Christ.

3. What does the Lord seal unto His people in holy baptism?  That they are as certainly spiritually cleansed from their sins as they are externally washed with water.

Question  74
Are infants also to be baptized?

A. Yes; for since they, as well as the adult, are included in the covenant(1) and church of God;(2) and since redemption from sin(3) by the blood of Christ, and the Holy Ghost, the author of faith, is promised to them(4) no less than to the adult; they must therefore by baptism, as a sign of the covenant, be also admitted into the Christian church, and be distinguished from the children of unbelievers(5) as was done in the old covenant or testament by circumcision,(6) instead of which baptism is instituted  in the new covenant.(7)

(1) Gen 17:7  And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
Acts 2:39 
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.

(2) 1 Cor 7:14  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the  wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
Joel 2:16 
Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

(3) Matt 19:14  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid  them not, to come unto Me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

(4) Luke 1:14  And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at His birth.
Luke 1:15  For He shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from His mother's womb.

Psa 22:10  I was cast upon thee from the womb: Thou art my God from my mother's belly.
Acts 2:39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and  to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

(5) Acts 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
1 Cor 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1 Cor 7:14  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

(6) Gen 17:14  And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant.

(7) Col 2:11  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.
Col 2:12  Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.
Col 2:13  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.

Additional Questions:

1. What is the basis presented by the catechism for the baptism of children? 
That they, as well as the adult, are included in the covenant and church of God.

2. Where does Godís Word clearly teach us that baptism has come in the place of circumcision? 
In Colossians 2:11-12.

3. What takes place in holy baptism?  
By it children are externally admitted into the Christian church and distinguished from the children of unbelievers.

4. What is necessary for every baptized person?  
To receive the matter signified by heart-renewing grace.