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Re: efficacious baptism

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  • raging_calvinist
    Belgic Confession, Article 34 [The Sacrament of Baptism]: We believe and confess that Jesus Christ, in whom the law is fulfilled, has by his shed blood
    Message 1 of 734 , Jul 7, 2001
      Belgic Confession, Article 34 [The Sacrament of
      Baptism]:<br><br>We believe and confess that Jesus Christ, in whom
      the law is fulfilled, has by his shed blood put an
      end to every other shedding of blood, which anyone
      might do or wish to do in order to atone or satisfy for
      sins.<br><br>Having abolished circumcision, which was done with
      blood, he established in its place the sacrament of
      baptism. By it we are received into God's church and set
      apart from all other people and alien religions, that
      we may be dedicated entirely to him, bearing his
      mark and sign. It also witnesses to us that he will be
      our God forever, since he is our gracious
      Father.<br><br>Therefore he has commanded that all those who belong to him
      be baptized with pure water in the name of the
      Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.<br><br>In this
      way he signifies to us that just as water washes away
      the dirt of the body when it is poured on us and also
      is seen on the body of the baptized when it is
      sprinkled on him, so too the blood of Christ does the same
      thing internally, in the soul, by the Holy Spirit. It
      washes and cleanses it from its sins and transforms us
      from being the children of wrath into the children of
      God.<br><br>This does not happen by the physical water but by the
      sprinkling of the precious blood of the Son of God, who is
      our Red Sea, through which we must pass to escape the
      tyranny of Pharoah, who is the devil, and to enter the
      spiritual land of Canaan.<br><br>So ministers, as far as
      their work is concerned, give us the sacrament and what
      is visible, but our Lord gives what the sacrament
      signifies-- namely the invisible gifts and graces; washing,
      purifying, and cleansing our souls of all filth and
      unrighteousness; renewing our hearts and filling them with all
      comfort; giving us true assurance of his fatherly
      goodness; clothing us with the "new man" and stripping off
      the "old," with all its works.<br><br>For this reason
      we believe that anyone who aspires to reach eternal
      life ought to be baptized only once without ever
      repeating it-- for we cannot be born twice. Yet this
      baptism is profitable not only when the water is on us
      and when we receive it but throughout our entire
      lives.<br><br>For that reason we detest the error of the
      Anabaptists who are not content with a single baptism once
      received and also condemn the baptism of the children of
      believers. We believe our children ought to be baptized and
      sealed with the sign of the covenant, as little children
      were circumcised in Israel on the basis of the same
      promises made to our children.<br><br>And truly, Christ
      has shed his blood no less for washing the little
      children of believers than he did for
      adults.<br><br>Therefore they ought to receive the sign and sacrament of
      what Christ has done for them, just as the Lord
      commanded in the law that by offering a lamb for them the
      sacrament of the suffering and death of Christ would be
      granted them shortly after their birth. This was the
      sacrament of Jesus Christ.<br><br>Furthermore, baptism does
      for our children what circumcision did for the Jewish
      people. That is why Paul calls baptism the "circumcision
      of Christ."<br><br>gmw.
    • almo_no1
      prayers are easy gmw, you ve got em.
      Message 734 of 734 , Sep 18, 2001
        prayers are easy gmw, you've got 'em.
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