Friday, August 19, 2011


"Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, wherein Christ hath ordained the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, to be a sign and seal of ingrafting into himself, of remission of sins by his blood, and regeneration by his Spirit; of adoption, and resurrection unto everlasting life; and whereby the parties baptized are solemnly admitted into the visible church, and enter into an open and professed engagement to be wholly and only the Lord’s." ~ Westminster Larger Catechism, answer to question #165

Last week I wrote briefly about what I learned in my recent preaching concerning the Lord's Supper. Today I thought I would share a little bit of what I learned about baptism by sharing with you some great resources as well as the two sermons I wrote for this class on baptism.

First, I would like to call your attention to question #167 of the Westminster Larger Catechism, "How is our baptism to be improved by us?":
The needful but much neglected duty of improving our baptism, is to be performed by us all our life long, especially in the time of temptation, and when we are present at the administration of it to others; by serious and thankful consideration of the nature of it, and of the ends for which Christ instituted it, the privileges and benefits conferred and sealed thereby, and our solemn vow made therein; by being humbled for our sinful defilement, our falling short of, and walking contrary to, the grace of baptism, and our engagements; by growing up to assurance of pardon of sin, and of all other blessings sealed to us in that sacrament; by drawing strength from the death and resurrection of Christ, into whom we are baptized, for the mortifying of sin, and quickening of grace; and by endeavoring to live by faith, to have our conversation in holiness and righteousness, as those that have therein given up their names to Christ; and to walk in brotherly love, as being baptized by the same Spirit into one body.
This one of the key things I learned while taking this course. I had probably read this question and answer a dozen times but it never hit me. Our baptisms, which for many of us was a very long time ago, can be improved by us. Baptism is not just a sacrament that is administered and forgotten about. It is something that can be improved by us and something that God uses for our sanctification. Apparently I am not the only one who had neglected this, for even in the 17th century, when this was written, it was neglected: "The needful but much neglected duty of improving our baptism..." So, my first sermon, which was normal length sermon (just a hair over seven pages), was written on this subject from Titus 3:1-8.

Some of you may be unsure what baptism really is. I think a lot of us who have grown up in the Church have, at best, a nebulous idea about what baptism really is. Well, my second sermon was written to (hopefully) answer that question. It is a short (only about two pages), pre-baptismal sermon, which was written as if I were about to baptize someone.

There are some good resources out there on baptism that I would recommend:
As with my post about the Lord's Supper, I pray that these resources would increase your view of baptism and ultimately God's glory in giving this sacrament to us.

By His Grace,

No comments: