• Baptized into Christ

    Romans 6:3-4

    John Calvin comments on today’s passage: “Paul, according to his usual manner, where he speaks of the faithful, connects the reality and the effect with the outward sign; for we know that whatever the Lord offers by the visible ...Read More

  • The Baptism of Christ

    Matthew 3:13–17

    Dr. R.C. Sproul also notes the importance of the Spirit’s descent upon Jesus as showing that His work as a man redeems us. As God, Jesus always enjoyed the presence of the Holy Spirit, but as a man ...Read More

  • The Sign and Seal of Righteousness

    Romans 4:11–12

    Under the new covenant, baptism signifies and seals our separation from the world unto the Lord (Col. 2:8–15). Like circumcision, baptism is not faith or justification, but it points beyond itself to justification for those who believe. Moreover ...Read More

  • The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

    1 Corinthians 12:12–13

    When we separate the baptism of the Holy Spirit from conversion, we end up with second-class citizens in the kingdom of God. But as the Lord has poured out His Spirit on all His people, this is impossible. Christians may ...Read More

  • Washed, Sanctified, and Justified

    1 Corinthians 6:11b

    God conveys grace to us through the preaching of the Word and the sacraments, so we must never think of baptism and the Lord’s Supper as empty rites. We cannot understand everything that happens in baptism, for who understands ...Read More

  • The Blood and the Spirit

    1 John 1:7

    “Just as the Word of God does not return to him void, neither does the exercise and administration of his sacrament return to him void” (R.C. Sproul, Truths We Confess, vol. 3, p. 89). The preaching of God’s ...Read More

  • The Washing of Regeneration

    Titus 3:5

    Today’s passage is a proof text for question and answer 71 of the Heidelberg Catechism, which, in accord with Scripture, calls baptism “the water of rebirth” and “the washing away of sins.” People can be saved without being baptized ...Read More

  • Washed in the Spirit

    Ezekiel 36:25–27

    The sacrament of baptism reminds us that God has cleansed us from all sin and, therefore, that the filthiness of wickedness has no place in our lives. If we have trusted in Jesus Christ by faith alone, then we are ...Read More

  • Freedom Through Christ’s Blood

    Revelation 1:5b

    Baptism reminds us who believe that we are washed clean of our sin on account of the blood of Christ. His death atoned for our guilt, enabling God to forgive us without compromising His justice. When we see the water ...Read More

  • Baptism and Salvation

    1 Peter 3:21

    Throughout history, God has entered into covenants with a visible covenant community, a community identified by its profession of faith. However, not everyone in the visible covenant community possesses faith. Only those who trust in Christ alone are a part ...Read More

  • Two Sacraments

    Matthew 28:18–20

    Theologians often speak of the “ordinary means of grace,” the practices of preaching, prayer, and the sacraments that were instituted by Christ Himself to edify His church. Many want to elevate other practices to a sacramental level and impose them ...Read More

  • The Focus of the Sacraments

    Galatians 3:27

    We must know the gospel to have faith in the gospel, and we must have faith in the gospel to enjoy the sanctifying benefits of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Thus, the preaching of the Word always has a ...Read More

  • Signs and Seals

    Romans 4:9–12

    We are creatures with both physical and spiritual components. We understand what happens to us physically when we are washed with water and when we eat, and the sacraments portray spiritual realities to us by way of analogies with our ...Read More

  • One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism

    Ephesians 4:5-6

    Water baptism does not guarantee that the person baptized has true faith in the Messiah, but it is so closely tied to the baptism of the Spirit we receive at conversion that people should not be rebaptized even if they ...Read More

  • Faith and the Means of Grace

    Colossians 2:11-12

    Baptism may, at its administration, mysteriously “increase the grace of God in the heart, if present, but may also be instrumental in augmenting faith later on, when the significance of baptism is understood” (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 642). Believers ...Read More