• Our Unity in Christ Jesus

    Galatians 3:27–29

    How do we define ourselves? When other people ask us to tell them a little bit about ourselves, what do we say? If one of our friends or coworkers is asked to describe us, what do they say? If the ...Read More

  • The Purpose of Sacraments

    Hebrews 6:13-20

    Baptism and the Lord’s Supper pull into themselves all the signs and miracles of the old covenant and the early church. Perhaps one reason why so many Christians look for miracles is that we do not appreciate the hidden ...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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 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

  • The When of Spirit Baptism

    1 Corinthians 12:13

    The greatest danger of positing a second blessing of the Holy Spirit is its creation of a Christian caste system. It divides the church into Spirit-haves and Spirit-have-nots, separating what God has united. This leads to feelings of superiority and ...Read More