• 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

  • The Baptism of the Spirit

    Acts 11

    Orthodoxy does not deny that many people have had wonderful reviving experiences in their lives. What orthodoxy denies is that these reviving experiences are to be identified with the baptisms of the Spirit recorded in Acts. The Spirit baptizes every ...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 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

  • The Infant Baptism Question

    1 Corinthians 1:10-17

    The issue of whether adults or children should be baptized is at once significant and emotionally charged. Because it is so emotionally charged we must speak gently. Because it is so significant we must study the matter carefully and diligently ...Read More

  • The Meaning of Baptism

    1 Corinthians 12:13

    Whenever we read the Nicene Creed we confess belief in the communion of saints. This means that we become united to every believer who has ever lived whenever we trust in Jesus. The other Christians we know are not merely ...Read More

  • The Mode of Baptism

    2 Kings 5:1–14

    All of the above evidence indicates that in baptism, it is the cleansing aspect that is the emphasis and not the way in which water is applied. Whether dipped, immersed, sprinkled, or poured upon, we are to see a picture ...Read More

  • The Necessity of Baptism

    Matthew 28:18–20

    Many Protestants today dismiss the importance of the new covenant’s signs and seals. But baptism is not a negotiable matter, and all Christians, in obedience to Christ, must be baptized unless they are providentially hindered from this ordinance. If ...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

  • 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

  • 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