• The When of Spirit Baptism Devotional

    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 inferiority depending on the group into which we fall, which is contrary to how we are to regard ourselves and others (Phil. 2:5-11). If we are in Christ, we have His Spirit, and we do not need a special experience by which He is conveyed to people. View Resource

  • Baptized into Christ Devotional

    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 symbol is confirmed and ratified by their faith. In short, he teaches what is the real character of baptism when rightly received.” Baptism reassures us that God promises to regenerate His people in His own timing and cleanse us from all sin. View Resource

  • The Baptism of Christ Devotional

    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 the Spirit came upon Him at a particular point to empower Him for ministry. As Dr. Sproul notes, “It’s the human Jesus who is anointed by the Holy Ghost to fulfill this mission of the Messiah.” Jesus lived for our salvation as much as He died for it. View Resource

  • The Sign and Seal of Righteousness Devotional

    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, like circumcision, the value of baptism is not tied to the moment it is administered. The most important thing about baptism is that we possess the reality it signifies, not whether we receive it before or after coming to saving faith. View Resource

  • Washed, Sanctified, and Justified Devotional

    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 every facet of any of God’s works? But we can expect the Spirit to bless us in a special way that helps us in our Christian growth. If you are a Christian, the Spirit works in you when you witness the baptisms of others. View Resource

  • The Blood and the Spirit Devotional

    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 Word will either soften hearts and incline them to His truth, or it will harden hearts against His promises. So it is with the sacraments. We must never take these ordinances lightly but examine ourselves before we witness or participate in them. View Resource

  • The Washing of Regeneration Devotional

    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 if, for reasons beyond their control, they are unable to get baptized. But the New Testament knows of no true convert who consciously refuses baptism. If you trust Jesus but have never been baptized, you must receive the sign and seal of baptism. View Resource

  • Washed in the Spirit Devotional

    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 in Jesus Christ and must not live as if we are still in Adam. We will fail, and we will still sin until we are glorified. Nevertheless, we are daily to regard sin as out of place in the Christian life, and we are to repent and turn from our evil deeds. View Resource

  • Freedom Through Christ’s Blood Devotional

    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 of baptism, we should be reminded of the great sacrifice of Jesus, who poured out His blood— His very life—for the sake of His people. May we never consider this truth lightly but rejoice in what the Lord has done for us. View Resource

  • Baptism and Salvation Devotional

    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 of the invisible church, which gets its name from the fact that the true state of others’ hearts is invisible to us but not to God. We must put our faith in Jesus to receive the benefits signified in baptism. View Resource

  • Two Sacraments Devotional

    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 on believers. Some of these practices might be good and helpful—for example, quiet times, fast days, feast days—but none of them are mandatory. We are bound to do only what Jesus commands. View Resource

  • The Focus of the Sacraments Devotional

    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 certain kind of priority over the sacraments in our worship. We must not have a high view of the sacraments at the expense of a high view of preaching, so let us make sure to hear the Word preached whenever we can. View Resource

  • Signs and Seals Devotional

    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 physical experience. The Spirit truly washes us clean of sin, and we truly receive necessary spiritual nourishment from Christ. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper help us understand these truths better. View Resource

  • Faith and the Means of Grace Devotional

    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 who are baptized for the first time as adults have no doubt received its grace, which bolsters their faith. Baptized infants receive baptism’s grace if and when they later come to faith. View Resource

  • Our Unity in Christ Jesus Devotional

    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 fact that we are Christians is not one of the top answers given to any of those questions, it may be that we are elevating other parts of our identity above Jesus. As Christians, the most important truth about us is that we are in Christ and must pattern our lives after Him. View Resource