Baptism is...

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Houston E.

Puritan Board Freshman
Credo Brethren,

Many times it has been said that we credos are great at articulating what baptism is NOT...however, given the differing views I have read here on the PB by credos, we seem to fall short of a general concensus when it comes to the discussion of what Baptism IS...
Maybe this thread can assist in that endeavor...:think:

Therefore, what would you say baptism IS...
 

smhbbag

Puritan Board Senior
I agree with Chapter 28 of the WCF, minus the words in bold:

I. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ,[1] not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church;[2] but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace,[3] of his ingrafting into Christ,[4] of regeneration,[5] of remission of sins,[6] and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in the newness of life.[7] Which sacrament is, by Christ's own appointment, to be continued in His Church until the end of the world.[8]

II. The outward element to be used in this sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the Gospel, lawfully called thereunto.[9]

III. Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but Baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water upon the person.[10]

IV. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ,[11] but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.[12]

V. Although it is a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance,[13] yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it:[14] or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.[15]

VI. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered;[16] yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongs unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in His appointed time.[17]

VII. The sacrament of Baptism is but once to be administered unto any person.[18]
Edited to include more. I actually believe sprinkiling/pouring to be the proper mode, though baptism by immersion can still rightly be considered and called baptism (that is, I would consider someone immersed to have been baptized). So, basically - I'm with the WCF minus infants, and find no scriptural warrant to call baptism a 'seal' of any kind.
 
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Houston E.

Puritan Board Freshman
I agree with Chapter 28 of the WCF, minus the words in bold:

Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ,[1] not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church;[2] but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace,[3] of his ingrafting into Christ,[4] of regeneration,[5] of remission of sins,[6] and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in the newness of life.[7] Which sacrament is, by Christ's own appointment, to be continued in His Church until the end of the world.[8]
Clarifying here...
So it is a sign only?
Or do you see the definition, absent the word "seal", stilly implying baptism as a means of grace?
 

smhbbag

Puritan Board Senior
I do believe it is a means of grace in a real sense (of course, as it says, not always necessarily a means of effective, salvific grace).

This is why I quoted the rest of Ch. 28, and did not bold much of VI. I added that in the edit, probably while you were writing your post.

But, in no way would I expect my view to be a consensus definition for the board. So, since that's what you are looking for, it might be better for me to stop there. Otherwise this may just turn into an intramural debate, when a consensus definition among most members probably is possible.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Here is what John Tombes says concerning the chief end of baptism.

Question 34 of Tombes Short Catechism about Baptism.

What is the chief end of Baptism?

To testifie the Repentance, Faith, Hope, Love, and Resolution of the Baptized to follow Christ, Gal. 3.27. Rom. 6.3,4. 1 Cor. 15.29. calling upon the Name of the Lord, Acts 22.16.
 

Dragoon

Puritan Board Freshman
And here is what Spurgeon had to say in his Catechism

Q: What is Baptism?

A: Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, instituted by Jesus Christ (Mt 28:19) to be to the person baptised a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death, and burial, and resurrection (Ro 6:3 Col 2:12), of his being ingrafted into him (Ga 3:27), of remission of sins (Mr 1:4 Ac 22:16), and of his giving up himself to God through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life (Ro 6:4,5).
 

Houston E.

Puritan Board Freshman
Could it be said of credos that baptism is...

1. a sign of regeneration
2. a sign of entrance into the covenant community

??
 

bug

Puritan Board Freshman
This must be the fairly standard articulation of baptism amongst perticular baptists;

1. Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him; of remission of sins; and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.

2 Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance.

3 The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, wherein the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

4 Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance.
BCoF 1689, ch 24, the formers of the confession left out sections 5, 6 and 7 of the westminster confession when they formed the BCoF, it is perhaps worth study in to why they did not include these sections when we form our definition?
 

Houston E.

Puritan Board Freshman
This must be the fairly standard articulation of baptism amongst perticular baptists;

1. Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him; of remission of sins; and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.

2 Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance.

3 The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, wherein the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

4 Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance.
BCoF 1689, ch 24, the formers of the confession left out sections 5, 6 and 7 of the westminster confession when they formed the BCoF, it is perhaps worth study in to why they did not include these sections when we form our definition?
I believe Waldron's book touches on this, as well as here

-----Added 5/23/2009 at 10:26:52 EST-----

Maybe this thread can assist in that endeavor...:think:
Well, it was worth a shot...:scratch:

:D Thanks to those who posted.
 

William Price

Puritan Board Freshman
I agree with baptism being a testimony of the salvation and work of God in a person's life. It testifies that you publicly identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that you have received regeneration and redemption, not by the hand or will of man, but by the hand of God.

It is a sacrament. I believe it to be sacred, but not salvational.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Trey,

Baptism IS a sign. That is it's primary purpose. It is a sign of regeneration because it is a sign of the New Covenant. It is also a sign of identification. The New Covenant is made possible because of Christ (Luke 22:20). While the primary interpretation of Romans 6:4 has to do with spiritual baptism, it can be said that baptism is a sign of the resurrection. There is a difference between what baptism is and what baptism does. Baptists have been careful to warn about what baptism is not (and what it doesn't do) because of the error associated with this ordinance. Lastly, baptism is a sign of great joy for the believer because he is identifying himself with Christ and the church.
 
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