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The Blue Letter Bible

Heidelberg Catechism of 1563: The Second Part - Of Holy Baptism

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26th Lord’s Day

Question 69. How art thou admonished and assured by holy baptism, that the one sacrifice of Christ upon the cross is of real advantage to thee?

Answer: Thus: That Christ appointed this external washing with water,a adding thereto this promise,b that I am as certainly washed by his blood and Spirit from all the pollution of my soul, that is, from all my sins,c as I am washed externally with water, by which the filthiness of the body is commonly washed away.

(a) Mat 28:19
(b) Mat 28:19; Act 2:38; Mat 3:11; Mar 16:16; Jhn 1:33; Rom 6:3-4
(c) 1Pe 3:21; Mar 1:4; Luk 3:3

Question 70. What is it to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?

Answer: It is to receive of God the remission of sins, freely, for the sake of Christ’s blood, which he shed for us by his sacrifice upon the cross;a and also to be renewed by the Holy Ghost, and sanctified to be members of Christ, that so we may more and more die unto sin, and lead holy and unblamable lives.b

(a) Hbr 12:24; 1Pe 1:2; Rev 1:5; Rev 7:14; Zec 13:1; Eze 36:25
(b) Jhn 1:33; Jhn 3:5; 1Co 6:11; 1Co 12:13; Rom 6:4; Col 2:12

Question 71. Where has Christ promised us, that he will as certainly wash us by his blood and Spirit, as we are washed with the water of baptism?

Answer: In the institution of baptism, which is thus expressed: “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”, Mat 28:19. And “he that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned.”, Mar 16:16. This promise is also repeated, where the scripture calls baptism “the washing of regenerations” and the washing away of sins. Tts 3:5, Act 22:16.a

(a) Tts 3:5; Act 22:16

27th Lord’s Day

Question 72. Is then the external baptism with water the washing away of sin itself?

Answer: Not at all:a for the blood of Jesus Christ only, and the Holy Ghost cleanse us from all sin.b

(a) Mat 3:11; 1Pe 3:21; Eph 5:26-27
(b) 1Jo 1:7; 1Co 6:11

Question 73. Why then does the Holy Ghost call baptism “the washing of regeneration,” and “the washing away of sins”?

Answer: God speaks thus not without great cause, to-wit, not only thereby to teach us, that as the filth of the body is purged away by water, so our sins are removed by the blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ;a but especially that by this divine pledge and sign he may assure us, that we are spiritually cleansed from our sins as really, as we are externally washed with water.b

(a) Rev 1:5; Rev 7:14; 1Co 6:11
(b) Mar 16:16; Gal 3:27

Question 74. Are infants also to be baptized?

Answer: Yes: for since they, as well as the adult, are included in the covenant and church of God;a and since redemption from sinb by the blood of Christ, and the Holy Ghost, the author of faith, is promised to them no less than to the adult;c they must therefore by baptism, as a sign of the covenant, be also admitted into the christian church; and be distinguished from the children of unbelieversd as was done in the old covenant or testament by circumcision,e instead of which baptism is institutedf in the new covenant.

(a) Gen 17:7
(b) Mat 19:14
(c) Luk 1:15; Psa 22:10; Isa 44:1-3; Act 2:39
(d) Act 10:47
(e) Gen 17:14
(f) Col 2:11-13

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