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Westminster Confession of 1646: Of Baptism

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Chapter XXVIII. Of Baptism

I. Baptism is a sacrament of the new testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, (Mat 28:19); not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church, (1Co 12:13); but also, to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, (Rom 4:11; Col 2:11-12); of his ingrafting into Christ, (Gal 3:27; Rom 6:5); of regeneration, (Tts 3:5); of remission of sins, (Mar 1:4); and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life, (Rom 6:3-4). Which sacrament is, by Christ’s own appointment, to be continued in His Church until the end of the world, (Mat 28:19-20).

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, (Mat 3:11; Jhn 1:33; Mat 28:19-20).

III. Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but Baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water upon the person, ( Hbr 9:10, 19-22; Act 2:41; Act 16:33; Mar 7:4).

IV. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ, (Mar 16:15-16; Act 8:37-38); but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized, (Gen 17:7, 9; Gal 3:9, 14; Col 2:11-12; Act 2:38-39; Rom 4:11-12; 1Co 7:14; Mat 28:19; Mar 10:13-16; Luk 18:15).

V. Although it be a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance, (Luk 7:30; Exd 4:24-26); yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it, (Rom 4:11; Act 10:2, 4, 22, 31, 45, 47); or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated, (Act 8:13, 23).

VI. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered, (Jhn 3:5, 8); 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 belongeth unto, according to the counsel of God’s own will, in His appointed time, (Gal 3:27; Tts 3:5; Eph 5:25-26; Act 2:38, 41).

VII. The sacrament of Baptism is but once to be administered unto any person, (Tts 3:5).



DISCLAIMER: Creeds, catechisms, and confessions do not replace Scripture, nor the authority of Scripture. The creeds, catechisms and confessions are included herein for purposes of reference. Blue Letter Bible aims to provide resources that cover a range of traditional, orthodox, conservative Christianity, for the benefit of all of our users. The inclusion of the creeds, catechisms, and confessions does not necessarily mean that the ministry agrees with each and every point in each, since some are coming from different Christian perspectives of faith, practice and worship. The user may find them useful as tools to assist in understanding or teaching the Scriptures, since they were drafted based upon Scripture. Used in their proper context, they can continue to aid us as much today as they did for our forefathers in centuries past.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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