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C’mon In Boys, The Water Is Fine

The testimony of Delmar O’Donnell, newly baptised in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Delmar O’Donnell: Well that’s it, boys. I’ve been redeemed. The preacher’s done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It’s the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting’s my reward.
Ulysses Everett McGill: Delmar, what are you talking about? We’ve got bigger fish to fry.
Delmar O’Donnell: The preacher says all my sins is warshed away, including that Piggly Wiggly I knocked over in Yazoo.
Ulysses Everett McGill: I thought you said you was innocent of those charges?
Delmar O’Donnell: Well I was lyin’. And the preacher says that that sin’s been warshed away too. Neither God nor man’s got nothin’ on me now. C’mon in boys, the water is fine.


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Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 41

Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 41

Q & A 165
Q What is Baptism?
A Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, wherein Christ has ordained the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, to be a sign and seal of ingrafting into himself, of remission of sins by his blood, and regeneration by his Spirit; of adoption, and resurrection unto everlasting life; and whereby the parties baptised are solemnly admitted into the visible church, and enter into an open and professed engagement to be wholly and only the Lord’s.

Q & A 166
Q Unto whom is Baptism to be administered?
A Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, and so strangers from the covenant of promise, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him, but infants descending from parents, either both, or but one of them, professing faith in Christ, and obedience to him, are in that respect within the covenant, and to be baptised.

Q & A 167
Q How is our Baptism to be improved by us?
A The needful but much neglected duty of improving our Baptism, is to be performed by us all our life long, especially in the time of temptation, and when we are present at the administration of it to others; by serious and thankful consideration of the nature of it, and of the ends for which Christ instituted it, the privileges and benefits conferred and sealed thereby, and our solemn vow made therein; by being humbled for our sinful defilement, our falling short of, and walking contrary to, the grace of baptism, and our engagements; by growing up to assurance of pardon of sin, and of all other blessings sealed to us in that sacrament; by drawing strength from the death and resurrection of Christ, into whom we are baptized, for the mortifying of sin, and quickening of grace; and by endeavoring to live by faith, to have our conversation in holiness and righteousness, as those that have therein given up their names to Christ; and to walk in brotherly love, as being baptized by the same Spirit into one body.


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Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 40

Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 40

Q & A 161
Q How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation?
A The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not by any power in themselves, or any virtue derived from the piety or intention of him by whom they are administered, but only by the working of the Holy Spirit, and the blessing of Christ, by whom they are instituted.

Q & A 162
Q What is a sacrament?
A A sacrament is a holy ordinance instituted by Christ in his church, to signify, seal, and exhibit unto those that are within the covenant of grace, the benefits of his mediation; to strengthen and increase their faith, and all other graces; to oblige them to obedience; to testify and cherish their love and communion one with another; and to distinguish them from those that are without.

Q & A 163
Q What are the parts of a sacrament?
A The parts of a sacrament are two; the one an outward and sensible sign, used according to Christ’s own appointment; the other an inward and spiritual grace thereby signified.

Q & A 164
Q How many sacraments has Christ instituted in his church under the New Testament?
A Under the New Testament Christ has instituted in his church only two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Q & A 176
Q Wherein do the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper agree?
A The sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper agree, in that the author of both is God; the spiritual part of both is Christ and his benefits; both are seals of the same covenant, are to be dispensed by ministers of the gospel, and by none other; and to be continued in the church of Christ until his second coming.

Q & A 177
Q Wherein do the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper differ?
A The sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper differ, in that Baptism is to be administered but once, with water, to be a sign and seal of our regeneration and ingrafting into Christ, and that even to infants; whereas the Lord’s Supper is to be administered often, in the elements of bread and wine, to represent and exhibit Christ as spiritual nourishment to the soul, and to confirm our continuance and growth in him, and that only to such as are of years and ability to examine themselves.


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Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 42

Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 42

Q & A 96
Q What is the Lord’s Supper?
A The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christ’s appointment, his death is showed forth;1 and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment, and growth in grace.2

Q & A 97
Q What is required for the worthy receiving of the Lord’s Supper?
A It is required of them that would worthily partake of the Lord’s Supper, that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body, of their faith to feed upon him, of their repentance, love, and new obedience; lest, coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves.*3

*1 Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
*2 1 Corinthians 10:16-17.
*3 1 Corinthians 11:27-32.


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Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 41

Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 41

Q & A 94
Q What is baptism?
A Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,1 does signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord’s.2

Q & A 95
Q To whom is Baptism to be administered?
A Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him;3 but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized.4

*1 Matthew 28:19.
*2 Acts 2:38-42; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-27; 1 Peter 3:21.
*3 Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12, 36, 38; Acts 18:8.
*4 Genesis 17:7; Genesis 17:9-11; Acts 2:38-39; Acts 16:32-33; Colossians 2:11-12.


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Kevin DeYoung’s Brief Defense Of Christian Baptism

A winsome and succinct summary of why some professing Christians apply the covenant sign of baptism to their children from Kevin DeYoung.
His conclusion:

…we come to administer the sacrament of baptism to this child today with the weight of church history to encourage us and the example of redemptive history to confirm our practice. We baptize in obedience to Christ’s command. The sacrament we are about to administer is a sign of inclusion in the covenant community as circumcision was, and the water we are about to sprinkle is a sign of cleansing from sin as the sprinkled blood of bulls and goats in the Old Testament was. We pray that this little one will take advantage of all his covenant privileges, acknowledge his Lord all the days of his life, and by faith make these promises his own.
Read the whole piece here.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 27

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 27

72.
Q. Does merely the outward washing with water itself wash away?
A. No; for only the blood of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit cleanse us from all sins.

73.
Q. Then why does the Holy Spirit call baptism the water of rebirth and the washing away of sins?
A. God does not speak in this way except for a strong reason. Not only does he teach us by Baptism that just as the dirt of the body is taken away by water, so our sins are removed by the blood and Spirit of Christ; but more important still, by the divine pledge and sign he wishes to assure us that we are just as truly washed from our sins spiritually as our bodies are washed with water.

74.
Q. Are infants also to be baptized?
A. Yes, because they, as well as their parents, are included in the covenant and belong to the people of God. Since both redemption from sin through the blood of Christ and the gift of faith from the Holy Spirit are promised to these children no less than to their parents, infants are also by baptism, as a sign of the covenant, to be incorporated into the Christian church and distinguished from the children of unbelievers. This was done in the Old Covenant by circumcision. In the New Covenant baptism has been instituted to take its place.