Monday, April 8, 2013

Heidelberg on Baptism

Question 73: Why doth the Holy Ghost call baptism the washing of regeneration and the washing away of sins?

Answer: God speaks thus not without great cause: namely, not only to teach us thereby that like as the filthiness of the body is taken away by water, so our sins also are taken away by the blood and Spirit of Christ; but much more, that by this divine pledge and token he may assure us that we are as really washed from our sins spiritually as our bodies are washed with water.

Question 74: Are infants also to be baptized?

Answer: Yes; for since they, as well as their parents, belong to the covenant and people of God, and both redemption from sin and the Holy Ghost, who works faith, are through the blood of Christ promised to them no less than to their parents, they are also by baptism, as a sign of the covenant, to be ingrafted into the Christian Church, and distinguished from the children of unbelievers, as was done in the Old Testament by circumcision, in place of which in the New Testament baptism is appointed.

—Philip Schaff, ed., The Creeds of Christendom (vol. 3; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996), 330–331.

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