[Papercut Press Publishing]1999-02-02 - B1: Baptism

The Holy Alphabet Series

Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism.

"Baptism is a Sacrament, wherein the washing with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signifie and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the Covenant of Grace, and our engagement to be the Lords, Matt. 28:19, Rom. 6:4, Gal. 3:27." --Robert Port

Baptism is a Sacrament practiced by all the various sects of the Christian faith except the Quakers, who view baptism as a temporary New Testament institution. Putting that aside, Christian baptism accomplishes a couple of things upon the one baptized.

  1. It admits the person baptized into the visible church and to all the privileges and respect a member in the household of faith deserves. Scottish minister Thomas Boston says of this, "It supposes the party to have a right to these privileges...infants of believing parents are born within the covenant, and so are Christians and visible Church members; and by baptism this right of theirs is acknowledged, and they are solemnly admitted to the privileges of Church membership."

  2. It is a sign and seal of the covenant of grace. It also admits the individual to the benefits of this covenant. Some of these benefits are union with Christ and regeneration. These benefits are not inseparably connected with baptism. It would not be wise to say that everyone who is baptized is undoubtedly united with Christ and regenerated in Him. That would make baptism a saving work, which is not then a sacrament. Some groups fall trap to this heresy.

  3. It is a sign and seal that the person baptized desires to be devoted to God and is seeking to walk in newness of life. Baptism is the act of making a solemn and public profession and vow of consecration to be God's child and to serve Him now, completely, and forever.

Here is where the individual sees some tangible meaning in baptism. The baptized, in coming for baptism, renounce all other god's, enlist themselves under the banner of Christ and His cause, resolve to fight against sin and the devil, and pledge to serve God in holiness and righteousness as long as God will grant life. This is an awesome pledge to make publicly before God. As Robert Port says above, baptism signifies our engagement to be the Lords.

Baptism makes us "Engaged to be the Lords", and the concept, of being engaged to be the Lords, is something I hope is worth pondering for a while.

Soli Deo Gloria,