devotional

05NOV
2022

LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 240

Reflections on the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689

23 Aug 14 began a perhaps unbroken, orderly, and personal journey through my favorite written confession of faith. These are my personal reflections on this beloved historic Particular Baptist confession of the Christian Faith.

NEXT-

Chapter 29. Of Baptism. Paragraph 4: “Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance.”

Baptist theology is clear on this point as to what is fitting. I am certain that other modes of baptism do not in and of themselves disqualify other forms of water baptism, however, I simply cannot understand why any other form of baptism would ever develop apart from the clear biblical one of immersion. It seems to me utterly apparent that immersion was the way people were baptized from John the Witness (AKA John the Baptist) onward. This was the very start of the Gospel itself according to Mark. Mark 1:1-4. They (believers only mind you) went down under the water, and they came back up. This seems what God wishes to continue in Christian baptism in his triune name today. I mean, how plain is it? “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water…” Matthew 3:16a. Jesus was baptized by immersion. A plain reason why John was “baptizing in Aenon near Salim” was “because there was much water there…” John 3:23. I simply need no more than these descriptions to understand the prescriptions given in the epistles. John needed more than a pitcher full of water to sprinkle people. If he was sprinkling, he’d need only about a gallon for hundreds. No. Immersion is just too clear. This method is to typify what “buried with Christ” and “raised to new life” looks like.

Other forms of baptism (by non-immersion) began to develop just after the apostolic age for reasons that sometimes appear rather benign. The Didache (basically an ancient late first century church manual) for example, while clearly calling for believer’s baptism in fasting, allowed for people to have water poured over their head three times if the people could not be baptized by immersion in cold or warm “living” (running) water. See the Didache’s chapter seven. I’ve baptized in the deserts of the Middle East. Water is a scarce commodity there. Perhaps we can understand why some other forms for believer’s baptism came about in such places. Hundreds of years after the time of Jesus, for reasons that cannot be traced to biblical deduction at all, even more forms of baptism came about even with babies. This was most often not done by immersion of the kid. Infant baptism arose perhaps due to high infant mortality rates as some sadly taught that baptism somehow washed away a baby’s original sin before death. ((See my letter on On Infants Who Die). Please let me add that I’m so sorry for your loss if you have lost a child. My hope for him or her is in Christ. I pray yours is too with all confidence!) I digress. This is frankly a ridiculous and entirely un-biblical farce. Baptism neither regenerates (sorry Lutherans) nor washes away original sin (sorry Thomists). There is not a scintilla of biblical teaching on such an idea as baptism washing away the original sin of an infant, and so it’s an idea that should be utterly rejected with prejudice. In fact, we can be so sure that baptism doesn’t save a baby that Paul says when he went to Corinth, “Christ did not send me to baptize…” in 1 Corinthians 1:17. Imagine the malevolence of Paul saying such a thing if he could save babies by baptism?! It’d be unthinkable that he’d not baptize people’s kids into safety in the Gentile world if this was in his theology! No saints, baptism is for the regenerate. It itself doesn’t make anyone regenerate. Death bed baptisms in other erroneous views that baptism similarly sort of “wiped the slate clean” and thus was wise to be withheld until death seemed present also sprang up in spiritual ignorance hundreds of years after the Apostles. But none of this is what’s recorded for us in the thousands of baptisms recorded throughout the roughly forty years chronicled in the Book of Acts. The epistles also prescribe baptism by immersion in ways commensurate with the Baptist model of what’s called “credo baptism” or “believer’s baptism.” Sound biblical hermeneutics on baptism should lead us to speak of our salvation as represented by baptism in the same way we call the bread and the cup the things they represent (Jesus’ body and blood) without themselves being the things represented. In this, we avoid creating the irreconcilable contradiction of a salvation by one’s works…and yet by God’s grace alone. This often quickly becomes the crux of the issue with erroneous baptisms. The question and the mode often go hand in hand. Infant baptism is just not a biblical idea. Arguments for the few households baptized in support of family baptisms are not convincing. Not a single infant is baptized or called to be such in the Bible. But I’ll resist further commentary as the section of text here is about mode of baptism.

The word “baptize” literally means “to immerse.” Everyone knows that this is the ordinary use of the term in the ordinance in the Bible. We actually transliterate it from the Greek. Even the great theologian of the Faith, the venerable pastor John Calvin wrote: “Whether the person baptised is to be wholly immersed, and that whether once or thrice, or whether he is only to be sprinkled with water, is not of the least consequence: churches should be at liberty to adopt either, according to the diversity of climates, although it is evident that the term baptise means to immerse, and that this was the form used by the primitive Church.” (The Institutes of the Christian Religion. Book fourth, chapter 15, paragraph 19). He knew his history well. We Baptists agree with the meaning of the word in Scripture and also with the practice of the apostolic church and see no need to change it. We also agree with Calvin that churches may practice different modes. For the Christians penning this confession, water was readily available.

Baptismal modes (methods) matter for me for a lot of reasons. There are two main ones I’ll finish with: 1) the biblical model is without question. They always baptized by immersion in the Bible. Period. 2) The symbolism of baptism is of a death and resurrection with the risen Jesus. This is a symbol fitting and most perfectly expressed in immersion. This is something faithful believers in every generation will disagree on. I for one see no reason to deviate from believer’s baptism, and for one by immersion.

3,635 responses to “LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 240”

  1. mymnMoify says:

    Consequently, Vick has eclipsed 60 percent in completion rate just once in his career cialis generic name 001, nor for expected side effect severity F 1, 98 2

  2. Attenia says:

    2020 prepared a glycyrrhetinic acid GA modified pH triggered MSN based nanocarrier for the delivery of DOX CPT polyethylene glycol CPT PEG comprare cialis online

  3. arranny says:

    To facilitate the crossover design, only stable, euvolemic patients with chronic HF were enrolled, so it remains unknown how these results may be applied to patients with acute decompensated HF and significant volume overload online generic cialis However, fewer than half of the participants in this study endorsed that using sunscreen, seeking shade, and wearing sun protective clothing may help maintain younger looking skin 103

  4. arranny says:

    buy propecia without doctor Vassen, L, Wegrzyn, W, Klein Hitpass, L

  5. uctMcD says:

    precio de priligy en mexico Cohen I, Beyth Y, Tepper R, Shapira J, Zalel Y, Figer A, Cordoba M, Yigael D, Altaras MM

  6. bIenDuU says:

    best price cialis 20mg 3 Chloro 5 fluorothiophenol 14 mg, 0

  7. ZakuSach says:

    Please recommend a pharmacy with the best metformin price in Mexico.

  8. ZakuSach says:

    No need to ask a doctor for a prescription, just purchase doxycycline online.

  9. ZakuSach says:

    If you are experiencing any symptoms of an overdose of Lisinopril 10, seek medical attention immediately.

  10. ZakuSach says:

    If you are experiencing diarrhea while taking metformin 50, make sure to stay hydrated and contact your doctor if it persists.

  11. ZakuSach says:

    Why pay more for your thyroid medication than you need to? Check out our pharmacy for unbeatable Synthroid 50 mcg cost savings.

  12. ZakuSach says:

    Since taking Lasixs Water Pill, my breathing has improved significantly.

  13. ZakuSach says:

    Keep more money in your wallet by ordering cheap Synthroid online.

  14. ZakuSach says:

    I hope the lasix 40 mg cost goes down soon, otherwise I don’t know what I’ll do.

  15. ZakuSach says:

    Patients should inform their healthcare provider if they have a history of kidney stones before taking Doxy 200.

  16. ZakuSach says:

    Is lisinopril 12.5 mg available in a generic form?

  17. ZakuSach says:

    I never envisioned the synthroid 100 mg cost being so prohibitive.

  18. ZakuSach says:

    Order Lisinopril 20mg from us and enjoy our fast and reliable shipping.

  19. ZakuSach says:

    I’ve never had any issues when ordering metformin 500 for sale from this seller.

  20. ZakuSach says:

    What are the dosage options for metformin otc canada?

  21. ZakuSach says:

    I feel more alert and focused since starting Synthroid 50 mcg.

  22. ZakuSach says:

    Metformin hci has helped me control my blood sugar.

  23. ZakuSach says:

    Monitor any potential side effects or variations in dosage even with Synthroid discount usage to ensure optimal treatment.

  24. ZakuSach says:

    I am looking to buy cheap metformin to save some cash.

  25. ZakuSach says:

    With thyroid Synthroid, I finally feel like my body is working properly.