Reformed Catechism Week 45 Resources

Week 45 Question:

Is baptism with water the washing away of sin itself?

Week 45 Answer:

No, only the blood of Christ and the renewal of the Holy Spirit can cleanse us from sin.

Week 45 Verse:

Luke 3:16

Commentary

“He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” It is asked, why did not John equally say, that it is Christ alone who washes souls with his blood? The reason is, that this very washing is performed by the power of the Spirit, and John reckoned it enough to express the whole effect of baptism by the single word Spirit. The meaning is clear, that Christ alone bestows all the grace which is figuratively represented by outward baptism, because it is he who “sprinkles the conscience” with his blood. It is he also who mortifies the old man, and bestows the Spirit of regeneration. The word fire is added as an epithet, and is applied to the Spirit, because he takes away our pollutions, as fire purifies gold.

John Calvin (1509–1564). A theologian, administrator, and pastor, Calvin was born in France into a strict Roman Catholic family. It was in Geneva however where Calvin worked most of his life and organized the Reformed church. He wrote The Institutes of the Christian Religion, the Geneva Catechism, as well as numerous commentaries on Scripture.

From Calvin's Bible Commentaries: Matthew, Mark and Luke, Part I, translated by John King (Forgotten Books, 2007), 187.

Video Commentary

NCC Q45: Is baptism with water the washing away of sin itself? from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

 

Supporting Scriptures

Ephesians 5:26; 1 Peter 3:21; Matthew 3:11; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1 John 1:7; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12; Acts 8:36; Acts 8:38; Acts 18:8

Prayer

Our Father.… We come to Thee and pray that, for Jesus' sake, and through the virtue of the blood once shed for many for the remission of sins, Thou wouldest give us perfect pardon of every transgression of the past. Blot out, O God, all our sins like a cloud, and let them never be seen again. Grant us also the peace-speaking word of promise applied by the Holy Spirit, that being justified by faith we may have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let us be forgiven and know it, and may there remain no lingering question in our heart about our reconciliation with God, but by a firm, full assurance based upon faith in the finished work of Christ, may we stand as forgiven men and women against whom transgression shall be mentioned never again forever. And then, Lord, we have another mercy to ask which shall be the burden of our prayer. It is that Thou wouldest help us to live such lives as pardoned men should live. We have but a little time to tarry here, for our life is but a vapour; soon it vanishes away; but we are most anxious that we may spend the time of our sojourning here in holy fear, that grace may be upon us from the commencement of our Christian life even to the earthly close of it.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892). An English Baptist preacher, Spurgeon became pastor of London's New Park Street Church (later Metropolitan Tabernacle) at 20 years of age. He frequently preached to more than 10,000 people with no electronic amplification. Spurgeon was a prolific writer and his printed works are voluminous—by the time of his death he had preached nearly 3,600 sermons and published 49 volumes of commentaries, sayings, hymns, and devotions.

From “Prayer XIII: The Wings of Prayer" in Prayers from Metropolitan Pulpit: C. H. Spurgeon's Prayers (New York, Revell, 1906), 71–72.