Trinity Baptist Church
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Taking people to deeper intimacy with the Savior.
Baptism is the sacramental sign of the New Covenant (the covenant established by Jesus as opposed to the Old Covenant of the Old Testament Law). It is a sign by which God seals his pledge to those who have been called by God's grace to inherit salvation.
Baptism signifies several things. Primarily, it is a sign of the cleansing and remission of our sin as accomplished at the cross of Christ. Also, and very importantly, it signifies being regenerated by the Holy Spirit, being buried and raised together with Christ, being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, being adopted into the family of God, and being sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Baptism was instituted by Christ in Matthew 28:19 where he told the disciples to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...". However, this outward sign is just that--an outward sign of the internal union that the believer has with God. It does not automatically confer the realities that are signified. For example, though baptism signifies regeneration or rebirth, it does not automatically confer rebirth. The power of baptism is not in the water but in the power of God. Therefore, as distinctive among churches of the Baptist tradition (as well as many other Protestant denominations), the reality to which the sacrament points should be present before the sign of baptism is given.