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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 94. What is baptism?
A. Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, does signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord's.

1. Is washing with water the outward sign in baptism? Yes: I am come baptizing with water, John 1:31. Is that well done by sprinkling? Yes: For so shall he sprinkle many nations, Isa. 52:15. Ezek. 30:25. Is that sign significant? Yes: If ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified, 1 Cor. 6:11. But is the outward sign alone sufficient? No: Baptism saves us, not as it is the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God, 1 Pet. 3:21.

2. Must baptism be in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? Yes; Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Sun, and of the Holy Ghost, Matt. 28:19. And not in the minister's name? No: Were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Cor. 1:13. Is it therefore one? Yes: for there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, Eph. 4:5. There were added to the church daily, Acts 2:47. Are we thereby entered into Christ's school? Yes: Jesus made and baptized disciples, John 4:1. And listed under his banner? Yes: as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, 2 Tim. 2: 3.

3. Is baptism a door of admission into the visible church? Yes: There were added to the church daily, Acts 2:47. Are we thereby entered into Christ's school? yes: Jesus made and baptized disciples, John 4:1. And listed under his banner? Yes: as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, 2 Tim. 2:3.

4. Is baptism a seal of our ingrafting into Christ? Yes: for being baptized into Jesus Christ, we are baptized into his death, Rom. 6:3. And of our partaking of the new covenant? Yes: Be baptized for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, Acts 2:38. And of our engagement to be the Lord's? Yes: I entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine, Ezek. 16:8. Is the covenant sealed in the baptism a mutual covenant? Yes: Ye shall be my people, and I will be your God, Jer. 30:32.

5. Are we bound by our baptism to renounce the devil and all his works? Yes: for the Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil 1 John 3:8. And to renounce the pomps and vanities of this wicked world? Yes: for we must not be conformed to this world, Rom. 12:2. And all the sinful lusts of the flesh? Yes: for we are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, Rom. 8:9. Are we bound to believe all the articles of the Christian faith? Yes: we must hold fast the form of sound words, 2 Tim. 1:13. And to keep God's holy will and commandments? Yes: that we also should walk in newness of life, Rom. 6:4. And to walk in the same all the days of our life? Yes: If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed, John 8:31.

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