17 August, 2005

Improving Upon Your Baptism

The London Tower is a beautiful landmark that has stood in England for many centuries. When a Christian, especailly a Reformed Christian, views the tower it should represent the price that our Puritan forefathers had to pay for thier faith.

Many Puritan ministers and sympathizers spent prison time in these towers for refusing to recant the Reformed religion. This is said to be the location where the first edition of Pilgrim's Progress was penned by John Bunyan while he spent time imprisoned there.

On the brink of two baptisms at the Associate Reformed Church, we, as communicant members, need to reflect on our own baptisms in order to be reminded and encouraged of our own Christian commitment.

The Divines at Westminster knew the importance for the Christian to reflect on his or her own baptism and hid instruction on doing so in the middle of the Larger Catechism. Take a few moments to review this question and answer. Write down the thoughts that most impress your heart and your mind and begin to meditate upon them. We should use the occasion of baptism to reaffirm our trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Q167: How is our Baptism to be improved by us?

The needful but much neglected duty of improving our Baptism, is to be performed by us all our life long, especially in the time of temptation, and when we are present at the administration of it(baptism) to others;
by serious and thankful consideration of the nature of it,
and of the ends for which Christ instituted it,
the privileges and benefits conferred and sealed thereby,
and our solemn vow made therein;
by being humbled for our sinful defilement,
our falling short of, and walking contrary to, the grace of baptism,
and our engagements;
by growing up to assurance of pardon of sin,
and of all other blessings sealed to us in that sacrament;
by drawing strength from the death and resurrection of Christ, into whom we are baptized,
for the mortifying of sin, and quickening of grace;
and by endeavoring to live by faith,
to have our conversation (lifestlye) in holiness and righteousness,
as those that have therein given up their names to Christ;
and to walk in brotherly love, as being baptized by the same Spirit into one body.

Soli Deo Gloria!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how the early Presbyterians understood that doctrine was full of application.

The Reformed tradition balances the practice with the doctrine.
That is what I love about your tradition.

If modern Christians could balance these things so well...who knows...
revival? reformation?

MUCH better than the disarray of the postmodern church.