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Heidelberg Catechism

Question 71. Where does Christ promise that we are washed with his blood and Spirit as surely as we are washed with the water of baptism?

Answer: In the institution of baptism where he says:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (a)

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (b)

This promise is repeated where Scripture calls baptism the washing of rebirth (c) and the washing away of sins. (d)

(Scriptural proofs after the fold.)

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Sunday's Hymn: Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned

Majestic sweetness sits enthroned
Upon the Saviour’s brow;
His head with radiant glories crowned,
His lips with grace over flow.

No mortal can with him compare,
Among the sons of men;
Fairer is he than all the fair
That fill the heavenly train.

He saw me plunged in deep distress,
He flew to my relief;
For me he bore the shameful cross,
And carried all my grief.

To him I owe my life and breath,
And all the joys I have;
He makes me triumph over death,
And saves me from the grave.

To heav’n, the place of his abode,
He brings my weary feet;
Shows me the glories of my God,
And makes my joys complete.

Since from his bounty I receive
Such proofs of love divine,
Had I a thousand hearts to give,
Lord, they should all be thine.

—Samuel Stennett

Other hymns, worship songs, prayers, sermons excerpts, or quotes posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.


Thankful Thursday


Here’s a list of some things I’ve been thankful for this week:

  • for warm weather and fresh air. We’re in the midst of a January thaw, so I’ve been cracking my window at night to let the breeze flow in. And I’ve been spending lots of time outside during the day, walking the dog, playing with the grandchildren, and doing a little outdoor work. I’m also thankful that January is half over.
  • for babies, rocking chairs, and the opportunity to rock my youngest grandchild to sleep yesterday afternoon.
  • for frozen Swedish meatballs in the supermarket. I love Swedish meatballs, but I’d never make them for myself. That they’re sold premade and precooked is a good gift.
  • for an exciting opportunity. That’s all I can say now because I’m not sure whether I’ll take it or not—but I’m thankful for the offer.
  • that God listens to my prayers and that he’s always with me. 
  • for “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for me” (1 Peter 1:4 ESV). The older I get, the more I cling to this promise. 

Also thankful today:

What are you thankful for? 


Linked Together: Double Imputation

From the Epistle to Diognetus
Michael Kruger quotes from an early Christian author to show that some of the earliest Christians affirmed substitutionary atonement and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. He concludes: 

[T]he Epistle to Diognetus shows that the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement, and also the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, are not late inventions, but were present very early in the history of Christianity. Did some Christian groups hold other views of such matters?  Sure.  But, the continuity between the teachings of this epistle, and the writings of Paul himself (see especially Romans 5), make it evident that the substitutionary atonement/imputation view goes back very early indeed.

Read the post.

From Berkhof’s Systematic Theology
Both the active and passive obedience of Christ are necessary if sinners are to have eternal life (The Reformed Reader).


Theological Term of the Week

The branch of theology that examines the biblical teaching about salvation, including God’s eternal plan to save sinners, Christ’s work in history to secure the salvation of sinners, and the Holy Spirit’s work regenerating and transforming sinners.

  • Biblical soteriology: 

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14 ESV)

    And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV)

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