Chapter 29, Paragraph 1.
“…of remission of sins;…”
“What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
For those being baptized, going under the water and coming up is a sign. It is a sign of their union with Christ, with His death and resurrection. It is also a sign that their sins are forgiven. In the Bible sin is not only described as a wrong action, but is likened to a stain, a mark that needs to be removed:
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me….Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:2-3,10)
‘Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight….Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.‘ (Isaiah 1:16,18)
As humans with a corrupted fallen nature, sin permeates our being. We need a purification in order to have communion with God. Through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, we are justified before God. Our sins are called to mind no more: “Yes, You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19) We are washed in the blood of the Lamb, and sin no longer has dominion over us: “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)
Water is the usual element used in washing, so it is fitting that it is used in baptism. We are reminded that Jesus has washed us by His blood, and that sin no longer has dominion over us: “…so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5:26, 27) Remember your baptism, and the remission of sin it signifies.
“Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.”
Questions to Consider
- Why is it important that baptism be a sign of remission of sins?