Chapter 29, Paragraph 3.
“The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, wherein the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Matthew 28:19, 20
Baptism and water are inseparable. It is quite difficult to think of baptism without thinking of water. But it must be asked: is water necessary in order to be baptized? Why is there such an emphasis on the use of water?
When we are baptized, it is a sign of leaving our old life behind. The corrupt nature, our inclination to evil, our servitude to sin, have all been changed through the salvation God has granted to us. The mark of death sin left on us is washed away. What better element to use as a symbol of our purification than water? Water is essential in our daily washing; its use in baptism makes perfect sense.
Baptism is a sign of the Christian’s union with Christ. Yet our salvation is a product of all three persons of the Trinity. The Father elects a people, the Son dies for that people, and the Holy Spirit regenerates that people. Because of the triune nature of salvation, we are to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is in line with Scripture: Jesus Himself directs baptism to be done in the name of all three persons of the Trinity.
Questions to Consider
- Have you ever considered baptism not using water? Why is baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit important?