Thursday, May 10, 2012

Simon Episcopius on Baptism

Baptism is the first public and sacred rite of the New Testament, by which all who belonged to the covenant were engrafted into the church by the solemn washing with water without distinction of age or gender, and initiated into the worship of God. For this, they were immerged or washed in water in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, that by a symbolic sign and sacred token, they were confirmed concerning the gracious will of God toward them, that just as the filth of their bodies is washed by water, so they themselves were purged within by the blood and Spirit of Christ (if they do not make this gracious covenant void through their own fault), and most fully delivered from the guilt of all their sins, and finally were granted the glorious immortality and eternal happiness of the sons of God. And at the same time, they for their part were obligated openly to declare that they constantly look to God alone and the Lord Jesus Christ, their only mediator, priest and king, for all their salvation, and to reflect on Him from the soul, and casting off all the filthiness and iniquities of sins to desire to obey through the power of the Holy Spirit for their whole life.

The Arminian Confession of 1621, Simon Episcopius, Trans & Ed. Mark A. Ellis, Pickwick, Wipf and Stock, Eugene, Oregon , 2005, pp 125-6