Question 70. What is it to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?
Answer. It is to receive of God the remission of sins, freely, for the sake of Christ s blood, which he shed for us by his sacrifice upon the cross; and also, to be renewed by the Holy Ghost, and sanctified to be members of Christ, that so We may more and more die unto sin, and lead holy and unblamable lives.
There is in baptism a double washing: an external washing with water, and an internal washing with the blood and Spirit of Christ. The internal is signified and sealed by that which is external, and is always joined with it in the proper use of baptism. This internal washing is again two-fold, being a washing with the blood and Spirit of Christ. Both are specified in the answer of the Catechism, and may take place at the same time.
To be washed with the blood of Christ , is to receive the pardon of sin, or to be justified on account of his shed-blood. To be washed with the Spirit of Christ, is to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit, which consists in a change of evil inclinations into those which are good, which the Holy Ghost works in the will and heart, so as to produce in us hatred to sin, and a desire to live according to the will of God
That this double washing from sin is signified by the sacrament of baptism, is evident from these declarations of Scripture: “John preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” “But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” The same thing is also taught when the Scriptures declare that we through baptism “are dead, and buried with Christ,” “that we have put off the body of the sins of the flesh,” “that we have put on Christ,” &c. Baptism is, therefore, the sign of both these forms of washing, or benefits of Christ, which include the forgiveness of sin, and the renewing of our nature; and that not only because it has some resemblance to both, but also because these two benefits are inseparably connected, so that neither one can be without the other. If Christ do not wash us we have no part in him, and he who has not the Spirit of Christ is none of his. These benefits, however, differ from each other. .Justification, which is by the blood of Christ, is complete and perfect in. this life by imputation, for “there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 8:1.) Regeneration, on the other hand, which is effected by the Spirit of .Christ, and which consists in a change of our evil nature to that which is good, is not perfected, but only begun in this life; vet in such a manner that this beginning does really take place in all the godly, and is experienced by them as long as they are in this life, because they truly and heartily desire to obey God in all things, and are greatly grieved on account of their defects, and remaining corruption.
Copyright © 2008 [www.seeking4truth.com]. All rights reserved .Revised: 05/17/2009