HAIL & FIRE - a resource for Reformed and Gospel Theology in the works, exhortations, prayers, and apologetics of those who have maintained the Gospel and expounded upon the Scripture as the Eternal Word of God and the sole authority in Christian doctrine.
"Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." Rom 3:27-28
HOME > Doctrine > On Baptism - an excerpt from "The Holy Spirit" by John Owen
"A Discourse Concerning the Holy Spirit
wherein an Account is given of his Name, Nature, Personality, Dispensation, Operations and Effects."
Regeneration does not consist in those things which are only outward signs of it; or at most, instituted means of effecting it: for the nature of things is distinct from the means and pledges of them, such as baptism is, with the profession of the doctrine of it. The apostle Peter states this case, 1 Pet. iii. 21. "In answer whereunto even baptism doth also now save us; not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." The outward administration of this ordinance considered materially, extends only to the washing away the filth of the flesh; but it signifies the answer of a good conscience; a conscience purged from sin, and quickened by virtue of the resurrection of Christ to holy obedience, Heb. ix. 14; Rom. vi. 3-7. The apostle Paul also plainly distinguishes between the outward ordinances and regeneration, Gal. vi. 15. "In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature." By circumcision, he intends the whole system of Mosaical ordinances; and by uncircumcision, the participation of all gospel ordinances among the professing gentiles. But from them all he distinguishes the new creation; as that, which they may be without: and being so are not available to salvation. Again, if baptism were regeneration, then all baptized persons must of necessity be regenerate; but this we know to be otherwise. For instance, Simon the magician was baptized by Philip the evangelist, yet he was not regenerate; for it is said of him, "he had no part or lot in the matter, his heart not being right in the sight of God; but was in the gall of bitterness, and bond of iniquity," Acts viii. 13, 21, 23; which surely is not the description of a person newly regenerate."
"But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." Psa 37:11 KJV
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