5. Other methods of administration have been blessed to those who submitted to them. We reply that God has often condescended to human ignorance and has given his Spirit to those who honestly sought to serve him even by erroneous forms such as the Mass. This, however, is not to be taken as a divine sanction of the error, much less as a warrant for the perpetuation of a false system on the part of those who know that it is a violation of Christ?s commands. It is, in great part, the position of its advocates, as representatives of Christ and his church, that gives to this false system its power for evil.
Baptism symbolizes the previous entrance of the believer into the communion of Christ?s death and resurrection, or, in other words, regeneration through union with Christ.
A. Expansion of this statement as to the symbolism of baptism. Baptism, more particularly, is a symbol:
(a) Of the death and resurrection of Christ.
<450603> Romans 6:3 ? ?Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?? cf. <400313>Matthew 3:13 ? ?Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him?; <411038>Mark 10:38 ? ?Are ye able to drink the cup that I drink? or to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with??; <421250>Luke 12:50 ? ?But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!? <510212>Colossians 2:12 ? ?buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.? For the meaning of these passages, see note on the baptism of Jesus, under B. (a) , pages 942, 943.
Denney, in Expositor?s Greek Testament, on <450603>Romans 6:3-5 ? ?The argumentative requirements of the passage...demand the idea of an actual union to, or incorporation in Christ. We were buried with him [in the act of immersion] through that baptism into his death. If the baptism, which is a similitude of Christ?s death, has had a reality answering to its obvious import, so that we have really died in it as Christ died, then we shall have a corresponding experience of resurrection. Baptism, inasmuch as one emerges from the water after being immersed, is a similitude of resurrection as well as of death.?
(b) Of the purpose of that death and resurrection, namely, to atone for sin and to deliver sinners from its penalty and power.
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