The promise of the gospel offer is sealed in baptism. The fulfill
ment of it is sealed by the Holy Spirit. Why is this true?
sinful entertainments as exciting. Marvin uses rough language because he thinks that sounds impressive. Friends from this church and school are dull, he thinks. He prefers to hang around with others.
In short, God has graciously separated him from the world outwardly, but he despises this separation. "I want to be like the world -not different" is his desire. He wants to listen to the music, attend the entertainments, use the language, and share the friends of the world -not those of his church.
How is Marvin, like Esau, "selling his birthright for a mess of pottage"?
While water baptism is a precious gift of God and grants many blessings, it is not saving. Receiving the promise's offer is not receiving the promise's fulfillment. The outward cleansing with water is not the inward cleansing with Jesus' blood. The sign must be distinguished from the reality.
BENEFITS OF SPIRITUAL BAPTISM
(Baptism applied inwardly)
The deepest meaning, the spiritual reality, the primary purpose of baptism lies in its internal reality, not in its external sign or benefits. Baptism's core purpose is spiritual. It is to serve as a sign and seal of spiritual washing from sin by the cleansing blood of the Savior. It testifies of internal regeneration of the heart, of spiritual separation from the world and dedication to God. It signifies entrance into God's covenant and church in an internal, saving, unbreakable, and eternal way. Baptism is a sign and seal of one's being savingly ingrafted into Christ, of his being savingly adopted as a child of the triune God.
The sealing power of spiritual baptism is experienced whenever the Holy Spirit applies the truth of the cleansing power of Christ's blood to the soul of the believer. The fulfillment of God's promise in baptism is experienced in a way of misery (repentance), deliverance (faith), and thankfulness (obedience). Has the deepest reality of baptism become real in your personal life?