Perkins Explains What Baptism Does And Does Not Do

The third point is, how baptism confers grace? Answer. It confers grace because it is a means to give and exhibit to the believing mind Christ with His benefits, and this it does by His signification. For it serves as a particular and infallible certificate to assure the party baptized of the forgiveness of his sins and of His eternal salvation. And whereas the minister in the name of God applies the promise of mercy to him that is baptized, it is indeed as much as if God should have made a particular promise to him. In this regard, baptism may well be said to confer grace, as the king’s letters are said to save the life of the malefactor when they do but signify to him and others that the king’s pleasure is to show favor. Again, baptism may be said to confer grace because the outward washing of the body is a token or pledge of the grace of God. And by this pledge faith is confirmed, which is an instrument to apprehend or receive the grace of God.

William Perkins | The Works of William Perkins, ed. Paul M. Smalley, Joel R. Beeke, and Derek W. H. Thomas, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2015), 224–25.


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