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Friday, April 22, 2005

Baptism and Justification

The Rev. Dr. Peter Leithart has an excellent post on baptism and justification. Read this post and then ask yourself why in the world does most of the Church still keep its covenant children from the Sacrament of the Eucharist. If baptism does this, and I believe it does work grace by the Spirit, then we should restore God's children to the Altar. The Eastern Orthodox continue this practice and we, in the West, should return to it. If not, is there an exegetical/historical reason why not?

Below is a portion of Dr. Leithart's post. The rest of it can be found at Leithart.com.

"Thus, Paul teaches that those who have been baptized have been justified. But how are we to understand this? And how does this fit with justification by grace through faith? The answer, I believe, turns on seeing baptism, as mentioned above, as an act of God. Baptism is analogous to the Word of God; it declares the forgiveness of sins and the justification of the ungodly. And both baptism and the gospel demand a response of faith. Faith in Romans 6 involves believing what baptism says about you: Those who are baptized into Christ Jesus are dead with him; therefore, "consider [reckon] yourselves to be dead to sin" (v. 11). This, of course, does not mean that I can go and live a life of unbelief and disobedience. Such a life would belie the declaration made in my baptism (which is of course Paul's whole point in Romans 6). Yet, baptism marks me as one who has "died to sin" through Christ and therefore one who has been "justified from sin."

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