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Community Group Questions | Baptism | October 8, 2017

"Christian Baptism"  Rev. Scott Mitchell, Pastor of Community Formation

God intends to change you by His Word. How is He at work in you to do that?  

Read the following passages and consider these questions. 

Romans 4:11

[11] and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them

Acts 2:37-39

[37] Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" [38] And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [39] For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Genesis 17:9-13

[9] And God said to Abraham, "As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. [10] This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. [11] You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. [12] He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, [13] both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant.

Colossians 2:11-12

[11] In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, [12] having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.

1 Corinthians 7:13-14

[13] If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. [14] For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

Community Group Questions:

 

  1. What is a sacrament?
  1. Why is baptism a sacrament?
  1. In the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Q/A 94), baptism is defined in this way:
    “Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, does signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord's.”
  • What spiritual reality does “washing with water” signify?
  • What does the Confession mean by “does signify and seal”?
  • In what way does baptism signify and seal our covenantal union with Jesus?
  1. According to Pastor Scott, the Greek word in Matthew 28:19 for “in” is actually “into.” (“baptizing them into…”) How does this change the way we think about baptism?
  2. Why does Trinity believe that infants of members of the visible Church should receive the sacrament of baptism, even though there is no explicit command in the New Testament? (cf. Col 2:11-12, Acts 2:37-39, Gen 17:9-13, 1 Cor 7:13-14)
  3. Why is baptism gracious to the person being baptized? To the person witnessing the baptism?