I haven't been posting much on the blog recently. That is in part due to being overly busy and in part due to a total lack of motivation. Ah, winter, please end soon. Anyway, I have enjoyed working on the Catechism with the boys.
I should say, probably should have said it a long time ago, that we aren't working on memorizing it (yet), only getting an understanding of it. Here's the questions we've been working with recently.
Question #69: How does baptism remind you and assure you that Christ's one sacrifice on the cross is for you personally?
Answer: In this way: Christ instituted this outward washing and with it gave the promise that, as surely as water washes away the dirt from the body, so certainly his blood and his Spirit wash away my soul's impurity, in other words, all my sins (Acts 2:38, Matt. 3:11; Rom. 6:3-10; 1 Pet. 3:21)
Question #70: What does it mean to be washed with Christ's blood and Spirit?
Answer: To be washed with Christ's blood means that God, by grace, has forgiven my sins because of Christ's blood poured out for me in his sacrifice on the cross.
To be washed with Christ's Spirit means that the Holy Spirit has renewed me and set me apart to be a member of Christ so that more and more I become dead to sin and increasingly live a holy and blameless life. (Zech. 13:1; Eph. 1:7-8; Heb. 12:24; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rev. 1:5, Ezek. 36:25-27; John 3:5-8; Rom. 6:4; 1 Cor. 6:11; Col. 2:11-12).
Question #71: Where does Christ promise that we are washed with his blood and Spirit as surely as we are washed with the water of baptism?
Answer: In the institution of baptism where he says: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."
This promise is repeated when Scripture calls baptism the washing of rebirth and the washing away of sins (Matt. 28:19, Mark 16:16, Tit. 3:5, Acts 22:16).
*Earlier and better manuscripts of Mark 16 omit the words "Whoever believes and is baptized . . . condemned."