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#20398 - Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:28 PM baptism sprinkling  

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My pastor and I were discussing baptism and he believes baptism by immersion is the only way. I told him id send him a little email why sprinkling seems scriptual.
Before i send it i figured i woul post it here and see if anyone has anything i should add or subtract. Thanks

"We talked about baptism by immersion and sprinkling in the van, you said you thought immersion was the only scriptural way. I said some people use Col. 2:12 to support that baptism actually represents being buried and resurrected with Christ. One of the major reasons why I object to this is because baptism does not signify the death and resurrection of Christ like the Lords Supper. Baptism symbolizes the work of the holy spirit as circumcision pointed to the work of the holy spirit. Here are 3 biblical symbols of the holy spirit.

1. Oil-1 Sam:1-6; 1 Sam 16 notice the oil is poured

2. water- Ezekiel 36:25-27 "I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall he clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you And I will put my spirit within you..."

Matt 3:16 there are 2 baptisms and the water baptism symbolizes the spirit baptism. Notice the spirit descended onto him and he was not immersed in it. Check out this verse in the ESV and notice that Jesus "went up from the water."

John 7: 37-39

3. fire -Acts 2:3-4

Notice the way all of these symbols are applied and that they point to the spirits work and not Christ's redemptive work.

1 John 5:8 "the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement" They all signify cleansing, but could they also be in agreement because they all are administered in the same way.



You also said you use the meaning of the word baptizo to support baptism by immersion. In Luke 11:37-38 the Pharisee was surprised Jesus had not first bathed (baptizo) himself before dinner. I don't think The Pharisee thought Jesus should have immersed himself in a bathtub before dinner but he should of washed up. In Heb 9:10 the greek word is translated "washings." If you look at Matthew 3:11-12 John the baptist says he baptizes with water but the one more powerful then him will baptize with the spirit. If we are consistent with the word baptizo in that passage, then it we would have to say that we are immersed in the spirit, which is not the case. It is obvious that we should not understand the mode of baptism by the greek word when we see that the word for the Lords Supper (deipnon) signifies a full meal."

#20399 - Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:41 PM Re: baptism sprinkling  
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Well, I thing your initial premise is incorrect. From what I've heard, this subject has been discussed ad nauseum here in the past, but I've never caught any of it, so I figured I'd stir things up a little bit with this bit from John MacArthur. The quote from Calvin is most illuminating:

Quote
What are we talking about here when we talk about baptism? Simply, here’s a definition: it is a ceremony by which a person is immersed into water. That’s what it is. It’s a ceremony by which a person is immersed into water or "dunked," they used to say, in fact, there were people who baptized this way were called "dunkers." So, this is simply a ceremony by which people are immersed in water; that’s it. And, right behind me here and under the floor, there’s a pool of water where that is done every Sunday evening.

Now, we do this because it’s instructed in the New Testament—we’ve already commented on the fact that the Great Commission’s all tell us to baptize and Peter, in his sermon on the day of Pentecost, told those who heard and believed, to be baptized. Let me go to the Word so we give you an understanding of this. There are two Greek verbs that are used in the New Testament with regard to baptism—they are translated baptism": bapto and baptizo—bapto is the less common, used only four times in the New Testament and it means "to dip into." "To dip," "to dip into," in fact, it was used for "dyeing" when you immerse something in a dye. It’s the word "immerse’…bapto.

Baptizo is an intensified form of bapto—the Greeks had ways of sticking in a few extra letters and intensifying a word. Baptizo is used many, many times in the New Testament; many, many times. It means "to dip completely" and it’s the Greek word for "drowning’; that shows you how complete the dipping is, potentially. It’s the word "to submerse" or "immerse"—in fact, the Latin equivalent is immersio (sp.) or submersio (sp.). The noun "baptism"—baptismas—is used always in the book of Acts to refer to a Christian being immersed in water…it’s always used to refer to a Christian being immersed in water. So, that is what baptism is: it’s a ceremony by which a person believes the gospel and is then immersed into water.

In fact, the terms bapto and baptizo, the verb, and baptismas, the noun, could have been translated "immerse" and probably would have solved a lot of problems, but the translators chose to transliterate the Greek baptizo into "baptise." They transliterated it rather than translate it because it had become such a technical term for "immersion." So, they just transliterated it across, but that doesn’t change the meaning—it means "to immerse."

In fact, the Greeks had a different word for "sprinkling" and that word rhantisanti is used of "sprinkling or splattering with water"—it’s a different word altogether. We’re not talking about "sprinkling"—there’s no such thing as a ceremony of sprinkling in the Bible, or pouring or any application of water to the individual. Whenever you find "baptism" in the Bible, it is the word "immerse" or "submerse" and it means "putting the person under the water." Every New Testament use these terms, requires or permits the idea of immersion. This is so obvious that even John Calvin, who basically came down on the side of infant sprinkling or infant baptism, says this, he writes, "The word ‘baptize’ means ‘to immerse.’" No linguist can come up with anything else. Calvin says, "The word ‘baptize’ means ‘to immerse’; it is certain that immersion was the practice of the early church." There really is no argument, there’s no debate at that point.

The verbs—bapto, baptizo—are never used in the passive. That is to say, water is never said to be baptized on someone such as sprinkling or pouring or touching with water which is done in a great, great portion of the church today. They sprinkle, they pour, or they dip and just touch the water to the forehead or to some other part of the head. Never are those verbs used in the passive sense of water being placed on someone. They’re always used in the sense of someone being placed in water. Whenever you read in the New Testament about a baptism—an actual occasion of baptism—immersion is the only possible meaning.

Matthew 3—look at it…or just listen to it—Matthew 3:6, John the Baptist, "They were being baptized by him in the Jordan River." They were being baptized in the Jordan River. They came down into the river and they were baptized there. The river was not taken to them; they were taken to the river. Matthew 3:16, "After being baptized, Jesus," having been baptized, "went up immediately," literally, "out of the water." Jesus went down into the water…came up out of the water. Again, that clearly indicates that He went down into the water in order that He might be placed into that water and that’s the use of the word baptism…means immersed in that water.

In John 3…when John the Baptist was doing this baptism, he picked a place at the Jordan River that was deep. It says in verse 23 of John 3, "John was baptizing in Anon, near Salem." Of all the spots you could stop along the Jordan River, he picked that one because "there was much water there" which is simply another way of saying the water was deep. There was enough water there to get people under it—that was the whole point. In Mark, chapter 1, verse 5, same thing, "All the country of Judea was going out to him and all the people of Jerusalem, they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River"…"in the Jordan River." You remember in Acts, chapter 8, when Philip came across the Ethiopian eunuch, you remember the statement in verse 36, "Look; water! What prevents me from being baptized," verse 38, "he ordered the chariot to stop, they both went down into the water, and he immersed him."

Now, that is what baptism is. That’s what baptizo means. Baptism is a ceremony by which a person is immersed into water. That is the only kind of baptism the New Testament knows anything about—it doesn’t know anything about sprinkling, pouring, touching with water, and particularly doesn’t know anything about baptizing infants. I’m going to address that issue because it is an important issue and some of you will remember I made a presentation of that at a past Ligoneer (sp.) conference—there is one here this week, by the way, and that was completely coincidental that, in my preaching schedule, that this issue came up at this time. Many of the people who will be at the conference, of course, would affirm the things that I am teaching. Next Sunday morning, I think, I may do it next Sunday—I may postpone it a week, I’m not sure yet—I want to address the issue of infant baptism from a biblical perspective. You’ll find a very, very fascinating discussion.

But, as far as the New Testament is concerned, there is no such thing as pouring, sprinkling, touching with water, or baptizing infants. It was an act by which an adult person was placed into water. It had great spiritual significance and the significance of baptism can only be depicted in immersion. The significance of baptism, the spiritual significance, can only be depicted in immersion—I’ll say more about that later.

Now, when you look at baptism in the New Testament, you’re going to come across some other baptisms that are not water baptisms—there are times when the word baptizo is dry. There are times when the word baptizo isn’t talking about water at all, but we use it that way. We talk about people going through a baptism of fire, right? We mean, by that, that he was immersed in a very difficult situation. John the Baptist talked about a baptism of fire in John, chapter 3. What he was talking about was the immersing of unbelievers in the full fury of God’s fiery wrath.

There is a baptism by Christ, with the Holy Spirit, into the body of Christ, I Corinthians 12, "We’ve all been baptized with the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ." When you became a Christian, you were immersed into the communion of the redeemed. You were placed in the union with every other believer so that he who that is joined with the Lord is one spirit with every other believer. So, there is the immersing of the believer into the body of Christ. There is the immersing of the unbeliever into the full fury and wrath of God under which he is completely submerged.

In I Corinthians, chapter 10, verse 2, it says, "The children of Israel were immersed into Moses." It’s talking about solidarity. They were joined unto Moses in his leadership. What he did, they did. What he said, they followed. They literally…he was their leader and they were immersed into Moses. Where he went, they went. Solidarity, union, communion—the word then can have that sort of metaphoric meaning where it means being immersed into something. You could say, "I was immersed in my work. I was immersed in thought." Those kinds of expressions don’t necessarily refer to water, but they refer to using the idea of water as a metaphor for being engulfed in something. So, there are times in the New Testament, when you read about a baptism, that isn’t a baptism by water; there are other times when, of course, it is as we’ve seen—a baptism by water.

We’re going to focus on the issue of the baptisms that have to do with water. This water immersion, commanded of every believer, is basically not negotiable. We don’t have an option with this. This is a command; it is a reiterated and repeated and obeyed command in the New Testament. It is in itself, a simple act, and were it no more than just to put somebody in water and take them out, we could say it was nothing but a dunk. It was nothing but a cleansing, it was nothing but a refreshing…nothing more.

But, there is much more because it is an object lesson. It is a depiction—it is a picture—it is a symbol—it is a physical analogy of a great spiritual truth that is profound—and it is crucial, if you understand what baptism signifies, to stick with the New Testament mode. If you change the mode of immersion, you then confound it’s symbol. God has designed that this simple ordinance teach us most wonderful truth—the most wonderful truth of all, the truth of personal salvation. It’s all wrapped up in this act of baptism.

And, of course, any student of the Bible knows that God teaches with symbols. In the Old Testament…all kinds of symbols and analogies and types and pictures and ceremonies…depicting a spiritual truth in some physical way. Certainly, in the New Testament, Jesus did that with His parables and His analogies…The apostle Paul does it with his illustrations. So we have long seen God dispense truth to us in sort of abstract terms, but connected with very concrete, pragmatic, tangible things which can graphically illustrate the truth…and baptism is one of those. It is an external, physical, symbolic act which depicts a profound and deep and essential spiritual truth. Now, let’s go to the second question. We know what baptism is.


Last edited by Henry; Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:42 PM.

(Latin phrase goes here.)
#20400 - Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:57 PM Re: baptism sprinkling [Re: Henry]  

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Quote
It is an external, physical, symbolic act which depicts a profound and deep and essential spiritual truth.


I'm going to drive this point home that this is simply not always true. many are baptised without an inward change.


God bless,

william

#20401 - Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:49 PM Re: baptism sprinkling  
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Of course they are, but the question is, should they be? Ron tried to show you a little bit ago that to not attain to perfection in administration (i.e. believers only) should not be an argument against credobaptism, any more then it should be against the Lord's Supper (after all, unbelievers have partaken in it; they shouldn't have, but does this make us lower our standard?). So let's not go over that argument all over again. It's been sufficently dealt with.


(Latin phrase goes here.)
#20402 - Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:58 PM Re: baptism sprinkling [Re: Henry]  

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I said then, and I say now, that is not an argument against credo-baptism. It is an argument against believers baptism, something Pilgrim has attempted to show as well. I have also asked for the scriptural command for only the elect to be given this symbol. Right administration isn't something we can just make up. Right administration is Biblical administration.

I am actually off topic. There was a recent thread that dealt with this issue, Subjects for Baptism. Further discussion over this topic should be posted there.


God bless,

william

Last edited by averagefellar; Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:09 PM.
#20403 - Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:15 PM Re: baptism sprinkling [Re: Henry]  

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Let me also say, for future understganding, that I, like the entirety of the Christian Church uphold credo-baptism. All adults should make a profession prior to baptism.


God bless,

william

#20404 - Thu Dec 30, 2004 11:53 PM Re: baptism sprinkling  

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solio deo gloria,

I agree with Henry's excellent explanation of the Scriptural use of immersion. The earliest Church writings also confirm this.
However, baptism is a profound spiritual event. See Romans 6 which is refered to as the baptism chapter.

#20405 - Fri Dec 31, 2004 12:16 AM Re: baptism sprinkling  

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Henry, thankyou for your response. I read the article and i think you should read the email i sent to my pastor again. Although it is short, i think it might refute everything said in that article by macarthur.

I still would love to get some feeback from a presbyterian.

#20406 - Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:10 AM Re: baptism sprinkling  

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Netmark,
the argument i have heard is that Rom 6 has nothing to do with the mode of baptism because burials in those days were much different. Jesus was not buried but put side ways in a tomb.

The other way to look at Romans 6 is that the "baptism" talked about is not a water baptism but the baptism of the holy spirit. It is not water that unites us to Christ but the regenerating work of the holy spirit. This also clears up the baptismal regeneration issue that often comes from this passage.

As i said in my email, baptism does not represent our being buried and resurrected with Christ but the work of the spirit.
Rom 5:55 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Titus 3:5,6 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,6whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

#20407 - Fri Dec 31, 2004 9:16 AM Re: baptism sprinkling  
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SDG,

I think that your email does not refute anything in what I posted.

For starters, you are begging the question with your examples of oil and water sprinkling: where do we get the idea that baptism came, or developed from them? Where do we get the idea that baptism, in its administration, follows directly in their vein? On the other hand, have you done any historical research on the origins of baptism (as a purification rite amoung certain Jewish sects)?

You quote a few verses about the Holy Spirit coming down upon someone, or touching their head, or something like that, and try to say that the water in baptism must be applied in like manner. Let's take a look at a few of those examples (I'm focusing on the water ones), and then look at the premise of your argument.

Quote
Ezekiel 36:25-27 "I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall he clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you And I will put my spirit within you..."

This is not talking about baptism. It is an illustration taken from Leviticus. Kiel and Delitzch explan:

Quote
The figurative expression, “to sprinkle with clean water,” is taken from the lustrations prescribed by the law, more particularly the purifying from defilement from the dead by sprinkling with the water prepared from the ashes of a red heifer (Num_19:17-19; compare Psa_51:9).




Quote
Matt 3:16 there are 2 baptisms and the water baptism symbolizes the spirit baptism. Notice the spirit descended onto him and he was not immersed in it. Check out this verse in the ESV and notice that Jesus "went up from the water."

You're arguing against yourself here. Jesus went up from the water because he had been baptized- immersed- in it. The Spirit descened on Him afterword as a visible authentification of His person. Please exegetically demonstrate the link here between the Spirit's descent and the mode of baptism.

Quote
John 7: 37-39-
I'm not sure why you quoted this. There's nothing in here remotely about baptism.

Your a priori assumption that baptism does not signify burial (or the washing away of sins, which hasn't been gotten into), or that being baptized in the spirit can't mean being immersed in Him, etc., is still unproven. And the speculative links between the mode of baptism and a few non-immersive symbols of the Holy Spirit still remains to be shown exegetically. To just state that something is true doesn't make it right.

I think some study into baptism's significance as a Jewish puricication rite, the use of the term in the NT, and the invarience of it's practice in the early church would be worth it's time.

Last edited by Henry; Fri Dec 31, 2004 9:20 AM.

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#20408 - Fri Dec 31, 2004 9:31 AM Re: baptism sprinkling [Re: Henry]  

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Quote
I think some study into baptism's significance as a Jewish puricication rite, the use of the term in the NT, and the invarience of it's practice in the early church would be worth it's time.


Yes, and then we can see the inference of familial inclusion in both testaments. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Quote

Mat 3:16
(ESV) And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;

(KJV) And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

(NASB) After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,

Abert Barnes Notes
Mat 3:16 -
Out of the water - This shows that he had descended to the river. It literally means, “he went up directly from the water.” The original does not imply that they had descended into the river, and it cannot be proved, therefore, from this passage, that his baptism was by immersion; nor can it be proved that even, if his baptism was by immersion, that therefore the same mode is binding on people now. In order to demonstrate from this passage that immersion is essential, it is necessary to demonstrate:
(a) that he went into the river;
(b) that, being there, he was wholly immersed;
(c) that the fact that he was immersed, if he was, proves that all others must be, in order that there could be a valid baptism.
Neither of these three things has ever been demonstrated from this passage, nor can they be.


It seems to me as well that to much is being pressed onto the passage here. Let's look at another similar passage for clarification.

Quote

Act 8:39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. (KJV)


For your assertion to be true, both the baptizee as well as the baptizer must "go down into" so they can "come up out of" the same. Now let's look at that Matthew passage again.

Quote

Mat 3:5-6 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. (KJV)


And another similar passage.......

Quote

Act 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (KJV)


Have you ever baptised anybody by total immersion? I have. It's a chore for medium sized people. After about ten you start getting very tired. Thousands, without a miraculous sustaining from God, is really not feasible.


God bless,

william

Last edited by averagefellar; Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:00 AM.
#20409 - Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:20 AM Re: baptism sprinkling  

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Soli Deo Gloria,

Romans 6 is the classic understanding of what constitutes baptism. When we are baptised, we share in the life, death and resurrection of Christ. It is through the water and the Spirit John 3:5 that we are born from above. This is called regeneration of the believer. Acts 2:38 also Peter preached salvation in Christ through being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit.

One cannot receive the gift of the Holy Spirit unless one is water baptised. Water baptism is entrance into the Kingdom of God. Entrance into the Kingdom warrants the gift of the Holy Spirit. One follows the other.

The text of Titus 3:5 affirms that very idea. The washing of regeneration and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

#20410 - Fri Dec 31, 2004 11:10 AM Re: baptism sprinkling  
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Quote
sojourner said:

One cannot receive the gift of the Holy Spirit unless one is water baptised. Water baptism is entrance into the Kingdom of God. Entrance into the Kingdom warrants the gift of the Holy Spirit. One follows the other.

The text of Titus 3:5 affirms that very idea. The washing of regeneration and the gift of the Holy Spirit.


Catholic doctrine? We are brought into the KOG by Christ through the agency of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is a sign and seal of this new union in Christ. Titus 3:5 does not endorse your statement-- The washing referred to is wholly spiritual. It is that of regeneration and renewing, regarded as one concept.

WCF, Chapter XXVIII Of Baptism

I. Baptism is a sacrament of the new testament, ordained by Jesus Christ,[1] not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible church;[2] but also, to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace,[3] of his ingrafting into Christ,[4] of regeneration,[5] of remission of sins,[6] and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life.[7] Which sacrament is, by Christ's own appointment, to be continued in his church until the end of the world.[8]

1. Matt. 28:19
2. I Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27-28
3. Rom. 4:11; Col. 2:11-12
4. Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:5
5. John 3:5; Titus 3:5
6. Mark 1:4; Acts 2:38; 22:16
7. Rom. 6:3-4
8. Matt. 28:19-20

II. The outward element to be used in this sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the gospel, lawfully called thereunto.[9]

9. Acts 8:36, 38; 10:47; Matt. 28:19

III. Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water upon the person.[10]

10. Heb. 9:10, 13, 19, 21; Mark 7:2-4; Luke 11:38

IV. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ,[11] but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.[12]

11. Acts 2:41; 8:12-13; 16:14-15
12. Gen. 17:7-14; Gal. 3:9, 14; Col. 2:11-12; Acts 2:38-39; Rom. 4:11-12; Matt. 19:13; 28:19; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17; I Cor. 7:14

V. Although it be a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance,[13] yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it;[14] or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.[15]

13. Gen. 17:14; Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; see Luke 7:30
14. Rom. 4:11; Acts 10:2, 4, 22, 31, 45, 47
15. Acts 8:13, 23

VI. The efficacy of baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered;[16] yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongeth unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in his appointed time.[17]

16. John 3:5, 8
17. Rom. 6:3-6; Gal. 3:27; I Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38, 41

VII. The sacrament of baptism is but once to be administered unto any person.[18]

18. Rom. 6:3-11


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#20411 - Fri Dec 31, 2004 11:45 AM Re: baptism sprinkling [Re: J_Edwards]  

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J Edwards,

Roman Catholic I am not.
However, there is very little I disagree with in the statement you quoted, seemingly from one of their statements of faith.

#20412 - Fri Dec 31, 2004 12:01 PM Re: baptism sprinkling  

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The beliefs were from the Westminster Confession of Faith. It is basically a Presbyterian summary of what scripture teaches.

Quote
The Westminster Confession of Faith - This confession was produced by the Westminster Assembly of Divines, which had been created by the English Parliament in 1643 to settle various theological and ecclesiastical issues in the British Isles. It was presented to Parliament in 1646 and with scripture proofs in 1647. It was essentially an English Puritan document that didn't take hold in England but was embraced enthusiastically in Presbyterian Scotland and so later the English-speaking Presbyterian world as well. It covers the spectrum of theological topics and is similar to the Belgic Confession.



God bless,

william

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