Baptism Does Not Regenerate! – Calvinism Versus “Christening”

Even Christ's other disciples — God's sons and daughters, His already water-baptized servants in Jerusalem — were now waterlessly "baptized" by the Lord Jesus and with His outpoured Spirit.192 Very clearly, such were already His sons and daughters alias 'children of God.'    Indeed, they had also already been water-baptized — either by John (Luke 3:3f) or by Jesus' Apostles (John 4:2) — even before receiving the later Baptism by the Holy Ghost on Pentecost Sunday.   Thus, they had previously received Baptism with water.  So they did not now receive any rebaptismwith-water.

Commented Calvin:193 "There was no age that did not have its share of the grace of the Spirit…. All godly men — from the very foundation of the world — were endowed with the same Spirit of understanding, of righteousness and of sanctification with which the Lord today illuminates and regenerates us….

"By these words [‘sons and daughters’ and ‘servants’ etc.], the promise is restricted to those who worship God….   It is undeniable that it is by the Spirit that we are made servants of God.   So we are not His servants, until we have received the Spirit.   But it is those whom God has adopted into His own family, and has designed by His Spirit to serve Him — whom He afterwards furnishes with new gifts." Dr. Calvin was writing here about those who, even from the time of Adam onward, the Lord had made 'righteous' (each at his or her own appropriate time) — before their later Baptism with water (if that latter was indeed ever administered to them).   For all of the Pentecost Sunday

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Apostles who were then baptized by the Spirit, had previously been regenerated already.  This had occurred probably even before their Pre-Pentecost Baptism with water, and certainly long before their later Pentecost Sunday Baptism by the Spirit.

40.  Be baptized: for the promise is to you and to your children!

Now this outpouring of God's Spirit on Pentecost Sunday attracted the attention even of many unconverted bystanders.  Peter accordingly preached the Gospel to those witnesses.  Then he told them: "Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ….  For the promise is to you, and to your children."

So "they that gladly received his word, were baptized."194   Note once again the order: first, repent; then, be baptized!

Now here, he who would repent toward God and who would trust or believe in Jesus — would thereby show he had been regenerated before his subsequent Baptism with water.   Regeneration would here precede Baptism.  Therefore it could not be its effect.   For it was only after Peter's obedient listeners had received his preached word — by believing it — that they would be baptized.

It is only by denying that faith and repentance are fruits of regeneration by the Spirit alone, that Romanists and Romanizers can cope with the above argument.   They construe such prebaptismal faith and repentance — as non-gracious and purely 'natural works' done before Baptism.   But then, these would have been works which would still have left those faithful penitents in perdition.

This, of course, contradicts the treaching of the Lord Jesus Christ.  For He says that whosoever believes in Him, has been justified already.195

Further.  No Christian believes that all who merely listen to the Gospel being preached, are thereby justified.   It is obvious that this must necessarily be preceded — or alternatively be accompanied or succeeded — by a sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit.  So then, how could the baptismal water itself justify ex opere operato — without also another distinctly different action of the Holy Ghost?

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