Affirmation: Baptism (Second Helvetic Confession)

This Affirmation of Faith is adapted from the Second Helvetic Confession, composed in 1561 by Heinrich Bullinger, a Reformed minister serving in Zurich, Switzerland during the emergence of Swiss-German Reformed Protestantism. It is known for its particular focus on the life of the church.

Baptism was instituted and consecrated by God.
Hence by some baptism is called a sign of initiation for God’s people,
since by it the elect of God are consecrated to God.
There is but one baptism in the Church of God;
and it is sufficient to be once baptized or consecrated to God.
For baptism once received continues for all of life,
and is a perpetual sealing of our adoption.
Now to be baptized in the name of Christ
is to be enrolled, entered, and received into the covenant and family,
and so into the inheritance of the children of God;
yes, and in this life to be called after the name of God;
that is to say, to be called a child of God;
to be cleansed also from the filthiness of sins,
and to be granted the manifold grace of God,
in order to lead a new and innocent life.
And therefore we are baptized,
that is, washed or sprinkled with visible water.
For the water washes dirt away,
and cools and refreshes hot and tired bodies.
And the grace of God performs these things for souls,
and does so invisibly or spiritually. 

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