“A sacrament is an outward sign by which the Lord seals on our consciences the promises of His good will towards us in order to sustain the weakness of our faith, and we in turn attest our piety toward Him in the presence of the Lord and of His angels and before men . . . A sacrament is never without a preceding promise but it is joined to it as a sort of appendix, with the purpose of confirming and sealing the promise itself, and of making it more evident to us and in a sense ratifying it. By this means God provides first for our ignorance and dullness, then for our weakness … as our faith is slight and feeble unless it be propped [up] on all sides and sustained by every means, it trembles, wavers, totters, and at last gives way.”
“Sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness.”
Q: What is baptism?
A: Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth 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.
—Westminster Shorter Catechism 94