Monday, May 31, 2021

In Remissionem Peccatorum

Balthasar Hübmaier on baptism:
“Therefore the baptism in water is not what cleanses the soul, but the ‘Yes’ of a good conscience toward God, given inwardly by faith.[i]
Therefore, the baptism in water is called a baptism in remissionem peccatorum (Acts second chapter),[ii] that is, for the pardon of sins. Not that through it or by it sins are forgiven, but by the virtue of the inward ‘Yes’ of the heart, which a man outwardly testifies to on submitting to water baptism, saying that he believes and is sure in his heart that his sins are forgiven through Jesus Christ.”
“Concerning Christian Baptism of Believers,” by Balthasar Hübmaier (1525, trans. By G. D. Davidson) as quoted by William R. Estep in The Anabaptist Story (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1996, pp. 89, 210). For a biography of Hübmaier, see Balthasar Hübmaier, the Leader of the Anabaptists, by Henry Vedder.

[i] Cf. 1 Peter 3:21 – The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
[ii] From the Latin translation of Acts 2:38 – Petrus vero ad illos: Poenitentiam, inquit, agite, et baptizetur unusquisque vestrum in nomine Jesu Christi in remissionem peccatorum vestrorum: et accipietis donum Spiritus Sancti.

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