He does what He shows

Holy Spirit: Contours of Christian Theology

Sinclair Ferguson is one of my contemporary theological superheroes.
This book gets five stars and I'm not even done, yet.

Here's a bit on Romans 6:1-4

"Interpreters tend to signal their ecclesiastical affiliations here in assuming either a... sacramentalism or, by way of reaction, insisting that what Paul has in view is not water baptism but Spirit baptism.... There is no third option allowed. But.... there is a thrid possibility: the ministry of the Holy Spirit in uniting us to Christ.... The Spirit effects in believers the reality to which they [the sacraments] point."

And then this

"Baptism is often viewed as though it were primarily a mirror of our spiritual experience of conversion, and as though its core significance were testimony to our faith in Christ.... But this is not the New Testament's perspective.... Rather, baptism is first and foremost a sign and seal of grace, of divine activity in Christ, and of the riches of His provision for us. It is not faith that is signified or sealed. It is Christ.

And later

"An understanding of the way in which the Spirit uses baptism... preserves us from the twin errors common in sacramental theology: (1) the error of so subjectivizing the symbolism of the rite that our use of it throws us back upon our own actions, decisions and experiences...; and (2) so objectifying the effectiveness of the blessing of the symbol that we identify the reception of the sign with the reception of what it signifies, and give no place to the faith which finds Christ Himself unveiled in the sign, or to the ongoing ministry of the Spirit. the efficacy of baptism and the Lord's Supper can no more be separated from the ministry of the Spirit than from the efficacy of the reading and hearing of the Scriptures."

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