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HD 202. Baptism was instituted to be a sign that a man is of the church, and as a memorial that he is to be regenerated; for the washing of baptism is nothing else than spiritual washing, which is regeneration.
HD 203. All regeneration is effected by the Lord, through the truths of faith, and a life according to them. Baptism therefore testifies that the man is of the church, and that he can be regenerated: for in the church the Lord is acknowledged, who alone regenerates, and there also is the Word, which contains the truths of faith, by which regeneration is effected.
HD 204. This the Lord teaches in John:--
Except a man be begotten of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5).
"Water’ in the spiritual sense is the truth of faith from the Word; "the spirit" is a life according to that truth; and "to be begotten" is to be regenerated thereby.
HD 205. Since everyone who is regenerated also undergoes temptations, which are spiritual combats against evils and falsities, therefore by the water of baptism these also are signified.
HD 206. As baptism is for a sign and memorial of these things therefore man may be baptized as an infant, and if not then, he may be baptized as an adult.
HD 207. Let those therefore who are baptized know, that baptism itself does not give faith nor salvation, but it testifies that they may receive faith and be saved, if they are regenerated.
HD 208. Hence the meaning of the Lord‘s words in Mark:--
He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned (Mark 16:16).
"He who believeth" is he who acknowledges the Lord, and receives Divine truths from Him through the Word; "he who is baptized" is he who is regenerated by the Lord by means of those truths.
FROM THE ARCANA COELESTIA
HD 209. Baptism signifies regeneration by the Lord through the truths of faith from the Word (AC 4255, 5120, 9088, 10239, 10386-10388, 10392). Baptism is for a sign that man is of the church, where the Lord is acknowledged, from whom is regeneration, and which has the Word, from which are the truths of faith, by which regeneration is effected (AC 10386-10388). Baptism gives neither faith nor salvation, but testifies that faith and salvation will be received by those who are regenerated (AC 10391). The washings in the ancient churches, and in the Israelitish church, represented and thence signified purifications from evils and falsities (AC 3147, 9088, 10237, 10239). "The washings of garments" signified the purification of the understanding from falsities (AC 5954). "The washing of the feet" signified the purification of the natural man (AC 3147, 10241). What is signified by "the washing of the disciples’ feet" by the Lord, is explained (AC 10243). "Waters" signify the truths of faith (AC 28, 2702, 3058, 5668, 8568, 10238). "A fountain" and "a well of living waters" signifies the truths of faith from the Lord, thus the Word (AC 3424). "Bread and water" signify all the goods of love and truths of faith (AC 4976, 9323). "Spirit" signifies the life of truth, or the life of faith (AC 5222, 9281, 9818). What "the spirit" and "the flesh" signify, that "the spirit" signifies life from the Lord, and "flesh," life from man (AC 10283). Hence it is evident what is signified by these words of the Lord:
Except a man be begotten of water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5).
Namely, that unless man is regenerated by the truths of faith, and by a life according to them, he cannot be saved (AC 10240). All regeneration is effected by the truths of faith, and by a life according to them (AC 1904, 2046, 9088, 9959, 10028). The total washing, which was effected by immersion in the waters of the Jordan, signified regeneration itself, in the same manner as baptism (AC 9088, 10239). What "the waters of Jordan," and "Jordan" signified (AC 1585, 4255). "A flood" and "inundation of waters" signify temptations (AC 660, 705, 639, 756, 790, 5725, 6853). "Baptism" signifies the same (AC 5120, 10389). In what manner baptism was represented from heaven (AC 2299).
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