"Reformed" is Not Enough:
Recovering the Objectivity of the Covenant
Membership in the Christian faith is objective—it can be photographed and fingerprinted. When we are baptized, we are ushered into an objective, visible, covenant relationship. In baptism, God names us and imposes gracious obligations on us. Our baptism sets us apart as Christians.
However, many conscientious conservative Christians do not appear to believe what God has said in their baptism, so let's look at it another way:Suppose a husband is committing adultery. Is he still a husband? Being a husband is not just a state of mind; it’s not just a private decision. Being a husband is a public relationship made from a public exchange of
vows, an objective covenant. An adulterous husband is a covenant-breaking husband, but still a husband. Being a husband is what makes his infidelity so horrendous.
In the same way, when people are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, they are ushered into a covenant relationship with God and His Church. Regardless of the state of their hearts, regardless of any hypocrisy, regardless of whether or not they mean it, baptism sets them apart as visible saints—Christians.
Author: Douglas Wilson