Q. 78 Does this outward washing with water itself wash away sins?
A. No, only Jesus Christ’s blood and the Holy Spirit cleanse us from all sins.
Matt. 3:11; 1 Pet. 3:21; 1 John 1:7
Q. 79 Why then does the Holy Spirit call baptism the washing of rebirth and the washing away of sins?
A. God has good reason for these words. He wants to teach us that the blood and Spirit of Christ wash away our sins just as water washes away dirt from our bodies. But more important, he wants to assure us, by this divine pledge and sign, that the washing away of our sins spiritually is as real as physical washing with water.
1 Cor. 6:11; Rev. 1:5; 7:14
Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27