Calvin’s Mode of Baptism

Interestingly, Calvin clarified that such baptismal purifyings were always accomplished by sprinkling.   Thus, commenting on Hebrews 9:10-20, he explained:3 "When there was a sprinkling…, there is no doubt that this represented the mystical sprinkling that comes by the Spirit….   Christ uses His Spirit in place of sprinkling, to wash us with His blood."

Even in John chapters 1 to 4, we see the same teaching in respect of water baptism.   Thus, in his comment on the words of John the baptizer in John 1:31f — ‘I came baptizing with water’ and ‘I have beheld the Spirit de-scending as a dove, and [the Spirit] remained up-on Him [Jesus Christ]’ — Calvin said4 Christ was here "consecrated with a solemn ceremony….   He began with baptism….   And the Spirit de-scended."    Again, commenting on John 3:5, Calvin added:5 "We sometimes hear of Christ baptizing with the Holy Spirit….   This water is the Spirit Who cleanses us anew and Who, by His power poured upon us, imparts to us the energy of the heavenly life."