Ursinus on Who Ought to Come
In a previous post titled Who Should Be Baptized – Professors or Believers? I argued that there was a difference between who has a right to baptism and who may be lawfully baptized.
To demonstrate that a false professor does not have a right to baptism, though it may be lawfully administered to them, consider the following.
P1 Believers in Christ make their belief known to others through an outward profession of their saving belief in Christ.
P2 No one has a right to bear false witness.
C1 No unbeliever has a right to make an outward profession of saving belief in Christ.
Ursinus makes the same argument with regards to the Lord’s Supper in his Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, Question 81.
The questions who ought to come, and who ought to be admitted to the Supper, are distinct and different. The former speaks of the duty of communicants; the latter of the duty of the church and ministers. The former is more restricted; the latter is broader, and more general: for, as touching the former, none but the godly ought to come to the Supper; whilst, as it respects the latter, not only the godly, but hypocrites also, who are not known to be such, are to be admitted by the church. Hence all that ought to come, ought also to be admitted; but not all who ought to be admitted, ought to come: but only those, 1. Who acknowledge their sins, and are truly sorrowful for them. 2. Who trust that their sins are forgiven them by and for the sake of Christ. 3. Who earnestly desire to have their faith more and more strengthened, and their lives more holy: that is, those only ought to come to the Lord’s supper, and they alone are worthy guests of Christ, who live in true faith and repentance.
We simply say the same thing about baptism.