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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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atpollard

Quit pouring water all over those babies!

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My turn to stir up trouble :) ... but please read the OP carefully 'cause if you start to talk about the family covenant vs believers baptism, you will probably have missed the point:

 

 

1 Corinthians 7:12-14 [NIV] To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

 

So from this, the 'sanctification' of the unbelieving spouse and the children through the believer in a family covenant with God seems irrefutably established.

 

Where I throw down the gauntlet is in water baptism. There was no reasonable expectation for the unbelieving spouse to be baptized was there? There is no mention of the children being either sprinkled or dunked. The sanctification is through the believing wife or the believing husband. Furthermore, I don't think this covenant is really a covenant of water ...

 

Acts 1:5 [NIV] For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

(John Baptized with Water for repentance, the baby does not repent, and Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit for the new life in the New Covenant. It is not for Man to baptize into the new covenant, it is for God to do.)

 

Acts 2:38 [NIV] Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

(Peter, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, commanded 'repent and be baptized'. I know that much is made of the baby not being able to repent, but my argument is slightly different. By sprinkling without consent or awareness, you have stolen a valuable and powerful experience from the child and given it as a gift to the parents. The command was to 'every one of you' to do this for yourself ... just like you are called to believe for yourself and cannot be saved by your parents faith. Where are we commanded to steal this from our children? Once again, the reality of the change is not in the water, but in the Spirit.)

 

1 Corinthians 12:13 [NIV] For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

(The membership in the Body of Christ, Unity in the invisible Church [membership in the Covenant] comes not from the sprinkling or dunking of 'one water', but from baptism BY one SPIRIT. We are not that Spirit.)

 

 

Romans 2:28-29 [NIV] A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

(I have often been told that just as circumcision of the flesh was the sign of the Old Covenant on the children, so the sprinkling/pouring of water is the sign of the new covenant on the children. Paul points out that even the old covenant was not about circumcision of the flesh, but circumcision of the heart. Admission has always been by the hand of God and never the hand of man. If circumcision of the flesh, which was commanded under the Law, was inadequate for admission to the Old Covenant, how much less effective is water for admitting a child into the new covenant? Even an adult is not admitted to the new Covenant by water baptism. See here ...

Acts 10:47 [NIV] “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”

(Holy Spirit first marked them as already admitted to the Covenant, so baptism by water could not be objected to. It was not baptism by water at the hand of man that admitted them, God admitted them.)

 

Colossians 2:11 [NIV] In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ,

(We are still circumcised into the New Covenant, and just like the need for a circumcision of the heart to make one a Jew inwardly, we need a circumcision "not performed by human hands", but a circumcision "by Christ".)

 

 

From where I sit, sprinkling babies is an unnecessary ritual (but essentially a harmless one), however calling it "baptism" and the "one baptism" steals from the child a future moment to decide for themselves and perform an act of obedience, as well as cheapening the sacrament by willfully giving the baptism of repentance to those who have not repented and claiming a decision of faith for someone that they may or may not choose for themselves.

 

I look forward to having my clock cleaned.

The real test is can you still show Christian love while doing it? ;)

 

[Well william, you wanted more discussion, so I have moved from other sites to focus more attention here. Be careful what you wish for.]

Edited by atpollard
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Just writing out some thoughts, casually introducing them while reading through your post :)

 

I'm kinda scattered brained at the moment. And am not directly addressing anything in particular, but after reading your post some things came to mind so here they are.

 

But didn't Jesus say to go make disciples and baptize them? Oh, you mean there is a minimum age for making disciples? And they should only be baptized according to their own free will?

 

How do we make disciples? Can we sing to them by psalms and by stories in scripture? Is there a requirement like how well they can test by reciting what they were told etc?

 

I have yet to see a rebellious infant refuse baptism at my church. A child can repent of breaking a commandment. I think in a lot of children this repentance begins with honor your mother and father. They can even demonstrate faith as small as mustard seed by believing the stories true. Believing and discernment, which are we talking about?

 

Another question I have for you. Do you have any children? You are the head of your household though? Lets say for this point that you do, are, and you were told to go and be baptized, you and your household Acts 11:14; 16:31. Would you? If so, how many do you think would of been "added", ya know like on the day of Pentecost? Acts 2:41 "So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls."

 

1 Corinthians 7:14 does not mean that the unbelieving are saved, but rather that for the member of the family that is a believer the unbelievers are made holy. That is, they do not make the believer unclean. Agree or disagree? Though a lot of people use this as you're suggesting, just to acknowledge that.

 

Another point, you brought up Colossians 2. Why did Paul contrast circumcision with baptism? Are they not both a sign, seal, and mark of covenants? Do you think we should start there? Does the NT Covenant have a sign, seal, and mark?

 

I apologize for not putting a lot of time in this at least to begin. Just some basic questions I have for you, atpollard.

 

With that I'll yield back.

 

God bless,

William

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It seems to me you are overlooking Acts 16:31-34, the account of the Jailer. This certainly supports baptizing children.

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  1. Where are we commanded to steal this from our children?
  2. If circumcision of the flesh, which was commanded under the Law, was inadequate for admission to the Old Covenant, how much less effective is water for admitting a child into the new covenant?
  3. The real test is can you still show Christian love while doing it? ;)

Atpollard asked three questions. Anyone want to give a whirl?

 

 

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It seems to me you are overlooking Acts 16:31-34, the account of the Jailer. This certainly supports baptizing children.

Acts 16:31-34

31 And they said, x“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you yand your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them zthe same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he awas baptized at once, he and all his family. 34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he brejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.

 

Meh. If you baptized my entire household today, I have only one child who is 11 years old and certainly old enough to understand and speak for herself. I have a friend named Mikhail who has the largest 'household' in our church with four adults and 6 to 8 kids (depending on visitation) with the youngest of them a precocious five year old. [an ironic aside, his wife is a jailer ... a Corrections Officer]. So I would have no problem with either of those 'households' being baptized and could easily believe that every member could hear an Apostle and choose to follow Jesus.

 

How old was the Jailer's youngest in Acts 16? Is there any indication that Paul ever baptized a 3 month old baby based on the parent's faith?

Don't get me wrong, the Jailer may have had a 3 month old in the house and Paul may have baptized the baby. Acts 16 simply does not state the circumstances clearly enough to draw that as an irrefutable conclusion.

 

Peter was far clearer in Acts 2:38 who should be getting baptized in that crowd. :)

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Acts 16:31-34

31 And they said, x“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you yand your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them zthe same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he awas baptized at once, he and all his family. 34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he brejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.

 

Meh. If you baptized my entire household today, I have only one child who is 11 years old and certainly old enough to understand and speak for herself. I have a friend named Mikhail who has the largest 'household' in our church with four adults and 6 to 8 kids (depending on visitation) with the youngest of them a precocious five year old. [an ironic aside, his wife is a jailer ... a Corrections Officer]. So I would have no problem with either of those 'households' being baptized and could easily believe that every member could hear an Apostle and choose to follow Jesus.

 

How old was the Jailer's youngest in Acts 16? Is there any indication that Paul ever baptized a 3 month old baby based on the parent's faith?

Don't get me wrong, the Jailer may have had a 3 month old in the house and Paul may have baptized the baby. Acts 16 simply does not state the circumstances clearly enough to draw that as an irrefutable conclusion.

 

Peter was far clearer in Acts 2:38 who should be getting baptized in that crowd. :)

 

Received well,

 

My point being is that the Scriptures do not say the age. We can speculate either way. I was just asking whether you suppose no households had infant children? Another point, at Pentecost, are we to speculate that 3000 people added did not include one infant?

 

I think it is easier for an infant to believe the message taught by parents when discipling than adults. They believe the love conveyed in the biblical songs and stories we tell them. Small as a mustard seed! I brought up discernment because it seems that often this is requirement set by some.

 

Peter was far clearer in Acts 2:38 who should be getting baptized in that crowd. :)

  • 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  • 39For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Except your children! Your children were included in the OT but now this is a far better covenant that excludes them! Said no Scripture lol.

 

Which just brings me to another point. Apostasy exists. Is the point of excluding children an attempt to cut down on apostasy? You know there is no assurance we can give another outside of our own individual selves that they are saved. I think in Hebrews 6 we can infer that many people taste the fruits of the Holy Spirit and yet are not saved. Our church is filled with all kinds of people. I do not mean mine only. My point is no matter how much screening a church does no one can be sure of another.

 

John Calvin: And we must note these three degrees, that the promise was first made to the Jews, and then to their children, and last of all, that it is also to be imparted to the Gentiles. We know the reason why the Jews are preferred before other people; for they are, as it were, the first begotten in God’s family, yea, they were then separated from other people by a singular privilege. Therefore Peter observeth a good order, when he giveth the Jews the pre-eminence. Whereas he adjoineth their children unto them, it dependeth upon the words of the promise: I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed after thee, (Gen_17:7,) where God doth reckon the children with the fathers in the grace of adoption.

 

This place, therefore, doth abundantly refute the manifest error of the Anabaptists, which will not have infants, which are the children of the faithful, to be baptized, as if they were not members of the Church. They espy a starting hole in the allegorical sense, (130) and they expound it thus, that by children are meant those which are spiritually begotten. But this gross impudency doth nothing help them. It is plain and evident that Peter spoke thus because God did adopt one nation peculiarly. And circumcision did declare that the right of adoption was common even unto infants. Therefore, even as God made his covenant with Isaac, being as yet unborn, because he was the seed of Abraham, so Peter teacheth, that all the children of the Jews are contained in the same covenant, because this promise is always in force, I will be the God of your seed.

 

And to those which are afar off. The Gentiles are named in the last place, which were before strangers. For those which refer it unto those Jews which were exiled afar off, (and driven) into far countries, they are greatly deceived. For he speaketh not in this place of the distance of place; but he noteth a difference between the Jews and the Gentiles, that they were first joined to God by reason of the covenant, and so, consequently, became of his family or household; but the Gentiles were banished from his kingdom. Paul useth the same speech in the second chapter to Ephesians, (Eph_2:11,) that the Gentiles, which were strangers from the promises, are now drawn near, through Jesus Christ, unto God. Because that Christ (the wall of separation being taken away) hath reconciled both (the Jews and Gentiles) unto the Father, and coming, he hath preached peace unto those which were nigh at hand, and which were afar off. Now we understand Peter’s meaning. For to the end he may amplify the grace of Christ, he doth so offer the same unto the Jews, that he saith the Gentiles are also partakers thereof. And therefore he useth this word call, as if he should say: Like as God hath gathered you together into one peculiar people heretofore by his voice, so the same voice shall sound everywhere, that those which are afar off may come and join themselves unto you, when as they shall be called by a new proclamation.

 

(130) “Effugium in allegorico sensu captant,” they attempt evasion by giving an allegorical meaning.

 

God bless,

William

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Acts 16:31-34

31 And they said, x“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you yand your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them zthe same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he awas baptized at once, he and all his family. 34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he brejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.

 

Meh. If you baptized my entire household today, I have only one child who is 11 years old and certainly old enough to understand and speak for herself. I have a friend named Mikhail who has the largest 'household' in our church with four adults and 6 to 8 kids (depending on visitation) with the youngest of them a precocious five year old. [an ironic aside, his wife is a jailer ... a Corrections Officer]. So I would have no problem with either of those 'households' being baptized and could easily believe that every member could hear an Apostle and choose to follow Jesus.

 

How old was the Jailer's youngest in Acts 16? Is there any indication that Paul ever baptized a 3 month old baby based on the parent's faith?

Don't get me wrong, the Jailer may have had a 3 month old in the house and Paul may have baptized the baby. Acts 16 simply does not state the circumstances clearly enough to draw that as an irrefutable conclusion.

 

Peter was far clearer in Acts 2:38 who should be getting baptized in that crowd. :)

 

First, your friends wife being a jailer is not ironic, merely coincidence. Second, the account of Peter is actually more broad as it doesn't make mention as to whether the individual or their entire household would be baptized. What we can surmise from the account of Paul baptizing the jailer and his family is that his entire household was then under the covenant, yet it is not a given that all of them were imparted salvation. The place we derive this is the verse you referenced on your OP that

"If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband."

 

The bigger question is: What is the difference between being part of the covenant and actually being saved?

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My point being is that the Scriptures do not say the age. We can speculate either way. I was just asking whether you suppose no households had infant children? Another point, at Pentecost, are we to speculate that 3000 people added did not include one infant?

Not if they were good Baptists. :)

(Then they had Adult Baptisms and baby dedications.)

 

On a more serious note, his brief comment was fast and easy to answer. Yours tend to be a little harder and require more time (simply because you make multiple points per post).

 

Let me take a step back and point out that the Baptism of repentance (like John practiced) often [but not always] involved immersion and a river. So we need to tread with a little care with assumptions (At least I do. I am old, but not old enough to have been there, and my Greek ... can I say sucks? ... leaves MUCH to be desired.)

 

1 Corinthians 7:14b ... Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

 

So I know you suggested that this was about not defiling the believer, but if an unbelieving Father refused to allow the children and grandchildren of long time members of your church to be baptized as infants, would you view the children as part of the Visible Church or not? Would you honestly see the believer protected from defilement, but the child outside the covenant? [This is not playing games, I an just trying to see if the Presbyterian Church is that dogmatic about this belief. The Catholic Church is.]

 

I do indeed take "they are holy" [ἅγιος hágios, hag'-ee-os; sacred (physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated):—(most) holy (one, thing), saint.] at face value and view the children as admitted to the covenant (but not saved) through the believing parent. No baptism necessary. As I implied, I view Peter's call (Acts 2:38) as far clearer and "every one of you" (us) is called to decide for ourselves and "repent and be baptized". It is a powerful personal moment for many. You must have a ceremony to mark a believer coming into their own faith. That is why I find it hard to imagine why you would rob them of the chance to be buried and raised with Christ in baptism by telling them they were sprinkled as a baby.

 

Water baptism (adult, child or infant) is only symbolic and an act of obedience. The true rebirth is of the Spirit and from God. I get that. However, one thing of value that I learned from my Southern Baptist brothers and sisters is that symbols have power in the life of the people. The Communion table is just grape juice and a cracker, but if you under stand the fullness of the rich symbolism, past, present, future ... that symbolism means something. It IS important. I hurt for what you have lost in the richness of the experience of the baptism of a professing believer. To hear you are buried with Christ and feel the water close over you. To break the surface and hear "you are a new creation". To feel your heart leap.

 

Except your children! Your children were included in the OT but now this is a far better covenant that excludes them! Said not Scripture lol.

You are going to need to take a nap, and reread the OP. :) Here is the Reader's Digest ... It was not a circumcision of the flesh that saved under the Old Covenant, it was a circumcision of the heart. It is not a Baptism of water that saves under the New Covenant, it is a Baptism of the Spirit. Adult or baby, God decides who is in and out of his Covenant and we have no power to change that. It ain't your choice to include your children in the New Covenant and it ain't my choice to exclude them.

[And just for the record, Your and my children are included with or without sprinkling.]

 

You are refuting a claim I am not making. :)

 

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First, your friends wife being a jailer is not ironic, merely coincidence.

I was thinking of Dramatic Irony, not literary irony ... but I can definitely see how not everyone would see the humor in it, so it might not be Dramatic Irony for you.

 

Second, the account of Peter is actually more broad as it doesn't make mention as to whether the individual or their entire household would be baptized.

Here we may need to agree to disagree.

 

Acts 2:38 [NIV] Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

It seems from the English, that the same "every one of you" that Peter was speaking to were to:

1. Repent

2. Be Baptized

3. Receive the Holy Spirit

 

That's a call to salvation. A five year old may indeed have been in the audience, heard and responded. A 3 month old could not have honestly responded to the call, so is unlikely to have followed those instructions.

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The bigger question is: What is the difference between being part of the covenant and actually being saved?

Start a topic and tell me.

I'd love to hear it and we can use some more conversations.

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So I know you suggested that this was about not defiling the believer, but if an unbelieving Father refused to allow the children and grandchildren of long time members of your church to be baptized as infants, would you view the children as part of the Visible Church or not? Would you honestly see the believer protected from defilement, but the child outside the covenant? [This is not playing games, I an just trying to see if the Presbyterian Church is that dogmatic about this belief. The Catholic Church is.]

 

Water baptism (adult, child or infant) is only symbolic and an act of obedience. The true rebirth is of the Spirit and from God. I get that.

 

 

This is not how the OPC defines Baptism. Just to share our Confession, and number 5 should answer your question:

 

For example:

Chapter XXVIII

 

Of Baptism

 

I. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ,[1] not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church;[2] but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace,[3] of his ingrafting into Christ,[4] of regeneration,[5] of remission of sins,[6] and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in the newness of life.[7] Which sacrament is, by Christ's own appointment, to be continued in His Church until the end of the world.[8]

 

II. The outward element to be used in this sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the Gospel, lawfully called thereunto.[9]

 

III. Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but Baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water upon the person.[10]

 

IV. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ,[11] but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.[12]

 

V. Although it is a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance,[13] yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it:[14] or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.[15]

 

VI. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered;[16] yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongs unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in His appointed time.[17]

 

VII. The sacrament of Baptism is but once to be administered unto any person.[18]

 

 

Here are the Scriptural references used which need to be taken into context. The Westminster divines had a wonderful way of compressing the verses in reference:

 

[1] MAT 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

 

[2] 1CO 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

 

[3] ROM 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also. COL 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

 

[4] GAL 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. ROM 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.

 

[5] TIT 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

 

[6] MAR 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

 

[7] ROM 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 

[8] MAT 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

 

[9] MAT 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. JOH 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. MAT 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

[10] HEB 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. ACT 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. MAR 7:4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.

 

[11] MAR 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. ACT 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

 

[12] GEN 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. GAL 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. COL 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. ACT 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. ROM 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. 1CO 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. MAT 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. MAR 10:13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. LUK 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

 

[13] LUK 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. EXO 4:24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. 26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.

 

[14] ROM 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also. ACT 10:2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. 4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. 22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee. 31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

 

[15] ACT 8:13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. 23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

 

[16] JOH 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

 

[17] GAL 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. TIT 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; EPH 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. ACT 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

 

[18] TIT 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

 

God bless,

William

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I was thinking of Dramatic Irony, not literary irony ... but I can definitely see how not everyone would see the humor in it, so it might not be Dramatic Irony for you.

 

 

Here we may need to agree to disagree.

 

Acts 2:38 [NIV] Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

It seems from the English, that the same "every one of you" that Peter was speaking to were to:

1. Repent

2. Be Baptized

3. Receive the Holy Spirit

 

That's a call to salvation. A five year old may indeed have been in the audience, heard and responded. A 3 month old could not have honestly responded to the call, so is unlikely to have followed those instructions.

 

If you couple this with the account of the jailer you see a beginning and an end to a study on baptism. Sure, the primary use of baptism is at conversion, but there is also use when identifying that the entire household is under the same covenant of the new believer. This second use is not to identify that the person being baptized is saved (contrary to catholic belief), but that they are just part of the covenant.

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Start a topic and tell me.

I'd love to hear it and we can use some more conversations.

 

I think it would be more of a discussion to find the answer, not for me to give it to you, as I really have not given it much thought. Though it would certainly be useful to know.

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If you couple this with the account of the jailer you see a beginning and an end to a study on baptism. Sure, the primary use of baptism is at conversion, but there is also use when identifying that the entire household is under the same covenant of the new believer. This second use is not to identify that the person being baptized is saved (contrary to catholic belief), but that they are just part of the covenant.

I get the feeling that my point is being missed. I am not questioning the covenant, per se, I am asking why water baptism is being used to identify a household under the covenant?

The actual Baptism events are frighteningly unclear on the point of babies and, like Peter in Acts, there are ample examples where water baptism is clearly used for something else (repentance)

The heart of my question: why is something so physical and man centered as water baptism of an infant chosen for the 'admission' into a covenant that is in every other way so Spirit and God centered?

Why does the God who circumcises the heart, not circumcise the heart of the baby?

Why does the God who baptizes with the Holy Spirit not baptize the baby with the Holy Spirit?

Why does the God who saves by grace through faith (not of ourselves) not give faith to the baby?

Why is the 'circumcision' of the New Covenant not a circumcised heart, baptism of the Spirit and gift of faith ... all from God, just as our SALVATION is from Christ?

 

That is my point and my question.

 

 

 

From your OPC:

IV. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ,[11] but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.[12]

 

[12]

GEN 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. (Yes there is a covenant, but who says it is about water?)

 

GAL 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Spirit, not water).

 

COL 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (11. God does it not man - one of my points. 12. this is the symbolism that is being lost. sprinkling is not really being buried in baptism and there is no faith for an infant who has not chosen to be baptized.)

 

ACT 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (I can see how you view it. I can not say that you are wrong. Let me suggest just as something to think about that v.38 opens with a command to those who hear to take action and v.39 closes with a statement that the others shall also be called when it is their time.)

 

ROM 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. (I just have no idea what this has to do with [12] baptizing infants of believing parents.)

 

1CO 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. (snicker ... even without baptism ... I'll go and repent now. :( )

 

MAT 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (teach comes before baptism, so they understand)

 

MAR 10:13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. (Jesus likes children, so we should like children. Jesus blessed children, so we should bless children. Jesus welcomed children, so we should welcome children. Do you know what Jesus is not described as doing here, baptizing children for the repentance of sins ... neither should we.)

 

LUK 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. (same as above)

 

 

Please don't take this the wrong way, but all of these verses are really "sort of, maybe" verses to support that position. The case for losing your salvation is stronger and we reject that.

 

 

 

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I get the feeling that my point is being missed. I am not questioning the covenant, per se, I am asking why water baptism is being used to identify a household under the covenant?

The actual Baptism events are frighteningly unclear on the point of babies and, like Peter in Acts, there are ample examples where water baptism is clearly used for something else (repentance)

The heart of my question: why is something so physical and man centered as water baptism of an infant chosen for the 'admission' into a covenant that is in every other way so Spirit and God centered?

Why does the God who circumcises the heart, not circumcise the heart of the baby?

Why does the God who baptizes with the Holy Spirit not baptize the baby with the Holy Spirit?

Why does the God who saves by grace through faith (not of ourselves) not give faith to the baby?

Why is the 'circumcision' of the New Covenant not a circumcised heart, baptism of the Spirit and gift of faith ... all from God, just as our SALVATION is from Christ?

 

That is my point and my question.

 

 

 

From your OPC:

IV. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ,[11] but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.[12]

 

[12]

GEN 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. (Yes there is a covenant, but who says it is about water?)

 

GAL 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Spirit, not water).

 

COL 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (11. God does it not man - one of my points. 12. this is the symbolism that is being lost. sprinkling is not really being buried in baptism and there is no faith for an infant who has not chosen to be baptized.)

 

ACT 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (I can see how you view it. I can not say that you are wrong. Let me suggest just as something to think about that v.38 opens with a command to those who hear to take action and v.39 closes with a statement that the others shall also be called when it is their time.)

 

ROM 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. (I just have no idea what this has to do with [12] baptizing infants of believing parents.)

 

1CO 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. (snicker ... even without baptism ... I'll go and repent now. :( )

 

MAT 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (teach comes before baptism, so they understand)

 

MAR 10:13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. (Jesus likes children, so we should like children. Jesus blessed children, so we should bless children. Jesus welcomed children, so we should welcome children. Do you know what Jesus is not described as doing here, baptizing children for the repentance of sins ... neither should we.)

 

LUK 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. (same as above)

 

 

Please don't take this the wrong way, but all of these verses are really "sort of, maybe" verses to support that position. The case for losing your salvation is stronger and we reject that.

 

 

 

How is the idea that baptism replaced circumcision vague when it comes to understanding that it is not just for the believer, but their entire household. Even in that first verse that supports what you quoted from out confession that God "will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed." To what else would God be referring when He mentions "seed?"

 

By the way, if you believe in predestination then there is no case for "losing" ones salvation as it was pre-ordained before time began.

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How is the idea that baptism replaced circumcision vague when it comes to understanding that it is not just for the believer, but their entire household.

Could you identify which verse you are referring to to make it easier for me to respond?

 

If you mean:

ACT 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Then I call your attention to "For the promise is unto you, and to your children" ... the promise and not the "baptism".

 

If you mean the Jailer's household, for all we know his youngest 'household' member may have been 14 years old. It just does not say.

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Even in that first verse that supports what you quoted from out confession that God "will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed." To what else would God be referring when He mentions "seed?"

 

GEN 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.

 

Why is EVERYTHING about the New Covenant 1. Spiritual and not physical and 2. From God and not from man ... except the implied symbol for admitting children, the replacement for circumcision? Suddenly it is PHYSICAL water administered by Man.

 

In Salvation, the physical water is the baptism for repentance and the Holy Spirit is the baptism for Salvation. All man can do is repent, only God can minister the New Covenant. ... except for babies (I am being told).

 

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Just wanted to clarify something.

  • Genesis 17:10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.
  • Romans 4:11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well,

Just so we understand, Paul is writing and making an allusion back to Genesis 17. Circumcision was a sign and a seal of “the righteousness that he (Abraham) had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.” Are we in agreeance that a sign and a seal of the covenant made with Abraham exists? And Circumcision was a sign of God’s covenantal relationship to Abraham and to Abraham’s children, all who believe in Christ?

 

Do you agree that there is an allusion made to that covenant? I'd like to pause there but I'll finish. I ask that because some people reject any allusions. I have seen it in my bible studies where people refuse to acknowledge the allusion between John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1. Notice the similarity in the language between Genesis 17 and Romans 4 (not to mention an explicit mention). There is a covenant, with a sign which is outward signifying faith. The seal points back to the very thing signified (promise of salvation by grace through faith). The seal is the promise to the covenant people, in this case to Abraham and Abraham's children which receive the seal of God's promise to be their God and to make them His. Notice that there is an outward (Sign) and an inward spiritual (Seal) meaning.

 

ACT 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

 

Then I call your attention to "For the promise is unto you, and to your children" ... the promise and not the "baptism".

 

Now once again we have a covenant and sign which is water baptism. First it is given to believers, like Abraham, and the promise is made just like it was to Abraham but now to those "in the name of Christ" who are hearing Peter's preaching. They are told to repent and be baptized, and the reason is in verse 39 “the promise is to you and to your children, and all who are far off….”

 

Sign = outward

Seal = inward (spiritual grace, signified)

 

A seal points back to the sign, and this is spiritual. The Seal is the promise according to the counsel of God's own will, in His appointed time God signifies (Seal) that the person receiving the sacrament has the qualities it signifies. God the Holy Spirit both seals us and seals the promise in us and not only to us but to our children, and all who are far off.

 

I just want to make sure that we can all see the formula back in Genesis 17 which the Lord used, that Paul uses in Romans 4, and Peter consciously preaches to the Jews that would have understood exactly what was meant.

 

If we can't identify the pattern then there is no sense going forward. The promise that God made to Abraham, however, is explicitly repeated in the New Covenant by the Apostle Peter. Therefore that promise (the promise is to you and to your children) does not belong to the "illustration" of only Abraham and Moses.

 

Old Testament saints looked forward to Christ's coming and were given a covenant with a sign and seal under Abraham, Moses, David, and the prophets. Just as New Testament saints are given a covenant, sign, and seal that historically points to Christ's finished work.

 

Do we agree with this thus far?

 

God bless,

William

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"Do we agree with this thus far?"

 

I think so, but after 11 PM ... no promises. I am not firing on all cylinders.

I think we are up to the clock cleaning part (if I still see the parallel language as clearly when I am awake).

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ACT 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Now once again we have a covenant and sign which is water baptism. First it is given to believers, like Abraham, and the promise is made just like it was to Abraham but now to those "in the name of Christ" who are hearing Peter's preaching. They are told to repent and be baptized, and the reason is in verse 39 “the promise is to you and to your children, and all who are far off….”

Do we agree with this thus far?

Yes ... at least "probably". I will grant that Acts 2:38-39 appears covenant-like to a "preponderance of the evidence" level of certainty. It is not quite as clear as Abraham, where God himself says 'This is my covenant ..." leaving absolutely no doubt.

 

I'll hold any thoughts in response since it seemed like you had more to say and were laying a foundation ...

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ACT 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

 

 

Yes ... at least "probably". I will grant that Acts 2:38-39 appears covenant-like to a "preponderance of the evidence" level of certainty. It is not quite as clear as Abraham, where God himself says 'This is my covenant ..." leaving absolutely no doubt.

 

I'll hold any thoughts in response since it seemed like you had more to say and were laying a foundation ...

 

I finally got some sleep. I have been around the clock sleeping no more than two to three hours at a time for the last three weeks. Could use some prayers.

 

Anyways, Arthur,

 

Mainly, my response was directed to your statements in post number 17. I absolutely agree with you. Everything about the NT Covenant baptism can be made into any empty symbol. In my opinion, you seemly understand that, the outward sign is water. However, there appears to be a disconnect with the seal. Covenants generally have both a sign and seal, so I thought it would be helpful to understand why those things are being addressed in the NT.

 

I also want to acknowledge some confusion which may surface when addressing infant (paedo) baptism. There is at least another example by which you mention. The baptism becomes nothing but a water prop in a magic show. A ritual done by man that dictates man's will upon God. That is how some see baptismal regeneration. Throw a little water on someone accompanied by the word and waalaa the infant is regenerated. While I am being crude I am only addressing superficial criticism which may anger both Catholics and Lutherans, both of which believe in baptismal regeneration.

 

Now that I made a crude criticism of baptismal regeneration, just beware that what you're complaining about is actually the criticism some make towards credo baptist. The baptism is nothing more than symbolic. Man does not invoke God to salvation because of water baptism (sign). However, it is sign of the Covenant and an invisible mark that sets the child apart from the world. The child receives the covenant blessings (discipleship) and is a member of the visible church. Though, salvation (regeneration, repentance and faith etc) are by grace which is the seal that God places on the person when the thing signified is made a reality, according to His own will and timing. In other words, Reformed do not believe that the water baptism causes salvation or guarantees salvation, but it is a visible sign and invisible mark that God identifies, and if by His grace He will, the child will receive the seal - the promised Holy Spirit. How blessed is that gift? The faith and covenant of our forefathers.... Salvation is a gift, by grace through faith... it is the gift of God. What is salvation, a gift, what is the gift of salvation? The gift is God.

 

There is no question what is required for adults. We all agree to this, though I observe many baptist that believe it was their faith that initiated salvation and God responded by grace. So there you have it. Hope that my previous post conveys why our Confessions used the Scriptural references they did. The pattern is there, the covenant language is there, and the sign and seal are there.

 

So when you refer to ground work, I think there's much going on spiritually behind the scenes than just physical water. I'll stop there, and thanks for receiving my thoughts first thing in the morning!

 

God bless,

William

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I believe I will add my two cents. The circumcision\baptism connection is made more than once in the N.T. Let's look Paul's point concerning Abraham.

 

Quote
For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well. (Rom. 4:9-11)

Paul makes it very clear that it was not circumcision but rather Abraham's faith that was counted as righteousness. Paul based his argument upon the fact that Abraham's faith preceded his circumcision. Then Paul states Abraham received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness.

 

In my opinion the question that needs to be asked is what did circumcision do and what didn't it do?

 

(1) Circumcision never provided or guaranteed salvation.

 

(2) It did not guaranteed that one was elect thus eventually expressing a true faith in the God of Israel.

 

I do not think anyone would doubt these two points given Israel's history. So what did the sign of circumcision mean? It was a physical sign of God's grace to all of Israel. Note that God made his covenant with Abraham and made certain promises to him one of which was an heir\son. Thus the covenant is linked to that promise and the other promises are an extension of that promise.

 

So what does circumcision do? It places one within the community of believers, a covent community.  That makes the person a member of the community holding the truth, the only community which had the true. Or to put is as Paul did:

Quote
Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written,

 

“That you may be justified in your words,

and prevail when you are judged.” (Rom. 3:1-4)

So what advantage did the Jew have? They had the oracles of God which no one else had. Thus access to the community, again as we see, placed one in a unique position that no other nation could claim. But again note that circumcision could not provide or guaranteed salvation nor could it guarantee a true expression of faith in the God.

 

Given this understanding could this help place the circumcision\baptism connection, since all the members of a household (also note that phrase may refer to servants within the household and not just members of the family) being baptized, within that context?

Quote
That very day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. And all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him. (Gen. 27:26-27)
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"Quit pouring water all over those babies!"

 

I agree....

 

Baptism is a symbol of the reality found "in Christ". If Baptism actually saves then Christ died for nothing. Christ is "the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe."

 

In short the gospel of Christ has made provisions for those who can't exercise faith & repentance. Because of Christ's doing & dying "all men" are born into this world "justified unto life" (See Romans 5:18 NASB) He has legally reversed our condemnation "in Adam" to "justification of life" in Himself. In Him we are complete.

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I agree....

 

Baptism is a symbol of the reality found "in Christ". If Baptism actually saves then Christ died for nothing. Christ is "the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe."

 

In short the gospel of Christ has made provisions for those who can't exercise faith & repentance. Because of Christ's doing & dying "all men" are born into this world "justified unto life" (See Romans 5:18 NASB) He has legally reversed our condemnation "in Adam" to "justification of life" in Himself. In Him we are complete.

 

So, are you saying baptism is irrelevant?

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