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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

Questions on Covenant Baptism (part 4)

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Yes, we have been here before, but this time I have a completely different question ...

 

Catholics believe in Baptismal Regeneration.

 

Given the definition of baptism by the non-Reformed here which believe baptism is only an empty symbol (with the exception of Lutherans) goes without saying. Reformed Protestants do not practice baptismal regeneration, but infants are included in entire households during Covenant Baptism. The baptism is more than an empty symbol. In Covenant baptism water is a sign, mark (invisible), and seal of the NT Covenant. The seal is given by God in His due timing. Salvation is strictly monergism within the Reformed churches.

 

It is appropriate for the head of the household to include children in baptism. The children are received by the church and given baptism as an initiation (incommunicable members), not only are the parent(s) professing faith (communicable members), but they are also vowing to raise the child in the precepts of the Lord (disciple), not only them but the church body itself.

 

None of us disagree as to the requirements of faith as an adult. Where we differ upon is the definition of baptism and what it conveys. Is it merely a symbol? Or is it a sign, seal and mark of the NT Covenant? When Scriptures state "go and baptize you and your household" should you? When Jesus stated go and make disciples baptizing in the name .... should we? Where does the Scripture exclude children? Again, when the Scriptures address adults it says believe and be baptized. When it addresses the head of households, it says baptize your household.

 

God bless,

William

 

I quoted the whole post for context, but I have a much narrower and more specific question.

 

"Catholics believe in Baptismal Regeneration."

So this is completely straight forward as a concept. Setting aside whether it is right or wrong, they believe that when you sprinkle (or whatever) the baby/adult that 'activates' the power of God for salvation. Easily understood.

 

"which believe baptism is only an empty symbol"

Setting aside the inflammatory use of the phrase 'empty' symbol, and whether this view is right or wrong, this is also a pretty clear statement with an unambiguous meaning. As a Reformed Baptist, I believe in the 5 points of Calvinism, monergistic salvation (God does all of the work) and I believe that God can save with or without the use of water. Baptism is done for many reasons, but salvation is not one of them. This is exactly the opposite of Baptismal Regeneration.

 

"In Covenant baptism water is a sign, mark (invisible), and seal of the NT Covenant. The seal is given by God in His due timing."

So once again, please set aside whether or not Covenant Baptism is right or wrong. I am unclear exactly what is being conveyed. You are clear that it is not Baptismal Regeneration, but you claim it is not symbolic.

If Covenant Baptism water is a sign, then is it not 'symbolic'?

If Covenant Baptism water is an invisible mark, then is it 'symbolic' or spiritual? How is it neither like 'regeneration' nor like a 'symbol'? What is it like? What does it do?

How can man use water to give the seal of the NT covenant if the seal is given by God? Isn't that the definition of synergism?

I am not challenging your beliefs, I am attempting to just understand exactly what it is you believe happens when you baptize a 'household' before they can choose Christ for themselves. Your terms are confusing (and I can't be the only non-Presbyterian who is not following along).

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