Circumcision of the heart

Yet females in the OC never bore that sign, what sign did they receive as being a part of the Covenant of Grace?

I own that others could explain it better but here's my 2 cents.

They did of a sorts. Their parents' sexual union involved a circumcised father.

Rahab and Ruth married circumcised men, though both were what would later be called "God-fearers" and part of the people of God before they married without themselves being circumcised or having to have been born to a father who was.

Of course, now the sign and seal of baptism is applied to male and female alike without distinction because the commandment is not gender specific in the way the circumcision command was.
 
Is "hear change" a mistype or maybe a term I am not understanding? I wish to understand your claim here.
It was a typo. I meant to type "heart change," and it was typed "hear change".

My overarching point is that the OC is consistent with the NC, which states that signs signify something that is sealed only by the Spirit. A person circumcised in the OT was under obligation to obey but the circumcision of the heart was something that only could be applied by grace and not by the mere administration.

Circumcision set the congregation apart, but they had to believe in faith what God could only provide in terms of regeneration. The entire Covenant structure and commands are clear that a man cannot live by the Covenant in the flesh but that it would only be in Christ that any believer could be truly constituted righteous in God's sight. The generation that fell int he wilderness heard the Gospel but did not respond in faith - a faith only possible by the Spirit.

Attempts to "prove" that circumcision was only intended to be an ethnica marker and not a sign that was intended to point the recipient to an obligation to have faith in God (through the Mediator) fail. It is not by accident that the OT and NT and chock full of passages that use the term "circumcision" to not only refer to the actual sign but to what the sign was intended to seal in the believer by the Spirit.

This is what I meant in my pejorative comment that Baptist theology creates a "jumbled mess" when it attempts to relate circumcision, baptism, and terms like "circumcision of the heart" because it goes out of its way to break these apart and argue that physical circumcision can properly stand alone and not be Sacramentally related to the Covenant of Grace as a whole. It implicitly denies a "One Mediator" because it conceives of some sign of the Covenant that can somehow avail that is not under the administration of the One Mediator of the CoG.

Acts 2 only retrospectively "proves" to the Baptist what he understands one must see in this passage. That, because one is baptized after publicly repenting and professing, that the Sign is intended to be a sign of what the professor has done. It can't actually function as a seal because the Baptist links it to the faith of the believer and not to the Spirit's sovereign administration. The reason you can't conceive of the Spirit applying the Seal after profession and even a period of discipleship is because you don't even consider a person baptized unless the person had that true faith prior to its administration. One can never truly know, in Baptist theology, if a person is truly baptized but only if they have received an outward ordinance that may or may not be baptism.

In our theology, we believe the sign avails whether or not the Spirit has sealed the individual at the time of baptism. The recipient is passive. Yes, he is marked out and yes we don't deny the need for profession for one entering the Kingdom outside of the family of God. Yet, we also know that baptism's seal is something we have no control over and we see God's promise as ministerial and that the person baptized can look backward at his baptism and realize that, if he has faith now, all that was promised in His Baptism belongs to him.
 
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Put another way, when Paul calls baptism a "circumcision of the heart", the Presbyterian doesn't trip over this and say: "Well, that can't be related to Oc circumcision because only the elect are circumcised in the heart. After all, plenty of people who were physically circumcised never had new hearts so 'circumcision' and 'circumcision of the heart' are two different things altogether."
 
Thank you for the clarification and explanation Rich that is helpful.

The reason you can't conceive of the Spirit applying the Seal after profession and even a period of discipleship is because you don't even consider a person baptized unless the person had that true faith prior to its administration.

I believe one is sealed by the Holy Spirit at salvation.

13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. - Ephesians 1:13-14

One can never truly know, in Baptist theology, if a person is truly baptized but only if they have received an outward ordinance that may or may not be baptism.

I'm not sure that is quite correct as we baptize upon profession of faith not 100% certainty of regeneration. We attempt to help a person understand that baptism is meant to signify a washing of sins and union with Christ that has already happened according to what they have professed.

LBCF Ch. 29

Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him;1 of remission of sins;2 and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.3

Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance.4


What I would like to do at some point (probably on my website) is examine the Scripture passages that speak of circumcision and those that speak of baptism and compare the language surrounding the two. I think it will demonstrate that different concepts and purposes surround each. If you consider the symbolism involved in each activity, they are communicating different things. Whereas the Lord's Supper has a very clear type-antitype connection between Passover and the Lord's Supper, there is no such clear type-antitype link between physical circumcision and baptism (cutting of flesh on male genitalia vs. washing). Symbolically, baptism seems to be much more akin to OT water purification rituals and the promise of Ezekiel 36:25-27:

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. - Ezekiel 36:25-27
 
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I'm not sure that is quite correct as we baptize upon profession of faith not 100% certainty of regeneration. We attempt to help a person understand that baptism is meant to signify a washing of sins and union with Christ that has already happened according to what they have professed.
This is where I see an inconsistency between baptist theology and practice. If the essential meaning of the ordinance is dependent on the validity of a presumed regeneration, there is no good reason why the ordinance shouldn't be repeated if the subject's regeneration is called into question. After all, chapter 29 of the LBCF leaves the door open for re-baptism contra the WCF.
 
I believe one is sealed by the Holy Spirit at salvation.

13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. - Ephesians 1:13-14
Well, the whole point of the seal is not disputing whether or not the Holy Spirit applies the benefits of salvation through conversion but how/when this is related to the sacrament of baptism itself.

Saying that the person is sealed by the Spirit is the same as saying, "the person has been converted and possesses all the benefits of union with Christ," but this doesn't answer the question of whether the Church knows that the person is regenerated. The Church can only minister to the Promise of God. It does this for both those who actually profess faith and their Covenant children. In that respect, the Church has no more access to hidden knowledge about who is regenerated for either party. The point is that the Scriptures never tie the Church's administration to the idea that "we are baptizing you because we think you have been given a new heart by God."
'm not sure that is quite correct as we baptize upon profession of faith not 100% certainty of regeneration. We attempt to help a person understand that baptism is meant to signify a washing of sins and union with Christ that has already happened according to what they have professed.

LBCF Ch. 29

Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him;1 of remission of sins;2 and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.3
Yes, I know you don't (because you can't) baptize on the basis of regeneration, but your Confession states that baptism is a sign to the party baptized of their conversion. If the person is not converted, then they aren't baptized and need to come back again in the future to be baptized when they are actually converted. This is what I meant by the idea that the Baptist's administration of the ordinance doesn't necessarily baptize the party because real conversion only makes it a baptism.
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. - Ezekiel 36:25-27
Baptism is many things - to include not only cleansing but a sign of a "new heart". I think I've read somewhere about a "circumcision of the heat" and a "circumcision made without hands". To do justice to the nature of Covenant admission as well as *all* of the OT sacraments that are reduced to two in the NC, one has to do more than "prooftext" himself and be convinced that baptism has a narrow Covenantal significance.
 
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