Synopsis: What About Baptism?

Status
Not open for further replies.

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Greetings men:

I assume that since you are not commenting on the OP, that you are then in full agreement with it?

Have you forgotten that there is no Biblical evidence for dipping in the whole Bible? That the very Greek word which specifically means bapto"to dip" is never used by the Holy Spirit to indicate baptism?

I mean no offense on this, but if you can only answer part of the presentation, then you have not answered paedo-baptism.

Randy:

Circumcision as it is a physical rite in the Church has been abrogated, but what circumcision meant has not been abrogated:

For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Are you going to deny this very truth of the Scriptures - a truth which was taught in the Old Testament?

Romans 4:11 completly contradicts the credo-baptist position:

And he (Abraham) 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.

Ph 3:3 puts this beyond doubt:

For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

When Paul talks negatively about circumcision he is speaking about the physical rite which can do nothing to regenerate the soul. When he is talking positively about circumcision he is speaking about the Spirit of God circumcising the heart:

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, Col 2:11.

If you, Randy, or anyone here, is not circumcised by the circumcision made without hands, then you are not a true believer in Christ. What is the circumcision made without hands but the Spirit of God regenerating the heart.

But the physical rite of circumcision was not given only to those who believe (like Abraham), but also to the children of Abraham 8 days old.

In the same fashion the rite of water baptism does not avail anyone unless it is united to baptism by the Spirit of God:

Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, Acts 11:16.

The New Covenant has changed the rite of entrance into the Church of God, but it has not changed the meaning nor the recipients of it. You will have to do better than simply pointing out that faith is necessary for the rite of water baptism to be effective.

You will have to provide a clear command from the Scriptures that the children of believers are not to be given water baptism.

Acts 2:38,39 - you are not looking at the pronouns correctly:

Peter said to them - "them" refers to the crowd that he is currently addressing:

The promise is to you, and to your children...

The word "you" in verse 39 refers to "them" in verse 38, so, then, what do we do with the word "your" that preceed the word "children" here? Does the word "your" refer to the children of those who respond positively to the Gospel call? We find Peter speaking to the Jews concerning the faith of Abraham, and we could paraphrase it this way:

For the promise is to Abraham, and to the children of Abraham, and to those who are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

As the promises were given to Abraham when he believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness, and these promises were mediated to his infant children. Therefore, the promises are given to all who believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and these promises are mediated to the children of believers both near and afar off.

Abraham had to believe God before he was given the Covenant sign of circumcision, and his children (both elect and reprobate) were also given the sign of the Covenant.

You have to believe God before you are given the Covenant sign of baptism, and your children (both elect and reprobate) are also given the sign of the Covenant as well.

If all Peter meant was that one had to believe the promises in order to receive baptism, then adding the phrase "your children" would make no sense. Because, "your children" would either be included in "you" or in "all who are afar off."

1 Corinthians 7:14

The point that Paul is making here is the status of a believer's child in a mixed marriage. The unbelieving spouse is "sanctified" by the believer "else were your children unclean, but now they are holy."

I have read the blog post, but I do not see anything in Mr. Conner's argument that would forbid either the unbelieving spouse or the child water baptism. Here are some points concerning his statement:

1) He notes that there are two different Greek words to describe the unbeliving spouse (hengiastai), and the child of a believer (hagia). I am not sure that Strong's here is helpful (my Greek notes are back in Pittsburgh), but he does note that they are two different words. He identifies (hengiastai) as #37 (hagiazo) probably in a plural aorist tense, and deriving the meaning as "to make holy." (that would be consistent in an aorist tense). The word concerning the child is #40 (hagia) which means "to be holy." The differences in the meanings are obvious. If Paul wanted to refer to the unbelieving spouse in the same fashion as the child, then there is no rule in Greek for him to use two different words. In fact, since word order is not important in Greek, it would demand Paul to use one word to mean the same thing - if that was what he meant to write.

The difference is clear even in the English: "sanctified" means "to make holy" while "holy" means that one is holy.

Mr. Conner does not see that Paul is using two different words to describe two different people, and, thus, they should be treated differently:

And why do some insist on calling the children "saints" (holy ones), but not the unbelieving parent? Since both are made holy by the believer, to make one a holy covenant member and not he other, and to baptise one and not he other is an inconsistency which renders this view point completely unacceptable.
We insist on it because the Bible insists upon it. Since we are to baptize disciples, and if an unbelieving spouse desires to be baptized (if he/she has never been baptized), then I would explain very carefully what the rite means, and so baptize him/her if he/she so desires.

2) Matthew Poole, writing in the 1600's, addresses this argument well:

I rather think it signifies, brought into such a state, that the believer, without offence to the law of God, may continue in a married estate with such a yoke-fellow (unbeliever); and the state of marriage is a holy state, notwithstanding the disparity with reference to religion. Else were your children unclean; otherwise he saith, the children begotten and born of such parents would be unclean, in the same state that the children of pagan parents are without the church, not within the covenant, not under the promise. In one sense all children are unclean i.e. children of wrath, born in sin, and brough forth in iniquity; but all are not in this sense unclean, some are within the covenant of grace, within the church, capable of baptism. But now are they holy these are those that are called holy not as inwardly renewed and sanctified, but relatively, in the same sense that all the Jewish nation are called a holy people and possibly this may give us a further light to understand the term sanctified in the former part of the verse. The unbelieveing husband is so far sanctified by the believing wife, and the unbelieving wife so far sanctified by the believing husband, that as they may lawfully continue in their married relation, and live together as man and wife, so the issue coming from them both shall be by God counted in covenant with him, and have a right to baptism, which is one of the seals of that covenant, as well as those children both whose parents are believers.
Jesus Christ is the Covenant Head of the Church. That does not disanull that families have covenant heads as well:

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body, Ep 5:23.

Blessings,

Rob
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I assume that since you are not commenting on the OP, that you are then in full agreement with it?
Robert, no. I just got caught up in a rabbit trail. Sorry about that. I return the thread to it's rightful owner and exit stage left.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
I assume that since you are not commenting on the OP, that you are then in full agreement with it?
Robert, no. I just got caught up in a rabbit trail. Sorry about that. I return the thread to it's rightful owner and exit stage left.

I would be interested in reading your objections to the OP.

Blessings brother!

Rob
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Rob,

If I am not mistaken you know full well what I think of circumcision of the heart as we have discussed Colossians 2:11,12 on this board many times in relation to baptism.

I have a few blogs about it.

An Exegetical Appraisal of Colossians 2:11-12 - The PuritanBoard

And you still are not addressing the Covenant Children of Christ.

We have discussed the the Abrahamic Covenant and that it has two sides of it with promises, blessings, and cursing. It has a civil as well as spiritual side. And the sign in Romans 4 placed as a seal was a testimony of Abraham's faith and belief in those promises both civil and spiritual, Isaac and Ismael. In the case of Ishmael they were civil promises made to Abraham and not spiritual. The New Covenant in Christ is not civil but spiritual. His children are born from above and in the Everlasting Covenant which Esau was not included in the promises made to Abraham as his Covenant Head. All who are in union with Christ are in the Eternal Covenant of Grace. That wasn't so for the Abrahamic Covenant nor the Mosaic.

As for 1 Corinthians and the languages I will leave you with Gill to comtemplate.

1Co 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife,.... That is, "by the believing wife"; as the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions read, and so it is read in some copies; and likewise in the next clause the same is read,

by the believing husband; this is a reason given by the apostle why they should live together. This cannot be understood of internal sanctification, which is never the case; an unbeliever cannot be sanctified by a believer in this sense, for such a sanctification is only by the Spirit of God; nor external sanctification, or an outward reformation, which though the unbelieving yoke fellow may sometimes be a means of, yet not always; and besides, the usefulness of one to another in such a relation, in a spiritual sense, urged as a reason for living together, in 1Co_7:16 nor merely of the holiness of marriage, as it is an institution of God, which is equally the same in unbelievers as believers, or between a believer and an unbeliever, as between two believers; but of the very act of marriage, which, in the language of the Jews, is expressed by being "sanctified"; instances almost without number might be given of the use of the word קדש, in this sense, out of the Misnic, Talmudic, and Rabbinic writings; take the following one instead of a thousand that might be produced (s).

"The man מקדש, "sanctifies", or espouses a wife by himself, or by his messenger; the woman מתקדש, "is sanctified", or espoused by herself, or by her messenger. The man מקדש, "sanctifies", or espouses his daughter, when she is a young woman, by himself or by his messenger; if anyone says to a woman, התקדשי, "be thou sanctified", or espoused to me by this date (the fruit of the palm tree,) התקדשי, "be thou sanctified", or espoused to me by this (any other thing); if there is anyone of these things the value of a farthing, מקודשת, "she is sanctified", or espoused, and if not she is not מקודשת, "sanctified", or "espoused"; if he says, by this, and by this, and by this, if there is the value of a farthing in them all, מקודשת, "she is sanctified", or espoused; but if not, she is not מקודשת, "sanctified", or espoused; if she eats one after another, she is not מקודשת, "sanctified", or espoused, unless there is one of them the value of a farthing;''

in which short passage, the word which is used to "sanctify", or be "sanctified", in the Hebrew language, is used to espouse, or be espoused no less than "ten" times. So the Jews (t) interpret the word "sanctified", in Job_1:5 he espoused to them wives; in the Misna, the oral law of the Jews, there is a whole treatise of קידושין "sanctifications" (u), or espousals; and in the Gemara or Talmud (w) is another, full of the disputes of the doctors on this subject. Maimonides has also written a treatise of women and wives (x), out of which might be produced almost innumerable instances in proof of the observation; and such as can read, and have leisure to read the said tracts, may satisfy themselves to their heart's content. Let it be further observed; that the preposition εν, which is in most versions rendered "by", should be rendered "in" or "to" or "unto", as it is in the next verse, and in many other places; see Mat_17:12 Col_1:23 if it be rendered in the former way, "in", it denotes the near union which by marriage the man and woman are brought into; if in the latter, it designs the object to which the man or woman is espoused, and the true sense and even the right rendering of the passage is this: "for the unbelieving husband is espoused to the wife, and the unbelieving wife is espoused to the husband"; they are duly, rightly, and legally espoused to each other; and therefore ought not, notwithstanding their different sentiments of religion, to separate from one another; otherwise, if this is not the case, if they are not truly married to one another, this consequence must necessarily follow; that the children born in such a state of cohabitation, where the marriage is not valid, must be spurious, and not legitimate, and which is the sense of the following words:

else were your children unclean, but now are they holy; that is, if the marriage contracted between them in their state of infidelity was not valid, and, since the conversion of one of them, can never be thought to be good; then the children begotten and born, either when both were infidels, or since one of them was converted, must be unlawfully begotten, be base born, and not a genuine legitimate offspring; and departure upon such a foot would be declaring to all the world that their children were illegitimate; which would have been a sad case indeed, and contains in it another reason why they ought to keep together; whereas, as the apostle has put it, the children are holy in the same sense as their parents are; that as they are sanctified, or lawfully espoused together, so the children born of them were in a civil and legal sense holy, that is, legitimate; wherefore to support the validity of their marriage, and for the credit of their children, it was absolutely necessary they should abide with one another. The learned Dr. Lightfoot says, that the words "unclean" and "holy" denote not children unlawfully begotten, and lawfully begotten; but Heathenism and Christianism; and thinks the apostle alludes to the distinction often made by the Jews, of the children of proselytes being born in "holiness", or out of it, that is, either before they became proselytes or after; but it should be observed, that though the word "holiness" is used for Judaism, yet not for Christianity; and besides, the marriages of Heathens were not looked upon as marriages by the Jews, and particularly such mixed ones as of a Jew and Gentile, they were not to be reckoned marriages; for so they say (y),

"he that espouses a Gentile woman, or a servant, אינן קידושין, "they are not espousals"; but lo, he is after the espousals as he was before the espousals; and so a Gentile, or a servant, that espouses a daughter of Israel, אין קידושיהן קידושין, "those espousals are no espousals";''

nor do they allow children begotten of such persons to be legitimate. This learned writer himself owns such a tradition, and which he cites (z),

"that a son begotten in uncleanness is a son in all respects, and in general is reckoned as an Israelite, though he is a bastard, הבן מן הגויה אינו בנו, "but a son begotten on a Gentile woman is not his son";''

all which are just the reverse of what the apostle is here observing; and who, it must be remarked, is speaking of the same sort of holiness of children as of parents, which cannot be understood of Christianity, because one of the parents in each is supposed to be an Heathen. The sense I have given of this passage, is agreeable to the mind of several interpreters, ancient and modern, as Jerom, Ambrose, Erasmus, Camerarius, Musculus, &c. which last writer makes this ingenuous confession; formerly, says he, I have abused this place against the Anabaptists, thinking the meaning was, that the children were holy for the parents' faith; which though true, the present place makes nothing for the purpose: and I hope, that, upon reading this, everyone that has abused it to such a purpose will make the like acknowledgment; I am sure they ought.

(s) Misn. Kiddushin, c. 2. sect. 1. (t) Vajikra Rabba, sect. 7. fol. 152. 1. (u) Massech. Kiddushin. (w) T. Bab. & Hieros. Kiddushin. (x) Hilch Ishot. c. 3. & 4. & 5. & 6. & 7. & 8. & 9. (y) Maimon. Hilch. Ishot, c. 4. sect. 15. (z) Maimon. Hilch. Issure Bia, c. 12. sect. 7. Vid. Ib. Hilch. Nechalat, c. 2. sect. 12.

You will have to provide a clear command from the Scriptures that the children of believers are not to be given water baptism.

Concerning a forbidding of infant baptism due to the issue that it is not mentioned as forbidden, I would refer you to examine Gospel Worship by Jeremiah Burroughs. Your argument of "the Scriptures there is no clear command from the Scriptures that the children of believers are not to be given water baptism, falls completely short by his discussion of Aaron's two sons when God took them for adding something to Woship that he commanded.

Question.What was there sin?
Answer. Their sin was offering strange fire, for the text says that they offered strange fire which God had not commanded them. But had God ever forbidden it? Where do we find that God had ever forbidden them to offer strange fire, or appointed that they should offer only one kind of fire? There is no text of Scripture that you can find from the beginning of Genesis to this place where God had said in so many words expressly, "You shall offer no fire but one kind of fire." And yet here they are consumed by fire from God for offering strange fire.

Gospel Worship
Jeremiah Burroughs
pp. 8,9 Introduction

I do not see that the mode tears any argument down concerning who should be baptized. I also do not think that circumcision and baptism are identical signs. They are different Covenant signs.

They both might represent life and death but one also signifies the death burial and resurrection of Christ and being place in union with him by faith which is preceded by the circumcision made without hands. One precedes the other as Rich Barcellos points out in his exegetical article on Colossians 2:11,12.

Also here is Nehemiah Coxe on Circumcision and baptism.

Does Baptism Replace Circumcision? - The PuritanBoard
We find Peter speaking to the Jews concerning the faith of Abraham, and we could paraphrase it this way:

For the promise is to Abraham, and to the children of Abraham, and to those who are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

If you want me to address the Acts passage more I will later. I find your answer falling short. I believe you are adding to the word of God with your paraphrase. Sorry if that bothers you but that is how I understand it. And yes, I know that places you in a bad situation if you are. It also places me in a bad situation if I am not seeing it correctly.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I assume that since you are not commenting on the OP, that you are then in full agreement with it?
Robert, no. I just got caught up in a rabbit trail. Sorry about that. I return the thread to it's rightful owner and exit stage left.

I would be interested in reading your objections to the OP.

Blessings brother!

Rob

Robert,

I'm on my iPhone, so I can't do justice to the entirety of your OP. I will share some thoughts on your criticism of a credo defense solely predicated on the use of baptizo. In my humble opinion it is a weak argument to defend credo baptism based solely on mode. Confessional Baptists in general, and Reformed Baptists specifically, base their credo position on the spiritual aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant and its maturation under the New Covenant. In short, credo baptism is best defended within a covenantal context rather than an etymological context. Time doesn't allow me the luxury of unpacking the big picture, but better men than I (Connor, Malone, and Waldron) have written extensively on it.

Blessings.
 
Last edited:

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
P.S. Don't underestimate the credo position; thinking that it rises or stands based on mode. While Baptists believe mode is clearly taught in scripture, it is notthe impetus or foundation for credo baptism. As I said in my previous post, credo baptism is covenantally based.
 
Last edited:

Iconoclast

Puritan Board Junior
Rob,
I just got online tonight here in central nebraska. Thanks for posting these three quotes as I also do not have access to my commentaries.
Lets look at what you posted,then I would like to show you what I have been speaking about in this thread.
Hi:

Being in Colorado I do not have all of my Reformed commentaries with me, but I do have a few:

John Murray on Rom 6:


Quote:
...The sequence of inference seems to be that if we were united with Christ Jesus in his death we must therefore have been buried with him ... The sum of verse 5 is, therefore, that if we have become identified with Christ in his death and if the ethical and Spiritual efficacy accruing from his death pertains to us, the we must also derive from his resurrection the ethical and Spiritual virtue which our being identified with him in his resurrection implies. These implications for us of union with Christ make impossible the inference that we may continue in sin that grace may abound, pgs. 217-219.

It is only by the work of the Spirit of God that water baptism becomes effectual to the true seed of Abraham. If that is what you are reading in the words of the paedo-baptists, then there is nothing wrong with that. As Calvin on Romans 6 points out:


Quote:
3. Know ye not, etc. What he intimated in the last verse — that Christ destroys sin in his people,
he proves here by mentioning the effect of baptism, by which we are initiated into his faith; for it is beyond any question, that we put on Christ in baptism,
and that we are baptized for this end — that we may be one with him. But Paul takes up another principle — that we are then really united to the body of Christ, when his death brings forth in us its fruit; yea, he teaches us, that this fellowship as to death is what is to be mainly regarded in baptism; for not washing alone is set forth in it, but also the putting to death and the dying of the old man. It is hence evident, that when we become partakers of the grace of Christ, immediately the efficacy of his death appears. But the benefit of this fellowship as to the death of Christ is described in what follows ... Farther, it is not to the point to say, that this power is not apparent in all the baptized; for Paul, according to his usual manner, where he speaks of the faithful, connects the reality and the effect with the outward sign; for we know that whatever the Lord offers by the visible symbol is confirmed and ratified by their faith. In short, he teaches what is the real character of baptism when rightly received. So he testifies to the Galatians, that all who have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:27.) Thus indeed must we speak, as long as the institution of the Lord and the faith of the godly unite together; for we never have naked and empty symbols, except when our ingratitude and wickedness hinder the working of divine beneficence.

And, finally, Charles Hodge on Romans 6:


Quote:
The reference is not to the mode of baptism, but to its effect. Our baptism unites us to Christ, so that we died with him, and rose with him. As he died to sin, so do we; as he rose to righteousness and glory, so do we. The same doctrine concerning baptism, and of the nature of union with Christ, therein expressed is taught in Gal 3:27, and Col 2:12, pg 195.

Rob, I thought we agreed that water baptism was not in view in Romans 6, yet these three men speak of it in these portions you post!

Calvin , in part says this-
he proves here by mentioning the effect of baptism, by which we are initiated into his faith; for it is beyond any question, that we put on Christ in baptism,
Rob he is speaking of water baptism;
1] the effect of water baptism, by which we are initiated into his faith
2] then he ascerts- "for it is beyond any question" that we put on Christ in baptism
Rob- this is exactly what I am talking about. We do not put on anything. The Spirit of God places us in Union with Christ, savingly.

He goes on to say this:
and that we are baptized for this end — that we may be one with him.
That we may? Maybe one day? Where in Romans 6 does it suggest "that we may"? It is actual, not potential in Romans 6, or the passage makes no sense. You cannot mortify sin in the power of the flesh, chapters 7 and 8 are going to explain this.
I have been given to understand that the language used here is Indicitives[who we are in Christ] followed by imperitives[ in light of who we are in Christ,now live accordingly] Am I mistaken with this?

Look at Calvins words in this section you posted;
that when we become partakers of the grace of Christ, immediately the efficacy of his death appears

Paul is not saying when, at some future time. He is saying all who are justified as in 5:1-21 are inthat condition already.

This is where the padeo position jumps back and forth and hides behind the language of- sign and thing signified.

The credo position accepts the language as it is.

Hodge is also speaking of water baptism. If you look back at our interaction I think you will see what I am pointing out. If you are home for another week, download some padeo sermons on this and see if what i said is not so.
Everyone sounds like those men in Acts 19, John's disciples- we have not even heard if there be any Holy Spirit.
Now when pressed for and explanation they of course will give the proper biblical response ,that of course the Spirit is essential here, but more often then not, they speak of water first.
Then go off on outward administration/visible church explanations. they have to, or they would be credos.
Your answers to me earlier in the thread, do not seem consistent with these three quotes you offered. I have mostly Padeo commentaries in my Library, so I have read these things before and have learned to translate them into credo-eze:) Through the posts of many padeos in here I can see how they come to what they do logically. the system works, I am not sure it is the biblical pattern I see in the NT.
I do not see where we in the NT. get to go back and be OT.saints in effect.
There is a continuity-and yet a discontinuity from OTto Nt.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Greetings:

It looks like I am a little behind here.

Randy:

I happened to have my copy of Gospel Worship by Burroughs, and so I was able to read what he wrote. You left out a significant portion at the end of your quotation:

... And so it may seem to have a reference to that Scripture in Exodus 29:43. There we have a Scripture which comes asnear to it as any I know of, "there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by My glory." That's as much as saying, "I will be sanctified by those that come near Me." In those that come to worship Me in My tabernacle, I will be sanctified in all things that concern My worship. I will be sure to be sanctified there, Burroughs, Gospel Worship, pg. 6.
Burroughs has satisfied himself that the sons of Aaron should have known better based on Ex 29:43. Moses' answer to Aaron satisfied Aaron. Thus, it is clear that Aaron was aware that his son's performed an unlawful deed.

On page 13 Burroughs begins an explication of the Regulative Principle of Worship:

The first note is this: That in God's worship there must be nothing tendered up to God but what He has commanded. Whatsoever we meddle with in the worship of God must be what we have a warrant for out of the Word of God.
There are matters indifferent concerning the Worship of God that are to be regulated by the prudence of men within the context of the general principles of Scripture - such as where, what time, and how long worship should last. But the Sacraments of the Lord do not fall within such bounds.

As far as Gill is concerned:

I do not see how the sanctification of a marriage between a believer and an unbeliever in any way, shape, or form blocks the baptism of the child in such a marriage. I believe that is the very point that Paul is responding to: What is the status of a child in a mixed marriage? The answer that he gives is that they are holy or saints.

You wrote:

I do not see that the mode tears any argument down concerning who should be baptized. I also do not think that circumcision and baptism are identical signs. They are different Covenant signs.
I do not believe that circumcision and baptism are identical signs either. I do believe that they both point to the same spiritual meaning - the circumcision of the heart, or, the baptism of the Spirit. Circumcision of the heart was performed by the Spirit of God: That was Paul's clear meaning in Romans 2:29. Baptism of the Spirit is performed by the Spirit of God as well: That is Paul's clear meaning in Romans 6.

Though the outward signs are different - the spiritual meaning of both is equivalent.

I just read Nehemiah Cox' arguments on the blog you provided, thanks!

He is wrong in saying that "Circumcision was an ordinance of the old covenant and pertained to the law and therefore directly bound its subjects to a legal obedience."

Circumcision was given to Abraham almost 600 years before the Covenant of Moses. It was given after Abraham professed faith in Jesus Christ. Thus, during Old Testament times, it was an ordinance of the Gospel intended to convey to the Jews that their hearts needed to be circumcised, Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Jer 4:4.

Since I mentioned that I was paraphrasing the the Acts 2 passage I do not have any fear concerning the way I did so. As God knows I was trying to illustrate a point:

Abraham believed God, therefore, the believer was given the covenant sign as well as his children.

You (when you come to faith in Christ) are given the covenant sign as well as your covenant children:

The promise is to you (believers) and to your children (the children of believers) and to all who are afar off (believers and their children) as many as the Lord God shall call (all those who hear the Gospel call that Peter just gave as well as their children).

I think I have answered your post. If I missed something, then let me know.

Iconoclast:

Rob, I thought we agreed that water baptism was not in view in Romans 6, yet these three men speak of it in these portions you post!

Water Baptism is not in view in these passages. What these learned men are saying is that Spirit Baptism makes Water Baptism legitimate. If one is not Baptized by the Spirit of God, then you can pour water on that person all day long, and it will not cleanse the soul.

Water Baptism when it is united with Spirit Baptism. That is what Hodge is saying:

The reference is not to the mode of baptism (the rite of water baptism) but to its effect. Our baptism unites us to Christ...

The Sacrament is a physical sign of the work of the Spirit of God uniting us to Jesus Christ. It only becomes effective when it is confirmed by our Spiritual Baptism (being born again, or, having our hearts circumcised).

The very point that these men are making is that only when the Spirit of God unites us to Christ, then does our water baptism become effective.

On this you have misread Calvin as well:

3. Know ye not, etc. What he intimated in the last verse — that Christ destroys sin in his people, he proves here by mentioning the effect of baptism, by which we are initiated into his faith; for it is beyond any question, that we put on Christ in baptism, and that we are baptized for this end — that we may be one with him.
Christ destroys sin in his people - Calvin writes - this starts at what water baptism symbolizes - union with Christ. What Calvin means by "the effect of baptism" is Spirit Baptism - which is only given to his people. When Spirit Baptism is given to the elect, then Water Baptism becomes legitimate.

I will have to look at the Greek when I get back to Pittsburgh, sorry. :(

The problem with the credo position here is that this is the major verse that you use to defend your mode of Baptism. Romans 6 is not talking about the mode of Baptism - it is talking about the effects of Baptism which is union with Christ. From this effect water Baptism becomes legitimate, but there is no mention in Romans 6 of water Baptism.

From the credo position it has to refer to water baptism because that is where you get your dipping theology: "buried with him in baptism..."

I will point you to the middle part of post #21 in answer to the credo assertion that Water baptism is mentioned here.

Since you and I both agree that water baptism is not mentioned here, then how does this prove the mode of baptism as dipping?

1) Especially when Christ died on the cross - if we are "baptized into his death" then how does dipping illustrate his death on the cross?

2) Especially when Christ was not buried in a hole in the ground - if we are "buried with him in baptism" then how does dipping illustrate Christ being placed in a cave.

I submit to you that the Romans 6 and Colossians passages do not teach that water baptism represents to us the "death, burial, and resurrection" of Jesus Christ, but is teaching us that we need to be united, immersed, (baptidzo) to Jesus Christ.

Blessings,

Rob
 

Laudante

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you, Rob.

I still don´t have the "thank" button!

I´m understanding more and more clearly the paedo position, and I like it!

I still believe that you underestimate a little the arguments of the credo, especially those about the mode. It´s not only Rom. 6 in which it is based. My first post here showed another way to point (I´m not saying definitely prove) to immersion as a posibility, based on the verb louo.

At the end, I reduce the strongholds of credo-baptism to the civil issue which seems to be the main difference between both economies. The privileges of the new covenant are more directly related with personal faith than the benefits and privileges of the Mosaic covenant (though not necessarily the Abrahamic). The land, the civil justice benefits, the general economic welfare and military victories of the people of God applied then to all equally, believers and unbelievers, while in the NC it seems more like the benefits of it apply only to those on the faith, and it seems like the NT church is intended to be more "pure", like an assembly of saved men only. And yes, the church is not the tares and wheats field. It is the WORLD in the parable. The church is "the children of the kingdom". However, I have recently understood that the supposed difference between the church under the old economy and that under the new is merely an illusion, because in theory also Israel should be a perfectly pure and spiritual people like the NT church, and that´s why after commanding the execution of transgressors of the law, we are told that this is how "evil should be cast out from Israel". The circumcised children were expected to have faith, and the fact that a majority of them usually failed in this has nothing to do with a "failure" in the rite. The rite should be applied to all anyway, because it represented what Israel should have been, and not what she actually was. The same in the Christian Church. Infant baptism represents what the Church should be, not what she sometimes comes to be. And certainly what she should be is a covenant institution in which saved parents and their holy offspring enjoy the privileges thereof, until the lack of faith of any of these persons of the covenant makes necessary to remove their "citizenship" and take the "evil out of Israel", not by execution as in the old times, but by excomunication.

Thanks
 

A.J.

Puritan Board Junior
Como esta, hermano?

Just a quick comment. I disagree with your assertion here.

The land, the civil justice benefits, the general economic welfare and military victories of the people of God applied then to all equally, believers and unbelievers, while in the NC it seems more like the benefits of it apply only to those on the faith, and it seems like the NT church is intended to be more "pure", like an assembly of saved men only.

It's not the case that the land applied to all of God's people equally whether believer or not. God Himself said that the the unbelieving inhabitants of the land (which Israel was to possess) were spewed out of the land because they had defiled it, and God would do to the Israelites just as He did to the unbelieving people of the land if His people would defile the same (Lev. 18:24; Num. 35:34). He warned the Israelites that they would surely perish in the land which they were entering to possess and that He would wipe them off the face of the earth if they would worship other gods and serve them (Deut. 5:32ff., 6:13-15, 8:19-20, 11:16-17, 28:15ff.). Paul explains that God destroyed most of His people in the wilderness (i.e., the first generation of the Israelites who came out of Egypt) because of their idolatry, sexual immorality and grumbling (1 Cor. 10:1ff). In fact, according to the author of Hebrews, the first generation (except Joshua and Caleb) did not enter the land (at all!) because of unbelief (Heb. 3). God's wrath upon the iniquity of His people and His punishment against them were also made manifest during the days of the judges, the kings and the prophets. Note for instance the story of the exile.

The NT writers are clear that these happened as examples to us so that we may not imitate their [the Israelites'] example of disobedience and apostasy (1 Cor. 10:6). From the beginning, God has demanded repentance and faith, and obedience from His people (Deut. 10:16, 30:6).

Heb. 4:1-2 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

And besides, the land promise ultimately looked forward to the redeemed kosmos (Rom. 4:13). The patriarch Abraham looked for a city that foundations whose builder and architect is God (Heb. 11:8-16). Paul as well notes that Christ is ultimately the seed of Abraham and therefore those who are in Christ whether Jew or Gentile are the true heirs of the Abrahamic promise (Gal. 3:16, 29). Believers are the true seed of Abraham.

You need one more post, and the "thanks" button will appear.

Blessings! :handshake:
 
Last edited:

Laudante

Puritan Board Freshman
Dear Albert:

You are completely right, and actually that is exactly what I intended to say. In the quote you take from me it really seems like I´m saying the contrary, but later I say that this is an illusion. Let me try to explain myself better this time.

What I was saying is that the classic credo-baptist argument (in which I believed for many years, until very recently), finds a difference between the Old and the New covenants in the points I mention, but I recently understood that this was a mere illusion, and the reasons I give, which you helped me expand (thank you), are that also in the Old dispensation Israel was suposed to be a body of believers and that those who failed were to be cast out, just like the church under the new dispensation. So our disagreement is also an illusion, probably caused by poor expression on my part. But nevertheless it is there in my last comment the key of my real intention. Let me quote myself:

However, I have recently understood that the supposed difference between the church under the old economy and that under the new is merely an illusion, because in theory also Israel should be a perfectly pure and spiritual people like the NT church, and that´s why after commanding the execution of transgressors of the law, we are told that this is how "evil should be cast out from Israel".

You see? I´m saying the same that you, but in a poorer form.

Gracias
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I believe my address to you concerning the Burrough's quote sufficiently addressed your question below. I do not see that your addition helped your argument in anyway as we differ on what baptism and circumcision mean and signify. I will explain more and repeat myself probably.

You will have to provide a clear command from the Scriptures that the children of believers are not to be given water baptism.

I still believe the Jeremiah Burrough's quote sufficiently answered this. Specifically.

I will have to note that I do not see a clear command in scripture to baptize children either. And I do not see that the two (baptism and circumcision) represent the same things as I have noted earlier. Two different Covenants. Two different Covenant heads. One is set up with promises concerning the seed and posterity. The Abrahamic is fulfilled in Christ (the seed). There are also different Covenant Children as I noted before. The first sign is a sign and seal of the righteousness of Abraham in his believing God, not necessarily the same for everyone of his physical posterity. That sign and seal had promises both with the elect and those who were not elect descendants of Abraham. Those promises were civil as well as spriitual and not necessarily interralated. We see that in Genesis 17 when we look at both Isaac and Ishmael. Ishmael was never included in the Everlasting Covenant of Grace. The second (Baptism) is a sign of being in Union with Christ. It is His spiritual children who are the focus in this Covenant. He is the Covenant head and it is His children who are participants of the sign signifying their Union in His death burial and resurrection through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.


(Col 2:12) 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.

As far as Gill is concerned:

I do not see how the sanctification of a marriage between a believer and an unbeliever in any way, shape, or form blocks the baptism of the child in such a marriage. I believe that is the very point that Paul is responding to: What is the status of a child in a mixed marriage? The answer that he gives is that they are holy or saints.

So you believe that the unelect can be referred to as holy or saints in the same way that believers are? I have noted that. At least that is how I am understanding you. And we will definitely disagree on this point. I do not believe that God considers reprobates to be saints or holy in the same way that a believer is considered to be sanctified and holy. They are not.

I believe that Paul is responding to the sanctity of the Marriage in 1 Corinthians 7 and pointing out that the marriage is right even if there are unbelievers in it and because it is right the spousal relations are considered to be right as well as the relationship with the children in contrast to the Old Covenant where God told the Isrealites to put away their foreign wives and children. God considers the relationships to be clean and the marriage sanctified as where in the old they were not clean or considered to be right. (See reference to Ezra 9 and 10:2,3)

(Ezr 10:2) And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.

(Ezr 10:3) Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.

The unbelieving are not sanctified as a believer is in his union with Christ as baptism signifies. This passage is clearly not indicating that nor implying it. This passage is an indication that marriage is considered sanctified by God even if it is made up between a believer and an unbeliever. There is no mention of union with Christ or baptism in this passage. In fact I believe the opposite is true. There is encouragement for the believer to seek for the unbeliever's coming to Christ. There is a pronouncement of something considered to be clean and right in the eyes of the Lord just like Peter taking and eating unclean meat in his housetop experience. The New Covenant is different than the old in some respects. This is true concerning marriage and ceremonial laws. What was once an unclean practice is now considered to be clean or sanctified by God.


You wrote:


I do not believe that circumcision and baptism are identical signs either. I do believe that they both point to the same spiritual meaning - the circumcision of the heart, or, the baptism of the Spirit. Circumcision of the heart was performed by the Spirit of God: That was Paul's clear meaning in Romans 2:29. Baptism of the Spirit is performed by the Spirit of God as well: That is Paul's clear meaning in Romans 6.

Though the outward signs are different - the spiritual meaning of both is equivalent.

I just read Nehemiah Cox' arguments on the blog you provided, thanks!

He is wrong in saying that "Circumcision was an ordinance of the old covenant and pertained to the law and therefore directly bound its subjects to a legal obedience."

I think I have addressed some of this above. Concerning the last statement Coxe is referring to the truth. There are differences even in Abraham as I have noted above. Plus, Coxe was only referring to what St. Paul said in Galatians. Paul did say, "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law." Galatians 5:3

I still think your interpretation and reading of Acts 2 is lacking but maybe we should stick to just a few items at a time.
 

Laudante

Puritan Board Freshman
The example of Ishmael used by both camps

It´s interesting to see how both credo and paedo use the example of Ishmael as supporting them. Credos take it as: "You see? Circumcision cannot be the same that baptism, because even unbelievers received the former, whereas baptism is the sign of regeneration", and Paedos say: You see? It is appropriate to apply the sign of the covenant even if it later comes to happen that the kid was not a legitimate member of it."

I recently changed from the first to the second position, because I understood (and this is exactly what my last exchange with Albert in this thread was about) that circumsicion was also supposed to represent regeneration (circumsition of the heart), just as much as baptism in the NT. Among all the passages Albert cited in proof of this, I could add one you yourself just provided, R. Martin: "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law." Galatians 5:3

This means that circumsicion was never seen a a sign that "you are descendant of a righteous man", but as a sign that "you are a debtor to God because He was pleased to make you born in the covenant family; therefore you have to obey His law, have a pure heart, and keep to all that is required to continue in the covenant". Those who failed to do this were never lawfully entitled even to the civil benfefits you mention, and were usually excluded from the assembly sooner or later (or at least commanded to be so). I, too, believed for a number of years that the civil benefits were promised to all equally, and that circumsicion represented this, in oposition to the NT assembly and its sign --baptism--, which was composed only of the truly regenerate members. My standpoint changed when I understood that circumcision was intended for exactly the same purpose, and that carnal, unfaithful Israelites were never part of the covenant it represented --not even the civil one, as I just said, and still they were entitled to receive the mark on the foreskin. If they became righteous when grown up, the sign would be valid, otherwise not.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
This means that circumsicion was never seen a a sign that "you are descendant of a righteous man", but as a sign that "you are a debtor to God because He was pleased to make you born in the covenant family; therefore you have to obey His law, have a pure heart, and keep to all that is required to continue in the covenant". Those who failed to do this were never lawfully entitled even to the civil benfefits you mention, and were usually excluded from the assembly sooner or later (or at least commanded to be so).

Well now, I will partially disagree with some of this assesment. If we look at Ishmael the promises still came true. The tighter restrictions concerning Covenant obligations came in the Mosaic Covenant. Abraham believed God and God fulfilled his promises concerning Ishmael. As I noted above he was excluded from the spiritual Everlasting Covenant mentioned in Genesis 17.

And to add to this I will reference Paul in Galatians.

(Gal 4:22) For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

(Gal 4:23) But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

(Gal 4:24) Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

(Gal 4:25) For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

(Gal 4:26) But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

(Gal 4:27) For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

(Gal 4:28) Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

(Gal 4:29) But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

(Gal 4:30) Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

(Gal 4:31) So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

Abraham had elements of the Covenant of Works and The Covenant of Grace in the Covenant that he is head of. In our Covenant Head (Christ) his children with whom he is united with are covered and have the Covenant of Grace only to look too. He fulfilled the Covenant of Works on their behalf.


I really appeciate Gill on Romans 4:11.

For your edification, here it is.

Rom 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision,.... Or "the sign circumcision", as the Syriac version reads it, and so the Alexandrian copy, and two of Stephens's; that is, Abraham received at the hands of God, the commandment of circumcision, which was a "sign" or token of the covenant; not of grace, but of that peculiar covenant God made with Abraham and his natural seed, concerning their enjoyment of the land of Canaan; and which was a distinctive sign or badge, which distinguished the posterity of Abraham from other people, and was also a typical one; not of baptism, for circumcision was peculiar to Abraham's natural seed, whereas baptism is not, but was administered to Gentiles as well as Jews; circumcision was confined to males only, not so baptism; circumcision bears no likeness to, nor any resemblance with baptism, whereas there is always some likeness and agreement between the type and the antitype; besides, if this had been the case, circumcision would have ceased when baptism took place, whereas it is certain it did not, but continued in full force with the rest of the ceremonies until the death of Christ; and it is as certain, that "baptism" was administered and continued to be administered three or four years before that time; which fully demonstrates the falsehood of that assertion, that baptism succeeds or comes in the room of circumcision; whereas baptism was in full force before circumcision was out of date: but circumcision was a typical sign of Christ, as all the ceremonies of the law were, and of the shedding of his blood, to cleanse from all sin, original and actual, and also of the circumcision of the heart. And was, moreover, a seal of the righteousness of faith; or which "sign" was "a seal"; and so it signifies the same as before; σημεια ουτω λεγουσι τας σφραγιδας, "signs, so they call seals", says Harpocratian (f), and "to be signed", he says, is used, "instead of being sealed": or it may be expressive of something else, as that circumcision was a seal, not for secrecy, but for certainty; it being a confirmation, not merely of the sincerity of Abraham's faith, but of his justifying righteousness, which was not his faith, but that which his faith looked to; and

which he had, both faith and righteousness,

yet being uncircumcised: whence it follows, that he was not justified by his circumcision, but by a righteousness which he had before he was circumcised, or otherwise his circumcision could not have been a seal of it: though this clause, "which he had, yet being uncircumcised", may be rendered, "which should be in the uncircumcision", that is, in the uncircumcised Gentiles; and the sense be, that circumcision was a seal to Abraham, and gave assurance to him that he should be the father of many nations in a spiritual sense; and that the righteousness of faith which he had, should also come upon, and be imputed to the uncircumcised Gentiles; and accordingly it may be observed, that this seal was continued in full force on his natural seed, until this promise began to take place, and then it was abolished: this seal was broken off when the middle wall of partition was broken down, and the word of righteousness and faith, or the Gospel preaching justification by the righteousness of Christ, was ordered to be published to the Gentile world. It may be inquired whether circumcision being called a seal, will prove that baptism is a seal of the covenant? I answer, that circumcision was only a seal to Abraham of a peculiar covenant made with him, and of a particular promise made to him, and was it to be admitted a seal of the covenant of grace, it will not prove baptism to be such; since, as has been observed, baptism does not succeed it in place, in time, and use; and could this be allowed that it succeeds it, and is a seal of the righteousness of faith, as that was, it can only be a seal to them that have both faith and righteousness, and not to them that have neither; it would only at most be a seal to believers. But, alas! not ordinances, but other things more valuable than they, are the seals of the covenant, and of believers; the blood of Christ is the seal, and the only seal of the covenant of grace, by which its promises and blessings are ratified and confirmed; and the Holy Spirit is the only earnest, pledge, seal, and sealer of the saints, until the day of redemption. The apostle uses the word "seal" concerning circumcision, it being a word his countrymen made use of when they spoke of it, thus paraphrasing on Son_3:8; they say (g),

"everyone of them was sealed, חתימת מילה, "with the seal of circumcision" upon their flesh, as Abraham was sealed in his flesh:''

that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that is, his circumcision was a seal unto him that he should be so, which explains and confirms the sense of the former clause; not a father of the uncircumcised Gentiles by natural generation, for so he was only the father of the Jews, but of them as they were believers; and not so called because he was the author of their faith, but because they have the same sort of faith he had:

that righteousness might be imputed to them also; not Abraham's faith and righteousness, nor their own, but the righteousness of Christ received by faith, which is unto all, and upon all them that believe, without any difference of Jew or Gentile. Now when the apostle styles Abraham the father of "all" believers, even of uncircumcised ones, he says no other than what the Jews frequently own. Says one (h) of them, speaking of the Ishmaelites;

"they are the seed of Abraham, who was ראש המאמינים, "the head of them that believe?"''

and says (i) another,

"Hagar might bring the firstfruits, and read, as it is said to Abraham, "a father of, many nations have I made thee", Gen_17:5; for he is אב לכל העולם כולו, "the father of the whole world", who enter under the wings of the Shekinah;''

and says the same writer elsewhere (k), having mentioned the above passage,

"they said in times past, thou wast the father of the Syrians, but now thou art "the father of the whole world"; wherefore every stranger may say this, "as thou hast sworn to our fathers", Mic_7:20; for Abraham was "the father of the whole world"; seeing, למד אמונה, "he has taught the true faith".''

The apostle reasons on what they themselves allow, to prove that the blessedness of justification comes not only upon the Jews, but upon the Gentiles also.

(f) Lexicon in Decem Rhetores, p. 266. Ed. Manssac. (g) Targum in Cant. 3. 8. (h) In Caphtor, fol. 121. 1. (i) Maimon. Hilchot Biccurim, c. 4. sect. 3. (k) Comment in Misn. Biccurim, c. 1. sect. 4. Vid. T. Hieros Biccurim, fol. 64. 1. & T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 13. 1. & Zohar in Gen. fol. 69.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
I believe my address to you concerning the Burrough's quote sufficiently addressed your question below. I do not see that your addition helped your argument in anyway as we differ on what baptism and circumcision mean and signify. I will explain more and repeat myself probably.

You will have to provide a clear command from the Scriptures that the children of believers are not to be given water baptism.

I still believe the Jeremiah Burrough's quote sufficiently answered this. Specifically.

I will have to note that I do not see a clear command in scripture to baptize children either. And I do not see that the two (baptism and circumcision) represent the same things as I have noted earlier. Two different Covenants. Two different Covenant heads. One is set up with promises concerning the seed and posterity. The Abrahamic is fulfilled in Christ (the seed). There are also different Covenant Children as I noted before. The first sign is a sign and seal of the righteousness of Abraham in his believing God, not necessarily the same for everyone of his physical posterity. That sign and seal had promises both with the elect and those who were not elect descendants of Abraham. Those promises were civil as well as spriitual and not necessarily interralated. We see that in Genesis 17 when we look at both Isaac and Ishmael. Ishmael was never included in the Everlasting Covenant of Grace. The second (Baptism) is a sign of being in Union with Christ. It is His spiritual children who are the focus in this Covenant. He is the Covenant head and it is His children who are participants of the sign signifying their Union in His death burial and resurrection through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.


(Col 2:12) 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.



So you believe that the unelect can be referred to as holy or saints in the same way that believers are? I have noted that. At least that is how I am understanding you. And we will definitely disagree on this point. I do not believe that God considers reprobates to be saints or holy in the same way that a believer is considered to be sanctified and holy. They are not.

I believe that Paul is responding to the sanctity of the Marriage in 1 Corinthians 7 and pointing out that the marriage is right even if there are unbelievers in it and because it is right the spousal relations are considered to be right as well as the relationship with the children in contrast to the Old Covenant where God told the Isrealites to put away their foreign wives and children. God considers the relationships to be clean and the marriage sanctified as where in the old they were not clean or considered to be right. (See reference to Ezra 9 and 10:2,3)

(Ezr 10:2) And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.

(Ezr 10:3) Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.

The unbelieving are not sanctified as a believer is in his union with Christ as baptism signifies. This passage is clearly not indicating that nor implying it. This passage is an indication that marriage is considered sanctified by God even if it is made up between a believer and an unbeliever. There is no mention of union with Christ or baptism in this passage. In fact I believe the opposite is true. There is encouragement for the believer to seek for the unbeliever's coming to Christ. There is a pronouncement of something considered to be clean and right in the eyes of the Lord just like Peter taking and eating unclean meat in his housetop experience. The New Covenant is different than the old in some respects. This is true concerning marriage and ceremonial laws. What was once an unclean practice is now considered to be clean or sanctified by God.


You wrote:


I do not believe that circumcision and baptism are identical signs either. I do believe that they both point to the same spiritual meaning - the circumcision of the heart, or, the baptism of the Spirit. Circumcision of the heart was performed by the Spirit of God: That was Paul's clear meaning in Romans 2:29. Baptism of the Spirit is performed by the Spirit of God as well: That is Paul's clear meaning in Romans 6.

Though the outward signs are different - the spiritual meaning of both is equivalent.

I just read Nehemiah Cox' arguments on the blog you provided, thanks!

He is wrong in saying that "Circumcision was an ordinance of the old covenant and pertained to the law and therefore directly bound its subjects to a legal obedience."

I think I have addressed some of this above. Concerning the last statement Coxe is referring to the truth. There are differences even in Abraham as I have noted above. Plus, Coxe was only referring to what St. Paul said in Galatians. Paul did say, "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law." Galatians 5:3

I still think your interpretation and reading of Acts 2 is lacking but maybe we should stick to just a few items at a time.

Greetings:

PuritanCovenanter wrote:

I still believe the Jeremiah Burrough's quote sufficiently answered this. Specifically.

I will have to note that I do not see a clear command in scripture to baptize children either. And I do not see that the two (baptism and circumcision) represent the same things as I have noted earlier. Two different Covenants. Two different Covenant heads. One is set up with promises concerning the seed and posterity. The Abrahamic is fulfilled in Christ (the seed). There are also different Covenant Children as I noted before. The first sign is a sign and seal of the righteousness of Abraham in his believing God, not necessarily the same for everyone of his physical posterity. That sign and seal had promises both with the elect and those who were not elect descendants of Abraham. Those promises were civil as well as spriitual and not necessarily interralated. We see that in Genesis 17 when we look at both Isaac and Ishmael. Ishmael was never included in the Everlasting Covenant of Grace. The second (Baptism) is a sign of being in Union with Christ. It is His spiritual children who are the focus in this Covenant. He is the Covenant head and it is His children who are participants of the sign signifying their Union in His death burial and resurrection through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Are you quoting from Burroughs? Or, is this your point?

In Covenant Theology it is an error to say that there are "two Covenant heads." That is Dispensationalism (with a capital "D"). There is only one Covenant head - Jesus Christ. Abraham was the "covenant head" of his family, and so was Ishmael, Issac, and Jacob, but when speaking of the "Everlasting Covenant" then there is only one Covenant head in both the Old Covenant and the New.

Abraham believed in Jesus Christ - though Abraham knew Jesus only as God.

Concerning your quote from Gill:

I like Gill. However, he tends to overthink his points. He wrote:

I answer, that circumcision was only a seal to Abraham of a peculiar covenant made with him, and of a particular promise made to him, and was it to be admitted a seal of the covenant of grace, it will not prove baptism to be such; since, as has been observed, baptism does not succeed it in place, in time, and use; and could this be allowed that it succeeds it, and is a seal of the righteousness of faith, as that was, it can only be a seal to them that have both faith and righteousness,
If circumcision was only for the Abrahamic Covenant, then why was it carried into the Mosaic, and Davidic as well? I would argue that Circumcision was carried into the New Covenant also, and was replaced by Baptism. Thus, we find the Apostles making reference to the spiritual import of Circumcision (see previous post).

Gill's argument that Circumcision did not replace Baptism because there is an overlap in time is specious to say the best. The animal sacrifices continued in the Temple of Jerusalem until it was destroyed in 70 AD. Does that mean that the Sacrifice of Christ is of none effect? There is a time overlap. This hermeneutic of "time overlap" is nowhere found in the Scriptures. It is an invention by Gill to invalidate the idea that baptism takes the place of circumcison.

You are certainly free to believe this view of "time overlap" but it will not convince me unless you can prove such Biblically.

Blessings,

Rob
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Are you quoting from Burroughs? Or, is this your point?

In Covenant Theology it is an error to say that there are "two Covenant heads." That is Dispensationalism (with a capital "D"). There is only one Covenant head - Jesus Christ. Abraham was the "covenant head" of his family, and so was Ishmael, Issac, and Jacob, but when speaking of the "Everlasting Covenant" then there is only one Covenant head in both the Old Covenant and the New.

Abraham believed in Jesus Christ - though Abraham knew Jesus only as God.

Concerning your quote from Gill:

I like Gill. However, he tends to overthink his points. He wrote:

I answer, that circumcision was only a seal to Abraham of a peculiar covenant made with him, and of a particular promise made to him, and was it to be admitted a seal of the covenant of grace, it will not prove baptism to be such; since, as has been observed, baptism does not succeed it in place, in time, and use; and could this be allowed that it succeeds it, and is a seal of the righteousness of faith, as that was, it can only be a seal to them that have both faith and righteousness,
If circumcision was only for the Abrahamic Covenant, then why was it carried into the Mosaic, and Davidic as well? I would argue that Circumcision was carried into the New Covenant also, and was replaced by Baptism. Thus, we find the Apostles making reference to the spiritual import of Circumcision (see previous post).

Gill's argument that Circumcision did not replace Baptism because there is an overlap in time is specious to say the best. The animal sacrifices continued in the Temple of Jerusalem until it was destroyed in 70 AD. Does that mean that the Sacrifice of Christ is of none effect? There is a time overlap. This hermeneutic of "time overlap" is nowhere found in the Scriptures. It is an invention by Gill to invalidate the idea that baptism takes the place of circumcison.

You are certainly free to believe this view of "time overlap" but it will not convince me unless you can prove such Biblically.

Blessings,

Rob

Hey buddy,

Rob, just let me say that I really appreciate ya discussing this with me. I sense that you are trying to learn what I am saying. I don't think you grasp what I believe very well and hope I can illumine you as to what this Particular Baptist believes. I think I have a pretty good handle on what Presbyterians and Covenant Paedo's believe. After discussing this with you a few times I think you would have a better understanding of what I believe. But I might be mistaken. Especially since you don't seem to understand what I think concerning 1 Corinthians 7 and sanctification and also concerning the topic of Covenant heads.

BTW, here is a link where Rev Winzer and I discuss our distinctions concerning the Covenants administering the CofW and CofG. It is a little older and I might rephrase some of the things I said but it stands.
http://www.puritanboard.com/f31/works-within-mosaic-covenant-24649/

Now,
You still didn't answer my question on sanctification and 1 Corinthians 7 that I presented in my last post.

To answer your question concerning the Burroughs quote....
Yes, those were my thoughts in the last post. My first response was just to the point that I believed that Burroughs in the portion I quoted did answer your point quite to the point. Your addition did nothing for the argument in my estimation as I explained.

Concerning my point of two Covenant heads.... When you accused me of Dispensationalism did you mean with a Capital "D" as in dispensational like Darby and Scoffield. They would be a Capital "D" in my opinion. That is the problem when you start accusing others of dispensationalism with a Capital "D". Others will here you saying something that you might not mean. I understand what you are saying when you accuse me of dispensationalism, I think. But I believe you are wrong to emphasise it so heavily as you do when you are addressing it towards me. Even Westministerians believe that dispensations is a good word. And I will work from Chapter 7 now to show you what I mean by different Covenant heads and how the Covenants were administered with continuity and discontinuity. ie. your dispensational accusation towards me. It might hold water and it might not.

VI. Under the gospel, when Christ the substance was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed, are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper; which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity and less outward glory, yet in them it is held forth in more fullness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy, to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; and is called the New Testament. There are not, therefore, two covenants of grace differing in substance, but one and the same under various dispensations.


You obviously must believe in different Covenant Heads. Even two of them at the very least which you accuse me of being a Dispensationalist with. There are Two Adam's. One is head of those represented under the Covenant of Works. The other Adam is the Lord from Heaven who is head of the Covenant of Grace. And there is only one Covenant of Grace not two as you seem to be accusing me of. I completely agree with the Westminster on that.

At the same time a Covenant is made with someone concerning those placed under him and in his lineage and relationship. Everyone who was to dwell with Abraham had to abide in the Covenant of Circumsion in order to dwell with his family and clan. If they were not circumcised they were not under the leadership of Abraham and were cut off from his heritance and heritage. I do not believe that Christ is the Head of everyone who was included in the Covenant of Circumcision as Ishmael was not included in the Everlasting Covenant. He is head of the Covenant of Grace. But the Abrahamic Covenant was not solely the Covenant of Grace as many might assume. I also do not believe that circumcision was a sign of the Covenant of Grace although it was administered through it. It was what I would call a mixed Covenant. It also had elements of the Covenant of Works involved with it. ie. cutting off. In the pure Covenant of Grace one can not be cut off once they are in union with Christ. Also their were other promises that involved Abraham's posterity that didn't have elements pertaining to the Covenant of Grace. There were promises made concerning Ishmael that were given to Abraham even though it was plainly stated that Ishmael would not be included in the Everlasting Covenant.

As a side note, not everyone who was included in the Covenant of Grace was included in the Covenant of Circumcision during the time of Abraham. I have discussed that elsewhere on the board. A few of the Patriarchs alive during Abraham's time, King Mel, and some in his Kingdom were not included in the Covenant of Circumcision. Some have debated whether Lot was circumcised. My point in saying this is to point out that circumcision is not necessarily purely the sign of the Covenant of Grace.


The two Covenants that proceeded down into the Mosaic from Abraham that I referenced from Galatians contained both elements from of the Covenant of Grace and Works. It is not dispensational as in the Capital "D" you mention to think this way, but is very scriptural and written from the pen of Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I do believe the Abrahamic and Mosaic are subserviant to the CofG and CofW.

(Gal 4:22) For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

(Gal 4:23) But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

(Gal 4:24) Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

I understand that the Abrahamic and Mosaic administer both the Covenant of Grace and the Covenant of Works. But in relationship the promises that were made to Abraham and the place that he was put in relationship to those under him made him a head of the Covenant concerning the promises that were made to him concerning his posterity and clan. And as I mentioned there are elements in that Covenant that do not pertain to the Covenant of Grace. They were promises made by Covenant that made him the fountain head of reception to some of those promises as they were fulfilled by God toward him.

It is the same way with the Mosaic Covenant. There are elements in the Mosaic that were not specifically related to the Covenant of Grace. There were elements of the Covenant of Works in it that were administered by it also.

Here is something that I would reference concerning Mosaic from Witsius.
The edition is den Dulk Christian Foundation distributed by P&R, reprinted 1990. Vol. II, p. 186, Witsius says of the Mosaic Cov.,
"It was a national covenant between God and Israel... [It] supposed a covenant of grace. ...It also supposed the doctrine of the covenant of works... This agreement therefore is a consequent both of the covenant of grace and of works; but was formally neither the one nor the other... If any should ask me, of what kind, whether of works or of grace? I shall answer, it is formally neither: but a covenant of sincere peity, which supposes both."

I believe the Mosaic is subservient to both the Covenants of Grace and Works. The Mosaic and Abrahamic administer the the Covenants for the elect and those who are not in a nationalist civil mode of relationship. So I am not being dispensational as you want to accuse me of. I am actually being very biblical and relying of some pretty big shoulders in my understanding. Nehemiah Coxe would be one of my biggest influences on this also.

I do not believe that circumcision was carried into the New Covenant because the New Covenant sign is representative of our Union with Chist's death, burial, and resurrection and our being in union with him in those. The only instances I see of men performing those things such as circumcision and sacrifices were to win the Jews and get them to see Christ. While I agree that the sacrifices were carried on into the New Covenant Era as well as circumcision I would have to say that both were to be forsaken by Christians as a means of salvation. In fact Paul says that circumcision avails nothing. It is gone with the Old. Paul doesn't make the argument that Galatians have been baptized and that is the New Covenant Circumcision. They are two different things entirely. In fact the author of Hebrews condemned the Old testament worship was as unbelief. Paul does warn the Galatians not to turn back to those weak and beggarly things.

Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

I still have to conclude that there are different Covenants that perform different things concerning promise and purpose in continuity and discontinuity. We are just arguing concerning the things that continue and those that don't. We are trying to discuss and distinguish the things that are New and those that are done away and dead because of what they are tied to. You tried to accuse me of being incorrect that circumcision was not tied to bondage of the law and that is wan't abrogated. Well I showed you that Paul did say that circumcision was abrogated and that it was tied to the law. You still have neglected to acknowledge that. You want to make the unholy unregenerate sound like they are holy the same way a regenerate person is who is in union with Christ. And you have neglected me on this.
You have accused me of being dispensational with a BIG "D" which I believe is an unfair accusation. Others will read that in a wrong light I believe. All that I am affirming is what I see the Confession affirming along with those of my Confession of Faith. It is not dispsensational with a BIG "D".

Rob, I like you. I have always enjoyed your challenges. I might be a half breed to you and not worthy of the name Covenanter. But that is who I am. I believe you would do better to try to understand what I think instead of making sweeping BIG "D" accusations. Name calling never advanced anyone in a discussion. And I believe you have improperly labelled me. Yes, I do believe in dispensations as does the Westminster. Maybe we differ on how much the terminology comes into play but I am no dispensationalist like those who are known by that name in theological terms today.

Be Encouraged brother,
Randy
 
Last edited:

A.J.

Puritan Board Junior
Hello!

John Gill's comments on Rom. 4:11 and his outright denial of the fact that baptism has come in place of circumcision do not do justice to the transition which took place during the time of the apostles. B.B. Warfield offers a more convincing explanation in his Polemics of Infant Baptism.

The change from baptism superinduced upon circumcision to baptism substituted for circumcision was slow, and never came until it was forced by the actual pressure of circumstances. The instrument for making this change and so -- who can doubt it? -- for giving the rite of baptism its right place as the substitute for circumcision, was the Apostle Paul. We see the change [from circumcision to baptism] formally constituted at the so-called Council of Jerusalem, in Acts xv. Paul had preached the gospel to Gentiles and had received them into the Church by baptism alone, thus recognizing it alone as the initiatory rite, in the place of circumcision, instead of treating as heretofore the two together as the initiatory rites into the Christian Church. But certain teachers from Jerusalem, coming down to Antioch, taught the brethren " except ye be circumcised after the custom of Moses ye cannot be saved." Paul took the matter before the Church of Jerusalem from which these new teachers professed to emanate; and its formal decision was that to those who believed and were baptized circumcision was not necessary.

How fully Paul believed that baptism and circumcision were but two symbols of the same change of heart, and that one was instead of the other, may be gathered from Col. ii.11, when, speaking to a Christian audience of the Church, he declares that "in Christ ye were also circumcised "-- but how? -- "with a circumcision not made with hands, in putting off the body of the flesh," -- that is, in the circumcision of Christ. But what was this Christ-ordained circumcision? The Apostle continues: "Having been buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead." Hence in baptism they were buried with Christ, and this burial with Christ was the circumcision which Christ ordained, in the partaking of which they became the true circumcision. This falls little, if any, short of a direct assertion that the Christian Church is Israel, and has Israel's circumcision, though now in the form of baptism. Does the view of Paul, now, contradict the New Testament idea of the Church, or only the Baptist idea of the Church? No doubt a large number of the members of the primitive Church did insist, as Dr. Strong [a Baptist] truly says, that those who were baptized should also be circumcised: and no doubt, this proves that in their view baptism did not take the place of circumcision. But this was an erroneous view: is represented in the New Testament as erroneous; and it is this exact view against which Paul protested to the Church of Jerusalem and which the Church of Jerusalem condemned in Acts xv. Thus the Baptist denial of the substitution of baptism for circumcision leads them into the error of this fanatical, pharisaical church-party![emphasis added]

In short, the Gentiles were not circumcised precisely because they have been baptized. The Jews who were also required to be baptized and were indeed baptized continued circumcision as a matter of custom.

It is argued that:

Paul doesn't make the argument that Galatians have been baptized and that is the New Covenant Circumcision.

Actually, Paul does. The thing signified (i.e., the circumcision of the heart) by baptism is the same as that of circumcision (Col. 2:11-12; cf. Rom. 2:28-29) as Warfield also shows in the quotation above. Paul says (Gal. 3:26-29),

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.​

What does baptism have to do with Abraham to whom the covenant sign of circumcision was given? If baptism is not the sacramental equivalent of circumcision, then Paul's argument does not make sense.

In a recent thread, Rev. Buchanan gives a concise explanation of the paedobaptist view of 1 Cor. 7:14. He notes that (all emphasis his):

The only question that 1Cor7:14 can legitimately be called to answer in the p-b debate is a "qualitative" question. That is to say, if only the "holy" may be baptized, then an infant or other minor child belonging to a believer possesses this quality. Or put differently, there certainly is no "unsanctifed" quality of such an infant that would rationally preclude a baptism.

If one asks then about the spouse and baptism, the proper response is: we have to go elsewhere to determine for any and all the proper recipients of baptism. Certainly, the text here doesn't say exactly the same thing about the spouse that it says about the child.

The relationship to the parent is the producer of this quality, however the quality "inheres" in the child--that is to say, it is his federal holiness. If some family-type connection to an unbeliever effected an unclean or unholy state then this could not be the case; but Paul says this IS the case (and implies that this is obvious, that they know this is the case).

The sanctifying strength of the indwelling HS is superior to the profaning strength of unbelief. It is the same power that could touch an heal the "untouchable" leper. For an ordinary man, such a touch would defile him; in Jesus' case his virtue overcomes the defilement and cleanses it.

There is an evident difference in the text between how the the spouse is spoken of, and how the child is so spoken. The unbelieving spouse is "sanctified" in the relation he or she bears to the believer. We should therefore say that the spouse's federal holiness "inheres" in the relationship to the believer--it belongs to the relationship and not to him. Dissolve the relation, and the sanctity will evaporate.

The CHILD, on the other hand, is said to bear this quality not strictly in the parent but for himself. That is, neither unbelieving spouse is said to be "holy," but "is sanctified" (verbal idea); whereas the child is HOLY (substantive adjective). So, we should say that it isn't so easy to remove this federal holiness, since it is a factor of his person, and not an element of the relationship. But not being strictly a spiritual quality, a child of latter years (no longer "belonging" to the parent in exactly the same sense anymore) may well corrupt this holiness.

Thus the argument that says that the baptism of the children of the believing spouse would require the baptism of the unbelieving spouse is nowhere supported by the text. And further, even the children of validly married pagans are in fact "legitimate."

If anything, 1 Cor. 7:14 is an implicit proof for the inclusion of children of believers in the church.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
In short, the Gentiles were not circumcised precisely because they have been baptized. The Jews who were also required to be baptized and were indeed baptized continued circumcision as a matter of custom.

It is argued that:

Paul doesn't make the argument that Galatians have been baptized and that is the New Covenant Circumcision.

Actually, Paul does. The thing signified (i.e., the circumcision of the heart) by baptism is the same as that of circumcision (Col. 2:11-12; cf. Rom. 2:28-29) as Warfield also shows in the quotation above. Paul says (Gal. 3:26-29),

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.​

What does baptism have to do with Abraham to whom the covenant sign of circumcision was given? If baptism is not the sacramental equivalent of circumcision, then Paul's argument does not make sense.

His argument does make sense if baptism is not the sacramental equivalent of circumcision. First off did you notice that Everyone who is baptized puts on Christ.

(Gal 3:26) For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

(Gal 3:27) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

And this is set up in relation to what Paul says about Circumcision.

(Gal 5:3) For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.


This is not true in the Covenant of Circumcision. From the beginning in Genesis 17 Jehovah told Abraham that Ishmael was not included in the Everlasting Covenant but he was included in covenant promises that pertained to Abraham in his physical posterity. I explained that above. Circumcision is not an exact replacement of baptism. Different Covenant head, different Covenant ties, and different circumcisions. One is of the heart the other is from the place physical posterity comes from. We enter into Baptism and are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God. In Baptism we have Gospel obedience. In Circumcision Paul ascribes bondage to the law. Two different things. As noted above by Paul those who have been Baptized have put on Christ. Those who are tied to a Covenant of circumcision of posterity are tied to the law. They are different.

Concerning Bruce's response to someone else concerning Sanctification and 1 Corinthians 7:14, it doesn't do it justice nor does it answer my last post and question to Rob.


The Covenant Head's offspring are the ones who should have the sign placed upon them. Christ's covenant Children are Spirtual. They are born from above and are in union with him. They are his offspring (Isaiah 8:18, 53:10, Hebrews 2:13) as noted in the above post.

The signs are not identical nor are the recipients.
 

Laudante

Puritan Board Freshman
The two covenants

Martin (I hope this is a first name, otherwise, please correct me):

I did like your last post. I don´t think anyone would believe you are a BIG "D" guy. I´m sure you wouldn´t be here in that case, to begin with, so the accusation was out of place, as you say.

I would just like to add some thoughts on the issue of the covenants.

First, the covenant of works is not particularly related with the law of Moses, nor it is outside of it, but maybe in a slightly different sense of how you explained it. I believe that the covenant of works which was established on the creation of man, is still open until this very day. Let me try to explain myself before beginning to receive tomatoes in my face.

The covenant of Works means that any human being is "entitled" according to divine justice, to be saved by his or her own works, inasmuch as he or she can keep THE WHOLE LAW. This was true in Adam´s time just as much as today. Moses says, and Paul confirms it, that everyone who would theorically keep the whole moral law can be saved (and we can infer that it would be apart from the atoning sacrifice of Christ). So the covenant of Works is, and has ever been, extant. But at the same time, it is only theoretical, since no man has the actual ability of doing that. Only in Christ it was fulfilled, for He merited not only his own "salvation", if you allow me to speak like that, but also ours. The only difference in the covenant of Works since it was opened in Adam until Moses is an increasing of the demands of it. In Adam´s time, the only action required to be "saved by works" was to avoid eating a given fruit. In Moses´ time those requirements were enlarged significantly. So the law of Moses is, in one sense, the requirement of the THEORICAL covenant of works, for the man who would THEORICALLY dare to try it, but for those who despair of saving themselves by works and invoke the covenant of grace, the law also fulfills an important role. It becomes the rule of conduct for them, not in order to be saved, but to please God. That is, those under the covenant of grace are also called to do works, as I think we all agree.

So in a strict sense, the covenant of works is still open, but in real terms, God has never confirmed a real covenant with aybody under works (except Christ, as I said), not even with Adam, since he broke it. So every real covenant, including of course the Abrahamic and the Mosaic, if it can be called a covenant at all between man and God, was the covenant of Grace. The circumcision was meant to represent that covenant of grace, not any covenant of works. When Paul relates the circumsicion with the law, seemingly in a sense of works, I believe he intended to express that those who wanted to continue circumcision in NT times were bound to continue with all the ceremonial law as well. And this is because, exactly as in the case of the Sabbath, in the circumcision rite there were both a ceremonial and a moral parts involved. The ceremonial pertained to the outward sign, while the moral to the inward meaning. In the Sabbath, the ceremonial part was the exact day to be observed, while the moral part was the observation itself. So in the NT the ceremonial part was done away, but the moral part was kept, changing the day in the case of the Fourth Commandment, and the mode of applying the sign of the covenant in the case of circumcision. But just like we have to do on Sunday what the Jews did on Saturday (according to the Bible, not to rabbinic tradition), we have also to do in baptism what the Jews did on circumcision. But if someone wants to keep the old shadowy form of the Jewish Sabbath or the Jewish circumcision, he is bound to do all the other ceremonial requirement of the OT, and this is precisely what Paul is saying.

So in short, it is difficult to say that circumcision has to do with any covenant of works, In my humble opinion, especially considering that it was instituted upon Abraham´s faith, not for any works he could have done, or as a sign that he should try to save himself by works. Circumcision was a sign of God´s election and grace upon Abraham and his spititual offspring. His offspring according to the flesh was entitled to the rite simply because they were also called and supposed to be of the same faith of their father, that is, their spiritual offspring as well. The failure of some individuals to keep up to that level was not a failure of the covenant at all. You mention that someone could be cut off from this abrahamic covenant, and that this was a clear difference with the covenant of grace. But I rather tend to believe that those who were to be cut off never really belonged to the Abrahamic covenant at all, even if they seemed to for a while, just like the false members of the Christian church are there but not belong to her. And there are plenty of false members, unfortunately, both among paedo and credo baptists, just as there were among the natural progeny of Abraham. But they never belonged to any covenant with God, in the first place. They were, however, on the covenant family, and rightfully, until they showed the contrary. The same happens with the children of believers under the NT.
 

A.J.

Puritan Board Junior
Mr. Snyder,

No one said that the signs are identical. The cutting off of the foreskin of the flesh (circumcision) is clearly different from the washing with water in the Name of the Trinity (baptism). What is identical is the thing signified by both. Both represent the circumcision of the heart (Col. 2:11-12; Rom. 2:28-29). A good argument can only be made against paedobaptism if the spiritual reality signfied by baptism is in substance different from that of circumcision.

I did notice Gal. 3:27.

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.​

What do you do with Simon the magician (Acts 8:9ff.) if as you say that "[e]veryone who is baptized puts on Christ"? Gal. 3:27 is extremely problematic for a position which denies sacramental union (cf. WCF 28:2).

Paul explains (Gal. 3:16-18),

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.​

So the law given 450 years later does not annul (ESV) the promise (Gen. 17:7). A case for antipaedobaptism therefore must not only show that God has indeed abrogated His command (Gen. 17:9-14) to include infants in His covenant community. It must also modify the implications of the promise. The promise necessitated the covenantal inclusion of infants. And Paul says in explicit terms that the promise is not (has not been) annuled (cf. Acts 2:38-39; 16:31)!

You rightly note that the elect are Christ's offspring (seed). In fact, this is the confessional Reformed position (LC Q&A 31). There is no disagreement on that. But saying that the elect are Christ's seed is different from saying that only those who profess that they are indeed elect should be baptized. You are arguing from what is to what ought to be.

Blessings,
 
Last edited:

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
AJ.

We are going to disagree on Acts 2 pertaining to the Promise and it's beneficiaries. Those who are given the promises in Acts 2 are set in time present and forward. You, your children, those far off and as many as the Lord shall call. The promise has a specific. Repent and be baptized.... In order you, your children, those afar off, and as many as the Lord shall call, all must do something in order to receive something. The inclusion is the same for everyone. It is not a grandfather clause. It seems there must be some cognizant ability in this passage by all. It matters not about physical lineage or heritage any longer. We discussed this earlier in the thread. I do not see your conclusion that the promise necessitated the covental inclusion of infants. I believe you are assuming it by your presuppositions.


The Covenant of Grace included in the Abrahamic Covenant pertained to the Seed as Paul mentions in Galatians. That is Christ. You are correct. The law cannot disannul that it was to be a fulfillment and it was fulfilled. The CofW in the CofAbraham can not disannul the CofG. Christ came in the Flesh. Baptism signify's more than circumcision does. You are putting way to much emphasis on circumcision and its meaning and you are flattening out the Covenants too much in my estimation to make them be equal and have the same meanings and representations.

Concerning Simon. I can only say that even the Apostle's warned others to examine themselves. He really shouldn't be considered in the argument of infant Baptism because he made a cognizant decision for something. And that is the measuring stick, so to speak, by which one is to look. As Romans states. Confession is made unto salvation. We have discussed those false brethren concepts before. They are to be dealt with as 1 Cor 5 plainly tells us.

Sorry but I am getting tired right now.

Be Encouraged AJ.

I would really prefer to keep dealing with Rob. He was the one I was discussing this with and I really don't want to rabbit trail.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Ricardo.

I am not trying to avoid you. I do know that some believe the Mosaic to have a republication of the CofW in them and I also know probably most do not hold to this view. I can also reference others who believe more so that this is true, considering other factors, of the Abrahamic Covenant also.

Good night.

Like I said I was just hoping to discuss more with Rob. I don't want to Rabbit trail with others. Thanks.
 

Laudante

Puritan Board Freshman
More on the covenants

I address this and any future post on this thread to everyone who participates in it and might be interested on what I´m saying, and not particularly to Randy, so that he won´t feel compelled to reply to it and alter his private debate with Robert. (Randy, I don´t feel offended, of course... I think it´s legitimate for you to answer only the posts you want to, but I also feel I can participate in this thread regardless of that. From now on, if you don´t answer my posts I won´t take it as if you are neither avoiding nor granting what I say, nor being discourteous with me, right?).

The law has different levels of intentions or uses. In one of these levels, yes, I would say it is a republication of the covenant of works. Paul says in Gal. 3:12: "However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.”

This means that if someone, hypothetically, could practice everything that is on the law, he would be saved (even today). And Paul confirms that this is something completely apart from the covenant of grace, which operates through faith, when he says: "The law is not of faith".

However, just the two preceding verses make us clear that all those who pretend to be saved that way fail and are under a curse, not because the offer to be saved by doing the law is not sincere, but because “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM” (Gal. 3:10).

If they could abide by all those things, they would be in a true agreement or covenant of works with God, but since original sin makes this impossible, and everyone is under original sin, we all know that "that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH” (Gal. 3:11).

All human beings who reject the mercy of God in Christ put themselves automatically into the covenant of works, and they fail it. It is in this sense that John says: "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).

My point is that this is the only sense in which there is something like a sharp difference and even contrast between the Old and the New convenants, and this is the only sense in which the law seems to have tried to "hinder" the Abrahamic promise in Gal 3:17. But when we understand that the real intention of God with the Law was not to save persons by works, nor to put a perpetual curse on his people, but rather to lead people to despair in order that they might invoke the covenant of grace, we see that this latter was always in view in the giving of the Law. It is only that the issue is more clearly revealed in the NT than in the OT. So the Law becomes thus a means of grace and not a means of damnation, for those who recognize its true nature, while it remains perpetually a curse for those who fail to invoke mercy on view of our impossibility to fulfill her demands of holiness. "But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully" (1 Tim. 1:8). So the alleged contrast between dispensations is a mere illusion after all, and the real opposition is between the pharisees and the penitent tax collectors, both of which kinds have existed in OT as much as in NT times.

I know that all this can be slightly off-topic, but at the end, the heart of the paedo vs. credo debate lies in the nature of the dispensations, more than with the rite in itself. I´m not saying that Randy or anyone else on this thread fails to understand all this, but I´m just trying to clarify how I understand covenant theology. Congruence with all this is what made me, personally, abandon a 15 year-old credobaptist position. I thought I could see everything clear as day when I was there, but recently something "made click" in my mind and I understood that both baptism and circumcision are signs of the covenant of grace, and that only the outward aspect of circumcision was typical, but the meaning and candidates are the same. I had always thought that the paedos had a rather too "earthly" view of the New Covenant, but later I understood that maybe it was I who was having a less "spiritual" view of the Old one, in the wrong aspect of it. I mean that, yes, without doubt the OT is more earthly or fleshly than the New, but NOT IN THE ASPECT OF WHO ARE ITS REAL MEMBERS and how they are saved, but only in the more rudimentary means of grace and teaching of the truths of the Gospel. The truth Paul asserts that "Not all Israel is Israel" doesn´t only apply to NT times. It had always been so.

The only issue with which I am still dealing is why, if candidates are the same, now baptism should be applied to girls also. Maybe the answer is that another thing that changed is that the New covenant is more universal in scope. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." But girls and gentiles were also saved and "circumcised in the heart" under the old economy, so the sacrament was not applied to them? Well, gentiles that became proselytes were circumcised. I think the reason girls weren´t is clear. But I don´t know if a physical motive is the only one. If someone has good ideas on this, they´ll be more than welcome.

In Christ,
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Are you quoting from Burroughs? Or, is this your point?

In Covenant Theology it is an error to say that there are "two Covenant heads." That is Dispensationalism (with a capital "D"). There is only one Covenant head - Jesus Christ. Abraham was the "covenant head" of his family, and so was Ishmael, Issac, and Jacob, but when speaking of the "Everlasting Covenant" then there is only one Covenant head in both the Old Covenant and the New.

Abraham believed in Jesus Christ - though Abraham knew Jesus only as God.

Concerning your quote from Gill:

I like Gill. However, he tends to overthink his points. He wrote:

I answer, that circumcision was only a seal to Abraham of a peculiar covenant made with him, and of a particular promise made to him, and was it to be admitted a seal of the covenant of grace, it will not prove baptism to be such; since, as has been observed, baptism does not succeed it in place, in time, and use; and could this be allowed that it succeeds it, and is a seal of the righteousness of faith, as that was, it can only be a seal to them that have both faith and righteousness,
If circumcision was only for the Abrahamic Covenant, then why was it carried into the Mosaic, and Davidic as well? I would argue that Circumcision was carried into the New Covenant also, and was replaced by Baptism. Thus, we find the Apostles making reference to the spiritual import of Circumcision (see previous post).

Gill's argument that Circumcision did not replace Baptism because there is an overlap in time is specious to say the best. The animal sacrifices continued in the Temple of Jerusalem until it was destroyed in 70 AD. Does that mean that the Sacrifice of Christ is of none effect? There is a time overlap. This hermeneutic of "time overlap" is nowhere found in the Scriptures. It is an invention by Gill to invalidate the idea that baptism takes the place of circumcison.

You are certainly free to believe this view of "time overlap" but it will not convince me unless you can prove such Biblically.

Blessings,

Rob

Hey buddy,

Rob, just let me say that I really appreciate ya discussing this with me. I sense that you are trying to learn what I am saying. I don't think you grasp what I believe very well and hope I can illumine you as to what this Particular Baptist believes. I think I have a pretty good handle on what Presbyterians and Covenant Paedo's believe. After discussing this with you a few times I think you would have a better understanding of what I believe. But I might be mistaken. Especially since you don't seem to understand what I think concerning 1 Corinthians 7 and sanctification and also concerning the topic of Covenant heads.

BTW, here is a link where Rev Winzer and I discuss our distinctions concerning the Covenants administering the CofW and CofG. It is a little older and I might rephrase some of the things I said but it stands.
http://www.puritanboard.com/f31/works-within-mosaic-covenant-24649/

Now,
You still didn't answer my question on sanctification and 1 Corinthians 7 that I presented in my last post.

To answer your question concerning the Burroughs quote....
Yes, those were my thoughts in the last post. My first response was just to the point that I believed that Burroughs in the portion I quoted did answer your point quite to the point. Your addition did nothing for the argument in my estimation as I explained.

Concerning my point of two Covenant heads.... When you accused me of Dispensationalism did you mean with a Capital "D" as in dispensational like Darby and Scoffield. They would be a Capital "D" in my opinion. That is the problem when you start accusing others of dispensationalism with a Capital "D". Others will here you saying something that you might not mean. I understand what you are saying when you accuse me of dispensationalism, I think. But I believe you are wrong to emphasise it so heavily as you do when you are addressing it towards me. Even Westministerians believe that dispensations is a good word. And I will work from Chapter 7 now to show you what I mean by different Covenant heads and how the Covenants were administered with continuity and discontinuity. ie. your dispensational accusation towards me. It might hold water and it might not.




You obviously must believe in different Covenant Heads. Even two of them at the very least which you accuse me of being a Dispensationalist with. There are Two Adam's. One is head of those represented under the Covenant of Works. The other Adam is the Lord from Heaven who is head of the Covenant of Grace. And there is only one Covenant of Grace not two as you seem to be accusing me of. I completely agree with the Westminster on that.

At the same time a Covenant is made with someone concerning those placed under him and in his lineage and relationship. Everyone who was to dwell with Abraham had to abide in the Covenant of Circumsion in order to dwell with his family and clan. If they were not circumcised they were not under the leadership of Abraham and were cut off from his heritance and heritage. I do not believe that Christ is the Head of everyone who was included in the Covenant of Circumcision as Ishmael was not included in the Everlasting Covenant. He is head of the Covenant of Grace. But the Abrahamic Covenant was not solely the Covenant of Grace as many might assume. I also do not believe that circumcision was a sign of the Covenant of Grace although it was administered through it. It was what I would call a mixed Covenant. It also had elements of the Covenant of Works involved with it. ie. cutting off. In the pure Covenant of Grace one can not be cut off once they are in union with Christ. Also their were other promises that involved Abraham's posterity that didn't have elements pertaining to the Covenant of Grace. There were promises made concerning Ishmael that were given to Abraham even though it was plainly stated that Ishmael would not be included in the Everlasting Covenant.

As a side note, not everyone who was included in the Covenant of Grace was included in the Covenant of Circumcision during the time of Abraham. I have discussed that elsewhere on the board. A few of the Patriarchs alive during Abraham's time, King Mel, and some in his Kingdom were not included in the Covenant of Circumcision. Some have debated whether Lot was circumcised. My point in saying this is to point out that circumcision is not necessarily purely the sign of the Covenant of Grace.


The two Covenants that proceeded down into the Mosaic from Abraham that I referenced from Galatians contained both elements from of the Covenant of Grace and Works. It is not dispensational as in the Capital "D" you mention to think this way, but is very scriptural and written from the pen of Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I do believe the Abrahamic and Mosaic are subserviant to the CofG and CofW.



I understand that the Abrahamic and Mosaic administer both the Covenant of Grace and the Covenant of Works. But in relationship the promises that were made to Abraham and the place that he was put in relationship to those under him made him a head of the Covenant concerning the promises that were made to him concerning his posterity and clan. And as I mentioned there are elements in that Covenant that do not pertain to the Covenant of Grace. They were promises made by Covenant that made him the fountain head of reception to some of those promises as they were fulfilled by God toward him.

It is the same way with the Mosaic Covenant. There are elements in the Mosaic that were not specifically related to the Covenant of Grace. There were elements of the Covenant of Works in it that were administered by it also.

Here is something that I would reference concerning Mosaic from Witsius.
The edition is den Dulk Christian Foundation distributed by P&R, reprinted 1990. Vol. II, p. 186, Witsius says of the Mosaic Cov.,

I believe the Mosaic is subservient to both the Covenants of Grace and Works. The Mosaic and Abrahamic administer the the Covenants for the elect and those who are not in a nationalist civil mode of relationship. So I am not being dispensational as you want to accuse me of. I am actually being very biblical and relying of some pretty big shoulders in my understanding. Nehemiah Coxe would be one of my biggest influences on this also.

I do not believe that circumcision was carried into the New Covenant because the New Covenant sign is representative of our Union with Chist's death, burial, and resurrection and our being in union with him in those. The only instances I see of men performing those things such as circumcision and sacrifices were to win the Jews and get them to see Christ. While I agree that the sacrifices were carried on into the New Covenant Era as well as circumcision I would have to say that both were to be forsaken by Christians as a means of salvation. In fact Paul says that circumcision avails nothing. It is gone with the Old. Paul doesn't make the argument that Galatians have been baptized and that is the New Covenant Circumcision. They are two different things entirely. In fact the author of Hebrews condemned the Old testament worship was as unbelief. Paul does warn the Galatians not to turn back to those weak and beggarly things.

Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

I still have to conclude that there are different Covenants that perform different things concerning promise and purpose in continuity and discontinuity. We are just arguing concerning the things that continue and those that don't. We are trying to discuss and distinguish the things that are New and those that are done away and dead because of what they are tied to. You tried to accuse me of being incorrect that circumcision was not tied to bondage of the law and that is wan't abrogated. Well I showed you that Paul did say that circumcision was abrogated and that it was tied to the law. You still have neglected to acknowledge that. You want to make the unholy unregenerate sound like they are holy the same way a regenerate person is who is in union with Christ. And you have neglected me on this.
You have accused me of being dispensational with a BIG "D" which I believe is an unfair accusation. Others will read that in a wrong light I believe. All that I am affirming is what I see the Confession affirming along with those of my Confession of Faith. It is not dispsensational with a BIG "D".

Rob, I like you. I have always enjoyed your challenges. I might be a half breed to you and not worthy of the name Covenanter. But that is who I am. I believe you would do better to try to understand what I think instead of making sweeping BIG "D" accusations. Name calling never advanced anyone in a discussion. And I believe you have improperly labelled me. Yes, I do believe in dispensations as does the Westminster. Maybe we differ on how much the terminology comes into play but I am no dispensationalist like those who are known by that name in theological terms today.

Be Encouraged brother,
Randy

Thank you, Randy, for your kindness and patience with me.

Thank you also for explaining yourself. I thought we were talking about Jer 31:31ff and the Old/New Covenant distinctions. In this sense the distinctions are outward/physical - both the Old and New Covenants have the same head - Jesus Christ.

The "Old" Covenant here cannot be equated with the Covenant of Works, because the "Old" Covenant is a gracious Covenant made by God. It is an administration of the Covenant of Grace. My understanding of what you said was that the Covenant of Grace - represented by both the Old and New Covenants - had two different heads.

Now you tell me that you were speaking of the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace. Yes, I agree with you that Adam was the covenant head of the Covenant of Works, and Jesus is the Covenant head of the Covenant of Grace.

I agree with you about that, and my "accusation" of the capital "D" is withdrawn with my sincere apologies.

As far as the Burroughs quote goes: Your point was that Burroughs was saying that there was no command from God which prohibited the Sons of Aaron from offering the fire which they offered. However, when reading the rest of the passage it is clear that Burroughs was satisfied that the Sons of Aaron were doing something they were not supposed to do. Thus, the punishment of God was just.

Blessings,

Rob
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
As far as the Burroughs quote goes: Your point was that Burroughs was saying that there was no command from God which prohibited the Sons of Aaron from offering the fire which they offered. However, when reading the rest of the passage it is clear that Burroughs was satisfied that the Sons of Aaron were doing something they were not supposed to do. Thus, the punishment of God was just.

Blessings,

Rob

I agree that Burroughs was satisfied that the sons of Aaron were doing something they were not supposed to do. The punishment of God was just. The point Burrough's also makes is that there was no command to not offer strange fire. If they were doing something in ignorance it did not excuse them. Burrough's also makes the point that these young Priests were not vile men who were void of any integrity. They did something ignorantly and God said he would be sanctified in them. Thus, when they were punished their father Aaron had to say that God was just even though they might not have understood they were violating anything, even if there wasn't a negative command.

Rob, I might be a bit slow responding since the weekend is here. I get busy on the weekends so be patient with me brother if it seems I don't get back to the discussion right away. That is one reason I just want to discuss this with you. I am not trying to avoid others arguments. I just have so much time and need to stay focused so I probably won't be dealing with the other's arguments. I hope others take no offense. Thanks for understanding.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Greetings Randy:

I know what you mean when it comes to taking your time in replying - this past weekend I had to drive 6 hours to preach in Owego, NY. I had a great time, but it was quite draining.

To back up a bit I want to address something you said in post #80. You wrote:

His argument does make sense if baptism is not the sacramental equivalent of circumcision. First off did you notice that Everyone who is baptized puts on Christ.
What kind of baptism are you referring to? The rite of Water Baptism, or, the Baptism of the Spirit? If you are referring to Water Baptism, then did Simon the Sorceror "put on Christ" when he was baptized? If he did, then what does that mean about the unbreakable covenant which cannot be broken?

In an earlier post you argued that circumcision was given as a civil ordinance to Israel - as part of the land promises. When you consider that strangers who were servants of the Jews were also to be circumcised, and they never inherited the land, then such an argument does not seem to hold water (pardon the pun).

What I would like to see from you, and from any Credobaptists, is a good Biblical argument that dipping is the only Mode of Christian Baptism. Can you adequately defend the statment in the 1689 Confession:

Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance.
If you cannot defend dipping as the sole means of Baptism in the Bible, then how can anyone expect your arguments concerning Adults only to be Biblically valid? Being faithful over a little...

Blessings,

Rob
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Wow, I didn't notice you replied.

In the remark where you site me I believe that we are referring to St. Paul in post 80.

What does baptism have to do with Abraham to whom the covenant sign of circumcision was given? If baptism is not the sacramental equivalent of circumcision, then Paul's argument does not make sense.

His argument does make sense if baptism is not the sacramental equivalent of circumcision. First off did you notice that Everyone who is baptized puts on Christ.

(Gal 3:26) For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

(Gal 3:27) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

And this is set up in relation to what Paul says about Circumcision.

(Gal 5:3) For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.


This is not true in the Covenant of Circumcision. From the beginning in Genesis 17 Jehovah told Abraham that Ishmael was not included in the Everlasting Covenant but he was included in covenant promises that pertained to Abraham in his physical posterity. I explained that above. Circumcision is not an exact replacement of baptism. Different Covenant head, different Covenant ties, and different circumcisions. One is of the heart the other is from the place physical posterity comes from. We enter into Baptism and are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God. In Baptism we have Gospel obedience. In Circumcision Paul ascribes bondage to the law. Two different things. As noted above by Paul those who have been Baptized have put on Christ. Those who are tied to a Covenant of circumcision of posterity are tied to the law. They are different. [/QUOTE]

I believe Paul is writing about physical baptism here in a general sense concerning those who are considered children of God by faith in Jesus Christ. At least that is what the passage seems to indicate. If Simon the Sorcerer was a child of God by faith in Jesus Christ, he did. If not he only added to his condemnation in my estimation. I don't think you can make a for certain whether or not Simon was in Christ or not. History seems to reveal he was opposed to Peter. The key to the passage and the point I would direct you to is in verse 26. I don't think you can divorce verse 26 from 27.

Now concerning the slaves who had no inheritance in the land. I would point you to understand that had they not been circumcised they would have been cut off. They wouldn't be allowed to stay in the land nor dwell with Abraham, Isaac, or any of the Isrealites after their reluctance to be circumcised. So as long as they remained and were circumcised they were included as a part of the civil promise to serve and have habitation in the land. And they also might have been participants of the Covenant of Grace. But then again circumcision wasn't necessary for that. As we have discussed before on the PB. The Covenant of Circumcision was not purely the sign of the Covenant of Grace.

Concerning Immersion? I think you are making a big jump here but I will refer you to John Calvin, Francis Territin, and Herman Witsius from another post I made .

Even though water baptism is not mentioned in Romans 6 the death, burial, and resurrection analogy is signified in the going down under the water and the resurrection is signified by coming up to newness of life, out of the water. That is some of the reasoning.

Let me leave you with a quote here.

But whether the person being baptized should be wholly immersed , and whether thrice or once, whether he should be only sprinkled with poured water---these details are of no importance, but ought to be optional to churches according to the diversity of countries. Yet the word 'baptizo' means to immerse, and it is clear that the rite of immersion was observed in the ancient church.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. John T. McNeill, 4:15:19 (1320)

Also in the footnotes of Fred Malones book 'The Baptism of Disciples Alone' on page xviv it is noted.


See also Herman Wisius' and Francis Territin's discussions of mode of baptism in the early church. Both admit immersion was the practice, though they claim pouring and sprinkling also was practiced depending upon circumstances such as health or the availability of water.
Economy of the Covenants 1:422-428
Institutes of Elcentic Theology 3:381

The following post is also pretty revealing.

Some additonal quotes concerning baptism by immersion:

What Non Baptists Have Said Concerning the Ancient Mode of Baptism

Presbyterian
John Calvin -"The very word "baptize however, signifies to IMMERSE, and it is certain that IMMERSION was the practice of the ancient church."(Institutes of the Christian Religion, chp 15)

John Calvin’s commentary on the Gospel of John
John 3:22-23
22. After these things came Jesus. It is probable that Christ, when the feast was past, came into that part of Judea which was in the vicinity of the town Enon, which was situated in the tribe of Manasseh. The Evangelist says that there were many waters there, and these were not so abundant in Judea. Now geographers tell us, that these two towns, Enon and Salim, were not far from the confluence of the river Jordan and the brook Jabbok; and they add that Scythopolis was near them. From these words, we may infer that John and Christ administered baptism by plunging the whole body beneath the water; though we ought not to give ourselves any great uneasiness about the outward rite, provided that it agree with the spiritual truth, and with the Lord's appointment and rule. So far as we are able to conjecture, the; vicinity of those places caused various reports to be circulated, and many discussions to arise, about the Law, about the worship of God, and about the condition of the Church, in consequence of two persons who administered baptism having arisen at the same time. For when the Evangelist says that Christ baptized, I refer this to the commencement of his ministry; namely, that he then began to exercise publicly the office which was appointed to him by the Father. And though Christ did this by his disciples, yet he is here named as the Author of the baptism, without mentioning his ministers, who did nothing but in his name and by his command. On this subject, we shall have something more to say in the beginning of the next Chapter.


Lutheran
Martin Luther -" I could wish that the baptized should be totally IMMERSED according to the meaning of the word."

Philip Schaff -"IMMERSION and not sprinkling was unquestionably the original normal form of baptism. This is shown by the meaning of the Greek word and the analogy of the baptism of John which was performed in Jordan." (History of the Apostolic Church, p.568).


Roman Catholic
Cardinal Gibbons -"For several centuries after the establishment of Christianity baptism was usually conferred by IMMERSION; but since the 12th century the practice of baptism by infusion has prevailed in the Catholic church, as this manner is attained with less inconvenience than by IMMERSION (Faith of our Fathers p. 317)

Methodist
John Wesley -commenting on Rom 6:4- "We are buried with Him- alluding to the ancient manner of baptism by IMMERSION (Explanatory notes Upon the New Testament, p. 376)

George Whitefield -commenting on Rom 6:4- "It is certain that the words of our text is an allusion to the manner of baptism by IMMERSION

Episcopalians
Conybeare and Howson -commenting on Rom 6:4-":This passage cannot be undersood unless it is understood that the primitive baptism was by IMMERSION."



At the same time.... I am not as concerned about the mode. I believe I can defend it historically and scripturally but I do believe the Lord to be merciful and gracious who wouldn't break a bruised reed. And if someone is incapable of having immersion performed upon their Confession of Christ, I do believe that pouring will suffice in the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hay Randy:

I am sorry for being so long in answering - I had written presbytery exams to take, a paper to write for presbytery, and the new semester began! Thank you for your patience with me.

There is a Biblical distinction between the physical rite of circumcision and the spiritual applications of it. One can be physically circumcised, and, yet not have his/her heart circumcised:

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
There is a promise of a land inheritance to those who are baptized as well - a New Heavens and a New Earth:

2 Pet 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
This is not surprising to the paedo-baptist because we understand that Abraham viewed the land promises in the same way:

Heb 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
There are land promises in the New Testament, and these are the same land promises that Abraham was looking for as well.

The example of Ishmael does not support your theory. Ishmael did not receive the same land promises as Isaac. Though God provided for Ishmael because of Abraham - the land was not given to Ishmael and his descendents, but to Isaac and his seed.

I agree with you that servants were allowed in the land because they were circumcized. The picture is that of cleanliness. As those on Earth, in Israel, are cleansed from their sin (circumcized), then those who are in Heaven are to be cleansed from their sin (by Grace through faith). If there are servants among the Jews who did not believe, then that only shows the imperfection of the physical rite - as it is with the physical rite of baptism.

The teaching of the New Covenant is that Baptism and Circumcision both signify the same thing: The Washing and Renewing of the Holy Spirit. This is demonstrated in many ways:

Circumcision is the sign of the Covenant: Acts 7:8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.

Baptism is the sign of the Covenant: 1 Co 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.

Circumcision is a seal: 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.

Baptism is a seal: 1 Co 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.

Circumcision represents the New Birth: Romans 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Baptism represents the New Birth: Rom 6:4 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.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Circumcision represents the cleansing of the Heart: Deut 10:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

Baptism represents the cleansing of the Heart: 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.

That there are differences between the Old and New Testament does not change the similarities. Otherwise, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is of none effect, because the OT sacrifices were done with sheep, goats, birds, etc, and Jesus was a human male.

The things that circumcision represented spiritually are the same things that baptism represents spiritually.

Blessings,

Rob
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Hay Randy:

I am sorry for being so long in answering - I had written presbytery exams to take, a paper to write for presbytery, and the new semester began! Thank you for your patience with me.

No problem Rob.... I have a feeling you and I are going to take this thread into next year. I haven't read anything but the first few lines and just let it go at that. I will probably respond sometime next week anyways. In fact I kind of like it that way. We can respond intelligently and not off the cuff, so to speak.

To bad 99% of the threads can't slow down and respond a bit more intelligently and with less emotion as ours appears to be doing.

BTW, have you got my old RPCNA Pastor's book on William Symington yet. If not I will get you a copy. It is a very beautiful work that I believe the whole church of God could benefit from. I am reading it slowly. I started posting about it here.

http://www.puritanboard.com/f18/william-symington-penman-scottish-covenanters-53418/

Sorry. I took it off topic but will respond later brother.

Love ya,
Randy
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top