Quotes (819)

It is impossible to measure the harm done to the Protestant cause through the retention of paedobaptism. The Reformed churches profess to be governed solely by Scripture, but so long as they continue baptizing babies, so long will they be taunted by Roman Catholics (and others) for their manifest inconsistency. . . . . Baby baptism is ruinous to the souls of thousands. Strictly speaking, it is not baby baptism but mistaken views regarding its efficacy and significance which leads multitudes down the broad way to destruction.

-          T.E. Watson

46 thoughts on “Quotes (819)

  1. But! … Dontcha see it’s all about the OT testament covenant? OK, so babies aren’t sprinkled 8 days after birth and females are included – that don’t mean they aren’t following the OT covenant, does it? So what if the Bible teaches and only shows baptism of professing believers – they can read between the lines and imagine babies are being baptized in a few passages. /sarc off

    I agree the issue is serious, but – unless, as stated, a paedobaptist claims grace infused or something by the practice, it’s not something to break fellowship over.

  2. DavidW says:

    “Dedicating” a baby unto the Lord (e.g.: Samuel), is an entirely different thing than baptism. “Dedicating” itself raised issues of it’s own. But to baptize an infant is a mockery of the meaning of baptism, and it shows a gross lack of understanding of Christianity itself. If they do not know what baptism means, or how it applies to the saint, or on whom it is undertaken, then they do not understand the basics of Christianity as defined by the Scriptures. It does then raise serious issue with one’s fellowship in a body, or with an individual, who supports infant baptism. Thus it is not a “secondary” issue.

  3. I would participate in a Reformed paedobaptist church (if they do not assign grace to that activity) rather than in a worldly church which panders to the creature rather than honoring God. As circumstances are with me, I am joined with a Reformed Baptist church and firmly believe in “our view” of this, but do not consider believing paedobaptists as pagans if this be not a grace/salvation issue. I also have serious concerns over the church structure of the Presbyterians (which many baptist churches share to degree) but do not put this in the same category of “Who is God?” and “who is man?” – two questions which tell me the worldview.

  4. desean jones says:

    I have been going to a Reformed Church for awhile and understand that the definition for baptism is different than the credobaptist view. desean

  5. DavidW says:

    “And Peter said to them, “Repent AND BE BAPTIZED every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

    “And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he COMMANDED them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.” (Acts 10:45-48)

    “Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 8:14-16)

    “And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus. On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 19:4-5)

    “But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12)

    “For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard. Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.” (Acts 22:15-16)

    “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. BAPTISM, WHICH CORRESPONDS TO THIS, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” (1 Pet. 3:18 – 4:2)

    Hopefully this short sampling on baptism from the Scriptures reveals some common basic truths, such as: those who are baptized are all ADULTS who make the conscious choice to be baptized; and baptism is not some optional insignificant ritual. To baptize a child, who is too young to understand what he/she is doing, is a mockery. For what purpose then does it serve to baptize a young child? To openly defy God’s word to the congregation? To lead the child to think he/she became a Christian at baptism? Such a church is practicing disobedience.

  6. Terry says:

    Baby Baptism begins in God saying this child is holy because the parents are believers, infant dedication begins with man saying here is my baby, I am holy enough to give it to you…. one is Gods work in the covenant and one is mans work. infant baptism is NOT believers baptism, we are not saying; “because this baby is baptized, this baby is saved.” No, it is the covenant, this child is part of the family but is not necessarily elect…. this child must “come to a saving knowledge of Christ and him crucified” at an age of accountability don’t cha know.

    The reformers had everything right but padeobaptism? Go figure.

    Blessings, Terry

  7. Terry,

    The only issue I have with what you stated is the opening comment. No human can declare another human holy, certainly not on the merit of his genealogy.

    Not all Reformers were paedobaptists. The 5 Solas are silent on this issue.

  8. Leo says:

    There’s a great Baptism debate between R.C. Sproul and John MacArthur titled “Baptism: The Case for Infant Baptism” Highly recommended. And well here is a great quote from Michael S. Horton:

    “Sacraments are meant to strengthen our faith, not compete with it, and too often we
    view faith and baptism as if they were at odds. It is through the means of
    grace–Word and sacrament, by the power of the Spirit–that faith is born and
    strengthened, however God in his marvelous and miraculous way chooses to do that.”

    -The article is titled “God’s Grandchildren The Biblical Basis For Infant Baptism” by Michael S.Horton

  9. DavidW says:

    Terry:

    You are certainly free to believe as you choose, but know that infant baptism is nowhere found in the New Testament, but is a man-made invention, based on human reasoning. attempting to link a New Testament command with an Old Testament concept. There is only one baptism as stated in Eph. 4:5. There is no such thing as a “believer’s baptism”, and also a “non-believer’s baptism” (or “not-yet-believer baptism”, or “I hope they’ll someday be a believer baptism”, or a “baby coventant” or “welcome to the family” baptism).

    We do greatly err if we stray from the teaching of Scripture, in favor of man-made teaching that is not fully supported by Scripture..

  10. We know that Horton and anyone else who imagines God has grandchildren are wrong and/or deceived on that point. The Scriptures are clear – lineage has NOTHING to do with who God has chosen to save. ALL the adopted children of the living God are children, brothers of Christ – NO grandchildren in God’s family. That is so wrong as to be left unsaid.

  11. I blanched at that Horton comment too, Manfred; and I say that as someone who deeply appreciates Mike and his ministry at Westminster West, as well as through The White Horse Inn, and Modern Reformation Magazine – of which I am a faithful subscriber. In reading carefully through his works over the years, including his primer on covenant theology, I find Dr. Horton to be overly enamoured with the 3FU and what I can only classify as the “vain traditions of men” trappings of the “Truly Reformed” at the expense of always being reformed according to the Word of God. He believes, in his own words, that there’s “no need for the church to move beyond the gains of the Reformation” thus he consciously encases himself in theological amber, as it were.

    The most troubling part of the comment, from my perspective, is how he tips his hand once again by describing the sacraments as “means of grace”. I fully realize that association is commonplace in certain Reformed circles, including Presby/ORC/URC and Lutheran congregations (among many others), but the consequences implied here are staggering indeed, for if “the church” is the instrument of dispensing God’s “means of grace”, then she can by logical implication withold those same “means of grace” at will, which thing smacks of Romanism (keys of Peter, binding/loosing, etc). Now I’m not accusing Dr. Horton or my Reformed brethren of being closet Romanists, but words mean things, and theology matters. God dispenses His grace as He wills through the Holy Spirit on the grounds of Jesus Christ’s merits and righteousness, by grace alone, through faith alone. Faith is the sole instrument of justification, and that same abiding, continuing, living faith is the same conduit by which grace is continually dispensed by God through His Spirit to His people, the church as they are being conformed into the image Christ by the process of sanctification. None of this is to say that a local congregation may not withold baptism or communion from those in their midst whom the duly appointed elders deem unfit to receive the sacraments – but that’s a totally separate issue.

    The Bible also teaches us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; and no one can hear and believe in Him whom they have not heard unless God sends a preacher of the Word; so in this sense the living Word is a very real means of grace, and for His glory God uses fallen sinful mean to herald that Word, but the messengers themselves are not means or dispensers of grace. And the Word, our spiritual food and drink, is appropriated through what? THROUGH FAITH!

    As far as the sacraments there’s no “grace power” inherent in the tap water of the baptismal, or in the cracker or the juice which are transferred, imputed, or infused upon the using; rather they are signs of the thing signified – the Person and work of Christ Jesus. Sadly even those simple, plain, yet elegant reminders that God gave to His church – baptism and the Lord’s Supper – can become idols in the desperately perverse and wickedly sinful hearts of fallen men.

    May the Lord grant us discernment to walk circumspectly in this fallen world.

    In Christ,
    CD

  12. Seems a waste of time and not something found in Bible to baptize babies when, if they are saved in later years they will go through believers baptism. I go to Reformed Baptist maybe a lot of Christians think this as my pastor stressed that even if we were baptized as babies it means nothing. Do we follow mans traditions or the Bible

  13. desean jones says:

    My understanding, which I know is limited, is that John’s baptism was a Christian baptism. Is this something that is agreed on?

    The reason I bring up John’s baptism is that no one seemed to question what he was doing – like it was a different thing. desean

  14. Terry says:

    Manfred:

    Thanks for responding… We do not say the children are holy, the Spirit said it through Paul I think, 1 Cor 7:15. I know the context is not baptism but I think that it be argued that believing parents have holy kids… not because of what the kid has done, just because the parents are believers…

    DavidW… I know this is probably weak but… the concept/doctrine of the Trinity is also not explicitly “in the Bible” either :^/ “but know that the Trinity is nowhere found in the New Testament, but is a man-made invention, based on human reasoning…”

    Hey, I’m not here to argue but be sharpened. I enjoy this blog and post.

    I thanks God for you.

    Terry

  15. Terry,

    1 Cor 7:14 says “For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”

    There are passages that must be dealt with carefully, as context reveals the meaning. In 1 Cor 7, Paul is not making the point that a spouse saves her spouse or that Christians parents save their children. He is pointing out that the covenant of marriage is of God and that people within that covenant – spouse and kids – are “set apart” for the Lord under His covenant of marriage, rather than being in rebellion by lack of marriage or bastard children.

  16. Terry says:

    Hi Manfred:

    I didn’t say that Paul says that the spouse/parents SAVES their spouse/children, I just said what you said Paul said, YOU have made my point, covenant baptism is exactly what you said, it shows that the kids are “set apart”, not saved, I’m glad we understand each other. It is just that simple, that is what covenant baptism is; a setting a part!

    Blessings,

    Terry

  17. DavidW says:

    desean jones:

    Regarding your question:

    “My understanding, which I know is limited, is that John’s baptism was a Christian baptism. Is this something that is agreed on?”

    No, John’s baptism was not Christian baptism. John came baptizing before Christ, unto repentance: “And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”(Acts 19:4). People that John baptized where not Christians, but Jews still bound under the Old Covenant. This is different than Christian baptism, which is for those who are already Christians, looking back at the finished work of Christ, and done in the name of the Triune God.

    Note the following verses:

    “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” (Rom.6:4)

    “having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” (Col.2:12)

    Before one can receive a Christian baptism, he/she must FIRST believe in Who Jesus is and what He did. Only AFTER that, can one receive Christian baptism. Thus John’s baptism no longer applies after Jesus fulfilled His work on the cross.

    And, thus, the concept of infant baptism is also invalid.

  18. desean jones says:

    Does this mean that those who were baptized by John had to be baptized again after Christ’s death and resurrection? desean

  19. DavidW says:

    Terry:

    I agree with you in that your Trinity example was a weak point, since the “Trinity” or “Triune” God is a term we give to a solid, Biblical truth clearly taught in the Scriptures. “Infant baptism” is not invalid simply because it “isn’t there”, but it is invalid because it is contrary to the biblical teaching that IS there. Nor did Manfred “make your point”. What you are referring to may commonly be called “dedication” in that the parent decide to “set apart” their child, and covenant with each other (as parents) to jointly raise the child in a biblically sound manner, and bear public testimony to that before the church body. But please do not confuse this with the biblical doctrine of Christian baptism (please see my comment above to desean jones). Nor should such “dedication” or “setting apart” be done by the outer sign of water immersion, thus furthering the confusion.
    _____________________________________________________________

    desean:

    Regarding your question:

    “Does this mean that those who were baptized by John had to be baptized again after Christ’s death and resurrection? ”

    Before one is saved by grace, born again, he is separated from God. Any and everything he does “for God” (including any “baptism”, good works, etc.) are all invalid and irrelevant. He is still separated from God, and dead in his trespasses and sins. So, the short answer to your question: Yes.

  20. Terry says:

    Hey DavidW:

    Thanks for responding. Here’s what you said:

    “I agree with you in that your Trinity example was a weak point, since the “Trinity” or “Triune” God is a term we give to a solid, Biblical truth clearly taught in the Scriptures. “Infant baptism” is not invalid simply because it “isn’t there”, but it is invalid because it is contrary to the biblical teaching that IS there.”

    This is where we differ (if I understand your words) we are getting mixed up by you thinking that I think that infant baptism is the same as adult baptism, it isn’t, I know that. So when you say it is contrary to what is in the bible then I get the idea that you think that infant baptists think that it is the same as adult baptism… it ain’t and we know that, so a case can be made for infant covenant baptism in the bible from the OT Circumcision symbolism covenant thing. Oh, and if the doctrine of the trinity is so clear, why is there people who espouse the “Oneness Pentecostalism” false gospel?

    “” Nor did Manfred “make your point”. What you are referring to may commonly be called “dedication” in that the parent decide to “set apart” their child,…””

    In Covenant/infant baptism, GOD sets the child apart (it begins and ends with God) and to me THAT is beautiful, where in baby dedication it is initiated by the parents (“because we have done this God should listen”) which is too bad from my perspective…

    “…and covenant with each other (as parents) to jointly raise the child in a biblically sound manner, and bear public testimony to that before the church body.””

    Infant/covenant baptists do the same before God and witnesses

    “But please do not confuse this with the biblical doctrine of Christian baptism (please see my comment above to desean jones). Nor should such “dedication” or “setting apart” be done by the outer sign of water immersion, thus furthering the confusion….”

    Understood – In my tradition it is sprinkling water on the babe, not immersion, and WHY NOT have the setting apart be shown by the sign of water sprinkling, there seems to be no biblical sanction against it…

    I am not here to start a fight, I think we could still be fast friends, you are making me think and work to strengthen my Christian faith (not baby baptism faith). I appreciate you comments and am learning from them. I hope that you can also be strengthened in your Christian faith by our correspondence.

    Blessings!! Terry

  21. desean jones says:

    What was the significance of John’s baptism? It was pointing to the sending of the Holy Spirit, I think John said that. Why didn’t the religious people ask him what he was doing? I can’t find evidence of baptism happening before that. desean

  22. DavidW says:

    Terry:

    Actually I do understand that you do not think infant and adult baptism are the same. And I understand infant baptists also make that distinction. And I am well familiar with Calvin’s teaching on infant baptism, and the entire circumcision covenant argument. My only disagreement is with the validity of infant baptism from a biblical hermeneutics standpoint.

    You said: “In Covenant/infant baptism, GOD sets the child apart (it begins and ends with God) and to me THAT is beautiful,” But where does God do that Terry? Where exactly in the Bible? I do not see infant baptism taught, or supported, in the New Testament. If we do not allow the Scriptures to define our doctrine and beliefs, then our chosen doctrine or belief systems are the lens by which we “see” Scripture.

    Regarding covenants, it’s important to notice that God initiated the covenants, defined, and established it’s parameters. Nowhere does God say in His word that infant baptism corresponds to circumcision (at least I can’t find it anywhere). Any references made by Paul to baptism are to Christian (adult) baptism, not infant baptism. What I do see is MEN establishing infant baptism as a covenant with God, not God making such a covenant.

    If you disagree with this, Terry, then I guess we will just have to agree to disagree. I respect you are not here to fight over this. Nor am I.

    Just a note regarding: “Oh, and if the doctrine of the trinity is so clear, why is there people who espouse the “Oneness Pentecostalism” false gospel?” Probably for the same essential reason the J.W’s refuse to believe in it, or why the Mormons insist on many gods, etc. Nevertheless, the Bible gives multiple references to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, yet also that there is only one God. It’s a matter of what one WANTS to believe, rather than submitting to God’s revealed truth.

  23. Ma says:

    Sorry, I’m not as good at my html tags…

    I meant to reply to desean’s question with my question…

    Is there any evidence that the 12 were re (water) baptised after John’s baptism?

  24. Terry says:

    OK DavidW… Now you got me… I am going to have to have a better handle on what I believe about baptism…. “…It’s a matter of what one WANTS to believe, rather than submitting to God’s revealed truth.” Arg!

    You said…. “What I do see is MEN establishing infant baptism as a covenant with God, not God making such a covenant. ” Didn’t God establish an everlasting covenant, then instituted circumcision as a sign that the early Jewish Christians changed to be inclusive of girls (because Christianity was so different as to include baby girls in the sign of that covenant) to make water sprinkling the “new” sign??? I know, I am arguing from silence but… or… better yet, I am arguing from the fact that it wasn’t a problem back then… weak on either count I am sure.

    Thanks, Blessings brother David.

  25. Terry,

    When God cuts a covenant with man, He had men write it down for us – knowing we would blow it anyway. There is no biblical support for any undocumented covenant from God. This is one of the biggest arguments against the paedobaptist position.

  26. Terry says:

    Manfred: No idea what you are talking about.

    I am talking about the Everlasting covenant the God established with Abraham in Gen. 17:7,13. God, who can not lie or change, sealed this covenant with Abraham in an oath, taken in His own name, so that believers throughout all history might have strong consolation (Heb. 6:18). This is where infant baptism comes from, the PROMISE of this everlasting covenant Not the SIGN of it in circumcision…

    For what it’s worth… if anyone is interested in this and wants to email me I can send you a short summary of this everlasting covenant by Doug Wilson taken from his book; To a Thousand Generations – Infant Baptism – Covenant Mercy for the People of God. t dot boots at telus dot net

    Thanks for talking to me.

    Terry

  27. DavidW says:

    The relationship between Abraham, the law, Christ, and Christians, is addressed in Gal. 3:

    “Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?… just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”. Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary…So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ…And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”

    Any mention of an “infant” baptism? Any mention of a “pre-baptism baptism?”. Any mention of “infant baptism” as a “sign” of the covenant? To invent an “infant baptism” as a “sign” of the Abrahamic covenant, is an extra-biblical addition, an unnecessary and unwarranted work.

  28. Terry says:

    Hi desean jones: my email is t.boots@telus.net

    Hi Brother DavidW: To answer your question… there was no need to mention it because it was not an issue, infant baptism was instituted as the new sign of the covenant by Christ when he said in Matt. 28 “…baptising them…” I know, now I’m a heretic right?
    Explain to me what you would say to a new Jewish Christian, that his children are no longer a part of the everlasting covenant, when for the last 4,000 or so years they were included in this everlasting covenant and it was shown by circumcision?

    BLESSINGS, Terry

  29. DavidW says:

    Terry:

    You stated:

    “infant baptism was instituted as the new sign of the covenant by Christ when he said in Matt. 28 “…baptising them…”

    I would hope, based upon the rest of the New Testament, that you know there is no evidence internal or external to that verse you refer to that verifies your premise. And that this is very serious ground you are treading upon, my friend.

    Terry, you will believe what you have chosen to believe, and there’s nothing I can say to change that. I commend you for your desire to raise one’s children in the ways of the Lord. Something many Christians fail to do. But somewhere you bought into (or perhaps were raised with) this doctrine which you hold to tenaciously as if it were fully biblical (apparently ignoring all the verses I cited above). Yet you have produced no solid biblical evidence of support for infant baptism. And this is critical: if we do not adhere to the Scriptures as our source for our spiritual beliefs (and the means of their verification), we open ourselves to outside sources (whether our own reasonings, or teachings and traditions of men, even if “based on the Scriptures”). In so doing we depart from the only spiritual safeguard we have. Come back to the Scriptures, my friend.

    In answer to your question, I wouldn’t say the Christian’s children aren’t part of the everlasting covenant, since as in Gal. 3 above, Christians enter into that covenant in Christ. And which of those children are also part of that covenant? Those who bear the fruit of being born again.

  30. Terry,

    Are you asserting that ethnic Jews are in an everlasting covenant with God based upon the old covenant sign of circumcision? Your last comment left me scratching my head.

    In Christ,
    CD

  31. Terry says:

    OK… so maybe I am picking and choosing what I want to answer but… what I am trying to get across is that infant baptists continue what was started by God with Abraham and use sprinkling water as the sign of receiving children of BELIEVERS into the everlasting covenant.

    If I understand it correctly, adult baptists do not receive believers children into that covenant until the child “bears fruit of being born again…” in the mean time these children are “unclean”, right??

    CD… I know, I leave me scratching my head too sometimes… let me try this again… Jesus said you must be born again right? This Jewish couple (with a baby), “bears fruit of being born again…” and are baptized along with the baby… showing continuity between the OT and NT of TRUE believers (a circumcision of the heart not the flesh) in the everlasting covenant.

    If I understand your view of baptism and the everlasting covenant correctly, you would not allow their children into the everlasting covenant but would tell this Jewish couple that they would have to wait till their baby “bears fruit of being born again…” before admission into the everlasting covenant….

    From where I am standing I see a continuity in my view (hence, no need for teaching in the NT because it is understood), and I see in your view a new teaching (the child must, “bear fruit of being born again…” before being admitted) with no teaching from the NT on this new understanding of Children in the eyes of God.

    It looks to me that you have more to prove than I do because of your view of the “new” understanding of Children of believers in the family of God without any teaching of this view in the NT…

    The child of this Jewish couple still needs to “actualize/authenticate their baptism” (Oh I hope I haven’t made things worse by using that quote… :) ) through a profession of faith but in the mean time God says they are Holy and in the covenant because of the parents faith.

    Thanks for your courtesy in our discussion together, again it is iron sharpening iron to me.

    Terry

  32. desean jones says:

    I’m going back to the definition of baptism being different. The baptism of John was a sign or a pointing to the promise of the Holy Spirit. In both Mark and the Gospel of John the books of Malachi and Isaiah are quoted. I believe that both speak of cleansing/purifing that the work of the Holy Spirit does. In this definition there is a continuation between the OT and NT. desean

  33. Terry,

    I think I understand a bit more clearly where you’re coming from. Your position, it seems, is that the sacrament of baptism initiates an infant, and presumably his believing parents in the example you gave, into a covenant with God, albeit in different ways. In the case of the believing parents their faith has been “actualized” or “authenticated” by a credible profession of faith (bearing the fruits of being born-again) making them both visible and (assuming their profession was true) spiritual inheritors of covenant blessings, whereas the infant, although baptized, has not “actualized” or “authenticated” a credible profession of faith in Christ (bearing the fruits of being born-again), and therefore the eternal trajectory of his soul is unknown, although he is accepted within the community of faith as being baptized into the visible church. Is this correct?

    In Him,
    CD

  34. DavidW says:

    desean:

    Isaiah 40 and Mal. 4 tells us what John’s ministry was: to prepare the way of the Lord God, and to announce His coming (fulfilled in Matt. 3, and reinforced by Gabriel to Zacharias in Luke 1:16-17). Thus in that preparing the people for their coming Messiah, John baptized them by water unto repentance. Who he was pointing them to was Jesus, their Messiah.

    In Matt.3:11: “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”, Who is John referring to? It is first and foremost Jesus. The contrast is that whereas John baptized with water for repentance, Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.

    If however, one stays JUST with John’s baptism unto repentance to receive the Holy Spirit, they leave out Jesus, the most crucial person of all, Who sends the Holy Spirit. That is why those who were first baptized by John had to be baptized again unto Christ Jesus:

    “And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism. And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 19:3-5)

    After Jesus rose from the dead, He gave the promise of the Holy Spirit, drawing the distinction between John’s baptism, and that which would come through His baptism:

    “And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5)

  35. Terry says:

    Coram Deo:

    I think we are close but… ;0) The parents are a part of the everlasting covenant because of their baptism (as infants), and saved by Christ because they have shown the fruit of being born again, and have professed their faith in the church. They then bring their child, as commanded by God in the “everlasting covenant” to the church for baptism, then the child is brought up in the way he should go by parents and church community so that they show the fruit of being born again and profess their faith in the church.

    Hope that makes sense.

    I thank you again for this, I am strengthened and am honored to call you brothers in Christ.

    Terry

  36. desean jones says:

    DavidW,
    I realize I may be taking up your time and I do apologize for that but I am trying to understand this. Putting aside whether one had to be baptized again, looking at what the baptism stood for. I see it all pointing to the promise. That God would cut off everything that was unclean (as in circumcision) and cleanse the heart from sin (as in the circumcision of the heart).

    Isaiah speaks of the what of John’s baptism was pointing to – the promise of the Holy Spirit.
    Isaiah 40
    1Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
    2Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.
    3The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
    4Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
    5And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
    6The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:
    7The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.

    Malachi not only speaks of John’s ministry but also to what John’s baptism was pointing to: the promise of the cleansing work (fire) of the Holy Spirit that Christ would send, which Christ’s baptism points to.

    Malachi 3
    1Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
    2But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
    3And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

    desean

  37. DavidW says:

    desean:

    Regarding your statement:”Putting aside whether one had to be baptized again, looking at what the baptism stood for. I see it all pointing to the promise. That God would cut off everything that was unclean (as in circumcision) and cleanse the heart from sin (as in the circumcision of the heart).”, I assume you’re still talking of John’s baptism here.

    I think it’s important we not put the cart in front of the horse. Yes, absolutely God the Holy Spirit was given by God the Father through God the Son (Jesus), and He (the Holy Spirit) is mentioned by John. And I certainly do not mean to minimize that by what follows. But first and foremost, Jesus of Nazareth (the Messiah or Christ), is the fullness of the Godhead bodily. It is He Who has inherited David’s throne, it is He Who is King of Israel, it is He (as the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob) Who came down bodily to visit His people. It is He Who is the Messiah, the Deliverer, the fulfillment of the law and the covenants.

    In Is. 40:2 which you quoted above, the issue of sin in regard to the nation Israel was addressed, in that God pardoned their sin AS A NATION (it is important that we do not confuse this with pardoning the individual and granting him/her salvation at that point, since Jesus had not yet paid the penalty for the individual’s sins against God). The baptism of John unto REPENTANCE was a national call to a change of heart away from rebellion against their God (which had been exhibited over the course of Israel’s history), to submission to their God WHO WAS ABOUT TO VISIT THEM as a nation. So that the nation Israel would be prepared to receive their Messiah when He came bodily to them.

    But preparation is one thing, true repentance is another:

    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!” (Luke 13:34)

    “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” (Jn.1:11)

    It’s important to remember that the baptism of John is insufficient to do the transformational work on the individual that can only be done by the Holy Spirit AFTER salvation by the blood sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus and AFTER one is born again. One can receive the Holy Spirit BEFORE being baptized in the name of the Triune God (Acts 10:47). But one cannot receive the Holy Spirit unless one is saved. And here again, we get back to baptism being strictly for those old enough to understand what they’re doing. Baptism itself does not cleans us from sin, Jesus washed the Christian’s sins away by His shed blood on the cross. Baptism is our obedient response to the work of Christ on the cross:

    “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him” (Rom.6:4-8)

    Hope that helps.

  38. Terry,

    I now see where we are divergent in our understanding of Scripture.

    You said: The parents are a part of the everlasting covenant because of their baptism (as infants), and saved by Christ because they have shown the fruit of being born again, and have professed their faith in the church.

    As its presently worded the preceding statement is wholly unsupportable by Scripture. The only reason anyone at any time in human history has ever been a part of the everlasting covenant – which is God’s covenant of grace – is because of…God’s grace! God’s grace is unconditional, thus no one enters into covenant with God because of some act, such as baptism, instead one enters into covenant with God by grace ALONE through faith ALONE. This is the Biblical model. Abraham believed God and it was counted to Him as righteousness; that righteousness was alien to Abraham, it was imputed righteousness, in fact he received the imputed righteousness of God Himself, on the grounds of the Person and work of Jesus Christ, who was at the time of Abraham the Savior to come. The eternal covenant isn’t initiated by baptism, and then at some point actualized or activated by an act of faith, rather it was initiated in eternity past by God Himself, and He will bring about the temporal salvation of His elect by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the praise and glory of God alone. I’d also hasten to add that Christians are to place their faith solely IN GOD, not in the church. To me this is an incredibly frightening and sub-Biblical statement. Perhaps you meant to say that they had publicly professed faith in Christ within the context of, and as witnessed by, the church – I surely hope this is the case.

    And again: They then bring their child, as commanded by God in the “everlasting covenant” to the church for baptism, then the child is brought up in the way he should go by parents and church community so that they show the fruit of being born again and profess their faith in the church.

    Christians are to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and they are to speak to them about the things of the Lord when they rise up, and when they walk by the way, and when they lie down, and they are to earnestly pray for, and exhort, and encourage their children to know the Lord, however there is absolutely zero command anywhere in Scripture for Christians to bring their children/infants to church for covenant baptism. It’s simply not in the Bible. It’s not in the Old Testament. It’s not in the New Testament. It doesn’t exist anywhere in the Scriptures, hence there is no “command from God” for the practice.

    In Christ,
    CD

  39. desean jones says:

    No, I am not talking of the baptism of John here but the promise that both baptisms point to. I agree there is no salvation in either John’s baptism or the baptism after Christ’s Resurrection. Baptism is the sign of our cleansing, which is spoken of in Isaiah and Malachi. Does this make sense? desean

  40. desean jones says:

    DavidW,
    You said,

    “In Is. 40:2 which you quoted above, the issue of sin in regard to the nation Israel was addressed, in that God pardoned their sin AS A NATION (it is important that we do not confuse this with pardoning the individual and granting him/her salvation at that point, since Jesus had not yet paid the penalty for the individual’s sins against God). The baptism of John unto REPENTANCE was a national call to a change of heart away from rebellion against their God (which had been exhibited over the course of Israel’s history), to submission to their God WHO WAS ABOUT TO VISIT THEM as a nation. So that the nation Israel would be prepared to receive their Messiah when He came bodily to them.”

    This does not make sense to me. In Ps 51 David cried out for his individual sins and was forgiven as an individual. Even though God calls the Nation of Israel to repentance or the Church to repentance, each individual must repent. The ‘forgiven remnant’ of the OT had to repent individually. I believe that in Romans 9 Paul talks about not all were Israel who were of Israel. I believe that there was individual forgiveness of sin in the OT through the coming Savior. How can a “Nation” be forgiven?

    desean

  41. DavidW says:

    desean:

    Glad to agree that there is no salvation in baptism. I’m just having difficulty in getting a fix on what exactly you’re trying to say. Christian (or believer’s) baptism is indeed a “sign” of identifying with the cleansing work that Jesus did for us (Christians) on the Cross. As I’ve said, it is also a sign we have been buried with Christ and raised with Him (Rom.6:4; Col.2:12). But your continued references to Is.40, and Mal.3 &4 have me confused as to how you are linking Christian baptism to those Scriptural sections.

    As I’ve tried to show from the Scriptures, and from their context, Isaiah and Malachi are prophesying of the coming Messiah to Israel, and that just prior to His appearance, the messenger (John) would come to prepare the people for Him. Within that theme, Isaiah comes with a focus of comfort (Israel’s sins are pardoned, Messiah is coming), but Malachi comes from a focus of judgment (upon the wicked) and refining (of the Levites). So your statement: “Baptism is the sign of our cleansing, which is spoken of in Isaiah and Malachi.”, doesn’t make sense according to what is revealed in Isaiah and Malachi. Because the “cleansing” (refiner’s fire, fuller’s soap) being referenced is concerning the corrupt Levites. It must be remembered, Isaiah and Malachi are strictly dealing with Israelites and their Messiah. Since the Gentile has no part of this, the Gentile Christian’s baptism also has no part of this.

    So if you’re saying: “Isaiah and Malachi prophesied of John preparing Israel for, and announcing the coming of, the Messiah to Israel”, then I would agree. If however you’re saying: “Isaiah and Malachi prophesied of John and the Messiah, and John pointed to Jesus, and Jesus baptizes “with the Holy Spirit and with fire”, therefore Christian baptism is a sign of the cleansing spoken of by Isaiah and Malachi”, then i would have to disagree.

  42. DavidW says:

    Desean:

    Regarding your reference to national and individual sin. God deals with His people both on the individual level, and on the group level. We see this throughout the Old Testament as He deals with, and addresses Israel as a nation, as well as to the individual Israelite. In the New Testament, He deals with His church as a whole, individual churches, and the individual Christian (as well as the individual unsaved person). I agree with you that though God called Israel to repent as a nation (and 5 of the 7 churches of Revelation to repent as churches), the individual must still repent for his own sins. I was not saying that a NATIONAL pardoning of sin is a pardoning of all individuals in that group for their individual sins against God. As a group, or nation, Israel went through repeated times of submission to God’s law, and rebellion. Until finally they were taken out of the land on a national level, for their continued rebellion on a national level (nevertheless, individuals within the nation were righteous before God, such as Daniel and other prophets). When their Messiah came, not every individual rejected Him. Yet AS A NATION they did not receive Him as their Messiah. And as a nation, or group, the Israelites were grafted out so that the Gentiles could be grafted into Christ. But as many as received Him (Jew or Gentile), to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them (individually) who believe on His name (John 1:12).

    Regarding Kind David, 2 Sam.12:13 tells us the Lord put away his sin and did not strike him dead. That did not mean he was forgiven all his sins and could enter heaven. Penalty of sin still must be paid, and Jesus still had not come to pay the penalty for King David’s, and every individual’s, sins against the all-holy God. The “righteous” dead before Christ still could not enter heaven until Jesus paid the penalty for their sins. They were kept in a holding place called “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22). Though sin may be pardoned on a group level, the individual must still have his sins forgiven by Jesus Christ.

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