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Thread: Is baptism a legal/Law requirement contained in the revealed will of God?

  1. #1

    Is baptism a legal/Law requirement contained in the revealed will of God?

    I rarely if ever throw my hat in the ring on baptism discussions becasue i definately lack understanding. I do have one question though. Is baptism a legal/Law requirement contained in the revealed will of God, and a matter of obedience,if so upon what ground can one prove that unbelievers have no right to be baptized, seeing that what the law says it says to them that are under it; and if it contains the whole of obedience it must require unbelievers to be baptized. If it is not Law, then my question is meaningless..
    Robert
    Elder
    RCA

    "Once in a while you can get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right."

  2. #2
    Nicolas,

    Moved to a new thread so you can get full attention on this point. Don't have time to interact but, in a nutshell, I would not say that Baptism is equivalent to how the unbeliever is under the Law of God. Baptism (as did Circumcision) marks out and distinguishes a person from the world at large. It identifies them with the Covenant people of God and under the authority of the Church.

    Wish I had more time...
    Rich
    Ruling Elder, Licentiate, Under Care, Hope of Christ Church (PCA), Northern VA
    Student, New Geneva Theological Seminary

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  3. #3
    It is certainly a command, as we see in the Great Commission with the Apostles being commanded to baptize all disciples, as well as in Acts 2:38-39: "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. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.'" As such, since it is a biblical imperative, or a command, it is part of the revealed legal requirement in the will of God.

    Since it is Law as such, why then, as you asked, are those of the unbelieving community not commanded it, and even forbidden from it? As Rich aptly put it, baptism "marks out and distinguishes a person from the world at large. It identifies them with the Covenant people of God and under the authority of the Church." In light of that principle, and likewise as is clearly the case in the two biblical examples above, the command is essentially, "No one is to neglect the accurate visible identification of themselves with the people of God." That command per se, as part of the revealed Law of God, can be said to universally apply to all humanity; but for unbelievers and all people outside of God's external community (the visible, catholic, worldwide Church), to undergo such visible identification would actually not be obeying the command, for it would not be an accurate identification reflective of their status, since they are not in fact part of the external people of God. Rather, being an external identification of an unpossessed external status, it would be a lie - hence why such people are in fact forbidden from it, both by biblical command and biblical example.
    Chris


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