Did baptism really replace circumcision as the sign/seal of

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grace2U

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello Ian,
You will note that nowhere in the extract that you quoted did I describe circumcision a a "physical sign".

With regard to your question, I'm not sure I understand it completely. You seem to have moved from the Abrahamic to the Davidic covenant. The Davidic covenant is not so different.

Psalm 89:28-9. 'My mercy I will keep for [David] forever, and My covenant shall stand firm with him. His seed also I will make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of Heaven.'

Now we know that David's son, Solomon succeeded to the throne of Israel, but that cannot be the fulfillment of the covenant since the succession of the Kings eventually failed. The fulfilment is in One greater than Solomon (Matt 12:42). David's true hope was not in a fleshly succession, but a spiritual; not in a son but a Saviour; not in the old covenant but the new; of which the Davidic covenant is an adumbration.

'Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; my flesh will also rest in hope. For you will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will you allow Your Holy One to see corruption (Psalm 16:9-10. cf. Acts 2:25-36).

I'm not sure if this answers your question. If it doesn't, perhaps you would kindly re-phrase it?

With respect, I think your problem (if I may so phrase it) lies in confusing the old and new covenants. Of the old covenant it is written, 'Unless the LORD of hosts had left us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah' (Isaiah 1:9. cf. Rom 11:5); of the new covenant, the Holy Spirit says, 'For all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more' (Heb 8:11-12).

Every blessing,
Steve
 

Ianterrell

Puritan Board Sophomore
Sorry for the delay Steve,


[quote:226671f679][i:226671f679]Originally posted by grace2U[/i:226671f679]
Hello Ian,
You will note that nowhere in the extract that you quoted did I describe circumcision a a "physical sign".[/quote:226671f679]


What I am noting is your usage of the phrase "fleshy". I pointed this out before and you have still not qualified your remark. This makes me assume that you are dodging the point that I was making. Do you think that circumscision is a "fleshy" sign? What does that mean.

[quote:226671f679]With regard to your question, I'm not sure I understand it completely. You seem to have moved from the Abrahamic to the Davidic covenant. The Davidic covenant is not so different.[/quote:226671f679]

My question was very simple.

Rom 11:20-21 "Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either."

What was the ethnic nation of Israel broken off from?

[Edited on 6-7-2004 by Ianterrell]
 

grace2U

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi Ian,
I described circumcision as 'fleshly', pertaining to the flesh (Gen 17:11-13), administered to Abraham's fleshly descendants. However, that circumcision did not make them the true descendants of Abraham. John 8:39. "If you were Abraham's children you would do the works of Abraham."

What were the works of Abraham? 'Abraham believed God and it was credited to him for righteousness' (cf. John 6:29; Gal 3:7).

You asked me about Rom 11:20. Bearing in mind v16, I would say that the olive tree is the Covenant of Grace. Abraham is the firstfruit and Christ is the root (cf. Isaiah 11:10). The branches are therefore Abraham's descendants. Now some of the branches (not all- cf. v5) have been broken off. Why? Because of unbelief (v20); and the believing Gentiles have been grafted in.

So now we have the true descendants of Abraham, believing Jew and believing Gentile, united together in the New Covenant (Eph 2:14ff) which is none other than the Covenant of Grace. 'Therefore know that [only] those who are of faith are sons of Abraham' (Gal 3:7), and only those who profess that faith should be baptized.

Every blessing,
Steve
 

Ianterrell

Puritan Board Sophomore
Steve,

Thanks so much for your reply I agree with much of what you have said.

You do see that Israel was part of a Covenant of Grace, and that those who did not bear fruit were cast out. So you must admit that one can be part of the covenant outwardly and not elect. Obedience is tied up in the blessing. Whoever does not remain in Christ according to John 15:1-17 is cast out. Those who perservere are those who receive the covenant blessings. Their perserverence is a consequence of being inwardly of God, regenerate. If they fall away they prove they "were not of us."
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Steve....

[quote:2fcac87be8][i:2fcac87be8]Originally posted by grace2U[/i:2fcac87be8]
So now we have the true descendants of Abraham, believing Jew and believing Gentile, united together in the New Covenant (Eph 2:14ff) which is none other than the Covenant of Grace. 'Therefore know that [only] those who are of faith are sons of Abraham' (Gal 3:7), and only those who profess that faith should be baptized.

Every blessing,
Steve [/quote:2fcac87be8]

Everything would be fine without the last clause, because you cannot prove from Scripture that only those who should be baptized are those who profess faith.

The disciples were baptized by John, not Jesus, for He did not baptize with water. They received the baptism of repentance. Did they have faith in Christ at their baptism? What about the ones who received the baptism of John and later came to Paul. He told them the same thing, but he adds this, that John told them that they should believe on the one coming after him.

These were baptized first, then they were instructed as to whom they should follow.

The Great Commission follows this same pattern. Baptize disciples and teach them.

You're forgetting the heart of the command, just as Abraham was given the heart of the command. Circumcise, Baptise those who would be sons of God. Train them up, disciple them.

Instead, your eyes are focused on how the command was carried out in isolated circumstances. Christianity grew by leaps and bounds in the NT era. We are given only a few circumstances that you are building your case with. To your merit you do not want to use an argument from silence, but you really don't have to. Base your belief on the command of Christ to baptize disciples and don't put in your own criteria.

Many were baptized when Christ was alive that had not yet believed on Him. And those who had not been baptized, Luke tells us were rejecting the will of God for themselves, even though they had not yet believed. Will God make baptism effectual or is that man's job. Luke says that God will do it.

You are building a doctrine around isolated cases. Instead you should just focus on the command. If you do, then you can't make statements like the one above, because it simply is not true. We have already shown that baptism took place without belief.

And just in case you want to say that John's baptism doesn't count, remember that the disciples were all baptized by John and Jesus upholds the baptism of John as well when He asked the Pharisees from whom John's baptism came. Jesus' question should be answered that John's baptism came from heaven, now how could God command John to baptize one way and Jesus command His disciples do it another way with other criteria. What would be the reason?

Rather, John's baptism did come from heaven and we must believe that his instruction to believe on He who was to come meant that he baptized them before believe and profession and because he acknowledged God, the Spirit, and the One who was to come, his baptism was trinitarian as well.

In Christ,

KC

[Edited on 6-8-2004 by kceaster]
 

grace2U

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi Ian and Kevin,
Just to apologize for not replying yet. Too much stuff going on! Just a quick question for Kevin:-

In view of your understanding of JTB's baptism, how do you account for Acts 19:5?

I hope to reply in detail tomorrow DV.

Every blessing,
Steve
 

Ianterrell

Puritan Board Sophomore
Steve,

These people in Ephesus did not know of Jesus or the Holy Spirit, it seems likely that they had not properly received John's Baptism since the correct instruction had not been given. John had disciples it is likely that these Gentiles in Ephesus were baptized by disciples who had not given them a true baptism.

Otherwise Jesus would have re-baptized his disciples. And then of course John's disciples would have mentioned the differences in John's baptism and Christ's when they questioned Christ.
 

grace2U

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello Ian & Kevin,
Sorry to be so long replying.
Ian, you wrote,

'You must admit that one can be part of the covenant outwardly, but not elect.'

Not in the Covenant of Grace, you can't!
WCF Larger Catechism Q31: 'With whom was the covenant of grace made?'
A. 'The Covenant of Grace was made with Christ as the second Adam [b:519160b79e]and in Him with all the elect as His seed.'[/b:519160b79e]

This is the difference between the Old and New Covenants. All Israel was in the Old Covenant (Rom 9:3-4), and the Covenants of promise (Noahic, Abrahamic, Davidic: cf. Eph 2:12) were announced to them; but only a remnant were in the New Covenant which is the Covenant of Grace (Isaiah 1:9; Rom 11:5). This is all made very clear in Jer 31:31ff.

Kevin,
Of course John's baptism came from Heaven! However, that does not mean that it was the same as true Christian baptism. Look at Matt 3:11 and Acts 1:5. In the light of these texts, I would suggest than John's baptism was imcomplete, and, in the case of the Apostles, was completed at Pentecost. Thereafter, whether or not one had received John's baptism, one was baptized again. Many of those described in Acts 2:41 must have been baptized by John; if so, they were re-baptized as were those in Acts 19:5.

John 4:1. Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus [b:519160b79e]made and baptized[/b:519160b79e] more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea...'.

The Holy Spirit does not say 'Baptized and made'. Our Lord made disciples and then He baptized them. It is true that many of them later proved false (John 6:66), but at this time, the Holy Spirit was not given in the way He would later be (John 7:39). However, only those professing to be disciples were baptized, and there is certainly no reference to their infant children being baptized with them. I think it's a bit dangerous to draw too many conclusions from pre-Pentecost practices, but here they seem to be pretty much in line with what went on afterwards.

Every blessing,
Steve
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Steve...

[quote:6986bd1d4a][i:6986bd1d4a]Originally posted by grace2U[/i:6986bd1d4a]

Kevin,
Of course John's baptism came from Heaven! However, that does not mean that it was the same as true Christian baptism. Look at Matt 3:11 and Acts 1:5. In the light of these texts, I would suggest than John's baptism was imcomplete, and, in the case of the Apostles, was completed at Pentecost. Thereafter, whether or not one had received John's baptism, one was baptized again. Many of those described in Acts 2:41 must have been baptized by John; if so, they were re-baptized as were those in Acts 19:5.[/quote:6986bd1d4a]

There is nothing to suggest that John's baptism was not effectual by the Holy Spirit once Christ was ascended. It is recorded for us that some of these were miraculously given the Holy Spirit once Paul spoke his words (dry baptism). Apostles could convey the Holy Spirit where He commanded them. So they could lay hands on someone and the Holy Spirit would come upon them. This gift ceased with the last apostle.

However, this does not mean that the Holy Spirit does not fall upon others without the laying on of hands. Did all of John's baptism have to be done over? I think not. Therefore, John's application of repentant baptism of water was made effectual by Christ's baptism with fire. The mode did not change, nor did the requirements, but the baptism was made effectual by the Holy Spirit after He had been poured out on all flesh.

This means that John's baptism was valid, but was not made effectual until the Holy Spirit had come upon them. Just as it is in our case today. Water baptism is not the end, it is the sign. The thing signified is exactly what happened to these in Acts 19. They received the Holy Spirit exactly when He willed for them to receive Him and not a moment less. The Holy Spirit baptized them in the thing signified. They were not rebaptized in water, their baptism was made effectual by Paul's hand through the Holy Ghost.

[quote:6986bd1d4a]John 4:1. Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus [b:6986bd1d4a]made and baptized[/b:6986bd1d4a] more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea...'.

The Holy Spirit does not say 'Baptized and made'. Our Lord made disciples and then He baptized them. It is true that many of them later proved false (John 6:66), but at this time, the Holy Spirit was not given in the way He would later be (John 7:39). However, only those professing to be disciples were baptized, and there is certainly no reference to their infant children being baptized with them. I think it's a bit dangerous to draw too many conclusions from pre-Pentecost practices, but here they seem to be pretty much in line with what went on afterwards.

Every blessing,
Steve [/quote:6986bd1d4a]

Believing that they actually waited for a profession of faith before they baptized them is reading your criteria back on to the text. Disciples, if they came at all and even perhaps by repentance, were baptized immediately. It was not a waiting period to make sure. They didn't have to go through a baptism class. They were baptized because they were disciples. From this we can gather that any who are a disciple should be baptized immediately, not postponed until a proper profession, because that is not required.

It is a post hoc fallacy to believe that all baptisms require is a profession of faith. Out of the NT we have less than 10 examples and we base our whole doctrine on them as if it is normative. John baptized thousands who just wanted to be disciples. He baptized them at the beginning, not at the end.

The other examples were those who wanted to be disciples, too. They were baptized immediately, not because of their profession necessarily, but because they wanted to become servants of Christ. Notice too, the whole households were baptized, not after they went to a membership class that lasted 6 weeks, but just because they wanted to follow Christ.

What happened in the OT? If one wanted to become a member of the Jewish community, did he go through a membership class? No. They circumcised him, with all the males in his house.

Your normative look at baptism under non-normative times will cloud your vision as to the truth about it. Joshua records that he made flint knives to circumcise the sons of Israel on the cusp of the promised land. Do you think then, it was a requirement from then on that those who were to be circumcised had to do it where he did it and with the same instrument that he used? That is almost what you're saying about the circumstances surrounding baptism. You're making something regulative that was not a command, but a circumstance. The Bible only commands us to baptize disciples and teach them. From that command we cannot hope to formulate a doctrine so that all those who are to be baptized must make a statement of faith and show fruit in keeping with regeneration.

If that is the case, then the apostles did not baptize the way modern baptists do because on a couple of the normative baptisms you use to formulate, they were obviously wrong for doing what they did. Simon being the one, and the men in Acts 19 being the other. Simon obviously did not have fruit, and the men in Acts 19 did not have to profess faith in Christ.

In Christ,

KC
 

Ianterrell

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:291806ebb9][i:291806ebb9]Originally posted by grace2U[/i:291806ebb9]
Hello Ian & Kevin,
Sorry to be so long replying.
Ian, you wrote,

'You must admit that one can be part of the covenant outwardly, but not elect.'

Not in the Covenant of Grace, you can't!
WCF Larger Catechism Q31: 'With whom was the covenant of grace made?'
A. 'The Covenant of Grace was made with Christ as the second Adam [b:291806ebb9]and in Him with all the elect as His seed.'[/b:291806ebb9]

This is the difference between the Old and New Covenants. All Israel was in the Old Covenant (Rom 9:3-4), and the Covenants of promise (Noahic, Abrahamic, Davidic: cf. Eph 2:12) were announced to them; but only a remnant were in the New Covenant which is the Covenant of Grace (Isaiah 1:9; Rom 11:5). This is all made very clear in Jer 31:31ff.
[/quote:291806ebb9]

Steve,

When was the Old Covenant started and when does the New Covenant begin?

The Old Covenant begins obviously before the Old or it wouldn't need be called Old at all. The Old Covenant begins in the garden. How is this older covenant described? It is distinctly described as a position to the law (Gal 3:10-12). This is the covenant man abides by outside of the Covenant of Grace. He must live or die by the law. This Covenant does not begin at Sinai, the words "Do this and live" go forth in the cool of the garden as God deals with Adam. God here promises Adam life in this covenant. The goal for Adam to gain through perfect obedience to the law is eternal life. This is the first time we see a man who's life rests on whether or not he keeps God's standard of morality. You see that Adam commits just one sin and transgresses this symbolical expression of God's moral attributes. This sad error puts man under the laws curse and the reward is death, and not just physical death but spiritual death as well.

Immediately after the Covenant of Works "fails" the Covenant of Grace, the New Covenant is ushered in. This must be so, because it is only through Jesus that man can be saved. Jesus fulfills the Old Covenant by completely keeping the law, by this obedience he is a perfect lamb glorious and pure, and he makes himself a perfect sacrifice to take our debts away. So Christ purchases eternal life for us by obedience to the Law and takes away our debts to God by satisfying the wrath which should have been on our heads. The Covenant of Grace is made with Adam and his posterity at the fall. A promise is made that there seed will crush the seed of satan.

We see that Abel is certainly regenerate because he gives a better sacrifice than his brother Cain. This sacrifice is better because it is accompanied by faith. Cain the first apostate he is kicked out of the covenant community (Gen 4:8-16), and his parents do not consider him a son (4:25). They are given an offspring in [i:291806ebb9]Seth[/i:291806ebb9] whose sons are described as the Sons of God in Gen 6:2. This mass apostasy leaves only one faithful man in all of the earth! Noah alone keeps God's covenant and as a result he alone is safe from the oncoming judgment enacted on the earth. It goes on and on and on. Fast forward to your Jeremiah 31:31 text and God describes in this chapter a return of the people of Israel to his covenant. He speaks of a "re-newed" covenant, check the hebrew. Regeneration did not start to be described there God had spoken quite often to the sons of Israel that they needed to be born again( Lev 26:41; De 5:29, 6:5-6;10:16, 30:6; Jer 4:4; Ps 37:4, 40:8). The church is told not to be like the church in the wilderness. We are warned not to be apostate as they were, and it is true that Israel by God's design are to be described as apostates. But Apostates from what? What did they fall from? It is clear to me at least that those who fell, fell from a covenant of Grace.

When Christ appeared they would not receive the new clear expression of the Covenant God was making, they would not receive the Lord of the Covenant . The former servants and prophets had declared the gospel to them (Luke 16:16) but now that the King's own prince, his son, had come the rebellious people desired to kill him too. This death of Christ, is the death of death, for all who had been recieved inwardly into this divine condescenion on God's part from the garden until today and until he returns.


In Christ,


Ian
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
[quote:d1d4c3ee98]Not in the Covenant of Grace, you can't!
WCF Larger Catechism Q31: 'With whom was the covenant of grace made?'
A. 'The Covenant of Grace was made with Christ as the second Adam and in Him with all the elect as His seed.' [/quote:d1d4c3ee98]

Steve, do this for me, Read the Sum of Saving knowledge and then reconcile the WLC with it. The Assembly understood what they meant. Read the WHOLE CONFESSION and stop taking bits and pieces out. You are a making a common mistake that even Presbyterians make.

Without reading all 500 pages of the Confession, you will not understand the pieces.
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
I've just gotta read this thread to see what I've been missing. Have you noticed that the view count is up over 16,000?
 

Ianterrell

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:081b26a8bd][i:081b26a8bd]Originally posted by blhowes[/i:081b26a8bd]
I've just gotta read this thread to see what I've been missing. Have you noticed that the view count is up over 16,000? [/quote:081b26a8bd]

Wow!



[Edited on 6-13-2004 by Ianterrell]
 

grace2U

Puritan Board Freshman
Ian,
I'm sorry to be taking so long coming back. I'll hope to reply tonight or a latest tomorrow.

Matt,
Luke 10:21. 'In that hour Jesus rejoiced in Spirit and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight."'

I'm sorry to say that your post reveals everything that is wrong with this website and discussion board. You show me a doctrine that can only be understood by reading 500 pages of human authors and I'll show you an unbiblical doctrine. There is far too much pride of intellect, and pride of learning, for, 'Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies' (1Cor 8:1).

None of us here are fit to tie John Bunyan's bootlaces, but for much of his life, he only owned two books apart from the Bible. They seem to have sufficed him.

'For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and....the weak things of the world to put to shame the things that are mighty' (1Cor 1:26-7).

BTW, what makes you think that I haven't read the whole of the WCF?

Blessings,
Steve
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Steve,


[quote:e87d854bf3]
Luke 10:21. 'In that hour Jesus rejoiced in Spirit and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight."' I'm sorry to say that your post reveals everything that is wrong with this website and discussion board. You show me a doctrine that can only be understood by reading 500 pages of human authors and I'll show you an unbiblical doctrine. There is far too much pride of intellect, and pride of learning, for, 'Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies' (1Cor 8:1). [/quote:e87d854bf3]

Steve, don't forget, I was a Reformed Baptist (and my articles that were posted back then represent the same narrow world you are purporting now, as do all baptists) - that is how a Puritan's Mind STARTED for 2 years. But then, incredibly by grace, God rescued me from my schismatic ideas. I was groomed with the same Reformed Baptist teaching that ministers out of Albert Martin's Ministerial Academy were groomed with. Unfortuately I was confused by the same lectures by listening by tape.

You need to think through your own posts a little more. Let me remind you of what you just said:

You quoted the [b:e87d854bf3]Confession.[/b:e87d854bf3] I simply pointed out that you are misunderstanding the [b:e87d854bf3]Confession.[/b:e87d854bf3] If you want to understand the Confession, then read it all and reconcile it all. Its not contradictory. They did a very good job in reconciling various ideas through the whole thing. It could be more clear (no doubt) but clarity is different than contradictory - its not contradicting in one place what it said in the other.

How do you reconcile the Larger Catechism with the Sum of Saving Knowledge? :puzzled: Baptistically you will have to remain confused (which is what I expect your answers will entail). Covenant Theologians are not confused by the Confession, nor do they need to quote the London Confession to baptists to demonstrate that baptists are thinking wrong. Why in the world did you quote the Confession if you are not a "Presbyterian and Covenant Theologian??"

In other words, when you quote the WLC
Q31: 'With whom was the covenant of grace made?'
A. 'The Covenant of Grace was made with Christ as the second Adam and in Him with all the elect as His seed.'

...and you say "I believe that!!!!!!!" "That's true!!!!!" "Why don't you Presbyterians believe your own confession!!!!!"
YOU ARE MISUNDERSTAND MY CONFESSION. Which is why I asked you to reconcile other parts of the confession with that statement. YOU DO NOT believe this question in the same way the Assembly wrote it and reconciles it with the rest of the Confession. That was my point, which you missed. You may want to reconcile this by reading the minutes of the Assembly if you have not already done so. They are very helpful in understanding what THEY meant by what THEY wrote.

As I said, they understood what they said. You don't understand what they said from what you have posted.

For instance, in case you forgot what you posted:

[quote:e87d854bf3]Not in the Covenant of Grace, you can't!
WCF Larger Catechism Q31: 'With whom was the covenant of grace made?'
A. 'The Covenant of Grace was made with Christ as the second Adam and in Him with all the elect as His seed.' [/quote:e87d854bf3]

Actually, yes, in the Covenant of Grace we can (if we understand it rightly), and the Sum of Saving Knowledge explains this very succinctly. You should reread it carefully.

[quote:e87d854bf3]This is the difference between the Old and New Covenants. All Israel was in the Old Covenant (Rom 9:3-4), and the Covenants of promise (Noahic, Abrahamic, Davidic: cf. Eph 2:12) were announced to them; but only a remnant were in the New Covenant which is the Covenant of Grace (Isaiah 1:9; Rom 11:5). This is all made very clear in Jer 31:31ff.[/quote:e87d854bf3]

You quoted them without understanding what they meant. That is why I ASKED you to reconcile the WLC with the Sum of Saving Knowledge. How do you reconcile them? How do you reconcile the WLC with itself in different questions about infants? And the sum of Saving Knowledge on the Covenant of Redemption?

By your remark about Bunyan, you seem to be also missing ideas around Sola Scriptura - you seem to be purporting [b:e87d854bf3]Solo Scriptura.[/b:e87d854bf3] "Me and my bible!" There is a great difference, and there are a couple of threads that dealt with that. You should check them out if you have the time.

I would attribute Bunyan's lack of theological prowess in many areas to his [b:e87d854bf3]only[/b:e87d854bf3] owning two books, and have little education in matters of Systematic Theology. But God is sovereign, and Bunyan fulfilled his purpose as being one of the great preachers of his day with only two books, though he made many blunders. Maybe if he had the gracious ability to own more, or would have had more education (or rather "some" education) he would not have made the blunders he did, both in his allegorical ideas and systematic ideas. That does not mean, though, that on the basics (salvation, deity of Christ, Trinity) he could not be a very passionate preacher. He was, and even Owen applauded him.

Do you have Keith Mathison's book, "The Shape of Sola Scriptura?" In all honesty, at least just for information to be sure you don't mix up foundational concepts on the [i:e87d854bf3]regula fide[/i:e87d854bf3], you should pick it up. Its not a hard read, but it introduces some concepts back into the way the church understood tradition and Scripture (the early church as well), and what "tradition" actually means. It would be worth reading. I think it is, and will be, Mathison's best book - he did a good job on it. It would help.

[quote:e87d854bf3]
You show me a doctrine that can [b:e87d854bf3]only[/b:e87d854bf3] be understood by reading 500 pages of human authors and I'll show you an unbiblical doctrine.
[/quote:e87d854bf3]

"Where did I say "only"?

Nonsense. Are you really going to say that the church has been wrong about the Covenant of Grace for 1650 years until the Baptist Church came around and straightened us all out? I don't think so.

You show me an understanding of a biblical doctrine that has existed for less than 400 years, and I'll show you a system riddled with error. :rolleyes:

[quote:e87d854bf3]
There is far too much pride of intellect, and pride of learning, for, 'Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies'
[/quote:e87d854bf3]

Are you advocati9ng some kind of anti-intellectualism?

Knowledge for the sake of knowledge does puff up. Knowledge for the sake of growing closer to Christ and understand His word is COMMANDED by God, not to be despised.

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

Ephesians 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

Ephesians 3:4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),

Ephesians 4:13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,

Philippians 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ

Colossians 1:9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Colossians 1:10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Colossians 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Colossians 3:10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

1 Timothy 2:4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

What the problem is - is this -

2 Timothy 3:7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth......

may we have more who rightly divide the Word of God instead of confound it.

[Edited on 6-13-2004 by webmaster]
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
Reading this thread and other various posts this week I had a thought:

Perhaps we should ALL learn to discern the presence of condescension in our lives (and tongues) and root it out. If we know EVERYTHING and can speak EVERY language, but are condescending (ie. have not love) then we are just making noise.

Further, EVERY single fallible page that men write about the infallible Scriptures gives us more opportunity to confound the Word of God. The discussions of late about Sola Scriptura have neglected the doctrine of the [i:7388028759]sufficiency[/i:7388028759] of the Bible.

We do not come to know God through the writings of men. We come to know Him through His Word. It is in His inspired, infallible, inerrant Word that He has chosen to reveal Himself to us, so Bunyan would have been fine with ONLY a Bible. He did not need the other two books he had. They were not necessary. Only the WORD of GOD is necessary and sufficient.

How can I say that?

Because Bunyan had something that a lot of Confessional Christians overlook. He had the Holy Spirit. In fact, I vernture to say that a major weakness among us confessional believers is that the confessions, creeds, catechisms, etc, as good as they are, tend to be used to replace serious exegesis of the text (because "greater minds" than ours have already done the work) and when that happens we prove we have become lazy and careless, and it is not too much longer before we make the same mistake of the church growth/purpose driven crowd.....we replace the Holy Spirit with the methods and programs of men. Why study the Word when you can read word for word Rick Warren's sermons - you know, the ones that produced the desired results.....why study and apply the Word for yourself when you can read [i:7388028759](insert favorite theologian here)[/i:7388028759] and hope for instant church growth/ spiritual maturity/ superior understanding/ reformation/ etc?

We have become disciples of Charles Finney all the while denouncing his doctrine. We have adopted his methods and believe that our systematic is useful to produce the results that ONLY the Word of God is able and guaranteed to deliver!! Use the right really reformed formula and you will be a true believer/church/family.

So where is there even room for the Holy Spirit? Did He finish His work in the 1600's? Is He done?

As Leonard Ravenhill stated decades ago, "The Holy Spirit could leave the church today and no one would miss Him." We have things so figured out, so systematized, so detailed, so programmed, that we forget the need to rely on the Holy Spirit. He could leave and we would not miss Him, because we have "His work" in greater (dead) saints than we, so we can rely on what He did through them and not think that He wants to do things throug US!!

Sorry for the rant...but then I am not really sorry...it has been brewing for a while now.

Many here on both sides of the denominational aisle are becoming more and more narrow, judging others severely, making false accusations....we are seeing the hand say to the foot, "you are not of the Body." Who are WE to judge the servant of ANOTHER? Who are we to JUDGE at all?

These things need to stop, but they will only stop by God's grace. We need to learn that the true basis and foundation of unity is not learning, theology, or knowledge. It is [b:7388028759]humility[/b:7388028759] (Philippians 2:1-11). And the enemy of humility is KNOWLEDGE, for knowledge [i:7388028759]by itself[/i:7388028759] PUFFS UP. This would be knowledge ABOUT God and His Word. We do not need to know ABOUT God or His Word. We need to KNOW God and His Word.

Every time Jesus taught His disciples on humility they seem to have ended up arguing over who was the greatest. Well Jesus said that the greatest was the least, the servant of all. How backwards we are.....

We MUST esteem others as better than ourselves - not as stupid dolts who are poor milk drinking saps that God has chosen to leave behind while He moves others to solid truth, meat, maturity, and the seat on His right and left hands in the kingdom.

And the difference between milk and meat has nothing to do with anything any mere man has ever written. It has everything to do with reading, memorizing, and meditating on the Word of God.

Read Psalm 1.

Phillip

[Edited on 6-14-04 by pastorway]
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Phillip to a certain degree I agree with what you said. to another degree and in another way, I disagree with what you said. Instead of me saying what I disgree with you about, I want to take some quotes from Hetherington's book on the Westminster Assembly and let everyone read them. I think they are important.

Hetherington is online at http://www.crta.org

They are from chatper 6:

The Christian Church, as a divine institution, [b:80e895da14]takes the Word of God alone,[/b:80e895da14] and the whole Word of God, as her [b:80e895da14]only[/b:80e895da14] rule of faith; but she [b:80e895da14]must[/b:80e895da14] also frame and promulgate a statement of what she [b:80e895da14]understands the Word of God to teach.[/b:80e895da14] This she does, not as arrogating any authority to suppress, change, or amend anything that God's Word teaches; [b:80e895da14]but in discharge of the various duties which she owes to God,[/b:80e895da14] to the world, and to those of her own communion.

Thus a Confession of Faith is [b:80e895da14]not[/b:80e895da14] the very voice of divine truth, but [b:80e895da14]the echo[/b:80e895da14] of that voice from souls that have heard its utterance, felt its power, and are answering to its call. And, since she has been [b:80e895da14]instituted for the purpose of teaching God's truth[/b:80e895da14] to an erring world, her [b:80e895da14]duty[/b:80e895da14] to the world requires that she should [b:80e895da14]leave it in no doubt respecting the manner in which she understands the message which she has to deliver.[/b:80e895da14] Without doing so, the Church would be no teacher, and the world might remain untaught, so far as she was concerned.

For when the message had been stated in God's own words, [b:80e895da14]every hearer must attempt[/b:80e895da14], according to the constitution of his own mind, to form [b:80e895da14]some conception of what these words mean[/b:80e895da14]; and his conceptions may be very vague and obscure, or even very erroneous, [b:80e895da14]unless some attempt be made to define, elucidate, and correct them. [/b:80e895da14]

Nor, indeed, could either the hearers or the teachers know that they [b:80e895da14]understood the truth alike[/b:80e895da14], without mutual [b:80e895da14]statements and explanations[/b:80e895da14] with regard to the meaning which they respectively believe it to convey.

Still further, the Church has a duty to discharge to those of its own communion. To them she [b:80e895da14]must produce a form of sound words,[/b:80e895da14] in order both to [b:80e895da14]promote[/b:80e895da14] and confirm their knowledge, and also to [b:80e895da14]guard[/b:80e895da14] them against the hazard of being led into errors; and, as they must be regarded as all agreed, with respect to the main outline of the truths which they believe, they are deeply interested in obtaining some security that those who are to become their teachers in future generations shall continue to teach the same divine and saving truths. The members of any Church must know each other's sentiments; must combine to hold them forth steadily and consistently to the notice of all around them, as witnesses for the same truths; and must do their utmost to secure that the [b:80e895da14]same truths[/b:80e895da14] shall be [b:80e895da14]taught by all their ministers, and to all candidates for admission.[/b:80e895da14]

For all these purposes the formation of a Creed, or Confession of Faith, is [b:80e895da14]imperatively necessary[/b:80e895da14]; and thus it appears that a Church [b:80e895da14]cannot adequately discharge its duty to God, to the world, and to its own members, without a Confession of Faith.[/b:80e895da14]

There [b:80e895da14]never[/b:80e895da14] has been a period in which the Christian Church has been without a Confession of Faith, though these Confessions have varied both in character and in extent.

The first and simplest Confession is that of Peter: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." That of the Ethiopian treasurer is similar, and almost identical: "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." This Confession secured admission into the Church; but without this, admission could not have been obtained. It was not long till this simple and brief primitive Confession was [b:80e895da14]enlarged[/b:80e895da14]; at first, in order to meet the perverse notions of the Judaizing teachers, and next, to exclude those who were beginning to be tainted with the Gnostic heresies. It then [b:80e895da14]became necessary[/b:80e895da14], not only to confess that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, but also that Jesus Christ was come in the flesh, in order to prevent the admission, and to check the teaching, of those who held that Christ's human nature was a mere phantasm or appearance.

In like manner the rise of any heresy rendered it [b:80e895da14]necessary[/b:80e895da14], first, to test the novel tenet by the Word of God and by the decision of the Holy Spirit, and then to add to the existing Confession of Faith [b:80e895da14]a new article[/b:80e895da14], containing the deliverance of the Church respecting each successive heresy. Thus, in the [b:80e895da14]discharge of her duty to God, to the world, and to herself, the Church was constrained to enlarge the Confession of her Faith[/b:80e895da14].

But this unavoidable enlargement ought not to be censured as unnecessarily lengthened and minute; for, let it be observed, that it led to a [b:80e895da14]continually increasing clearness and precision in the testimony of what the Church believes[/b:80e895da14], and tended to the progressive development of sacred truth. Further, as the need of a Confession arises from the nature of the human mind, and the enlargement of the Confession was caused by the successive appearance and refutation of error, and as the human mind is still the same, and prone to the same erroneous notions, the Confession of Faith, which contains a refutation of past heresies, furnishes, at the same time, to all who understand it, a ready weapon wherewith to encounter any resuscitated heresy. The truth of this view will be most apparent to those who have most carefully studied the various Confessions of Faith framed by the Christian Church. And it must ever be regarded as a matter of no small importance by those who seek admission into any Church, that in its Confession they can obtain a full exhibition of the terms of communion to which they are required to consent.

[i:80e895da14]The existence of a Confession of Faith is ever a standing defense against the danger of any Church lapsing unawares into heresy.[/i:80e895da14] For although no Church ought to regard her Confession as a standard of faith, in any other than a subordinate sense, [b:80e895da14]still it is a standard of admitted faith[/b:80e895da14], which the Church may not lightly abandon, and a term of communion to its own members, till its articles are accused of being erroneous, and again brought to the final and supreme standard, the Word of God and the teaching of the Holy Spirit, sincerely, humbly, and earnestly sought in faith and prayer.

_________________

This is where I think the church today is blowing it. solo Scriptura is nonsense. It always has been. The [i:80e895da14]Regula Fide[/i:80e895da14] has always existed, and will forever exist. Unless we have a Confession of faith, of some sort of united ideas, we can never discharge our duty to God becuase we would lapse into "My ideas" and "My interpretation" instead of the "The Interpretation" that the church may have commonly held.

So I agree with what you said, and disgree to an extent.


[quote:80e895da14]
We MUST esteem others as better than ourselves - not as stupid dolts who are poor milk drinking saps that God has chosen to leave behind while He moves others to solid truth, meat, maturity, and the seat on His right and left hands in the kingdom.
[/quote:80e895da14]

Problem here is when the "stupid dolts who are poor milk drinking saps" are propogating soemthing false, they do not want to chagne thier minds when confronted with making hard decisions about what they believe. It ends up, rightly as you are conveying, as [i:80e895da14]ad hominem[/i:80e895da14] arguments.


[quote:80e895da14]
And the difference between milk and meat has nothing to do with anything any mere man has ever written. It has everything to do with reading, memorizing, and meditating on the Word of God.
[/quote:80e895da14]

Rightly understood, yes. But then we go back to what Hetherington rightly said:

For all these purposes the formation of a Creed, or Confession of Faith, is [b:80e895da14]imperatively necessary[/b:80e895da14]; and thus it appears that a Church [b:80e895da14]cannot adequately discharge its duty to God, to the world, and to its own members, without a Confession of Faith.[/b:80e895da14]

I hope that is objectively making sense.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Phillip,
I like Matt, agree and disagree.

On what I agree with: You are correct, we need to find that which unifies. That which brings us closer together in the bonds of love and Christ. My confidence is this, and is evident when my spirit bears witness with the Spirit of God, when all else fails, I do love.....I do find the small things to embrace. The kindness of Christ will, and has always prevailed in my being. No matter how dogmatic this morning, in the evening or the turn of the clock, I repent. My heart and conscience, praise God, by God, are not "seared" and beyond hope. And to Him do I bow. It is He alone that will be glorified through this weakened, dustlike frame of sin.

Example: Even though I have spoken out emphatically against the camp of NCT, it is the bonds of Christ that have unified us. The passing of E. Reisinger and the broken heart of his brother John and family, bring me to tears...........I am sorry John for not seeing you as myself, a created being of the most high; and I do know that you love Him so. How dare I show an illicit attitude toward Gods people. I do repent of this calamity.

On what I disagree: Phillip, you know we need teachers; that is why Christ left them for us. Aged academians, i.e. Bunyan et. al. ARE teachers. We should use all that is available to us.

You know I am a prpoponent of [i:866a709e97]sola scriptura[/i:866a709e97]. However, I do not believe that this principle is assaulting to the premise. If one was ship wrecked on a deserted island and all he had was a bible. this would suffice. In the world, where we do have books and aged teachers, this is advantageous to the body; I see it as an additional gift from God and we shoudl use all that is available to us.
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Pastor Way...

[quote:23ce88322d][i:23ce88322d]Originally posted by pastorway[/i:23ce88322d]
Further, EVERY single fallible page that men write about the infallible Scriptures gives us more opportunity to confound the Word of God. The discussions of late about Sola Scriptura have neglected the doctrine of the [i:23ce88322d]sufficiency[/i:23ce88322d] of the Bible.

We do not come to know God through the writings of men. We come to know Him through His Word. It is in His inspired, infallible, inerrant Word that He has chosen to reveal Himself to us, so Bunyan would have been fine with ONLY a Bible. He did not need the other two books he had. They were not necessary. Only the WORD of GOD is necessary and sufficient.[/quote:23ce88322d]

No one is arguing against the sufficiency of Scripture. What we are saying is that there is insufficiency in man. A man not understanding the Scriptures is not the Scriptures fault. But, the Scripture can and only does mean one thing. All other things must be false. What you fail to see is that the only way we can know what is true and what is false is by the interpretation of the Holy Spirit. That interpretation remains the same to all generations since it points to the only true meaning the Scripture has. There is therefore, no reason to refute the clear meaning, since it is well established on the testimony of the Spirit and the church.

It is also a most preposterous statement to say that we do not come to know God by the writings of men. Indeed, no. And no one I know of has claimed that on this board. We come to know Him by His Spirit working in us. But here is where you overlook the fact that the Spirit does work in and through our teachers. Have you not learned of God through His Spirit, through Calvin? Or, did you happen to learn the doctrines of grace on your own, without any help?

Reading books and learning from the wealth of knowledge that we have been given does not necessarily make us puffed up in our knowledge. But if you point fingers, remember that you would also be guilty of believing that you have something you did not receive but came to because of your own abilities. No doubt, you give this glory to God, we have heard that. However, you do not acknowledge, much of the time, that you are the sum of many men's work - men the Spirit has used to help you know God.

I know this has nothing to do with the thread, but your view of Sola Scriptura must be refuted each time you say it. You are not arguing against us, you're arguing against the RCC. You're missing the Reformation. Read more about their position and perhaps you'll see that is what we are saying.

In Christ,

KC
 
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