Paedo-Baptism Answers Need Resources

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TheReppingRev

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello Brothers and Sisters,

I was raised Credo, I have remained Credo.

Yet, I have some most likely classic questions about Peado (I am always willing to learn and be proven wrong).

I think a good starting point would be this.

Is Baptism the visible sign of the New Covenant being applied

Or

Is the Sign of the New Covenant the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 2:25–29 (ESV): For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

To me this speaks clearly that the sign is no longer an outward one, but it is now inward.
 

RJ Spencer

Puritan Board Freshman
Read Acts 16:34 in the ESV. The Greek matches it and I think you will find the wording interesting.
 
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TheReppingRev

Puritan Board Freshman
Sorry, I have edited the comment. Acts 16:34. I got the author correct. I have Luke on the mind, my wife and I just started a study through Luke.
I have read this several times in fact. It makes no connection to me between sprinkling/dunking babies and His household (including bondservants) believing in Jesus as Messiah, displaying the same anointing recieved by the Jews at Pentecost and those enabled to believe being baptised.

A single verse does little to contextualize or away my thinking. Any of you got some real meat to chew on?
 

RJ Spencer

Puritan Board Freshman
Only the Philippian Jailer believed, but the entire house was baptized. The whole household was baptized and the whole household rejoiced that "he had believed".
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
There have been many threads on baptism, especially recently. I would suggest reading through those. Much of this has been discussed ad nauseam. If you are earnest in wanting to learn why we believe in household baptisms, I would be happy to send you a book we publish. Fesko's "Word, Water, and Spirit" is an excellent treatment of this topic and most worthy of careful study.
 
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RJ Spencer

Puritan Board Freshman
I have more, but I am warn out from these same old baptism debates. Why do these same debate topics get posted over and over again? I'm sure over the last year or so the Puritan Board has been over all of these arguments at least a dozen times.
I was a credo myself up until a few months ago. The continuation of the covenants is so obvious from scripture that many reformed Baptists are leaving 1689 federalism behind. It seems as though you are more interested in the mode of baptism than the actual debate about credo vs paedo. I see nothing in scripture that would suggest a person must be submerged. The promise to sprinkle water upon us and to make us clean has more than just Pentecost in mind.
 

Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I think a good starting point would be this.

Is Baptism the visible sign of the New Covenant being applied

Or

Is the Sign of the New Covenant the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Andrew: I think these questions are awkwardly worded (especially the second) so you may wish to elaborate to help us properly answer them.

If I may ask a question of my own: what do you mean by "being applied"?

Also, the second question seems to conflate the sign (baptism) with the thing signified (work and/or presence of the Spirit). I am assuming you do not believe, in fact, that the spirit is the sign, rather that baptism is the sign of the work of the Holy Spirit.

Furthermore, when answering queries about baptism and the covenant in general, paedobaptists prefer to speak of the covenant of grace rather than the new covenant (see Westminster Larger Catechism, Q&A 30-36). This is important since the term covenant of grace covers the whole of redemptive history, from the fall of Adam to the return of Christ. We understand the new covenant, though related to the covenant of grace, to be a narrowing of the discussion to the distinctions between the administration of law and that of the administration of the gospel It is also important because paedobaptists and credobaptists generally disagree about the nature of the new covenant and so we might just as well be talking in different languages.

Romans 2:25–29 (ESV): For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

To me this speaks clearly that the sign is no longer an outward one, but it is now inward.
The sign, assuming you mean water baptism, is still outward unless you believe that the only baptism one needs is the baptism of the Spirit. I don't mean to insult you but I am challenging you to communicate more clearly.

Nevertheless, I think I understand your point. You are saying that the ushering in the new covenant changes the dynamic of the sign applied, now referring to an objective state of grace in the life of the individual believer, whereas before it was applied outwardly to those who belonged to Israel (regardless of their personal faith in God).

That being said, keep in mind that the Old Testament held out the same reality as the New Testament. Passages such as Deuteronomy 10:16, 30:6 teach that the circumcision was of the heart. Which is to say: don't rely on the outward sign for salvation but seek the new reality within. Romans 4:11 reminds us that Abraham received "the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised." Isaiah 1:10ff. indicates that the ceremonial system had been abused/twisted to replace heart religion. Multiple examples of this could be listed here.

Therefore, I don't Paul was not saying anything new. He doesn't say that a (brand) new administration of the covenant is upon us, rather he is rebuking the Jews for their stubborn refusal to adhere to what was always the truth.

Consider, after all, the verses that follows: Romans 3:1-2. Is there any point to having your flesh outwardly circumcised? Yes in fact, there is. This is reinforced in Romans 9:4,5 (these, according to the flesh, pertaineth the covenants and promises) & Romans 11 (Gentiles being grafted into the "old" olive tree). But the advantage becomes a grave disadvantage when faith is not added to the gospel.
 
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Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Therefore, I don't Paul was not saying anything new. He doesn't say that a (brand) new administration of the covenant is upon us, rather he is rebuking the Jews for their stubborn refusal to adhere to what was always the truth.

“The New Covenant is taken either broadly or strictly.

The New covenant is also taken in a twofold manner either broadly, inasmuch as it stands for the covenant of grace in general made with sinners , which existed under the Old Testament as well before Christ appeared as under the New after he had been manifested; or strictly, for the covenant of grace promulgated after the manifestation of Christ in the flesh, which should continue to the end of the World”

Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology Vol 2, pg 234
 

Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
“The New Covenant is taken either broadly or strictly.

The New covenant is also taken in a twofold manner either broadly, inasmuch as it stands for the covenant of grace in general made with sinners , which existed under the Old Testament as well before Christ appeared as under the New after he had been manifested; or strictly, for the covenant of grace promulgated after the manifestation of Christ in the flesh, which should continue to the end of the World”

Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology Vol 2, pg 234
That is a helpful distinction. But I still prefer to use the term covenant of grace in these discussions because it tends to bring the rest of scripture into view, not just (or primarily) Hebrews 8.
 

TheReppingRev

Puritan Board Freshman
There have been many threads on Baptism, especially recently. I would suggest reading through those. Much of this has been discussed ad nauseam. If you are earnest in wanting to learn why we believe in household baptisms, I would be happy to send you a book we publish, Fesko's Word, Water, and Spirit. It is an excellent study on this topic and most worthy of careful study.
I would thoroughly enjoy reading through that book.
 

TheReppingRev

Puritan Board Freshman
I have more, but I am warn out from these same old baptism debates. Why do these same debate topics get posted over and over again? I'm sure over the last year or so the Puritan Board has been over all of these arguments at least a dozen times.
I was a credo myself up until a few months ago. The continuation of the covenants is so obvious from scripture that many reformed Baptists are leaving 1689 federalism behind. It seems as though you are more interested in the mode of baptism than the actual debate about credo vs paedo. I see nothing in scripture that would suggest a person must be submerged. The promise to sprinkle water upon us and to make us clean has more than just Pentecost in mind.

Thank you for still taking the time to reply. I know it is debated and discussed repetitively. Yet, maybe that is because it is such an important discussion.

I'm not looking to debate just voice what I observe through scripture and let others help me to see more clearly.

The fact that you believed as I within the 1689 and now just shortly changed your stance is very interesting.
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
The fact that you believed as I within the 1689 and now just shortly changed your stance is very interesting.
This is frequently the case. There are many brothers and sisters on here that started credo. My wife and I started off credo. The Scriptures, along with a thorough study of Covenant Theology convinced us of Oiko Baptism.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Andrew: I think these questions are awkwardly worded (especially the second) so you may wish to elaborate to help us properly answer them.

If I may ask a question of my own: what do you mean by "being applied"?

Also, the second question seems to conflate the sign (baptism) with the thing signified (work and/or presence of the Spirit). I am assuming you do not believe, in fact, that the spirit is the sign, rather that baptism is the sign of the work of the Holy Spirit.

Furthermore, when answering queries about baptism and the covenant in general, paedobaptists prefer to speak of the covenant of grace rather than the new covenant (see Westminster Larger Catechism, Q&A 30-36). This is important since the term covenant of grace covers the whole of redemptive history, from the fall of Adam to the return of Christ. We understand the new covenant, though related to the covenant of grace, to be a narrowing of the discussion to the distinctions between the administration of law and that of the administration of the gospel It is also important because paedobaptists and credobaptists generally disagree about the nature of the new covenant and so we might just as well be talking in different languages.



The sign, assuming you mean water baptism, is still outward unless you believe that the only baptism one needs is the baptism of the Spirit. I don't mean to insult you but I am challenging you to communicate more clearly.

Nevertheless, I think I understand your point. You are saying that the ushering in the new covenant changes the dynamic of the sign applied, now referring to an objective state of grace in the life of the individual believer, whereas before it was applied outwardly to those who belonged to Israel (regardless of their personal faith in God).

That being said, keep in mind that the Old Testament held out the same reality as the New Testament. Passages such as Deuteronomy 10:16, 30:6 teach that the circumcision was of the heart. Which is to say: don't rely on the outward sign for salvation but seek the new reality within. Romans 4:11 reminds us that Abraham received "the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised." Isaiah 1:10ff. indicates that the ceremonial system had been abused/twisted to replace heart religion. Multiple examples of this could be listed here.

Therefore, I don't Paul was not saying anything new. He doesn't say that a (brand) new administration of the covenant is upon us, rather he is rebuking the Jews for their stubborn refusal to adhere to what was always the truth.

Consider, after all, the verses that follows: Romans 3:1-2. Is there any point to having your flesh outwardly circumcised? Yes in fact, there is. This is reinforced in Romans 9:4,5 (these, according to the flesh, pertaineth the covenants and promises) & Romans 11 (Gentiles being grafted into the "old" olive tree). But the advantage becomes a grave disadvantage when faith is not added to the gospel.
What counts now under the NC is not physical circumcision, but the spiritual one, not water baptism but being baptized in and by the Holy Spirit.
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
What counts now under the NC is not physical circumcision, but the spiritual one, not water baptism but being baptized in and by the Holy Spirit.
Brother, this thread is in the paedo-baptist category. Please do not come muddy the waters. I think you would do well taking a break from discussing this topic here. Did you even read this last post?

How about Colosians 2:11-12?

Honestly, if the above-linked post were directed towards me along with the many others pleading with me, I would feel quite humbled. You need to read through the words that have been offered to you and pray on them.
 
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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Brother, this thread is in the paedo-baptist category. Please do not come muddy the waters. I think you would do well taking a break from discussing this topic here. Did you even read this last post?

How about Colosians 2:11-12?

Honestly, if the above-linked post were directed towards me along with the many others pleading with me, I would feel quite humbled. You need to read through the words that have been offered to you and pray on them.
We can all agree thst what counts now is bring in Christ, indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit, correct?
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
We can all agree thst what counts now is bring in Christ, indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit, correct?
Per usual, you did not interact with a single thing I wrote. With all due respect, please don't expect me to get pulled into a discussion that will be as productive as nailing jello to the wall.
 
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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Per usual, you did not interact with a single thing I wrote. With all due respect, please don't expect me to get pulled into a discussion that will be as productive as nailing jello to the wall.
I am not looking to get into any detailed discussion, as appreciate and know where you no stand, was just asking why we cannot all agree on what I posted period?
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
David, you are posting to paedobaptist forum which is for PB replies only. Stop posting.
I am not looking to get into any detailed discussion, as appreciate and know where you no stand, was just asking why we cannot all agree on what I posted period?
 

G

Puritan Board Junior
This might help both @Dachaser and @TheReppingRev . From James Durham. I found this a very edifying read this morning.

But before we speak to these, some things are to be premitted. As 1. That God has thought good always to add sacraments to His covenants. Thus the covenant of works had its sacraments. Adam had the tree of life for a sacrament to confirm him in the faith of that covenant. So the covenant of grace in all its administrations had its sacraments also for confirmation thereof; as before Christ’s incarnation, it had circumcision, the Passover, and diverse sacrifices effectual for that end, and the fathers before Abraham had their sacrifices for sacraments; and since His incarnation it has baptism and the Lord’s supper. For as the Lord has for man’s sake condescended to deal with him after the manner of men by covenants and mutual engagements, so He keeps the manner of men in swearing, sealing, and confirming these covenants for their greater consolation who are within the same (Heb. 6:18).

2. Although the nature of the covenant alters the sacrament in respect of our use-making of it; yet as all covenants have some essentials in which they agree—to wit, a promise and a re-stipulation—so all sacraments have something common, to wit, that they signify, seal, and strengthen the covenanters in assurance of enjoying what is promised according to the terms of the covenant to which they are as seals appended. The tree of life confirmed the promise of life to Adam upon condition of perfect obedience; circumcision confirmed it to Abraham upon condition of faith (Rom. 4:11).

3. The sacraments of the covenant of grace before and after Christ differ in circumstantials, as the covenant itself under the Old and New Testament does, but in essentials they agree, for they seal one and the same thing and after one and the same manner.

4. There are some chief things common to all sacraments of the covenant under one administration. As for example, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper agree both in this, that they seal the covenant and represent Christ and His benefits, etc. Yet in either of them there are some peculiar promises and benefits especially looked unto and also they have their peculiar manner of sealing these things which are common to both. Believers are also confirmed in the same things by the Word; but the sacraments confirm them in another way, more clearly and sensibly and proportionally to our weakness and necessity.

5. No sacrament is of and from itself valid, but its validity and efficacy is from the covenant and promise whereof it is a sacrament, and so it is a seal to none but to such as are in the covenant and keep the condition of it. To them it seals the benefits promised, though absolutely and simply it seals the truth of the conditional promises and so it may be said conditionally to seal, to all the members of the church, the truth of what is promised upon such a condition. As for example, the tree of life sealed this truth, that [those] who stood in perfect obedience should have life; but it did not seal to Adam that he should have life, except upon condition of his perfect obedience. The like may be said of circumcision, baptism, etc.

6. Hence every sacrament supposes a covenant and the receiver’s entry into the covenant, to which the sacrament that he receives relates. So that we come not to the sacrament properly to enter into covenant with God, but first the covenant is entered and then the seal is added, as in Genesis 17, first God entered into a covenant with Abraham and then the seal of circumcision is added as a confirmation thereof.

7. No sacrament gives any new right which the receiver had not before; only it confirms the right He had before. He has access to the sacraments upon the account of His external right.

8. Sacraments confirm still something that is future and to come, they being instituted for the confirmation of our faith and hope in those things of which we are most apt to doubt, as the Passover strengthened the Israelites against the fear of being destroyed, the tree of life confirmed what was promised to Adam and not performed. And so all sacraments help us to believe the making good of some promise not performed, for they serve as the oath and seal. And indeed, when we preach the gospel, we offer a sealed covenant and a sworn covenant.

James Durham, A Practical Exposition of the Ten Commandments by James Durham. Corrected and Revised Edition (Naphtali Press and Reformation Heritage Books. 2018), 69–71.
:detective:
 

TheReppingRev

Puritan Board Freshman
I am not looking to get into any detailed discussion, as appreciate and know where you no stand, was just asking why we cannot all agree on what I posted period?
This would not be the place for this side of the discussion. I do not require a defense of Credo as I have been Credo my entire life. It is the other side of Covenentalism that I am looking to explore. Especially with the reading of the puritans my head, heart, and hands have been thoroughly shaken to go deeper.

I hope that whatever God's Divine Providence is for me and my family, that it may be revealed in earnest Prayer and Devotion.

Thank You for your input and hopefully, you can be of some help to someone else,
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
We need to consider the issue of baptism not in isolation, but in relation to other doctrines; namely:

1) The unity of the covenant of grace in all ages subsequent to the Fall, notwithstanding the diversity in administrations.

2) The membership of the visible church and the nature of the outward administration of the covenant of grace.

3) The biblical understanding of a household.

4) The relationship between the sign and the thing signified in baptism.

5) The link between baptism and circumcision.

6) The validity of "good and necessary consequence" deductions from scripture.

When these points are all considered, a cumulative case emerges for infant baptism that becomes too strong to dismiss on the basis that the baptism of infants is not expressly mentioned in the New Testament.

I have about 60 relevant extracts (in addition to the one linked above) on the subjects mentioned above at this link.

To be perfectly honest, while I do not consider the subjects to be of equal importance, I see no more reason to doubt the biblical propriety of infant baptism than I do to doubt the doctrine of the Trinity. Both doctrines are fully biblical even though neither is taught explicitly in scripture. The fact that they are not does not bother me in the slightest, as the notion that everything needs to be explicitly spelled out is an attack on God-given human rationality.
 
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RWD

Puritan Board Freshman
What counts now under the NC is not physical circumcision, but the spiritual one, not water baptism but being baptized in and by the Holy Spirit.
That seems terribly simplistic to me. God commands water baptism. Therefore, we better get it right regarding the proper subjects of the ordinance. Pitting the visible sign against the thing signified is about as sensible as pitting the the gospel message against union with Christ.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
That seems terribly simplistic to me. God commands water baptism. Therefore, we better get it right regarding the proper subjects of the ordinance. Pitting the visible sign against the thing signified is about as sensible as pitting the the gospel message against union with Christ.
Water required to be obedient to God, but not required to be saved.
 
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