Steve writes:

I agree mostly with Tom's answers to the questions about dedications. However.

1. My views on 1Cor 7:14 differs from his. See the thread on the subject for details.

2. There is no biblical (NT) example or precept concerning infant dedications that I can think of. I guess if we were really Reformed we wouldn't do them. However we do bring the new-born of the church before the congregation and the Lord.

We thank God for the precious gift of children.

We thank Him that the child has the blessing of a Christian home.

We pray that the child may come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

The members of the church promise that as far as they have opportunity, they will support the parents in raising the child in the fear of the Lord, and that they will teach the child the things of the Lord and encourage him/her to confess Christ and to be baptized.

I hope that's helpful and of interest.

Yes it is helpful Steve. Your reply demonstrates similarities and differences in our views. The dedication and committment on the part of the parents and the church are similar but we don't view the covenant and baptism the same. Since Baptists only recognize believers baptism, I was wondering how they view their children? When I raised the question about how Baptists view the Covenant of Grace which God made with Abraham I was thinking about two things. In the Covenant of Grace that God made with Abraham His promise included his decendants, and it's an everlasting covenant. From the replies I received it appears we don't agree on these points. It's becoming clearer to me that the Baptist view simply doesn't see any continuity between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant in regards to including infants, in the church, in covenant with the people of God, or in covenant households unless each individual is a believer. Simply put, they are not included in any covenant until they believe so it's every man for himself.

We might ask then, “who’s in the Covenant of Grace?” Who are the elect of God? Can we know? We know that God revealed this promise to Abraham and his seed. In one sense it included all his’ offspring. All the male descendants were marked with the sign of the covenant which was circumcision. In another sense it only included those who were true believers. Paul tells us that only those with a circumcised heart are real believers. However we don’t know which one of our offspring will be true believers if any. So we must make a distinction between the Covenant of Grace and the Covenant of Redemption in the sense that one cannot be broken and the other can. It seems clear from history that there have been those who were included in the Covenant of Grace who turned out to be unbelievers. The same is true today. There are those who outwardly appear to belong to the church either by infant baptism or believer’s baptism but remain unbelievers and will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The Hebrews 8 passage (which also quotes the Jeremiah passage) tells that the big difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant is our High Priest. Unlike the repeated sacrifices of the law, which were an annual reminder of sins, Jesus’ offering of Himself has brought forgiveness, holiness, and perfection once for all. The Old Testament promises were mainly earthly, the New Testament promises of heavenly blessings. The New Covenant refers to the restoration of God’s people whereby God forgives absolutely His people’s sins, and writes His law by His Spirit on the hearts of true believers.

It comes down to this… God promises to save those He has elected from the foundation of the world through the Covenant of Redemption He has established with His Son. We want to be able to recognize those He has chosen so we set up standards to determine who should have acceptance into the church. Whether we do this with a narrow focus on individual believers or a broad focus that includes covenant households we will make mistakes. Thankfully our mistakes will not be the final judgment. In the final judgment the sheep will be seperated from the goats.


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts