I want to thank you again for providing information about how Baptists view the covenants. The link you’ve provided with the sermons by Fred Malone really helped me to better understand the Baptist view. It's taken me a while to listen to these messages.

As I’ve mentioned before I see a lot of similarities is what we believe to be true. Actually I see enough for me to believe that we’re both on the path that leads to life eternal. However there are significant differences in our view of the Covenant of Grace. Malone himself points this out when he says, “As Baptists we disagree with just about everybody else.” That statement says a lot in itself. He admits that this view is not classic covenant theology.

He says that Louis Berkhof, William Hendrickson, and L.T. Robertson agree that the covenant is between God and His elect but also includes the children of believers. I think this is because they look at the Covenant of Grace differently than he does. Malone calls their views hermeneutical errors. It could be pointed out that his view is an error but I'd rather say they're different hermeneutical methods. Malone sights that many Baptists are asking these questions today. He says we lose good faithful Baptist pastors and churchmen on the basis of this doctrine. They’re reading books about the grace of God and the Reformation and suddenly become convinced that they need to become Presbyterians.

In one of his messages he rightly points out that there aren't many covenants but different administrations of the one. The administration of Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, etc. However later on he say's that we must be careful in assuming that any biblical covenant automatically carries the elements of one covenant into the other covenant. Rather than denying his previous statement I think he's referring to carrying elements of the Old to the New. However the New is the fulfillment of the Old. The New has accomplished what the Old could not. The Old failed because it required perfect obedience which no man could accomplish. It was a Covenant of Works. God sent His Son to fulfill the requirements of the law and provide a New Covenant. This covenant replaces the Old Covenant because it has a better High Priest.

Malone emphasis that in the New Covenant each person will have the law written upon their heart, the personal knowledge of God, and the forgiveness of sins. Only those who are assumed to have the actual fruit and realities of the New Covenant are to be baptized. Some say that you can never determine what is in the heart of another person. He says that the New Testament consistently accepts the outward repentance and faith of those who were made disciples as evidence of the inward work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. And it is on the basis of the outward confession of faith in Jesus Christ that they were baptized.

Malone says, “It is only natural that God saves from among the children of believers and that He promises to bless our efforts. We can teach, sow, instruct, pray, and discipline in hope for the salvation of our children souls. But there’s quite a little difference in saying that our children must be in the covenant so that God may save from among them."

I agree with Malone that there may be some Presbyterian parents who believe their children are saved by infant baptism but it’s not what Scripture teaches nor what faithful men of God preach. Although I believe there is great advantage for children of believers who grow up in a covenant home and church. After all the promise is to believers, their children, and many that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. It’s not the genes of the parents that saves their children it’s the power of God’s word and the Gospel.

When I think about continuity between the Old and New Covenants I think about going all the way back to the beginning. After all God is the initiator of His covenants and I believe there is a progressive fulfillment in these promises with man being carried out through history. From before the foundation of this world God the Father (representing the Trinity) established the Covenant of Redemption with the Son (who represents the elect). This covenant is the foundation for everything that God will do in time in redeeming His bride for Himself. The Covenant of Grace depends of the Covenant of Redemption for its existence.

The first thing, then, is manifest, that there was a voluntary concurrence and distinct consent of the Father and Son for the accomplishment of the work of peace, and for bringing us to God. So the Covenant of Grace is the Covenant of Redemption as it expresses itself in time. If there were no parties assuming responsibility for establishing the Covenant of Redemption in eternity there would be no basis for the Covenant of Grace working itself out in time. The Covenant of Redemption cannot be broken. The Father and the Son have immutably fulfilled it. The Covenant of Grace, for the elect, cannot be broken because it logically flows from the Covenant of Redemption. So for the elect of God nothing can break the promise of their redemption because it relies entirely on His grace and is appropriated through faith.


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