First of all, thank you for laying out the Paedo-baptist covental system so comprehensively and clearly. I'm sure that will be of great help to many of us on the 'other side' of the debate.

Secondly, may I apologize to you in advance that I'm not able to reply at equal length. My eyes are still playing me up again, and I need not to over-tax them until I get a new pair of specs. Apologies also to Joe and to AF for the same reason. To them, in the words of Arnie, 'I'll be back!'<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/takethat.gif" alt="" />

Thirdly, I think that Gerry's points are very well made and I'll be interested to see how you reply to them.

You are right in saying that a key text in this question is the Lord's words, 'I will be a God to thee and to thy seed (Seed?) after thee.' Let us be quite clear; if you or I believe that God's promises to Abraham are also made to us, we deceive ourselves. God has not promised to make me a great nation, nor to give me the land of Canaan, nor that all nations will be blessed in me. The only promise that I may take to myself is the one in this text, and that only if I am Abraham's seed

To the best of my knowledge, I have no Jewish blood in me. Did one of my ancestors change his name from Cohen to Owen? Not that I'm aware. How then can I become the seed of Abraham, or be in some way united with that Seed?
'Not of blood'. Not by my physical birth.
'Nor of the will of the flesh.' My own fallen nature can't help me
'Nor of the will of [a] man.' No one can make me the seed of Abraham by praying over me, 'slaying' me in the spirit or pouring water over me.'
'But of God.' ''For by grace you have been saved through faith.'

'Therefore know that [only] those who are of faith are sons of Abraham' (Gal 3:7). 'And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.'

Therefore the seed of Abraham are those who are of faith and no one else. Therefore it is fitting that only such should be baptized. That mistakes are often made is freely admitted, but thast is no reason to seek to bring into the Covenant, those who by their very nature are unable to profess faith.

You go on to say:-
'The covenant with Abraham marks its formal establishment.'

Perhaps, but it's important to note that Abel (Gen 4:4; Heb 11:4) and Noah (Gen 8:20) were experimentally acquainted with the Covenant of Redemption; without circumcision or baptism, they both looked forward by faith to the coming of the Lamb of God, knowing that 'without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin.'

Finally (my eyes are stinging again), I do not believe that physical circumcision is the 'seal of the covenant.' Nowhere does the Bible say that. Circumcision of the heart, like baptism of the Spirit (ie. New Birth) is the seal of the covenant. Rom 4:10. 'And [Abraham] received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised.'

Oh yes, you really cannot say that the Old Covenant is essentially the same as the New Covenant. Surely to say so is to call Jeremaiah and the writer to the Hebrews false witnesses?

Every blessing,

Itinerant Preacher & Bible Teacher in Merrie England.
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