Steve replied:
I only want to address the last part of your post where you say
'Thus Baptism CANNOT be an outward sign of an inward reality.' [and then your illustration . . .]
Sorry brother, but as is typical, your attempt to justify your "definition" falls flat on its face as it fails to address the issue at all.

Let ME try and give you an illustration to show how inadequate yours is. When we define something, we give a description of that which we want to define. For example, a Mercedes is by definition. . . .
[Linked Image] . . . in other words, the definition of that automobile will allow anyone to recognize it and know what it is in distinction from another automobile. However, if I were to use your method of defining what baptize is, we would end up with a very unserviceable term. On the one hand we have an objective definition of what a Mercedes IS. But on the other, we have a plethora of owner-drivers. It would seem that if I were to plug in your method of defining something and apply it to a Mercedes, we could say, if on the one hand, the person driving a Mercedes is the bona fide owner of it, then it is a Mercedes. However, if the person driving it is a thief and not the genuine owner of the car, then it is no longer a Mercedes and the car is "meaningless". [Linked Image]

So, as I have so often said, Baptists define baptism on the basis of that which is SUBJECTIVE, i.e., the spiritual state of the recipient. Paedobaptists define baptism on the basis of that which is OBJECTIVE, i.e., the immutable promise of God to save all who believe in Christ, aka: the elect. Thus baptism ALWAYS and FOREVER means the same thing regardless of who is baptized. What is means to the recipient is something totally different and is dependent upon that person's spiritual state.

In His Grace,

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simul iustus et peccator

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