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J_Edwards #14147 Sat May 08, 2004 5:53 PM
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Joe,
If you've answered Gerry's points then I certainly haven't seen it. I assumed that your quotation of Eph 1:18 was your tacit, and rather ungracious, admission of defeat.

Steve


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grace2U #14148 Sat May 08, 2004 6:47 PM
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grace2U said:
Joe,
If you've answered Gerry's points then I certainly haven't seen it. I assumed that your quotation of Eph 1:18 was your tacit, and rather ungracious, admission of defeat.

Steve

Eph 1:18 is my sincere prayer for Gerry and for many others regarding this issue. Though the truth may be, and has been declared, without prayer they will never see the truth of the matter, though they may read the Scriptures themselves. IMHO this is an important side of any issue in Scripture. Thus, this is not a tactic, but a position of earnestness that Gerry and others may understand the Truth of God. Thus, Steve I do not see prayer as an admission of defeat, but an admission that God is sovereign and can change even your and Gerry's hearts.

Now, to your other question I truly am surprised. We have discussed Berkhof (Wes even re-addressed this), we have discussed the visible and invisible Church, we have discussed the 2, but 1, covenant concept of Galatians/Genesis, we have discussed the Continuity in Old and NT, we have discussed Baby Dedications & Continuity, we have discussed 1 Cor 7:12ff, and we have discussed the dual-fold nature of the covenant and the continuity of the covenant of grace, etc. If one understands these then Berkhof’s quotes are understood in light of them. If there is a very specific question we have not answered then please phrase “exactly” what you would like answered.

IMHO though this discussion has gone its limit once again.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Pilgrim #14149 Sat May 08, 2004 9:55 PM
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Hi Pilgrim:

Joe, and now you, have accused me of anger and malice. But it hasn't apparently occured to you that you have read this into my words and you are incorrect, which you are.

I harbor no malice toward Joe and I have never even slightly hinted that he must recant his postion and become a baptist in order to be saved. Those are your words not mine, and frankly I find them rather silly, and can't help but wonder who is really guilty of malice here. But I do believe, and will state again, that the CoG is an eternal covenant and I believe it to be so because I interpret the scripture to say so, as I and others have presented here clearly, and I believe it is unequivocal and is so not in "some sense of the word" but in every sense of the word.

As to your comments about not understanding the Credo postion and seeing inconsistency in it, I will just say that your postion is far more inconsistent, and indefensible in my view, and does not do justice to the analogy of the faith, and I have repeatedly pointed out the attempts of Berkhoff to try, albeit weakly, to reconcile that inconsistency. Also, I am just as responsible before the Lord for, and perhaps as capable, as the Lord gives me light, of interpreting the pertinant scriptures as you are, and just because you can't see my postion doesn't automatically make yours correct.

I have in the past admitted my error on this site when I have been convicted by the Lord that that was necessary, something I believe is part of being a true Christian, also laid out clearly in the scriptures, but, curiously, little discussed on the Highway in the year and a half I have been here. In this case I can assure you I have nothing to admit, and would suggest that it is you who have missread my words and falsely accused me of malice and anger.

And finally, by the way, what is it, do you suppose, that makes you feel you have the ability to make such infallible judgements and to, as it were, "pronounce them" before the world without even seriously considering that you might, Joe might, and Wes might, be in error, for I can assure you you are.

As for a cold shower, I can assure you that I had a most wonderful and pleasant day and this whole matter was the last thing on my mind until I visited the site tonight to see all the furor and excitement. Sounds to me like it is others that need that cold shower.

May you have a most pleasant evening and Lords day.


In Him,

Gerry

#14150 Sat May 08, 2004 10:00 PM
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Susan asks:
So what is your definition for baptism that would allow for the baptizing of adult professing believers as well as infants who may or may not be children of the promise?
Funny you should ask! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Baptism is the visible sign (display) of the OBJECTIVE proclamation of the Gospel, i.e., that as the water cleanses the body of filth, so does Christ's blood cleanse the believer's soul from sin. It is a declaration of God's promise to save all who believe.

Thus... it matters not, i.e., the meaning of baptism is not dependent upon the recipient as it is grounded in the immutable promise of God to save all who believe. Just as the Gospel doesn't vary according to the one who hears, the meaning of baptism is always the same regardless of who is baptized.

Now, we are back full circle, for the disagreement is over WHO is warranted to receive the sign? Paedobaptists obviously hold that believers and their children are to receive the sign. Credobaptists hold that only "believers" are to receive the sign. But as has been thoroughly pointed out, no one can know who is a true believer. Thus, it would behoove Baptists to cease from launching their silly charge that Paedo's are baptizing unbelievers when they baptize infants. Averagefellar has repeatedly brought this inconsistency to the floor and he has not to this date received a reasonable answer that resolves this Baptist dilemma.

Again, if you are convinced that that the injunction to administer the sign of the Covenant to believers and their seed has been abandoned, i.e., a major discontinuity between the two administrations of the Covenant, then so be it. But I have never read anyone who has been able to show this is true from the Scripture, no, not even Mr. Malone, the current "White Knight" of the Credobaptist army. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" />

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Some might think that the Baptists when they baptize professing believers are doing something strange, but the fact is both the paedos and the credos are baptizing professing believers!
Indeed....!! It is the Babdists who think it is strange that Paedobaptists baptize their children as was the practice for millennia in both the Old and New Covenant administrations. Paedobaptists do NOT think it is strange that Credobaptists baptize professing adults, for they do the same thing as it is what the Scriptures teach. What Paedobaptists DO think as strange is the illogical MODE which Baptists are willing to die for, i.e., immersion, which is even more difficult, if not impossible to defend than the baptism of infants. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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grace2U #14151 Sat May 08, 2004 10:21 PM
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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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Pilgrim #14152 Sun May 09, 2004 3:44 AM
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Pilgrim,
It would have been nice to see you interact with the comparison I did use rather than erecting a straw man by inventing a very weak comparison that I did not use and criticizing that. That is no way to carry on a discussion.

I am trying very hard to see what your problem is with the Baptist position, but I'm quite unable to do so, and your post hasn't made it any easier.

Let me lay out the Baptist position again.

1. It is fitting only to baptize true believers.
2. False adherents have no part whatsoever in the Church (Acts 8:21).
3. We cannot know with absolute certainty who the true believers are.

Therefore

4. We do our best to achieve Point 1 above by baptizing only those who make a credible profession of faith.
5. We use church discipline where a person's actions clearly belie their profession of faith.

Where is the problem with that?

Let me try yet another analogy, and perhaps you will reply to this one rather than inventing one of your own.

It is the purpose of the State only to appoint honest policemen. However, this has never been achieved completely, for the good reason that it is impossible to weed out dishonest applicants with 100% accuracy. However, this is no good reason to abandon all checks on new recruits, nor to allow in the children of honest recruits without checks(!) but rather the authorities will make the best checks they can, and if a policeman shows himself to be dishonest at any time, he is fired double-quick.

Every blessing,
Steve

Last edited by grace2U; Sun May 09, 2004 3:45 AM.

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grace2U #14153 Sun May 09, 2004 6:39 AM
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1. It is fitting only to baptize true believers

Scripture please?

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4. We do our best to achieve Point 1 above by baptizing only those who make a credible profession of faith.

And this teaching from scripture, please?


God bless,

william

#14154 Sun May 09, 2004 6:51 AM
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Mark 1:4-5, Matt 28:19, Acts 2:38 and 8:37.

Steve


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grace2U #14155 Sun May 09, 2004 6:58 AM
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Mar 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
Mar 1:5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Act 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Act 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Well, I didn't see your statements, or anything like them in any of those passages. Maybe you could offer something more.


God bless,

william

#14156 Sun May 09, 2004 10:36 AM
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Hi William,
I wrote:-
'It is fitting only to baptize true disciples......We do our best to achieve [this] by baptizing only those who make a credible profession of faith.'

You asked for scriptural proof.

I offered Mark 1:4-5; Matt 28:19; Acts 2:38-9 & 8:37.

If I understand you correctly, you are now asking for exposition on these texts.

In Mark 1, we read that John's baptism was one of repentance; and those who were baptized by him made a confession of their sins. Indeed, in Luke 3:8, John demands not only repentance, but evidence thereof, in other words, 'a credible profession'. Now Christian baptism is not identical to that of John, but their ministry at this early stage was the same- that of repentance (Matt 3:2; 4:17). Therefore we learn that repentance of sin is a pre-requisite for baptism.

In Matt 28:19, our Lord told His apostles to make disciples* and baptize them. Therefore it is disciples whom we are to baptize. Put the two texts together and we have repentant disciples. These and these alone are the proper subjects for baptism.
*[ The KJV translation of 'matheteusate' as 'teach' is poor. The NIV, NKJV, ESV and NASB all give the correct rendering, 'Make disciples'. Mathetes = Disciple]

So how does this work out in practice? In Acts 2, Peter preaches the Gospel on the Day of Pentecost. Many of his listeners are brought to a state of conviction (v37). Peter tells them to repent and be baptized (v38). In v41, we are told that 'those who gladly received his word were baptized.' We may suppose from this that there were those who rejected his word; they were not baptized. The apostles did not baptize willy-nilly; they distinguished between those who 'gladly received' the Gospel, and those who didn't. We are not told that the believers brought their children with them. If there were children present, then they were old enough to believe Peter's Gospel and to repent.

Finally, Acts 8:36-7. '...And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart you may," And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."' [I'm aware that the majority of Greek texts do not have Acts 8:37, but even if it is an interpolation, surely some similar conversation must have taken place?]

The eunuch, having heard the Gospel from Philip, asked to be baptized. Philip asked for, and received, a clear confession of faith from him. Surely it is a good and reasonable inference that if Philip had regarded the eunuch's confession as not credible, he would not have baptized him.

So there you are! The Bible clearly requires repentance and faith as pre-requisites for baptism. We see that John asked for 'fruits worthy of repentance', that the apostles only baptized those who 'gladly received' Peter's word, and that Philip required a clear and credible statement of faith from the eunuch.

Case made?

Every blessing,
Steve


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grace2U #14157 Sun May 09, 2004 11:00 AM
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Steve asks averagefellar (and all paedobaptists [implied]):
So there you are! The Bible clearly requires repentance and faith as pre-requisites for baptism. We see that John asked for 'fruits worthy of repentance', that the apostles only baptized those who 'gladly received' Peter's word, and that Philip required a clear and credible statement of faith from the eunuch.

Case made?
The case is made for what is required for the baptism of ADULTS, which we all agree upon and which has never been questioned. But the case has hardly been made for the discontinuity of excluding believers and their "seed" from receiving the sign of the new covenant. The reason is, IMHO, that you simply can't. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Nowhere can it be found that a radical change in covenant policy was mandated whereby children of believers are to be ostracized from the covenant community and refused the sign which was done for thousands of years. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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#14158 Sun May 09, 2004 11:22 AM
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Hi again William,
I note that you find it easier to keep asking questions than to reply to my posts. Does your oikos baptism involve baptizing the unbelieving wife and teenage children of a believing husband? If not, why not?

With reference to oikos in the OT, it is, of course only found in the Septuagint translation. However, by pressing the OT practice on the NT you are taking a Hebrew word, written (under inspiration) by a Hebrew to Hebrews in around 1500-600 BC and forcing its meaning on a Greek author (Luke) writing in Greek to Greeks (Acts 1:1) in the 1st Century AD. I'm not sure that this is too clever.

The change in Covenant administration is very clearly found in Scripture. It was prophesied by Jeremiah, so when our Lord declared, 'This cup is the New Covenant in My blood' (Luke 22:20), the Apostles minds would have gone straight to Jer 31:31ff and also to the Lord's words to Nicodemus; 'Unless one is born again, one cannot see the Kingdom of God.' That they fully understood the import of the change of covenant is made clear by Peter on the day of Pentecost. 'Repent and be baptized!' His hearers had already been circumcised, but that was of no consequence in the new covenant. Baptism had replaced circumcision and that baptism was to be given only to those who repented and trusted in Christ.

You're aware that I have answered Pilgrim's post re. baptism and the Elect. I won't add to it here.

I absolutely do not equate our Lord's expression, 'Born of water and the Spirit' with water baptism. In this, at least, I am in agreement with John Murray. I believe the New Birth to be a fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy in Ezek 36:25-27 (cf. also Psalm 51:7, 10-11; Titus 3:5). It is a birth of washing and renewal; the washing away of sins and renewal by the Holy Spirit. Ryle's Expository Thoughts on John Vol 1 has a very helpful treatment on this.

BTW, I'm aware that I owe you a reply on the 'visible/invisible' church. Now my eyes are better, I hope to post on this tomorrow (DV).

Every blessing,
Steve


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Pilgrim #14159 Sun May 09, 2004 11:42 AM
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Pilgrim,
Well, if that's your best shot, then there's no more to be said. 'Let each be convinced in his own mind.'
The fact is that the 'radical change in covenant policy' was clearly forcasted in Jer 31:31ff (and also IMHO Joel 2:28-29). The 'sign which was done for thousands of years', is clearly done away with. Or do you still circumcise your male children? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> Remember also that half the OT covenant people received no covenant sign at all.

'For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been found for a second (Heb 8:7).

Every blessing,
Steve


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grace2U #14160 Sun May 09, 2004 12:19 PM
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It is the purpose of the State only to appoint honest policemen. However, this has never been achieved completely, for the good reason that it is impossible to weed out dishonest applicants with 100% accuracy. However, this is no good reason to abandon all checks on new recruits, nor to allow in the children of honest recruits without checks(!) but rather the authorities will make the best checks they can, and if a policeman shows himself to be dishonest at any time, he is fired double-quick.
First, once again, as with your marathon runner, you have fallen into a faulty illustration of Baptism. You are making the meaning of Baptism depend upon the recipient (the policeman), rather than the sovereign declaration of God to save all those that believe.

Second, your illustration proves the opposite of what your formerly were asserting, “Baptism is an outward sign of an <span style="background-color:#FFFF00">inward reality</span>,” for there was NEVER any <span style="background-color:#FFFF00">inward reality</span>! Thus, you have disproven your own definition of Baptism.

P.S. The illustration of the marathon runner is very poor IMHO as it shows someone running (Rom 9:16) to obtain salvation and winning the Gold Medal of Baptism. This is an Arminian gospel, which is no Gospel at all.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
grace2U #14161 Sun May 09, 2004 12:23 PM
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Steve,

I'll overlook the "cheap shot" about that being my "best shot" and simply say that again, there is no disagreement that the new covenant administration does involve changes from the old. However, there is nothing in that new administration that speaks of the barring of the children of believers from receiving the sign. In fact, the new covenant administration is MORE universal, in that women are no longer prohibited from receiving the sign, which I am assuming you were referring to with your comment about 1/2 of the old covenant didn't receive the sign, i.e., circumcision.

Yes, let each be convinced in his own mind.... which I am. I left the credobaptist camp after having studied this issue over a period of years having found it wanting in so many ways. And, if you haven't discerned so yet, I stand between the "popular" paedobaptist view and the credobaptist view. I'm no stranger to these types of debates, which for the most part are nothing more than an exercise in futility. They always leave a bad taste in my mouth. Perhaps one of the very few times which hasn't done so is when I publicly debated John Reisinger on this topic. He was very gracious throughout the debate and we parted friends; agreeing on more than we disagreed as to what we both considered to be the essentials of baptism. One of the major essentials was how we as believers are to consider our children and how they are to be raised. On this there was no disagreement (I reject any and all forms of presumption re: covenant children). He also agreed that his definition of baptism, the same one which you now hold, was faulty and should be changed to better reflect that which he REALLY believed. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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