8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 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. 8:38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
Note please the following:
Phillip, under the guidance of the HS doesn't say if you believe that Baptism is a sign of the objective reality of God's promise, etc or what ever. No, his response was that what would hinder him from being baptised, mark it, was if he didn't believe with his whole heart. The Ethopian Eunich then made a profession of faith in Christ as the Son of God, Whereupon the chariot was stopped and he was baptized. Now I submit that this teaching is rather clear.
Complicate it, obfuscate it or deny it in order to cling to your view of baptism, but the teaching of scripture remains clear and simple, so that a child may understand it.
Phillip, under the guidance of the HS doesn't say if you believe that Baptism is a sign of the objective reality of God's promise, etc or what ever. No, his response was that what would hinder him from being baptized, mark it, was if he didn't believe with his whole heart. The Ethiopian Eunuch then made a profession of faith in Christ as the Son of God, Whereupon the chariot was stopped and he was baptized. Now I submit that this teaching is rather clear.
Well this is a very unusual set of verses (Acts 8) to be attempting to prove that God believes only in “baptizing true believers,” to the exclusion of ALL infants that are a part of the covenant. After all this is the conversion of an ADULT. And if that is not enough he was an EUNUCH (which is normally an emasculated official in a royal court), i.e. no children. In Scripture though not only are "single adults" baptized, but complete households are as well.
Gerry, if one begins with a wrong definition of “baptism” then he will inevitably end up with the wrong view of it. I struggled with this for years before God's grace intervened and changed my heart. I had preached the credo view with conviction for many years and from several pulpits and even here on this forum. I have baptized several (credo style) and dedicated many an infant. Truly, I could not understand the paedo view—nor did I try to for many years. I was so convinced I was right. Then I decided to retrace the circumcision/baptism debate back in history and through the Scripture as best I could. Now I was studying to know the truth and not simply to defend my view(s). In the process, I discovered that my hermeneutic was in error.
Praise God that I now understand that God’s covenant promises are far more reaching that I ever thought them to be. Jesus himself said, “suffer the little children to come to me.” Remember His words after that? “For of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 19:14; Mk 10:14; Lk 18:16). Luke 18:15 informs us that these “little children” were actually “infants” (Luke 1:44 (an unborn babe). They—or at least some of them—must have been carried to Jesus in the arms of their parents. Remember what Jesus did? Taking them in his arms he tenderly blessed them one by one, laying his hands upon them. There was no confession by these infants of Christ, but yet there was the very blessing of Christ upon them.
As the Baker NT Commentary says, Not only did Jesus rebuke the disciples for their attempt to prevent the little ones from being brought to him, but he has also actually called to himself these infants together with those who wanted to bring them to him (Luke 18:16). And now each mother or father, etc., carries his little child into the very presence of Jesus; that is, each does this in turn. The Master takes the first child in his arm and places the hand of his other arm upon its head. Then he tenderly—or fervently—blesses it, by means of uttering a brief but earnest prayer to the Father, that his blessing may be bestowed on it (probably implied in Matt. 19:13). While he does this, his heart, filled with love and compassion, goes out to this little one. Finished, he returns the child to the one who had brought it. He then treats the next little one in the same manner, and the next, until all have been blessed. It must have been a most impressive, comforting, and memorable scene.
Now we know (1) Jesus blessed "children" (which He did not do to the Pharisees, et. al.) (2) He prayed for them, and (3) that He knew the Scriptures containing the Covenant promises. Look at the glory of these verses:
Genesis 17:7 “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.
Psalm 105:6-10 O seed of Abraham, His servant, O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones! He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. He has remembered His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations, The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac. Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant,
Isaiah 59:21 “And as for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from now and forever.”
Acts 2:38-39 And Peter said to them, “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself.”
Acts 16:15 And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.
Acts 16:33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.
1 Corinthians 1:16 Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other.
Colossians 2:11-12 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
The belief that since the little children of believers belong to God’s visible Church and to his covenant, baptism, the sign and seal of such belonging, should not be withheld from them, is well-founded.
grace2U said: Mark 1:4-5, Matt 28:19, Acts 2:38 and 8:37.
John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins. All the country of Judea and all those of Jerusalem went out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins. (Mark 1:4-5)
Steve got to disagree with you concerning the first verse there. It is clear that John's baptism was of the older economy and not of the New Covenant. If it had been then Paul wouldn't have baptized those disciples in Ephesus. For in the New Covenant we get the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
It happened that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper country, came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples. He said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They said to him, "No, we haven't even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." He said, "Into what then were you baptized?" They said, "Into John's baptism." Paul said, "John indeed baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe in the one who would come after him, that is, in Jesus." When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke with other languages and prophesied. They were about twelve men in all. (Acts 19:1-7)
Again I believe the stronger arguement (although it has yet to convince William or the others <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Banghead.gif" alt="" />) is from Matthew 28:19 where we make disiciples and then baptize them. As the rest of those verses demonstrate.
Just my <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/my2cents.gif" alt="" /> you all go on now with your discussion its mighty interesting.
Just to be quite clear for the umpteenth time; baptism <span style="background-color:#FFFF00">is indeed </span>the outward sign of an inward reality. If there is no inward reality, then the baptism is<span style="background-color:#FFFF00"> effectively void</span> (Acts 8:21).
How can something be is indeed and then effectively void, if the initial cause was that which you claim already is (an inward reality)? If it already is then in Calvinism it can never be effectively void, and if it isn't then you should not baptize. The definition is lacking?
Your definition is based upon man's word that he is not lying and not on the Covenant promise of God, who cannot lie. Baptism is a declaration of God's promise to save all who believe. As Pilgrim said, "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." Baptism is an outward sign of God's covenant promise.
grace2U said: Hi Joe, Doubtless all analogies fail if they are pressed too hard. I am quite happy for both of mine to stand in answer to Pilgrim's and William's arguments.
Just to be quite clear for the umpteenth time; baptism is indeed the outward sign of an inward reality. If there is no inward reality, then the baptism is effectively void (Acts 8:21).
I really have to chuckle here, not AT you, but because your definition: "baptism is indeed the outward sign of an inward reality." immediately brought to mind how illogical it is when applied to virtually any other circumstance in life. For example, one of the situations I am thinking of is one of the "signs" posted down at the hydro plant; KEEP OUT - High voltage. Now, the placard seen is the "outward sign" (no pun intended) of an "inward reality" (the high voltage). But again, using but not pressing in any way whatsosever, your "logic", to the one who believes that there is serious danger involved with that equipment, the sign truly signifies the reality of that high voltage. But if one refuses to believe there is danger, then the sign is "effectively void", i.e., what the sign says is untrue. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/dizzy.gif" alt="" />
Or we could look at it in another way and see the same illogic of it. If the sign says there is High Voltage and there is indeed high voltage there, then the sign is true; i.e., it is an "outward sign" of the "inward reality". But if there is no high voltage, then the "outward sign" is no sign at all for there is no "inward reality".
The problem isn't with the sign and its inability to communicate a truth; a reality, but with your understanding of how a sign functions. Baptism IS a sign of a reality. But that reality is not to be found in the SUBJECT(IVE) realm, e.g., the recipient of the sign but in the OBJECTIVE truth; i.e., God saves believing sinners by the washing away of their sins in Christ's blood. The sign is ALWAYS and FOREVER true, regardless of who receives the sign, for the reality is the promise of God which can never change. The application of what the sign signifies does vary dependent upon whether or not the person being baptized has faith. But again, the "sign of the covenant" does not change since it does not find its meaning and/or significance in the subjectivity of the recipient, but rather in the immutable promise of God and the reality of Christ's accomplished substitutionary atonement in behalf of the elect. In short, Baptism IS "an outward sign" but of an "outward reality", which may demonstrate what belongs to the person being baptized should they have faith. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />
Why I do believe you are correct sir that horse is dead. However, there is the small matter of removing the sticks from the hands of the beaters. Of which I for one am more than interested in how it will be done. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bigglasses.gif" alt="" />
PrestorJohn said: Why I do believe you are correct sir that horse is dead. However, there is the small matter of removing the sticks from the hands of the beaters. Of which I for one am more than interested in how it will be done. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bigglasses.gif" alt="" />
Everyone has sticks. Some beat with more melody than others do to the Scriptures. As Saul kicked against the pricks of his day so do all of us today kick against our denominational, historical, and biased understandings of certain things. Even after salvation only the Damascus road will change any of us (i.e. Jesus and the Scriptures). As usual, these discussions get somewhat emotional, but I think fruit still comes from them. Changes come: Iron sharpens iron. We all wrestle at Jabbok and hang on to all we think we know saying, "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me." Then when Truth is more fully revealed we limp out in victory with a fuller understanding (Eph 1:18).
Having grown weary of this "discussion", I was reading Goodwin on Hebrews 6 and false profession and found it to be the most penetrating and insightful I have read on this controversial passage. Stunning really, but in the process of analysis of the verse he states the following in passing, for this is not his primary emphasis here:
... 'Know ye not that as amany of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ,' it having been into Him, and therefore 'were baptized into his death' (which here in vs. 5 is explained by a being 'planted together into the likeness of His death',etc), baptism being the sacrament signifying our ingraftature into Christ, ver. 8, and our being planted together with Christ into the same conformity
I note that Goodwin says that baptism signifies our ingraftature into Christ, which agrees with our postion that Baptism is an outward sign of an inward reality, not an "objective sign of a promise of God".
Back to reading Goodwin now, rather than "laying again a foundation of repentance... and doctrines of baptisms" per Paul's instruction at the beginning of Heb 6.
Hi Pilgrim, I actually quite like your analogy of the high voltage cables; I think it fits quite well <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/coffee2.gif" alt="" />
One needs to remember than baptism, though ordained by Christ, is operated (if that's the word) by man, and like anything we do, is fallible. We must not therefore confuse the sign with the seal, which, being affixed by God Himself is not fallible. The seal is, of course, the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13. cf. 2Cor 1:22).
Just in case there is any confusion, my position is articulated in Art 29.1 of the 1689 Confession.