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Re: The New Covenant [Re: Wes] #14087
Sat May 01, 2004 2:54 PM
Sat May 01, 2004 2:54 PM
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Wes

I understood what you meant and I think I am getting a better grasp on our differences.

Tom

Last edited by Tom; Sat May 01, 2004 2:56 PM.
Re: The New Covenant [Re: Tom] #14088
Sat May 01, 2004 4:37 PM
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Wes, I really appreciate your posts and, at least for me, it is helping me to get a better grasp on the things we have in common. I believe we have far more in common.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
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Re: The New Covenant [Re: J_Edwards] #14089
Tue May 04, 2004 5:07 AM
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I'm sorry to have been so long in coming back on this topic, but I've been having trouble with my eyes and too much computer work does them no good. However, being now recovered, there are a few points I'd like to make.

Joe said:-

'Steve, I agree the text [Jer 31:34]says everyone in the New Covenant knows Him, but presently many do not.'

This, I think, is the difference between our hermeneutics; as far as I'm concerned, if someone doesn't know the Lord, he's not in the New Covenant. I take Joe's point about the 'fulness' of the Covenant not yet having arrived, but the text does not say, 'They will all know Me perfectly'. It says that everyone in the New Covenant knows the Lord. Can there be such a thing as a Christian who doesn't know the Lord? Surely not! What is the New Birth or Baptism in The Holy Spirit but the Lord giving us new, spiritual life through which we come to know Him? That we come to know Him better as time goes on, through Bible study and church ministry, I fully agree, but every Christian knows the Lord.

In the Old (Mosaic) Covenant, Jewish male babies were brought in by circumcision, but most of them did not know the Lord. God's laws were something external to them, written on stones rather than on their hearts (cf. Jer 31:34). That is why, '"They broke [My Covenant] though I was a Father to them," says the Lord' (v32). The great difference between the two Covenants is that everyone in the NC knows the Lord, not at some point in the future, but right here and now! They have the law written on their hearts and their sins forgiven (v34). Otherwise the New Birth is just an abstract theory (cf. 1John 2:27b).

Joe went on to say,

'Everyone in the visible church (both saved and lost) still need to be separated, wheat and tares in His Church- (Matt 13:24-30).'

This seems to me to be an error. Matt 13:24-30 is the Parable of the tares. Matt 13:36-7. '...And His disciples came to Him saying, "Explain to us the parable of the tares in the field." He answered and said to them: "....The field is the world"'. The field is not the Church. The Church is the bride of Christ and Paul wrote, 'For I am jealous for you (the Corinthian church) with a godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ' (2Cor 11:2).

The 'visible/invisible' concept of the New Covenant Church is not biblical. To be sure, despite our best efforts, unsaved people will come into the Church (Jude 4); 'Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His"' (2Tim 2:19). The Lord's reference to unsaved people trying to enter His Church is found in the Parable of the Wedding Feast in Matt 22:11-13. Note that the King did not find half the guests without wedding garments, but only one. The Church is to use every means to keep the Lord's Church as pure as possible. We are to baptize only those who make a credible profession of faith, and we are to expel those whose conduct clearly belies their profession (1Cor 5:13; 1Tim 1:20). This is done in the hope that those who have fallen away will be restored (2Cor 2:6), but this is not always the case (2Tim 4:14).

With reference to 1John 2:27, Joe wrote,

'So you do not have a Pastor that teaches you. Why did the Apostle Paul ever preach a single sermon? .....The Theological phrase for this is ,'the now, but not yet'.

This is just silly! 1John 2:27 is both linguistically and contextually placed firmly in the present tense. Even Presbyterian commentators admit this. Kistemaker wrote:-

"You do not need anyone to teach you" These words a reminiscent of Jeremiah's prophecy [Jer 31:34]. Is John intimating that the annointing with the Holy Spirit makes instruction in biblical knowledge superfluous? Of course not!..... Effective preaching.....Sunday School....and daily reading of the Scriptures- all this is necessary for the spiritual growth of the Christian. Then what is John saying? The believers have no need of deceivers who try to teach false doctrine They have the gift of the Holy Spirit who leads them into all truth (John 16:13).
"His annointing teaches you about all things" That is the Spirit of Christ will teach the believer everything (John 14:26) and will guide him in distinguishing truth from error. All believers receive the Holy Spirit and all of them are equally equipped to oppose those teachers who proclaim the lie instead of the truth.
This text teachers the fundamental equality of all believers. That is, believers do not have to consult learned professors of theology before they can accept God's truth; in the sight of God, clergy and laity are the same; the Holy Spirit is the teacher of every believer, without distinction. Within the church, believers are able to learn from each other as each is a partaker of the annointing of the Spirit.' (S. Kistemaker: NTC Commentary on 1John)

Joe went on to say:-

'Steve, you still do not know who is in the New Covenant, so you are stuck with no baptisms at all.'

Not at all! As the Lord instructed us, we baptize disciples (Matt 28:19). Not all of these will prove to be 'disciples indeed' (John 8:31), but 'the Lord knows those that are His'. The seal of the New Covenant is Spirit Baptism (Eph 1:13-14) not water baptism, and Spirit baptism is dispensed by the Lord alone. I repeat, the fact that we cannot guarantee a pure Church does not mean that we should not strive for one.

Blessings to all,
Steve

Last edited by grace2U; Tue May 04, 2004 6:06 AM.

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Re: The New Covenant [Re: grace2U] #14090
Tue May 04, 2004 7:13 AM
Tue May 04, 2004 7:13 AM

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So we should only baptise the trully elect?


God bless,

william

Re: The New Covenant #14091
Tue May 04, 2004 8:35 AM
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I really thought I had answered this question several times!

How can we baptize only the elect? We don't know for sure who they are! But that doesn't mean that we don't make every effort to do so by baptizing only those who make a credible profession of faith.

We should be jealous for our little part of God's Church with a godly jealousy, that AS FAR AS IN US LIES we may present her as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Every blessing,
Steve


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Re: The New Covenant [Re: grace2U] #14092
Tue May 04, 2004 9:22 AM
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So then not everybody in "church" is part of the elect? But they would be part of the visible "church", meaning, the "church" we identify with, containing both the elect and empty professors?


God bless,

william

Re: The New Covenant #14093
Tue May 04, 2004 10:04 AM
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Just so;
I don't know how it is with your church but anyone at all is welcome to come to our services. However, the fact that they come into the church, say the prayers, sing the hymns and listen to the sermon does not make them part of the New Covenant. Only those who know the Lord are part of the New Covenant (Jer 31:34; Heb 8:11). We may not know who they are, but the Lord does (2Tim 2:19).

All this has been laid out in my posts time and time again. If you keep asking the same questions, I hope you won't be surprised if you get the same answers.

Every blessing,
Steve


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Re: The New Covenant [Re: grace2U] #14094
Tue May 04, 2004 2:57 PM
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Steve you assert that a person should not be baptized unless he knows the Lord and thus infants should not be baptized. This assertion you claim is based upon,

Quote
Jeremiah 31:31-34 "Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. "They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
IMHO there are many difficult things you have to overcome to force this text to concur with your assertion,

  • 1. You must assume that this text is speaking ONLY of present tense Christians and that it has none of its fulfillment at the Second Coming of Christ. But, I must ask how you arrive at such an interpretation? All my neighbors do not know the Lord, do yours? The text says they will—for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. Is EACH MAN your brother? Do you still evangelize? Of course you do, because each man does not know Him, from the least of them to the greatest of them. Clearly, while the Holy Spirit does teach us now (a fact none of us denies), many others do as well (i.e. this forum). Clearly, this portion of the text is speaking of what will happen at the Consummation of the KOG. While we do see a partial fulfillment of these Scriptures now (as I am sure you know from your study of Biblical Theology (covenants) this is known as the “continuation phase” of the I.C.C. (Inauguration, Continuation (the now, but not yet), and Consummation of the KOG)), they still are in the process of being fulfilled. Their completion will not be till the consummation of the Kingdom when EVERYMAN will know the Lord, because everyone else is in Hell.
  • 2. Even if what you assert was in unity with a correct hermeneutic of interpreting the Scriptures, you still have another dilemma. You claim to be baptizing now upon whether or not someone knows the Lord. But, indeed this is not true, for (1) you only baptize upon one’s profession that they know the Lord, and (2) you do not really know if they really know the Lord at all. Thus, you violate your own hermeneutic of the passages above?
The visible/invisible Church distinction is crucial to one's understanding of how covenants work in Scripture,

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Deut 29:9-15 "So keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do. "You stand today, all of you, before the LORD your God: your chiefs, your tribes, your elders and your officers, even all the men of Israel, your little ones, your wives, and the alien who is within your camps, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water, that you may enter into the covenant with the LORD your God, and into His oath which the LORD your God is making with you today, in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. "Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the LORD our God and with those who are not with us here today
Enjoy. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/cheers2.gif" alt="" />


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: The New Covenant [Re: grace2U] #14095
Tue May 04, 2004 3:28 PM
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Because I do not understand why you keep equivocating baptism with the elect only.

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don't know how it is with your church but anyone at all is welcome to come to our services. However, the fact that they come into the church, say the prayers, sing the hymns and listen to the sermon does not make them part of the New Covenant.


Precisely. So your church has a visible connection, of which, the elect are a part. Just as it was in the OT, just as it has been throughout history.


God bless,

william

Re: The New Covenant [Re: grace2U] #14096
Tue May 04, 2004 7:25 PM
Tue May 04, 2004 7:25 PM

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Hi Steve:

I really appreciated your post that Joe was most recently responding to. It was right on in my opinion and I don't recall your ever asserting that we must know with certainty who is born again and who is not, but rather that you, like Phillip in the following scripture, assert that we ask for a credible profession of faith:

Quote
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 baptizedhim.


It is really very simple isn't it? You have presented the situation correctly, patiently, kindly and clearly, Steve, and I for one appreciate it, that's about all you can do.

In Him,

Gerry

Re: The New Covenant #14097
Tue May 04, 2004 7:29 PM
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William, if you can show me one place where I have 'equivocated' (sic) baptism with the elect, then I will continue this part of our conversation, but not otherwise.

And you, show me where this visible/invisible church divide is in the NT. Listen to the Apostle John: 'But you (ie. everyone to whom he's writing) have an anointing from the Holy One.....'(1John 2:20). Everywhere, the NT letter writers assumed that they were dealing with a regenerate church. If they weren't born again, then they weren't in any church- visible or otherwise, whether they attended one or not (1John 2:19).

If you want to know the practice of the early Reformers, the consider Art. XIX of the Church of England. 'The visible (mark that!) Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men...etc.' Cranmer and Co. knew nothing of an invisible Church. Their intention was to weed out unbelievers by the Confirmation service. They (wrongly) baptized infants but did not count them as church members until Confirmation.

That there was a remnant in Israel saved by grace is very true; but that was the Old Covenant not the New. In the New Covenant, 'They shall all know Me from the least of them to the greatest of them.'

Blessings,
Steve


Itinerant Preacher & Bible Teacher in Merrie England.
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Re: The New Covenant #14098
Tue May 04, 2004 7:32 PM
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William,
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Because I do not understand why you keep equivocating baptism with the elect only.


Clearly, the difference is in how we view the meaning of baptism. We understand baptism as the sign given to a new believer that identifies them with Christ's death and resurrection. It symbolizes our dying to self and living a new life in Christ. This is why we always come to this point in these discussions! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Banghead.gif" alt="" />
We do not see baptism replacing the sign of circumcision as the paedobaptists do. There are some parallels, but there are differences as well. We don't deny that both baptism and circumcision are both signs of the covenant, an identification given by God to the church and to Israel .

Quote
Romans 6:1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self [1] was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free [2] from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.


Quote
Colossians 2: 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities [2] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. [3]


We, just like you, draw lines between believers and unbelievers. You examine candidates before admitting them to the Lord's Table as communicant members. Unlike you, we draw that line at baptism.
John Dagg on Church Membership
"The churches are not infallible judges, being unable to search the heart but they owe it to the candidate [for membership] himself, to exercise the best judgment of which they are capable. To receive any one on a mere profession of words, without any effort to ascertain whether he understands and feels what he professes, is unfaithfulness to his interests, and the interests of religion."

Re: The New Covenant [Re: grace2U] #14099
Tue May 04, 2004 9:35 PM
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William, if you can show me one place where I have 'equivocated' (sic) baptism with the elect, then I will continue this part of our conversation, but not otherwise.


You have continously put forth the argument that there is only one church, a regenerate one. Your argument is right here below.

Quote
And you, show me where this visible/invisible church divide is in the NT.


Sure......right next to the word trinity. We went down that road oncebefore, and the logic isn't working. Herein is the truthful dilemma.....I am a Whole Bible Christian.

Quote
Listen to the Apostle John: 'But you (ie. everyone to whom he's writing) have an anointing from the Holy One.....'(1John 2:20). Everywhere, the NT letter writers assumed that they were dealing with a regenerate church. If they weren't born again, then they weren't in any church- visible or otherwise, whether they attended one or not (1John 2:19).


So, a non-regenerate person at your church is part of what? Your visible assembly?

Quote
If you want to know the practice of the early Reformers, the consider Art. XIX of the Church of England. 'The visible (mark that!) Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men...etc.' Cranmer and Co. knew nothing of an invisible Church. Their intention was to weed out unbelievers by the Confirmation service. They (wrongly) baptized infants but did not count them as church members until Confirmation.


You haven't convinced me we are wrong. Or that christianity was wrong for 1600 years prior.

Quote
That there was a remnant in Israel saved by grace is very true; but that was the Old Covenant not the New. In the New Covenant, 'They shall all know Me from the least of them to the greatest of them.'


And there it is again.....only those that know Him.......how does that relate to baptism, since you cannot judge a mans heart? It is by profession, not election and yet you keep making this argument for only baptising those in the true church, which you also admit you cannot know. I am at a loss. Your argument for baptising non-elect people is simply impossible to defend.


God bless,

william

Re: The New Covenant #14100
Tue May 04, 2004 9:39 PM
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John Dagg on Church Membership
"The churches are not infallible judges, being unable to search the heart but they owe it to the candidate [for membership] himself, to exercise the best judgment of which they are capable. To receive any one on a mere profession of words, without any effort to ascertain whether he understands and feels what he professes, is unfaithfulness to his interests, and the interests of religion."


As an orthodox christian, I agree that catechism is a great idea. Unfortunately, I can't find a Biblical example of it in relation to baptism.


God bless,

william

Re: The New Covenant [Re: grace2U] #14101
Tue May 04, 2004 9:50 PM
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If you want to know the practice of the early Reformers, ...


Yes, as I believe many were paedo-oriented. Here is a nice site

John Calvins Visible-Invisible Church

Looks like that reformer agrees.


God bless,

william

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