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#13741 Tue Apr 20, 2004 5:51 PM
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Brian had sent me a very kind e-mail and I hope the answer to this will assist in resolving some issues.

Brian's Question:

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I have been following the posts on the Household Baptism thread, but have become very confused at one point, and thought you might be able to guide me. The problem is that, as children were circumcised as the sign of inclusion in the covenant, so this is given as the reason for their baptism, as signifying inclusion in the covenant. Richard makes the point that as spouses, servants etc. were included in circumcision, so, likewise they should receive baptism. This I find difficult, and note from your reply to Susan that you do not accept it. My problem is, how does one refute this idea, from scripture, without also destroying the very argument used for the inclusion of children? Any guidance you can eventually give me would be much appreciated.

Yours in Him,
Brian
The covenant is to Abraham and his seed, as you know from the OT (Gen 17:7, etc.) as it is traced to the NT (Gal 3:16, etc.). Thus, the covenant is to TWO groups and in TWO different administrations:

TWO kinds of people:

  • 1. Abraham (an Adult)
  • 2. His Seed (Children)
TWO kinds of administration:
  • 1. In the covenant that God prescribed, Abraham had to believe and it was accounted to him for righteousness. This has not changed in the NT, except it has been made clearer...in Christ.
  • 2. In the covenant that God prescribed, Abraham was to be faithful and to circumcise his children dependent on loyalty to the covenant that God had established and not dependent on his children's present or future loyalty to the eternal covenant with God (remember Moses' case when he failed to obey this...).
In addition, we ought to be careful about reading too much into the text of 1 Cor 7:14. IMHO, Richard has failed to see the TWO fold administration above and thus he is forced now to apply the hermeneutic of the children to an adult (Richard I mean nothing personally against you here--only the consistency of your argument). This of course is in error as so many NT passages reveal that an adult must (1) profess Christ (2) repent, etc to be baptized....This was also true in Abraham's case!

It is evident that the Gospel penetrates the world so that in a given family one spouse becomes a Christian but not the other. Then the believing spouse by conduct, word, and prayer may win his or her partner for Christ. Because of Christ’s power, the influence of a believer is often stronger than the influence of an unbeliever. Calvin states, “For the godliness of the one does more to ‘sanctify’ the marriage than the ungodliness of the other to make it unclean.” Paul is not saying that an unbelieving husband or wife has been made morally holy through his or her Christian spouse. No, man is unable to sanctify or to save a fellow human being. What the apostle is saying is that an unbelieving spouse who lives intimately with a Christian marriage partner experiences the influence of holiness.

To be sanctified means that a person is influenced by the claims/power of Christ. The converse is equally true: anyone who is not sanctified is influenced by the claims of a world that is opposed to Christ. A study of the Scriptures reveals that the Greek word to sanctify has at least four different meanings. In general it signifies,

  • 1. to set things aside for sacred functions (e.g., items relating to worship at the tabernacle [Exod. 29:37, 44]).
  • 2. to consecrate people by either baptism (I Cor. 6:11), a Christian marriage (I Cor. 7:14), or atonement for sin (Heb. 9:13).
  • 3. third, to reverence people, names, or things (I Peter 3:15).
  • 4. last, to purity someone from evil.
The second meaning of the verb to sanctify applies to the verse at hand. The believing husband or wife sanctified the unbelieving spouse much as the temple sanctified the gold connected with it, or the altar the gift laid upon it (Matt. 23:17-19). The object was not holy in itself but was holy by association.

Paul is not saying that the Gentile spouse has a personal relationship with Christ, for then he or she would no longer be called an unbeliever. Nonetheless, this person’s conduct is affected by that of the Christian partner. He or she agrees to live with a Christian in whom God’s Spirit resides, fulfills the obligations that stem from the institution of marriage (Gen. 2:24), and keeps the marriage intact in obedience to Jesus’ command (Matt. 19:6). Both spouses live in a sanctified environment, for the home is consecrated by the reading and application of God’s Word and by prayer.

Please read S. Kistemaker's commentary on 1 Cor for more. Lord willing I'll be back in a few weeks....Back to work...


Reformed and Always Reforming,
J_Edwards #13742 Tue Apr 20, 2004 8:47 PM
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Well stated Joe! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bravo.gif" alt="" />


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
grace2U #13743 Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:17 PM
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grace2U said:
Hi Tom,
This slur of dispensationalism against Reformed Baptists is just a cheap shot and has no basis in reality.

If anyone calls you a dispensationalist, do one of two things:-
1. Forgive him <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> He doesn't know any better.
2. Call him a hyper-covenantalist and see how he likes it <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/takethat.gif" alt="" />

Every blessing,
Steve

Hey Steve as the guy who started this little discussion I must tell you I don't care for that particular response to Joe's statement. Joe is freely expressing his views with regard to a particular hermeneutic that he refers to as "dispensational". Whether that is correct term or not has yet to be determined. But slurs toward this fine Christian Gentleman is not called for at anytime. As a person who has sat under this man in this forum and learned much, I would rather have this man teach me than most others that I have had the misfortune to waste an hour or two on a Sunday.

#13744 Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:20 PM
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averagefellar said:
Col 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.


God bless,

william

C'mon William your better than this lets not proof text any of us here.

grace2U #13745 Wed Apr 21, 2004 12:22 AM
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Grace2U

I do not consider what Joe said to be a slur at all. Nor do I believe it is a cheap shot.
I don't agree with him, but if he didn't believe it he wouldn't have said it.
Now I have seen slams before, but I didn't see one in Joe's post.

I ask you, if you were coming from Joe’s position and you believed Baptist CT’s became dispensational when it came to baptism and eschatology, how would you say it?
Just remember, it was me that asked him, not the other way around.

Tom

Pilgrim #13746 Wed Apr 21, 2004 12:33 AM
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Thanks Pilgrim


As you can plainly see, my knowledge of these matters is limited and I come from the perspective of a student of the Word, more than someone who is just defending Baptist CT.
Of course that doesn't mean I don't have a position that I lean towards.

Tom

#13747 Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:08 AM
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Yes, let's move to a whole Bible hermeneutic.......you ready?


God bless,

william

#13748 Wed Apr 21, 2004 12:09 PM
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Looks like I overstepped the bounds here.
My apologies to all <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/sorry.gif" alt="" />

Blessings,
Steve


Itinerant Preacher & Bible Teacher in Merrie England.
1689er.
Blogging at
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grace2U #13749 Wed Apr 21, 2004 2:25 PM
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Steve,

I apologize if you took my comments on a dispensational hermeneutic wrongly. This is not meant as a derogatory term, but merely descriptive of one's interpretation method....This is just a short cut way of saying someone carries over less of the original covenant, which as you know is similar to dispensational methodology. But this does not make one a dispensationalist! It simply means he is mixing hermeneutic methods. If I add 1 part water (DT) to 99 parts Pepsi (CT) I no longer have a complete pure Pepsi, but it definitely is not a glass of water.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
grace2U #13750 Wed Apr 21, 2004 4:34 PM
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I apologize for any wrongs as well. however, I wouldn't expect anything less than a zealous defense from a zealous Christian.....of which I have no doubt you are.


God bless,

william

#13751 Wed Apr 21, 2004 7:43 PM
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Yes, let's move to a whole Bible hermeneutic.......you ready?
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a whole Bible hermeneutic. There is no such thing as a clean slate (TABULA RASA) in a human being. We can be as objective as we may, but we always bring something to the text. We bring with our interpretation(s) a knowledge/impression of theology, history, and literary styles/hermeneutics. Additionally, we do not even have the original manuscripts or "complete knowledge" and thus though we can be as precise as we may, it will never be "complete" in this life. While you probably meant that we should merely get back to discussing the Scripture (with which I agree) me thinks a new post on hermeneutics is fitting...

PS: I have left some open ended comments above on purpose for discussion.... <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bravo.gif" alt="" />


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#13752 Thu Apr 22, 2004 4:33 AM
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You know I could have been a baker but no I had to start getting interested in theology. I could still be a baker. Might be easier
Leavened or unleavened bread? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" />


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#13753 Mon Apr 26, 2004 1:06 PM
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Well, I suppose our hermeneutic comes into play once again. This was discussed here as well

Covenant Symbology


God bless,

william

#13754 Mon Apr 26, 2004 11:04 PM
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averagefellar said:
Well, I suppose our hermeneutic comes into play once again. This was discussed here as well

Covenant Symbology


God bless,

william

William the Parthians were quite famous for riding their horses away from the enemy turning around in the saddle and shooting at their adversaries. This tactic came to be known as the Parthian Shot. Which finally degenerated into "parting shot".

Since I believe that everything that can be said has been said about this I'm just going to agree. Yes it is your hermeneutic that promotes this. I see the New Covenant administration as being different. It doesn't include the children as recipients of the sign until their confession.

Your arrow sir.

#13755 Tue Apr 27, 2004 9:19 AM
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Well, I am not 'riding away'. I have been here for months, maybe longer, and am not departing. In fact, today I make a monetary donation, with the intent of staying longer. Departing? Not me. You are still free to overcome your dilemmas, I'll be waiting.

But I understand horses that rode away, the parting shots they made.......but rode away from what? Departed from what?

Departing Shots

Nobody dealt with the post in that thread, and you didn't offer anything here either, well, except that parting shot. Yes, we see this differently. I'm still waiting for somebody to show me any teaching that changes the administration; how the church missed it for 1600 years; and why the NT never clarified such a drastic change in administration.

Now, let's stop the cheap shots and actually start overcoming your dilemmas.


God bless,

william

Last edited by averagefellar; Tue Apr 27, 2004 9:26 AM.
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