TESTIMONY of Dr C Matthew McMahon who was a Baptist for 15 years - THEN saw the light in Scripture and changed to Covenant Infant baptism. [URL=http://www.apuritansmind.com/covenant-theology/my-retraction-a-15-year-baptist-turns-paedobaptist-and-becomes-reformed-by-dr-c-matthew-mcmahon/]]]TESTIMONY of Dr McMahon[/URL] __________ Quote from above; "If you think the New Covenant is coextensive with salvation, you will always wind up Baptistic. This is probably the most serious error in trying to understand the arguments here. Every covenant in the Bible, from Adam forward, included unbelievers. The New Covenant, in this respect, is no different. That is why Christ can promise salvation and damnation in the same breath to those in the New Covenant. (1 Cor. 11, Heb. 6 and 10). Until the Baptist comes to grips with this, there is no way for him to understand Covenant Theology because he radically transforms the nature of Godâs covenant when he deals with the New Testament. The substance of the Covenant of Grace changes, which makes the Baptist, inescapably, Dispensational." (Dr C Matthew McMahon)
[URL=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=103106163813]]]The Covenant of Baptism[/URL]
[URL=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=102906143934]]]New Covenant Baptism replaces Old Covenant Circumcision[/URL]
"The truth of Godâs promises is not confirmed if the sign and seal of them be denied; for that whereon they believed that God was a God unto their seed as well as unto themselves was this, that he granted the token of the covenant unto their seed as well as unto themselves. If this be taken away by Christ, their faith is overthrown, and the promise itself is not confirmed but weakened, as to the virtue it hath to beget faith and obedience." [URL=http://www.covenantofgrace.com/owen_infant_baptism.htm]]]Infant Baptism by John Owen[/URL]
It is without doubt that history demonstrates that the Presbyterian form of baptism (of infants) is Scriptural from first to last. All the great theologians eg; John Calvin, John Owen and the Puritans, Turretin, Ames, Dabney, Hodge, Berkhof, Edwards, Perkins, Love, and many more, clearly present the Presbyterian form of baptism as a Biblical fact. The "truth" was with them in their time and carries on today in the Presbyterian church.
The problem that our Baptist cousins present is the discontinuity of the WHOLE counsel of God, which they present in their selective OT verse removal to support their ideology.
BUT Christ stated Matt 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
Circumcision was changed to baptism as the sign and seal of the same Covenant.
(Credit to John Sartelle in his booklet "Baptism", P.l0)
"When a person believed God in the Old Testament, what happened? Answer: He was circumcised.
What was the outward event representing the clean heart in the Old Testament? Answer: Circumcision. What was the outward sign that marked entry into the community of believers in the Old Testament? Answer: Circumcision.
Now replace the words "Old Testament" with "New Testament", asking the same questions:
When a person believed God in the New Testament, what "happened? Answer: He was baptized.
What was the outward event representing the clean heart in the New Testament? Answer: Baptism
What was the outward sign that marked a person's entry into the community of believers in the New Testament? Answer: Baptism."
"There is no explicit statement about the âinfant baptismâ of a Christianâchild. BUT NEITHER IS THERE AN EXPLICIT CASE OF A CHRISTIAN CHILD WHO GROWS UP AND IS BAPTIZED AS A BELIEVER. In both cases we must think beyond a surface scan of the words of the Bible. I would not want to limit the authority of the Word of God to only its explicit declarations. Is abortion permissible because the word abortion is not in the text of the Bible? Of course not. The God-breathed Word is fully authoritative âfor teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness both explicitly and implicitly (2Tim.3:16). If the Scripture was given for teaching,âthe question should be whether the Word teaches that the children of believers are to be baptized by virtue of their covenantal relationship to a believing parent. (When the term âinfant baptismâ is used it is just shorthand to express this.) It is true that there is no statement of âinfant baptismâin just those terms. However, let us ask another question of the text of Bible: Is there any evidence of believersâ households being baptized because of the faith of the head of the household? Considering this question, the Bible student is forced to conclude that there are clear statements about households being baptized. (G.Strawbridge)
Circumcision was changed to baptism as the sign and seal of the Covenant, as the Bible teaches.
A. Both are taught as initiations into the SAME Covenant: 1. Cir.: Ge.17:7, l0-11; "Ro.4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also" 2. Bap.: Mt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:38-39; "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. 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" Acts 10:47,48
B. Both are significant of conversion and putting away of sin. 1. Cir.: Deut. l0:16; 30:6; Jer.4:4; 9:25-26; Ez.44:7,9; Ro.2:28-29 2. Bap.: Acts 2:38-39; 22:16; Col. 2:11; Ga. 3:27, 29; I Pe. 3:21; Ti.3:5-6
C. Both are outward expressions of inward righteousness. 1. Cir.: Ro.4:11 2. Bap.: Mt.3:13-17; Acts 22:16
D. Note Circumcision was viewed as spiritual in meaning: Deut.10:16; 30:6; Jer.4:4; 9:25-26; Acts l5:1; Ro.2:26-29; Col. 2:11-12.
"There is circumstantial evidence that favors pouring or sprinkling over immersion. How, for example, were the first great multitudes of believers âimmersedâ in Jerusalem? On the day of Pentecost âabout three thousandâ people were baptized (Ac. 2:41) and only a few days later another five thousand were converted (Ac.4:4). Although it may be possible that such large numbers were immersed, given the circumstances, it is very unlikely for a number of reasons. First, Jerusalem and Israel was a very dry arid climate in which water was a precious commodity. âThere is no natural body of water there or near there. âThe Brook Kedronâ is ordinarily an almost dry water course.â A trickle of water in a creek bed was unsuitable for immersion. Further, the ancient Jews did not have modern plumbing or running water in their homes as we do. The only suitable facilities in Jerusalem for immersion at that time would have been the reservoirs of pure water for drinking and cooking. The authorities and the population at large would have been outraged if three thousand dirty pilgrims were being immersed in their drinking water with their filthy clothes on. The converted Jews themselves many of which were residents of Jerusalem, would not have polluted their own precious water source" (B.Schwertley)
"Among all the recorded instances of Baptism performed by John the Baptist and the apostles, there is not one in which immersion is asserted, while there are many in which it was highly improbable -- (a.) Because the apostles baptizing and the early converts baptized were all Jews, accustomed to purify by pouring and sprinkling. (b.) Because of the vast multitudes baptized at one time, and the known scarcity of water in Jerusalem and generally in the situations spoken of. The eunuch was baptized on the roadside in a desert country. Acts viii. 26 -- 39. Three thousand were baptized in one day in the dry city of Jerusalem, which depends upon rain-water stored in tanks and cisterns. Acts ii. 37 -- 41. Vast multitudes swarmed to John. Matt. iii. 5, 6. The jailer was baptized in prison at midnight Acts xvi. 25 -- 33. Paul was baptized by Ananias right at his bedside. Ananias said, " Standing up, be baptized;" and " standing up he was baptized." Acts ix. 18; xxii. 16. (c.) The earliest pictorial representations of baptism, dating from the second or third century, all indicate that the manner of applying the water to the body of the baptized was by pouring. (d.) It is done in the same way universally by Eastern Christians at the present time." (A.A.Hodge)
Obsterver wrote: Dr Walls says of England: "The offices and liturgies did all along enjoin dipping, without any mention of pouring or sprinkling." About 1550, it began to prevail, being used first in the case of " weak children ;" and "within the space of half a century, from 1550 to 1600, prevailed to be the more general." The English churches finally came to imitate the Genevan, and casting off the domination of the Pope, bowed to the authority of Calvin and adopted pouring instead of dipping.
Calvin, who was not a thorough going reformer, was the first to include sprinkling in a church liturgy
All you have to do to prove this wrong is to look at the early church ancient mosaics.
"A picture is worth a thousand words." For example in the Catacombs.
Baptism is depicted with the candidate standing in water BUT A VESSEL BEING USED TO POUR WATER OVER THEM. These mosaics date back to the early centuries just after New Testament times.
Baptists rewriting history to suit their ideologies yet again.
I know John. It's so sad for you poor Baptists to accept that you and your ideologies were not invented until the 16th century.
But you and Observer can just keep believing in the baptist rewrites of history and even pretend that deep water washing was as necessary as the Arminian verbal authentication of your ceremony.
The fact that we Presbyterians can track our Biblical Theological and historically factual ecclesiastical journey which originates in Apostolic times - in other words John, yes New Testament mode and method carried on.
Struggle as you might with baptistical hypothesis and conjectural facts, one fact is crystal clear that your denomination and its ideologies started in 1521 - and not before.
But don't be sad John just because you devised a church on the basis of ONE definition of baptizw rather than accepting all. Don't be sad because you have to exclude (reinterpret) the Old Testament to achieve your discrimination by age. Don't be sad that your subsequent consequential theory must rely upon a works based ideology to promote its acceptance.
Just remember that Presbyterianism was here first and is more historically realistic. Thats all John.
"The Church, during the apostolic age, did not consist of isolated, independent congregations, but was one body, of which the separate churches were constituent members, each subject to all the rest, or to an authority which extended over all. This appears, in the first place, from the history of the origin of those churches. The apostles were commanded to remain in Jerusalem until they received power from on high. On the day of Pentecost the promised Spirit was poured out, and they began to speak as the Spirit gave them utterance. Many thousands in that city were added to the Lord, and they continued in the apostlesâ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and prayer. They constituted the Church in Jerusalem. It was one not only spiritually, but externally, united in the same worship, and subject to the same rulers. When scattered abroad, they preached the word everywhere, and great multitudes were added to the Church. The believers in every place were associated in separate, but not independent churches, for they all remained subject to a common tribunal." [URL=http://www.reformationfiles.com/files/displaytext.php?file=hodge_presbyterianism.html]]]Presbyterianism[/URL] (Charles Hodge)
The Article wrote: "The unveiling of the ECO comes years after former members of The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America also launched their own bodies in response to the liberal direction of the denominations."
The mistake they have made is to actually declare that they are taking the seeds of Liberalism with them into their new denomination. Liberalism is not just the house of sodomy but also the rejection of the Word, law and precept of God insomuch that they breed iniquity, and as Christ states He will not know them from their inception.
The true Biblical Presbyterian Church Reformed is of course invisible both in human sight and in doctrinal truth. Which is why so many false churches have risen throughout history with all too human, eg works, philosophies about Bible doctrines. The Roman Catholics chose to reject Scripture and raise up a variety of graven images. The Arminians reject a Sovereign God and decided that He needed their help to save. The Baptists decided in 1521 to ignore the OT and discriminate by age, also adding a few extra gallons of water to make sure they washed behind the ears.
Thus do we see the usual error when inventing a new church is to add a new concept and call it Biblical.
Observer wrote: John, even if Presby had an answer, would you trust it, seeing his knowledge of the scriptures and history is woefully inadequate? His answer that the Presby church had researched matters brought a smile to my face. Isnt that what the RCC says? Since he posted a quote from Scotty Clark, I googled him and have been reading more from him. All I have to say is And he's a Presby Prof?
I suppose you two are an example of the type of Christian brotherly love available from the Baptist denomination.
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Observer wrote: And why on earth would one be a sign and seal of the other if the two are exactly equivalent?
"Covenant signs were given to strengthen our trust in Christ. Baptism and the Lord's supper have no more or less power than the written Word of God. In the Scriptures baptism and the Lord's Supper are considered to be signs and seals of the covenant of grace between God and his people. As signs, the covenant signs are visible reminders of the great act of redemption which God has accomplished. As seals, they are God's way of separating his people from those in the world, and they give to us God's promise that, in example, as surely as we are washed by the water we are by faith washed by the blood of Christ. Just as in the preaching of the Word, the Holy Spirit strengthens our faith by the use of these covenant signs and seals." (R.Scott Clark)
Rom 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith....
Extracts wrote: What is the NT counterpart or parallel to the OT rite of circumcision? It is not the NT rite of baptism
Baptism and circumcision are BOTH sign and seal of the Covenant. THAT connection is borne out in Colossions where two verses together illustrate this... 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: 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." __________
NOWHERE in Scripture OT or NT do we find a precept or command to practice an age of discrimination, as to the Covenant, - as practiced by the Baptists. And remember... Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:"
Neil wrote: I have never heard of Presbys using anything more than a palmful of water. Less messy perhaps, but not Biblical, since baptism is supposed to symbolize the washing of regeneration, yet no one considers a palmful of water sufficient to wash even the hands, let alone the whole body
Ah but Neil; The question is, How much water do you require to be a 'sign'??
One could say that the communion bread is a kind of 'sign' of the flesh of Christ. But you don't eat a six foot loaf of bread? Or do you in the Baptist church.
As for "washing" the whole body - remember what Peter said... 1Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"
So the 'washing' is figurative language in this sense. As in... Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
BTW Is it the soul or the flesh which is "washed"??
Hiya John; I found a Bible study for you on your favourite verses. You'll love this.
"Acts 2.38,39 equates circumcision and baptism. In Acts 2.38 the Apostle Peter calls for repentance, faith in Christ and baptism by Jews who are hearing his preaching. In v.39 he gives the reason for this action: "the promise is to you and to your children, and all who are far off...." The Apostle Peter consciously uses the same formula in his preaching as the LORD himself used when he instituted the sign of circumcision in Genesis 17, which the Jews listening understood precisely."
And... For adult converts, baptism is a sign of what Christ has done for them, forgiven them and washed them. Adult converts are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Forgiveness is through faith in Christ. Baptism is a sign of our new standing with God through faith. Notice, v.39 "The promise (of salvation to those who believe) is for you and for your children." (R.Scott Clark)
"The connection between baptism and circumcision is quite clear in Colossians 2:11-12. The connection is not direct, but indirect and the point of contact between them is Christ and baptism is the sign and seal of that circumcision. In v.11 Paul says "in him [i.e. in Christ] you were also circumcised with the circumcision done by Christ" and in v.12 he says exactly how it is that we were circumcised in and by Christ: "having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith...." For Paul, in the New covenant, our union with Christ is our circumcision. In baptism, we are identified with Christ's baptism/circumcision, as it were, on the cross. Neither baptism nor circumcision effects this union (ex opere operato), rather God the Spirit unites us to Christ, makes us alive and gives us faith.
The point not to be missed is that, in Paul's mind, baptism and circumcision are both signs and seals of Christ's baptism/circumcision on the cross for us. By faith, we are united to Christ's circumcision and by union with Christ we become participants in his circumcision/baptism." (Prof. R.Scott Clark)