New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Wednesday, June 19 2002 Vol 02 : 106
Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?
Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?
Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?
Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?
[NTCP] Re: How does a NT "sacrament" function?
Re: [NTCP] Re: How does a NT "sacrament" function?
[NTCP] Infant Baptism
Re: [NTCP] Infant Baptism
Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?
[NTCP] my people love to have it so
Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?
Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?
Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?

Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 11:02:08 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis(--AT--)
Subject: Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?

Michael,

Interesting! Talk about getting to the heart of what Christianity is at both
it's doctrinal and existential heart....

>>"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in
me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved
me and gave himself for me" (Gal. 2:20).
Subject: Re: [NTCP] How does a NT
"sacrament" function?

TheologusCrucis(--AT--) wrote:

>Link,
>
>Just a short post ;) to ask you a question: Why do you oppose child baptism?
>If circumcision is the induction of a 8 day old into the covenantal community
>of the Jews, why not baptism of a new covenant believer's baby into the
>covenantal community?

Dear TC,

Perhaps because the circumcision of the flesh was the sign of inclusion into a
flesh and blood community, and Baptism is the sign of inclusion into a
community that flesh and blood cannot inherit. It's very hard to make the
pledge of a good conscience for someone else.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 12:24:05 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis(--AT--)
Subject: Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?

Jay,

I had asked Link about infant baptism:

>>Just a short post ;) to ask you a question: Why do you oppose child
baptism? If circumcision is the induction of a 8 day old into the covenantal
community of the Jews, why not baptism of a new covenant believer's baby into
the covenantal community?Perhaps because the circumcision of the flesh was the
sign of inclusion into a flesh and blood community, and Baptism is the sign of
inclusion into a community that flesh and blood cannot inherit. It's very hard
to make the pledge of a good conscience for someone else.
Subject: [NTCP] Re:
How does a NT "sacrament" function?

>
Dear TC,

The problem is we've just redefined "baptism" to make it a kind of ritual that
parents do for their children. This is not the baptism that the Bible speaks
of.

In the Bible believing and being baptized are critically linked (see for
example Mark 16:16). Through baptism, a believer is not simply identified
outwardly with a "community".

He is baptized into the very Triune God (Matt. 28:19).

It is surely proper that as parents we pray for our children. We may even
consecrate our children to the Lord as Samuel's mother did. But to label that
"baptism" really mixes up the truth.

So much leaven has been brought into the church over the centuries, much of it
under the guise of "what's the problem"... what's the problem if we change a
little something, or add a little something.

May the Lord guard us from being used in such a way.

Dan


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 15:40:40 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis(--AT--)
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: How does a NT "sacrament" function?

Dan,

Greetings! Thanks for your post, you brought up a good point:

>>So much leaven has been brought into the church over the centuries, much of
it under the guise of "what's the problem"... what's the problem if we change a
little something, or add a little something.Dan,

Greetings! Thanks for your post, you brought up a good point:

<<So much leaven has been brought into the church over the centuries, much of
it under the guise of "what's the problem"... what's the problem if we change a
little something, or add a little something.>>

True. I myself believe much of what is popular Evangelicalism, practices like
alter calls and emotional invitations and a belief in decisional regeneration
fall under the term "leaven" brought in under the guise of "what's the
problem"....

Yes, baptism is an immersion into the Trinity. It is also a symbol, a sign. By
faith the parents baptize their child against the day when God fulfills His
promise that both "you and your family will believe." I have no particular
memory of an event of which afterwards I knew that I was "born again." As far
as I know, I have always just assumed that God existed, that Christ died for
me, and that God declares those who trust Him as righteous and that the Spirit
comes and brings His life. It was the air I breathed. By the time I believed
and was baptized, I had been in the grace and mercy of God for years. The
Spirit had "circumcised" me long before I actually hit the water.

I do not believe that it would have been bad for my parents to have had me
baptized, and then publicly confirmed my faith at confirmation, or something
like it? Do you have any particular Scriptures, Dan, that says only adults are
to be baptized?

Blessings to you, Dan,

TC


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 14:01:31 -0700
From: Dan Snyder
Subject: [NTCP] Infant Baptism

Dear TC,

Thanks for the quick reply, but I fear you may be putting words in my mouth.
Only adults? (did I say that?).

In the Bible believing and being baptized are critically linked. Baptism is for
those who believe into Christ. (Again I'd ask you to look at the Lord's word in
Mark 16:16.)

The issue you raised was "infant baptism"... not children or adults. Many
children are baptized in a clear and definite way, having believed into the
Lord Jesus. That's wonderful! Praise the Lord for His love and care for the
children!

If by "child" you mean infant I say that sounds nice... but I have to ask, is
that what the Bible teaches? Or is that just a nice man-made concept? Perhaps a
kind of "insurance" we as parents want to buy for our new infant child.

We may have a good and well meaning motive.... but if we start calling that
"baptism" we really compromise the truth in the Bible. Eventually that may turn
out as a damage to our children.

Dan


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 17:36:08 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis(--AT--)
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Infant Baptism

Dan,

I'm thinking of the Scripture in Acts:

"Trembling with fear, the jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and
fell down before Paul and Silas. He brought them out and asked, 'Sirs, what
must I do to be saved?' They replied, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus and you shall
be saved, along with your entire household.' They then shared the word of the
Lord with him and all who lived in his household... and he and everyone in his
household were immediately baptized." Acts 16:29-32 NLT

In ancient times, because the family was a Patriarchy, the household meant
everyone: women. children, infants, slaves, and their women and children. It
could be argued that the jailer may not have had slaves, and did not have an
infant son or daughter. But on the other hand.....

I would ask your forgiveness if you think I am trying to put words into your
mouth! That was surely not my intention, and I'm sorry I phrased my post in a
way made it seem that way to you.

I say adult because even a child of 12 was considered an adult in Israel, and
much of the extra-biblical foolishness about "the age of accountability" seems
to hover around that age. I link faith with justification initially, and not
baptism. In my theological framework, regeneration happens before repentance
and faith. That is were I was coming from.

I believe this position to be Scriptural -- and I'd like your imput on what
kind of damage infant baptism, done in faith (i.e., not like in Catholic or
Mainline Churches as a ceremony) can do.

Blessings, Dan,

TC


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 16:16:10 -0400
From: "Linkh(--AT--)bigfoot.com"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?

>TheologusCrucis(--AT--) wrote:

>Just a short post ;) to ask you a question: Why do you oppose child baptism?
>If circumcision is the induction of a 8 day old into the covenantal community
>of the Jews, why not baptism of a new covenant believer's baby into the
>covenantal community?

Below is a verse that is often used to argue for infant baptism:

Colossians 2:11-12 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.

The line of reasoning goes that if baptism is related to circumcision, that
infants should be baptized, just as infants were circumcised under the law of
Moses. But is this what the passage is saying?

Circumcision was a type and a forshadowing of something greater, the
circumcision of Christ. But even in the OT, we can see that circumcision
served a symbol of something greater. Notice the words of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of
your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come
forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your
doings.

Paul also wrote, Romans 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and
circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose
praise is not of men, but of God.

Did parents circumcise the HEARTS of their children on the eighth day in the
OT? No, they did not. Parents did not have the power to do such a thing.

I appreciated Jay's response to TC's question:
Jay wrote,
>It's very hard to make the pledge of a good conscience for someone else.

To which TC responded,

>As for a pledge.... I don't recall that one in the Great Commision :o). We
all would
>agree that baptism in itself doesn't save. If the infant is baptized, is
brought up in the
>faith by the parents in the environment of a faith community, and comes to
faith when
>he/she understands the gospel, then what is the problem? If they rebel and
go away
>from their parents and the community, and doesn't come to faith, they were
a dry
>baby that became a wet baby -- no false assurance of salvation

I think Jay was refering to 1 Peter 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:"

I recall that someone has translated 'answer of a good conscience toward God'
as 'pledge' of a good conscience toward God, or something along those lines.

This is the verse that infant baptism does not fulfill. An infant is not
baptized as an answer of his own conscience toward God. Rather, he is baptized
because his parents desire it.

As Jay pointed out, the Bible ties faith in with baptism. (Mark 16:16.) Notice
that repentance is also tied to baptism.

Acts 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.

In the Bible, baptism was something that peple underwent when they decided to
follow Christ's teaching.

What good does infant baptism do?

Some have taught that babies needed to be baptized, or else, if they die, they
would go to hell. The following verses are used to argue that children of
believers are holy, and therefore should be baptized.

1 Corinthians 7:12-14 12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother
hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him
not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not,
and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the
unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is
sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they
holy.

Let us consider these verses. Suppose a woman were married to a pagan, and she
became a Chrsitian, while her husband remained in paganism. She and her
husband have a child after this. Paul said that this child was holy. Let's
suppose the child was not allowed to be baptized, becaue of his pagan father.
Would the child be unclean or holy?

According to Paul, the child is holy because of having a believing parent, not
because of baptism.

Link Hudson


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 18:16:04 -0400
From: David Anderson
Subject: [NTCP] my people love to have it so

Another incident of concern to me was a recent event that happened in Africa. I
am sure that many of you heard about the miracle that took place there. A man
that was embalmed came back to life. this happened during a Reinhardt Bonnke
meeting. When i checked the website to get the story, they told all the details
about the miracle, and said that the man who came back said God sent him back
with an important message for the Church. I began searching frantically for
this important message from God, only to discover that the message wasn't
available on the site, you have to send 35.00USD for the tape to hear it.

On the site they also made certain to mention that Reinhardt raised the man
from the dead, they didn't mention much about Jesus.

....."and my people love to have it so"......

David Jaggernauth Trinidad & Tobago

Hey David,

This passage from Jeremiah was once well known but I have never heard it quoted
in recent memory. I appreciate you calling it to our attention. "Multum in
parvo."

Jer. 5:29-31 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my
soul be avenged on such a nation as this? A wonderful and horrible thing is
committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear
rule by their means; AND MY PEOPLE LOVE TO HAVE IT SO: and what will ye do in
the end thereof?

Let me tie it to another subject at hand. We tend to blame a usurping clergy
for most of the problems in the churches today. Yet, just as in the prophet's
day, "lazy laymen" are perfectly content to abdicate their own functions.

BTW, did you ever notice the "in thy names" in this one sobering text? Matt.
7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied IN
THY NAME? and IN THY NAME have cast out devils? and IN THY NAME done many
wonderful works?

Self-deceit is not only possible but tragically actual. With that in mind, I
respect your hesitancy to receive every glowing report that comes across the
internet.

God help us and God speed to all!

David Anderson


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 20:10:26 -0400
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] How
does a NT "sacrament" function?

Linkh(--AT--)bigfoot.com wrote

>>Circumcision was a type and a forshadowing of something greater, the
>>circumcision of Christ. But even in the OT, we can see that circumcision
>>served a symbol of something greater. Notice the words of Jeremiah.
>>
>>Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins
>>of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury
>>come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil
>>of your doings.

Dear Link,

Amen to the above observation, and there is another that speaks of having a
"circumcised ear." Clearly God is invoking the sexual parable, having made us
male and female in His image, and this old creation truth being a revelation of
a great mystery, Christ and The Church. This to say that circumcision makes the
most graphic point possible concerning the possibility of intimacy with God.

What God is after is an expanded intimacy of the same quality that there was in
God from before the foundation of the world. He made us male and female in the
image of that intimacy, and then draws on sexual graphics to reveal to us what
it is really all about. The point of it all is Christ and the Church. Until we
get the point, we are hung up on the plumbing. This is very important for the
"house to house" dimension of our relational inheritence in Him. Without the
circumcision done in the heart by the crucifixion of Christ, the intimacy He
offers us is not possible. We just cannot go where He died, and prayed to take
us, without circumcision. The old creation teaches us that first comes
circumcision, then comes intimacy.

>>Jay wrote,
>>
>>It's very hard to make the pledge of a good conscience for someone else.
>>
>I think Jay was refering to 1 Peter 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:"
>
>I recall that someone has translated 'answer of a good conscience toward God'
>as 'pledge' of a good conscience toward God, or something along those lines.
>
>This is the verse that infant baptism does not fulfill. An infant is not
>baptized as an answer of his own conscience toward God. Rather, he is
>baptized because his parents desire it.

Actually, I believe that the Spirit of what Peter has written, is the
equivalent of a wedding vow. The difference is that in a wedding vow, we say "I
do", and in baptism we say a wordless "I am". In both cases we are making a
conscious pledge of relationship. One involves our "doing", and the other
involves our "being". Living in Christ without baptism is like living in a
common law marriage. There is no sign of committment or identification.

>Let us consider these verses. Suppose a woman were married to a pagan, and
>she became a Chrsitian, while her husband remained in paganism. She and her
>husband have a child after this. Paul said that this child was holy. Let's
>suppose the child was not allowed to be baptized, becaue of his pagan father.
>Would the child be unclean or holy?

The child would be sanctified by her faith, even if neither of them were
believers before the child was born. When either parent becomes a believer,
their child is sanctified by association with that believing parent. That way
the child can be included in the fellowship, even though the child has not yet
made the parent's faith thereown. The same goes for the unbelieving spouse.
This sanctification, I believe is for present purposes only, and must become
the reality of the person themselves in order for them to possess eternal life.

>According to Paul, the child is holy because of having a believing parent, not
>because of baptism.

Exactly!

Yours in Christ,

Jay


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 22:42:37 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis
Subject: Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?

Link,

You wrote:

>The line of reasoning goes that if baptism is related to circumcision, that
infants should be baptized, just as infants were circumcised under the law of
Moses. But is this what the passage is saying?

Circumcision was a type and a forshadowing of something greater, the
circumcision of Christ. But even in the OT, we can see that circumcision
served a symbol of something greater. Notice the words of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of
your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come
forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your
doings.

Paul also wrote, Romans 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and
circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose
praise is not of men, but of God.

Did parents circumcise the HEARTS of their children on the eighth day in the
OT? No, they did not. Parents did not have the power to do such a thing.I
think Jay was refering to 1 Peter 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:"

I recall that someone has translated 'answer of a good conscience toward God'
as 'pledge' of a good conscience toward God, or something along those lines.

This is the verse that infant baptism does not fulfill. An infant is not
baptized as an answer of his own conscience toward God. Rather, he is baptized
because his parents desire it. What good does infant baptism do?

Some have taught that babies needed to be baptized, or else, if they die, they
would go to hell. The following verses are used to argue that children of
believers are holy, and therefore should be baptized.Link,

You wrote:

The line of reasoning goes that if baptism is related to circumcision, that
infants should be baptized, just as infants were circumcised under the law of
Moses. But is this what the passage is saying?

Circumcision was a type and a forshadowing of something greater, the
circumcision of Christ. But even in the OT, we can see that circumcision served
a symbol of something greater. Notice the words of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of
your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come
forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your
doings.

Paul also wrote, Romans 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and
circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose
praise is not of men, but of God.

Did parents circumcise the HEARTS of their children on the eighth day in the
OT? No, they did not. Parents did not have the power to do such a thing.&lt;

Interesting point. Circumcision is a "cutting away" literally and symbolically.
When the ancients would make a treaty, they would "cut a covenant." The
shedding of blood was essential. Remember Genisis 15, where God walked between
the halves of the animals? God called down on Himself the same fate as the
animals if He were to break the treaty.

Circumcision is pretty radical -- the believer, Abraham, and his male infants
were to be cut. To cut away the foreskin was to cut away the symbol of
uncleanness. It wasn't done for hygienic reasons, like in US hospitals today,
but symbolically as the foreskin represented the original sin inherited from
Adam from the day the person to be circumcised was conceived -- this was "cut
away" from the body. It was also very real -- circumcision is painful,
especially to a fully grown man.

For one not to be circumcised meant that they were to be "cut off" from
national and covenantal life. It is interesting that the infants circumcised
under the OT were accepted by God as part of the covenant -- and their Rabbi
and parents couldn't cut away the sin inherited from Adam. But God viewed them
as cut away from sinful humanity, one of the elect, one of the chosen of God.

As to what Jay had written in response:

I think Jay was refering to 1 Peter 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:"

I recall that someone has translated 'answer of a good conscience toward God'
as 'pledge' of a good conscience toward God, or something along those lines.

This is the verse that infant baptism does not fulfill. An infant is not
baptized as an answer of his own conscience toward God. Rather, he is baptized
because his parents desire it.&lt;

Why not? As the infant turns into a child, and the child turns into an
adolescent, they are to be instructed and discipled not only by the parents,
but by their community of faith. By watching their parents follow Christ, by
watching the people in their community of faith, by partaking in the Sacraments
and by hearing the Word they learn they are part of the covenant, that they
have died with Christ and are risen again in Him as well. Seems as natural as
breathing to me, at least;)

I'd agree 100% if baptism is done just to be done, outside of the parent's
faith or a community of believer's firmly committed to the Word rightly
preached and the Sacraments rightly administered.

You asked:

"What good does infant baptism do? Some have taught that babies needed to be
baptized, or else, if they die, they would go to hell. The following verses are
used to argue that children of believers are holy, and therefore should be
baptized."

One, it does what the Word says it does -- it 'cuts away' the sinful nature and
marks them as a child of God -- just like OT circumcision.

And by the way, Link, I refuse to be guilty by false association. It don't
think I have advocated that baptism is in some way a superstitious act. I
believe I have firmly linked it to the lively faith of a believing family and
community of faith. And like any adult that doesn't have faith and only comes
up a wet sinner, so also would that apply to the baptism of one who was
baptized as an infant.

As to the Scripture about sanctifying an infant -- isn't interesting that the
faith of a father or mother and their baptism into the NT is also applicable to
that infant? It kind of answers your first question, in a way, doesn't it?

You have a real nice night, now, Link.

TC
 


End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V2 #106 < Previous Digest Next Digest >



house church eldership servanthood lord's day lord's supper world missions