Friday, August 26, 2005

Circumcision and Baptism compared.

I had a discussion with a Baptist friend in a discussion forum about the relationship between Baptism and circumcision My Baptist friend wrote ten point showing that there wasn't a relationship between the two. I then I responded to each point.

Coram Deo,

MrWonder wrote:
1. Circumcision is a sign to Israel only. Water Baptism is a sign for the individual repentant believer on the Messiah.

This is not accurate. Circumcision and baptism have much broader meaning than MrWonder allows in his statement above. Circumcision, like baptism is a sign of faith. “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:” (Romans 4:11)

We find here that Abraham received believers circumcision (credo-circumcision), but at the same time his son and all those in his house also received this very same sign. Did they all believe? No, neither were they all descendents of Abraham. In fact, the vast majority of those who received this sign which was “a seal of the righteousness of the faith” were not even descended from Abraham, but they were in his house and they were brought into the covenant because he was their federal or covenant head.

Abraham’s son Ishmael also received the sign of circumcision though he was not a believer, and to our knowledge, never became one.

In order to be an outward member of God’s covenant people (assembly) you had to be circumcised under the Old Covenant. In order to be a member of God’s covenant people (assembly) today you must be baptised.

Could uncircumcised people participate in Passover meal? NO (see Exodus 12:43,48; Num. 9:14). The Lord’s Supper has replaced Passover (just as baptism has replaced circumcision). Can a non-baptised person receive the communion? No; not in any Christian church I know of.

I think the connection here is clear. Circumcision was a sign of God’s covenant people in the Old Covenant, and baptism is the sign given to God’s covenant people in the New Covenant. Both are outward signs of what should be and inward reality.

MrWonder says that baptism is for individual repentant believers “only.” Of course I disagree. I think I can show that this is also not supported Scripturally (especially if we remember the cultural context of the first century church). A number of the baptisms in Scripture are household baptisms. Cornelius and his household were baptised, as was Lydia and her household, and the Philippian jailer and his household. We also find that Crispus and his household were baptisedas was Stephanas and his household.

There are nine New Covenant baptism episodes in the Scriptures and four of them are household baptisms. Of the remaining five, four were of men only and the one remaining (of the Samaritans) is the first to include women for baptism.

If the covenant form were to be continued from the Old Covenant we would expect to find household baptisms in the New Covenant just as we find household circumcisions in the Old Covenant. Guess what, this is exactly what we do find in the Scriptures.

Our Baptist brethren assume that in each of these cases ALL of the household members were old enough to believe and did so, but this is not the case in every situation. This is clearly visible in the Greek (I will show how sometime later).

MrWonder next states:
2.Circumcision was a requirement for entry into the national covenant of Israel. Water Baptism is not a requirement for anything. Faith is the requirement for the individual to enter the New Covenant. Acts recounts Gentiles being saved BEFORE administration of Water Baptism. But under circumcision, God prescribed death for those who were not circumcised--completely the opposite of the New Testament (Covenant).

I think I have already shown above that this is inaccurate. Water baptism is an outward sign of being part of God’s people. I don’t think MrWonder’s church allows unbaptised folks to be members of his congregation, and I very much doubt that unbaptised folks are “officially” allowed to partake of communion.

Baptism is a sign of covenant membership in the New Covenant just as circumcision was a sign of covenant membership in the Old Covenant.

MrWonder wrote:
3. Circumcision shed man's blood. The New Covenant shed God's blood, and Water Baptism does not do that.

If MrWonder were to continue to expound on this point he might come around to our way of thinking. He is correct that circumcision was a bloody rite, as was Passover and most of the ritualistic worship of ancient Israel. All this blood pointed to Christ. When Christ came he shed His blood for our sins and all the old covenant bloody ceremonies were either done away with completely or they were changed to bloodless rites. The Eucharist (Lord’s Supper), which is bloodless, replaced Passover which required the shedding of Blood. Bread and wine replaced the Passover lamb. Bloody circumcision was replaced by a bloodless water baptism.

Both of these outward signs (circumcision and baptism) point to a need for cleansing of the recipient. The Old Covenant saints are called on to circumcise the foreskin of their heart. Baptism is symbolic of the washing away of sin. In both cases the outward sign points the recipient to the inward reality that is symbolised in the outward act.

In the Old Covenant Abraham was saved by faith. God instituted circumcision as the covenant sign given to Abraham because of that faith. We see that clearly spelled out by Paul in Romans (see Romans 4:11). When God covenanted with Abraham the covenant was not for him as an individual alone. It was familial and we Christians are heirs to God’s covenant with Abraham and are Abraham’s seed (see Gal. 3:27-29). In verse 29 Paul says of Christians “And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” We are, like Isaac, children of the promise (Gal. 4:28Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.”). God’s promise to Abraham was generational (I can provide plenty of Scriptures here if needed). We are heirs to that promise and God’s generational promise was repeated at Pentecost, by Peter, to the Jewish converts into the new covenant administration. Peter brought the children of believers in during the very first sermon of the New Covenant era. We read “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. 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 2:38,39).

The new sign given for covenant membership is baptism, and the Jews now entering the New Covenant hear what they have heard for two thousand years; Their children are still included in the covenant promise of God to His people. (How would a first century Jew understand Peter’s word?) Taking into consideration of how the original audience would understand the message is an important rule of hermeneutics that our individualists age too often leaves out of consideration at this point.

In the New Covenant we find in-depth explanations of the major discontinuities between the old and new covenants. Dropping the children from God’s covenant membership would be a very drastic change. Such a change is never taught in the New Covenant Scriptures. In Fact the New Covenant Scriptures repeat the Old Covenant themes of the inclusion of the believers children in the covenant.

If we are in the New Covenant, which God promised in Jeremiah, than we are the Israel and Judah that he is speaking of. In Jeremiah 31:31 we read “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.” All Israel were covenant members. God’s New Covenant is with the “house” of Israel and the “house” of Judah. The concept of “house” in scripture includes all members, even those yet unborn. An Israelite came into covenant with God by his birth, and he received the sign of the covenant as an infant. We are the New Israel of God. We can see this clearly in Hebrews. The writer says “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” (Hebrews 8:13)

The Old Covenant was even then fading away, because the New had come in. The old disappeared completely in 70 AD when Rome put an end to temple rituals and destroyed the temple. We are the Israel of the New Covenant no matter what our ethnicity, because in this new covenant there is neither Greeks nor Jews. We are heirs to the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We are grafted into that olive tree.

These are some of the reasons, we believe, our children should be baptised as infants.

MrWonder wrote:
4. Circumcision left a physical mark. Water Baptism's evidence is gone in fifteen minutes.

I think this one is handled in my earlier answers. The sign of the covenant changed. We agree on that, but since we Reformed Christians believe sprinkling or pouring to be preferred method over immersion, So we dry off much faster than the fifteen minutes you allow.

Seriously, you are correct that there is a change in form but the substance is, I believe, basically the same. Both are signs and seals of God's covenant. The "bloody" sign was the one used prior Christ shedding His blood on the cross. All Old Covenant rituals that involved the shedding of blood were the shadows fulfilled in Christ. They all cease in the New Covenant. Some, such as animal sacrifices for sin and ritual uncleanness are forever done away with (they will not return in any sort of future millennium), and others like Passover and circumcision are changed to the bloodless rites of communion and baptism. Once the blood of Christ has been shed all other religious (ritualistic) bloodletting is passé. These were the shadows that the writer of Hebrews says were, in the early days of the New Covenant, passing away.

Baptism has replaced circumcision as the sign that one is in a covenant relationship with God. Old Covenant saints HAD to be circumcised to be eligible for outward covenant membership. They had to be circumcised to be viewed as in the covenant. They had to be circumcised to partake of the covenant meal (Passover). New Covenant saints have to be baptised for outward membership in the Covenant community of God (the Church). They have to be baptised to participate in the covenant meal (Lord's Supper). Notice any similarity here? I do.

Children have always been viewed as members of God's covenant people and had been given the sign of covenant membership. The New Covenant NOWHERE nullifies this pattern and it, in fact, repeats the same ancient form and promises.

The question is: Do we begin our study of this matter in Acts, with no theological, cultural or historical context, or do we start in Genesis and include all of Scripture to gain our understanding on the subject?If we start from the beginning, from the Scriptures that the Apostles used to teach the first century church, the covenant aspects of baptism is overwhelming. Remember the first century church did not have the New Testament.

MrWonder wrote:
5. The Jew could look down in private and seek the proof of his Israeli covenant membership. The Christian cannot, but must look inward.
6. (Akin to 5) Circumcision was of the flesh. However, under the New Covenant, it is circumcision of the heart (repentance and faith toward Christ) that brings one into the ranks of the redeemed, NOT Water Baptism.

Answer to 5&6:
Jews of the old covenant were also told to look inward. They were to have a circumcised heart. Outward covenant membership was (and is) a blessing in this life, but if there is not a corresponding true cleansing, which is and always has been, by faith in our Saviour Jesus Christ, then covenant membership did, and does, bring greater condemnation.

The Jew was not to think he was saved by his physical relationship to Abraham, nor by the outward keeping of the Law. Salvation is, as it was in the old covenants, by faith in Jesus Christ, and he was called to examine himself to see if his heart was circumcised (made clean). We see that the New Covenant believer is also to have the inward circumcision of the heart. We see this in Colossians 2:11. Here also our baptism is equated to circumcision, because the two things are outward signs of what God's people are to possess inwardly.

The outward covenant sign has always been a picture of what the covenant member should experience as an inward reality. God's people in the old covenant were to have a circumcised heart just as the new covenant believer is to have a circumcised heart. Baptism like circumcision is a sign of the need for inward cleansing. It represents the washing away of sins, as did the ceremonial washings of the Old Covenant (BTW: these ceremonial washings [baptismois] were mostly sprinkling or pouring. See Heb. 9:10 and look back to the Old Covenant washings the writer is referring to.). Again there is a strong correlation between baptism and circumcision on this point of inward cleanliness.

There are other correlations as well. I am sure we will get to them in time, but the point here is again we see that while the outward form has changed the meaning is the same. We see again that there is, on this subject, continued continuity between the Old and New Covenants. If the meaning is the same and the promises are the same and the household form is repeated, should the sign be given to the new converts and the children of believers now as it was of Old? I believe it should, and that is why my children have been baptised always as infants.

MrWonder wrote:
7. Circumcision was for male children only and Israeli national covenant membership depended on the head of the family (male) being circumcised. Under the New Covenant, no one is saved because of their parentage, but each must believe on Christ personally, THEN Water Baptism is applied.

First let me address a statement by MrWonder. He wrote "Under the New Covenant, no one is saved because of their parentage." This is nothing new to the New Covenant. No one has ever been saved on account of their parentage at any part in human history. This is nothing new to the New Covenant. It is a fact from the time of Adam until the second coming of Christ. No Israelite was ever saved because of parentage. Jesus makes this very point when he was addressing the Pharisees who had wrongly and unbiblically had come to believe that being a genetic descendent of Abraham gave them a free ride to heaven. Jesus told them that God could make the rocks around them into sons of Abraham (BTW: God did make millions of Gentiles, like you and me, into sons of Abraham.

Jesus told these men that they need the fruit of repentance, being a descendent of Abraham was a great blessing, but it did not save unless it was accompanied by the faith of Abraham. Each person in the Old Covenant had to have a personal faith in the Messiah in order to be saved (Read Heb. 11 especially verse 13 which says of the Old Covenant saints "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."). All saved people in the Old Covenant that were saved were saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no change on this point.

There is continuity in the Covenants at this point and not discontinuity. Salvation by faith in the Saviour. Jesus makes this clear to the religious leaders of his day when he says to them "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me." In order to be saved "each must believe on Christ personally," but that was true of the Old Covenant and is not new to the New Covenant as MrWonder implies in comment #7. Therefore this is not in any way an argument against infant baptism, because salvation was accomplished the same way in the Old Covenant and the Old Covenant people gave their children the covenant sign.

Now let me back up and touch on the first part of MrWonder's comments. He said "Circumcision was for male children only and Israeli national covenant membership depended on the head of the family (male) being circumcised."

He is correct circumcision was only for males in the Old Covenant. But in the New Covenant there is a great expansion of the Covenant promises. Now the Good News has burst the bounds of ethnic Israel and is beginning to cover the whole earth. With the expansion of the New Covenant women too are given the new covenant sign. I believe it would be an amazing thing that at the same time that God expands the Covenant sign to women, He would, for the first time ever, remove the children of believers from the covenant.

Family headship matters no less in the New Covenant than it did in the Old. That is why Lydia's house was baptised when she had received Christ. That is why the Philippian jailer and his house was baptised, etc...

Even here we find continuity between the old and new. God's covenant has always had a familial aspect to it. The New Testament writers reiterate that pattern and don't do away with it.

The household/familial pattern is even found in the promise God made to Abraham about the eventual salvation of the Gentiles through him. Paul explains this in Galatians. He says "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." (Gal. 3:8)

I would like to make a couple of points here. Abraham knew the Gospel, and he was saved by his faith and belief in the same Gospel that you and I have. Abraham knew that salvation would come to us Gentiles through him, and we would become heirs to the promises made to Abraham (continuity).

We Gentiles (wild olive branches) are grafted into the ancient cultivated olive tree of God's people ("And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree" [Romans 11:17]). We Gentiles have been grafted into the ancient people and covenant of God, and we have become partakers "of the root and fatness of the olive tree." We are not a new thing or people. We are grafted into what already was.

Again we see here continuity between the old and new. Certainly some things have changed, but they have not changed in near the drastic way that MrWonder assumes. There is much continuity in the Covenants.

Let me give just one more example. We read in Eph. 2 "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." (11-13).

Paul says here that we Gentile Christians were once "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel." Notice Paul said this in the past tense, because this is no longer the case. We were once as peoples "strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world," but this too is no longer true for the Christian. We are now "made nigh by the blood of Christ." Again we see that we are now no longer strangers from the covenants of promise. We are now part of the true Israel of God. Again there is continuity between the Old and New Covenant people of God.

The New Covenant is a renewal and better Covenant, but it doesn't start from scratch as MrWonder (and all Baptists) assumes in his comments. We are part of the one people of God. We who are in Christ are the sons of Abraham and heirs to the promises God made to Abraham.

God's promises to Abraham were familial and generational. The New Covenant NEVER does away with the generational/household aspects of the covenant. It does, as I have shown, repeat the same ancient familial formula and pattern.

The burden of proof, that children are now excluded from the covenant people of God, is on our baptistic brethren that believe they are cast out of the covenant. Paul's words in 1 Cor. 7:14 make perfect since from the ancient covenantal ways of God and His people. To explain this verse in any other way you have to rip it out of its overall biblical context. It can and should be understood in its very natural covenantal sense.

MrWonder wrote:
8. Circumcision was a sign to the individual. Water Baptism is a sign to other people instead.

Again MrWonder's proposition falls short of the overall biblical teaching on the matter at hand. He gives us, time and again, an extremely minimalistic understanding of both baptism and circumcision. This minimalism distorts the overall biblical picture.

MrWonder, in his ten point list, stresses the fact that circumcision and baptism are physically different signs. I readily and heartily admit the same thing. No one has ever argued that the outward signs were identical. I don't believe there has ever been a Christian, in all of church history, to make that point. My point, along with all other Reformed Christians, is that while the outward sign has changed the basic meaning of Baptism and circumcision are the same.

We read in Romans 4 the following about Abraham and circumcision "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:"(verse 11).

Circumcision was not JUST an ethnic sign. It was a sign of the righteousness imputed to Abraham. Paul makes that very clear in the context of chapter 4. Abraham received "believers" or credo-circumcision, but God's covenant was not with him alone, but with his house as well. It was with his descendants and with all converts to the faith of Abraham.

If those circumcised in the Old Covenant had the outward sign, without the corresponding inward reality there circumcision was regarded as uncircumcision. Lets look at Paul's letter to the Romans once more. He writes "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God" (Rom 2:28-29).

Paul reiterates this point in Romans 9. He says "For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; neither are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: 'through Isaac your descendants will be named.' That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants" (Rom. 9:6b-8).

I wish to make several points. First, circumcision was never just an outward ethnic sign for Abraham's descendents; it was, from the beginning, a sign and seal of righteousness. MrWonder insists that Baptism is a sign that reflects and inward reality. He is correct at that point, but we can see above that circumcision reflected the same thing. Abraham was circumcised because he had believed God and righteousness had been imputed to him (see Romans 4:1-11). This sign was given to Abraham because his "iniquities were forgiven", and his sins were "covered" (verse 7).

Folks this is the same way you and I are saved. Abraham was given the sign of circumcision because he had been saved by Christ. When Abraham was saved his whole house came into a covenant relationship with the LORD. This pattern exists throughout the Old Covenant and is, as I have already pointed out, repeated in the New Covenant.

I have to ask:
Question: Is baptism not a sign that one has been saved?
Answer: Yes it is. Just as with Abraham, God's covenant sign, which is an outward symbol of an inward cleansing, is given to new believers and it is also given to those in their house. Again this is what we find with Abraham, with Israel under Moses, in Peter's sermon on Pentecost, and in the household baptisms found in the New Testament.Old Testament circumcision was always, from the beginning, an outward sign of what was supposed to be an inward reality. Abraham possessed the inward reality. Outward circumcision saved no one; they needed to be circumcised in their hearts.

"Circumcise then your heart, and stiffen your neck no more" (Deut. 10:16).
"Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live" (Deut. 30:6).
"Circumcise yourselves to the LORD And remove the foreskins of your heart, Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Lest My wrath go forth like fire And burn with none to quench it, Because of the evil of your deeds" (Jer. 4:4).

God's Old Covenant people were not to take their salvation for granted. They were threatened with being "cut off" from it if they were not true believers. The same is true today. Look at what Paul says in Romans 11 "Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee" (Romans 11:20,21).

Ethnic, Old Covenant Israel was broken off from the covenant because of unbelief. Notice they were covenant members, but NOT believers in the true God. Once Paul has said this of ethnic Israel he warns the church that it too can be cut off.

Question: Can we loose our salvation?
Answer: NO. This text, like those in the Old Covenant, must be understood in its covenantal context. It is possible to be "in covenant" and not saved. That is why Christians are called to "give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall" (2 Pet. 1:10).

Question: Did peter think true believers could loose their salvation?
Answer: No, but like the people in the Old Covenant, covenant membership (baptism), does not guarantee genuine salvation. So we, like old covenant members are not to take salvation for granted just because we are in the church (i.e. in covenant).Again we see covenantal continuity between the Old and New Covenant people of God. Remember what Paul wrote in Romans 9: "For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; neither are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: 'through Isaac your descendants will be named.' That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants" (Rom. 9:6b-8). Paul is not inventing a new concept. What Paul says here had always been the case. Covenant members that possessed only the outward sign were not the TRUE descendants and heirs of Abraham.

Christians are, the sons of Abraham and heirs to the Promise. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

In the Old Covenant only those with circumcised hearts were the true sons and heirs of the promise made to Abraham. This is not new to the New Covenant, but the same is true in the New Covenant. We Christians are the heirs to the promise made to Abraham. Some of our Christian our brethren argue against Paul at this point, because Paul points us once again to the continuity we have with Old Covenant believers. We like them are the true sons and heirs of Abraham. And we, like Abraham, are to give the covenant sign to our children.

MrWonder wrote:
9. One could be circumcised, a member of the covenant, and still be lost. Under the New Covenant and Water Baptism, one does not have a permanent mark but instead, a permanent change of the life through the Holy Spirit.

10. Babies were circumcised. Not ONE Scripture hints at babies being baptized.

I think I have addressed some of the points made here in my earlier posts, but I will see if I can cover this from some different angles. In #9 MrWonder makes the assumption that all folks baptized in the New Covenant are saved. This is easily shown to be a false assumption. In the New Testament we are told of baptized believers who fall away or depart from the true faith. These were new covenant members who became covenant breakers. (I will be happy to provide a list if it is requested.) We also find in 1 Cor. (5:9-12) that the church can (and should) excommunicate members from its midst if they are in blatant sin and will not repent. These excommunicated individuals, who have been baptized, are to be treated as an unbelievers. So again we have continuity from old to new because in both covenants it is possible for those once counted as believers to be "cut off" from the people of God.

Another false assumption that he makes here and on earlier points is that the Old Covenant sign was outward only. This is false. As Paul makes clear in Romans circumcision was a sign of Abraham's righteousness, and the old covenant believer is called, time and again, to not count on his outward circumcision; he had to have a circumcised heart as well.

In one of Jesus' parable about the kingdom he speaks of the wheat and tares. Lets look at that for a moment.

"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." (Matt. 13:24-30)

This is a parable of the kingdom. The wheat and tares are both outwardly in the kingdom, but one is not true wheat. The tares that are in the kingdom are outwardly part of the people of God, but are not of the faith of Abraham and will be cast into the fire at the last day.

We in the New Covenant have a much fuller outpouring of the Holy Spirit than did our Old Covenant brethren, but again there is a similarity. In both cases there are true believers and false believers in the covenant. In both cases the members are warned not to take covenant membership as a guarantee of salvation. In both case blatant covenant breakers are to be "cut of" from the people of God.

(If anyone likes I can go into much greater detail here, but I am trying to keep this short, because I have already written some fairly long posts on this thread. Let me know if you want greater detail.)

Now let me address #10. I think I have already shown that infant baptism IS hinted at in the household baptisms of the New Covenant. But let me put this point into perspective.

Question: Where in the New Testament do we read of women taking the Lord's Supper.
Answer: There is NO explicit example in the Scriptures of women partaking of this meal.

If MrWonder is consistent he would argue against women taking communion, because we have no explicit example of this taking place in the pages of the New Testament.

MrWonder is right when he agrees (as I am sure he does) that women should be allowed to eat the bread and drink the wine at communion, even though this is not explicitly taught in Scripture; however, he is in error when he denies that children should not receive baptism because this too is not explicitly taught. There is plenty of continuity and similarity between circumcision and baptism. I have barely scratched the surface of this subject.

Remember The Bible begins in Genesis and not Matthew or Acts and we are whole Bible Christians because "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:16,17).

Soli Deo Gloria,
That is all of that series. I hope someone finds it worth the time to read.

In Christ,

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