Walk’n Thoughts

1400817_10202390032782085_1747368932_oEvery Monday I will try to share some thoughts about something I’ve been studying or a quote which I found helpful or interesting.  Here’s my first Walk’n Thought:

I have never noticed the Baptist Catechism handled infant baptism until this morning.

Q 99: Are the infants of such as are professing believers to be baptized?
A: The infants of such are not to be baptized, because there is neither command or example in the Holy Scriptures, or certain consequence from them, to baptize such.

Ok, you might say. That is ordinary enough.

But the proof text they site is very interesting. Luke 3:7-8 “[John the Baptist] said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father.” For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.'”

Those who baptize infants do so on the claim that the Bible teaches children of believers have a place in the New Covenant and the church (See Westminster larger catechism Q 62 & 166). But this text clearly teaches the opposite.

This text clearly shows the last Old Testament prophet* declaring the last Old Testament revelation foreseeing the New Testament order**. What does he say? He declares that baptism is (1) a baptism of repentance, ie, a fleeing from divine wrath, (2) those who are to be baptized cannot point to their parents and say, ‘we have no need for this’ (3) the reason is that lineage is not the basis for New Covenant membership, but God’s sovereign and creative power toward those who comply with the terms of the covenant. It is ‘necessarily contained’ in this text (ie, by implication the text clearly teaches) that (4) those who comply with the terms of the covenant will be knowledgeably, individually, and of their own cognitive will doing so, not by any act of their parents or any relationship they hold to their parents, and (5) instructed to reject the Old Covenant idea of heritage in Abraham as a basis for covenant membership.

Of course, John’s baptism was only a prophetic precursor to the New Covenant baptism and not itself New Covenant baptism (see v16), but it was indeed a prophetic precursor.

Also, how thankful we can be that although we differ with those who baptize infants on this point, our hope for salvation from God’s perfect justice does not rest on our own puny understanding of baptism, but on the ‘already-completed’ works of Christ and the free gift of being declared righteous because of this already completed work.

* (John the Baptist was the last prophet to come before Christ instituted the New Covenant in his blood)
** (all Old Testament Prophets spoke of the coming New Covenant, or more specifically of Christ who would institute it by his own blood.)

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One thought on “Walk’n Thoughts

  1. I shared this with my son who is grappling with these very issues at the moment. It prompted him to pick up the confession for himself and study it further. So thankful for your thoughts on this subject.

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