Presentation on theme: "Part 2: Baptism The Means of Grace “… we work with you for your joy…” 2 Corinthians 1:24."— Presentation transcript:
Part 2: Baptism The Means of Grace “… we work with you for your joy…” 2 Corinthians 1:24
What is Baptism? Objective: To understand what the primary significance of baptism is in the New Testament Hoped for outcomes: 1.Increase in thankfulness to the Lord 2.Increase in love for our brothers and sisters
What is Baptism? What we are NOT trying to do: Persuade anyone to change their views on who should be baptised Discuss whether infants of believers should under exceptional circumstances ever be baptised at Duke Street Church.
Outline for the Evening Defining terms London Baptist Confession Survey of New Testament Passages Why Baptise only believers? Why Baptise the children of believers? How do Bible-Believing Christians come to such different conclusions? Three implications
Definition of Terms Credobaptists: Only believers should be baptised Paedobaptists: Believers and their children should be baptised (Covenantal Infant Baptism)
Definition of Terms Primary Issues These define Christians e.g. Deity of Christ, Trinity, Resurrection Secondary Issues Important, but Bible-believing Christians hold different views. e.g. The Millennium, God’s sovereignty vs Human free will, rols of men & women in church Tertiary Issues Less central doctrines and practices over which Christians have liberty. E.g. church Polity, fate of the Jews etc.
London Baptist Confession (1689) XXIX.1 Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him; of remission of sins; and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.
London Baptist Confession (1689) Baptism is a sign of the baptised person’s: fellowship with Christ, in his death and resurrection; being engrafted into Christ; remission of sins; giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.
NT on the Significance of Baptism 1.Baptism unites us to Christ (“engrafted into him”) “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Rom. 6:3-4)
NT on the Significance of Baptism 2.It signifies the promise that sins are forgiven (“remission of sins”) “Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptised and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” (Acts 22:16)
NT on the Significance of Baptism 3.It signifies regeneration – ie. a new heart & indwelling Holy Spirit (“fellowship with [Christ], in his … resurrection … newness of life”) ‘Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”’ (John 3:5) ‘… he saved us, …. according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. ‘ (Titus 3:4-6)
NT on the Significance of Baptism 4.It requires a response of faith in order to be effective – i.e. It does not do anything on its own. “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:11-12)
NT on the Significance of Baptism 4.It requires a response of faith in order to be effective – ie. It does not do anything on its own. E.g. Westminster Confession of Faith 28.5 Not everyone who is baptised is regenerated 28.6The efficacy of baptism is not tied to the moment it happens. Rather the benefits are given to those whom God chooses at the time he chooses.
NT on the Significance of Baptism 5.It incorporates the person into the church (“engrafted into him”) “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptised into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
6. Baptism does something; it is a sacrament “In the light of the foregoing exposition of the New Testament representations of baptism the idea that baptism is a purely symbolic rite must be pronounced not alone unsatisfactory but out of harmony with the New Testament itself. Admittedly, such a judgment runs counter to the popular tradition of the Denomination to which the writer belongs…. But the New Testament belongs to us all and we all stand judged by it… The Apostolic writers… view the act as a symbol with power, that is a sacrament.” George Beasley-Murray Baptism in the New Testament, (Exeter, UK: Paternoster, 1962). 263.
Baptist Definitions of Baptism “Baptism is a sign and a seal of the new covenant, inaugurated by Christ’s death and resurrection, signifying the promise for the one baptised that sins are forgiven, that new life in Christ is received and that God gives the person a new heart and the indwelling Holy Spirit.” Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, USA: “Believers’ Baptism View” in Baptism: Three Views, 41.
A definition “any Baptist would relish” “Baptism carries these meanings because first and fundamentally it signifies union with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection (Rom 6:3-7; Col 2:11-12); and this union with Christ is the source of every element in our salvation (1 John 5:11-12). Receiving the sign in faith assures the persons baptised that God’s gift of new life in Christ is freely given to them.” J.I. Packer Quoted approvingly by Bruce Ware, in Believers’ Baptism, 41, fn 14.
Summary of NT Teaching on the Significance of Baptism Primarily Baptism signifies the baptised person’s Union of Christ – LBC: “a sign of his fellowship with [Christ], in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him;“ – Ware: “a sign and a seal of the New Covenant … that new life in Christ is received.” – Packer: “first and fundamentally it signifies union with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection”
What Baptism is not in NT Nowhere is baptism primarily about our obedience or our profession of faith. Primarily it is a sign of what God does to us, not what we do for God. And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” (Acts 2:38-39 ESV)
Areas of Agreement Between Paedobaptists and Credobaptists Both agree – Believers should be baptised – Baptism requires faith to be effective – Merely being baptised does not guarantee someone is, or will become, a Christian – Baptism primarily signifies union with Christ
Biblical Rationale for Believers’ Baptism only 1.The command to baptise is always applied to those who have already repented and believed. 2.The NT teaching assumes that baptised people actually have been regenerated. 3.The NT never explicitly records that an infant was baptised. 4.Baptism is the sign of the New Covenant, and unlike the Old Covenant, everyone in the New Covenant knows the Lord (Jeremiah 31:34) 5.Assuming baptism was by immersion this suggests infants were not baptised
So What is the Biblical Rationale for Baptising Covenant Infants? (Paedobaptism)
Noah (Genesis 9) – Promise never to destroy the earth again Abraham : (Genesis 17 – see also 12:1-3 & 22:15-19) Moses at Sinai: Exodus David : (2 Sam 7– see also Psalm 89:3) New Covenant : Jeremiah 31, Luke 22 Adam (Genesis 1-2) – Promise of life (See also Hosea 6:7) Covenant of Grace Covenant of Works 1.There is one Covenant of Grace of which the Old and New Covenants are different parts.
The Biblical Rational for Paedobaptism 2.God enters into relationships with families through the head of the family. “And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.” (Genesis 17:7)
3.In God's Covenant with Abraham, his whole household - including children - received the sign of membership of the covenant, which was circumcision (Gen. 17:10-14). – This pattern seems to continue in NT with household baptisms (e.g Acts 16:14-15 & 1 Cor 1:16) – There is no command to stop giving the sign to children, so how would the apostles have known not to do it? Burden of proof lies with credobaptists – The New Covenant is more gracious, not less The Biblical Rational for Paedobaptism
Biblical Rationale for Paedobaptism The New Covenant is more gracious, not less Old Covenant Who receives the sign? Only Males Only Israelites Believers and their children New Covenant Who receives the sign? Males and Females Jews and Gentiles Just believers?
Paedobaptist beliefs Covenantal Paedobaptists do NOT believe: Baptism automatically regenerates their child Baptism guarantees their child will come to faith Covenantal Paedobaptists DO believe: Baptism is a sign of God’s sovereign love Baptism needs to be embraced by faith later Baptism of infants is a matter of faith and obedience (c.f. Genesis 17:14. & Exodus 4:24-31)
Why do Bible-Believing Christians Disagree? Different presuppositions: – Credobaptists: New Covenant is fundamentally different to the Old Therefore need to prove infants were baptised – Paedobaptists: New Covenant is fundamentally connected to the Old Therefore need to prove that infants weren’t baptised
Why do Bible-Believing Christians Disagree? In practice they often have different emphases PaedobaptistsCredobaptists God’s sovereign actionThe believer’s response of faith God’s faithfulness to sucessive generations God’s grace to individuals God deals with familiesGod deals with individuals God’s sign to the individualThe individual’s sign / witness to the world Interior action by divine graceExterior symbol
So What? Three Implications 1.Praise God for this sign of our union with Christ 2.Use our own baptism as an incentive and empowerment for resisting sin (Rom. 6:1-4) 3.Since baptism is a sign of being incorporated into the body of Christ – shouldn’t we accept into membership anyone baptised as infant as a sign of our unity and love? – shouldn’t we require that everyone is baptised before coming into membership?
The Question We All Face How will we express and guard our unity in a way that honours everyone in the church family, even where we hold different views about baptism? – How can we ensure credobaptists feel the church’s heritage is not eroded or their convictions dismissed? – How can paedobaptists feel welcome and included as equals?