Best arguments for Covenant/Household Baptism

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  • Best arguments for Covenant/Household Baptism

    Really short version by JTB.SDG:

    1) The covenant promises to Abraham were about salvation in the fullest sense (Gen.17:7-8; NT scripture). " be God to you and to your descendants after you." This is the essence of God's covenant with Abraham; and if you get this, everything else falls into place (below).

    2) The covenant promises were made not only to Abraham but also to his offspring (Gen.17:7-8). "I will be God" --not just to Abraham--But: "to you and to your descendants after you. . .I will be their God." The exact same promise that is made to Abraham is equally made to his descendants.

    3) The covenant sign of circumcision was given to Abraham as a sign of THAT salvation. The sign of the covenant represents what the covenant is. If the covenant is about salvation, the sign is about salvation. This means that circumcision wasn't actually an ethnic or national sign--it was a spiritual sign.

    a) Abraham was marked with circumcision to signify his faith only after he believed (Rom.4:11). True. So why infant baptism? Abraham believed FIRST, and then and only then did he receive the sign.

    b) Because he was then to apply that same sign to his infant sons before belief was possible (Gen.17:7-8). The exact same sign that he only received AFTER believing, he was to mark his infant sons with at 8 days old. It's what God commanded. Adult-circumcision for Abraham; but infant circumcision for his sons.

    4) New Testament believers have entered into the SAME covenant promises made to Abraham (Rom.11:17 makes it clear there was not an OT tree and separate NT tree, but we are grafted into the same tree begun with Abraham). Galatians 3 and other Scripture make it really clear that the promises made to Abraham are GOSPEL promises that extend also to us as NT believers. Our only hope as NT believers are the covenant promises made to Abraham.

    5) The NT Scriptures confirm that those covenant promises still extend to our children (Acts 2:39; household baptisms in the NT; and think about 1Cor.7:14--children of believers are "holy"--in what sense? Are they automatically saved? No. In the sense that they are "set apart" from unbelieving children. How set apart? They are part of the covenant--the same pattern as OT children).

    6) THUS, our infant children should continue to be marked with the covenant sign.


    7) This doesn't mean that all Abraham's children (or ours) will be saved: this is by faith alone (cf. Ishmael, Esau; Rom.9:6-8, etc).

    8) But it does mean that our children are included in the covenant and should receive the sign.

    So--a question for you--I would love to hear. What about this would you object to?

  • #2
    It's also a strong silent argument that the NT doesn't restrict infant baptisim since the converted Jews would need to be told that difference is in the new covenant.
    They circumsized in the old so naturally they would baptize in the new.

    Also, why would the new covenant include a sign for women and Gentiles yet exclude infants? Faith was the requirement for justification in the O.T. just as it is in the N.T. so lack of faith of an infant wouldn't exclude them from baptisim as it didn't with circumsion.
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