Baptism and Covenant Theology


There are many arguments when it comes to the topic of Baptism but here is some common ground: Baptism is symbolic to that in which a believer dies in his flesh and rises that he may receive the salvation of Christ.

Romans 6
4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

Yes Baptism is that of repentance to receive the forgiveness of sins but repentance requires one to acknowledge that he is dead in his trespasses and sin (Eph 2:1) before God may grant him new life and pardons him with the atonement worked out on the cross.

Reformed Presbyterian believers have an argument towards which I am very inclined. They talk about covenant theology.

Deut 5:2
2 “The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb.
3 “The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today.

Deut 30:6
6 “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, so that you may live.

You see Horeb was Mount Sinai but this statement in Deut 5:2 was made 40 years later and though this covenant did rejected those who worshiped the golden calf, God kept his covenant with their children and the children of the faithful who were not even born (Deut 30:6) at that time. Similarly when it comes to Baptism, it is part of the new covenant (2Cor 3:6), which God keeps, going down from generation to generation (Act 2:38-39).

2 Corinthians 3
6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Acts 2
38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”

Many denominations of Christians speak out against infant baptism; even among reformed believers like the Puritans and the Reformed Baptist reject the concept of infant baptism but such a concept as theirs of God picking random believers, says that God maintains his covenant on an individual basis rather than being passed down the believer’s posterity as shown in the Bible. For those who argue that an infant has an inability to repent that he may be baptized should know that Abraham circumcised Isaac when he was only 8 days old. Isaac too may have had no realization of what was happening at that time when he was being called into that covenant but the promise was of God and so as repentance too comes from God (2 Timothy 2:25), none can truly say Baptism was their self initiative because Salvation is only of the Lord (Lam 3:26).

As mentioned earlier, Baptism is a symbolic burial of our fleshly and sinful appetites and in turn receiving the life that Adam lost with his disobedience in the garden of Eden.

Col 2
9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;
12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

If you take a look as at Col 2:11-12, you will see that as in the Old Testament, circumcision is what symbolized God ownership over His people. Under the new covenant, His people are marked by the circumcision of the heart where they have died to themselves in Baptism to receive the redemption of Christ, which is newness of life. Heb 9:16 tells us that we as Christians are under a Covenant, established in His blood and though Baptism by immersion is Biblical, we must also consider as Biblical: Baptism by sprinkling. Since the sacrificial sin offering of the Old Testament, was a shadow of the Atonement of Christ; considering that as the blood of the sin offering was sprinkled (Lev 5:9), we can come to the conclusion that Baptism can also be carried out by sprinkling! As per Ex 24:8, it was sprinkling that marked the blood covenant between God and His people.

I would like to leave you the story of Zaccheus, where his repentance unto Christ brought salvation not just to him but also to his house i.e. his family.

Luke 19
2 And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich.
3 Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature.
4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way.
5 When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”
6 And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly.
7 When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”
8 Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.”
9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham.

As the Bible says: we are the spiritual descendants of Abraham (Romans 4:16) by having faith in Jesus Christ; and as believers in Jesus Christ salvation comes to us and also to our families whom we head and represent.

Published by defeateddragon

I am a post-millennial reformed Christian (Trinitarian) in Mumbai – India, coming from a Roman Catholic background. I began studying my Bible in 2006 & find the post-millennial reformed doctrine to be the purest form of Biblical Christianity. Whether you are Roman Catholic, Charismatic, Arminian, Premillennialist, Amillennialists or even a non-Christian for that matter, I intend to use my writing to bring you to trust the Sovereign Lord in whom we are called to establish our lives on, as He sanctifies His called-out ones into the moral likeness of His Son. So, as commanded unto every Christian in the Great Commission, my duty is to teach the rich Christian standard of life that God has given us in the Moral Law because the ultimate purpose of any human being is to reflect the nature of God as revealed in the Moral Law and presented to us in Jesus Christ.

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