“That (Ana)baptists, therefore, in denying baptism to the children of the church does not only deprive them (covenant children) of their rights, but also prevents the grace of God being seen in its riches, since God wills that the offspring of the faithful should be amongst the members of the church even from the womb, yea they manifestly detract from the grace of the New Covenant, and narrow down that of the Old inasmuch as they refuse to extend baptism to infants to whom circumcision, was formerly extended;they weaken the comfort of the church and of faithful parents; they set aside the solemn obligation by which God will have the offspring of His people consecrated to Him from their very infancy, distinguished and separated from the world; they weaken in parents and children the sense of gratitude, and the desire which they should have to perform their obligation to God; they boldly contradict the apostles who declared that water baptism should not be forbidden those to whom the Holy Ghost is given, they wickedly keep back from Christ, infants who He has commanded to be brought unto Him: and lastly they narrow the universal command of Christ which requires that all should be baptized. From all of these things it is clear that the denial of infant baptism is not trifling error, but grievous heresy, in direct opposition to the Word of God and the comfort of the church. This is in harmony with the scripture in the Old Testament Where circumcision was considered of such importance that we read in the scriptures that when Moses failed to circumcise his child because of the objections of his wife God met him in the way in order to kill him.”
Quoted from the commentary of Zacharias Ursinus one of the authors of the Heidelberg Catechism. The Reformation made this judgment on the Anabaptists at the time.
Genevan Book of Church Order (1556): “[Covenant children are] contained under the name of God’s people … Remission of sins in the blood of Christ Jesus doth appertain unto them by God’s promise … Paul … pronounceth the children begotten and born (either of the parents being faithful) to be clean and holy [I Cor. 7:14] … The Holy Ghost assures us that infants be of the number of God’s people and that remission of sins doth also appertain to them in Christ … Almighty God [is] their Father. [They are] His children bought with the blood of His dear Son.”
Belgic Confession (1561): “Therefore we detest the error of the Anabaptists, who are not content with the one only baptism they have once received, and moreover condemn the baptism of the infants of believers, who we believe ought to be baptized and sealed with the sign of the covenant,
as the children in Israel formerly were circumcised upon the same promises which are made unto our children. And indeed Christ shed His blood no less for the washing of the children of believers than for adult persons; and therefore they ought to receive the sign and sacrament of that which Christ has done for them; as the Lord commanded in the law that they should be made partakers of the sacrament of Christ’s suffering and death shortly after they were born, by offering for them a lamb, which was a sacrament of Jesus Christ. Moreover, what circumcision was to the Jews, baptism is to our children. And for this reason St. Paul calls baptism the circumcision of Christ” (article 34).
Heidelberg Catechism (1563): “Are infants also to be baptized? Yes, for since they, as well as their parents, belong to the covenant and people of God, and through the blood of Christ both redemption from sin and the Holy Ghost, who works faith, are promised to them no less than to their parents, they are also by baptism, as a sign of the covenant, to be ingrafted into the Christian church, and distinguished from the children of unbelievers, as was done in the Old Testament by circumcision, in place of which in the New Testament baptism is appointed” (Q. & A. 74).
Second Helvetic Confession (1566): “We condemn the Anabaptists, who deny that newborn infants of the faithful are to be baptized. For according to evangelical teaching, of such is the Kingdom of God (Luke 18:16), and they are in the covenant of God (Acts 3:25). Why, then, should the sign of God’s covenant not be given to them? Why should those who belong to God and are in his Church not be initiated by holy baptism?” (chapter 20).
Canons of Dordt (1618-1619): “… the children of believers are holy not by nature but by virtue of the covenant of grace in which they, together with the parents, are comprehended. Godly parents have no reason to doubt the election and salvation of those their children whom it pleases God to call out of this life in their infancy (I Cor. 7:14; Gen. 17:7; Isa. 59:21; Acts 2:39)” (I:17).
God’s sovereign election governs the salvation of all whether they die in the womb or shortly after birth or of a good old age. The elect are saved and the reprobate lost as with Esau and Jacob chosen before birth. We have every right to expect the children of believers to be elect if they die at a young age-JK
So you call yourself a Reformed Baptist! Well you are a Baptist but not Reformed: hear Heidelberg Catechism Q. 74. Are infants also to be baptized?
A. Yes; for since they, as well as the adult, are included in the covenant and church of God; and since redemption from sin by the blood of Christ, and the Holy Ghost, the author of faith, is promised to them no less than to the adult; they must therefore by baptism, as a sign of the covenant, be also admitted into the Christian church, and be distinguished from the children of unbelievers as was done in the old covenant or testament by circumcision, instead of which baptism is instituted in the new covenant.
The proof for the baptism of NT believer’s children is overwhelming from Genesis to Revelation. Take the Psalms. Look at the promises of Psalms 18:50, 25:13, 37:26, 89:4,29,36, 102:28, 112:2. In all instances the seed of believers are blessed, endure forever or inherit so they must be believing!
When we come to the New Testament just a few verses from Acts and the epistles underline and bolster our doctrine, they can be classed like this: the elect children of believers (seed of the covenant) have:
1. The Promise of salvation (Acts 2:38) as in Gen.17:7.
2. Are addressed as church members (Eph. 6:4, Col.3:20) AND need to be fed (John 21:15).
3. Ought to have the covenant sign as they did in O.T. (because circumcision and baptism mean exactly the same namely are signs of true circumcision of the heart/spiritual baptism).
4. Family baptism was the norm ( Household of Stephanus, Lydia, Philippian jailer).
5. The signs of circumcision and water baptism are seals of the reality sealed by circumcision of the heart and Spirit baptism namely washing away of sin, imputed righteousness, regeneration (Rom.4:11, Eph.1:13, 4:30). Eph.4:4-6 speaks of one body (OT plus NT saints), ONE BAPTISM (not to be repeated). The real circumcision (Phil.3:3) are spiritual worshippers of all ages who are spiritually circumcised and hence should be physically baptised. Both circumcision and baptism are:
Furthermore we see the generational principle promised in I Tim.1:5 and Timothy himself as a little child (Gr: BREPHOS, same as Matthew 18:6) knew the OT scriptures!
Another Reformed creed (The Belgic Confession) states: “therefore we detest the error of the Anabaptists, who are not content with the one only baptism they have once received, and moreover condemn the baptism of the infants of believers, whom we believe ought to be baptized and sealed with the sign of the covenant, as the children in Israel formerly were circumcised, upon the same promises which are made unto our children. And indeed Christ shed his blood no less for the washing of the children of the faithful, than for adult persons; and therefore they ought to receive the sign and sacrament of that, which Christ hath done for them; as the Lord commanded in the law, that they should be made partakers of the sacrament of Christ’s suffering and death, shortly after they were born, by offering for them a lamb, which was a sacrament of Jesus Christ. Moreover, what circumcision was to the Jews, that baptism is for our children. And for this reason Paul calls baptism the circumcision of Christ. ”
If this does not convince you, you are an Anabaptist who has not studied the Scriptures properly!
Could be subtitled, ” Baptism in the Holy Spirit”.
Sermon by Rev. Martyn McGeown of Limerick Reformed Fellowship Sept 2nd 2018 on occasion of baptisms of Chester and Dale Mansona.
Christians are to seek things above because they are united to Christ in his death and resurrection. We use earthly things to further the kingdom. David Livingstone said, “I place no value on anything I have except in relation to the kingdom of Christ.” We died to the rule of sin and to the world. Spirit baptism just described, is signified by water baptism.
That there is one covenant of God in all ages, with Christ as the head and mediator, and his people, the blessed recipients, is sound Reformed teaching. The Biblical proof is everywhere but I will just refer to one powerful proof: ” circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (Romans 2:29). True circumcision, signified by the outward rite is spiritual, and equates to regeneration and justification (Abraham the prime example!). This is what the sign of baptism also signifies, namely new life in Christ as the N.T. believer is united to Christ in his death and resurrection (Romans 6:4-6) by regeneration and subsequent justification. So the reality of circumcision of the heart equals baptism into Christ and the sign of circumcision of the body equates with baptism of the body. Both were, and should be, given to the covenant seed of believers! One covenant, one people, one promise, one elect seed, in ALL AGES! Hence Paul juxtaposes them, “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:11,12).
By the way, the burial is spiritual, Christ did not go down into the earth and recipients of baptism ought not go down into water, they should be sprinkled upon or water poured upon them, signifying the sprinkling of the blood of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them!
Powerful New Testament teaching that elect infants of believers are regenerate!
Therefore are to receive the NT sign of church membership!
From Belgic Confession class by Rev. Angus Stewart at Covenant Protestant Reformed Church, Ballymena.
Listen here: http://www.cprc.co.uk/belgic34t.mp3
Anyone believing that the babes and children of believers should NOT be given the sign of the covenant namely baptism need to listen to this.
LINK (Scroll to bottom viz Belgic Confession class Article 34 on Luke 1:39-50 passage etc)
Belgic confession 34..”Therefore we believe, that every man, who is earnestly studious of obtaining life eternal, ought to be but once baptized with this only baptism, without ever repeating the same: since we cannot be born twice. Neither doth this baptism only avail us, at the time when the water is poured upon us, and received by us, but also through the whole course of our life; therefore we detest the error of the Anabaptists, who are not content with the one only baptism they have once received, and moreover condemn the baptism of the infants of believers, whom we believe ought to be baptized and sealed with the sign of the covenant, as the children in Israel formerly were circumcised, upon the same promises which are made unto our children. And indeed Christ shed his blood no less for the washing of the children of the faithful, than for adult persons; and therefore they ought to receive the sign and sacrament of that, which Christ hath done for them; as the Lord commanded in the law, that they should be made partakers of the sacrament of Christ’s suffering and death, shortly after they were born, by offering for them a lamb, which was a sacrament of Jesus Christ. Moreover, what circumcision was to the Jews, that baptism is for our children. And for this reason Paul calls baptism the circumcision of Christ.”
Listen to Scripture,” But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6 and “And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?” Matthew 21:16– So because of all the Old Testament promises e.g. Gen.17:7, Isaiah 44:3 and those in New Testament Acts 2:39 that God’s covenant and election continues in the line of generations and because both faith and sincere praise are the fruit of regeneration they rightly get the sign of this!
Notes from CPRC Bible study.
Baptism is not by immersion if:
The sign is WASHING, NOT A WATERY GRAVE. The problem is SIN NEEDING CLEANSED, new life follows.
The essential meaning of baptism is a RADICAL CHANGE nothing else.
Christ’s burial was a sideways entombment not a down into the ground. Spirit baptism which is what is meant to be signified by water baptism is an outpouring of the third person of the trinity onto the elect recipient. We are not immersed in the Spirit and then taken out of him! Baptism in essence means a radical change, there are many Scriptural baptisms where no-one saved got wet (Israelites at Red Sea, Noah, Christ’s in his sufferings etc). Baptism does not necessitate immersion, in fact it is the wrong mode. Christ’s blood sprinkles our evil consciences and Jeremiah prophesied clean water sprinkled upon God’s elect. http://www.cprf.co.uk/articles/meaningofbaptism.htm…
Romans 6 is about……Spirit baptism NOT water baptism. Spirit baptism is from above (John 3:3,5), washing of regeneration is what it pictures, death and resurrection are secondary as we are united to Christ BY the Spirit.