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Page 403

seed after thee in their generations. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant" (Genesis 17:9, 13-14).

This clear command of God to place His covenant sign upon the children of believers has never been repealed. After Jesus' death, the form of God's sign had to change from a bloodshedding to a non-bloody type. After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, God's covenant, promise, and church expanded to include not only Israel, but also people from all nations, languages, and tribes on earth. While the form and extent of God's covenant administration changed, God's covenant, promise, and church did not; neither did His command.

Godly obedience requires the performing of all that God commands and the refraining from all that He forbids. God clearly commanded believers to place His sign upon their children and He has never withdrawn that command in Scripture, nor has He ever forbidden this practice in the New Testament.

The Baptist's position that there is no clear command in the New Testament to baptize children of believers is a faulty argument. On like principle, one could argue that any of God's commands that were taught in the Old Testament but not specifically repeated in the New Testament, such as the holy observance of a weekly Sabbath day, the requirement of capital punishment for murderers, or the necessity of distinction between male and female in dress and appearance, should no longer be upheld.

An attempt to dismiss God's command, as stated in Genesis 17:13-14, on the grounds that it was a ceremonial observance which was fulfilled by, and ended with, Christ's death, is also false. The ceremonial laws were given by Moses in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and were limited to the nation of Israel. God's command to Abraham to circumcise his children is found in Genesis; it precedes the time of Moses and the ceremonial laws by approximately four hundred and fifty years. Further, God speaks of His covenant in these verses as being everlasting, not temporary, "And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee" (Genesis 17:7).

 

In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son.
And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.

-Genesis 17:26-27

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
And when she was baptised and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, corne into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

-Acts 16:14-15

 

  • Repealed -Revoked; taken back; declared invalid; made to be of no effect

  • How is the seriousness of not circumcising the children of God's covenant in the Old Testament illustrated by the following example from the life of Moses?

      And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. So He let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.

    Why is it a serious matter if the children of God's covenant in the New Testament are not baptized?


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