The error of the Baptist teaching does not pertain to the new adult convert who was previously outside of any covenant or church relationship. Only after hearing, believing, and confessing, may he be baptized. The Baptist error pertains to the believer's family (or household) once the new convert is baptized. After the believing adult has been baptized, his entire household is to be baptized, as stated in all the Old Testament examples of circumcision and the New Testament examples of baptism.
The Baptists' claim that in all cases of New Testament baptisms in which the believer's household was present and baptized, that these were all families without children, is a distortion of Scripture's teaching regarding the baptism of children of believers. For approximately eighteen hundred years God's church had circumcised proselytes, new hearers and believers of the faith, as adults, but always with their families. When Peter commanded the first converts of the New Testament dispensation to repent and be baptized, he told them they could do so upon the basis of the same promise as the Old Testament dispensation. "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off,' even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:38-39).
Every time the families of a new convert were present in the New Testament, the families of the believers are baptized. Never does Scripture state that any of these households were without children, let alone all of them. If God had intended a major change, that children of believers would no longer be permitted to receive the sign of His covenant with their parents, certainly a clear, powerful command to this effect would have been stated in Scripture.
When examining the transition from Passover to Lord's Supper, this becomes more apparent. It appears that the Old Testament Passover was eaten by the entire Israelite household (Exodus 12:4,21). When God instituted the Lord's Supper, however, He altered this more objective presentation in the Passover to a subjective expression of personal, saving faith in Jesus Christ. When the Lord removed the outward, federal aspect of this sacrament, He did so with a clear and very powerful New Testament command "Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the
Was the covenant promise of God for the church of the New Testament based upon God's promise to individuals or to families? (See Acts 2:38-39). Baptism is based upon God's covenant promise (see Genesis 17:7). Who are the proper subjects for baptism?
ProselytesNon-Jews who were converted to the Jewish religion