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Page 410


And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the Iamb.
Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a Iamb according to your families, and kill the passover.

-Exodus 12:4,21



Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.

-II Corinthians 13:5a


In the New Testament, does God provide examples of:

-Household participation in baptism?

-Household participation in the Lord's Supper?

Why and why not?

Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body" (I Corinthians 11 :27-29).

No such clear command is found in Scripture forbidding the baptism of the seed of the church, the children of believers. No command such as, "Whosoever shall baptize a child that is personally lacking saving faith shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord," is found in God's Word. In the New Testament, households of believers continued to be baptized, but did not partake in the Lord's Supper. Participation in the Lord's Supper became strictly personal for each adult believer -those reaching the age of discretion, who were old enough to properly examine themselves. "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves" (II Corinthians 13:5a).

When strictly following Scripture's teachings and examples, the following is observed -children (households) of adult believers are included in baptism under their parents' confession, but participation in the Lord's Supper is limited to adults who, after serious self-examination, confess personal saving faith in Jesus Christ. For the child in infant baptism, as with infant circumcision, the emphasis is placed upon God's gracious promise -His promise to bless His Word in the lives of many brought up under its truths. The saving application of God's covenant promise to a particular individual, however, takes place only through Spirit-taught repentance, faith, and obedience. The Lord's Supper celebrates the personal, saving application of God's baptism promise in the life of the true believer. (See Chapter 28 dealing with the Lord's Supper for more information regarding the personal self-examination that is required.)

7. God's covenant, promise, and church is family-oriented, and families include children as well as parents. As children are legitimate members of their natural families, so they are to be baptized as legitimate members of God's family. The family was established by God as a perpetual institution for life from creation (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:22-24). God's blessings and His judgments extend not only to individuals but also to their families and family generations (Exodus 20:5). God's claims in the lives of believers extend not only to their persons but also to all their possessions -their material goods (Deuteronomy 14:22), and their children (Deuteronomy 7:6). The children of Old Testament Israel


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