Tag Archive | Sacraments

The Communal Aspect of the Lord’s Supper

The Covenanters' Communion

Pilgrim Covenant Church:

“In other words, the actions of an individual in a church have corporate implications. No one in a church may think that his sins are nobody else’s business; conversely, the church must not think that the sins of an individual is none of the business of the church.

But isn’t there an exception in the case of the Lord’s Supper, seeing that Paul requires the individual to examine himself or herself privately. I am afraid not. In fact, Paul makes it very clear that it is particularly in the Lord’s Supper that the church must recognise its organic oneness. Referring to the Lord’s Supper, he insists, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread” (1 Cor 10:16–17; italics emphasis added). Clearly then, the Lord’s Supper is not to be understood as an individual exercise but a corporate exercise of the body of Christ.”

Read more: http://www.pilgrim-covenant.com/ntagq/fencing-the-lord-s-table

A Back-Door To Let Faith In

Thomas Goodwin, Christ Set Forth:

Emperor's Castle-back doorThere are assuring promises; as those made to such and such qualifications of sanctification, etc. But still what is it that is promised in them which the heart should only eye? It is Christ, in whom the soul rests and hath comfort in, and not in its grace; so that the sight of a man’s grace is but a back-door to let faith in at, to converse with Christ, whom the soul loves. Even as at the sacrament, the elements of bread and wine are but outward signs to bring Christ and the heart together, and then faith lets the outward elements go, and closeth, and treats immediately with Christ, unto whom these let the soul in; so grace is a sign inward, and whilst men make use of it only as of a bare sign to let them in unto Christ, and their rejoicing is not in it, but in Christ, their confidence being pitched upon him, and not upon their grace; whilst men take this course, there is and will be no danger at all in making such use of signs. And I see not, but that God might as well appoint his own work of the new creation within, to be as a sign and help to communion with Christ by faith, as he did those outward elements, the works of his first creation; especially, seeing in nature the effect is a sign of the cause. Neither is it more derogatory to free grace, or to Christ’s honour, for God to make such effects signs of our union with him, than it was to make outward signs of his presence.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/87980-A-back-door-to-let-faith-in, Comment #1

The Baptism Debate is About Presuppositions

(c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Jason A. Van Bemmel on the debate between credo- and pedo-baptists:

“The New Testament does not offer us a clear verse or passage to allow one side to prove the other side wrong. So much of the argument hangs on what presuppositions and what framework you bring to the text. We all know what the Bible says, and we have some ability to figure out what it means, but we disagree because we assume different things a priori.”

Read about the presuppositions here: http://theaquilareport.com/baptists-and-presbyterians-why-we-disagree/

A Sign of Membership in the Visible Community of Grace

Sola Scriptura:

Heinrich Ewers Heimweg von der Taufe“The key foundation of paedobaptism is the unity of the Old Testament and the New Testament… Abraham’s male descendants, and all the Old Testament nation of Israel, received circumcision in infancy, even though some among them were reprobate and would apostatize from the faith of their fathers. Therefore, circumcision signified membership in the visible community of grace…by virtue of parents, even though the physical act was no guarantee of salvation. Likewise, for Christians, baptism signifies membership in the visible community of grace…even though the act of water baptism is no guarantee of salvation. Though tied to regeneration – like circumcision – in the actual conferring of grace promised (to the elect to whom that grace belongs), baptism is nevertheless not tied to regeneration in the time and place of its administration.”

Read more: https://solascripturachristianity.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/in-defence-of-infant-baptism/

If There is Any Dedication

(c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Larry E. Ball explains why he never dedicates babies to God:

“Infant baptism is not primarily a promise of parents to God, but first and foremost a promise of God to the parents.  If there is any dedication, God is dedicating himself to his oath to be a God to both the parents and to the child.  It is true that parents are bound by oath to raise the child according to the principles of God’s word, but this is not a dedication.  It is a conditional covenant promise on the part of the parents.”

Read more: http://theaquilareport.com/why-i-dont-dedicate-babies-in-the-pca/

Baptism is a Covenant Sign, But it Doesn’t Regenerate

Kevin DeYoung:

Trinitatis Kirke Copenhagen fontRemarkably, though, this deeply spiritual sign was given to Ishmael as well as Isaac, even though only Isaac was the continuation of the promised line… Circumcision … didn’t automatically mean the recipient of the sign was in possession of the thing signified. Circumcision, like baptism, also pointed to belonging, discipleship, covenant obligations, and allowed for future faith that would take hold of the realities symbolized. Just as there were some in Paul’s day who were circumcised but not really circumcised (Rom. 2:25-29), some children of Abraham who were not truly children of Abraham (Rom. 9:6-8), so in our day there are some who are baptized who are not truly baptized. Children should be marked as belonging to the covenant, but unless they exercise saving faith, they will not grab hold of the covenant blessings.

Read more: https://thereformedmind.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/why-would-anyone-baptize-a-baby/

A Sound Paedobaptist Argument

Bautizo“. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Reformed Apologist offers a sound Paedobaptist argument:

1. An Old Covenant precept was that whenever possible the sign of entrance into the covenant was to be placed upon all who were to be regarded as God’s people

2. Children of professing believers were to be regarded as God’s people under the Old Covenant

3. Children of professing believers whenever possible were to receive the sign of entrance into the Old Covenant by way of precept (1, 2)

4. God’s precepts may not be abrogated without explicit instruction or good and necessary inference

5. God never abrogated the Old Testament precept regarding who was to receive the sign of entrance into the Old covenant

6. The sign of entrance into the New Covenant is water baptism

7. God’s precept is that children of professing believers receive the sign of entrance into the New Covenant (3, 4 and 5)

8. God’s precept is that children of professing believers receive water baptism (6, 7)

Read more: http://reformedapologist.blogspot.ca/2006/07/primer-on-covenant-theology-baptism-3.html