Systematic Theology II - Lesson 24
The Doctrine of the Church (Part 6)
Different denominations have chosen different models of hierarchy and leadership based on their understanding of Scripture. The two ordinances of the Church are Baptism and the Lord's Supper. They are ordained by Christ, point to the Cross, and are to be done in remembrance of what He has done for us.
The Doctrine of the Church (Part 6)
Doctrine of the Church (part 6)
e. Ordinances in the Church
a) Purpose: symbol of the person’s identification with Christ whose teaching they embrace as their own.
b) Efficacy of baptism: It has no merit in terms of attaining salvation.
c) Subjects of baptism: Only for those who have believed on Christ as the basis of their salvation, not for infants.
- no infant baptism in the New Testament
- practice of the early church did not include infant Baptism
- two covenant signs meant to be signs of two different things
d) Mode of Baptism: Greek work means “to dip.”
2) The Lord’s Supper
a) Transubstantiation (Catholic View): A miracle takes place so that substance of bread and wine becomes the substance of the blood and body of Christ.
b) Consubstantiation (Lutheran View): A miracle takes place so that the substance of the body and blood of Christ is joined in, with, and under the substance of the bread and wine.
c) Reformed view. No miracle occurs it is simply the use bread and wine. However, there is a mystic presence of Christ that is a part of partaking in the Lord’s supper.
d) The memorial view: Jesus wanted the Lord’s Supper to be a memorial of his death on the cross for us. “This do in remembrance of me.”
Both the Old and New Testaments teach that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully human. The Old Testament contains specific references to His pre-incarnate existence. The New Testament teaches that the incarnation is an historical event that was prophesied in the Old Testament. Christ fulfills the roles of prophet, priest and king. His deity is emphasized by the names of God that are ascribed to Him.
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ had attributes belonging solely to God, and did works that were done by God alone. Christ was worshipped and accepted worship. He Himself claimed to be God.
Christ was fully human, as well as fully God. The Old Testament prophesied it and His historical life demonstrated it. Philippians 2: 6-8 uses the word kenosis to explain the relationship between Christ's human and divine natures.
The "impeccability" of Christ deals with the question of whether or not Christ could have sinned. The answer to this question has implications for both His life and ministry. (At the 51 minute mark, the reference to "John the Baptist," Dr. Ware meant to say, "John the Apostle.")
Delegates at the Council of Chalcedon tried to explain the hypostatic union of Christ's natures. The theological bases for the work of Christ on the cross focus on the sin of humanity and God's holiness and mercy. The atonement is God's self-satisfaction through self-substitution
Christ's atoning sacrifice was comprehensive. The different aspects of the atonement may be compared to light refracting through a diamond – you can see different colors, but they are all light. Three aspects of the atonement are sacrifice, substitution and redemption.
Three more aspects of the atonement are propitiation, expiation, and reconciliation. Christ's resurrection is a ratification of the efficacy of the atonement.
The most significant aspect of the past work of Christ is the atonement. Some people teach that the extent of the atonement is limited, while others teach that it is unlimited. Christ's present work is mediator and Lord. His future work is coming judge and reigning king.
Throughout Scripture, the Holy Spirit is referred to as having the attributes and performing the actions of a person. He is also shown to have the attributes of God, and is declared to be God. Both the Old and New Testaments cite examples of the work of the Holy Spirit in empowering people.
The work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is characterized by the empowerment of selective individuals for a temporary period of time, for the purpose accomplishing a specific task. The Old Testament prophets record a vision of the role of the Holy Spirit in the latter days.
The Holy Spirit had a central role in the life and ministry of Jesus. Many Old Testament passages prophesied the coming of a Spirit empowered Messiah. The New Testament records specific examples of the involvement of the Spirit in Jesus' life and ministry. Jesus also promises the future coming of the Holy Spirit and describes what he will do.
At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came into the world and filled the lives of every believer. The first great work of the Holy Spirit is bringing people to Christ. He also empowers believers for service in the Church where we are remade and conformed to the image of Christ. The purpose of the gifts of the Spirit is for us to serve one another.
The Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and bring attention to Jesus. He does this by empowering believers in the areas of evangelism and discipleship. There are specific gifts of the Spirit and He gives specific gifts to each believer. There is a question about whether all the gifts are still active today. There is also a distinction between people having a certain gift and God performing mighty acts.
The Holy Spirit accomplishes the work of regeneration in a person by bringing them new life. The Spirit also indwells and fills a believer, produces fruit and gives us the freedom to become what God created us to be. The Holy Spirit is also the guarantee of the hope of our eternal future in God's presence.
Rob Lister, a Garret Fellow, introduces concepts that are basic to the Biblical doctrine of salvation. Salvation is both physical and spiritual, includes all of creation, it is "already, but not yet," and the goal is the glory of God. Election is a key concept in Scripture. Some people think that there is a conditional aspect to election.
Rob Lister continues by reviewing the Arminian position (conditional election), then explains the Calvinist view. The Calvinist position is based on God's sovereign rulership over everything, salvation by grace alone, and God's love and justice. There are major differences between the ideas of conditional and unconditional election.
Among those who hold to the view of unconditional election, there are those who believe in single predestination, and those who believe in double predestination. There is also a difference between a "general call," and a "special" or "effectual call."
Continuing in the logical order of salvation, Rob Lister examines regeneration, conversion, justification, adoption and sanctification.
Christ is Lord of the Church and it is formed by the Spirit. As a community, we testify to what God has done in our lives through the ordinances, the proclamation of the word and the testimony of our lives. We worship God together, and Jews and Gentiles are united in one community, testifying to the preeminence of our identity in Christ.
The "mystery" of the Church refers to the truth that was formerly concealed, but now revealed. Another aspect of the "mystery" is the inclusion of Jews and Gentiles in one community of faith. There is some debate about whether or not Israel and the Church are the same. The "Body of Christ" and "Bride of Christ" are two metaphors used in the New Testament that refer to the Church.
An additional New Testament metaphor for the Church is a "Building," which is made up of the "Cornerstone," "Foundation" and the "Living Stones." "Christ's Flock" is also a metaphor for the Church and relates to Jesus as the "Good Shepherd." There are also passages in the New Testament that give us insight into local congregations by referring to elders as the leaders.
New Testament passages give specific instructions about the functions of elders in local congregations. There are also lists qualifications for elders that emphasize character qualities. The roles and qualifications for deacons are also given.
The question of the role of men and women in ministry is a significant issue. The main question is, "According to Scripture, is gender particularly and uniquely relevant in assessing whether or not a person is qualified for a given ministry in a church or home?"
You can download the Roles Handout by right-clicking on the link and selecting the "Save Link As" option.
Different denominations have chosen different models of hierarchy and leadership based on their understanding of Scripture. The two ordinances of the Church are Baptism and the Lord's Supper. They are ordained by Christ, point to the Cross, and are to be done in remembrance of what He has done for us.
There is value in studying eschatology besides curiosity about what will happen in the future. The three most common views of the millennium that can be supported by Scripture are postmillennialism, amillennialism and premillennialism. Also related to eschatology is the Scriptural teaching regarding physical death and the intermediate state.
Within the premillennial position, there is a difference of opinion on whether the rapture will be pretrib, midtrib or posttrib. Regardless of your position on the millennium, there is clear teaching in Scripture about the final judgment and our eternal state. There will be a final judgment and everyone will spend eternity either in heaven or hell.
The second of a two semester class on Systematic Theology.
Dr. Bruce Ware
Systematic Theology II
The Doctrine of the Church (Part 6)
Okay, let's have a word of prayer. Laura, Thank you for our time together and for the great privilege, Lord, that we have in this institution and in this course, to think about things that matter so much to our own lives and our ministries. And for eternity, we realize, Lord, work is delving into truths that will be unpacked for us in greater beauty and splendor for all of eternity. And we marvel Lord at this privilege. We have now to be able to do this. So open our eyes. Help us to see with greater clarity what you have revealed. Help us to understand with greater passion and depth truth that you want us to embrace, to affect our lives. And we pray this in Christ name, Amen. Okay. I did bring back with me a few copies of the handout I gave last time on summaries of the egalitarian and complimentary positions that anybody need one. We welcome anybody else back over here. Send it back that way, please. All right. We are going to skip this section. Organization of the local church. This is one area that is covered very thoroughly in both textbooks. So I'm going to assume that you can read there what is said about organization. There are three main forms of church order, as you know. Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Congregational and Baptist churches are congregational. So I'm going to leave it to you to read that in your textbook, whether it's Ericksen or Graham, about these three different forms of church government, as it were. I will spend time with you, however, on Capital C, which is ordinances.
Boy, it's an area I think just it's so important to have a clear understanding of his Christian people, ordinances, the baptism and in the Lord's Supper, these too, the term ordinances is used, by the way, instead of what in some traditions, sacrament. And the main reason for this is the term sacrament conveys something that most Baptists resist conveying, and that is that it's somehow a grace conveyance conveying operation. And of course, Baptist Christians would want to say grace is always involved in every good work. Every act of obedience always involves the grace of God in it. And what we don't want to convey is that by taking the Lord's Supper, by being baptized, grace is somehow conveyed in that very act that is connected with that act, that stands apart from the faith of the person in acting in obedience. It's true in whatever area a person obeys. Now, that's not to take away the significance of it, but the significance of these two ordinances then, is not sound in the grace conveyance per se, but in what they symbolize. In both cases, the significance is found in not the act itself, but what those ordinances point to. And in both cases, they point to the cross of Christ, the death and the resurrection of Christ and the atonement on our behalf. And so they are ordained, hence the term ordinance ordained by Christ for us to observe. Always pointing us to Christ in his work. You know, when you think of it, the Lord's Supper, for example, when we get to that, do this in remembrance of me. Well, you might think, Would we forget? I mean, really, do you. Do you have to invent this structure for us to take the Lord's table? Because we're going to forget the atonement? Well, you know the answer to that question.
You might just forget the atonement. Yes, it could happen. God knows us better than we know ourselves. And he has purposely, through history, as you know, put in place memory markers. Think of the children of Israel when they crossed the Jordan River and they built the stones as a reminder. So when your children ask you, Dad, what are these stones here for? Oh, well, let me tell you, son. Those stones came from the time when God brought us from Egypt and brought us into the promised land by a great deliverance. And they're a memorial to that. So it really is true that God wants us to be focused on the cross of Christ. And these two ordinances are meant to point us in that direction, to focus attention on those realities. Okay. First of all, baptism and under this four items, the first one is purpose, the purpose of baptism. Christ made clear in his Commission to the Disciples in Matthew 28:19-20 that two things were to be done in making disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teach them all things that I have commanded you. The teaching part is understandable enough. I mean, if a disciple is going to follow a master teacher, then he needs to learn what the master of the teacher has said and follow this. So the teaching is clear enough. But what about the baptism? Why baptize people in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Well, and notice it comes first is baptize and then teach. The baptism is meant to be a symbol of a person's identification with Christ, whose teachings now they take as their own. You see how the logic of that follows? Baptism is meant to signify a person's identification with Christ.
The Christ whose teachings now they embrace as their own. So baptize them and teach them. This really is what baptism is about. It's sort of like a brand on a person. You are identified by that brand. Baptism is a marker and identifier that indicates who you are and more importantly, whose you are. You've probably heard the phrase It's really a very true statement. The most important thing about who you are is whose you are. There's a lot of truth to that. So here in baptism, you indicate my life is found in Christ. I have died to self with Christ, I have died and I've been raised in newness of life. It's no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the flesh. I live by faith in the Son of God who gave his life for me. So this is what baptism is meant to communicate, is identification with Christ that results in our walking, then in newness of life. This is why in Romans six, Paul makes the connection between baptism. Don't you know, spiritual? We continue to send the grace. But in Greece, no. God forbid, don't you know those who have died in Christ, been raised in him, have done this to walk in newness of life? So do you know your new identity, Christian? Do you know who you are? You are in Christ. That is your identity. How did this happen? Well by faith. But what symbolizes this? What marks it? How do you go public with. By faith. I am a new creature in Christ. How do you do that? Baptism. Baptism is the outward symbol of the inward reality. Of I am not my own. I have been bought with a price.
I have died and been raised with Christ. So baptism is a wonderful symbol, isn't it, When you think we just had a baptism at our church this past Sunday. Two young women in our church. And once again, to watch the picture of going under the water and by that symbolizing that person's death with Christ in his death. But you don't hold him under him for long, do you? That death is followed by. Resurrection in the symbolism of the water cleansing, streaming off the person, cleansed life, new life, resurrection life that now this person lives, not that that baptism itself accomplishes it, but that that baptism symbolizes outwardly the inward reality of being in Christ in his death and in his resurrection. Notice also one more thing about this before I leave this point of purpose of baptism, what does it mean to say that we're baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit? Or in Acts 2:38, It's in the name of Jesus Christ. The point there is simply that Christ is the one who died for us, but the fuller expression of that would be Matthew 28. The name of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit. What does that mean? To be baptized in the name of someone? Okay by their authority that you do this. What else? I think if baptism is primarily a symbol of your identification. To be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit would indicate what? Ownership. Ownership. Someone said it over here. Ownership. So. So you are not your own, you know, is sort of like a wife who takes on the name of her husband. It's like a child who takes on the name of his or her parents.
You have an identity. It's perhaps even more forceful with an adopted child. You know, because here was a child who was actually had another name and had another life and another destiny. But now, because some parents out there chose to bring this child into their family, that child is given their name, their inheritance, their life, a new destiny, a new life is given to this child and something like that. So in the name, it means that we actually take on the name of God or Christ. You can think of it either way. Both are true in in this act of being baptized. It indicates our identification fully with that name, that purpose, that cause, that life, that mission, that reality is now ours. We have no other life than this life. Remember, you have died. Galatians 2:20. It is no longer I who live. I have been crucified with Christ. So the reality of belonging to him entirely, which is really radical. Do you know how radical this is for everyday Christian living? We do, but we shouldn't ever wake up in any morning and think to ourselves, What do I see myself as an independent human being? What to do today? We do. But we ought not, because we are not our own. There's lots of other biblical metaphors, aren't there? Also, we are slaves of righteousness. We have been bought with a price. All these things converge to indicate our true identity is wrapped up in our identification with Christ. Period. Period. And that's what baptism signifies. I mean, it really is a radical act which also indicates how pito baptism that we'll talk about real briefly is such a trivialization. It trivializes so terribly what baptism really is about when you realize this little infant who's being baptized has no clue.
Christ, new life, death, resurrection, no clue whatsoever. We'll talk about that in a moment. Yes, I heard a pastor speak on how Christ was baptized for the beginning of his public ministry. Mm hmm. And how priests at that day before the beginning of their ministry would experience this type of ceremonial cleansing, right? Uh huh. Yeah. And he used that as a stepping stone to say that's why we baptized believers. Yeah. We'll come to believer baptism. Don't jump ahead. I raised that, but in reference to the baby. Yeah. Yeah. But we'll come to that more later. Yeah. Yes, sir. Okay. All right. Secondly is question of the efficacy of baptism. Should we hold that? Baptism is in some way salvific, as some have held, for example, in the Roman Catholic Church. They believe that when an infant is baptized, that salvation actually occurs. At that point, Lutherans essentially believe the same thing. Did you know that? I mean, when you think of it, Lutherans hold the view that young people go through confirmation at some point in their life. Confirmation, Listen to that term confirming what happened in their infant baptism, doing evangelism. When we lived up in Minnesota with all those Lutherans up there. You ask the questions of people, you know, if you were to die tonight and stand before God and you were to say, why should I let him into my heaven, what would you say? And inevitably, what was baptized Catholics and Lutherans give the same answer. I was baptized. And part of the church. So what do we say about that? And then, of course, there's the Catholics and Lutherans who hold to Salvific baptism in infancy. But we also have baptismal regeneration lists in the Christian church denomination. No, I don't know that Southeast holds this doctrine formally.
I have been told by someone who has been there for years and years that they do not hold this doctrine formally, but they're attached to a group that does Cincinnati Bible College and seminary, for example, where a lot of their training has come from the school there and the faculty there does hold to baptismal regeneration. So let me just make a comment about this. What texts, you know, what verses they appeal to Acts two, where Peter says, repent and be baptized each one of you for the remission of your sins and you too will receive the Holy Spirit. His promises for you, your children, for as many years are far off for those who call upon the name of the Lord. That's 2:38. What else? First Peter 3 in which Peter says, verse 21, these startling words. Now, baptism now saves you, Peter says. So Christian church, denomination, people take that to mean, well, baptism is actually salvific. And what it does talk to here about how in the days of Noah, Noah and his family were saved through the Ark. That is, eight persons were brought safely through the water corresponding to that baptism now saves you. So just as they were saved through water, through the water of the ark, taking them to safety. So you are saved through the water of baptism, they would argue. And one other text that is often referred to as also an x 2216 x 2216. Now why do you delay, get up and be baptized and wash away your sins? Calling on his name. Was said to Paul, Get up, be baptized, wash away your sins. And so indication of that. Well, let me just give you some responses to this notion of baptismal regeneration. First of all, there is a basic truth that relates to salvation that Christian church people want to affirm.
I mean, they claim to affirm, but it's impossible to see how it can be affirmed if you hold a baptismal regeneration. And that is salvation by faith alone. As indicated, for example, in Ephesians 2:8-10 by grace, you are saved through faith that not of yourselves. It's a gift of God, not as a result of works that no one should boast if baptism were required as well required. So people could believe but not be saved. Is it likely that texts like Ephesians 2:8-9 would be written that way? Is it likely you would have all these statements about repentance for forgiveness of sins and belief? Think of the Gospel of John that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ and may have life in His name, and yet no baptism indicated in those contexts. It seems highly, highly unlikely that would be the case. On top of that, you add to that now the fact that you have passages that indicate a kind of now be careful with this, a kind of disparaging of baptism. When Paul says to the Corinthians, When I came to you, I didn't come to baptize you. I came to preach the gospel to you. To put it that way is to indicate that there is gospel proclamation. And baptism per say is not the gospel. I didn't baptize any of you. But then he said, Oh, wait a minute, I did. Baptized a few, as I recall. But obviously baptism for Paul was not part of his main purpose in gospel proclamation. If he had believed in baptismal regeneration, it seems to me that he would have been intent on not only preaching the Gospel, but baptizing everyone who believed, making sure that in fact they were believers. But this is not the case.
What do these passages refer to then that Christian church folks would point to X to 38 x 2216. First Peter three one. Some say Mark 16 as well. Mark 16:16. But most tax critics do not believe this is part of the canon, so I'm not going to deal with that passage. Probably not part of the Bible added later. But these other ones, what about repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins? And in Acts 2:38. Well, here I think what is shown by this is in in the writers of the New Testament, the apostles minds, the close and necessary connection between true saving faith and subsequent baptism. Or to put it differently. In the minds of the apostles. Was there such a thing as an under baptized convert to Christianity and unbaptized believer, true believer? And I think the answer would be from the New Testament. No way. This is not a category that applies when we think of what a believer is, because a believer is someone who follows the Lord in obedience and is baptized. And so because of the close connection between baptism and saving faith. It's sort of like the connection between drinking and being satisfied. You could say to someone who's thirsty, you want to be satisfied, have your thirst satisfied. Well, to do that, you've got to drink first, though, right? And so you go you go past you go past the actually taking a drink to having your thirst quenched. It's like that that Peter's doing here. He goes past what the repentance of faith does to the baptism that follows out of that. And I think that connection, Dr. Stein, has done a lot of work on this as well. And I think the connection between baptism and true saving faith is so clear in the New Testament that this accounts for how closely identified they are, while at the same time not indicating that baptism in fact saves, which brings the first Peter three.
So let me say a comment on that in first. Peter 3:21 Baptism now saves you usually that's quoted and there's a period there that's the end of the sentence. But you know what? It's not the end of the sentence. What's the very next phrase? Not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a clean conscience. And so his point is baptism saves you, not the actual act of water baptism that removes dirt from your flesh. Not that, but what it symbolizes. Baptism symbolizes an appeal to God for a clean conscience, an inner cleansing. So baptism is the outer symbol of the inner reality of inward cleansing. I mean, right in that very verse, you realize why you should not interpreted to mean that literal water baptism saves. It's rather what that baptism symbolizes the inner reality, not the removal of dirt from the flesh. Okay, that's a good question. And I have friends, some of whom hold this view, and I think it's like a lot of things in life that you no doubt are more true of me than I would want to admit. That is a combination of correct and incorrect beliefs on a lot of different things. Here's a case, though, where it's not as though people are denying the necessity of faith in Christ. The Christ alone is the basis for salvation. They are rather indicating from their understanding of texts of the Bible, that that must be followed by baptism as part of what's required for salvation. They ignore people to internal security, glossing over this fact that yeah. Most don't. That is because most are in an Armenian tradition. But I think that's a standalone issue. I don't think that affects one way or the other.
This one. Yeah, but essentially isn't Christ dishonored to say that that is not when you get down to it and you've got to have this other thing. Right. Their response to that would be, no, he's not, because he designed it this way. He designed, as it were, the act of faith to be manifest. And in a sense, they're closer than you think, insofar as true believers, especially if you hold a more reformed view, believe that faith works. I mean, take James, too, as an example of this, that true saving faith is faith that actually expresses itself in action of works of some kind. So they hold this view that this saving faith you've had of true faith must manifest itself in baptism. There's a sense in which I agree with that. It ought to surely is meant to do that. The only question comes is whether or not that act of baptism is the outgrowth of saving faith, or it is tied intrinsically to it so that a person isn't saved until that act of baptism. And I think they're wrong on this. I differ with him, but I don't think that they're responsible or they're holding a view that could be rightly viewed as work, salvation or something like that. They certainly conceive it as simply a demonstration of the very thing in which they're believing. Christ died for my sins. I'm hopeless and helpless without his work on my behalf. Yeah. Back here, David, in the New Testament. Idea of baptism. Yes. What would they do with Jesus's words to the people across? Yeah. What they say about that? That is a Christian church, folks. They say that's before Pentecost. And so the rules change at that particular point. So sorry that one won't work.
I mean, I agree with you. I think the thief on the cross is a great example of the fact that this person is clearly saved. Jesus says to him today, you'll be with me in paradise. And yet no baptism. Not at that point. It's not going to happen. Right. The person that was going to be my question. But then that's very important. Springboards to another question. It typically just takes about just three generations. I'm not aware of that. No. Okay. Do some of you in here know that for a fact? I mean, whether I went to a Church of Christ. Uh huh. It's traditionally thought that the reason why is because until the importance of the spirit as well. Yeah. They draw the distinction between the whole They knew right from the cross was right. Uh huh. Right. They tend to have which does match dispensation is and broadly speaking, there's a whole lot more to it than that in any particular view. Okay, let me move ahead. Subjects of baptism. Oh, you know what? I turn my page here. Let me go back one second. Still on the question of the efficacy. Should have turned the page before I shifted gears. There is one text, I think that in the Book of Acts, because two of their supporting texts are in ex one text that does cause difficulties for the Christian church view and it's x 1044 and following with the Cornelius and company who believe and in verse 44 we read Peter has been preaching to Cornelius and we read this while Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon those who are listening. The message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also, for they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting.
Then Peter answered. Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did can he? And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. So it would be a very difficult thing, in my judgment, to argue they weren't really believers yet when the whole point of this is vindicate Pentecost repeated, they received the Holy Spirit. They spoke in tongues, just like the Jews who are true believers and receive the Spirit. Now these Gentiles true believers and receive the spirit. But another thing that adds to this is the very last thing Peter said before this happens in verse 43. Peter had just preached of Christ. All the prophets bear witness that through his name, everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins and of sermon. Well, what do you suppose happened? They believed that was the point of the sermon they needed most. Anyone who believes in him receives forgiveness, and since they believe they receive the spirit, they speak in tongues, they're saved. How can you have been a recipient of the spirit and not be saved? Okay. Subjects of Baptism. The New Testament. Nowhere suggests or implies baptism for any other persons. Then those who have believed in Christ for salvation. The New Testament nowhere suggests or implies baptism for any other persons, then those who have believed in Christ for their salvation. Believer's baptism is the pattern in the New Testament, and it's the pattern in the early church. For example, x eight. Record The Salvation of the Samaritans. After Philips preaching, it says when they believed the good news, they were baptized men and women alike. And you see this pattern all through the Book of Acts.
Goodness. I've got six or seven passages listed here in Acts where you see the same thing happen every time you see. Belief in baptism follows belief, and baptism follows. There is no exception to that. Now, one passage that paedo Baptist, that that is, those who hold to infant baptism think they find some support from, but it doesn't work is Act 16 with the Philippians jailer verse 31 of Act 16. We read they said, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, you and your household. So here's where they get their hope. Household. Oh, that must mean infants. Well, first of all, household is not defined as including infants. Right off the bat, it's reading a lot into it to assume you've got infants in the picture. But then keep reading. And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. Now, just think about that for a moment. Would you talk about speaking the word of the Lord to infants? It probably implies at least older children. Who could hear the word of the Lord. That seems that's implied by verse 32 and then verse 33. And he took them that very hour of the night, washed their wounds. Immediately he was baptized, he and all his household, and he brought them into his house, set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household. So there the way the story ends indicates what the same pattern, namely that these in fact, were believers. Maybe young. Yes, maybe young, but nonetheless believers who were baptized. So why does the reformed tradition hold the view that it does on infant baptism? And this is a pitifully short sketch. But here's essentially what happens.
You remember we talked about covenant theology and the tendency in covenant theology to see continuity between the testaments. Okay. And in this continuity between the Testaments, you have one people of God. So you have Israel Old Testament that moves forward and becomes church in the New Testament. Right. And as you do this, you see the sign of the covenant to Israel, which is what circumcision coming forward to and being represented in the church through baptism. But when was circumcision done as the sign of the covenant? And to whom was it done? Well, it's done to infants. And to whom? To infants? Of children, of believers in the covenant community. Right. So baptism now replaces circumcision. And so baptism is a sign to the believing community that these baptized are part of that believing community in the reformed tradition, unlike Lutheranism. So I already mentioned to you holds to baptismal regeneration. They actually believe those infants are saved until they opt out or opt in. You know, so confirmation is needed in the reformed tradition. They don't hold that. They don't hold that salvation takes place by that baptism. But something happens. It's mystical, it's mysterious. Something happens that predisposes those baptized individuals to later be saved. Be interesting to do a statistical analysis, because I doubt that statistics would bear this out. Terms of it happening. More children baptized children in Presbyterian homes end up being saved than non-baptized infants of Baptist homes, other evangelicals. I doubt this is true, but nonetheless, the claim is that the baptism of the infant is a kind of a sacrament. This is in reformed deal. It's a sacrament is a kind of grace conveyance that will incline a person to believe. And at least what it does is it symbolizes their place in the covenant community as those who believe in Christ.
A biblical basis for this is Colossians 2 verses 11 and 12, Colossians 2:11 and 12. In him, in Christ, you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him through baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. You see that in verses 11 and 12. How Paul joins together conceptually, circumcision and baptism. And so they argue, Oh, see, circumcision of the Old Testament is now replaced by baptism in the New Testament. Therefore, we ought to see the practice done the same way to infants as part of the larger covenant community. Okay. Let me give you a quick response. Number one, no instance of infant baptism in the New Testament. None whatsoever. I remember picking up a book in a used bookstore one time, rather fat book and on the spine. The title was All That the Bible Teaches about infant Baptism. I was astonished. You know, that, number one, a book had been written on this. And number two, that it would be such a large book. Will I open it up? And it was an empty book, all blank pages. It was a joke. It was a joke. And I would have bought it, except it cost about 1295 or something. I thought, this is just stupid. But the New Testament does not teach infant baptism. Number two, the practice of the early church going to say a baptism was all over in the Mideast area and Greco-Roman world, and they are baptisms that were done for adults, obviously not infants. Where someone stands here, which is also indicates the mode of baptism, which is the next point by immersion was the common practice.
That sprinkling was not done. But immersion. But this was done to adult believers. Third point, the main one that I have in response to this is that clearly the two covenant signs circumcision and baptism. Are meant to be signs of different things. This is the problem. The problem is in equating them. That the sign of circumcision was to be a sign of the ethnic national identity of these individuals as children of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. There is an ethnic national identity attached with. Physical circumcision that took place that now is dropped because the church is multi-ethnic, multinational. It is not tied to Israel per say any longer. And what is the symbolism of baptism? Well, it is of the people of God. But what defines the people of God since Christ has come. Faith in Christ. So it's not your ethnic heritage. It's not by birth that you enter this people. Now, granted, you still have to believe in the Old Testament believing Israelite. That's true. But nonetheless, you are part of the Israelite community by ethnicity. Circumcision marks that. Now you are part of the believing community by belief. And baptism symbolizes that belief. In fact, when you look at Colossians two carefully, you see that Paul is showing as parallel, not Old Testament physical circumcision, but Old Testament and New Testament, spiritual circumcision, circumcision of the heart. That's what he's talking about. That's what's parallel. Not physical circumcision done to infants, but spiritual circumcision done to the hearts of believers. That's parallel to baptism. That's the point he's making. Let me read it again. In Christ, you are circumcised. No, no, listen. You are circumcised with a circumcision made without hands. Now, this would be a tricky thing to pull off with an eight-day old boy.
A circumcision made without hands. Who? Who's going to hold the knife? How is this going to be? His point is it is not physical circumcision. It is spiritual circumcision. Well, what is that? How does that happen? Does that happen to the eight-day old boy? Spiritual circumcision? No. That happens when faith is present and you trust God. And so you are circumcised with a circumcision made without hands in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ. Boy, what a vivid image. You know, cutting the flesh. And like that. We were removed from this world, from our own life to Christ. So there's a sense in which we've been circumcised. Kind of makes you cringe when you think of how vivid this would have been to the readers you were cut off from all that you formerly were, that you may be bound to Christ united Christ having been buried with him in baptism, you sketch the point. So the point of baptism is spiritual circumcision. Your union with Christ, you're being divided from cut off from your former life, spiritually united. Okay, so it looks to me as though the New Testament clearly indicates that baptism is to be done by believers. I'll say one more thing here. For practical application, I am concerned with what I hear is a common sort of philosophy toward baptism as it relates to children that we ought to wait. Here's some people out there advocating late teens before you have children baptized. Honestly, my friends, with all due respect, because people I'm not naming names. I could name names without naming names. I have high respect for these people with whom I differ on this point. With all due respect for them, how dare we as church leaders tell a believer, a believing, a genuine believing six-year-old boy or girl? That they should not and cannot obey Christ.
It takes my breath away to think of this honestly. The presumption of this. Just to establish as a policy note. You can't be baptized until 12 years old. 14 years old, 60. You know we don't do it with children. God help us. It is the height of presumption to say this believer cannot follow Christ in obedience by being baptized. Now, ought we be very careful? Pastorally in working with children to make sure the best we can that they really are saved, of course. But you know what? You do have to do that with adults. Do. How absolutely certain can you be with an adult? You've got a saved person with that you take into the waters of baptism. And the answer is you can't be. There are a lot of times pastorally, it's just the fact that they say the right things. But boy, did they say it with heart conviction and is there really repentance and we make it work. Yeah, that's right. And what are we asking them to do? So what I would just encourage you to think carefully about this policy regarding children. I myself was baptized when I was so little I would have drowned walking into the baptistery. So they put a little platform in there for me to walk on over to this. Now, this really dates me. I am going to turn 50 this year, so be it. That's life believers. True believers ought to be baptized. I don't know if any of you are in here who has never been baptized. I used to teach at places where it was common. I've been at churches where it's common. Most believers don't even know they're not taught. They don't know they're supposed to be baptized.
Well, you are. Jesus said baptize them. Teach them you ought to be baptized. If you're a true believer, if you were baptized as an infant, you haven't been baptized. I don't mean to make a mockery of your other tradition, but you have not been baptized in the New Testament. Understanding of baptism, which is believing a believer, identifying with Christ in what he has done, and demonstrating that through the symbol of baptism, the wandering, the model of a Baptist baptized in teeth. Do you think what would you think of churches that had like a New Believers class for people that professed faith before they were baptized? If the purpose was which it usually is for pastors to become more confident that they truly are believers, then I think that's appropriate because you do want to honor the symbolism that this really is a believer. But on the other hand, I think, again, we can push it too hard because we look at Philip in the Ethiopian Eunuch. There's water. What hinders me from being baptized? Cornelius Right away baptized. So I think we can make safer. What? The New Testament doesn't seem to give a lot of urging to make safe. It's a tough call, but I do think we ought to honor the principle. If you're a true believer, be baptized. So do what is needed to be sure of that profession, of faith, that it's genuine, real. And then move forward. Yes, ma'am. I'm sorry. Baptisms. Well, usually baptisms mean someone who is baptized as an infant and now is baptized as a believer. I don't call that a re-baptism, though. Those who were. Oh, another denomination. Yeah, I know. I'm telling you, I think that it depends on if you were baptized as an infant or you are baptized in some way.
That is not genuine New Testament baptism. Let's not call it re baptism. Let's just say you need to be baptized. But if you are baptized in a, I don't know, an evangelical free church or a Methodist church. And you were a believer. Genuine believer and you were baptized, then we ought not require re baptism. I don't know on what grounds we would. The question is, was the person a believer and were they baptized? Yeah. Okay. Subjects of baptism now. Mode of baptism. Last point. The mode of baptism in the New Testament is clearly immersion. In fact, the word baptism. The fact that they have transliterated it. Baptism has not served the church well on this. If we translated the term baptism, do you know what it translates as? Pardon to dip immerse dunk put under. There are all ways in which you can translate adopted zo. So the word itself conveys this. Plus the practice in the early church conveys this the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River John the Baptist baptizing people in the Jordan River. Philip In the Ethiopian unit, there's water. He's not referring to a glass of water in the coach where he can be sprinkle. I don't think he's pointing to a pool of water out there. There's baptism. What hinders me from being baptized, but there's water and so on. But then also the historical reality is the early church baptized by immersion and you have Baptist, a lot of them in the early church were shaped in a kind of cross like shape like that. I've seen quite a few of them, usually ornate, a lot of tiles and that sort of thing. But they would be obviously either way, a person could be laid down in it or sometimes they would stand in the middle and just go down.
They were pretty deep. Many of them were very deep, and you could just go kneel down and you would go under the water. In any case, it's very clear from the history of this practice that it was also immersion was the practice of the early church. And the last thing I would say about this is immersion is by far the richest. Symbolically, you can see why baptism is used for this point of identification with Christ, because you have a person who, first of all, dies. And the symbolism of being put in a grave as you go under the water of baptism, you are dead to yourself and to your former life. And now you are raised and raised to newness of life. It is a beautiful symbol and one that commands it very well. Okay. That's all I'm going to do on that. And I'm going to move ahead quickly next to the Lord's Supper. I'm passing on a question. Sorry. Lord's Supper. The other ordinance that we have been given, all of the three Synoptic Gospels record, Jesus Institution of the Lord's Supper and also First Corinthians 11 verses 23 to 27, First Corinthians 11, 23 to 27 records. Also, Jesus statement regarding the bread and the wine that were distributed. There's four main views on this, and I'm just going to do these fairly quickly with you. The first view is the Roman Catholic view called trends substantiation. To understand this view, you've got to understand a philosophical distinction between substance and accidents. Substance and accidents. Everything has both of these a substance, and it has accidents. Accidents are properties that something can fail to have, and it still is what it is. Those are accidents. So fingernails, you can clip your fingernails, but you still are who you are.
So fingernails are accidental to you. They're not essential to your substance. We could give lots more examples of that. But there is something that is essential to who you are, and that's the substance. Okay. Now, here's how this distinction between substance and accidents takes place. That in the mass. This is what Roman Catholic theologians believe in the mass. There is a miracle that takes place in which a trans substance, transubstantiation, a miracle takes place in which there is a transference of substance, so that the substance of the bread and wine becomes the substance of the body and blood of Christ. Is that clear to you? The substance of bread and wine becomes the substance of body and blood transference of substance. Now, accidents, however, accidents stay the same as they were before. So the bread still looks like bread, feels like bread, tastes like bread, chews like bread. But it is in substance. Body of Christ. The wine feels like wine. Tastes like wine. Looks like wine. Smells like wine goes down like wine. But it is in substance blood, the blood of Christ. So that's how they make this distinction between the two. And they claim if someone says, well, it doesn't look any different than happened before, you know, the host is just the same and you know, miracles before. Well, that's right, because the accidents stay the same. It's the accidents of far as the substance of body and blood. Let me make a comment in response to this. That applies to some degree to the next one as well. One of the problems with this is that Jesus himself said at the Lord's Last Supper, he handed them bread and he said, This is my body broken for you. Are we to understand? I mean, this is kind of a crass way of putting it.
The Jesus gained weight at that moment. That is that substance. That was not true of the body of Christ right there is added to the body of Christ as he hands them these bread. What an odd thing to think that is what's happening. Even more odd is the phrase This cup is the New Covenant in my blood. This cup is the New Covenant. What does that mean? It really is the blood of Christ. Well, that's not what it says. This cup is the New Covenant. So are you making this literal identification of the cup becomes the blood of Christ When? When he says the cup is the New Covenant. But don't those ISS in both cases have to be is is of analogy rather than is of identity. This cup is analogous to my blood shed for you. This bread is analogous to my body broken for you, which matches, of course, Jesus statements and many, many places. I am the door. I am the good Shepherd where he doesn't mean to have those things taken in a sort of literal mystic way. Okay. Second view is the Lutheran view cons substantiation. Here. Luther held that the miracle that takes place, a miracle does take place in the Eucharist. And what happens is the. Substance of the body and blood of Christ are joined in with and under is the way Luther put it, The substance of the body and blood of Christ are joined in with and under the substance of the bread and wine, hence corn substantiation or two substances with each other, corn meaning with so substances are joined with each other. Now for your interest. Luther, of course, had a problem when he met with Zwingli. Zwingli, who held not the next view of the fourth view that I'll talk about here a moment ago, the memorial view when he met with Zwingli and debated the Eucharist.
Zwingli said, Dr. Luther, explain to me how Christ can be seated at the right hand of the Father, and yet you claim that he is physically present. That is the substance of the body and blood of Christ is present in the Eucharist. How can this be? And Luther appealed to a very ancient doctrine called the communicative Ideal Martyr, which is the communication of properties from one to in the other. Then he said that the divine properties are communicated to the human Jesus. And what are those divine properties? Well, ubiquity omnipresence is communicated to the human Jesus. So his human body and blood can be both at the right hand of the father and present in the Eucharist. Is how Luther explained this notion, which of course runs into this problem, that if it really is ubiquitous, then the body and blood of Christ is this table, this tie, everything right? Ubiquity, omnipresence. Does it make the Eucharist special then? Anyway, that's how Luther understood that in within under. So he understood the substances being brought together. I think similar kinds of problems show up in this view, namely Christ present with his disciples. Is he claiming that substance is being added to the bread and wine that he's handing them? That actual substance of himself is being given to them? I think is a very difficult problem. And of course, then just the language that's used. Zwingli tried his hardest with Luther to make the point that Jesus is using language of analogy. But, Luther, as I've read the story, scratched with a knife into the wooden table he was sitting at This is my body. And he took that is as it is of identity. This is actually literally my body broken for you.
So he held this view. Okay. Third view is the reform view, which denies that a miracle takes place of the substances it holds, that it is just bread and wine. It's not anything more than bread and wine that you have before you in the sacrament of the Lord's table. But there is a spiritual presence of Christ which accompanies the partaking of the elements. And so, you know, reform people talk in terms of eating Christ's flesh, drinking his blood, as we read in John six. Eating my flesh, drinking my blood. They take that to be a kind of literal statement. That is, it's not the actual flesh and blood of Christ, but it is really Christ that you take into yourself in a spiritual way through this. So there is a kind of grace conveyance that comes in the sacrament of the Lord's table. Last view is the memorial view, which is often rightly attributed to Zwingli as being the one who developed this. And it has become the main Baptist view and is the simplest one of the bunch, and I think it has the most going for it biblically. Simply because this is exactly what Jesus said. It holds the view that this was instituted precisely because Jesus wanted this to symbolize his death and resurrection, particularly his death to be proclaimed until He comes again. And the symbols themselves were indicative of the offering of himself in his broken body, and he shed blood on our behalf. And they were meant to cause us to remember yet again. Remember, remember, remember, remember what we need to keep central in our thinking because this has everything to do with our identity. This is who we are. We need to be reminded constantly. We are people who have died with Christ and have been raised with him.
We are not our own. And so, as Jesus says, with both the bread and the wine, He hands the bread to the disciples. This is my body broken for you. Take as often as you eat of it in remembrance of me. And with the wine. This cup is the New Covenant. My blood drink as often as you do in remembrance of me. And so the point of it really is a memorial, a memory. It's a pneumonic device, divinely ordained pneumonic device by which people remember. Now, obviously, the remembering is rich. It is not meant to be just strictly sort of cognitive, is it because at the Lord's table, what are you supposed to do? First Corinthians 11, Examine your heart, make sure that there is no on confess sin that you come before the Lord recognizing the weightiness of what it cost for your salvation. Recognize the grace, the love, the kindness, the mercy that was extended to you as Christ gives himself for you. So it is not just sort of a bear remembering of what happened. The remembering is meant to evoke response of renewed commitment, a deep sense of gratitude, loyalty, commitment to go on from here in following Christ. I mean, all those things are connected with the memory of that, as it were. Yes, sir. They are not all that far apart, but they do differ insofar as that the zwingli in view. The point of it is not in the zwingli in view to get grace through this administration of the sacrament as Christ comes into. You know, the point of it is to remember Grace, think again, meditate upon what Christ has done. It sort of sets you again in your proper place who you are, what it took to make you that what your purpose for living is and those kinds of things.
It really has more to do with the actual death of Christ then a present experience now of receiving Christ. Two fresh. It has more to do with what he has done. Do this in remembrance. It really does focus attention on the cross per se, not an immediate experience of Christ. Yeah. Yes, President. Would you say that? Just a little bit. Yeah. It even seems to be something against that. But rather argues for the resurrection. Well, I would defer to some of the best commentaries. That's where I have my understanding from, which have argued that because it was a practice of the day, what Paul was doing was trying to amass argumentation for the senselessness of denying the resurrection. And so even in the practice of baptism for the dead, you can see there's a belief in resurrection. Well, what is the point of people who baptize for the dead if there's no resurrection? So he's making a logical point from that and is not endorsing the practice of baptism for the dead. After there is in Paul teaching that indicates this cannot be that in fact Paul understands that faith in Christ is necessary to be saved and that baptism or family connection or whatever. Cannot save another person, its individual faith in Christ. So I don't think Paul can be interpreted to to say they're in that one place, in one place only, that he endorses this view. I think it would conflict with other Pauline. Teaching certainly conflicts with Hebrews. You know, whether Paul wrote Hebrews, we don't know, but it is a Hebrews 9:27, it is appointed and a man wants to die. And then comes the judgment. No possibility of baptism for the dead, of course, is Mormons are thinking of that in particular.
Yeah, I heard that. The first-person baptism of Christ. Uh huh. The person who came to faith. But I. I saw the testimony, too. Oh. And they were paid by pay. But yes, I'm not aware of that being a practice in the early church, and you'd have to establish that for it. And I very, very speculative to me to serve it. Okay, well, we're out of time, so we'll quit. No quiz a week from today. We'll just have two full days of lectures and final exam. So blessings on you.