Why Do We Baptize Babies? (2)

In the previous post I wrote about the essence of the Abrahamic covenant. I argued that the covenant, though national in a sense, was in its essence spiritual. I also briefly argued from Scripture to show the continuity of the Abrahamic covenant. To read another article in support of the continuity argument I refer the reader to the article “Continuity Preserves the Gospel.

In this article I argue that the Abrahamic covenant is not abrogated but still in force and is essentially identical with the New Covenant. This is one of the arguments of Galatians. Abraham has more in common with the New Covenant than Moses. The Apostle Paul argued that the Mosaic Covenant did not abrogate the Abrahamic Covenant but is actually subservient to Abrahamic Covenant. According to Dr. J. Pipa in his commentary on Galatians he writes,

“He uses the term ‘law’ to refer to the Mosaic covenant. If law culminates in curse, what then are its role and its relationship to God’s grace? Paul answers this question by explaining the relationship between the Abrahamic and the Mosaic covenants. He shows us two things: (a) the Mosaic does not nullify or alter the Abrahamic and (b) the Mosaic is actually subservient to the Abrahamic.”

Therefore we rightly observe unity and the continuity of the Abrahamic covenant in both dispensations for four reasons.

Firstly, the Mediator is the same.

Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 10:43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Acts 15:10 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?
Acts 15:11 But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”

Gal. 3:16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.

1Tim. 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
1Tim. 2:6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

1Pet. 1:9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1Pet. 1:10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully,
1Pet. 1:11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.
1Pet. 1:12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Secondly, the condition of faith is the same in the old and new

Gen. 15:6 And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

Rom. 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”

Psa. 32:10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.

Heb. 2:4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

Acts 10:43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Heb 11 (the chapter)

Thirdly, the spiritual blessings of the covenant are the same in

a) justification:

Psa. 32:1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Psa. 32:2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
Psa. 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

Is. 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.

Rom. 4:9 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness.

Gal. 3:6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

b) regeneration

Deut. 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

Psa. 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.

c) spiritual gifts

Joel 2:28 “And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.

Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.

Acts 2:17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
Acts 2:18 even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
Acts 2:19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
Acts 2:20 the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Is. 40:31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

d) eternal life

Ex. 3:6 And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Heb. 4:9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,

Heb. 11:10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.

Fourthly, Hebrews encourages the Christian with the objective oath made by God as a confirmation to Abraham. This shows the unchangeable nature of the promise because it is impossible for God to lie

Heb. 6:13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,
Heb. 6:14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.”
Heb. 6:15 And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.
Heb. 6:16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation.
Heb. 6:17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath,
Heb. 6:18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.

In conclusion, Scripture shows the continuity and NOT the discontinuity of the Abrahamic Covenant. This continuity is foundational to us as Christians to understand and rely on the promises of an unchanging and faithful God. And if this continuity exists then the Abrahamic covenant is not abrogated (repealed) but still in force and is essentially identical with the New Covenant.