Contend Earnestly: Sealed: Holy Spirit and Circumcision

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sealed: Holy Spirit and Circumcision

We had a great discussion, and I stress discussion, over at Theology Online about paedo baptism vs credo baptism. I thought that Lance Roberts brought out a great point so I thought I would stress it in blog form. The paedo baptist would contend that our children, children of the covenant, are to be baptized in the same way that a child was circumcised in the Old Testament. We as credo baptist would believe that baptism is only given to believers as a sign of what the Holy Spirit did on the inside when He baptized us internally (Romans 6). Please do not get this confused with the second baptism of the Spirit that charismatics speak of.

The real question though is what is the role of baptism? I will say this to make sure all understand. I used to think that paedo baptist had no reasoning for their thought process and just did it from tradition of the Catholic Church that carried over to Calvin, Luther and then to the newly found Presbyterian Church of long ago.

Again, go to either Lane's blog or Josh's to get a better understanding of the paedo baptism stance on the issue at hand. Here was Lance's thoughts and I find them interesting:

The seal for the faith of Abraham was circumcision and our seal in the New Testament church is the Holy Spirit. Here are the proof texts:

How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while
circumcised, but while uncircumcised; and he received the sign of
circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while
uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without
being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,

Here is the other texts referring to us as the New Testament saints:

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your
salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit
of promise,
Ephesians 1:13

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:30

This thought of the Holy Spirit being our "circumcision" would make a lot of sense as well. This would also make sense being that the Israelites were told that their hearts must be circumcised.
We find this in Jeremiah 4:4; Deut 10:16; 30:6

Further, Ezekiel 36:26 states:

“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I
will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and
you will be careful to observe My ordinances."

I know this is a lot of Scripture references but here is the last one that seems to point that the Holy Spirit, when He regenerates, He gives you the circumcision not made by hands:

and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in
the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;
Colossians 2:11

But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
Rom 2:29

So, it seems through this process that the Holy Spirit, when He regenerates, circumcises, then our obedience would be to follow this inward circumcision with our outward observance of that through baptism. Since only the believer is baptized with the Spirit and circumcised by Him, only those who believe should be baptized, not the children.

Acts 2:38
Repent and be baptized


Kymanika said...

You know this will be extremely ironic, as I begin to argue for the paedo-baptist position.

The Key focus is the nature of the New Covenant.

So, what is exaclty new about it?

Jamie said...

Good points!! And just to clarify, I don't think there is any harm in having 'too many' scripture references:-)

Paul E said...

That is indeed an interesting perspective. I wasn't the person who shared that however. You are too young for your memory to be failing like this :)

Seth McBee said... was Lance Roberts

Will have to change that...

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