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Archive for July, 2008

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“First, along with paedobaptist covenantalists, covenantal Baptists believe in the decrees of God and the Covenant of Redemption (Counsel of Peace) before the foundation of the world. The Covenant of Redemption is the unified plan between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to redeem the elect from their sins (2 Timothy 1:9). The Father created the planof redemption as Head of the Trinity, the Son agreed to come into the world as the Redeemer of God’s elect and the Holy Spirit agreed to regenerate the hearts of God’s chosen people in time (Ephesians 1:3-14). Some identify the Covenant of Redemption with another covenant, the so-called Covenant of Grace. There is little difference between the two positions.

Second, Covenantal paedobaptists and covenantal Baptists both believe in the Covenant of Works that God made with Adam as our federal head. Adam broke this covenant and brought all mankind into a state of sin, death, condemnation and misery (Hosea 6:7; Romans 5:12-21). We believe that all men are born under the condemnation of the failed Covenant of Works and remain condemned “under law,” until they are transferred into the historical Covenant of Grace by faith alone in Christ alone (Romans 3:19-20; 6:14).

Covenantal paedobaptist and Baptist both believe in the historical Covenant of Grace that God made with His elect. The Covenant of Grace is the fulfillment of that eternal Covenant of Redeption, worked out in history through its covenant Head, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:12ff.). It began with the promise of grace in Genesis 3:15, when Eve was promised a “seed” who would crush Satan on the head, even though He would be bruised on the heel. We believe that God’s promise in Genesis 3:15 was carried on in history through variously administered covenants of promise with Noah, Abraham, Moses and David in the Old Testament administration of grace through faith. It was fulfilled in the final New Covenant of Jesus Christ in the New Testament administration of grace when He came to earth and delivered the fatal blow to Satan upon the cross, thereupon rising from the dead. We believe that His death effectually purchased salvation for all those whom he represented as their Covenant Head (i.e., the particular redemption of all the elect in all of history through His New Covenant administration).

Covenantal paedobaptists and Baptists both believe that the way of salvation has been by grace through faith in God’s provision of that “seed of the woman” since the fall of man. This is the historical Covenant of Grace which is the same way of salvation through all ages. It is the unifying thread between the differing Old and New Testament administrations of grace. The Sinai Covenant was never given as a renewed Covenant of Works for salvation, although it was mistakenly so interpreted by the Pharisees in Jesus’ day. It was “added for the sake of transgressions” (Galatians 3:19) to the Abrahamic Covenant in a subordinate or supplementary way until the seed of the woman and of Abraham came to whom the promises had been made (Galatians 3:16,19). The conditional elements of the Sinai Covenant referred to Israel’s possession of the land of Canaan as long as God’s commandments were obeyed, not to a personal salvation of works (Galatians 3:21). As a result, that Sinaitic Covenant ende historically at the coming of the seed to whom the promises were made, namely, Jesus Christ.

Finally, Covenantal paedobaptists and Baptists both believe that the New Covenant of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant and is the clearest and final fulfillment of the historical Covenant of Grace. The New Covenant administration is therefore the fulfillment of that eternal Covenant of Redemption to save God’s elect people (2 Timothy 1:8-10).”

From the book The Baptism of Disciples Alone: A Covenantal Argument for Credobaptism Versus Paedobaptism by Fred A. Malone

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