Worship Elements: Pleasing to the Lord (Colossians 3:18-4:1)

The apostle Paul exhorts fathers, wives, and bondservants to live out their lives before the Lord’s face.  The Lord does not only exhort adults to life a life pleasing to the Lord, but Paul also exhorts children.  Why would Paul exhort children to obey their parents for that pleases the Lord?  Could there be implications in this exhortation for baptism?  

Circumcision and Baptism (Col. 2:11,12)

One can see the force of the argument that circumcision is a fleshly covenant which is tied to the flesh while Baptism is a sign that communicates spiritual renewal and spiritual washing.  It is conceivable to think that maybe Paul is making a historic progression meaning that we move from circumcision, fleshly covenant, to baptism, a true spiritual realization, after Christ’s coming. So, why would people baptize infants if the Lord has changed the significance of the covenantal sign?

The Christian Household (Colossians 3:18-4:1)

The Apostle Paul exhorts children to obey their parents for this is pleasing to the Lord.  It is not a surprise to us that Paul would exhort children to obey their parents, but what does this imply about their status in the church?  Why is the context of their exhortation so significant? Why is it important that this exhortation seems to echo the Old Testament?  What could this imply about children being in covenant with the Lord?

What about Baptism?

This is the ripped audio from our membership class video.  I wanted to put this up on the web because many people who visit our church inquire about the doctrine of infant baptism.  I do not claim this lecture to be the definitive defense of the doctrine, but I see it as presenting some Biblical reasons for infant baptism.

A Holy Household (Ephesians 6:1-4)

The Apostle Paul exhorts children to obey their parents for this is pleasing to the Lord.  It is not a surprise to us that Paul would exhort children to obey their parents, but what does this imply about their status in the church?  Why is the context of their exhortation so significant? Why is it important that this exhortation seems to echo the Old Testament?  What could this imply about children being in covenant with the Lord?

What about Baptism?

When people visit our church they eventually discover that we practice infant baptism.  So often this practice is misunderstood and people may move on to another church. I put together one of our lectures from the membership class and uploaded it to our webpage.  I do not claim this to be exhaustive or the definitive answer to every question that one might have regarding the practice of infant baptism.  I do desire this to be the start of the dialogue that will hopefully lead to a fruitful discussion. 

If you do not want to watch the video you can download the audio here.

Why One Baptism? (Ephesians 4:5 (LD 27; BC 34)

Our confession uses strong language that we are to be baptized once.  This means that we do not agree with other traditions that will baptize someone a second time because they do not see infant baptism as being a valid baptism.  Why do we believe in one baptism?  What is the bigger picture of this baptism?  How do we as Reformed people see baptism as something for children and adults?  Why are we not Roman Catholic even though we baptize infants?

Sign of Faith or Faithfulness? (Romans 4:11 (LD 27; BC Article 34)

Many times people will say that the sacraments are a sign of our faith.  We might not think that it is important to see that sacrament is a sign of God’s faithfulness verses the sign being a sign of my faith.  Ultimately we need to look discussion in light of the covenant of grace.  Did Abraham receive the sign because of his faith or because of the Lord’s faithfulness?  In other words does the sign point to Abraham’s faith or does it point to the promises of God and His faithfulness?  What does Paul say in Romans 4:11 regarding the sign that was given to Abraham?

Beyond a Land Promise (Genesis 17:1-27; Acts 2:29-41)

The Lord makes a promise to Abraham about bringing about His kingdom through the champion line.  This promise is tied to a land and also to circumcision.  Why would we desire to appeal to this passage for infant baptism?  What does Genesis 17 tell us about the covenant and the covenant sign?  What is Peter saying regarding the application of the covenant promises to us?

Raising the Half Child (1 Corinthians 7:14; LD 27)

As the church is growing and existing it is just a matter of time before the church encounters a problem.  The problem is what do you do in a marriage where one spouse is a Christian and the other spouse is not a Christian?  How is the family to conduct itself? Are they to stay married and divide the house so one spouse lives on one floor and another spouse lives on the sinner’s floor?  What is more, how do the spouses view their children?