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Free Ebook- Treatise of Baptism

Robert Garner- Treatise of Baptism Wherein is clearly proved the lawfulness and usefulness of Believer’s Baptism; And also the Sinfulness and Vanity of Infant’s Baptism. With Many useful Instructions Concerning the Same Matter (Pdf)

Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 3-Chapter 6-The Doctrine of Baptism

CHAPTER 6-THE DOCTRINE OF BAPTISM

1. The Subject: Only a believer (born again).

2. The Mode: Only by immersion.

3. The Design: Only to symbolize the burial and resurrection of Christ.

4. The Authority: Only a church of Jesus Christ.

1. THE PROPER SUBJECT

Baptism is only for believers, and believers are saved or justified. “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (#Ac 13:39); “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (#Ac 16:31); “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (#Joh 3:16). “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (#Joh 3:36); “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (#Ro 5:1), “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (#Eph 2:8,9). This excludes unregenerate adults and all infants. A Jesuit Theologian, S. J. Hunter, said: “It is impossible for infant baptism to be discussed directly between a Catholic and a Baptist. They have no common ground. The Baptist urges that the scriptures everywhere teach faith as a prerequisite to baptism. The Catholic defends his practice as to infants by the authority of the Church, which the Baptist refuse to accept.” (Outline of Dogmatic Theology Vol. 3, page 222.)

ARGUMENT:

1. To baptize any but believers is to accept Catholic authority rather than Scriptural authority. The Scriptures nowhere command baptism for any but believers. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (#Mt 28:19); “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (#Ac 2:41); “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women” (#Ac 8:12); “And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized” #Ac 18:8); “Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus” (#Ac 19:4).

2. To baptize infants destroys the privilege of personal obedience to the command to be baptized. There can be no personal obedience on the part of an infant when it is immersed or sprinkled.

3. To baptize infants or unregenerate adults is to merge the church and the world. It is filling the church with the world. Infants have no personal responsibility and are not lost and need no so-called saving rite of baptism.

4. To baptize any but the saved is to deny that the church should be composed of only lovers of God and of Christ. Think of having enemies of Christ in the church which is His body, and the custodian of His truth. And nobody loves God except the born again believers. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God” (#1Jo 4:7); “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him” (#1Jo 5:1). In these two verses the perfect tense should read- “has been born of God.” Love and faith are results of the new birth from God.

2. THE PROPER MODE

Baptism is to be by immersion only.

ARGUMENT:

1. From the meaning of the word baptize. Greek scholars are in agreement that the word means to dip, immerse.

2. From the “Church Fathers.” Cyril 315-386 A. D. Bishop of Jerusalem: “For as he who sinks down in the waters and is immersed (baptized)….” Basil, Bishop of Caesarea, 370 A. D. “Imitating the burial of Christ by the immersion (baptism)….” Gregory, Bishop of Constantanople, 380 A.D.: “Let us, therefore, be buried with Christ by the immersion (baptism) that we may also rise with Him….”

3. From the admissions of those who do not now immerse. D. Dollinger, a Roman Catholic historian: “At first Christian baptism commonly took place in the Jordan; of course, as the church spread more widely, in private houses also. Like that of St. John, it was by immersion of the whole person, which is the only meaning of the New Testament word. A mere pouring or sprinkling was never thought of.” (The First age of Christianity and the church, page 324-325). Mr. Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, in his comment on #Ro 6:4,5 admits that the reference is to immersion as the primitive mode of baptism. The Catholic Encyclopedia: “The most ancient form usually employed was unquestionably immersion…. In the Latin Church immersion seems to have prevailed until the twelfth century. After that time it was found in some places even as late as the 16th century..” (See The Catholic Encyclopedia, in 15th vol., edited by Charles G. Herberan, Ph.D., LL, D., pages 261, 262). Prof. Marcus Dods, Edenburgh explained baptism as “a rite wherein by immersion of water the participant symbolizes and signalizes his transition from an impure to a pure life, his death to a past he abandons, and his birth to a future he desires.”

4. From the practice of the early church. The first instance of baptism by any other mode than immersion was about the middle of the third century. A man named Novatian was ill and was baptized by having water poured around him. The first public (official) authority for sprinkling was given about 811 A.D. by Pope Steven II. Some of the French clergy informed the pope that there were some too sick and some too small to be immersed and asked for permission to sprinkle them. The pope replied, “If such were cases of necessity, and if sprinkling were performed in the Name of the Trinity, it should be valid.” At the Council of Ravenna in 1311, the Roman Church decreed: “Baptism is to be administered by triune aspersion (sprinkling, CDC) or immersion.”

The Westminster (Presbyterian) Assembly met in 1643 to compose a Confession of Faith. Baptism was hotly discussed; 24 voted to retain immersion; 25 voted for sprinkling or pouring.

5. From the New Testament metaphor by which baptism is represented. It is called a burial and a resurrection. “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (#Ro 6:4); “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (#Col 2:12).

3. THE SCRIPTURAL DESIGN

On this point there are two views of baptism: The sacramental and the symbolic. The sacramental makes baptism a saving sacrament; it is to confer grace. The symbolic declares that grace has already been conferred. One makes baptism essential to regeneration and remission of sins; the other makes it a symbol or figure of what saves, even the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

W. M. Nevins says, “The design in Baptist Churches is not in order to obtain the remission of sins. It is not a means of grace. It is not in order to obtain regeneration. It has nothing to do with our salvation. It is a picture showing forth the gospel: the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and signifies that the one baptized is dead to the old life of sin and risen to a new life in Christ.”

The author states his view of baptism as a symbol in a somewhat different way to most of his brethren. To him it is not a symbol of regeneration but of justification. It symbolizes the believer’s death to the guilt and penalty of sin; and the Bible word that denotes this judicial death is justification rather than regeneration. #Ro 6:7 says, “For he that is dead is freed (justified) from sin.” This is judicial death and not death in the experimental sense. Regeneration is not the Bible word used to denote death to sin. Regeneration does kill the sinner to the love of sin, but not to the experience of sin. Regeneration is the putting of the divine nature within, but it does not remove the old nature. The new birth makes one more sensitive to sin; it does not kill him to the sense of sin.

4. THE SCRIPTURAL ADMINISTRATOR OF BAPTISM

Who is to authorize the believer’s baptism? This question reverts back to the question to whom or to what was the commission given? It was given to something, an institution that would be perpetuated until the end of the age. It was spoken to the apostles, not as individuals but as representatives of the church. And so the church is to make disciples, baptize disciples, and teach disciples what God has commanded to be observed or practiced. The believer must be received by the church; he unites with and his baptism must be authorized by the same church.

Only a church of Christ—a Scriptural church can execute the commission to baptize. And so every group of Christians must prove itself to be a Scripturally constituted church before it can Scripturally execute Christ’s command.

Until the time of the reformation beginning with Luther, there were widely scattered churches, each a little democracy in contrast to the Roman hierarchy with a human head. These scattered churches were called Anabaptists because they insisted on baptizing all who came to them from the Roman hierarchy. The name Anabaptists was applied to them because they were charged with rebaptizing those who came to them from Rome. They rejected the name and claimed that those they baptized had never been baptized. The early conflict was not over the mode of baptism because the Roman Catholic hierarchy immersed for several centuries. The issue was over the authority to baptize. None but a Scriptural Church has authority to baptize, for the command to baptize was given to the church that would be in existence from the days of Christ to the end of the age. The strongest argument that Baptist Churches represent the institution to whom the commission was given is the witness or testimony of those who are not Baptists.

Mosheim, the Lutheran historian writes: “The true origin of that sect which acquired the name of Anabaptists, by their administering anew the rite of baptism to those who came over to their communion, is hid in the remote depths of antiquity, and is, consequently, extremely difficult to be ascertained.” The Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge has his to say: “The Baptist’s, who were formerly called Anabaptists, and in later times Mennonites, were the original Waldenses, and have long in the history of the church received the honor of that origin.” On this account, the Baptists may be considered the only Christian community which has stood since the apostle’s, and which has preserved pure the doctrines of the gospel through all the ages.”

Greek word for sprinkling: Rhantizo: #1Pe 1:2 “of the blood of Jesus” #Heb 12:24; “blood of sprinkling” #Heb 10:22; “hearts sprinkled… and bodies washed in pure water.”

THE DIDACHE: An ancient Christian document, referred to as the “Teaching of the twelve Apostles,” written in Greek and dealing with the organization, belief, and worship in the early church. Its date is probably between 120 and 150 A.D. and is thought to have originated in Egypt or Syria. It was found in 1873 in an 11th century manuscript in the Monastery of the Holy Sepulchre in Istanbul.

Composed of two parts:

1. A description of the Two Ways, one of life, the other death, in the form of rules for Christian conduct.

2. Deals with the rites of baptism and Lord’s Supper and defines the office and duties of Christian leaders.

The Didache; Here for the first time pouring (Greek-ekcneo) is used for baptism (baptizo). We give the translation by Philip Schaff, a Presbyterian: “Now concerning baptism, baptize thus: Having first taught all these things, baptize ye into (eis) the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, in living water, and if thou hast not living water, baptize into other water; and if thou canst not in cold, then in warm (water). But if thou hast neither, pour water thrice upon the head in (eis) the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

Analysis: This is actually saying, baptize (immerse) in any kind of water; living, cold or warm, but if this is impossible because lack of sufficient water, then ekcheo (pour) water three times upon the head in the name of Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. It is actually saying if you can’t baptize in water then pour water on the head. Here we have the first error in baptism which was in the design resulting in a change in mode. Because it was thought that water had power to regenerate it had to be applied in some way to the individual. It is not known who wrote this ancient document. Baptizo is the Greek word for baptism and is never used for anything but immersion. Ekcheo is never used for baptism.

C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 3

John Tombes’ Catechism on Baptism Pt 5

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

13. Were not Infants baptized, when whole households were baptized, Acts 16.15.33.?

No: For it appears not there were any infants in the houses, and the Texts shew they were not baptized, sith the word was spoken to all in the house, ver. 32. and all the house rejoyced believing God. ver 34. and elsewhere the whole house is said to do that which Infants could not do, Acts 18.8. Acts 10.2. 1 Cor. 16.15. compared with 1 Cor. 1.16. John 4.53.

14. Is not Christs speech and action to little Children, Matth. 19.14,15. Mark 10.14,15,16. Luke 18.16,17. a warrant to baptize infants?

No: but an Argument against it, sith Christ did neither baptize, nor appoint those little children to be baptized.

15. Why should not Infants be baptized, sith they were Circumcised?

The reason why Male Infants were to be Circumcised, was a particular Command of God to Abrahams house for special ends belonging to the time before Christ, which Baptism hath not, nor is there any Command to use Baptism according to the rule of Circumcision.

16. Did not Baptism come in the room of Circumcision, Col. 2.11,12. and so to be used as it was?

The Apostles words import not that our Baptism came in the room of the Jews Circumcision; there is no mention of any bodily Circumcision but Christ’s, which our baptism cannot be said to suceed to, as there it is made the cause of Spiritual Circumcision, without arrogating that to it which belongs to Christ alone, and Baptism is mentioned with faith, as the means whereby we are in Christ, and compleat in him.

A Short Catechism about Baptism by John Tombes, B.D.

Heb 6.2. Of the Doctrine of Baptisms. Luke 7.35. But Wisdom is justified of all her Children. London: 1659

John Tombes’ Catechism on Baptism Pt 2

November 30, 2012 Leave a comment

1. Is Baptism with Water an Ordinance of Christ, to be continued by his Disciples till the end of the World?

Baptism with Water is an Ordinance of Christ, which is to be continued by his Disciples till the end of the World; as appears by his command, Mat. 28.19,20. Mark 16.15,16. it is to be joined with Preaching of the Gospel, and making Disciples, by Preaching, and teaching them to observe all that Christ commands; and so to be continued while these are to continue, which is proved to be till the end of the world, by Christs promise of his being with them till then, which were vain, if the things appointed were not to be done so long.

2. Is not the end of the world, as much as the end of the Age?

It appears that Matthew means by the end of the World, the last time, or day, wherein there will be a separation of good and bad, the one to be burned with fire, and the other to shine as the Sun, in that in the places wherein Matthew, useth the self-same form of speech (to wit Mat. 13.39,40,49. Mat. 24.3.) he canot be understood to mean any other.

3. May not the baptizing in Mat.28.19. Mark 16.16 be understood of some other Baptism, than that of water?

The Baptism there, must needs be understood of Baptism by Water, sith Baptizing, where ever it is made of John Baptists, or the Disciples Act, which they did or were to do, is meant of Baptizing with Water, as John 4.1,2 and in many other places it appears; and the Apostles by their practise and command, Acts 2.38,41. Acts 10.47,48. shew that they so understood Christ’s appointment, Matt. 28.19. Mark 16.16.

4. May it not be meant of Baptizing by the Spirit, or afflictions?

It canot be so understood, sith Baptizing with the Spirit is no where ascribed to any other than Christ, Mat 3.11. Luke 3.16. Nor is baptism with the Spirit a duty for us to do, but a free gift of Christ; not common to all Disciples of Christ, but peculiar to some: and to appoint them the baptizing by affliction had been to make the Apostles persecutors.

A Short Catechism about Baptism by John Tombes, B.D.

Heb 6.2. Of the Doctrine of Baptisms. Luke 7.35. But Wisdom is justified of all her Children. London: 1659

Those Who Believe the Gospel are in the Covenant

Argument .1.

The Pedobaptists Claim that the Covenant Now is the Same as in the Old Times

The first Arguments lies thus; If the Covenant now under Christ, be the same that was before Christ, with Abraham and his posterity in the flesh; then as Infants were partakers of the Covenant then, and received the seal there of Circumcision, so are infants now partakers of the Covenant, and ought to receive the seal there of Baptism. But the Covenant now under Christ, is the same that was before Christ with Abraham and his posterity in the flesh. Therefore, as Infants were then in the Covenant and received the seal thereof; even so are Infants now in the Covenant, and ought to receive the seal thereof. Three things are to be cleared in this Argument.

First, That the Covenant made with Abraham and his posterity in the flesh before Christ, and that now are under Christ, is the same.

Secondly, As Infants were in that Covenant, so are Infants now.

Thirdly, As Infants were sealed then, so they ought to be now. Now for the proving of these aforesaid, there are three other grounds laid down as follow:

First, The Gospel is the doctrine of the Covenant, but this being one, was preached to Abraham, as Gal. 3:8, 17, 18, Rom. 4:11, and so to the end, and to the Jews, in the Wilderness, Hebrews 4:1, 2; and so in David’s time, Hebrews 4:7, &c. Therefore the Covenant is the same.

Secondly, If Abraham be the father of the Jews and Gentiles, and equally as he believed the righteousness of faith, and they his children equally as so believing, and no otherwise, then the Covenant is the same. But Abraham is the father of the Jews and Gentiles, and equally as he believed, Rom. 4:11, 12, 16, 17, 23, 24. Gal. 3:3, 9, 26, 29. Therefore the Covenant is the same.

Thirdly, The standing of the Jews in the Grace of God was the same with Abraham; as is clear from God’s often expressing of himself to be the God of Abraham and His seed, and praying to God for to remember the Covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and acknowledging the accomplishing of the same to them, as Luke 1:73, 74; Luke 1:54, 55. And ours is the same with the Jews, as is clear from Matt. 21:41, 43, and 22:1.


The Answer

Thus lies the Argument, and the grounds to back it, and all to prove the Covenant God made with Abraham and his seed, to be the same now to the believing Gentiles and their seed, and Infants to be in this now, as they were in that then.

It is the effectual believing of the Gospel that proves what persons are in the Covenant.

In answer to which, I shall only touch at the three last grounds, briefly in a word, as I come to the Covenant itself.

The first is, because the Gospel is the doctrine of the Covenant, and was preached to Abraham, and to the Jews, &c. therefore the Covenant is the same. For the first, if the preaching of the Gospel, being the doctrine of the Covenant, can prove the Covenant to be the same to them as to us, then all to whom the Gospel was and is preached, are in the same Covenant. But I think it is the effectual believing of that which the Gospel holds forth in the doctrine of it, because many have the Gospel preached among them, and yet not be in the Covenant. And for the second, that Abraham is the equal father both of the Jews and Gentiles, only as he did believe, and they his children only so believing as their father Abraham did, and not else.

John Spilsbery A Treatise concerning the lawful subject of Baptism (1652)

Baptism is said to Confirm Faith and to Seal

Objection. That Baptism is not the first grace, but the second, neither does it confer grace, but is given to confirm the former; which therefore must be presupposed, or else not to be administered. And it is the seal of the New Testament, or of the Righteousness of faith, now to all that are partakers thereof; as of old Circumcision was unto them, Rom. 4:11. Only understand by baptism, the outward part administered by a lawful Minister of the Church, which may, and too often is, separated from the inward, though it ought not to be so, and yet remains true Baptism so administered; or else Simon Magus, and those false brethren, Gal. 2, being not baptized, and if they had repented, must have been baptized anew.

The Answer

I shall not say much to this particular, because our chiefest work lies yet behind, only this much let the Reader observe, that here Baptism is said to be given of God, as an Ordinance, to confirm faith in the subject baptized, and so to be presupposed, or else not to be administered. Now, if God have it to that end for to confirm faith, then He never intended the same to be administered upon any, but only such as have faith. And so much the next words affirm, which say, That it must be presupposed, or else not administered. Now I suppose it is meant, that faith in such is to be presupposed from some ground or visible effect of faith in appearance at the least. For no man can properly presuppose a thing, without some appearing ground from whence his supposition must arise, and specially in weighty matters. But what ground any man has to presuppose a child in the womb, or one that is newly born, to have faith, and so capable of a seal, as to be confirmed by baptism, I cannot conceive, but rather think it to be great weakness in such that shall so presuppose or affirm. For it is a doctrine that confirms the opinion of such as hold faith to be natural, and in a man from the womb, and as some say, they have been believers ever since they were born. And so it is here, for when an Infant is once baptized, it goes ever afterwards for a believer, as well as any that are never so clear in the faith unless he comes to commit such sin as to be excommunicated, until which time he was ever a believer before.

John Spilsbery A Treatise concerning the lawful subject of Baptism (1652)

Regulative Principle of Worship

April 16, 2012 1 comment

I am often accused by Paedobaptist of not being part of the true Church because I reject infant baptism. This is a serious charge and one that should, if true, make them break fellowship with all Baptist and all that do not affirm what their views of the true church constitute.

This much stated, I want to say that unlike Paedobaptist, I do not have such a narrow view. In other words, I believe there are believers outside of our denominational titles. Of course I wouldn’t argue that every Paedobaptist is so arrogant that they believe the opposite of this to be true. Nevertheless, when in discussion with most Paedobaptist, I find myself feeling as if they believe that I do not even know Christ, unless I believe in their views of infant baptism.

I want to state that I believe that the sine qua non to knowing Christ is to place one’s faith entirely in Christ alone as one’s substitutionary atonement for one’s sins committed against a holy God. In other words justification by faith alone is an essential doctrine that must be believed by an individual in order for that person to be a child of God. One cannot come to God’s throne offering the fruit of their own works.

Though the doctrines concerning baptism are not essential to salvation, nevertheless they are important because these doctrines do involve the right use of a sacrament that was given to us by Christ himself.(1) Therefore I want to repond to my Paedobaptist bretheren with this article by Fred Malone:

 

Infant Baptism and the Regulative Principle of Worship

According to the Westminster Presbyterian and the 1689 London Baptist Confession (the mother confession of American and Southern Baptists),

“ the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture (WCF 21:1; italics mine).”

This regulative principle teaches that God-approved Christian worship includes only elements and practices “instituted by God Himself limited by his own revealed will [and not] any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture.” In other words, speculation, invention, imagination, and uncommanded practices, etc., cannot be permitted to change or neglect instituted worship. Therefore, the only elements of worship approved in the regulative tradition, according to Scripture, are:

“Prayers: The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear; the sound preaching, and conscionable hearing of the word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith, and reverence; singing of psalms with grace in the heart; as also the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ; are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God: besides religious oaths and vows, solemn fasting, and thanksgivings upon special occasions, which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in a holy and religious manner (WCF 21:4-5; italics mine).”

Read the rest of the article here.

(1) Some Baptist would rather call ‘baptism’ an ordinance. I believe the word ‘sacrament’ is correct and had it not been for the abuse of the Catholic Church of the ‘sacraments’, then everyone would use this term.