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written by: admin

Date Written: 8/11/07 Last Updated: 1/18/10

Note: See the bottom of the page for an important note.

I am a reformed presbyterian who is going to a reformed baptist church.  Because of that I have found that it is important for me to come to a better understanding of baptism and why and how the two perspectives are different.

The fundamental difference comes from a different understanding of covenant theology.  The covenant is a promise between two parties with consequences if one does not follow through on their half of the arrangement.

God made a covenant with man that He would be our God if we would be His people.

The problem comes from the interpretation of

Jeremiah 31:31–34

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

According to this the mosaic law was abrogated.

In the Bible there are three types of laws.  

Moral Law:  The 10 commandments were a summary of the moral law.

Ceremonial Law:  Laws given that would point to Christ and our need for a savior as well as what must happen so that we as sinners might receive propitiation, redemption, and reconciliation to our God.

Sundry or Case Laws:  Examples and applications of the moral law.

The dispute stems from what is meant in Jeremiah 31:31–34 and what is contained in the mosaic law.  Presbyterians seem to believe that the mosaic law deals with the ceremonial law only while the baptists believe that all of the old covenant falls under the mosaic law.

Note: This will be an ongoing reserach project and as such there will probably be many changes and corrections as my research bears fruit.  For now take note of where statements or facts do not have references.  Also note where I use terms like "seems" or "appears".  These denote areas that I am pretty sure, but need to investigate further before I state it as definite.

Further readings

A Baptist turns Paedobaptist

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