That’s a play on words taken from a bumper sticker I saw here in the Central Valley, “I voted for Pedro.” I don’t even have any idea what it means but those stickers are everywhere. It seemed like a catchy play on words. You see, I’ve been a credobaptist and credocommunionist my whole life. What that means is that I’ve always believed that one must profess a belief in Christ before one is baptized and receives communion.
Thanks to Thursday morning breakfasts with a mens group from church and a book we’ve been studying on covenantal relationships with God, I now believe that baptism has replaced circumcision as the sign of the covenant between believers and God. Circumcision was performed on Jewish babies, so it follows that baptism should be perfomed on children, babies in fact, of believers.
Now, you may say that “The covenant of circumcision” (Acts 7:8) was confined to descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and those converted to Judaism (Genesis 17:12-13; Exodus 12:48); baptism is for all nations (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8).This is true, just as God first chose Israel to demonstrate to the world that we were unable to save ourselves, when He delivers that salvation in the form of His Son, that salvation is made available to all nations, therefore the new covenant must be for all nations.
Then again circumcision was confined to males; baptism is for both male and female. How do we explain that? I believe that this is part of God’s all inclusive covenant, open to all whom He chooses. Under the new covenant “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) The barriers have been lowered. The temple veil has been torn. There is no Gentile Court in the temple. We are all now brothers and sisters in Christ. Remember, at first God’s grace and mercy was limited to the Jews, it is now open to all nations.
Okay, well if baptism replaced circumcision people who were already circumcised could not be baptized. If baptism replaced circumcision, how could both covenants be in effect at the same time, among the same people?
They weren’t both in effect at the same time. You can’t uncircumcize yourself before you enter into baptism. There had to be a tansition. In God’s mercy He instituted the new covenant before removing the old covenant. Once you are baptized, you have now entered into the new covenant of redemption, the covenant of circumcision is no more.
Well, those are my deep thoughts for this week. Feel free to show me where I’m wrong but be sure to have scripture to back you up!
May God bless you this week.