Talking Covenant Theology With Pastor Rudy Rubio On The Hood Grace Podcast

Here is the audio file only for the HB media archive:

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3 comments

  1. Great discussion….very edifying, and thank you. However, while personally a proponent of paedobaptism, I don’t think using 1 Corinthians 10 to justify baptizing infants is a Biblically sound exegesis of the passage, but I’m always open to rebuke and correction when I am wrong and I understand that opinions differ. I offer the following from Albert Barnes:

    “They were baptized “in the cloud” and “in the sea,” and this cannot be understood as a religious rite administered by the hand of man. It is to be remembered that the word “baptism” has two senses – the one referring to the application of water as a religious rite, in whatever mode it is done; and the other the sense of “dedicating, consecrating, initiating into,” or bringing under obligation to. And it is evidently in this latter sense that the word is used here, as denoting that they were devoted to Moses as a leader, they were brought under his laws, they became bound to obey him, they were placed under his protection and guidance by the miraculous interposition of God. This was done by the fact that their passing through the sea, and under the cloud, in this manner, brought them under the authority and direction of Moses as a leader, and was a public recognition of their being his followers, and being bound to obey his laws.”

    We, and our children, are not baptized into Moses as were his followers, but in (into) the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Presuming that being baptized into Moses and being baptized in the name of God are the same is taking more liberty with God’s Word than I am comfortable with. The sign and seal of the Hebrews (as God’s people) at the time was circumcision, not baptism, and in a similar fashion today we equate baptism as the sign and seal of “dedicating, consecrating, initiating into” the visible church.

    I am perfectly willing to acknowledge that there is a spiritual aspect to being baptized into Moses in the sense that they all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual water because they all drank from the spiritual Rock (Christ). But the focus of such statements are to warn that even so, God was not pleased (because of their idolatry)…..1 Corinthians 10 is a warning against idolatry, not an advocation of paedobaptism.

    • Hi Jerry,

      I am being genuine about my use of 1 Cor 10:1-4. I did sketch briefly the context of the passage but my inference is fair because for Paul’s analogy to hold between the Israelites (the Old Covenant Church) and the New Covenant Church, the details matter.

      Paul’s point is that both groups were baptized and both groups participated in a communion meal with the Lord but (and I did not stress this in the interview) there is an important feature in the Old Covenant baptism and communion that informs our understanding of 1 Corinthians and the New Covenant sacraments. You’re right, there was no human minister in the Old Covenant sacraments. It was the Lord himself who baptized them and it was the Lord himself who communed them (or communicated) them at his table, as it were, in the wilderness for 40 years.

      For the analogy to hold the Old Covenant baptism has to be a baptism, which it was. Paul does not say, “well, what they experienced was like a baptism. He ways, “they were baptized.” The Lord himself baptized all those Israelites! That’s amazing. If anything, Paul’s use of the analogy is stronger than you seem willing to admit. Therefore I do not accept you’re re-definition of baptism in this instance. All the Israelites, grown ups and babies were initiated into the visible covenant community. In Paul’s mind there is a natural transition between circumcision and baptism, which we see in Colossians 2:11-12. For him, circumcision is to be identified with the death of Christ. Christ’s death is a circumcision/baptism and baptism is a retrospective identification with the death of Christ. Paul means that in 1 Cor 10:1-4. They Israelites were identified with the death of Christ. He doesn’t say “circumcised” because he was highlighting the continuity and similarity with the New Covenant. He could easily have said, “they were all circumcised, you know…” but he didn’t. He pointed out their baptism. They were baptized in the very same sense in which we are baptized: outwardly identified with the death of Christ.

      Yes, there is a degree of discontinuity. They were baptized “into Moses” and we are baptized “into Christ.” Moses was the typological federal head of the Old Covenant, the typological mediator of the Old Covenant, as Hebrews notes and we, blessedly, in the New Covenant are baptized into Christ but the analogy is our shared baptism into a federal head, a redeemer. They were baptized into a typological redeemer, who anticipated Christ and we are baptized into the Redeemer.

      There is not just a “spiritual sense” to what happened in the wilderness. We need not search for a spiritual sense. The administration of the covenant of grace was spiritual. That’s Paul’s point. Yes, he is warning the Corinthians just as the Pastor to Hebrews warns his congregation but in both cases, the analogy is a real analogy and not a merely formal analogy.

      Believers (and others) and their children were baptized and professing believers were communed for 40 years in the wilderness. We too are on a wilderness journey, on the way to the promised land. We too must make sure that we have taken for ourselves, by faith, Christ and all his benefits. We too need to have a holy respect/fear of the same God who struck down Pharaoh and who disciplined the Old Covenant church in the wilderness. We are not exempt, as Paul himself said in 1 Cor 11 but the analogy holds.

      It was a baptism into Moses, to be sure, but it was a baptism and infants were in that 1,000,000 strong church and they were baptized. There is infant baptism explicitly demonstrated in holy Scripture. The point stands.

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