This is from the post at: http://www.thirdmill.org/answers/answer.asp/category/ot/file/99790.qna
Let me pose a question: Just because someone professes faith before getting baptized, does that guarantee that he’s really saved? No. We all know that adults make false professions of faith and get baptized anyway. Every Baptist preacher knows there are unbelievers sitting in his congregation. But since those people are in the church, they are considered covenant breakers in God’s eyes. We’re not talking about people losing their salvation; we’re talking about unregenerate people who are nonetheless considered to be in covenant. My point is that one cannot, on the basis of Jeremiah 31:31-34, argue that every baptized church member is in fact a believer. There’s simply no way to ensure that baptism is given only to believers, even in a Baptist church. Now, most Baptists believe that the intent should be to baptize only professing believers, but that’s different.
Baptist who are still of Freedom of Grace persuasion (not of Zane Hodges type-though I like with its affiliation with the Marrowmen of Scotland and their insistence regarding assurance of salvation-though I also shared Dr Gentry and Pastor Macarthur’s concern with the Lordship of Jesus.) believes that in the New Covenant-all members will
a) know the Lord- have personal relationship with the Lord-like David and others in the OT
b) taught by the Lord- not taught by Levitical priesthood
c)His Law written in his heart- have positional sanctification -and leads an observable seperated and holy life.
d) his sins are forgiven and no longer remembered- Justified and secured in his salvation.
And thus we baptized them for their observable regenerated testimony and lifestyle. Some called this credible profession of faith.
Thus our point is not “… on the basis of Jeremiah 31:31-34, argue that every baptized church member is in fact a believer.” But that we baptized believers based on the description of members that should be in the new covenant.
Clearly infants do not qualify as such. And here paedobaptists goes beyond the words of the Scripture.
Again from www.thirdmill.org>
This idea that the new covenant during the time of continuation, it seems to me, makes the most sense of passages like Hebrews 6:4-6 and 10:26-29. Those are clear warnings against falling away, and they clearly use covenant language. For example, in Hebrews 10:29 we learn that God will severely punish those who treat as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them. If salvation cannot be lost, whom can this verse possibly describe? It must be someone who, though not a true saint, was yet considered in covenant with God, someone who was “sanctified” or “made holy” by “the blood of the covenant” – it must be an unbeliever in the visible church (regardless whether he was baptized as an infant or as an adult).
If only we read this contextually and not through primarily through the lens of whatever covenantal theology we are in- that we will find out that the primary audience of Hebrews are those professing Jewish Christians who are being tempted to go back to their former ways and forget the church. Yes they are believers-that is they made their initial profession of faith and possibly baptized based on their profession. But due to social pressure and persecution they want to revert back former religion which had a tolerated status in the Roman Empire.
I am also confused with this argument. It is as if what they are saying is that baptism is not really about salvation and knowing the elect in this life-even through their lifestyle and testimony-so we might as well skipped being discerning and apply it to anyone else-even if they don’t exhibit any outward proof of their election. I remember that Christians are exhorted to make their calling and election sure -and that “But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”” Clearly to paedobaptist -baptism is not about salvation-it is just being a member of a visible organization called church. Why all the fuss in the elders’ interviews? Why just lower it anyone who can say 5 or more words from the good book-then let us baptized it immediately.
You know-you are being dishonest because-Presbyterians- are as strict as Baptist when they baptized adult believers-but immediately lower it when it comes to their children.
This is also a family problem I always experienced. We are strict when it comes to other people-but when it comes to our children-who are very cute and coddly when they 5 years old and below- we just relax our standards and let them roam and play havoc in our house. This regime of lowering our standards must end friends.
Can someone be lost? Yes -eternal security is for those who continue in faith-and yes as good Freedom of Grace advocates-this perseverance is for the elect only. No one can be really lost in the New Covenant-but one can be lost in the visible church. Remember-not in the new covenant-for they are all elected. The visible church and its officers takes effort in insuring that those who are only believers are those baptized and that those baptized remains seperated(holy) in their life through the preaching, teaching, counselling, discipling and discipline of the Word. You cannot fault us by putting the badge of disciples to those we know cannot understand and make their voluntary decision to follow the Lord. Children can-but not babies or infants.
I have attached this two diagrams of mine for others to understand the difference between Old and New Covenant:
In the old covenant -fathers are required to circumcised their sons -because they are the physical seed of Abraham.
In the new covanant, fathers/elders of the church are required to baptize believers because they are the spiritual seed of Abraham-they have faith in Jesus Christ.