Most Presbyterians and Reformed Christians answers the basis of believers’ baptism derived from the New Covenant taught at Jeremiah 31 by saying that:
a) The covenant mentioned there is the Mosaic Covenant-and not the Abrahamic Covenant which is unconditional
b) or that this is eschatological-that its full fulfillment is at the last days. (Richard Pratt)
I am just amazed that Reason A is also similar to other Christians who rationalized that tithing is still applicable today since they based their doctrine not at the Mosaic Law (though they always quote Malachi 3) but on the Abrahamic covenant.As if the God of Israel in the time Moses is not the “…God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” (Exodus 3:6). The covenantal sign of circumcision only proves their continuity. It is based their lineal descent-bloodline-or seedline.
The sign of baptism clearly proves its discontinuity-it is born from above-not through human descent-father’s or husband will.
My take is that even if you do not read Jeremiah 31 (or Hebrews 8-which clearly applies to the then present day Church) you cannot escape the force of John 1:12-13 and Galatians 3:7 which states that it is by faith that we become children of Abraham.
And that ,quoting from http://adampowers.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/what-about-infant-baptism/ :
“Also, Romans 9:6-8, and Galatians 4:22-23, 28 teach that believers are not children of the flesh (Ishmael’s seed), but children of promise (Isaac’s seed). Therefore the spiritual Israel that was within Israel in the Old Testament was the group that moved forward into the Church, not the whole mixed body. So now the Church is not to be the same mixed body as Old Testament Israel was, it is to be pure. But because of sin, we will have a mixed body, and that is why God has ordained Church Discipline, to keep His Church pure. “
Reason B is an assault on Gentile Christianity-and it smacks of the need for second-work of Holy Spirit (Sorry Dr Pratt-I like your books and your RTS mp3 teachings-but the log of infant baptism is clouding your eyes here) -and it distract from the completeness of benefits received by the believers during conversion. Do you really mean that “we still don’t know God? That his law is not written in our hearts? And that our sins are still not forgiven? and that he still remembers them? C’mon-In order not to feel the force of the newness of the New Covenant-you want it to be the same as the Old Covenant!
Covenant Theology doe not only flattens out the distinction-they want regression.