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The Recipients of Baptism, Part 2

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Date: June 17, 2018

Speaker: John Fonville

Series: Two Keys To Spiritual Growth

Category: Sacraments

Scripture: Genesis 12:1–12:3, Genesis 15:1–15:21, Genesis 17:10–17:14

Tags: grace, faith, election, covenant of grace, abrahamic covenant, moses, righteousness, justification, imputation, royal grant, cut a covenant, covenant of promise, sola fide, baptism, promise, Circumcision, Suzerain, Cross, Household, Abraham, vassal, gift, sign and seal, Noahic covenant, infant baptism, believer's baptism, blessing of Abraham, infant initiation, treaty, blood-oath, unilateral, sign of the covenant, unconditional, infant circumcision, believer's circumcision, Isaac, Sarah, Canaan, cut off

What was circumcision? What did this sacrament signify and seal to Old Testament believers who trusted in the LORD's promise to Abraham? To whom was circumcision administered? What did circumcision ultimately point to and how does it bear on the question of infant baptism?

In order to answer these questions, we must take a closer look at the Abrahamic covenant and see how biblical history unfolds the meaning of circumcision and the Abrahamic covenant.

The reason for this is because “there is a common belief that circumcision was connected with the Mosaic covenant” (see J.V. Fesko, Word, Water & Spirit, 342). Circumcision is connected with the Torah but even Jesus, Himself, qualifies this in John 7:22 when He says that circumcision actually comes from the patriarchs (i.e., Abraham): “Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers) . . .” (Ibid).

Jesus clearly teaches that circumcision is not properly speaking Mosaic but Abrahamic. Abraham is NOT Moses! Circumcision is older than the Mosaic covenant and the theocracy of Israel (Ibid). Circumcision is first and foremost connected with Abraham and the Abrahamic covenant (Ibid). As we will see today, the LORD instituted circumcision in the Abrahamic covenant.

Therefore, in order to have a proper understanding of baptism and its recipients, we must have a proper understanding of the Abrahamic covenant.


I.   The Promise of the Abrahamic Covenant, Genesis 12:1-3

II.  The Ratification of the Abrahamic Covenant, Genesis 15:1-21

III. The Sign and Seal of the Abrahamic Covenant, Genesis 17:10-14