House Church Talk - Baptisms and Administrations

Bruce Woodford bwood4d at
Fri Mar 5 14:17:23 EST 2004

Hi Ross,

I certainly agree with you that Israel had many advantages over other 
nations. They had a covenant with God, the scriptures, the prophets, it was 
through them that Christ came etc etc.  But that did not make them SUPERIOR 
as the EMTV states in Rom.3:1!  Superiority makes one BETTER than others. 
But Paul asks in Rom.3:9, "Are we (Jews) better than they (Gentiles)?"  And 
his answer is "No. In no wise."

You also wrote:"If individuals wanted a relationship with God, they formerly 
had to come through the covenant nation of Israel."

Where in scripture do you find this idea taught?  Job certainly had a 
relationship with God but as far as we know had no contact whatsover with 

In II Chron.36:22,23 we learn that King Cyrus received instructions from God 
re. the building of the temple in Jerusalem.  God calls Cyrus, "My shepherd" 
(Isaiah 44:28) and "mine anointed" (Isaiah 45:1). But no Israelite was an 
INTERMEDIARY by which Cyrus had such a relationship with God!

The wise men of Mat thew 2 had revelation from God relative to the birth of 
the King of the Jews which was apart from contact with Israel.  God also 
spoke to them in a dream regarding their return to their own land which had 
nothing to do with "coming through the covenant nation of Israel".

I also agree with you that Israel had a unique covenant relationship with 
God by the covenant  (The ten commandments) made with them at Sinai. But the 
Lord Jesus' command to his disciples to make disciples of all nations and to 
baptize those disciples was made AFTER the old covenant had come to an end 
at the death of Christ and the rending of the veil of the temple from the 
top to the bottom!  His command for them to baptize the disciples they would 
make of all nations had to do, NOT with the old covenant which was dedicated 
with the sprinkling of animal blood (Ex.24) but rather with the new covenant 
that was dedicated with the shedding of the precious blood of Christ, 
Himself!  (Heb.9:13-28)

So brother, I am not at all certain that I understand your point at all!  
What specificly do YOU  see about John's ministry and baptism under the old 
covenant, the Lord's disciples baptizing people under the old covenant and 
the Lord Jesus' commission to baptize disciples under the new covenant that 
relates to the present day practice of baptizing believers in water??

There were sprinklings which were not baptisms under the old covenant. There 
were baptisms which were not sprinklings under the old covenant. And 
baptisms of the new covenant are not sprinklings at all.

I think we are both agreed that there were baptisms practiced under the old 
covenant, and there is a baptism in the Spirit under the new covenant which 
is accomplished by God  in which men have no responsibility.  But the 
subject of our discussion (the baptism of believers in water) a baptism 
which is commanded and which is the responsibility of men under the new 
covenant is the one upon which we do not seem to agree.

If I have understood you correctly, you have claimed that the "end of the 
age" (Matt.28:20) was when the church , which is Christ's body,  began. Thus 
water baptism of believers was to cease at that point and thus is obsolete 
and totally out of place today.

Brother, if this doctrine is correct, it will be stated in the very words of 
scripture as all scriptural doctrines are!  If this doctrine is NOT stated 
in the very words of scripture it is NOT a scriptural doctrine but rather is 
an invention of men as all doctrines are which are not stated in the very 
words of scripture.

So please, let us not continue to reason and deduce and come to conclusions 
never stated in the Book.  If you can show your conclusion on this matter in 
the very words of scripture,(as Ps.12:6; Prov.30:5,6 and I Cor.2:13 
indicate) I will immediately concede that you are correct.  However, if you 
are unable to state your doctrine in the very words of scripture,  are YOU 
willing to acknowledge that what you have claimed is NOT a scriptural 

This matter need not be an unresolved issue. Let us allow the scriptures to 
be the final arbiter.

Looking forward to your response.

Your brother in Christ,


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