TABLETALK Devotions and Baptism
I’m thankful for the TABLETALK devotional magazine. The articles and daily reflections are filled with solid instruction in God’s Word and not the cotton candy drivel of most devotionals that at best give you little substance of spiritual value and mostly the air of humanism. Every morning I read the TABLETALK devo and I listen to the daily Scripture through the Ligonier App or read the Scripture in the printed Word. If we are to become a church that is marked by the maturity of people who are on mission, we must be a people who are daily in God’s Word. Let me encourage you to continue, every day, to be in the Word.
From Wednesday the 11th of October up to Monday the 16th, the TABLETALK devotional dealt with baptism from a covenant reformed perspective. Northbridge is a reformed church that is particularly Baptist and not covenant reformed. Thereby, we would not agree with all of the specifics that equate the practice of circumcision in the Old Testament to baptism in the New Testament. Covenant Theology sees the relation of God to mankind as a kind of compact which God established as a reflection of the relationship existing between the three persons of the Holy Trinity. Covenant Theology interprets all of the Scriptural truth through the interpretive lens of two or sometimes three covenants.
Covenant Theology is reformed but not baptistic. Being Baptist by conviction, we then do not baptize infants a sign of God’s covenant He made with Israel. Rather, we believe in believer’s baptism as an obedient sign of conversion and testimony to faith in Jesus, our new covenant. The mode of baptism is important because of the specific picture of redemption through the work of Jesus’ perfect life, sacrificial death and glorious resurrection. In believers baptisms, the symbol and the mode of the symbol, that of immersion, is very important. In Covenant Theology, the event of the covenant of God with Israel in the past and as an extension of that to the church today is important and the mode (immersion, sprinkling, pouring) or picture of baptism in redemption specifically is not important. According to covenant theology, baptism then can take place prior to salvation as an infant, or child as well or after salvation as a believer. All are acceptable in Covenant Theology because baptism does not picture Jesus work specifically in the work of redemption but rather God’s covenant(s) in general.
While more certainly can be said of this and much more explained, I am confident that you are receiving solid biblical truth through the TABLETALK devotional. Of the many devotionals we could choose – and there are few of this caliber – TABLETALK is one of the best. It combines, theology, church history, a focus on the biblical text and daily application. I know that you will continue to be blessed by the devotional even though we will encounter points of disagreement with the authors at Ligonier.org ministries.
Also, don’t forget to read the articles! This month’s articles are invaluable to understanding the reformation. I love the translation of Luther’s 95 Thesis and R. Albert Mohler Jr’s article on “Why We Protest”. WOW! It’s good stuff for godly living and great talking points for the gospel with our friends and neighbors.