Chapter 6: The Commitment to Sovereignty

Kenneth L Gentry

Narrated By: Joseph Spurgeon
Book: The Greatness of the Great Commission
Topics: , ,


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Chapter Text

Baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19b).

The fourth feature of the covenant is the requirement of an oath, often taken in conjunction with some ceremonial action. In this oath-taking ceremony, the covenant is publicly set forth as a solemn obligation under the covenantal sovereign and the historical administration of his authority. It obliges the covenant recipient to live according to the sovereign’s stipulations. Divine covenants, because of the very nature of the Sovereign, involve worship. In the Great Commission, we discover both worship and the ordaining of the oath-ceremony.

All that has been established heretofore regarding the obligation to subdue all of culture for Christ must never be severed from its spiritual foundations in the adoration and worship of God. We must always press the spirituality principle of the kingdom work of the Church by noting its redemptive starting point and worship emphasis. As Geerhardus Vos puts it:

Jesus’ doctrine of the kingdom as both inward and outward, coming first in the heart of man and afterwards in the external world, upholds the primacy of the spiritual and ethical over the physical. The invisible world of the inner religious life, the righteousness of the disposition, the sonship of God are in it made supreme, the essence of the kingdom, the ultimate realities to which everything else is subordinate.[1]

The Great Commission is not just a tool of cultural transformation, nor is it initially such. The cultural effects of the Great Commission flow from the redemptive power that is inherent in Christ’s kingdom.

In the oath-worship aspect of the Commission, we have Christ exhibited in His priestly office. He is our Great High Priest, Who secures our redemption, which is symbolized and sealed to us in baptism.

Baptism and Worship

In the very context of the giving of the Great Commission we see the response ofthe delighted disciples to the presence of the risen Christ: “And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him” (Matt. 28:17a). Upon this notice, the Great Commission is given (Matt. 28: 18-20). The going and the discipling of the Great Commission are a going for and a discipling under the authority of One who is infinitely worthy of our worship.[2] These “disciples” saw Christ and “worshiped Him.” As these disciples were immediately instructed to “disciple all nations,” they obviously were to instruct all nations in the worship of Christ.

Without a doubt the starting point of Christ’s gracious influence among men is the personal salvation wrought by the sovereign grace of almighty God.[3] Evangelicals agree on this point, and I certainly confirm this truth in this book. Because of the inherent depravity of man,[4] man cannot know the things of God.[5] Nor can he save himself or even prepare himself for salvation.[6] In addition, neither can he function properly in God’s world.[7] This is where the Great Commission comes in: it harnesses the power of God to effect a radical change in the heart and mind of man. Based on the plan of God, founded upon the work of Christ, effected by the operation of the Holy Spirit, the gospel brings eternal salvation to sinners otherwise hopelessly lost. And this points to the importance of baptism for the Commission.

Christ ordained baptism as a sign[8] and seal[9] of His gracious covenant. Baptism primarily and fundamentally signifies union with Christ, a union that entails faith in Christ, and cleansing from sin.[10] The very formula of baptism given in the Great Commission itself points to the truth of union with Christ (with the fuller notion of that union involving the Triune God): “baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19b).[11]

But the promotion of personal, individual, spiritual salvation, wherein the convert is cleansed from his sin and united with Christ, is not the end-all of the Great Commission. Here we rephrase the Gaines Dobbins interchange mentioned earlier. To the question: “Is not conversion the end of the Great Commission?” we reply, “Yes, but which end?”

Baptism and Authority

Spiritual union with Christ is signified in ceremonial baptism. And this union is essential to the ultimate Christian cultural renewal resultant from the effects of great numbers of conversions.[12] And the formula of baptism emphasizes that union in an important manner. Christ commands His Church to baptize converts “in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19b). Now what is the significance of baptizing “in” the “name” of the Triune God?

The Greek preposition eis (“in”) is here used in such a way as to express “the notion of sphere.”[13] That is, this baptism is a sign and seal of the newly-won disciple’s being “in the sphere of’ or “coming-under-the-Lordship-of’ the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.[14] Or, as its result is related elsewhere, the convert is “in Christ.”[15] At the moment of salvation, then, the redeemed sinner is removed from the realm’ of Satan and his dominion-rule[16] to the realm of the Triune God and his dominion-rule (Acts 26:18).[17] Interestingly, in the Book of Acts, where we have the historical record of the early Church’s missionary labor, Christ is called “Lord” at least twenty-six times, and probably as many as ninety-two times.[18] He is called “Savior” but twice.[19] The Scripture clearly emphasizes His lordship in salvation and life. And, of course, the whole conception of discipleship, as conceived in the Great Commission, implies a master/student relationship between the Lord and the convert.

The authority of the Triune God is also involved in baptism by the expression indicating the disciple is baptized in His “name.” It is true that ancient Jews often used “the name” as a substitute for saying the holy name of Jehovah (in fear of accidentally breaching the Third Commandment). Nevertheless, such is not the case in Matthew 28:19. Rather, “the name,” coupled with the baptismal action here, indicates “ownership.”[20] It is not merely a Hebraism or a circumlocution for the person of God.[21]

There is good evidence that the terminology employed here was used both inside and outside of Christian circles in a way helpful to the understanding of its usage in Matthew 28. Greek scholars have found that “the use of name (onoma) here is a common one in the Septuagint and the papyri for power or authority.”[22] For instance, Pagan soldiers swore into the name or possession of the god Zeus upon their entry into military service. And in financial matters money was paid into the name or account or possession of someone. “Accordingly in the present passage the baptized may be said to be translated into the possession of the Father, Jesus Christ, and His Spirit.”[23]

All of this is most significant. At conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ, men bow to a new Lord and Master, and receive the sign and seal of His kingdom. Consequently, in this baptismal act of worship, there is a public, sacramental declaration of the exchange from one realm of authority (Satan’s) to another (God’s).[24] This supplements the idea of Christian cultural renewal, for the [baptized] is now obligated to live all of life in terms of the covenantal obligations of the new Master as opposed to the old.

Baptism and Oath

Throughout this book, I have been demonstrating that the Great Commission is a covenant obligation. Consequently, it requires a covenant oath of commitment to the terms of the covenant. Baptism is the sign and seal of the covenant and involves a covenant oath. As I discussed in Chapter 2, the oath section of the covenant involves sanctions. The covenant holds forth the prospect of blessings for obedience to the terms of the covenant and threatens curses for disobedience. Although we are prone only to think of the glorious promises associated with baptism, there are negative sanctions involved in baptism, as well.

As a sign and seal of our redemption, baptism speaks of our salvation and the newness of life, which salvation brings. Just as the old creation (the physical world) emerged from under the waters (Gen. 1:1-10), so does the new creation (the redeemed world, i.e. salvation). In the pouring out of the waters of baptism upon the convert,[25] we receive the sign of the coming of the Holy Spirit, Who effects our union with the Triune God, cleansing from sin, and faith in Christ. Baptism, then, speaks of blessing and forgiveness.

Yet, baptism also strongly exhibits judgment. The first mention of baptism in the New Testament is under John Baptist’s ministry. John baptizes with a view to repentance from sin, in anticipation of coming judgment.[26] Later, Christ refers to His looming judgment, suffering, and death as a “baptism.”[27] The writer of Hebrews also speaks of the “various baptisms”[28] in the Old Testament, “baptisms” performed with the blood of slain sacrificial animals, which clearly speak of judgmental death (Heb. 9:10, 13, 19, 21).

Christian baptism is itself tied to judgment. The Pentecostal call to baptism was given in the shadow of looming fiery judgment: the destruction of Jerusalem (Acts 2:19-21, 40-41). Likewise, Peter relates baptism to life and death issues, when he speaks of it in the context of Noah’s Flood (1 Pet. 3:20-21). Thus, the escape from judgment that baptism relates is through the redemptive sufferings of Christ, as Paul makes clear in Romans 6. There he specifically mentions the death aspect entailed in baptism, when he says: “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death.”[29]

In the final analysis it may be said that baptism is “an oath-sign of allegiance to Christ the Lord…. And if the immediate function of baptism in covenant administration is to serve as the ritual of an oath of discipleship, we have in that another indication that baptism is a symbolic portrayal of the judgment of the covenant. For, as we have seen, covenant oath rituals were enactments of the sanctions invoked in the oath.”[30] As Gary North puts it: “…where there is an oath, there is also implicitly a curse. Without the presence of a curse, there can be no oath.”[31]

Baptism and Culture

Most Christians agree that baptism is the appropriate, biblical sign to be applied to new converts to the faith. We see a number of examples in the New Testament of individuals receiving baptism upon their conversion under the influence of the Great Commission. We think of the Ethiopian eunuch, Paul, Cornelius, Lydia, the Philippian jailer, Crispus, and Gaius.[32]

But in that the Great Commission is a covenantal commission, baptism cannot be limited to an individualistic focus. Just as the Great Commission has a corporate influence, so does baptism itself. And this corporate design entails the baptism of the families of believers.

In God’s covenantal dealings with His people, there is what we may call the principle of family solidarity.[33] We see this great principle at work in various examples in Scripture. For instance, although the Bible teaches that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen. 6:8), his entire family was brought into the Ark for protection, due to God’s gracious covenant.[34] Likewise, God’s covenant was established with Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3) – and with his seed (Gen. 17:7). God’s gracious covenant was designed to run in family generations,[35] just as were His fearsome covenant curses.[36]

Because of this, God graciously sanctifies (sets apart) the offspring of the covenantal faithful. Even in the New Testament God draws a distinction between the children of His people and the children of non-believers: “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy” (1 Cor. 7:14).[37] This explains why Christ lays His hands on infants of His followers, to bless them.[38] When Paul writes to the “saints” (set apart ones) in a particular locality,[39] he includes commands for the children, who are numbered among the saints.[40]

In addition, we may note that New Testament blessings, like those of the Old Testament, are framed in terms inclusive of family generations, rather than in terms excluding family generations: the promise is to believers and their children.[41] There is nothing in the New Testament that undermines and invalidates the Old Testament covenantal principle of family solidarity. In fact, everything confirms its continuing validity. Thus, a covenantal understanding of baptism leads inexorably to infant baptism. In order briefly to demonstrate this, let us first consider the Old Testament sign of the covenant: circumcision. Then we will show the elements of continuity between Old Testament circumcision and New Testament baptism.

Old Testament Circumcision

Clearly circumcision was the sign of the covenant in the Old Testament era, as is evident in the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 17: 7, 10-11).[42] In fact, Stephen calls it “the covenant of circumcision” (Acts 7:8). And circumcision represented deeply spiritual truths in Israel.

  1. Circumcision represented union and communion with God. In Genesis 17:10-11 circumcision is spoken of as the sign of God’s covenant with His people: “This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.” For one not to be circumcised was to be in breach of the covenant and would exclude the uncircumcised person from the people of God: “And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant” (Gen. 17:17).

Israel was very personally and deeply in union and communion with God; she did not exist merely in a political relationship with Him.[43] In fact, the highest blessing of God’s covenant with Abraham, which was sealed in circumcision, was: “I will be your God and you will be my people.”[44]

  1. Circumcision symbolically represented the removal of the defilement of sin. Often in the Old Testament we hear of the call to “circumcise the heart,”[45] i.e., from uncleanness. This deeply spiritual call shows the sacramental relation between the outward, physical act of circumcision and the inward, spiritual reality of cleansing from sin.
  1. Circumcision sealed faith. In the New Testament, the “Apostle of Faith” clearly spoke of Old Testament circumcision’s relationship to faith, the fundamental Christian virtue: Abraham “received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had” (Rom. 4:11). Circumcision is a sign and seal of the righteousness that results from faith. And Abraham is the pre-eminent example of justification by faith for the apostles.[46] In fact, elsewhere Paul relates circumcision to the spiritual realities of salvation through faith.[47]

New Testament Baptism

In the New Testament phase of the covenant, baptism becomes the sign of the covenant.[48] Hence, the Great Commission’s enforcement of baptism upon the converts to the faith (Matt. 28:19). Of baptism we may note that it represents the same spiritual truths as circumcision: (1) Union and communion with the Lord[49] cleansing from the defilement of sin,[50] and faith.[51]

In fact, baptism specifically replaced circumcision, for it is written of Christians: “In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead” (Col. 2:11-12, emphasis added). Therefore, it is not surprising that, following the pattern set by Old Testament circumcision, baptism is mentioned in conjunction with the promise to families (Acts 2:38,39) and that examples of whole family baptism are recorded.[52]

In Acts 16:14-15 we read: “Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us…. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.’ And she constrained us.” Notice that the Lord is said to have opened Lydia’s heart, yet “she and her household were baptized.” This is precisely parallel to the situation with circumcision in the Old Testament.[53]

Thus, the covenantal principle of family solidarity continues from the Old Testament into the New Testament. Infant baptism, then, is justified on the following grounds, to name but a few: (1) Circumcision and baptism represent the same spiritual truths. Circumcision was applied to infants, so why not baptism? (2) Baptism is specifically said to replace circumcision, so why not for infants? (3) Redemptive promises are issued in such a way as to include believers and their seed, so why not baptize both? (4) The children of believers are said to be “clean” and “holy,” so why not apply the symbol of cleansing to them? (5) Household baptisms appear in the New Testament record, in some cases even though only the parent is said to have believed. (6) There is no record of the repeal of the inclusion of children in the covenant promises.

The family represents the child’s first experience with society. In that the family is the training ground for mature living in society (Deut. 6:6ff; 1 Tim. 3:4-5, 12; 5:8),[54] baptism carries with it strong cultural implications.


The Great Commission commands the baptizing of disciples to Jesus Christ. In the action of baptism there is the establishing of a covenantal relation between God and the disciple and his seed. That covenantal relation promises reward and blessing for faithfulness to the terms of the covenant; it threatens wrath and curse for unfaithfulness. And those covenant sanctions are applied at the smallest foundational society: the family.

Too many Christians lightly regard baptism today. But its close attachment in the Great Commission to “all authority in heaven and on earth” should lead the knowledgeable Christian to a high regard for baptism. Covenantal oaths are binding obligations – eternally binding. “To whom much is given, much is required” (Luke 12:48).

[1] Geerhardus Vos, The Teaching of Jesus Concerning the Kingdom of God and the Church (Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, rep. 1972), p. 103. (This is the title given on the title page. The title shown on the cover is only: The Kingdom of God and the Church.)

[2] Eph. 1:20-21; Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 1:6; Rev. 5:9-14; 5:3-4.

[3] His influence is as a king over a spiritual kingdom. Matt. 4:23; John 3:3; Acts 8:12; Col. 1:13.

[4] Psa. 51:5; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:10; Eph. 2:3.

[5] John 3:19; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 4:17-19.

[6] Job 14:4; Jer. 13:23; John 6:44, 65; Rom. 3:10; 8:8.

[7] Matt. 12:33; Acts 26:18-20; Rom. 8:7, 8; Eph. 2:1, 2.

[8] As a “sign” baptism is an external action visible to the senses that portrays the internal grace of Holy Spirit baptism, which spiritually effects union with Christ. Notice the close connection of water and Spirit baptism in Scripture, Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; 2:38; 10:47; 11:16; 19:1-6; 1 Cor. 12:13.

[9] As a “seal” of the covenant, baptism is the divinely ordained confirmation and guarantee of the spiritual transaction effected. Note that (1) Baptism is specifically said to have taken over for circumcision in the New Testament era (Col. 2:11-12), and circumcision is called a “seal” by Paul (Rom. 4:11). The sealing action is effected by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 1:21-22; Eph. 1:13ff; 4:30). (2) This is why baptism can be so closely associated with the spiritual effects that it virtually appears to stand for those effects (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21). It is the seal of those actual spiritual effects.

[10] See discussion below, pp. 84-90.

[11] See the trinitarian involvement in the believer’s union in John 14:16, 17, 23; 17:21-23.

[12] See Chapter 4 for the promise of the massive, worldwide redemptive effects of the Great Commission.

[13] See: A. T. Robertson, A Greek Grammar in the Light of Historical Research (Nashville: Broadman, 1934), p. 592; R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel (Columbus, OH: Wartburg, 1943), p. 1175.

[14] D. A. Carson, “Matthew” in Frank E. Gaebelein, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Regency Reference Library, 1984), 8:597.

[15] See the following Pauline references to being “in Christ”: Rom. 8:2; 12:5; 16:3; 16:10; 1 Cor. 1:2, 30; 3:1 4:15, 17; 15:22; 16:24; 2 Cor. 1:21; 2:14; 5:17; 12:2; Gal. 1:22; 2:4; 3:28; 5:6; 6:15; Eph. 1:1; 1:3; 2:6; 2:10; 2:13; 3:6; Phil. 1:1; 2:1; 2:5; 3:3; 4:21; Col. 1:2, 4, 28; 1 Thess. 2:14; 4:16; 1 Tim. 1:14; 2 Tim. 1:1, 9; 2:1; 3:12; Phile. 1:8, 23.

[16] Greg L. Bahnsen, “The Person, Work, and Present Status of Satan,” The Journal of Christian Reconstruction I (Winter, 1974):11-43.

[17] See note 23 below. For a study of there being a new master over the believer, see Romans 6. Consult John Murray, The Epistle to the Romans (New International Commentary on the New 7estament) (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1959), vol. I, ch. 6.

[18] The following are the indisputable references to Jesus as “Lord” in Acts. See: Acts 1:21; 2:36; 4:33; 7:59; 8:16; 9:5, 17,27,29; 10:36; 11:17, 20; 15:11, 26; 16:31; 19:5, 10, 13, 17; 20:21, 24, 35; 21:13; 22:8; 26:15; 28:31. Many other references to the -Lord” (unqualified by the addition of “Jesus” or “Christ”) undoubtedly refer to Him as well, possibly adding to these another sixty-six samples.

[19] Acts 5:31; 13:23.

[20] R. E. Nixon, Matthew in D. B. Guthrie and J. A Motyer, eds., The Eerdmans Bible Commentary (3rd. ed.: Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1970), p. 850.

[21] Robertson, Grammar, p. 649.

[22] A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville: Broadman, 1930), 1:245.

[23] F. W. Green, The Gospel According to Saint Matthew in Thomas Strong and Herbert Wild, eds., The Clarendon Bible (Oxford: Clarendon, 1960), p. 258. Other references bringing the Trinity together in specific contexts include: Matt. 3:13-17; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 13:14; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 1:3-4; 4:4-6; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rev. 1:4-6. See also: The Didache 7:1-13 and Justin Martyr, First Apology 61.

[24] Acts 26:18; Col. 1:13; 2 Tim. 2:26; Heb. 2:14-15; Eph. 2:3. See also: John 5:24; Eph. 5:8; 1 John 3:8; 4:4; 5:19.

[25] In Scripture there is established a conscious, deliberate correspondence between

Holy Spirit baptism and water baptism (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 1:4,5; 10:44-48; 11:15-16). The one is the sign of the other. Consequently, they correspond in modal representation. The Holy Spirit is always said to be poured out or sprinkled down upon the object of His sanctifying operations: Prov. 1:23; Isa. 32:15; 44:3; Eze. 36:25-28; 39:29; Joel 2:28-29; Zech. 12:10; Acts 2:15-17, 33; 10:44-45; Tit. 3:5,6.

[26] Matt. 3:7-12; Luke 3:3-9. See: Richard Flinn, “Baptism, Redemptive History, and Eschatology” in James B. Jordan, ed., The Failure of American Baptist Culture, vol. 1 of Christianity and Civilization (Tyler, TX: Geneva Divinity School, 1982), p. 119, n. 26.

[27] Matt. 20:22-23; Mark 10:38-39; Luke 12:50.

[28] The Greek of Hebrews 9:10 has baptismois as the word rendered “washings.” It is the noun form of the verb baptizo, “to baptize.”

[29] Rom. 6:4; cp. Col. 2:11-12.

[30] Meredith G. Kline, By Oath Consigned: A Reinterpretation of the Covenant Signs of Circumcision and Baptism (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1968), p. 81. For a corrective of some imbalance in Kline, see Flinn, “Baptism, Redemptive History, and Eschatology,” pp. 122-131.

[31] Gary North, The Sinai Strategy: Economics and the Ten Commandments (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1986), p. 56.

[32] Acts 8:38; 9:18; 10:48; 16:15, 33; 1 Cor. 1:14.

[33] See: Kenneth L Gentry, Jr., “Infant Baptism: A Duty of God’s People” in Light for the World: Studies in Reformed Theology (Edmonton, Alberta: Still Waters Revival,


[34] Gen. 6:18; 7:1, 7.

[35] Josh. 2:12-13; Psa. 37:17, 18; 103:17-18; 105:8; 115:13-14; Prov. 3:33.

[36] Exo. 20:5; 34:6,7; Deut. 5:9. Note: Gen. 9:24-25; Hos. 9:11·17; Psa. 109:1, 2, 9, 10;

Prov. 3:33.

[37] The principle is found in Romans 14:17, as well: “For if the firstfruit be holy, the

lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.”

[38] Cp. Luke 18:15-17 with Matt. 19:13-14.

[39] Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:2.

[40] Eph. 6:1, 4; Col. 3:20-21.

[41] Acts 2:38, 39; 16:31; 11:14.

[42] The words “circumcision” and its negative “uncircumcision” appear seventy-one times in the Old Testament and fifty-four times in the New Testament.

[43] Gen. 17:7, 11; Exo. 6:7; 29:45; Lev. 26:12.

[44] Gen. 17:7; Exo. 5:2ff; 6:7; 29:45; Lev. 26:12; Deut. 7:9; 29:14-15; 2 Sam. 7:24; Jer. 24:7; 31:33; 32:38; Eze.11:20; 34:24; 36:28; 37:23; Zech. 8:8. In addition, the phrase “My people” occurs over 200 times in the Old Testament.

[45] Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Isa. 52:1; Jer. 4:4; 6:10; 9:26; Eze. 44:7-9.

[46] Rom. 4:3, 9, 12, 16; Gal. 3:6-9, 14; Heb. 11:8, 17; Jms. 2:23.

[47] Rom. 2:28, 29; Phil. 3:3; Col. 2:11.

[48] Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 8:12; 10:48; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21.

[49] Rom. 6:3-6; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27, 28; Col. 2:11, 12.

[50] Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21. Compare also the relation between baptism and the “baptism of fire,” which is a purging and purifying fire: Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; Acts 1:5.

[51] Mark 16:16; Acts 8:36-37; 16:14-15, 33-34.

[52] Acts 16:15, 33; 1 Cor. 1:16. Interestingly, there are but twelve recorded episodes of Christian baptism in the New Testament (Acts 2:41; 8:12, 13, 38; 9:18; 10:48; 16:15, 33; 18:8; 19:5; 1 Cor. 1:14, 16). Yet, three of these are household baptisms. Significantly, there are no instances of Christian parents presenting their children for baptism after a child’s conversion.

[53] Gen. 17:12, 13, 23, 27.

[54] See: Gary North, Tools of Dominion: The Case Laws of Exodus (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1990), Chapters 4-5.