Commandment 1 – Covenantly Confused Christians
Join us for part five of our study on teaching the 1st commandment. On this episode we will discuss the importance of the covenant between God and His people, and what this means for us today. We will also discuss circumcision, baptism, and communion, and why most people are simply confused when it comes to the commandments and the covenant of God with man.
Listen to Episode:
Transcript of Episode:
Radio Announcer: The Reconstructionist Radio Podcast Network presents The Moral Foundations Podcast with Reverend Jeremy Walker, where you will learn to teach the Bible line upon line and precept upon precept in a systematic and comprehensive manner.
Jeremy Walker: The Moral Foundations Podcast is brought to you by the GCS Apprenticeship Program. For more information, visit http://www.GCSApprenticeship.com. You’re listening to The Moral Foundations Podcast and I’m your host, Reverend Jeremy Walker. We are continuing our study with the first commandment and this is part five. The title of this episode is called Covenantally Confused Christians. Now, this episode here, we’re going to be discussing studying the first commandment because we’re going to discuss the importance of the covenant that is between God and his people. We’re also going to be talking about what it means for us today in particular. We’re also going to be discussing circumcision and baptism and communion and why most people are simply confused when it comes to covenant in general. It’s tied to everything else we’ve already said, this very first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” That is tied to this question.
Now, if you are listening to this and, hopefully you would have some idea about what circumcision is, baptism is, the communion or the Lord’s Supper, you understand there’s a great, great deal of controversy on these subjects. If you wanted to find kind of a linchpin, kind of a straw that broke the camel’s back, a division among Christians in the churches today, these subjects right here are some of the biggest make or break subjects for people. We have to ask ourselves: Why? Why is communion, baptism, circumcision, why are these subjects so make or break? Why are they so dividing or divisive among Christians today? Don’t we have one Bible? Don’t we have only one Jesus? Don’t we have only one God, one faith as Paul says? Where is the unity? Why can’t we agree on the most basic simple things but somehow we can’t figure it out? Somehow the Bible is not written for us English speakers here, it’s not written in English. I mean, somehow we can all read the exact same book. We all have completely different understandings of it, but it’s something so simple. Well, why is it then that we can’t come to an agreement? Why is it so divisive? I’ll tell you why.
If you’re listening to this, and I hope you’re paying attention, we’re going to seek to answer that question today. The answer comes down to, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” We already went over what another god means. We’ve gone over the importance of it, the fear of God. We’ve gone over the fact that during education, you don’t have a choice with your children. We’ve gone over a lot of stuff. This is part five of this first commandment and it’s tied directly to these ideas. I won’t be going through every single verse and reading every single verse. I will be, hopefully, reading some of the highlights and giving some commentary. I don’t expect anybody, and I understand this is not realistic, anybody listening to this podcast to have their mind blown by a 30, 40 minute podcast episode whenever hundreds of books have been written on the subject, thousands of hours and sermons have been preached on this subject ad nauseam. We don’t want to just be white noise that gets kind of put in the mixture. Let’s go ahead and jump into this and let’s discuss why is it that circumcision, baptism, communion are all tied into this first commandment and what it means.
We’re going to jump into the first one, the first question, the first problem people have. If I was going to talk to somebody about something, this is where I would start. I would not start by talking about circumcision. I would not start by talking about baptism and going to verses. I would not start with talking about communion or the Lord’s Supper or how it’s administered. That’s not where we start. We start is where the other Bible verses come in. The Bible is a story, as a whole. You have to know the whole thing. You have to understand something else. People’s views on circumcision, baptism, communion, the Lord’s Supper, are tied to a lot of preconceived ideas, a whole bunch of them. The majority of them stem from salvation itself. How is man saved? That’s the biggest question.
Is man saved because he wants to be saved? Is Jesus coming and is the gospel message where the disciples go out and say anyone that wants to be saved can be saved if you want to be. That means Jesus came. Jesus died. Jesus made a way. Now it’s up to you. Some people say it like this. Jesus has cast a vote for you. Satan has cast a vote against you. Now it’s up to you. Where do you want to go, heaven or hell? You get the deciding factor. Nobody’s deciding for you. Where are you going to go? That is how a lot of people describe it. It’s a freewill thing. I am free to do what I want. The only person who is really not free is God. He just came and bled and died to make it potentially save his people. Does God do anything that’s potential or does everything he do concrete? I hope you understand if you’ve read your Bible, everything that God does is concrete, set in stone, done.
Let’s start with salvation then. You have these two choices: salvation by individual choice, salvation by divine choice. Some people call it election. Oh, here it comes. Wait for it. People are going to say, “Oh, it’s Calvinism.” But why would that term be so upsetting to people? When I was a new convert, Calvinism came up, the word, and people were all upset and angry and people were getting kicked out of churches and there were colleges around the country that claim to be Christian but will kick you out if you try to teach any doctrines that they call to be Calvinism. Let’s just stop and back up for five seconds. Let’s get off the high horses. Can we get off the high horse? That’d be great. Let that pony rest.
There is no such thing as Calvinism. There is Biblical doctrine and either something explains Biblical doctrine or it doesn’t explain Biblical doctrine. In fact, I don’t like to use the word Calvinism. I think it’s great to kind of condense doctrines so you go, “Oh, yeah. I know what that means.” Whenever you’re talking to somebody, I don’t think it’s very helpful, especially if they don’t know what it is. Most people just don’t. The best thing to do is to start with the Bible itself. Individual choice or divine choice. Well, let’s start and I know this is going to be shocking for the listener. We’re going to start with the Bible. This is not me telling you what I think it is and I’m not trying to pull plugging verses here and there. There is a wonderful word for that. It’s called quote mining. There’s a lot of quote miners out there, a whole bunch of quote miners. Do your own research. Read it for yourself.
When I was young and I was converted, I did a lot of reading on my own. A lot of people had a lot of different ideas and opinions. Once I started reading on my own, a lot of what people were telling me just did not add up, not at all. You won’t find it. You won’t find it in the Bible. What you’ll find in the Bible is the truth. That’s not just a cliché. It is what you’re going to find in the Bible. If you’re listening to The Moral Foundations Podcast, hopefully you’re concerned about the truth. You’re going to have to toss aside if you have a denomination. There are no such things as denominations in the Bible. There were Christians and non-Christians. There’s the family of God and the family of Satan. That’s it. There’s one faith, one baptism, one truth. That’s what you have to get through your head.
If you have a denominational affiliation, I have no problem with that. There’s nothing wrong necessarily with having a denominational affiliation. Most people join a denomination, don’t even know why they’re doing it, and nine out of 10 times, if I stopped and asked you, I grabbed 10 different denominations out of a hat and asked you to explain the differences between them, you couldn’t do it. Just, for now, ignore whatever denominational leanings you might have. Just understand if you’re a Christian, the Bible is your standard. That is your authority. If it’s not, then you already are breaking this commandment. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” It’s not your denomination. Your denomination is not what sets the standard for truth. The Bible does. If you have anything else that sets the standard, “I’m a Baptist first,” or, “I’m a Lutheran first,” or anything else besides a Christian first, then you’ve already broken this first commandment. There’s no reason to continue listening to me or to anyone else because you already know everything. Your denomination has got it correct and just put your fingers in your ear and listen to what your denomination says because you don’t need to go any further.
If you’d like to follow the white rabbit down the hole and find the truth, if you’re like the person who’d like to take the red or blue pill, then you’re going to have to make a decision on what it is you really want to learn. Who are you? Do you want to know the truth or do you not? If you have a commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” then hopefully your god is not yourself. Your god is not, “I’m going to do what I want to do. I know I have my beliefs. My mama taught me this. My daddy taught me this. My church taught me this. My grandma taught me this.” No. They could all be wrong or they could all be right. The question is: Are they in alignment with the Bible? Let’s just jump into salvation.
As I said, I won’t be able to go into great depth here. You need to do your own reading. If you’re listening to anybody on a podcast or anything like that hoping to get a full understanding of scripture, not going to happen. Going to point you to some directions here, some of my favorite passages. Hopefully, for me, I found these to be kind of concrete passages to go to that really set me off and go, “Hold on a minute. This does not line up with what people are telling me.” Let’s just jump into it. Sorry if I said too much here, but I really do want people to understand that, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” means denominationalism. If your denomination is it, because a good illustration is Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholic Church claims to be Christian. It claims to hold to all the doctrines of the faith, but what the Roman Catholic Church is, the Roman Catholic Church are the final say on what the Bible really means. You hear that? They are the final say on what the Bible really means. You as a personal private individual can’t pick up the Bible and come to a different conclusion than the Roman Catholic Church. If you do, you’re not a Christian because they do have another god and it’s their church, their organization, their institutions.
Sadly, people are non-Roman Catholics, you’re talking about denominationalisms, a lot of them are like that too. Can be Presbyterian or Baptist or whatever it is, you are in danger of the exact same things. Don’t think it’s the Catholics. You better understand it can be anybody because, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” means you can’t listen to anybody, you can’t go to somebody for truth outside of God himself. Hopefully that’s your standard. I hope I’m not beating this horse too much. It goes with, “Thou shall have no other gods before me.” When I was growing up, I learned real quick that, no, I was actually shocked. The Bible is not the standard for people. That’s not their authority. It’s their denomination. It’s their family heritage. It’s whatever. Let’s jump into salvation and hopefully you have an open mind and you’ll go to these scriptures, read them for yourself. Then don’t stop reading.
Question: Somebody comes to you and says anyone can be saved. Jesus wants everyone to be saved, whatever you want to call it. Either Jesus wants them all to be saved and he’s hoping they’ll all be saved. Jesus died and made a way for everybody to be saved. They get to make the choice. If they go to hell, it’s only because they sent themselves there. However you want to say it. The first question is: If everybody has a choice in being saved and if they can be saved. When we go out to evangelize the nations, the Gentile worlds and all the rest, is it that Jesus has died for every single person on the planet, every one of them, and every single one of them has an opportunity to become a Christian, go to heaven, and be saved? All they have to do is make the personal decision to follow Jesus. A wonderful song, “I have decided to follow Jesus,” and all the rest that goes with it. The idea, by which denomination you’re in, this is an idea across denominational fields that each man has the opportunity and the ability to save himself by asking Jesus to save him and he’s going to be saved.
Okay. Let’s jump in to just this biggest one for me is John 10. Jesus, let me set the stage, is on the porch of Solomon. The Pharisees and the Jews are coming to talk to him. These are people he’s been teaching for a while now. They’ve heard him a lot talk about salvation, talk about lots of different things. Let’s jump into John 10:22 through 42. It’s about 20 verses. You have to bear with me. If you’re quote mining and that’s where you’re getting your doctrine from, one verse here, John 3:16, no. Don’t do that. Don’t quote mine. If you’re a teacher, you’re a preacher, you’re a parent, don’t quote mine. If you’re going through and pulling out one scripture and going, “Look. Look what this says.” Don’t do that.
You can make anything sound like anything you want to by pulling one scripture out of the Bible at a time. This is how false doctrines are built. If you want to have good doctrine, you take context. Like I said, I’m going to read 20 verses for you here, but you should read the entire chapter or entire book of John, not just one chapter and a couple verses. Read the whole thing, people. Become educated. If you don’t know doctrine, then you’re going to fall for false doctrine. If you’re a teacher, you’re a preacher, you’re a parent, you need to have good doctrine. If you’re a preacher, teacher, or parent, salvation should be a very important subject for you. Let’s hit it.
John 10:22 through 42, I’m going to read now. “And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked into the temple in Solomon’s porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, ‘How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’
Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, ‘Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me?’ The Jews answered him, saying, ‘For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father has sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.’ Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, And went again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. And many resorted unto him, and said John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. And many believed on him there.”
This is important passage because here you have people who are coming to Jesus. Now, these are supposedly God’s people already. Remember the Jews, these people have already been circumcised. They come to Jesus and say, “If you’re the Christ, just tell us plainly. Just tell us you’re the Christ. We want to believe on you.” Jesus comes back and says, “I’ve already done that. I’ve already told you who I am. You’ve seen my works.” There are other passages earlier in John 10 where they’re saying he was filled with the devil. Basically, they’re accusing Jesus of having demonic powers and this is how he’s able to perform miracles. This is what they’re accusing him of, of being a demon sorcerer basically. Here, you have Jesus telling them very clearly that they are not his. “But ye believe not, because you are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
When you go out there and preach, when you go out there and teach, you’re calling out for the sheep to come to Christ. The sheep hear the master’s voice and they come to him. If you notice here, it says, “My Father, which gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man can pluck them out of my hand.” Salvation not only is not something that is up to you or up to an individual, it’s something that God the Father gave to God the Son. God the Son dies for them to redeem those people. How we know the difference between those people is because when the gospel call goes out, some will listen and some will not.
Now, these things is very important because here it goes right into Jesus is very blunt, “You’re not of my sheep.” Flat out, “You’re not mine. You’re not one of mine.” When he goes back into later, he says, “Believe the works,” they try to kill him again. Why they try to kill him? Because they were not his. No matter what he said, nothing he did was going to make them believe because they can’t. They can’t believe. They can not be saved. They were not given to Christ by the Father. God the Father gives them to God the Son. God the Son dies for them and saves and redeems them. He becomes a propitiation for their sins as 1 John says.
Now, these things are very important. We’re going back to circumcision now. We’re jumping into, hopefully, I’m just going to leave it at this at the moment because I can’t go into too much of this. This is one of my favorite passages, which is I brought it up. There’s a bunch more. Do your own reading on this subject. Don’t just read a few passages and don’t take my word for it, what I’m saying here. Go back and read John 10 and put this with all the other scriptures that are out there. When you put them all together, it puts the puzzle together. Do not quote mine and you’ll be okay. You start quote mining and you’re just really reaffirming your own beliefs. If you’re reaffirming your own beliefs, then you’re using the Bible in the wrong manner. You’re god, you have an idea, and you’re going to take God’s word to validate your ideas. That’s what quote mining does. Don’t quote mine.
Salvation, Christ is clear, is something that is given to his people. God the Father gave people to God the Son. He then dies for them. They’re known by, when he calls, the gospel call goes out, these people hear and they come in. Now, this means there is no individual choice for salvation. This means this is a divine choice. This means that God the Father, all men deserved to go to hell, all men deserve to go to hell, but God the Father is going to be merciful. He is going to choose whom he will save for nothing. Remember, as Christ died for us, while we were yet sinners. No one deserves anything but punishment. You can not say, “Well, God, if you save some people, you have to save everybody or you have to give everybody a choice.” This isn’t a democracy. The judge is a good judge whenever he judges righteously. To find every single person condemned and guilty is a righteous thing to do.
What happens when people have a problem with salvation is they point at God and say, “I find fault with you.” Boom. Bingo. Number one, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” This right here, we’ve already gone through it a little bit, talked about Job and some other circumstances. Whenever you start finding fault with God, trying to tell him what he has to do or what would be the righteous thing to do, you are already putting yourself over God and you’re telling him what he has to do. This is a major problem. Salvation is absolutely 100% tied to, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” This is why. Because people have a wrong view of salvation. Therefore, they have a wrong god. They are really not teaching the God of scripture whatsoever. If you do your own study, please do it, you’re going to find this is absolutely, 100%, irrevocably the case. Don’t quote mine, just read. You’re going to find out this is the case. Pray that God helps you to see this.
Moving forward. Every person that asks Jesus to save them, are they now Christian? That’s next question you have to ask yourself before we move into this stuff about covenantly confused Christians. Let’s ask the question: Is every single person who says, “I believe in Jesus,” are they all going to heaven? If you have the wrong view of Christianity where you just have to pray a prayer, your answer is yes. Then every person’s going to heaven. It doesn’t matter what they do now. It doesn’t matter what they do later because they’re all going to heaven. They might fall short, but they’re all going to heaven. Is that scriptural? Well, that’s a very good question if it’s scriptural. I think that we need to go ahead and give you a few passages just because, you know, we want to make sure that you have a very good idea of what it means to be a Christian and to have good doctrine. Let me see if I can find this here real quick. Here it is. Matthew 7:21 through 29. The question is: Is everybody who claims to be a Christian, is everyone who goes to church, is everyone who says, “I’m a Christian. I believe in Jesus. I believe in God,” does that mean that they’re a Christian? No. No, it doesn’t.
Here we go. Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’ Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”
No. The answer is no. Not every single person that claims to be a Christian is a Christian. If you want to do further study, The Moral Foundations Podcast did a series already on 1 John. I encourage you to go look for that. GSCApprenticeship.com/podcast. You will find the 1 John series there. It goes into depth about people that claim to be Christians verbally. John says, “You’re liars.” Flat out, “You’re a liar.” How is that? How is it that he would call somebody a liar? Because right here, same thing Jesus says, “You claim, but you don’t listen.” You don’t do what Jesus says you’re supposed to do. You don’t keep the commandments of God. You don’t try to obey God. You want a get out of jail free card. That’s not how this works.
There is a parable of the sower. This is another application of what we’re talking about here about not everybody’s saved that claims to be saved. I won’t get into it right now. You can go to your search bar and type in “parable of the sower.” I think there’s four different passages where it’s covered. Jesus goes into the grounds. There’s four different types of grounds and there’s only one type of seed. The seed is the gospel message. The four types of grounds are four different types of people. Better listen to that. Four different types of people. The first was the ground that, whenever the seed fell onto it, it fell where the birds came and took it away. The first type of person that hears it, it has no effect on them whatsoever. They ignore it entirely. Not a Christian.
The next three, however, seemingly, all three all accept the message. This is not a person who openly rejects the gospel. Somebody hears the Bible, hears the gospel, and then they accept it. The second type of person and the third type of person, however, fall away. Two different reasons. Look it up. You can read on the reasons why they fall away. It means that they stop obeying God, they stop following God, which means obedience to the commandments. Only the fourth type of ground is called good, only the fourth type. This is the only type that actually produces good works, which we already said before and talked about before, the Bible is there for man to produce good works. The Christian is supposed to produce good works. Good works are acts of obedience to the commandments, not stealing, not lying, performing your duties, taking care of your kids.
This means very simply that three out of four people, whenever you do the gospel, three out of four will be positive towards the message. Why not? Who doesn’t want to be saved, right? But two out of the three converts are false converts, two out of the three. That’s a lot of people. What that means for us is there’s a whole bunch of people in churches today, let’s say two-thirds of them, that are false converts. Two-thirds according to Jesus and his parable. Two-thirds are false converts. According to 1 John and all throughout here, of course, Jesus did it here as well, how you know the difference is by what they do, how they act. That’s how you can tell the difference between the liars and those that are genuine.
We’ve gone through salvation. We’ve gone through divine choice and not individual choice. We’ve gone through false converts. We’ve obviously seen that there are false converts. Let’s jump into the next, man’s possessions, his family, and everything belongs to God. We just covered that by you’re supposed to love God with your heart, mind, soul, and strength. We covered on education on part four of the first commandment. You don’t have a choice. It’s very clear. You don’t have a choice in how to raise your child. God tells you what they’re supposed to learn. God tells you how to raise them because if you don’t raise them correctly, God’s going to have to come in and he’s going to have judgment upon all people who disobey him. When God tells you to raise and rear your children to fear him, to obey him, you don’t do it, you’re going to get in trouble. Whenever your children, having had this bad education, listen to you, then they’re going to get in trouble too because they’re not going to obey God and they’re going to get in trouble too. You’ve set them up for failure. Not only have you failed yourself to obey, but you’ve set your children up for failure as well. You’re not going to get away with that either.
We’ve already established the fact that God has told you what you’re going to do. In other words, ownership. You belong to God and everything that belongs to you also belongs to God. This is part of what the covenant means. You are God’s child. Everything that belongs to you belongs to Christ, to God. Now, let’s tie these things in to and we’re going to move as quick as we can, hopefully, as fast as we can here. Let’s jump into a few things. We’re going to come back to: What is the covenant? I had the question a while back, years ago: What is the covenant? The covenant is simple. The covenant is God’s agreement with his people. It’s that simple. The covenant’s not difficult to understand. God had a covenant with Abraham. God had a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Israelites, after they came out of Egypt, met with God. “I’ll be your God. You’re going to be my people. Here then is how you’re supposed to live.”
Remember that, “Here then is how you’re supposed to live.” It wasn’t a question. It’s why the mountains shook and people were scared, because God wanted them to understand, “You’re my people but that means I’m your Lord, which means you will obey me. Everything will be dedicated to me.” Nothing can be reserved apart from God. Nothing can be kept back from God. That meant when we had the Old Testament, you had circumcision. Circumcision was on the eighth day. That meant Abraham was a follower of God. He was a Christian. That meant that his child belonged to God too, hence the circumcision. The child did not ask, or maybe the dad, Abraham, did not ask the child if he wanted to be raised as a Christian, to obey God. He wasn’t being asked that. God was saying, “I am your God. I’m also the God of your children as well.”
What that meant was this. That child was supposed to be raised to obey God. That child was to be dedicated to God, belonged to him. Now, should the child grow up later and, as we’re talking about here, be taught, corrected, and all the rest and grow up and reject it, then it just really simply shows that they were not a Christian. They are not a true Christian. As we just read in John 10, they are not one of his sheep. Now, that’s a difficult subject for people to understand. Some people think that if you’re a Christian, your children are Christians. That’s not what the covenant says. The covenant is about God’s promises and your obligations and God’s obligations. God says, “If you teach your children, I’m going to bless them.” He’s going to do that. However, if you read throughout the Old Testament, the covenant also says, “If you disobey me or your kids do, if you forget me, I’m not going to bless you and, instead, you’re going to have cursings instead.”
This, basically, is real simple. It doesn’t matter if a person was raised in a Christian family like, say, Isaac and Jacob. It doesn’t matter if they were circumcised or not. It doesn’t matter if they had a Christian upbringing or not. If they were going to turn from God and be God’s enemy, then God would, in turn, turn from them and would be their enemy. Very simple. The covenant did not mean salvation. The covenant meant ownership and obligations. This is a very important point whenever you’re understanding these questions of circumcision, baptism, and communion, the Lord’s Supper.
Now, let’s go from just circumcision. Let’s go into the Passover. If you’re not familiar, you can find the Passover in Exodus where the Israelites are coming out of Egypt and there they are putting up on the mantels of their doorpost and the angel of death comes through and is does not come into the homes of the Israelites or touch their firstborn, but kills all the firstborn in all of Egypt in one night, but not the Israelites. They were saved because they had the blood over the doorpost, which meant that they had a special blessing from God. Now, that didn’t mean salvation. That just meant that they were separated as God’s people, as a covenant people. Out in the society, people saw these are God’s people.
What’s going to happen, even though they have the blood up on the doorpost, what happens to the Israelites that all put the blood up on the doorpost? They all obeyed God. The angel of death passes over them, but then they refuse to go in Canaan. What happened? They went to the Red Sea. They refused to go into Canaan and God had them all die in the wilderness, all of them. They were all disobedient. They were not going to be blessed even though they had this blood up on the doorpost and they listened to God at one point. In the future, they disobeyed him. Well, guess what. Punishments came. Now, we don’t know how many people were truly Christians and who weren’t, but we can say is this. When the covenant is concerned, where God’s ownership is concerned, it’s not talking about salvation, things that we don’t necessarily know about. You don’t know who’s saved and who’s not. We have a little bit of an indication based on how they act and how they live, but you don’t really know.
Anyways, moving on. We have these questions here about circumcision, you have about the Passover. Now, then, of course, you have the New Testament. The New Testament is baptism, not circumcision. The New Testament is the Lord’s Supper, communion, the bread and wine. It’s not observing the Passover like they used to back in the Old Testament or in the time of Jesus. Now it’s the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Now, the Old Testament, it was the family that was concerned where circumcision was concerned. Baptism is the new circumcision, the new covenant. Now, in the Old Testament whenever a new convert came in, like say Abraham was a new convert, he had to be circumcised and then so did his children. The same thing happens you see in the New Testament. I’ll let you read this for yourself. Get yourself time. Do your word study on households and all the rest. Look up baptism. You’ll see it. The same thing happens. We see people, the jailer is one, which I think you’ll find in Acts 16. Look in Acts 16. There’s the jailer where he is baptized and then his household. You then have Lydia also in the same chapter who is a convert to Christianity and also her household is baptized. It goes right into it, a direct link.
The problem is people want to see a disconnect from the Old Testament and the New Testament. Based on this concept of individual choice of salvation. They say you can’t baptize people unless they have a confession of faith. You can’t baptize people unless they’re real Christians. That’s the reasoning. Well, let’s go back to what we just said about false converts. People are baptized all the time that are false converts. Your job is not to know who is a Christian and who’s not. Your job is not to examine people. I know people do it. Churches do it. Denominations do it. They try to examine people to determine if these people are true Christians or not before they baptize. If they baptize this person and they’re not really a Christian, oh my goodness, they’ve done something wrong. No, you haven’t. You didn’t do anything wrong. What this is is an outward means. This is not something special. It does not save you.
Now, there’s those people too. Some people say if you don’t get baptized, you go to hell. You die. It doesn’t matter if God wants to save you, doesn’t matter if you made a profession of faith. It doesn’t matter anything unless you actually were baptized, you die and go to hell. I read a book one time about the subject where it said unless the person was actually baptized, they’re driving their car on the way to the church wanting to get baptized and they got in a car crash and died, they were going to go to hell. Well, what does this say except that man determines his own salvation? Man is god. Man saves himself. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The situation of salvation, your belief and understanding of it, is critical to understanding, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” because you’re creating your own god whenever you think you can save yourself, whenever you think that it’s something that you did to save yourself or you didn’t do that sent you to hell. It is all about what God does.
When God the Father gives people to God the Son, it is something solid. “No man can pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” He’s picked them. He’s chosen them. They’re his. They’re not going anywhere. Talk about assurance in salvation. That’s where it’s at. You didn’t do anything to deserve your salvation. You’re a filthy sinner. God decided to save you. He decided to keep you. It’s all him, him, him, him, him. “Thou shall have no other gods before me.” Nobody, not a single person, have any reason to boast come judgment day. Whenever it is the Christians are separated from the non-Christians, the sheeps and the goats, there will not be one single person who is a Christian who has anything to boast about. They did nothing to earn their salvation. They did nothing to get their salvation. They did nothing to keep their salvation. The only thing that’s at stake is their good works. What did they do now that they were in the covenant with Christ? What did they do?
Now, let’s continue. People have a problem with baptism and communion because they think that they’re supposed to determine who has the right to take it. Well, we’ve already been told you’re supposed to be baptized. We already have the analogy of the people who, in Old Testament times, were circumcised. Hold on a minute. Baptism is completely separate from circumcision, right? Well, that’s what we’re told, but I wonder, if you can bear with me for just a few more minutes, I think I got something here for you. Okay. Let’s go ahead and move into another part here. People try to have a disconnect between circumcision and baptism and the Passover and communion. Let’s just go ahead and jump into New Testament, 1 Corinthians 10, and let’s just kind of drop that off the map here real fast. “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea.” He’s talking about Moses and the Israelites. There is the cloud by day, fire by night.
“And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them: that rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” This is 1 Corinthians 10.
Very simple. Any time you want to think that you’re separate from the Old Testament Christians, you’re wrong. 1 Corinthians 10, go to this passage. Read it. 1 Corinthians 10 talks about them being baptized in the cloud and the sea. Now, this, if you remember right, was the Red Sea. This was when they walked through the Red Sea ,through the cloud. How many people were included here then in this baptism? The Old Testament baptism of the Old Testament Israelite, we’re talking about here. They’re baptized. Same baptism as us, New Testament Christians. All of them. This was the men, the women, children, everybody. They were all baptized, all of them.
Next question, communion, Lord’s Supper, bread and wine. While they had the Passover, they didn’t have Christ’s body and blood. We have body and blood. We have to make sure we give it to the right people. It has to be somebody who professes to be a Christian. It has to be somebody who understands doctrine. We can’t just give this to anybody. This stuff is super sacred. This stuff is super important. We have to make sure every single person, we have to examine these people, fence the table and make sure we give it to the right people. Let’s see what 1 Corinthians 10 says. “And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them: and that rock was Christ.”
That means the manna that came down from heaven, if you remember that, Jesus called himself the manna that came down from heaven. He said that he was the one that had the living water. Those that would drink from him would never thirst. Remember, right, all throughout the wilderness, they were given water to drink, the spiritual rock that was Christ. They partook of communion as well. Just, in this case, it was bread and water instead of bread and wine. They partook of communion as well, the Old Testament Christians. How many of these, if you know the story of Egypt and them coming out, how many ate the manna and how many drank the water? All of them. They all ate. They all drank. All of them. The youngest that could possibly get, all of them, all their children, father and mother, everybody.
This is what it means about the covenant. The covenant’s not about your individual choice. The covenant is not about you personally. It’s about God. It’s about who God chooses. Remember, right, God came into Egypt. God pulled them out. God saved them. God chose them originally. Remember, he came to Abraham. He chose them. He chose their generations. He chooses us today too. That’s the thing that people don’t get. The covenant, these outward means, just because somebody was circumcised does not mean they’re a Christian. Just because they missed the first Passover didn’t mean that they didn’t fall in the wilderness. Yes, they did. Here, we have 1 Corinthians 10, we have Paul talking to us about being careful because these same people are just like us. They had everything that we have. There’s nothing we have now that they didn’t have then except a better understanding of what the covenant is, a better understanding of who Christ is, a better understanding of truth. We don’t have a shadow, as in 1 John says. We see it in full light. We now understand the things that they didn’t understand at all. We want to understand the covenant.
We have to understand this. It’s about God’s choice. God is the one who says who’s his and who’s not. You know if you’re his or not based on how you react to his message. Then, not only that, but if you continue acting properly, if you continue to obey God, you continue to repent, you continue to follow Christ and be sanctified, then you know you’re not a false convert. A lot of people who think that they’re Christians, they’re false converts. The Bible’s very clear on that. Here, we’re talking about circumcision, baptism, these things were all given to the Old Testament Christians and they also should be given to the New Testament Christians. There’s no breach here. They’re all the same. People are covenantly confused as if somehow if we gave somebody a baptism and they didn’t really profess to be a Christian, we messed up. Well, you’re doing it already because we know that two-thirds of people from the parable of the sower, two-thirds of the people are not true converts. Two-thirds not true converts.
We already know that people are being baptized who are not actual covenant Christians. It gets tossed out the door, this idea of baptism. The fact that the Old Testament Christians were baptized, the fact that they took communion, the fact that they were circumcised, all these things, same with us today. You have Acts 16. People are baptizing their households. The covenant is about ownership, ownership of who these people are. If you want to understand what ownership means, you can go back to Exodus. Exodus four, Moses is coming into Egypt and he’s given Moses his job. Go back and read it, Exodus four. Gives Moses his job. He’s picked him. He’s chosen him. He’s been very emphatic about him. He wants him there, but on the way, God shows up to kill Moses. Kill him. Why would God kill Moses? Because he had not circumcised his son. That’s why.
See, the difference is people don’t see this disconnect. Ownership. There’s nothing that you have that does not belong to God. Everything you have must be given to God, heart, mind, soul, and strength or might, your money, your property, your everything including your children. This means that your children should be going through. If you’re a new convert and you’re baptized, you should baptize your kids. Whenever you have new children, you should also baptize them. They belong to God. When you’re partaking of communion and you’re a believing family, you should not only partaking of yourself, your family should be partaking of it as well because they need … Every single time, what did Christ say about the Passover? “As often as you do this, you show forth my body and blood.” Every time you do it, you are doing one of two things. You are always pushing your children closer to God or pointing out their sin of where they are in rebellion to him. It’s always a duel function.
The covenant’s very simple to understand. It’s about ownership. It’s very simple to understand. Circumcision, very simple to understand. Baptism, very simple to understand. The Passover and the Lord’s Supper, these things are cohesive. It’s a unit from Old Testament to New Testament. You have 1 Corinthians 10 talking about how the Old Testament people are the same as us. There’s no difference. The judgments that came upon them for disobedience will also come upon you for disobedience. It is a one book. There aren’t two gods here we’re dealing with. There aren’t two different systems in place here. The only reason why there’d be two different systems in place here is, for some reason, you’re holding two doctrines that are outside of what the Bible’s actually teaching.
I do suggest read this on your own. This episode has been a little bit longer than expected to be, but the covenant is an important issue. Salvation is an important issue. If you’re a teacher, you’re a preacher, you’re a parent, this is an important issue for you because you need to make sure you’re teaching people properly about what it means to be a Christian. It’s not just about, “One, two, three, pray after me.” It’s also about self-examination because two-thirds of people are non-Christians. You need to examine yourself if you’re in the faith or not. You examine yourself, as Jesus said, if you’re obeying him or not. That’s how you know. If your faith is in the fact that it came out of your mouth that you prayed a prayer, well, then, you’re building your house, not on the rock. The rock has obedience and good works that comes with it. If you’re a person who thinks, for some reason, that the Old Testament and New Testament Christians are different, they’re not.
Hopefully this has given you some things to think about. Once again, don’t just take my word for it. Go back and study some more. Read some more. I’m not talking about going through and reading a book that somebody wrote about it, but pick up the Bible passages and start reading them for yourself. If you’re not sure where it’s at, just start reading. You will find this stuff. It will pop out at you. If God’s the one leading you, you’re going to see it. We don’t need to be covenantly confused Christians. We can understand that as a Christian family doing this right now, that we should be baptized as we confess Christ and so should our household. We saw it in Acts 16 and the Old Testament. We have also not only should we take communion, but we should also give it to our children as well. The Passover is the exact same. They also had the entire family participate in the Passover and, as in 1 Corinthians 10 says, they also all partook of the spiritual meat and the spiritual drink, which was Christ. They had Christ in the Old Testament as well, not just the New Testament.
Remember, it’s God that gives the meaning of scripture, not man. If we can give up our meanings and what we think is our understanding, we might actually begin to understand doctrine. Do part in for the long extension of this episode, but covenantly confused Christians is an important issue and people really are confused and they really just don’t understand this subject at all. I may not have done this subject justice, but this is a podcast. It is very limited. Please do your own research. The concept of, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” means this. You, your children, your family, everything belongs to God. Everything. There is nothing that is outside of what belongs to him. All must be used in worship and honoring of God. That includes your children, giving them over to God, teaching them everything that God wants you to teach them. This means partaking of baptism. This means partaking of communion. This means, at all points in time, you’re saying, “This family belongs to God.” If your children grow up and they rebel against that, you did your part, then you can say confidently that you as a Christian can be rewarded for what you did, for your obedience to God.
Radio Announcer: The Reconstructionist Radio Podcast Network brings to you a complete lineup of podcasts where you will hear practical and tactical theology. Our desire is not simply that you consume our shows, but that you also live out your faith in every area of life. We can talk all day long about these things, but if we fail to put them into practice, then we fail as ambassadors of Jesus Christ, our King. Subscribe now to your favorite Reconstructionist Radio Podcast Network shows or you can subscribe to the Reconstructionist Radio master feed, where all of the content we produce, including the audio books and audio articles, will pop up as soon as they are available. Don’t forget to visit ReconstructionistRadio.com to volunteer as a narrator or to partner with this ministry financially. May the Holy Spirit stir you into action for Christ and his kingdom.