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Re: Paedocommunion [Re: Ehud] #35024
Sun Jan 28, 2007 2:44 PM
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Ehud said:
. . . In addition I do not believe that anyone is a Christian apart from baptism (i.e. born of blood) and of course I know about the thief on the cross.

Unfortunately, the inspired writers of the Bible do not share your view(s).


John 3:33, 37, 39 "I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. . . . They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. . . . They answered unto him, We are Abraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?"

John 1:12-13 (ASV) "But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

Luke 3:8 (KJV) "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to [our] father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."


One's salvation does not depend either in whole or in part upon baptism. Nor does salvation come through heritage, either of the flesh or by familial relation, e.g., being a child of a professed believer, nor by association, e.g., being a member of a church body. The Bible nowhere teaches salvation by sacrament nor by covenant relationship, whether in whole or in part, such as what Rome and NPP/FV teaches. Becoming a "Christian" is dependent upon one thing and that only "SOLA GRATIA". Salvation is of the Lord from beginning to end. It is the sovereign act of the Holy Spirit that comes to a sinner and gives him/her life, recreating the dead soul, opening the eyes, unstopping the ears and giving understanding to the truths of God. Faith is implanted within the heart so that at the name of Jesus, the person irresistibly falls at His feet and embraces Him with their whole being, calling upon the Lord for mercy and forgiveness in the name of Christ Jesus. Baptism does not offer or give this; it declares this truth, that all who repent of their sins and believe upon Christ are surely washed of their sins and accepted of God in Him. Covenant relationship by birth is also a blessing of the Lord yet is not salvific. It is simply the means by which the Word of Truth comes so that those who are elect of God will be drawn to Christ and redeemed by His blood when they repent and believe upon Him. The Church holds only to and tenaciously to "Justification by faith alone in Christ alone!": SOLA FIDE & SOLOS CHRISTOS. Synergism is NOT an option.

Quote
Ehud sinks deeper into the doctrine of the Pharisees with:
The emphasis I meant to bring out with Eph 6:1 was this: Christ says, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). If we do not call our children Christian, then by default they do not love Christ. So ,it seems to me, the best we can do with our children is to teach them to obey exclusively through fear of punishment apart from them loving Christ.

Reductio absurdum. You are resting your conclusion upon a false premise; children of believers are to be presumed regenerate, aka: "Christian". Whereas the Scriptures teach that "ALL are born in sin and are children of wrath." (Rom 3:23; Eph 2:3) The entire Old Testament record of the children of Israel, "covenant children", testifies that the vast majority perished in unbelief. Moses called these rebellious covenant children to repentance on many occasions. All the Minor Prophets preached against the sins of God's "covenant children". Jeremiah preached against resting upon one's circumcision as a sign of one's acceptance with God. (Jer. 4:4) When we get to the end of the old covenant, we see John the Baptist preaching out against "Covenantal Monism" and presumptive regeneration. (Matt 3:9) The Lord Christ found His greatest antagonists among the most esteemed "covenant children" of His day; the Pharisees who believed salvation was of being a member of the covenant community Israel and keeping all the law. Sound familiar? Paul also wrote against these falsehoods in his epistles, e.g.,


Galatians 3:27-29 (ASV) "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. 28 There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one [man] in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye are Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise."


Notice Paul does not say, "as many of you as were baptized in water did put on Christ". And further, it is only those who belong to Christ who are considered heirs according to promise. And how does one come to belong to Christ? Not by being born of the flesh, or of blood or of the will of man, but of God. The new birth is NOT part and parcel of being born of believing parents, nor is it part and parcel in baptism. Being born of God is again the free sovereign work of the Holy Spirit upon those whom the Father has eternally predestined and elected to salvation in Christ. Esau was no less a covenant child than Jacob, yet he had no place in God's kingdom.

What you should teach children to pray is, "God have mercy upon me a sinner! Lord, show me my sin and grant that I may repent of it. Great God, create within me a new heart so that I may know the necessity and beauty of Christ and thus believe upon Him with a true faith." These are the types of prayers children should be taught to pray until God the Spirit brings life to their dead souls. Our concern should be their salvation, not their willingness to obey us as parents. They are to obey and they can obey to a great degree their parents without Christ. They are capable of obeying and do obey their parents out of a familial love (storge). Fear, whether it is of punishment or loss of a job, or..... is certainly legitimate as well. The kingdom of God is not to be seen as the fulfillment of B.F. Skinner's Waldon II idea of Utopia.

Quote
Ehud then asks:
If you are going to say I hold to presumptive regeneration as a heretical view and deny Total Depravity, etc. don’t you have to say it about Calvin too?

That John Calvin was a godly man who had many things write when it came to biblical doctrine, he was not infallible. He even admitted as much. And his view on baptism, specifically as to that of infants and their covenantal standing, is one of those areas where he erred. Unfortunately, he didn't totally break from the Catholic teaching on baptism as did Luther failed to separate from their teaching on the "Real Presence". It is true that Calvin teaches, or at least strongly implies, that children of believers in baptism are to be deemed "true" members of Christ's church. In this I have no qualms in seeing Calvin as being wrong there. The Continental churches carried this error to a much greater expression thanks particularly to Abraham Kuyper. But the conservative Congregationalists, e.g., John Owen and later Jonathan Edwards, had no part with this heresy of presumptive regeneration. No doubt you are familiar with Edward's calling children, "Little vipers in diapers"? Many of the Presbyterians wanted no part in this error either although some did. It has always been true that heresy knows no boundaries.

In His grace,


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Re: Paedocommunion [Re: Pilgrim] #35025
Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:39 PM
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a side note

John 1:12-13 was the exact verse I was referencing. What I meant was children are not christians by blood but by baptism.

Re: Paedocommunion [Re: Ehud] #35026
Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:57 PM
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Ehud said:
a side note

John 1:12-13 was the exact verse I was referencing. What I meant was children are not christians by blood but by baptism.

Neither adults, nor children, nor infants are "christians" by baptism but rather by regeneration of the Spirit and through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Rome teaches what you are proposing; not Calviniism but most importantly, not Scripture.

In His grace,


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Re: Paedocommunion [Re: J_Edwards] #35027
Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:29 PM
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Joe,

I have no problem with the Rich Lusk's quotes. I'd also add that he has a book out affirming paedofaith. I'll ask you the same think you asked me:

Quote
“Do you understand him?” “Do you understand the language he used and not merely moving him into our century and redefining what he actually meant?” Have you read [Lusk] or just occasionally quote [him]? – my guess would be the later.


I also have no problem affirming that people can reject/deny their baptism bringing greater judgment upon themselves.

Quote
Ehud your use of “baptismal regeneration” is nothing near what Calvin’s was


I'm not sure that I've given you my definition of baptismal regeneration other than affirming what Calvin wrote. I have said that baptized individuals are baptized into Christ and can be called Christian.

Romans 6:2-4
Quote
2By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.


Are infants baptized into Christ or are they not?

Galatians 3:26-28
Quote
for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[a] nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.


Are infants one in Jesus Christ with us adults or are they half-way covenant chumps? Have infants put on Christ? If baptism puts on Christ, but infants can't put on Christ then why are we baptizing them?

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Calling a cat a dog does not make it a dog and calling children “Christian” does not make them love Christ! Your philosophy reeks!


You are exactly right! Me calling someone a Christian does not make them a love Christ. However, it is God Almighty in His divine providence and love who places children in gospel homes and it is He who says "as many as have been baptized have put on Christ." My "reeking philosophy" is attempting to deal with this.

As for the proverbs you quote, I have no problem with disciplining children. Even God disciplines his children otherwise they would be illegitimate children. So if anything the love of God is expressed to baptized children in the disciplining that comes from godly parents. My only problem is teaching children the commandments of God apart from the greatest commandment.

Quote
And yes anyone who is a member of the covenant may and should pray in Jesus name. Jesus when he spoke to the disciples, (which included the lost and saved), said, “When ye pray” and not “if your elect then pray” (Luke 11:1f). Did not Judas pray? Did not Judas participate in the ministry of Christ? Did not Judas, an adult, participate in the LS to an extent – though warned by Christ of his immanent betrayal.


Calvin 3.20.17
Quote
Since no man is worthy to present himself to God and come into his sight, the Heavenly Father himself, to free us at once from shame and fear, which might well have thrown our hearts into despair, has given us his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, to be our advocate [1 John 2:1] and mediator with him [1 Tim 2:5; cf. Heb 8:6 and 9:15], by who guidance we may confidently come to him, and with such intercessor, trusting nothing we ask in his name will be denied us, as nothing can be denied to him by the Father.


If we teach our children to pray in Jesus' name then why can we not call our baptized children Christians?

Faris

Re: Paedocommunion [Re: Ehud] #35028
Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:17 PM
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Ehud said:
. . . I have said that baptized individuals are baptized into Christ and can be called Christian.

. . . Are infants baptized into Christ or are they not?

Are infants one in Jesus Christ with us adults or are they half-way covenant chumps? Have infants put on Christ? If baptism puts on Christ, but infants can't put on Christ then why are we baptizing them?

If we teach our children to pray in Jesus' name then why can we not call our baptized children Christians?

1) You say that infants can be called Christian because they are baptized into Christ. It is not as if you were proposing that calling them "Christians" is simply one of convenience or politeness, but rather you are declaring something about their spiritual condition. The fundamental issue is, Who in Scripture is designated a "Christian"? Is it those who are baptized? or perhaps those who are members of a local congregation? or is it one who has been regenerated by the Spirit of God and thus is consequently converted, i.e., they have shown forth repentance and professed faith in the Lord Christ? In EVERY instance where Paul uses the phrase, "in Christ", he is speaking about an actual union with Christ by grace through faith. There are those who falsely believe and call themselves Christian. And there are situations where a false profession albeit a very convincing one is wrongly discerned by others to be genuine. But nowhere in Scripture can we find that one is called "Christian" without evidence that would support that title.

2) IF infants are actually and truly "baptized into Christ", then they are indeed Christians. This MUST mean therefore that they have been eternally predestinated, elected, called and will persevere to the end. (Rom 8:29, 30) IF infants have been truly "baptized into Christ", then they are justified; i.e., God has declared them innocent, righteous for Christ's sake based upon the merits of His atonement in their behalf. There is therefore no need nor warrant to preach the Gospel to them as there is no need nor warrant to do so to any truly saved individual. Conversion is a one-time occurrence and is not to be repeated as is done in so many modern evan-jelly-cal churches in their insidious Alter Calls. IF they are truly "in Christ", then the focus should and must be upon their sanctification. And lastly, IF they are truly "in Christ", then they can never lose the salvation they allegedly have. This is exactly what the Pharisees taught; covenant children are eternally secure because they have been been circumcised and are God's chosen.

3) I agree totally with Jonathan Edwards in that children are not "half-way covenant chumps". There is no "half-way covenant" as his grandfather Stoddard taught and which those who hold to presumptive regeneration sometimes teach, i.e., although children are "in Christ" they can deny their faith and thus perish. But Edwards correctly taught that children are by nature "children of wrath" and are in no less need of regeneration and conversion than any adult. Neither being children of believing parents nor baptism can or does change their natural spiritual state. And Edwards was no Baptist and neither am I. (not that being a Baptist is such an evil thing as some paedobaptists would have everyone believe) One is either "in Christ" and thus eternally saved. Or, one is outside of Christ and in dire need of being saved. Either one's sins have been remitted for the sake of Christ and having been united to Him. Or, one is dead in sins and in need of a Saviour. There is no half-way salvation either.

Then why do we baptize infants? Because they are externally related to the covenant and are therefore to be given the sign of the covenant. They are "holy", i.e., they are set apart from non-covenant children in that God has mercifully given that they are born to believing parents and raised in the admonitions of the Lord through which; i.e., the means, the Gospel comes. They are also given the privilege of being reared in the Church where the Word of God is faithfully preached, again one of the "means of grace" and from which faith comes by the Spirit's work in the heart of the elect. (Rom 3:1; 9: 4, 5) Would you have us believe that Esau was considered a "Christian" by O.T. standards? Would you have us believe that Esau, being a covenant child and having received the sign of the covenant was therefore "in Christ" and was justified before God no less than Abraham? Having the means of grace is not the same as having been given saving grace.


Acts 2:37-39 (ASV) "Now when they heard [this,] they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? 38 And Peter [said] unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him.


The promise of remission of sins (salvation in Christ) is given to only those whom the Lord "calls" [to faith], i.e., the inner calling (regeneration and irresistible grace) which infallibly leads to true conversion; repentance and faith. There is no unqualified promise of salvation to the children of believers who are baptized. This is simply biblical Soteriology 101 in the classic Reformed style.

In His grace,


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Re: Paedocommunion [Re: Pilgrim] #35029
Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:08 PM
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I'm not claiming that any of this is easy.

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IF infants are actually and truly "baptized into Christ", then they are indeed Christians. This MUST mean therefore that they have been eternally predestinated, elected, called and will persevere to the end. (Rom 8:29, 30) IF infants have been truly "baptized into Christ", then they are justified; i.e., God has declared them innocent, righteous for Christ's sake based upon the merits of His atonement in their behalf.


John 15
Quote
1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.


Galatians 5
Quote
2Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified[a] by the law; you have fallen away from grace.


I think there is a way in which we can speak of all baptized folk being in Christ and a way in which we can speak of baptized folk being removed from Christ [i.e. those who passed through the Red Sea, drank from the spiritual Rock that was Christ, etc].

I like Romans 8:29,30 a lot. I really do, but I also want to like John 15 too.

Re: Paedocommunion [Re: Ehud] #35030
Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:35 AM
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Ehud said:
I'm not claiming that any of this is easy.

I think there is a way in which we can speak of all baptized folk being in Christ and a way in which we can speak of baptized folk being removed from Christ [i.e. those who passed through the Red Sea, drank from the spiritual Rock that was Christ, etc].

I like Romans 8:29,30 a lot. I really do, but I also want to like John 15 too.

Ah yes..... John 15. I vividly remember when I was at WTS and Norman Shepherd was still teaching there that this was one of his favorite passages also. At least in part, he would defend his heresy by often quoting it. Of course, things have developed greatly since Mr. Shepherd's removal from that once bedrock of conservative Calvinism. His views have been "refined" and made far more enticing with the use of vague language and alleged scholarship. So today we have NPP and FV. WTS also has changed for now there is at least one professor teaching the very thing which got Mr. Shepherd dismissed.

Although it is very difficult if not impossible for the average church-goer to read the plethora of academic books and papers written by these so-called "scholars" and erudite protagonists of these damnable heresies, the matter IMHO is very simple. It all boils down to the basic understanding and implementation of the old "Analogy of Faith", i.e., comparing Scripture with Scripture. For example, take this idea you stated above, which btw contradicts the fifth point of Calvinism, "Preservation of the Saints". Can one find clear statements which speak of and teach of what it means to be "in Christ"? You bet you can. The "clear" passages always interpret the less or unclear passages. One simply cannot get around Paul's use of the phrase "in Christ" to mean being spiritually united to Christ which is infallibly connected to His vicarious substitutionary atonement, the sending of the Spirit to awaken the elect and to call them irresistibly to repentance and faith in Christ. To those "in Christ" eternal life is an unassailable promise from God to them. But, you would like to also believe that one could be "in Christ" yet not have such a guarantee, and I strongly suspect..... UNLESS.... they "keep covenant", i.e., they live a life of obedience. Of course, those of us who have not succumbed to the wiles of the Evil One know right well what this is. It is "synergism"... a works salvation which cannot save. It is to do as Rome has done for centuries, conflate forensic justification and consequent sanctification. When I asked Mr. Shepherd if we should impress upon our children their need of Christ and to repent and believe upon Him unto salvation, he adamantly objected to any such thing. When asked further what then should we teach our children, he replied, "Teach them to be obedient to the covenant".

Well sir, I know of no passage where the Lord God commands men to "be obedient to the covenant". What I do read, however, is to reconciled to God, repent of your sins and trust your whole being to Christ Jesus. And if your faith is genuine, you will most naturally seek to keep God's commandments for to do so is most pleasing to Him. The Apostle James was inspired to write such and make clear that those with a true living faith will exhibit that faith in their good works. Yet, none of their good works which they do in any way contribute, increase nor improve upon their justification. For justification is that one-time declaration of God that the believing sinner is "not guilty" in Christ Who has both paid the penalty for their sins and imputed to them His own perfect righteousness. And all who come to Christ with a true living faith will never be lost. Thus, John 15 CANNOT mean that God will take any away who are "in Christ".

You do not have the right to redefine what the Scriptures teach about being "in Christ" to suit some novel idea which mitigates against the sovereign free grace God. You have no warrant to confuse the salvation which is all of grace with one that intermixes faith and works.

The Reformers were NOT wrong in their understanding of justification. The Puritans were NOT mistaken on these matters and thus the WCF, WSC, WLC, Heidelberg Catechism, Baptist London Confession, 39 Articles, Savoy Declaration, et al do not need revision based upon some spurious postulation about Second-Temple Judaism. Salvation is NOT about "covenant", but about Christ. You are either "in Christ" and possess all things in Him for all eternity or you are outside of Christ and are liable to damnation.

Yes, it is possible that Augustine was wrong, that Martin Luther erred, that John Calvin was mistaken, as was Knox, and Melanthon, and Owen, and Edwards, and Spurgeon and countless others. But tell me my young friend.. what are the odds that they were ALL wrong and Dunn, Sanders, N.T. Wright, Norman Shepherd and a few others today are right about a matter fundamental to the faith?


Galatians 1:6-9 (ASV) "I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; which is not another [gospel] only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema. As we have said before, so say I now again, if any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema."

Justification: "If the purity of this doctrine is in any degree impaired the Church has received a deadly wound and brought to the very brink of destruction. Whenever the knowledge of it is taken away, the glory of Christ is extinguished, religion abolished, the Church destroyed and the hope of salvation utterly overthrown. - John Calvin "The Necessity of Reforming the Church" p. 42


In His grace,


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Re: Paedocommunion [Re: Ehud] #35031
Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:34 AM
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Ehud states,

I have no problem with the Rich Lusk's quotes. I'd also add that he has a book out affirming paedofaith.

Yes, Ehud I know all this -- I've read "Paedofaith" and even attended a worship service at his church (Trinity Pres) in Al in the past. However, I did not say I agree with all Lusk's theology did I? I stated I agreed with his anaylsis of what Calvin believed which is different than what baptismal regeneration means today - which you attempt to defend.

Since Pilgrim has graciously but decisively addressed the rest of your points, I will merely add that you do not understand the difference of being in the covenant and being in Christ. Though at times they are related at other times they are miles apart. i.e. not all Israel is Israel.

Hebrews 5:12-14. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/hello.gif" alt="" />


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Re: Paedocommunion [Re: Pilgrim] #35032
Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:44 PM
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Yes, it is possible that Augustine was wrong, that Martin Luther erred, that John Calvin was mistaken, as was Knox, and Melanthon, and Owen, and Edwards, and Spurgeon and countless others


<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/flee.gif" alt="" />Whoaa! I got to put the brakes on here. I did in no way mean to tear down the works of these men nor did I mean to imply that I deny salvation by grace alone. Again I affirm whole heartedly that God has elected a multitude of people from before the foundation of the world and that they have been predetermined to be saved and none of them will be lost. Absolutely. All who remain in Christ to the end, do so by the grace of God. For there is no good thing that dwells in the flesh apart from the Holy Spirit.

Due to time constraints at the present, I'll have to reply in more detail later.

Re: Paedocommunion [Re: Ehud] #35033
Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:48 PM
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Ehud said:
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/flee.gif" alt="" />Whoaa! I got to put the brakes on here. I did in no way mean to tear down the works of these men nor did I mean to imply that I deny salvation by grace alone. Again I affirm whole heartedly that God has elected a multitude of people from before the foundation of the world and that they have been predetermined to be saved and none of them will be lost. Absolutely. All who remain in Christ to the end, do so by the grace of God. For there is no good thing that dwells in the flesh apart from the Holy Spirit.

And the protagonists of NPP/FV also purport to believe in exactly the same things ... BUT THEY DO NOT hold to the doctrines of free grace as expressed in the WCF, Belgic Confession, and other historic Reformed Confessions. And even Rome asserts that they believe in salvation by grace alone. So it is necessary to DEFINE your terms. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

YOU believe that all baptized infants of believers are regenerate.... thus of necessity, they are united in and to Christ and will be infallibly saved. IF would deny an infallible salvation for these alleged regenerate infants/children, then again, you have to deny at best a vicarious substitutionary atonement, aka: "Definite/Limited Atonement" and "Perseverance of the Saints". IF these alleged regenerate infants/children who you want to be allowed to partake of the Lord's Table have not necessarily been justified in Christ and will not be infallibly saved, then you must hold to some type of "synergism", which also mitigates against "Unconditional Election" which is exactly what NPP/FV teaches and which is damnable heresy.

So, go ahead and take your time and provide some "details" of your view(s) for us to examine. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


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asking for clarification [Re: Pilgrim] #35034
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...so I don't stick my foot in my mouth

By infalliby saved, I'm assuming that this means decreetally elect. Correct me if I am wrong on this. (not sure if decreetally is a word but it works for now)

In your estimation does the fact that I call someone a Christian necessitate that I know that he is infallibly saved?

Jeff, do you know that you are infallibly saved? Is it impossible for you to fall away? When Pauls says that we should take heed when we say we stand lest we fall(I Cor 10:12) how do you reconcile that we who are infallibly saved Christians are to understand this warning?

Mind you that I am not proposing that anyone who has been decreetally elected can ever fall away. Again I affirm that all who are saints(decreetally elect) will persevere(be saved completely) by the grace of God.

All I want to know is, how can non-decreetally elect babies be baptized by passing through the Red Sea, how can non-decreetally elect people drink from that spiritual rock that is Christ (I Cor 10:1-5) and perish, how can Judas Iscariot the one who has a devil be fed the cup by Christ himself, AND...

baptized children of God can't sit at the table and eat because we don't know their decreed election??? You have all these non-decreetally elect people doing all these serious acts by the hand of God Himself.

In Christ,
Faris

Re: asking for clarification [Re: Ehud] #35035
Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:11 PM
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Ehud said:
By infallibly saved, I'm assuming that this means decreetally elect. Correct me if I am wrong on this. (not sure if decreetally is a word but it works for now)

Infallibly saved means that whoever God has predestinated to eternal life will be absolutely saved. There is no possibility that they will be lost. The decree of predestination not only expresses God's eternal will in regard for the salvation of the elect, but also the means by which that salvation is secured, preserved and finalized in space and time.

Quote
Ehud asks:
In your estimation does the fact that I call someone a Christian necessitate that I know that he is infallibly saved?

Of course not. But what it does necessitate is that you have a basis upon which to deem someone a Christian. There are no "de facto" Christians. They will bear the marks of regeneration and exhibit the fruits of it. Being a member of the covenant community is no "badge of honor" which entitles one to claim or be considered a "Christian", i.e., one who has been regenerated, converted and lives for Christ. And THIS I strongly suspect is where you have gone off the biblical path. Could it be, with your admitted "attraction" to NPP/FV that you have embraced the error (heresy) that what is most important is belonging to the covenant people of God (justification) within which one works out their justification? And thus, it is impossible to know assuredly that you are truly "justified" in the forensic sense which is how classic Calvinism has always used the term?

Quote
Ehud asks:
Jeff, do you know that you are infallibly saved? Is it impossible for you to fall away? When Pauls says that we should take heed when we say we stand lest we fall(I Cor 10:12) how do you reconcile that we who are infallibly saved Christians are to understand this warning?

I perceive this as an attempt to obfuscate the issue by introducing "infallible knowledge" as a substitute for "assurance of salvation". To possess the former would be to claim deity for only God knows anything infallibly. One could rightly ask, "Do you know infallibly that you exist and you are not simply the figment of another's imagination?" The Scriptures teach us that one who truly believes is given the Holy Spirit who testifies to their spirit that they are the child of God. (Rom 8:16, 17; 2Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13; 1Jh 4:13) NPP/FV echoes Rome's teachings on this subject whereby they say that it is impossible for anyone to really know if they are saved. This knowledge only comes at the Judgment, so they say. One's salvation is incomplete until the end. Thus it is incumbent for one to do good works their entire life in order to add to their "justification". Of course, "justification" according to NPP/FV is simply one's inclusion into the covenant community of God and denies that it is a one-time declaration that one's sins are remitted in Christ's vicarious substitutionary atonement. And thus being justified, they are not liable to judgment. (Jh 3:18; 5:24; Rom 4:7; 5:1, 2; 8:1, 2; Gal 3:13)

Quote
Ehud asks:
All I want to know is, how can non-decreetally elect babies be baptized by passing through the Red Sea, how can non-decreetally elect people drink from that spiritual rock that is Christ (I Cor 10:1-5) and perish, how can Judas Iscariot the one who has a devil be fed the cup by Christ himself, AND...

baptized children of God can't sit at the table and eat because we don't know their decreed election??? You have all these non-decreetally elect people doing all these serious acts by the hand of God Himself.

Are you now suggesting that ALL of Israel; every man, woman and child who passed through the Red Sea and drank of the water that flowed from the rock were saved? More so, are also suggesting that Judas Iscariot was saved because he partook of the Lord's Supper? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" /> Again, one's association with the covenant people of God does not make one "in Christ" and thus "in covenant" with God. (Rom 9:6ff) One may be externally a member of the visible Church and not be internally a member of the Invisible Church; the true Church of Christ. Only those who have been regenerated and exhibit the marks of that regeneration are entitled to be called "Christian" and thus are entitled to partake of the Lord's Table. Baptism is a sign of entrance where the Lord's Table is that which is restricted to those who are actually ingrafted in Christ.

In His grace,


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Re: asking for clarification [Re: Pilgrim] #35036
Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:43 PM
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Are you now suggesting that ALL of Israel; every man, woman and child who passed through the Red Sea and drank of the water that flowed from the rock were saved? More so, are also suggesting that Judas Iscariot was saved because he partook of the Lord's Supper?


I am not in anyway suggesting that these folks were infallibly saved because it is obvious from myriads of scriptures that they are not. What I am suggesting is that there are throughout scriptures the participation and partaking (JEdwards categories) of spiritual things by non-infallibly saved persons because of the covenant membership.

I am also fully aware that not all Israel is Israel, but those who are "not Israel" are still referred to as God's people in some sense.

Exodus 10:3
Quote
So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let My people go, that they may serve me.


Some of these folks would die at the manufacturing of the golden calf, would they not?

Does God say leave behind those who are not infallibly saved? Could there have been infants among "my people" who were not infallibly saved? Absolutely. It seems under your definitions that we must presume none of the infants who came out of Egypt to be infallibly saved and at the same time they are referred to by God as "My people." I understand that there is some cognative tension here, but if the Bible speaks this way, why can't we speak this way?

In reference to another of my questions:
Quote
I perceive this as an attempt to obfuscate the issue by introducing "infallible knowledge" as a substitute for "assurance of salvation". To possess the former would be to claim deity for only God knows anything infallibly. One could rightly ask, "Do you know infallibly that you exist and you are not simply the figment of another's imagination?" The Scriptures teach us that one who truly believes is given the Holy Spirit who testifies to their spirit that they are the child of God.


My point in asking if you knew you were infallibly saved was not to prove that we can never know if we are saved, but that we never know of our election outside of Christ. In practice, when we are faced with temptation we don't say, "Oh, I'm decreetally elect therefore it doesn't matter" that would be trampl'n the grace of God. But we do keep looking to Christ, we abide in His love (John 15). Disclaimer: our abiding and perseverance is completely by the grace of God.

Quote
Only those who have been regenerated and exhibit the marks of that regeneration are entitled to be called "Christian" and thus are entitled to partake of the Lord's Table. Baptism is a sign of entrance where the Lord's Table is that which is restricted to those who are actually ingrafted in Christ.


I would love to know what is going on in the WSC question 94
Quote
What is baptism? A: Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our engrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord's


Not only that. The scripture reference given for this question is none other than our beloved Romans 6:3.

Quote
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death.


Please clarify for my sake. Are you going up against Augustine, Calvin, and the WSC on baptism?

I'd like to know what you think of Rich Lusk's thoughts:
Quote
This is not to say that there is no actual difference between the grace that the "truly regenerate" (e.g. elected to persevere) receive and the grace that future apostates receive. No doubt, there is a difference, since God has decreed and made provision for the perseverance of the one and not for the other (Eph 1:11). Systematic theologians certainly have a stake in making such distinctions a part of their theology, so the TULIP must stand unchallenged. Whatever grace reprobate covenant members receive is qualified by their lack of perseverance. Augustine rightly distinguished "predestination unto grace," which was only temporary, and did not lead to final salvation, from "predestination unto perseverance," which did issue forth eternal life. Perseverance is not merely the caboose on the end of the salvation train rather, its presence or absence qualifies one's whole participation in the ordo salutis.
The point here, however, is that this qualitative difference is not in view in warning passages such as Hebrews 6, and it is an illegitimate move to make it a part of one's exegesis. These passages simply speak of the undifferentiated grace of God. Morever, such a distinction is of no pastoral significance since it is one of the Lord's secrets (cf. Deut 29:29). It is simply impossible to determine who has persevering grace apart from the unfolding of time.


Would you take his last sentence to mean that we cannot know that we are saved? I think you and I both know that we are saved because we are in Christ. I'd still like to know your interpretation of John 15 though.


In Christ,
Faris

Re: asking for clarification [Re: Ehud] #35037
Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:30 PM
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Ehud said:
I am not in anyway suggesting that these folks were infallibly saved because it is obvious from myriads of scriptures that they are not. What I am suggesting is that there are throughout scriptures the participation and partaking (JEdwards categories) of spiritual things by non-infallibly saved persons because of the covenant membership.

You would have to define "spiritual things" before I could respond to your proposition. From my reading of Scripture, which is in accord with the Reformed heritage, "spiritual things" connotes that which pertains to salvation. Thus non-elect individuals, whether in the womb or in their latter years participate nor partake of "spiritual things". That the non-elect benefit from the spiritual blessings bestowed upon the elect is true. But that is a decidedly different thing altogether.

Quote
Ehud said:
I am also fully aware that not all Israel is Israel, but those who are "not Israel" are still referred to as God's people in some sense.

Again, you seem to be wanting to equate being part of a covenant community to possessing some degree of God's favor/acceptance and thus those within the community are all to be considered "God's people" or in N.T. terminology, "Christian". There is no warrant to do this. Those who are saved by the grace of God have no need to be told to repent of their sins and believe upon Christ unto salvation for they already possess it. To put it another way, you are diminishing or even denying a distinction between the Visible and Invisible Church.

Quote
Ehud said:
Some of these folks would die at the manufacturing of the golden calf, would they not?

Does God say leave behind those who are not infallibly saved? Could there have been infants among "my people" who were not infallibly saved? Absolutely. It seems under your definitions that we must presume none of the infants who came out of Egypt to be infallibly saved and at the same time they are referred to by God as "My people." I understand that there is some cognative tension here, but if the Bible speaks this way, why can't we speak this way?

YOU are the one who is wanting to bring in this idea of "infallible salvation" or an "infallible knowledge" of salvation. I have repeatedly said that there is only One who has infallible knowledge about anything and everything; the Lord God. In the Church we possess only a fallible and finite knowledge, but nonetheless we can and do possess knowledge of the truth upon which we are to determine who belongs to Christ. Without evidence of regeneration, there is no warrant to presume another's salvation. (Rom 6; Jam 2:17ff) A child of believing parents may be entitled to an "associate membership" in the covenant community but it has no "voting rights" since it has not passed the initiation rights of giving a valid profession of faith, etc.

Quote
Ehud said:
I would love to know what is going on in the WSC question 94

Quote
What is baptism? A: Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our engrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord's

Not only that. The scripture reference given for this question is none other than our beloved Romans 6:3.

Quote
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death.

Please clarify for my sake. Are you going up against Augustine, Calvin, and the WSC on baptism?

Let me answer your last question last... "NO! I am in full accord with Augustine, Calvin and the WSC on the matter of baptism" in all that they say that is in accord with Scripture. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Secondly, re: WSC Q:94 and the passages quoted . . . CONTEXT, CONTEXT and again I say, CONTEXT! A text out of context is nothing more than pretext. Just who is Paul addressing in those passages? Hint:... believers and them only. A baptized unbeliever is not "baptized into Christ", i.e., he/she is not united to Christ and thus a recipient of all the benefits merited for the elect. To even suggest such a thing is preposterous. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />

Quote
Ehud said:
I'd like to know what you think of Rich Lusk's thoughts:

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cut

Hogwash!! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" /> Unbelievers do NOT partake of ANY "grace", i.e., salvific blessings directly. As I have already noted, unbelievers do benefit from that which is given to believers but only indirectly. This is benevolence and nothing more.

In His grace,


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Again, I request more clarification [Re: Pilgrim] #35038
Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:41 AM
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YOU are the one who is wanting to bring in this idea of "infallible salvation" or an "infallible knowledge" of salvation. I have repeatedly said that there is only One who has infallible knowledge about anything and everything; the Lord God. In the Church we possess only a fallible and finite knowledge, but nonetheless we can and do possess knowledge of the truth upon which we are to determine who belongs to Christ. Without evidence of regeneration, there is no warrant to presume another's salvation.


I don't think that I started using "infallibly saved" until you started using it. I might be mistaken though. My only point is those who perished in the wilderness are at one point referred to as the people of Yahweh. That's my only point. And my question follows that if God can refer to all of Israel as "My people" even though all of Israel is not Israel, then why can't we call our "holy" baptized babies "Christians"?

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Let me answer your last question last... "NO! I am in full accord with Augustine, Calvin and the WSC on the matter of baptism" in all that they say that is in accord with Scripture


Isn't it misleading here to use the language "full accord." I know you qualify this with "all that they say that is in accord with Scripture" but you aren't really in full accord with Augustine and Calvin on the issue at hand.

Pilgrim says:
Quote
That John Calvin was a godly man who had many things write when it came to biblical doctrine, he was not infallible. He even admitted as much. And his view on baptism, specifically as to that of infants and their covenantal standing, is one of those areas where he erred. Unfortunately, he didn't totally break from the Catholic teaching on baptism...It is true that Calvin teaches, or at least strongly implies, ]that children of believers in baptism are to be deemed "true" members of Christ's church. In this I have no qualms in seeing Calvin as being wrong there.


JEdwards says:
Quote
Of course, I could further point out the fact that Augustine was not consistent in his baptismal stance as well


I agree that Augustine has some problems with baptism. But the point is he allowed for children to be called Christians, and to your admission Calvin allowed for children to be members of the true church. Now the WSC doesn't have a question, "What is baptism for unbelieving babies?" All it asks is "What is Baptism?" It seems to me that if the WSC wanted to make such an important disticntion as you have made that it would have taken the time to address the difference in baptism of believers and baptism of infants.

I knew what your response was to Romans 6:3. My point was that for the WSC to make it a scripture proof for the sacrament of baptism means that the WSC has in mind water baptism when it reads Paul in Romans 6:3.

How is this for context for the WSC?
Quote
Elect infants do ordinarily receive the Spirit in
baptism, as the first efficient principle of furture actual regenreation...It is most agreeable to the institution of Christ, that all elect infants that are baptized....do ordinarily receive, from Christ, the Spirit in baptism, for their first solemn initiation into Christ, and for their future actual renovation, in God's good time, if they live to years of discretion, and enjoy the other ordinary means of grace appointed of God to this end.


-Cornelius Burges, Westminster divine, The Baptismal Regeneration of Elect Infants, 1629

In Christ,
Faris

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