Saying Babies are Christians Is Just as Much Against the Gospel as Dispensationalism

Instead of different dispensations, paedobaptists are committed to an erroneous “one covenant of grace” that includes more than just the elect.
Along with this error about covenants, paedobaptists teach false notions about about “common grace in the covenant” and about “sacramental grace” (even for the non-elect).

John Calvin—“The integrity of the sacrament lies here, that the flesh and blood of Christ are not less truly given to the unworthy than to the elect believers of God; and yet it is true, that just as the rain falling on the hard rock runs away because it cannot penetrate, so the wicked by their hardness repel the grace of God, and prevent it from reaching them. ”

Mike Horton: “To be claimed as part of God’s holy field comes with threats as well as blessings. Covenant members who do not believe are under the covenant curse. How can they fall under the curses of a covenant to which they didn’t belong? If faith is the only way into membership , then why all the warnings to members of the covenant community to persevere in faith to the end? God promises his saving grace in Christ to each person in baptism, whether they embrace this promise or not. Yet they must embrace the promise in faith. Otherwise, they fall under the covenant curse without Christ as their mediator. ”

The Horton quotation suggests that only people presumed to be in the church (or in the covenant) can be addressed with the gospel. Is Horton saying that we need to think of our babies as Christians before we can command them to believe the gospel? If not, what is he saying? Is Horton saying that people who don’t go to church and don’t profess to be Christians can’t be warned about the need to believe  the gospel? Or is Horton saying that the only people who need to be warned to believe the gospel are those put in the covenant without first believing the gospel?

Douglas Bond, Grace Works P and R, 2014 p 92—“There are men today who encourage their congregations to tear out the page between the Old and New Testaments in their Bibles. Zealous to avoid the error of dispensationalism, these men make the continuity of the covenants the foundation of their preaching. But I wonder if it is a foundation that is able to support the scandal of grace. If we care about the distinction between law and gospel…then we will train our ears for those who don’t seem to want to keep the distinction between the old and new covenants.Their insistence on ‘the continuity of the covenants’ may prove to be a code phrase for confusing law and gospel. Where there is a merging of the old and new covenants, it will never be the law diminished by gospel. It will always be the gospel fatally diminished by the law.”

The Abrahamic covenant came before the old covenant (the Mosaic covenant), and therefore the Abrahamic covenant is NOT the new covenant. Abraham had two sons.

If circumcision was for Abraham a seal of the promise to Abraham that Abraham would have children and own a lot of land, then we cannot say that circumcision is nothing but a seal of righteousness that he had by faith. The circumcision is a sign of other things also. Circumicision was a sign of more than one thing.

Paedobaptists tend to read the Old Testament as if the Arahamic covenant and the new covenant were the same, and thus reduce the Abrahamic covenant to being only about the righteousness earned by Christ.

Romans 4:11 teaches that circumcision was a sign to Abraham that he Abraham had the righteousness. The circumcision is a sign that Christ will bring in the righteousness, but not a sign to anybody else but Abraham that they have or are promised the righteousness. The righteousness is promised only to as many as believe the gospel.

Israel is a type fulfilled by Christ, not by a mixed body of justified and non-justified folks we call “the church”. Circumcision is a type of the forensic “cutting off” from legal identity in Adam by means of Christ’s death.

Christ’s death is the legal death of the justified elect, and that death is not water, not regeneration, not “covenant membership” in a conditional covenant.

It’s not water that fulfills the type of circumcision. Christ’s death to the law imputed to the elect is the ultimate thing signified by circumcision. Christ did not become cleansed or regenerated, but His blood was shed to satisfy justice, and that’s the central truth to which circumcision speaks.

Paedobaptists tend to minimize or ignore the other preliminary things signified by circumcision. Deyoung writes “And if this spiritual sign—a seal of the righteousness that comes by faith—was administered to Abraham and his infant sons, then we cannot say that the thing signified must always be present before the sign is administered.”,

For the sake of the gospel, we need to see that 1. in the case of Abraham, the righteousness signified had already been imputed to Abraham before circumcision. and 2. there is more than one thing signified but Deyoung has ignored that and now only focuses on the righteousness. 3. and even in regard to the righteousness which is signified, there is an ambiguity in which paedobaptists have their cake and eat it also.

On the one hand, they tell us we can’t know who is justified, and so the sign is not about an infallible knowledge that this infant will be justified. But agreeing with that, why not then give the sign to everybody? But then, on the other hand, their confessions teach that there is a promise to the children of those who are Christians.

Here there is more ambiguity, since first we can’t infallibly know which parents are justified, and second, there is no promise to Christians that they will even have children, and third, What exactly is this promise to the children of those who are Christians?

There is no promise that specific children will be justified. So at the most, what you have is some idea that they are “in the covenant” and thus perhaps more liable to “covenant curses”. But again, how are these infants different from any other infants, since all infants are born guilty in Adam and all need that righteousness, and none of them is promised that righteousness, and they can only know they have it if God gives them faith in the gospel?

Dispensationalists can’t really see the newness of the new covenant, because they can’t let go of the idea that the Abrahamic covenant promised land unconditionally to ethnic Israel. And paedobaptists can’t really see the newness of the new covenant, because they can’t let go of the genealogical principle of the Abrahamic covenant in which they presume that their babies are born Christians.

Despite Christ’s death as the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant, paedobaptists still think there is a genealogical principle at work in the new covenant. They think the Abrahamic covenant is no different from the new covenant, and that the new covenant is no different from the Abrahamic covenant. This is why they read Colossians 2:11-13 and assume that water baptism is the fulfillment of the sign of circumcision.

Renihan— The new covenant is distinct from the biblical covenants that preceded it in history, particularly the Abrahamic covenant. Simply put, the Abrahamic covenant promised (not only Christ the seed to come but also) earthly blessings to Abraham and his offspring. This covenantal relationship was expanded and developed in the Mosaic covenant and the Davidic covenant (the Mosaic covenant added laws for life in Canaan, and the Davidic covenant provided kings over the people). These three covenants established and governed the kingdom of Israel, comprised of Abraham’s people. The … new covenant is established on better promises, different promises. The new covenant alone is the covenant of grace, distinct from the Israelite covenants.

Throughout Israel’s history, many understood the messianic promises and looked to Jesus in faith prior to his advent (Hebrews 4:2-3; 11:13-16). The people of God, considered according to the federal headship and benefits of Christ, did not begin with the incarnation. The Israelite kingdom and its covenants were typological. Typology sustains two truths: on the one hand a type had significance in its own context while on the other hand a type pointed away from itself to a greater meaning in Christ. The author to the Hebrews states quite plainly that the blood of the Israelite sacrifices could not forgive sins. Why? Because although those sacrifices had meaning in the Israelite context, i.e., purification of the flesh, they were not Christ’s sacrifice and could not purify the conscience (Hebrews 10:1-4, 12-14).

Paul treats God’s dealings with Abraham the same way by calling believers the children of Abraham and finding a greater meaning in the word “offspring” as relating to Christ rather than simply Abraham’s posterity (Galatians 3:7, 9, 16, 27-29). It is not ONE OR THE OTHER, as though promises were made only to Abraham and his natural children or to Christ and his offspring (Abraham included). It is both, each with its particular but related meaning in a typical or antitypical context. And thus the kingdom and covenants of Israel were not the kingdom and covenant of Christ though they were driving towards his birth and revealing truths about him all along the way. Old Testament saints were saved by the promise of one who was to come, and the covenant that he would establish. Consequently we should not use the kingdom of Israel and its covenants as the pattern for churches.

Looking to the parent-child relationship is a misdirected attempt to understand covenantal membership. Redirecting our attention to federal headship brings clarity …. We blame Adam, not our parents, for the curse. The Israelites looked to Abraham, not their parents, for a claim to Canaan and its blessings, and to the conduct of the king, not their parents, for tenure in the land. So also, children must look to Christ, not their parents, for a claim to his covenant….We are born under Adam’s federal headship, and no one escapes the domain of darkness until God transfers them “to the kingdom of the beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:12-14).

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16 Comments on “Saying Babies are Christians Is Just as Much Against the Gospel as Dispensationalism”

  1. Absolutely crystal clear. Their is no mistaking this truth.

  2. Douglas Bond, Grace Works P and R, 2014 p 92—“There are men today who encourage their congregations to tear out the page between the Old and New Testaments in their Bibles. Zealous to avoid the error of dispensationalism, these men make the continuity of the covenants the foundation of their preaching. But I wonder if it is a foundation that is able to support the scandal of grace. If we care about the distinction between law and gospel…then we will train our ears for those who don’t seem to want to keep the distinction between the old and new covenants.Their insistence on “the continuity of the covenants” may prove to be a code phrase for confusing law and gospel. Where there is a merging of the old and new covenants, it will never be the law diminished by gospel. It will always be the gospel fatally diminished by the law.”


    Lee Irons— It is the denial of the Law-Gospel paradigm that is in danger of fostering legalism. When the distinction between these two categories is denied, the meaning of “Gospel” changes. The Gospel is no longer the good news of the satisfaction, by a Substitute, of the justice of God, resulting in an imputed righteousness on account of which God justifies. Instead, the Gospel subtly begins to morph into the not-so good news that sinners are justified and judged by their covenant faithfulness. And this fidelity is usually explained within the context of so-called “grace,” which is defined as God’s gracious acceptance of our imperfect faithfulness…In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul does not say that the transition from Moses to Christ was a movement from glory to glory, as if the glory just kept getting brighter. Rather, Paul says the glory of the Old Covenant was fading away, and ultimately came to an end, whereas the glory of the New Covenant is permanent. The fact that both were glorious does not mean they are the same. “

  3. markmcculley Says:

    Brandon Adams — historic Presbyterianism was very different than modern Presbyterianism. Modern Presbyterianism will consider a non-communicant member who has reached the “age of discretion” and does not profess saving faith in Christ to be a covenant breaker and thus excommunicated. That was not the historic position. Instead, non-communicant members could remain members of the church without making any credible profession of saving faith. That was only required for communicant membership (access to the Lord’s table). Thus everyone in a nation was required by law to profess the true religion (known as “historic faith”) but they were not required by law to profess saving faith. Therefore the covenanters did not see themselves as judging “the world” with these laws. They were judging the church.

    With which presumption will we start?

    –will we exclude from the new covenant those who were in the Abrahamic covenant, or only “include more” ( now females and unmarried males)

    –will we include the spouse and the slaves and the teenage children of a father, or even the grandchildren of those with parents who were cut off from the covenant?

    All or nothing–if we want to include instead of exclude, why not let’s water everybody (not only infants from some families) , including all the adults who come our way–then we can begin to teach them the commands of the covenant (how could we teach anybody God’s law until after they were in the covenant?) and thus we can teach these included disciples that God has promised all of them them saving faith….less narrow, more generous and capacious

    And all we need for that is a common enemy scapegoat—those who refuse to be magistrates, we can accuse them all of wanting to take over as magistrates—and thus find unity between ourselves by excluding fanatics loyal only to one kingdom.

    every inclusion is also an exclusion

  4. Calvin— Yet, (you say) there is danger lest he who is ill, if he die without baptism, be deprived of the grace regeneration. Not at all. God declares that he adopts our babies as his own before they are born, when he promises that he will be our God and the God of our descendants after us (Genesis 17:7). Their salvation is embraced in this word. No one will dare be so insolent toward God as to deny that his promise of itself suffices for its effect.
    p. 383 ( Institutes, IV.xv.20)
    Commenting on 1 Corinthians 7:14, Calvin —The fact that the apostle ascribes a special privilege to the children of believers here has its source in the blessing of the covenant, by whose intervention the curse of nature is destroyed, and all those who were by nature unclean are consecrated to God by His grace.
    p. 383 (John Calvin, Commentary on the First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1960),

  5. One reason some people (not only covenant paedobaptists but also dispies) argue so strongly for “lawkeeping imputed” is that they want to sneak in the idea that the law we need to keep is still the Ten Commandments. ovenant theologians are not content to talk about one gospel for all time, because they want to talk about one covenant for all time. Even though they must say that the Mosaic covenant is part of their “one covenant of grace, some of them also want to insist that the Mosaic covenant was typological (with many aspects now fulfilled and ended) in a way that the Abrahamic covenant was not.

    Of course, even between the Abrahamic and the new covenant, they know there have been changes, since there was some typology. Though every son was circumcised during the Abrahamic covenant, those who speak of “the one covenant of grace” will now only “baptize” infant sons with one parent judged to be a believer. But this difference is regarded as “administrative” and not of the essence of “the one covenant of grace”.

    So the Mosaic covenant and the new covenant are of one “substance” but not so much as the Abrahamic covenant and the new covenant.
    And the goal is to get to where you don’t talk about “covenants” at all, but simply reduce all the promises in all the covenants down to one gospel promise. But somehow, the “covenant promise” to “covenant children” is different from the “gospel promise” to those outside the covenant, to those without one Christian parent.

    We need to say clearly that the Abrahamic covenant is NOT the new covenant, despite the continuity between one of the promises to Abraham and the gospel promise to those effectually called into the new covenant. Of course these theologians do not actually say that the Abrahamic covenant is the new covenant. By talking about “the one covenant of grace, they implicitly agree that the Abrahamic covenant is not the new covenant.

  6. In the original Scofield Reference Bible, Scofield wrote: “The point of testing in the dispensation of grace is no longer legal obedience as the condition of salvation, but acceptance or rejection of Christ” (p. 1115 n. 2).
    Progressive Dispensationalists disavow Scofield’s statement and affirm that there is only one ground of salvation in every dispensation (the work of Christ) and only one way of salvation (faith). Charles Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today (Chicago: Moody Press, 1965), However,Ryrie still maintains that “the content of faith changes in the various dispensations” (p 123).

  7. markmcculley Says:

    1. Not all arguments for infant water are based “one covenant with many administrations”. Romanists, Lutherans and others don’t use the argument from circumcision.

    2. All Reformed folks say that “the covenant” includes more than the elect. All Reformed folks deny that election governs the number in “the new covenant” (some say “externally”) But not all Reformed people are “federal visionists” because many make a distinction between “apostasy from the covenant” and “apostasy from election”. Where the “federal visionists” ( from Norman Shepherd to Doug Wilson) have two kinds of election, so that they speak of a “covenant election” which can be lost, other Reformed folks speak of one election and then argue that “non-elect are in the new covenant”. Those of us who teach salvation of all the elect by means of the new covenant and Christ the mediator of the new covenant also speak of one election, but deny that the elect are in a theological construct call “one covenant of grace in substance, with many administrations”.
    —-1. The gospel does not curse. Jesus did not come to condemn. We are born already condemned. No Christian is more justified than another Christian. And no non-Christian is more condemned that another.
    2. There is no “the covenant of grace, with many administrations”. You are simply begging the question. Is the law grace? If you have a covenant of grace and it’s also a covenant of law, how is it a covenant of grace?
    3. I do not deny a distinction between a visible congregation and the future gathering of the elect when Christ comes to earth on Resurrection Day. You call this “the invisible church” and we both agree that there is no exact identity between that called out future gathering (ecclesia) and those now received into membership in visible congregations. But you simply assume what you need to find in the Bible when you call identification with a visible congregation “participation in the covenant of grace” . So for me this is not a quibble.

    Paul does not speak of any such “the covenant of grace” as you assume. I do want to address your questions about the Hebrews warnings, because I agree that chapter 10 is a big part of the argument Horton makes against Wellum. Horton even claims that nobody who does not agree with him about “covenant apostasy” could possibly understand Hebrews 10.

    Is the indicative law or grace?

    When the law promises curse conditioned on the sinner, is that law grace?

    Is all sin against Grace? If God does not have grace to one of God’s creatures, does God have a right to command that creature and to judge that creature as a sinner?

    Do you agree with Horton that we need to have children in the covenant before we can teach them?

    Do you agree with Horton that God promises His saving grace in Christ to each person in water baptism,?

    Do you agree with Horton that for infants to be claimed as part of God’s holy field comes with threats as well as blessings?

    Hebrews 10: 8 If anyone disregards Moses’ law, he dies without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

    The Reformed assumption— the people of God in the new covenant are both believers and unbelievers because some of the people of God end up in hell. The future tensed in Greek indicates that this will in fact happen and so this passage can’t be taken hypothetically. So you have got a problem here the covenant people of God end up in hell….

    1. The particular sin being warned against is the sin of going back to the Mosaic law and the Levitical economy for salvation. And there is (and never was) any salvation to be found in the Mosaic law or the Levitical economy. I am not denying that some people living during the Mosaic economy were justified by grace through hearing and believing the gospel of Christ, the seed of Abraham, the mediator of the new covenant. I am saying that there was never justification ever to be found in law-keeping by sinners, nor was there ever any salvation to be found in the Abrahamic ceremonies and rituals. The types pointed to Jesus, and the way Jesus opened for the elect through His flesh, by His obedience to death. . In context, it seems we have some people who have professed to have believed in the gospel, to trust in Christ, and yet some of them have, or are tempted to, go back to that Judiasm which has rejected the blood of Jesus.

    2. There is nothing “hypothetical” about this warning (or the others in Hebrews). The logic of “there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin” is not that Christ died for every sinner, so that there is grace for every sinner, or a “conditional promise of grace” for every sinner. No. The logic rather is that now and always there has been only sacrifice that really takes away sin, and that’s the sacrificial death of Christ. The old covenants (Noahic, Davidic, Mosaic, Abrahamic) pointed to this one sacrifice of Christ. Now that Christ has come, now that the new covenant has arrived, not only in promise, but in fulfillment, still there remains one (and only one) sacrifice for sins.

    Put it this way— for every sinner, for any sinner, there is only one sacrifice that can take away sins, and it’s Christ’s propitiatory death. This does not at all mean that Christ has died for every sinner. It means every sinner needs Christ’s death. But only the sins of the elect the Father has given the Son were imputed to the Son, and the Son has only made a propitiation for those sins. Christ’s death is not enough for every sinner, because it was never intended for every sinner. The point of Hebrews 10 is—Christ is the only propitiation there is, and if you don’t trust Christ, then there can be no propitiation for you. Go back to Judiasm, (and without getting into the longish question about if apostates can come back to the gospel), and don’t come to Christ, then there “remains no other sacrifice”.

    3. And Jeff, you might read this, and say, well there you have it,mcmark is supralapsarians who can’t make a distinction between covenant and election. And the guy also wants to say “providence” instead of “common grace”!

    I would insist that what I have indicated in the paragraph above is true even on an infralapsarian understanding, unless one is an Amyraldian who thinks Christ obtained some kind of “general fund” of atonement, and then somehow the Holy Spirit causes the elect to exercise faith to unite themselves to the “general fund” . In other words, if you believe in definite atonement, What I write above about Hebrews 10 is a fair reading of the warning—no hope but in Christ’s grace, no mercy except in Christ’s bloody death.

    4. In principle, the Hebrew warnings are no different from those found in places like Galatians and Philippians. It’s not a warning about immorality, but about going to another gospel, about not trusting Christ, but instead trusting Christ PLUS ALSO our “covenantal nomism” ( covenantal nomists like Norman Shepherd are not Pelagians —they thank their god for grace) .

    Because if you trust Christ and your Spirit enabled obedience, then you don’t trust Christ! Galatians 2: 21–”If justification were through the law, then Christ died for NO purpose. (not for some purpose, not to provide a “plan” to get started!). Galatians 5:2–If you accept circumcision, Christ will be of NO advantage to you. So this is a serious real, life or death warning. Although Paul does not tell the Galatians that he thinks most of them are lost judiasers, he does not discount the possibility that some who profess to trust Christ and are members of a visible congregation are in reality still in their sins, without grace, without propitiation.

    5. The danger is not hypothetical then or now. Grace does not mean we stop preaching the law and the seriousness of sin and the wrath of God. It means confusing the law of God with the gospel of God which is about Christ’s satisfaction of the law for the elect. Christ preached this gospel in John 5: 24. “As many as hear my word and believe him who sent me has eternal (lasting quality) life! HE DOES NOT COME INTO JUDGMENT

    6. “The covenant” is in verse 29.. Which covenant? The phrases “old covenant” or “Mosaic covenant” are not in verse 26, which says the “law of Moses”, but I think we could agree that verse 26 is about the Mosaic economy. The reference is to the covenantal curses on folks who are Abraham’s sons but not Abraham’s sons (Ishmael, Esau, Judas, etc).

    So which covenant is it in “profaned the blood of the covenant”?
    How can there be a new covenant if there is only one “the covenant of grace” and the old covenant is part of the “substance” of “the one covenant of grace?

    I think Reformed people tend to have three answers at once here:

    answer one: the new covenant is “substantially” the “one covenant of grace”

    answer two: because of the contrast with Moses, the covenant here is “the new covenant” (which of course has always existed along side the old covenant, since the gospel has always existed)

    answer three: it’s not really the “new covenant” which the apostates were in but only the “external administration” of the new covenant

    Jeff, I am not sure how you can have all three different answers at the same time, so maybe it’s best to use only one or two as needed. Or maybe you have a different answer, and don’t want this monkey putting words in your mouth.

    7. John Owen makes sense to me on it being Christ who is sanctified by the covenant. I know that category exists in John 17. But if John Owen is not correct, I don’t need to say that nobody except sovereign grace credobaptists understand “eternal security” or perseverance/ preservation. John Owen was not baptist. And Mike Horton is wrong to imply only his Klinean version of “covenant theology” can make sense of the warning texts. Even if it turns out that “the covenant by which he was sanctified” is in reference to those who professed and left a visible congregation but never belonged, this does not prove that the new covenant includes the infants born of one professing parent (as opposed to all infants born to all biological Abrahamic seed, professing or not professing).

    • markmcculley Says:

      For the promise is for you in spite of yourself, as many Jews as the Lord our God will call, in spite of them being Jews, for the elect alone and not for the non-elect. The promise is for your children, as many children as the Lord our God will call, in spite of parents, for the elect alone and not for the non-elect. The promise is for all who are far off, as many non Jews as the Lord our God will call, in spite of them being born outside any covenant for the elect alone and not for the non-elect

      Paul Zahl –“The Holy Spirit is a true fact—the problem comes when the human being wishes to summon the Spirit on command. This proves impossible in every single case, without exception.”

  8. markmcculley Says:

    DeRouchie—In contrast to previous covenants, the ‘seed’ of the new covenant are not physically born into covenant membership. Even Sarah ultimately experienced labor in pain at Isaacs birth (Isaiah 51:2), but the ‘barren ones’s’ lack of labor and childbearing in 54:1 suggest that spiritual adoption, not physical birth, would characterize the identity of the new children.”

  9. markmcculley Says:

    I Corinthians 7 Was anyone called while uncircumcised? He should not get circumcised.
    Galatians 3: 28 There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus
    Romans 4: 10 When was righteousness credited to Abraham—while Abraham was circumcised, or while Abraham was uncircumcised? Not while he was circumcised, but uncircumcised. 11 And Abraham received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that HE HAD BY FAITH while still uncircumcised.
    mark: not as a seal of the righteousness others would have by faith, and not as a seal of the righteousness others without faith would have, and not as a seal of the faith they had or did not have
    Romans 4: 11 The timing was to make Abraham the father of all who believe but are not circumcised, because righteousness is credited to them also. 12 And Abraham became the father of the circumcised, who are not only circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith our father Abraham had while he was still uncircumcised.

    is there still a difference between Jew and gentile, in this way?

    Gentiles are not allowed to be circumcised, because if they did the circumcision would force them to be justified by law?

    Galatians 5: 2 Take note! I, Paul, tell you that if you get yourselves circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all. 3 Again I testify to EVERY MAN who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to keep the entire law

    if you are already circumcised, is it too late to be justified by grace?

    John the Baptist—if you are already circumcised, it’s too late to not be circumcised but it’s not too late to be water baptized

    18 Was anyone already circumcised when he was called? HE SHOULD NOT UNDO HIS CIRCUMCISION

    is it necessary for all Jews to not become Gentiles
    is it necessary for all Jew to stay in “the covenant of grace” in which they were born?

    Abraham was justified by grace through faith WHEN Abraham was not circumcised

    did Abraham become obligated to all the law when Abraham became circumcised?


    did Abraham fall from (justification by) grace and become forced to be justified by law?


    Galatians 3: 2 Take note! I, Paul, tell you that if you get yourselves circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all. 3 Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to keep the entire law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law are ALIENATED FROM CHRIST. You have FALLEN FROM GRACE

    Galatians 3:2 I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith?[c] 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh?

    f a person with a wife lives as if they did not have a wife, and does not come to dinner when the wife calls, that person may lose a wife

    If you have a wife, do not worry about it. if you do not have a wife, do not worry about it.

    because of the present situation

    I Corinthians 7: I have no command from the Lord, but I do give an opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 Therefore I consider this to be good because of the present distress: It is fine for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife.

    I Corinthians 7: 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. PEOPLE WHO MARRY WILL HAVE TROUBLE IN THIS LIFE and I am trying to spare you. 29 And I say this, brothers: The time is limited, so from now on those who have wives should be AS IF they had none

    the subjunctive

    I Corinthians 7: 17 However, each one must live his life in the situation the Lord assigned when God called him. This is what I command in all the churches. 18 Was anyone already circumcised when he was called? HE SHOULD NOT UNDO HIS CIRCUMCISION

  10. markmcculley Says:

    So it’s only credobaptist parents who sin, not also credobaptist grandparents? But the baby involved is already in the covenant before water, and therefore still in the covenant without water?

    WCF 28.4-5.
    4. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ, but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.
    5. Although it be a great sin to contedn or neglect this ordinance, yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it; or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.

    WLC 173 “such as are found to be ignorant or scandalous, notwithstanding their profession of the faith, and desire to come to the Lord’s supper, may and ought to be kept from that sacrament, by the power which Christ hath left in his church, until they receive instruction, and manifest their reformation
    Even if one doesn’t have children and one is a convinced antipedobaptist, one should not be admitted to the Supper in a genuinely Confessional Presbyterian church.

  11. markmcculley Says:

    God promised to Abraham a land and a seed (Gen chapters 12; 15; 17). The land promise will be fulfilled by the new earth and the seed promises was fulfilled in Abraham’s physical children and also in Christ (Gal 3:16) and also in the justification of all of God’s elect when they believe the gospel.

    The new covenant is now permanent and is distinct from the temporary Abrahamic covenant

    Judaizers still seek to present their infants to God on the basis of their parents being Chrsitians , as if God’s promises to Abraham meant that God had made a promise about the children of Christians.

    But Christ did not die for all the children of Christians, and God will save nobody for whom Christ did not die. Saying that God has grace for the children of Christians is cheating, because the gospel taught in the Old and New Testament teaches no such thing.

    Even those who add the water baptism of John the Baptist to their circumcision are not promised the lasting life which is knowing Jesus Christ.

    Judaizers take the three different promises to Abraham and try to turn those promises into a promise to them about their children being in the new covenant. And then these Judaizers talk out of both sides out of their mouths, on the one hand suggesting that their children may be born in the new covenant and then lose that “grace”. and then on the other hand, agreeing that their children are only in the new covenant “in a conditional sense” so that their children may end up with greater condemnation than those who have no Christian parents.

  12. markmcculley Says:

    Vos–. According to Davenant, all children baptized into the covenant are not only adopted and justified but also regenerated and sanctified. But Davenant distinguishes this justification, adoption, and regeneration from the benefits of salvation, incapable of being lost, that adults share in at their regeneration. For the children, he says, those gifts are sufficient to place them in a state of salvation. If they die in childhood, then on that basis they go to heaven. But for adults it is not sufficient. When a baptized child grows up, it may not be regarded as a living member of the church on the basis of the grace of baptism alone. Not that it has lost its initial grace, but it has lost its status as a child, and thereby its condition is changed. If no true conversion follows, then a baptized person who dies as an adult is lost.

    Vos—Baptism does not exist to effect regeneration, justification, and sanctification. In Davenant baptism becomes, in a Lutheran sense, the means ordained by God for begetting new life. Further, that there would be a partial forgiveness of sins and a partial justification is irreconcilable with Reformed principles. It will not do to say that original sin is taken away but the guilt of actual sin remains. Also, it cannot be that the merits of Christ would be applied to someone for regeneration, justification, and sanctification without the one to whom they are applied being included in election. There is no application (though certainly an offer) of the merits of the Mediator except for those who have been given to Him by the Father. Finally, with the subsequent loss of these gifts of grace one comes into the greatest difficulties. Christ has suffered for that forgiven guilt, for on that basis it is forgiven. But now that forgiveness is lost again, and the person in view is punished for it personally. There is then a double retribution, first borne by Christ and then by the person himself.

    Vos: As far as regeneration, justification, and sanctification are concerned, a child can do with nothing less than an adult. The true spiritual life that is given in regeneration is sufficient for an adult to live for God. It cannot be made insufficient by the development of natural life. One would then have to assume that regeneration was really lost again, and that would be equivalent to teaching an apostasy of the saints. Davenant’s view is not tenable for one who is Reformed.

    Geerhardus Vos, Reformed Dogmatics

  13. markmcculley Says:

    Warfield– If only a single infant dying in irresponsible infancy be saved, the whole Arminian principle is traversed. If all infants dying such are saved, not only the majority of the saved, but doubtless the majority of the human race hitherto, have entered into life by a non-Arminian pathway.”

    Mark McCulley—I know non-Reformed folks are basically too stupid to do inferences, but should we conclude from Warfield that a minority of sinners enter the kingdom of God by means of one of the five falsehoods of Arminianism? Does it really show the holiness and truth of God when God saves so many by the “Arminian pathway”?

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