Thursday

Examining Matilda!



Dr. Willis finished examining 
Matilda and went into the 
hallway to talk to her 
husband Bernie.

"I don't want to alarm 

you," he said to Bernie,
"but I don't like the way 

your wife looks at all."

"Me neither, Doc." replied 

Bernie. "But she's a great 
cook and real good with 
the kids."




+++

Listen To Rankin Wilbourne:



7 comments:

Jackson - USC said...

What did the post card from the UNC student say?

"Having a good time. Where am I?"

Professor Howdy said...

The Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud
command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet
call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After
that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up
together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And so we will be with the Lord forever. --1 Thessalonians 4
(Rapture Verse)

===============

*1889: First Jukebox Installed

The origins of the jukebox can be traced back to November 23, 1889
and an entrepreneur named Louis Glass. That's the day Glass
installed a coin-operated Edison cylinder phonograph in the Palais
Royale Saloon in San Francisco. It cost a nickel to play a single
selection from the machine, and there was no amplification or
speakers. Instead, there were four listening tubes. Despite the
technical limitations, the machine, popularly known as
"Nickel-in-the-Slot," was an instant success, earning over $1000 in
less than half a year.

Ravi Zacharias - RZIM said...

*If you reflect on the state of our world today, or the state of humanity
throughout all of history for that matter, will you not find that we are
indeed a needy people? The range of our needs and struggles is large in its
breadth, far-reaching in its scope, and universal in its application. Some
view religion as dressing up on Sundays and a fuzzy feeling of fellowship,
yet as lacking the equipment to deal with these ubiquitous struggles, or
what you might call “real life.” Yet the Scripture does not candy-coat or
sidestep life’s harsh realities. Over and over again, it portrays for us
real people with real problems—anguished individuals in need, crying for
one who might bring comfort to their weary heart, hope to their present
situation, and healing to their fractured life.

For example, consider the encounter between Jesus and the woman at the
well, recorded in John’s Gospel. The disciples had left Jesus in order to
buy food in the town. Upon returning, they were astounded to see him
talking to a Samaritan woman, for the woman epitomized all that was
oppressed or rejected in that society. She was deemed inferior as a woman,
despised ethnically as a Samaritan, discarded from five failed marriages,
and confused as to how to find God in her fragmented world.

In their dialogue, Jesus began his tender yet determined task to disarm her
well-doctored theological jargon so that she could voice the genuine cry of
her heart. Almost like peeling off the layers of an onion, He moved her
away from her ploys of hiding her hurts, to the radiant source of her
greatest fulfillment: Himself. She had come to find water for the thirst of
her body, and He fulfilled a greater thirst-that of her soul.

When the disciples returned, they awkwardly asked Jesus if He was hungry.
He replied, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Completely
bewildered, they wondered if someone had already fed Him. They were on an
entirely different level of hungers and thirsts while He was about His
Father’s business: To share the bread of life and open the spring of living
water so that one need never thirst again. In this simple narrative
converge our hungers and God’s desire to fulfill those inner hungers and
satisfy those deep longings.

Are you thirsty, dear friend? Come, drink freely of this water. As Jesus
told the woman, whoever drinks the water that He gives will never thirst
again.

Professor Howdy said...

In India it is perfectly proper for men to wear pajamas in
public. Pajamas are accepted as standard daytime wearing
apparel.

***

The movie Jerry Maguire (1996) was Tom Cruise's fifth
consecutive $100-million-plus film, an industry record.
Now he gets little box office attention.

***

The pyramids in Egypt contain enough stone and mortar to
construct a wall 10 feet high and 5 feet wide running from
New York City to Los Angeles.

Professor Howdy said...

"In a recent speech,
Barack Obama said he
has visited all
57 states. "

-Conan O'Brien

Anonymous said...

A Scriptural Critique of Infant Baptism

by
John MacArthur




A couple of weeks ago I gave a message on the issue of baptism and when
I introduced that I was going to do that, I said that I wanted to give a
follow-up message on the issue of infant baptism and I’m going to do that
this morning. Now, I confess that this may seem a little more like a
theological class lecture; you may feel like you’ve just enrolled at the
Master's Seminary—that’s O.K. I warn you in the back rows there, who may
tend to wander anyway, because you’re so far away—hang in there. This is
really, I think, a provocative, and important, and far-reaching issue to
deal with.

Let me explain for some of you who might not understand. There is a
widespread belief in the Church that babies are to be baptized. And so,
soon after their birth, they are taken to the church whether it’s a Roman
Catholic church, or whether it’s a Presbyterian church, or whether it’s a
Reformed church, or a Lutheran church, an Anglican church, an Episcopalian
church…They are taken to the church and they are sprinkled with water
on the head—a little bit of water is dripped on their head and that
constitutes
their "Christian" baptism. This is very widespread. This is all over the
world, in fact. This is the influence of the post-reformation European
church and it has spread wherever that influence has gone.

Now, the result of this is that you have baptized non-Christians all over
the world. They were baptized as infants with what they believe was a
Christian baptism and an initiation into the church—and an initiation into
salvation. Yet, they are not Christians; they have never come to personal
confession of faith in Christ and so they were baptized but they’re
non-Christians. On the other hand, you have the same group of people who are
actually not baptized at all because that baptism is not New Testament
baptism. So, they are baptized non-Christians who have never really been
baptized at all, in the true sense.

It is also true that many people are—particularly in that movement—many
people do come to true faith in Christ. They may start by being baptized as
an infant in a Presbyterian, or Lutheran, or Reformed church, or Anglican,
or Episcopalian church, or whatever church it is that does infant
baptism…they are baptized as a child, they do come to true faith in Jesus
Christ, but are never baptized by immersion because the church teaches that
that is not appropriate. In fact, after the Reformation, if somebody was
rebaptized, who was baptized as an infant, they were labeled an "Anabaptist"
and persecuted.

It was not uncommon for that persecution to reach a fever pitch so that
after the Reformation, you had Protestant people who believed in infant
baptism persecuting people who believed in believers’ baptism. It became a
serious issue, even to the point where some people who believed in adult
immersion after confession of faith in Christ and were rebaptized, were
killed. So, this was a heated issue. We can be glad it isn’t quite that
furious today, but it is still an issue of immense importance in the church,
because as I said, you have baptized non-Christians and unbaptized
Christians. In both cases you have a problem, a serious problem.

We have, certainly, the present largest unbaptized population of professing
Christians ever. That unbaptized population would be made up of people who
were baptized as infants and don’t feel they need to be baptized; therefore,
they are really unbaptized in the true way. All those other people who are
hearing the gospel today through television and radio and in the sort of
"seeker-friendly" churches where baptism is not practiced. So, you have this
massive population of unbaptized professing Christians everywhere.

Now, few things in the New Testament are more unmistakable than the issue of
baptism. It’s just plain and simple. Jesus said, "Go and preach the gospel
and baptize." Peter said, "Repent and be baptized." It couldn’t be much more
clearly expressed than that. Even so, we have wide-spread noncompliance to
this issue.

Now, this is of great importance to me, because I feel that as a Christian
preacher, as a Christian pastor, as a shepherd of God’s flock, as somebody
who’s responsible to the Lord for ministry, I need to preserve what is
precious to the Lord, right?…in the church.

Now, there are only two ordinances the Lord gave us—just two. He gave us
baptism and the Lord’s Table. And He said, "Just do these two things. They
are symbols." Baptism, as we know, is a symbol depicting the death of an
individual in Christ, the burial, and resurrection in the newness of life.
The Lord’s Table is a symbol of the cross—both the body of Jesus Christ,
symbolized in the bread, and the blood of Christ, symbolized in the cup and
we are enjoined to carry those out in the church.

This is important to me because it’s part of the stewardship of
responsibility that I have to discharge before the Lord. It grieves me that
there are some churches, like the Quakers’ church and the Friends’ church,
that will not practice communion. It also grieves me that there are many,
many churches—many of them—thousands upon thousands of them—tens of
thousands of them all over the world, that will not properly practice
Christian baptism in spite of what the New Testament says. This is a matter
of obedience—this is a matter of honor to the Lord and it’s of great
importance to me.

Some years ago I was invited to be the president of a great educational
institution here in our country and as I was contemplating whether I wanted
to leave the pastorate, here at Grace Church, some years ago and go do this,
the thing that stuck in my mind most was if I was there, I wouldn’t be able
to discharge my calling from the Lord to lead the church. It struck me, and
I said this to the people at the time, "I can’t do this because I need to
lead the people of God in the ordinances that the Lord has commanded us,
because I believe he’s given me to the church. How am I going to baptize
people and how am I going to lead them to the Lord’s Table in that
environment?" This is always been very important to me because the Lord didn’t
give us that much that we would get confused about it and He wants us to
carry the responsibility out.

Baptism is critically important and I went into that two weeks ago. Baptism
is critically important. It is to be understood and it is to be practiced.
Standing in the way of that understanding is a huge barrier and that huge
barrier is infant baptism. As I said, most of the mass evangelized TV/Radio
stadium converts are left to themselves and maybe never even hear about
baptism. They don’t have any accountability for baptism; not under any
church authority…but, in addition to them, you have this huge crowd of
millions of people who believe in infant baptism. That too, confuses the
issue greatly and acts as a barrier to a true understanding of baptism and
to obedience to that understanding.

It’s not a minor matter—it has never been a minor matter. As I said, during
the time of the Reformation, people were called heretics if they were
baptized in a New Testament way, by those who were infant baptizers. They
were persecuted and, as I said, in some cases, executed.

Now, as years have gone on, we’ve gotten kind of comfortable and just sort
of said, "Well, they believe in infant baptism and we don’t, and they’re our
brothers and sisters," and that’s true, and it’s certainly not a reason to
call them non-Christians, and it’s certainly not right to call them
heretics, and it’s certainly not appropriate to not have fellowship with
them, but it is right to truly understand what Scripture says, so that they
can come into obedience and compliance with the Word of God. Time has come,
after all these years since the Reformation, to strip off these remnants of
Catholicism that never got dealt with during the Reformation and have been
perpetuated, and return to the simple New Testament design—and I want to
address that with you this morning.

Now, there are five reasons why I reject infant baptism. I’m telling you
folks, I can’t get all that I want to say out this morning so you’re only
going to get, I hope, the best of what’s here. But, these are very important
points.

1. Point number one, and this ought to end the argument:
infant baptism is not in Scripture.


Infant baptism is not in Scripture, and against that statement, there is no
evidence—there is no refuting of that statement. Scripture nowhere advocates
infant baptism. It nowhere mentions infant baptism. It doesn’t exist in the
Bible; there is no example of it, there is no comment on it, it’s not there.
It is therefore impossible to prove that infant baptism is valid, from the
New Testament. It’s impossible to support it from the New Testament or for
that matter, from the Old Testament.

A German theologian, Schleiermacher, wrote, "All traces of infant baptism
which have been asserted to be found in the New Testament, must first be
inserted there." He’s right. The host of German and front rank "Theologs"
and scholars of the Church of England—the Church of England, the Anglican
Church, which believes in infant baptism—a host of their scholars have
united to affirm not only the absence of infant baptism from the New
Testament, but from apostolic and post-apostolic times. It isn’t in the New
Testament and it didn’t exist in the earliest church. They believe it arose
around the 2nd or 3rd century.

A Lutheran professor, Kurt Aland, after intensive study of infant baptism,
says, "There is no definite proof of the practice until after the 3rd
century," and he says, "This cannot be contested." A Catholic professor of
theology, Hegerbocker (sp.), writes, "This controversy has shown that it is
not possible to bring in absolute proof of infant baptism by basing one’s
argument on the Bible." Good. B.B. Warfield, who is no mean theologian, was
an astute and really a great, great theologian who, again, influenced my
life in my seminary days…B.B. Warfield affirmed—he was, by the way, an
advocate of infant baptism—but, he affirmed the absence of infant baptism
from the Bible.

Among the Calvinists—among the Reformed people—there is a very important
principle which many of them like to use. It’s called the "regulative
principle" and it says this, "If Scripture doesn’t command it, it is
forbidden." Now, if they would just stick with that, they would be all
right. If Scripture doesn’t command it, it cannot be introduced into the
church as normative. The theme of the Reformation, of course, "sola fide,"
"sola gratia," "sola Christus"—that is faith alone, grace alone, Christ
alone—also, "sola scriptura," Scripture alone. The theme, the great byword
of the Reformation was "Scripture only, Scripture only, Scripture,
Scripture, Scripture." And yet, if you go to Scripture, you cannot find one
single solitary word about infant baptism—it’s not in the Bible.

It still is defended, however, amazingly, and still practiced as if it was
Biblical. It’s really amazing. I can understand how people within the
Protestant church can disagree about an interpretation of Scripture…I really
find it very hard for myself to understand how they can argue about
something that isn’t in the Bible, as over-against what is. It’s one thing
to say, "Well, I understand that passage this way and you understand it that
way…I understand that doctrine this way and you understand it that way,"—it’s
another thing to say, "I believe what’s in the Bible," and, "I don’t. I
believe what’s outside the Bible." That’s a completely different issue, but
that, in fact, is what we have.

Now, I would expect Roman Catholicism to engage in that practice because
Roman Catholicism has two sources of authority. On the one hand, they have
the Bible; on the other hand—and it’s as empty as my right hand—they have
tradition. You see where the weight is. But, in the Catholic system, there
is what is called "tradition." It is known as "tradition" or the
"magisterium." It is the accumulation of materials outside the Bible that
bear equal authority with the Scripture. Now, we’re not surprised then, that
the Roman Catholic system—because they believe that the Catholic Church is
the unique recipient of post-Biblical revelation—that is to say, God has
given His Word to the church beyond the Bible and, therefore, it carries
equal weight with Scripture. We’re not surprised that a system that believes
there is extra-Biblical material that has equal weight with Scripture, would
come up with infant baptism and make it an absolute in their system…not
surprising.

In fact, the Roman Catholic Church asserts, that it is, the only recipient
of revelation beyond the Bible…not only is it the only recipient of
revelation, but it is the only and infallible interpreter of all revelation,
both traditional and Biblical. So, when we know that Roman Catholics baptize
babies, that fits into their magisterium, but when you come to Reformation
people who say, "Scripture, only Scripture, only…" and they had a
Reformation and they basically dumped tradition and they dumped the
magisterium and they said, "It’s the Bible! It’s the Bible! It’s the Bible!"
how come they hung onto infant baptism? It’s not there. It’s a relic of
Popery.

Now, we would understand the church history would be Rome’s
hermeneutic—"hermeneutic" is word that has to do with an interpretation—we
would understand that history can interpret the Bible for Rome, but history
can’t interpret the Bible for us. It doesn’t matter to a Bible interpreter
what history has done, what some counsel said, what some Pope said; it doesn’t
matter what some visionary said—the way you interpret Scripture is not by
something outside of it, but by what is in it, right? The Bible is it’s own
interpreter. Use normal historical, grammatical interpretation—you take the
words as they are, you interpret the Scripture with the Scripture…you don’t
need tradition…you don’t need the magisterium of some religious system.

Church history can be Rome’s hermeneutic. In other words, they interpret the
Bible from their tradition. But, it has never been the hermeneutic of the
Reformed. It has never been our hermeneutic to say, "Well, I don’t know what
that means so let me consult some Pope." The Jews did that in the Old
Testament. They say, "Well, we’re not sure what this means so let’s ask
Rabbi so-and-so." If you don’t know what the Bible means, you don’t go to
somebody who has infallible revelation as to it’s meaning; you dig into the
text to discern it. God does not interpret Scripture through history. God
does not interpret Scripture through tradition, through rights or ceremonies
or doctrines that are true simply because some religious system says they’re
true. Only an honest interpretation of Scripture in which you exegete the
text itself can yield the meaning of that Scripture. Reading traditional
history back into the Bible is not a legitimate way to interpret it. History
is no hermeneutic.

Now, it is also true that Scripture—they will bring this up—they’ll say
this, "Yes, it’s not in the Bible, but it’s also true that Scripture no
where forbids infant baptism. Now, if I can get into debate and we’re going
to debate that point, I think I can win. You’re telling me that it’s O.K.
because it’s not there? It should be an ordinance of the church because it’s
not there? Do you realize how much is not there? You could make an ordinance
out of everything that’s not there! I mean, just use your imagination and
figure out where that could go.

That’s nothing—that’s nothing but an argument from silence which is no
argument at all. It provides no basis for acceptance, certainly no basis for
a mandate for infant baptism as some kind of ubiquitous, divinely-ordained
ordinance that all children of believers or all children of church members
ought to engage in. The fact that it is not there proves absolutely
nothing—expect it proves that it’s not valid. It certainly doesn’t prove
anything on it’s behalf. To justify that sprinkling of babies should be done
because it’s not forbidden in Scripture is to standardize what’s not in the
Bible as if it were standard, for the church. It’s to imprint with divine
authority something that men invent—to open the way to any ritual, any
ceremony, any teaching, any anything that isn’t forbidden specifically in
Scripture.

In fact, at the time of the Reformation. . .we all associate Martin Luther,
you know, the monk who saw the truth of the gospel by faith and grace and
confronted the Roman Catholic Church—went up one day and you know, nailed
his thesis to on the door of Wittenberg there. . .the 1500’s and this was a
big moment. He was calling the church to take a good, hard look at, of
course, selling indulgences—they were telling people that you could get
forgiveness of your sins if you paid enough money to the church. You could
buy an indulgence and, in other words, you could buy forgiveness. He didn’t
like that and we don’t blame him for that. Then, he went from there to
understanding justification by faith.

Martin Luther said the only way you’re redeemed is through faith and grace,
and we all understand that and that’s what gave birth to the Reformation.
And Luther went so far as to say that it has to come out of the Bible.
Luther really fought the Catholic system. Let me quote what he said. "The
church needs to rid itself of all false glories that torture Scripture by
inserting personal ideas into the Scripture which lend to it their own
sense. No!" he said. "Scripture! Scripture! Scripture! For me, constrain,
press, compel me with God’s Word!" That’s Martin Luther.

Martin Luther—he wasn’t just some stumbling, bumbling, local monk—he was a
brilliant doctor of theology. Martin Luther was one of the brightest
theologians in the entire Catholic Church at the time. He was saying, "It’s
Scripture, Scripture, Scripture!" for him. Well, there is nothing in the
Scripture about infant baptism. In a minute, I’ll tell you what happened to
Luther in the transition from what he just said to, eventually, capitulating
to do infant baptisms.

Another thing the baby-baptizers use for support is they try to go to
Matthew 18, where Jesus said in verse 3, "Except you become as a little
child, you can’t enter the kingdom." Well, that’s not talking about babies;
that’s talking about believers. You have to become like a little child to
get into the kingdom. What does that mean? Well, if you’re going to come
into God’s kingdom, you don’t come with the record of all your great
achievements. You haven’t got any—a little child has no achievements, right?
A little child has accomplished nothing, done nothing. They are not
productive; have you noticed? They don’t do anything. They just have to have
things done to them all the time. They don’t achieve anything, accomplish
anything…they don’t make any contribution at all except just the sheer joy
of their presence.

That’s what the Lord is saying: you come into the kingdom without any
achievements, without any accomplishments, without any curriculum vita,
without having achieved anything or accomplished anything…you come in naked
and bare and stripped and needy. That’s how you come.

He’s talking to the religious leaders and he’s talking to the disciples and
saying, "Don’t expect that somehow all the stuff you’ve achieved is going to
get you into the kingdom. Remember the apostle Paul, Philippians 3, "You
know I was of the circumcision, circumcised the eighth day, of the tribe of
Benjamin, of the people of Israel," you know, "zealous as to the law"…went
through the whole deal and he said at the end: it’s manure. Right? It’s
manure; I can’t bring that list of achievements. That’s all Jesus is saying.

In Matthew 19 and Mark 10, you remember Jesus said to disciples, "Let the
little children come to me"…remember the little children came to him? That’s
another Scripture they like to use and it says, "Let the little children
come to me. Don’t forbid them for such is the kingdom of heaven." Jesus
gathered up the little children, there in Matthew 19 and Mark 10 (both
record it), and He blessed them. Well, in the first place, how could that
advocate infant baptism—He didn’t baptize them. That’s no evidence of
anything about baptism…He just picked up some little children and said, "God
has a special care for these little ones who are too young to either reject
the truth or accept the truth…God has a special care for them," and He
pulled them into His arms and He demonstrated that special care by blessing
them.

They weren’t, necessarily, the children of believing parents—we don’t even
know who their parents were! For all we know, some of them could have been
Gentile kids and they might have been uncircumcised pagans. The idea that
you baptize all these infants of believing parents or of church member
parents, based upon that Scripture, is just beyond connection. Jesus didn’t
baptize them. Jesus didn’t cause them to be baptized. He didn’t suggest that
they be baptized. He didn’t say anything about their parents, whether they
were believing or non-believing parents. All He said was, by what He did,
"Children are precious to God; He takes care of them; He blesses them." That’s
all.

Then, the people who believe in infant baptisms, try to advocate it, from
two books: Acts and I Corinthians. In Acts and I Corinthians, you have five
mentions of a household—and they say, "Well, in a household you must have
babies and it says that households were baptized; therefore, babies were
baptized." Well, certainly that’s an inference. It doesn’t say that. There’s
never an incident of a baby being baptized in any of those households—it
never identifies them. "Households" simply mean—could mean "family, could
mean "servants" who were a part of that household.

They suggest that some babies were baptized in those households as an act of
solidarity. The father, they say, served as a surrogate for the faith of the
children. Surrogate faith? What is that? You mean I can believe, and my
child is saved by my faith? That’s not what the New Testament teaches. That’s
a severe challenge to individual salvation as well as an insertion into the
text because no babies are ever mentioned and no babies are ever mentioned
being baptized. Look at these five, I’ll just run them by quickly:

1. Cornelius’ house—Acts 10. The gospel was preached by Peter, Cornelius
heard it…it says, "They all heard the Word…they believed it…the Spirit
fell…they were all baptized." All heard, all believed, the Spirit came on
all, they were all baptized.

2. In the jailer’s house—Acts 16 is the next one…Philippian jailer. Paul,
you remember, gave him the gospel, it says, "All heard the gospel…all were
baptized."

3. Chapter 18, it was in the house of Crispus, "All believed…all were
baptized."

The other two occur in I Corinthians. The other two are the account of Lydia
and Stephanas—Lydia is in the book of Acts.

4. But, in the case of Lydia, it’s the same thing. We must understand the
same thing must have occurred—they heard, they believed, they were baptized.

5. Stephanas: They heard, they believed, they were baptized.

I mean, it’s all basically the same pattern. They all hear the gospel, they
all believe, they all receive the Spirit, they all are baptized. That
excludes infants because infants can’t hear and believe. The "household"
then is defined—it is defined as "those capable of hearing, understanding,
believing." That’s the definition of the "household."

In Stephanas’ household, which is in I Corinthians, chapter 1, "All who were
baptized," it says, "All who were baptized were devoted to the ministry of
the saints." Babies can’t be devoted to the ministry of the saints. It says,
"All who were baptized were helping in the spiritual work of the church." It’s
impossible for infants.

In the case of Lydia, in Acts, "her heart was opened when she heard the
gospel. The gospel was preached and her heart was opened," it says. So, we
understood she heard the gospel, she believed…others must have heard the
gospel, their hearts were opened, and they believed and they were baptized.
By the way, to assume there were children in the house is maybe stretching
it since, apparently, she had no husband. She, apparently, was a single
person.

In John 4, in verse 53, it says about a nobleman—you know, whom Jesus talked
with and He healed his son—it says about that man, "He himself believed and
his whole household." They all believed. Household belief, then household
baptism. Where there is no faith, there is no baptism.

In Acts 2:38—let me show you this. Turn in your Bible for a minute to Acts
2:38. Here is another Scripture which they use to defend infant baptism.
Acts 2:38—Peter is closing the sermon on the day of Pentecost and he says,
in verse 38, "Repent…let each of you be baptized!" So, we see the sequence:
repent, be baptized. "And, you’ll receive forgiveness and you’ll receive the
gift of the Holy Spirit…" Then, in verse 39, "For the promise," he says, "is
for you and your"—what?—"children." "Oh," they say. "See, the promise here
for the children. This is an important Scripture." "Repent and be baptized
and the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off as
many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself." Now, they see "your
children" as an allusion to the baptism of children. And, of course, that’s
a stretch. There’s nothing about baptism of children here whatsoever.

Well, what is being said here? Do you understand what’s being said? He’s
talking to some Jews, O.K.? And, there gathered around him…it’s the day of
Pentecost and they’re in the city of Jerusalem…and he said, "Look. I’m
saying to you, ‘Repent, come to faith in Christ, be baptized in His name…you’ll
receive the forgiveness of your sins, you’ll receive the gift of the Holy
Spirit and this promise is not only for you, but it’s for your children."

Now, how obvious is that? What is he saying? He’s saying, "This isn’t
isolated to the crowd today—this is for anybody who comes into the future."
Right? This is for your children, and your children’s children, and your
children’s children’s children…He’s simply saying this promise goes on and
on and on, and for all who are far off, it’s for Gentiles too. So he’s
saying, "For your children, Jews in the future, and for Gentiles as well in
the future." Anybody who repents of sin, anybody who believes in the Lord
Jesus Christ, anybody who receives the forgiveness of sin and the gift of
the Holy Spirit—that promise is fulfilled to anybody whether they’re Jew or
Gentile.

That’s all he’s saying here. There’s nothing about babies here. The children
he’s speaking about are the offspring of crowd there. This is for all future
generations to be called to the same salvation promises and the same
salvation blessings.



Now, one other Scripture they use is I Corinthians 7 and I’ll show you this
one and then I’ll make some more general comments. I Corinthians, chapter 7,
verses 12-14, is another Scripture they like to use. Again, it doesn’t say
anything about baptism at all, none of them do, but this is where they have
to go if they’re going to try to find a Biblical foundation.

Now, he’s talking to people in various marital situations here and in verse
12, he says, "Look, this is something I’m going to say to you; it’s not a
direct quote of Jesus—it’s still inspired and it’s from God—but it’s not
directly quoted from Jesus." He’s been saying some things that come right
out of the instruction of Jesus, but he says, "I’m saying this. This isn’t
quoting the Lord here, but here’s the principle. If any brother has a wife
who is an unbeliever"—OK, you’ve got an unconverted wife; your wife’s not a
Christian and she wants to live with you. She doesn’t want to separate. She’s
not a Christian; she doesn’t believe, but she wants to be with you—"then,
you shouldn’t send her away." You shouldn’t send her away. That means
divorce; that’s the word for divorce in the Greek. "Don’t divorce her."

You see, the idea was: Christians were coming to Christ and they were
saying, "Wow! You know, I don’t want to be unequally yoked with an
unbeliever," he just got through saying that in chapter 6, you know, and you
don’t want to be connected up with anybody who’s sinful…so maybe you’re
married to an unbeliever and you don’t want to continue that relationship,
you want to marry a Christian…Well, look. If that unbeliever wants to stay,
you keep that marriage together. The next verse says, in the reverse, if the
woman has an unbelieving husband and he consents to live with her, don’t
send him away. So, stay in that marriage even though you have an unconverted
spouse.

Why? Verse 14, "The unbelieving husband is sanctified," what does that mean?
"Set apart," set apart to what? To blessing. What happens to that unbeliever
is, by being married to a believer, he gets the spillover of God’s work in
your life. He gets the spillover of God’s blessing. God is so kind and God
is so gracious! For the sake of that unbeliever, God would like him to just
hang around so he could enjoy the blessings that God pours out on you.

And, then he winds it up at the end of verse 14 and says the same is true
with children. If you separate, then you’ve got a problem of the children.
Otherwise, your children are unclean, but now they are holy. The word means
"separate." What happens is you’ve separated your children from blessing. If
you keep that home together, even with an unconverted husband or an
unconverted wife, the blessing that God pours on the believer is going to
spill on the husband or wife and it’s going to spill on the children.

It doesn’t mean that the child is a believer. It doesn’t mean the child is
in the covenant community. It doesn’t mean the child should…where’s baptism?
It isn’t here! A very simple principle: it’s good to keep a marriage
together if an unbeliever is willing to stay there, because then blessing
will come down on that unbeliever and down on those children. Who knows, but
what that blessing could lead them to faith. No mention of baptism;
absolutely none. Just don’t get separated and divorced if it’s not
necessary, so that unbelievers and children can enjoy the spillover of God’s
blessing on the believer in that marriage.

Well, the full counsel of God is either expressly set forth in
Scripture—listen carefully—it’s either expressly set forth in Scripture or
it can be necessarily, compellingly, and validly deduced by good and logical
consequence. I’ll say that again. The full counsel of God is either
expressly set forth in Scripture or can be necessarily, compellingly, and
validly deduced by good and logical consequence. In other words, it’s either
there explicitly or it’s there implicitly and you can easily draw it out,
like the doctrine of the Trinity, for example. But, this issue of infant
baptism just isn’t there in any way, shape, or form and it is not
necessarily, compellingly, and validly deduced by good and logical
consequence. It’s just not there.

2. The second reason is really the other side of the issue. I don’t believe
in infant baptism because infant baptism is not Christian baptism.

What is in the Bible is Christian baptism. I already dealt with this two
weeks ago; I’m just going to comment on it briefly. Christian baptism is
this: somebody believes as an adult, they repent of their sin, they confess
Jesus as Lord, they acknowledge Him as Savior, they are saved, then they are
baptized. That is New Testament Christian baptism. It’s definitive. It’s
meaning is clear. It’s mode is inescapable. The word "bapto," "baptizo,"
means "to immerse" or "submerge." Every single time it is used in the book
of Acts, it is talking about the immersion of a believer. Even John Calvin
said, "The word ‘baptize’ means ‘to immerse’ and it is certain that
immersion," he says, "was the practice of the early church." Of course, that’s
what the word means.

They had a different word for sprinkle, it was the word "rhantizo." This
ordinance was very clearly designed by God. When a person believes, here’s a
public way to confess their faith: put them down in the water and bring them
out. Why? Because it’s a symbol of their death, burial, and resurrection
with Christ. Remember, we went through that two weeks ago. It is a picture,
an object lesson, a symbol, a visual analogy of a spiritual truth. Clearly
unmistakable.

The only distinctive—if you were to go through everything to the core of the
Christian faith, it would be this: I am in Christ and Christ is in me.
Right? That’s it. I’m in Christ. It’s a great doctrine of imputation—my sins
imputed to Him, His righteousness imputed to me. God treats Him as if He
lived my life and He died on the cross bearing my sins. God treats me as if
I lived His life; God sees me perfectly righteous and takes me into His
glorious heaven. It’s that I’m in Christ and Christ is in me. I was buried
with Him in baptism, Romans 6 says, and I have risen to walk in newness of
life. Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live."
Galatians 3:27, "We were baptized into Christ." Colossians 2:12 and 13, same
thing.

Baptism pictures the fact that, by the divine power of God, when you come to
faith in Christ, you’re joined with Christ and you die in Him. Your old life
dies at the cross with Him and you rise in His resurrection to walk in
newness of life. That is symbolized in immersion very obviously. We are
literally immersed into Christ—into his death, into his burial, and into his
resurrection and now we are joined with Him in one life.

That’s why the Bible can say, "Go and make disciples, baptizing them,"
because baptizing was synonymous with evangelizing, synonymous with saving
faith. They were inseparable—one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Baptism
became, really, the expression—the word used to define salvation…they were
inseparable. We know what New Testament baptism is; it’s a person repenting,
believing, embracing Christ—spiritually they, therefore, are united with
Christ and that is symbolized as they go down into the water and rise. Their
old life dies and they rise in newness of life with Christ. I think the
Church needs to get back into this understanding of baptism. The fact that
the church doesn’t do this is tragic. It needs to be restored. I’m going to
give you some reasons why it needs to be restored.

One, in our day an open, public, solemn confession of the crucified risen
Lord is necessary. All who experience the reality of the power of the risen
Savior should give this public testimony to His glory.

Secondly, by Biblical baptism in the New Testament manner, believers give a
witness also to careful obedience to Scripture in which nothing can be
treated as unimportant. We say, when we are baptized, "Yes. The Bible says
it and I’m doing it." Therefore, you tell people you’re not only joined with
Christ, but you are obedient to Him.

Thirdly, by Biblical baptism believers testify—this is crucial—to a redeemed
church. I’ll say more about that later. By Biblical baptism, believers
testify to a redeemed church. The point there, just as a hint, is you’ve got
all kinds of people who were infant baptized, who, at the time of their
infant baptism, were supposedly ushered into the church. They have nothing
to do with the church now, what are they? They’re a part of an unredeemed
church, confused by infant baptism.

Fourthly, by Biblical baptism, believers give fundamental rejection of all
human regulations through which, clear Biblical teaching has been obscured
or curtailed or supplemented. Baptism becomes an apologetic for the truth
and a denunciation for error.

Number five, by Biblical baptism the church signifies a public renunciation
of the nominal and mass Christianity of our day. We make it real and
personal in believer’s baptism.

Finally, in Biblical baptism the church calls for the reintroduction and
practice of Biblical New Testament church order and discipline.

Those are reasons why its so very important. The great commission makes it
very, very clear—for Jesus the order was very clear. You preach the gospel,
they believe, they’re baptized, and they obey. That’s it.

Do you know, in 1955, the Anglican Church—which baptizes babies—the Anglican
Church did a study on baptism. This is what it says—1955 report, "Every
expression in the New Testament concerning the rights of baptism assumes
that the convert receives them with living faith and a renunciation of his
old former life." That’s right! "It is clear," it says, "that the New
Testament doctrine of baptism is established with reference to the baptism
of adults." Adults with living faith—that’s New Testament baptism.

Where in the world does this infant thing come from then? It’s not in the
Bible; Christian baptism is in the Bible and it’s very clear what it is. It’s
the immersion of people who have believed as adults.

3. Third point, why I reject infant baptism: it is not a replacement sign
for the Abrahamic sign of circumcision.

Now don’t get too carried away here; this isn’t going to be as complicated
as you think. Infant baptism is not a replacement sign for the Abrahamic
sign of circumcision. Now, let me give you the bottom line. Infant baptism
says this. This is the theology of it: the old covenant sign was a baby
circumcised. That introduced them into the covenant. So, we need a parallel.
The parallel sign is baby baptism. That’s in the new covenant; that
introduces them into the new covenant. Sounds good. In the old covenant,
they had a circumcision which introduced them into the covenant community.
In the new covenant, we have the baby baptism which introduces the infant
into the covenant community. That’s the logic.

You know what? Those two things just don’t go together ever in the Bible. It’s
a nice thought; just isn’t Biblical. Scripture never makes that connection.
There’s not a verse they could point to. There’s not a passage they could
point to, either by explicit terms or by implicit. There’s not one place in
the Bible where baptism is ever connected to circumcision, period…no place.

So, any connection is purely manufactured. So, without Scriptural support,
without Scriptural connection, they infer that baby baptism is the new
covenant equivalent of old covenant circumcision. Now, let me make a very
simple few statements so you’ll understand just exactly what the difference
is.

It’s true. In the Old Testament, little boys, on the eighth day after their
birth, were circumcised. Girls weren’t so that poses a real problem in
paralleling the new covenant since girls can come into the new covenant too.
But, little boys were circumcised the eighth day. Now, that introduced
them—listen carefully—that introduced them into an earthly, temporal
community of people. That introduced them into the nation Israel, as it
were. It was physical and it was temporal. That’s what it was.

In the new covenant, there is no "physical" community. We don’t have a
nation; we don’t have a land. We aren’t a duly constituted people, ruled
over…We don’t an order of priests. We don’t have a king. We are a spiritual
community. There’s a big, big difference. Circumcision was the sign of
ethnic identity. It was the physical participation in the temporal features
of the Abrahamic covenant. Listen carefully: it didn’t have any spiritual
implications at all. None! Because most of the people who were
circumcised—the vast majority of Israelites who were circumcised, went to
hell. You understand that? They rejected the true and living God; they
worshipped idols. Right? That’s the history of Israel. In the present, most
of the Jewish people, who are circumcised, will perish without the knowledge
of God. In the future, two-thirds, it says, of the nation Israel, will be
purged out and be judged eternally by God and He’ll save a third and bring
them into His kingdom. The vast majority of Jews will perish without the
knowledge of God.

Not all Israel is Israel. What did God say? Circumcise your—hearts. You see,
the spiritual promises and realities that God offered Israel didn’t come to
them by any right or ceremony or ritual. All circumcision did was mark them
out as a part of the nation Israel. They entered into the physical
participation, the ethnic identity, the temporal features of the nation
Israel that was under blessing, promised by God to Abraham. It was an
earthly blessing, not salvation. That’s why Paul said, "I was circumcised
the eighth day and that’s manure. That did nothing for me savingly; I was on
my way to hell and I had been circumcised," Philippians 3.

A person born in Israel of Abrahamic seed was physically related to
temporal, external privileges; nothing more. Now you come into the New
Testament—the new covenant—this is dramatically different. There is no
physical participation. There is no temporal, earthly feature attached to
this—we don’t have a land, we don’t have a place. Under the old
administration, the Abrahamic covenant during the Mosaic era, you entered
the earthly, natural, covenantal community by birth, and by circumcision you
took the sign of that people. But, there was a small remnant in Israel that
really believed, wasn’t there? They entered into the special, spiritual
blessings.

But, in the new covenant, there are only those who believe, there are only
those who have come by repentance and faith. This is not the same at all.
There is absolutely no connection. All in the new covenant are believers.
All in the new covenant know God. Now, if the early church thought that
baptism was a replacement—baby baptism was a replacement for
circumcision—why isn’t that in the New Testament?

And then, why did the Judaizers who were going around telling everybody they
had to be circumcised, why didn’t Paul say to them, "Hey, you guys, that’s
over; baptism has taken it’s place. We don’t circumcise babies, we baptize
them." He could have put an end to the Judaizing deal with just one comment.
Now, why would they go into the Jerusalem counsel in Acts 15 and had this
big, long debate about what do we do about the circumcision…what do we do?
Why didn’t somebody just get up and say, "Oh…no, no. That’s out and baby
baptism has taken its place." That’s never said. Nobody ever says that.

The Abrahamic covenant had a unique feature: circumcision. All that meant
was you identified with the nation of Israel. Circumcision had a second
benefit: it was physically beneficial. Up until very modern times, Jewish
women had the lowest rate of cervical cancer of any people in the world
because circumcision does help prevent the passing on of certain diseases.
God knew that that would be a preservative in His people and He wanted to
preserve His people Israel because of His ultimate purpose for them. Also,
it was a sign of how desperately they needed to be cleansed on the inside…it’s
symbolic of that. But, the point was it just introduced you into the nation;
it didn’t save you. There is no parallel to this in the New Testament. There
is nothing that sort of ushers you into some earthly group. There’s just the
believers and they’re all in the new covenant.

You see, Jeremiah 31:34—Jeremiah in 31, is talking about the new covenant.
Listen to what he says; here’s the character of the new covenant, they are
very different from Israel under the old. Here’s what he says; this is the
most salient feature of the new covenant. Here it is—Jeremiah 31:34, "They
shall all know Me." That’s the difference. Under the old covenant, they didn’t
all know God. They didn’t know Him. Remember when Jesus came, He said, "If
you knew My Father, you’d know Me," didn’t He? "You don’t know My Father,
you don’t know Me."

In the new covenant, they all know God. You’re not even in the new covenant
unless you know God and the only way to know God is through Christ. That
means that all those who are members of the new covenant community know God
savingly. Membership in the new covenant is limited to those who have been
saved. Jeremiah is making a dramatic statement here. He’s saying, "I know
under the old covenant there were lots of folks who had the sign of the
covenant, there were lots of folks in the covenant community who didn’t know
God. But, in the new covenant, everybody in it is going to know God. That’s
distinctive. That’s conclusive. Circumcision was never a spiritual sign of
anything. Baptism is a spiritual sign of true inclusion in new covenant
salvation by grace through faith.

4. Well, let me give you a fourth reason. I reject infant baptism because
infant baptism is not consistent with the nature of the church.

I hinted at this earlier. Infant baptism is not consistent with the nature
of the church. This opens up proverbially Pandora’s box. There is so much
chaos at this point, it begs discussion.

It’s just impossible to solve the problem unless you go back to rejecting
infant baptism. Here’s what I mean. You have, for example, in the Roman
Catholic Church, millions and millions and millions of people who were
baptized. At their baptism, it was stated that this baptism ushered them
into the kingdom of heaven.

Are they part of the church? Is the church responsible for these people? Are
we responsible to shepherd these people who don’t believe? The vast majority
of those people obviously have no knowledge of God, no knowledge of Jesus
Christ. Millions of them have no connection to the church whatsoever. They
go about living their lives…are they a part of the church? Are we
responsible to shepherd these people? Should we discipline them?

You see, what happens is pedo-baptism destroys the redeemed church idea. It
just completely assaults the idea that this is a redeemed community of
people who have come to personal faith in Jesus Christ. Now you’ve got
something that’s so vast, that’s so ubiquitous [universal] that it’s
impossible even to define, let alone deal with. It confuses the visible
church with the invisible church and such confusion is not helpful. If
people, when they’re baptized as babies whether it’s in an Anglican church
or an Episcopalian or a Presbyterian church or a Lutheran church or whatever
it is, if that includes them in salvation in the kingdom of God and in the
church and they go on to live dissolute lives of sin and just carry on just
like the pagans that they are, are they really a part of the church? What in
the world is the church then? Is the church not redeemed?

You see, infant baptism perpetuates the same thing it did in Israel. You had
a whole bunch of circumcised kids who didn’t know God. Now, we have a whole
bunch of baptized babies who don’t know God either. If we’re going to carry
that over, we get the same result. The true church, however, unlike
Israel—Israel was a nation of people, earthly people—the true church is a
nation of believers. Whether somebody was baptized as a baby, whether they
were confirmed at the age of 12 or not, if they don’t know God personally
through faith in Jesus Christ, they do not belong to the Redeemed church.

There’s this huge confusion about: what is the church? Infant baptism just
totally throws this into chaos because the world is full of these
baby-baptized adults who range anywhere from the hypocritically religious
through the indifferent, to the blasphemous. They’re not in the church; they
can’t be included in the church and if infant baptism saved them, then
salvation doesn’t change anybody.

You say, well why is it in there then? Let me give it to you. Infant baptism
is a holdover from absolutist state church systems in Europe. I’ll give you
a little history here. Here’s what happened. Catholicism reigns till the
1500’s. . . 1500’s comes the Reformation. Catholicism built it’s power this
way: back in the 4th century, Constantine takes over (325 AD); he makes
Christianity the state religion and starts to persecute the people who aren’t
Christians—this is kind of a switch. It feels good for the Christians for a
while, but pretty soon it’s serious.

He decides that the greatest way to have power over the people is to have
religious power over the people, so he makes Christianity the State Religion
of Holy Roman Empire—starts calling it the Holy Roman Empire from about 325
AD on. Then he determines that we have to include everybody within the
purview of the Roman system. Everybody in their vast world kingdom has to be
included under this great power so we’ve got to baptize everybody and that’s
where infant baptism is introduced (in about the 3rd century or 4th
century).

In comes infant baptism. Infant baptism serves the power of the government
very well because now everybody is automatically in the kingdom of heaven,
which is the same as the government. Everybody is now in the church;
therefore, the government has power over them all. It creates national
solidarity. It allows the church and government to be one, the church and
the military to be one, the church and the body of politic to be one…and so
they can use the big club of God on everybody’s head.

So, now God is ruling through the Roman Empire…everybody’s a baptized
convert, everybody’s a baptized part of this thing, and you get this massive
monolithic, great kingdom that perpetuates itself for a thousand years. You
know, that’s remarkable. The great Babylonian kingdom, the first world
empire, lasted two hundred…the Medo-Persian lasted two hundred. These world
kingdoms…then the Greek kingdom came along—the third world came—it lasted
two hundred. But, the Roman system lasted a thousand years! Actually more
than a thousand years and they did it because they had this monolithic
religious structure, and infant baptism was the key to it because everybody
was baptized into the system; therefore, God was their authority as wielded
to the power of the system, and the Roman church took that power.

So, what happens is the Reformation comes…now, all of a sudden, the
Protestants pull out and they’re these little, sort-of weak groups of
Christian people and they feel over-powered. The Reformation starts to gain
some momentum, gain some ground…larger numbers of people join in the
Reformation and they want some power. How are they going to get it? How are
they going to unify their people? How are they going to have a state that
has the power that can counteract the Roman state. You have a state, a
government, that’s Catholic, like France—what’s Germany going to do to stand
against France? They don’t have the solidarity, so they decide, "Well, we’ll
have a state church here and we’ll baptize everybody as infants." So, you
have a Reformation state church developed so that it has the political clout
and the solidarity internally to stand against the power of France, which is
Roman Catholic.

That’s how they began to work that infant baptism: because of it’s political
power. It’s a holdover from absolutist state powers. The absolute church
system, national sovereign church power, and with it came, by necessity, the
persecution of people who didn’t buy it. The people who didn’t buy it said,
"We don’t believe it. We don’t believe the Bible teaches infant baptism. We
reject that! We believe in believer’s baptism," and they called them
Anabaptists and they persecuted them.

The state church denied the right of conscience to the individual and to the
community, denied the right of freedom, the right of thought. The government
was going to control everything to create the solidarity that would give
them a base of power to stand militarily and politically against the
Catholic states. So, you had state Christendom: Catholic state Christendom,
Old Protestant, Lutheran, Reformed, State Christendom.

Now, at the beginning, Luther had a lofty idealism. He was against it. He
contended for a Christianity of churches that would embrace
freedom—Christianity of churches that would renounce force and live only by
the Word and the Spirit, he said. He said that the Scripture is the only
standard for all issues of personal life. We’re going to stand with the
Scripture. Luther says this, "I say that God wants no compulsory service. I
say it a hundred thousand times: God wants no compulsory service. No one can
or ought to be compelled to believe. But, a soul of man is an eternal thing
above all that is temporal; therefore, only by an eternal Word, must it be
governed and grasped."

Boy, he’s right on, isn’t he? Just the Word…Just the Word. Neither the Pope,
nor a bishop, nor any other man has a right to decree a single syllable
concerning a Christian man, apart from his consent. All that comes in the
spirit of tyranny and you know what? That was right. Luther was right. By
1527, he caved in and he turned back to the state church and he allowed for
infant baptism and the state church. And the state church grew into great
power and buried the true church and the Reformation began to disappear.

There was no real building of New Testament churches because they were
persecuted. They were seen as non-Conformists, as they were called in
England. They were threatening the state church. Infant baptism, you see,
saved the state church and served them well, as it had the Roman Catholic
Church because it initiated everybody into that solidarity and allowed them
to wield the God-club over everyone. They even did battle against each
other; sometimes Protestants against Protestants. The state church was a
great tree, far-reaching with its branches, but rotten to the core and
fruitless and intolerant of the true church.

So, in Europe today, true Christianity is very, very, very small. It was
buried, not only under Catholicism, in say, France, but just completely
buried under Protestantism is Martin Luther’s own country of Germany. That’s
why they developed infant baptism, not because it’s in the New Testament. It
is a relic of Popery drawn in to serve the Protestant churches politically.
The state church and the Biblical Christianity are and always will be
completely opposed to each other. The true church is not of this world and
doesn’t incorporate the unconverted.

I’ll tell you, one of the strategies that Hitler had—I told you this in the
past—Hitler knew the power of bringing everybody under the state church, so
he, literally, swallowed up the state church of Germany. Adolf Hitler did
and it capitulated completely to him and anybody who didn’t capitulate was
put into prison and executed. Guys like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who stood for
the true church against the state church, went to a concentration camp and
eventually was executed in a concentration camp. That’s a Protestant church
environment that Hitler, literally, took over and used for his own power.
That’s how apostate that system had become and any true surviving Christian
in the midst of that was fuel for the fires in the furnaces of Hitler’s
concentration camps.

There is no connection, no divine connection, between the true church and
any state power. "The true church," Jesus said, "is not of this world," and
it doesn’t incorporate the unconverted. Infant baptism serves the state
church well; it horribly confuses the true church. Neither Luther nor even
Melanchthon, two great reformers, opposed the assault on the Anabaptists and
others who rejected the national church. They even said that anybody who
rebaptizes is infested with heresy—that’s what was said in those days. A
Strasbourg reformer, a Matthias Zell, said, "He who confesses Christ as his
own Lord and Savior shall, in spite of anything else, share our table and I
will also share with him in heaven." He was right and he was going against
the grain.

Infant baptism, mass communion, which you see in the Roman church and in
some Protestant environments…infant baptism and mass communion efface the
contrast between the believer and the unbeliever, between the church and the
world. So, we have to reject those kinds of things. As the nature of the
church became corrupted, so the ordinance of baptism became corrupted. Well,
I think you get the point.

5. One last point and I’ll let you go. Infant baptism is not consistent with
the gospel.

It’s not consistent with the gospel. Maybe this is the most important point
of all. You say, "What in the world happens when a baby is baptized?" Shall
I read you the Heidelberg Catechism? This is a great German catechism that
defines the meaning of infant baptism. This is what it says, "Yes, for
they," speaking of children, "as well as the old people appertain [relate]
to the covenant of God and His church and in the blood of Christ, the
redemption from sins and the Holy Spirit who works faith and its promise not
less than to the older." So, they’re really saying in the Heidelberg
Catechism that children enter the covenant of God, His church, receive the
benefit of the blood of Christ, the redemption from sin, the Holy Spirit,
and faith.

"Therefore, shall they also though baptism, as the sign of the covenant, be
incorporated into the Christian church, be distinguished from the children
of unbelievers as in the Old Testament took place by circumcision, in the
place of which, in the New Testament, baptism is appointed." See that
connection? That illegitimate connection? But, they’re actually saying they’re
in the church.

And they go further than that. Luther finally affirmed, because he said
salvation is by faith…they say, "Well, how can a baby be saved if he doesn’t
have faith?" So, Luther finally affirmed the infant does have faith. He does
have faith. He said, "Children are to be baptized. They must be able to
believe; they must have faith." Luther said, "It’s not the vicarious
[substituted] faith of the godparents or the church"—he rejected that. "It
is the children themselves who believe," Luther said. Someone says, "How is
that possible?" "The Holy Spirit helps them to believe," he says. "The Holy
Spirit comes to the child in the holy baptism. By this bath of regeneration,
He is richly poured out upon us." This is a bath of regeneration in which
the Holy Spirit comes and gives faith to an infant? Some even call it
"unconscious faith." Some call it "surrogate faith."

In any case, it is not what the gospel is about, which is personal faith,
right? The great mark of the Reformation was salvation by faith alone
accompanied by personal repentance! A baby can’t do that. A baby doesn’t
have any faith. A baby doesn’t have any part in baptism. It’s no different
than circumcision; a baby didn’t have any part in circumcision. In fact, if
you’d asked him, he’d probably vote against it. Baptizing a baby has no
spiritual meaning to that baby. They got into a confounded viewpoint that
somehow faith, and grace, and salvation, and regeneration, and entrance into
the church is all dumped into that little baby at the point of which water’s
dumped on his head. It has nothing to do with the gospel of faith. That’s
why we have to call it into question.

I wrote down 25 quotes or so out of reformers that answered the question,
"What happens at a baby baptism. "Baptism," one of them says, "declares the
inward regenerated operation of the Holy Spirit." Wow. "It signifies the
regeneration ministry of the Holy Spirit." "Infant children of believers are
rightful heirs of the covenant." "It is the witness and attestation to their
salvation." This produced all kinds of confusion as the doctrine of
justification by faith. Only a person old enough to understand can believe.
Right?

Well, there’s more, but I think you get the message. Let’s pray.

Prayer:

Father, as we contemplate these things, some may think this is just an
academic exercise; the truth of the matter is we’re struggling to call your
church to true understanding of your Word, so that we might be obedient as
you have called us to be. Lord, thank you for the clarity of your Word. We
love many of these dear folks who continue to advocate this. We esteem them
very highly for many of the great things that they do in the kingdom, for
much of their great insight into the Word, but we are baffled by the fact
that they cling to something which, we believe, is a dishonor to you and
that they do not advocate a proper believer’s baptism in the way that You’ve
designed it in order to be a testimony of our unity with Christ in His
death, burial, and resurrection and thus exalt the cross and the open tomb.
Lord, work in your church and maybe use this message and others who can call
your church to re-examine these things, to come back to the truth so simply,
straight-forwardly set forth in your Scriptures. Make us to be obedient to
these things. We thank You in Christ’s name. Amen.



The above message was delivered by John MacArthur Jr., of Grace Community
Church in Sun Valley, California. It was transcribed from the tape GC
80-194: "A Scriptural Critique of Infant Baptism." A copy of the tape can be
obtained by writing, Word of Grace, P.O. Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412
or by dialing toll free 1-800-55-GRACE.

Professor Howdy said...


Five Good Biblical WorldView Sites:

Dr. Al Mohler:

http://bit.ly/7wnVRm

Chuck Colson:

http://bit.ly/7ftsgn

American News Commentary:

http://bit.ly/2rIKJu

Michael Youssef:

http://www.michaelyoussef.com/

Two Minute WV Cartoon:

http://youtu.be/vleoAho03bY

+++

To My Muslim Friends:

Islam vs. Christianity Comparison:

http://www.michaelyoussef.com/political-islam/

Arabic Students:

http://bit.ly/14tjgo

Answering Islam:

http://bit.ly/10joKB

Muhammad or Jesus?

http://bit.ly/149Jd3

Islam Watch:

http://bit.ly/c54m8M

Former Muslims:

http://bit.ly/kWIEr

A Christian Dies To Save Muslims:

http://bit.ly/9z4kwV

Is the God Of Muhammad The Father Of Jesus?

http://bit.ly/WHlQr

The Reason For God:

http://bit.ly/486o0h

Three Things About Islam:

http://bit.ly/cJhjTs

Taqiyya - Lying For Islam:

http://youtu.be/CvlvS2a2AVE

From The Heart Of A Muslim:

http://bit.ly/alGMvd

Watch The Jesus Movie:

http://bit.ly/4ffVx

World Students:

http://bit.ly/3hsmqv

A Message From God:

http://bit.ly/h1h7U1

Why Trust The Bible & Not The Qur'an:

http://youtu.be/oZKqH1pIKek
http://youtu.be/BzV-jPjCjXw

+++


Learn More About God in
2 Minute Cartoon Videos:

How To Become A Christian!

http://youtu.be/S65wsCbmRPw

Does Anyone Still Read The Bible?

http://youtu.be/NEPlhgBA46Q

When Should A Person Be Baptized?

http://youtu.be/tVruBKyUkxI

When Will Jesus Come Back?

http://youtu.be/QP_FnzTnigw

Does The Bible Ever Say That Jesus Is God?

http://youtu.be/sgAtJHxVPns

What In The World Is Worldview?

http://youtu.be/vleoAho03bY

+++


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