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Childhood Salvation?

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Childhood Salvation?
"Many people THINK they were saved at a young age, and during their life time they wander into all kinds of difficulties and struggles, and one day they think; I got saved so what is my problem? "

The above was a question I discovered in another forum post and it rang a bell with me. I recently asked a middle-aged man if he had ever given his life to Jesus. He was indignant. He said he had been saved since the age of six. He thought I should have been able to tell. But was I picking up a vibe???

In my own life, I knew God (not Jesus) from the time I was a tot. I talked to God and He to me. Yet I didn't actually get "saved" (give my entire life and future to Him) until I was 41 years old. I have often thought I was saved as a child, but then what happened to me when I was 41? Can there be two salvations... one for kids and one for adults?

I recently asked the Lord this question and He answered me. Before I share that answer, I would like to hear what YOUR thoughts are on this subject.
Blessings ~ Sarah

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praizeop2: Apr 5, 2012, 1:31 PM
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Re: [praizeop2] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
OK, the Grinch has in fact waited a respectable time before posting. Here's my reply.

At age 12 and "unchurched" until then, living next door to a baptist church, 5 boys came up to me one Sunday morning as I was cutting through the church parking lot to fish a creek. They begged me to throw on some "long pants" and shoes, then come with them. They needed one new Sunday School member to win a membership drive banner. I agreed like a proper American patriot, ended up in that class a few minutes later, which amounted to filling out a membership card before the bell sounded.

"You have to get baptized to make this count" said the teacher. We moved into the chapel for the worship hour, an old man tapping my shoulder with "Are you ready to go forward?"

I had no idea what was involved, but followed him, did as instructed, repeating some words to the folks up front, agreed to return that night, though my lost parents were not interested in attending. That night they put me in a white gown and dunked me in the baptistry, the pastor declaring me "A new creature in Christ!". I still didn't have a clue what it was about except that my class won that banner, then followed up with Sunday School attendance for about a month learning about Noah's Flood and maybe another Bible story. Soon I was back fishing Sundays. I didn't give my "salvation" another thought until I joined the Navy at age 21, when I had to choose a religion for my dog-tags. It was stamped Baptist. I didn't give religion another thought until marrying my wife of 45 years this month. Until then I could not have proved in court that I could be counted as a Christian. Whenever anyone inquired of my spiritual status I affirmed I was a baptized Baptist. Yes, like the man Sarah encountered, I was easily offended whenever anyone dug deeper than that.

But all along the way family and others insisted I was a Christian since I was water baptized, and "once saved always saved", they say. "Huh, OK". Probably in a subconscious way, lacking any Bible knowledge that might shape a person for good, I took that promise as a license to sin somewhat with impunity, rising to the lows of occasional alcohol abuse and chain-smoking unfiltered Pall Mall cigarettes, emulating the Marlboro Man. I acquired a beaver cowboy hat like this when working near Pendleton, OR.

My wife was one of God's "workers" sent to minister to me, to get me to a place at which I would face Jesus at age 31. It took that long for me to "get the point of" the gospel, even though the church had already paid for my seminary training towards being a pastor, and I had been teaching and preaching regularly in view of ordination, which was not what I wanted. It was what "they" wanted. I wanted to be a forester or geologist. I taught and preached from the head, not the heart, but they loved the words. What I had was a mere 18 inches from glory, the distance between brain and heart. But praize God, on Jan 6 1976 I met Jesus and was born again, then water baptized again, then again "in the Holy Ghost" with tongues and prophesy issuing forth. I was set on fire for Jesus, the news of which resulted in our having to leave the baptist community.

That's what I've experienced, like probably many other people carrying the Christian label. There is an eternity of difference between "professed" and "possessed". My parents were not Christians until late in life, so as a child I was not sanctified until I could make my own decision. If only one or the other had been......here's my reference 1 Cor. 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

I was a water baptized unclean boy and man nearly half of my life, "sustained" by empty professions, driven by stubbornness. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I'd have been a lot better off being told I was lost and going to hell. Instead my ears were comforted with "Oh, well, you're OK once baptised." Then maybe I'd have gotten serious with the Lord sooner, as that would have been the truth.

When a child claims to be saved, let them and family cherish that, and let the folks around them cherish that too. But those of us having influence over them should keep challenging them with ever increasing gospel training and our prayers throughout life. Pray every child has at least one born again parent, and do whatever you can to make that happen, being used of God towards that goal. Make better parents! Then, when that child grows and matures and confesses Jesus on his or her own, rejoice some more. Within ourselves we are to judge them by their fruit I think to have a measure as to how well WE are doing as responsible agents of God, and shouldn't have to ask a fellow believer (strangers another thing) what their faith status is. There are very tender ways to find out, like inviting someone to a meal and offering prayer in public. You will find out some things. I've had invited guests drop their fork or do some other involuntary sign out of alarm. Everyone reveals in more than one way whether a claim to salvation has a beginning date. Believers will just know, if they have studied the fruit of the Spirit and have that in themselves too.

Blessings to all who read down to here...
Jim
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Re: [praizeop2] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Hi all :

Depending on what denomination one happens to be one tends to have adopted, either consciously or more likely subconsciously, the ‘mindset’ and ‘theology’ of that particular branch of The Church.

Certain preconceptions are therefore unquestionably assumed to be true and Biblical evidence might be drawn upon to support the ‘cherished beliefs’.

Some unquestioningly have assumed that, ‘personally discovering that God actually does love you and has proved it by laying down His life for you nearly 2000 years ago’ actually marks the exact moment in a life when a person is ‘saved from the fires of hell’.

However, a closer study of scripture reveals that we were not ‘saved’ at some previous or future point in time but ‘are being saved’ Col. 1:18 in the present tense, all the while we submit to Christ’s Sovereign rule in our life. What most ‘Christians’ seem not to understand is that once we have once been ‘called’ and ‘chosen’ by God to serve Christ and His Cause we have relinquished all claim to ‘a life of our own’. Our ‘life’ is ‘hid with Christ in God’ Col. 3:3, It is no longer ours to ‘loose’ or ‘abuse’. It is somebody else’s property. 1 Cor. 6:20, 7:23

Once this fundamental fact is understood all the other scripture references to being saved can be seen to refer to whatever is our present state of ‘faith in Christ’s death right now, not some event in past or future when we ‘got saved’ or might ‘get saved’.

Not only that but Christ’s atonement works and is applicable to all who avail themselves of it but just as water is thirst quenching only to those who drink it, not to those who just look at it and pass on their way still thirsting, it is freely available to all because ‘Christ has died for all’ 2 Cor. 14:15. And the reason he died is to bring about the change in those who now appreciate the fact of his death on their behalf, so that they might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised.

Now about the issue of children who are ‘saved’ and are there two kinds of salvation one for children and another for adults?

Yes there are definitely two or even more classes of salvation within the terms of ‘The Covenant’, (which is the legal framework within which all ‘Salvation’ issues are encompassed).

The ‘New Covenant’ is in fact only new in respect of being more gracious and better than the Old. This must mean that anything gracious that pertained under the Old Covenant still remains in The New Covenant, otherwise the New cannot be said to be ‘better’ than the Old. Heb. 8:6.

Children were covered by the Old Covenant until the age of accountability. Their parents held full responsibility for their sins. Children were not held personally responsible by God until they reached maturity. The same must still apply otherwise The New Covenant would actually be ‘worse’ than the Old at least for children. The very notion that children would go to hell if not ‘saved’, ‘baptized’, ‘going forward and giving their lives to Christ’, etc, etc. is bogus theology.

Furthermore the children of ‘believing’ parents, either one or both, have an enhanced and special relationship with God because of their Parents Covenant with Him. An individual believing, (parent) is the property of God, ‘bought with a price’. Not only that but all the children + the spouse of that parent also belong to God. (If you want the scripture references I can give them). Therefore the children of believers cannot ‘get’ saved. They are already ‘saved’ from the moment of conception. They are declared by St Paul to be 'Holy', 1 Cor. 7:14. Those declared 'Holy' by the Apostle cannot be said by Evangelicals to be 'dead in trespasses and in sin', simply because as yet they have made no formal commitment. They are 'saved' already but they can subsequently get ‘lost’. An all too common occurrence due to their often profound and general ignorance of the terms of The Covenant, (if their parents have failed to properly carry out their Deuteronomic duties Deut. 4:10, 11:19. An ignorance for which The Church is largely responsible as a result of it’s own lack of understanding of the subject.

What we often see in later life, (a person comes into a tent meeting and ‘gets saved’) is not actually true at all. They have actually ‘been found’, or ‘returned home’. They have probably been ‘saved’ all along but just got fed up proverbially eating ‘pig swill’ and finally decided to ‘arise and go to their Father’ to tell Him they ‘have sinned against heaven and before Him’.

Such ‘Wake up calls’ do not usually mark a definite boundary between ‘being saved’ and ‘being damned’. That is an entirely wrong way of looking at it. What it actually represents is a window through which we can at last see God’s saving Grace operating upon that persons soul. It has been working on him for perhaps more years than he can remember, ever since the end of childhood, probably. Finally the years of resisting God’s grace have worn the sinner down, stripped him of his pride and rendered him ‘fit for the kingdom’ at last.

Regards Chris.
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Children were covered by the Old Covenant until the age of accountability.

I can't find a single reference to support that in the Bible. Is that not entirely tradition?
I see infant baptism as no more than consolation for the parents and their family, a day all commit the child to Christian teaching and good training. How could any person remember at any age being baptized as an infant, then count on that event to mark eternal life? I read the Church of England statement today but again, the defense is centered around tradition like the Jews held.

The reason the early Church practiced such things was because mostly Jews constituted the Church body for the first 7 years. However, there is no scriptural blanket imputation of salvation by any person on behalf of another. The saved parents have no more authority in the matter than to "sanctify" their children. That word is not directly related to salvation. It means to set those children apart towards use by and for God. The parents have a valid hope that if they train their children, when they are older they will choose to live as trained, but Proverbs 22:6 doesn't say they will be saved based on their training.

Infant baptism can be no more than a symbolic gesture that if taken too far could result in the one baptized being found later without a conscious decision for Christ, missing the mark entirely.


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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
I am gonna throw in two more cents now-----(leaves me about two) Not to long ago iwas in a cross cultural fellowship that I am an advisor to and i saw children in the age bracket of 10 --14 praying with the sick and several were healed. Sense they were praying and acknowledged Jesus as Lord that meant they were saved since the Holy Spirit worked through them i am assuming they had received the Spirit
m7th--circle of revival
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Re: [m7th] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
That's a Big Bucks comment, Jim.

My 7 year old grand daughter doesn't have to be asked to pray for a sick person. It has become her ministry so far, volunteering to get involved. It takes a lot of effort to stay sick around her, as she won't accept that as anything normal. Her praying is outstanding. She loves Jesus and neighbor.

It is said the Jews traditionally regard age 12 as the event, but we've witnessed many children much younger on fire for the Lord, genuine salvation at work, frequent confession of Jesus in public, water and Spirit baptized, bold, effective. They don't have the fears of witnessing most adults carry around.
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven and All : Greetings :

There is so much that needs to be answered here that it probably needs another thread starting on infant baptism to deal with it.

Like I previously said “ Depending on what denomination one happens to be one tends to have adopted, either consciously or more likely subconsciously, the ‘mindset’ and ‘theology’ of that particular branch of The Church.

Certain preconceptions are therefore unquestionably assumed to be true and Biblical evidence might be drawn upon to support the ‘cherished beliefs’.” But the conclusions drawn might be uninformed or even wrong.

Your last post bears all the hallmarks of a ‘subconscious belief system’ unwittingly influencing the way scripture is understood by the reader.

Quote : “I can't find a single reference to support that in the Bible.

There are probably good reasons for that.

1. You may not have searched sufficiently. Some people think they already know what is to be found in the Bible so they stop looking and learning.

2. You may have been looking in the wrong place for the wrong information. The Bible is not simply a list of information to be searched with filtering software to find verses which confirm or refute our doctrinal preferences.

3. The Biblical Doctrine of infant baptism is not based on simple ‘proof texts’ which can be searched for under 'infant' or 'baptism'. It takes many Old and New Testament texts and passages and reaches legitimately logical conclusions regarding the Salvation status of the children of parents who are under the New Covenant by virtue of their faith in God’s Grace.

Is that not entirely tradition?

No! It is demonstrably Biblical but nevertheless the Church has been baptizing infants since the day of Pentecost because water baptism has replaced circumcision as the ‘sign and seal’ of the covenant and the children of believing parents are fully entitled to receive the ‘sign and seal’ in advance of personal commitment, by virtue of the fact that they already belong to God, (scripture is very clear on that).

For the child, breaking Covenant (when already covenant bound), is a serious business, and to ‘neglect one’s great salvation’ Heb. 2:3 can carry more serious consequences for him / her as adulthood is reached than if they never had been saved at all but that is not the same as never having been saved. God disciplines those He loves and circumstances will soon conspire to bring wayward ‘covenant bound’ children back into line with God’s agenda for them. Else life will progressively become more difficult for them.

I see infant baptism as no more than consolation for the parents and their family, a day all commit the child to Christian teaching and good training.

That may be merely because you have no experience of this branch of theology.

We baptize the infants of ‘believers’ because we believe the Bible gives clear warrant to do so. To withhold baptism, (a Biblically warranted sacrament) and instead concoct some ‘non-divinely authorized’ unbiblical service of Dedication or Blessing is mistaken in the extreme.

You can’t Biblically ‘Dedicate’ a person. You can only Biblically Dedicate a thing. There is no Biblical record of a person being ‘Dedicated’ to God.

So Baptists have concocted a man made non-Biblical service to replace the Biblical sacrament of baptism for infants of believers because Baptists are ignorant of the reasons that infant baptism is Biblical.

The result of this is that ‘believing’ parents of sick or endangered children in Baptist style congregations are unnecessarily put through agonies of worry that their child may die before committing themselves to Christ and ‘getting saved’. Baptists therefore by their unwarranted replacement of the biblical sacrament of baptism for their infants have completely removed them from the church until they are capable of understanding sufficiently to make a personal commitment. They have in effect barred all other entry into 'the church' other than a conscious adult commitment, preferably with baptism by total immersion. Unfortunately infants and simpletons cannot therefore qualify for 'salvation' on these terms so they must remain outside it, unsaved, with no assurance of heaven until they are able to publicly proclaim their allegience to Christ.

Clearly the parents of sick children have cause to worry according to Baptist thinking. No one can be ‘saved’ (according to their doctrine), unless they can fully understand and acknowledge God’s claim upon their life and then make a personal commitment.

I conversely believe children to be a full and integral part of ‘The Church’ from the moment they are conceived of believing parents. They are already 'Holy' to the Lord. It just remains for us to recognize that scriptural fact. Infant Baptism is the way that we do that.

How could any person remember at any age being baptized as an infant,

It is true of course that they need special treatment, education and nurturing but they are already ‘covenant bound’ and ours are continually reminded of that fact at every baptism service and on other occasions as well. I am thinking particularly of Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Easter Saturday Eve, when the entire congregation gathers around the font to renew their baptism vows, adults, children and all. (The church has been doing this since it started recording it’s history and Liturgy in the 1st century AD). Also a child’s baptism vows are taken upon themselves, from their God Parents and Parents at Confirmation, (The Laying on of Hands in prayer for the Gift of the Holy Spirit), when the child assumes full personal responsibility for their walk before God.

The reason the early Church practiced such things was because mostly Jews constituted the Church body for the first 7 years.

I’m not quite sure what you are implying here. Are you suggesting that infant baptism was a misguided Jewish practice which should have been stamped out by The Apostles?

Surely not? Because it clearly has continued up to the present day and there is absolutely no instance of it's being forbidden by any Apostolic or Biblical authority.

Couldn’t it have been that as Jews become believing ‘Followers of The Way’ they had a much better understanding of the Covenants and their promises to both them and their children than you have. Acts 2:39.

In any case the practice has not since died out in the Apostolic Church.

However, there is no scriptural blanket imputation of salvation by any person on behalf of another.

I’m not quite sure what you are getting at here either. Certainly my salvation is entirely imputed to me by another, and so I might guess is yours. You and I both know who that other person is, don’t we.

What makes you think that any ‘salvation’ is imputed by baptism?

I have not said that is what baptism does, have I?

I have said that baptism is the sign and seal of the Covenant and children of believers are qualified to receive it by virtue of the fact that they are the children of ‘believers’. This leaves them with a responsibility to seek after and perhaps to find God, and their parents with a responsibility to teach the child how to do so. When this fails to happen it is usually the fault of the parents and / or, the child, not God.

The saved parents have no more authority in the matter than to "sanctify" their children.

I see the problem you have in interpretation here. Parents have no ‘authority’ at all. As sinners themselves, entirely under God’s Grace and forbearance, they are quite incapable of ‘sanctifying’ anyone or anything. It is only God who ‘sanctifies’. In any case it was not the word ‘sanctify’ which is used of the children of ‘believers’, the word used was ‘Holy’, i.e. (chosen and set apart by God for His purposes).

We don't just 'hope' that God will 'save' our children. We stake our faith on the fact that God has clearly promised in scripture that He will. Infant baptism is an outward demonstration of this faith that God keeps His Promises as contained in the scripture.

The parents have a valid hope that if they train their children, when they are older they will choose to live as trained, but Proverbs 22:6 doesn't say they will be saved based on their training.

You have the cart before the horse here. Being ‘saved’ in no way depends upon ‘training’, ‘performance’, ‘righteous living’, ‘good behavior’, etc. You should know that as well as I. It depends upon God.

It is entirely by Grace that we are ‘saved’. However a covenant child of believing parents has a head start on the Way to discovering God which a child of unbelievers is deprived of by it’s parents lack of faith. God works in cooperation with parents and the whole church, to bring His children to maturity and enable them to fulfill their appointed destiny. Unfortunately sometimes parents and the church actually frustrate the purpose of God. (Examples of this are abusive parents and pedophile Priests and Pastors). There will be many a millstone necktie and a deep ocean reserved for them in view of the untold damage they have done to God's purposes.

In the mean time God also graciously may decide to call even the children of unbelievers if it suits His purposes to do so.

Infant baptism can be no more than a symbolic gesture that if taken too far could result in the one baptized being found later without a conscious decision for Christ, missing the mark entirely.

Infant baptism is symbolic as are all other ‘sacraments’. A sacrament is ‘an outward and visible sign of an inward invisible grace’. The big problem with infant baptism is that it is so badly misunderstood even by those who administer it and request it for their infants. Properly administered and carefully followed up and supported with a faith community there is no better way of ‘training a child in the Way that it should go’. Unfortunately many ‘Christenings’ have now become an excuse for a family social gathering, a knees up and a hangover the following day, with precious little thought about what it actually means for child and parents and no consideration whatever for the Biblical foundations upon which it is established.

The question is 'Do you, as a believer, believe' that God has 'saved' your children'? That they are 'Holy' to Him. We Anglicans do. (though some of our children don't seem to show much evidence of it at times, lol).

Most Baptists are still waiting and hoping for it to happen throughout their children's infancy and are relieved when they finally make a personal commitment in faith and at last can become part of the church.

As I said earlier, it is just as well that the occasional tent ‘alter call‘ brings out some back slidden Episcopalian, Methodist, Calvinist, Lutheran, Coptic, Greek or Russian Orthodox or any other worldwide denomination which continues to baptize infants, (they can’t all be wrong surely?), brings them to the front and hits them with the Gospel they have been trying to deny since adolescence and finally gets the commitment that God wanted from them in their youth.

Only God knows what they failed to do in their lives that God had planned for their spiritual gifts to be employed upon. These are the sins of omission that no one confesses because we none on us know what they might have been or the effect on God's plan that they had.

Who knows if that down-and-out, wine-o, crackhead, mugger, who finally got saved tonight in the tent meeting might have gone on to be a brilliant brain surgeon if he had responded to God’s grace and his believing parents love while still in high school, enabling him to extend the lives of many great evangelists, bringing the Gospel to whole continents and saving millions previously outside the covenants.

Who knows?

God does, and He will want some answers from him to some very searching questions, at the great white throne.

Believe me there are advantages to never having been 'saved', rather than starting off 'saved' and then throwing it all away in a selfish and dissolute life. From those who have much, much will be required. Luke 12:45-48

Regards Chris.
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Smile Yes, I can see the matter is one of tradition that goes way back. Yes, we could assemble some various verses to build a scriptural case for infant baptism. I believe the practice is actually a hindrance to the plan of salvation. Because they always did it that way doesn't establish truth.

Paul got onto the Colosians about this type of practice, holding traditions he had not taught them, nor had any other apostle. Col. 2:[6] As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: [7] Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. [8] Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Did Jesus teach infant baptism? Did He even hint of it?

The emphasis must be on each person choosing to follow Jesus, at whatever age. It is choices, not ordinances that make you a new creature in Christ.
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven : and All :

I can see the matter is one of tradition that goes way back.

How ever much you might believe and state that, it will will not make it true. It is patently obvious to me that you do not ‘see’ the truth of the matter. but only think you do.

Yes, we could assemble some various verses to build a scriptural case for infant baptism.

That might be the way you formulate doctrine but The Church has always insisted on taking the whole of scripture into consideration rather than ‘assembling various verses to ‘build’ anything.

I believe the practice is actually a hindrance to the plan of salvation.

That is of course your personal opinion to which you are entitled.

I believe that the failure of some sects and denominations to baptize their infants constitutes a violation of the terms of The Covenant on their part for which they will be held responsible at the great white throne. Gen. 17:1-14. Col. 2:11-15. I believe this constitutes a hindrance to the plan of salvation but that is just my opinion, which is different from yours.

Because they always did it that way doesn't establish truth.

Of course not. But neither does it establish error either.

Paul got onto the Colosians about this type of practice, holding traditions he had not taught them, nor had any other apostle.

You follow this comment with a couple of verses of scripture which you interpret, according to your own prejudices, as referring to infant baptism. You are wrongly using the text. Clearly the passage you quote cannot refer to the practice of infant baptism for the following reasons.

Baptism was taught from the earliest days of The Church so you would need to prove that infants were expressly excluded from the rite of baptism at the Churches very beginning at Pentecost by Apostolic edict. You cannot prove this.

How could Infant Baptism be a ‘tradition’ in the early church? It might have become a tradition now, but it was a completely new practice then, along with Adult Baptism, as a means of demonstrating entry into the Church. Previously circumcision was the only way of entering The Covenant. For a tradition to be a tradition it must first have become firmly established by long usage. Baptism both Adult and infant was a very new thing, so could not be referred to as ‘tradition’. The Apostle therefore could not have been referring to infant baptism. That is entirely your own prejudice talking.

You will find not a single mention throughout the entire New Testament by any Apostolic Authority condemning the practice of infant baptism even though we know from other sources that it became common practice at a very early date. If the Epistle writers did not approve of it we could expect specific condemnation of the rite in scripture. It is likely therefore that The Apostles did not hold your opinion on the matter.

Did Jesus teach infant baptism? Did He even hint of it?

This question is predicated on a false chain of logic. Doctrine cannot be decided upon ‘what Jesus neglected to mention’. There are many things of relative importance to the Church, that Jesus didn't mention. If that line of argument were to be followed in the formulation of Doctrine and Church practice then women could not be even admitted to receive communion. Because Jesus never specifically mentioned that they could and there are no New Testament examples or references to any woman doing so. Fortunately The Church, when formulating doctrine and establishing Church Practice takes the main thrust of scripture for its guide, not individual snippets of verses here and there which seem either to 'permit' or 'forbid'.

Jesus didn’t teach baptism full stop. Jesus baptized no one with water, not even his own disciples and Apostles. So according to your logic even Adult Baptism is called into question and becomes ‘just a tradition’ because 'Jesus never did it', (with water that is).

The emphasis must be on each person choosing to follow Jesus, at whatever age. It is choices, not ordinances that make you a new creature in Christ.

And in actual fact it is even so also in the case of infant baptism. It is not baptism, infant or adult, that confers 'salvation' upon the individual.

It is God who decides who is ‘saved’ and the basis of salvation is God’s Grace alone. We merely gain access to that Grace through ‘faith’. To reach the point where that is possible for us sinners we rely entirely upon God’s initiative. We are incapable of approaching God with a humble and contrite heart unless already motivated and drawn to him by The Holy Spirit through an appropriate response to the hearing of The Gospel. The Children of ‘believers’, (and only God knows who is actually a ‘believer’ and who is not), are promised in scripture that as covenant children God has already decided to confer upon them all the benefits of salvation here on earth, all that remains is for them to respond appropriately in faith to God’s call through the ministry of The Word, when God calls them. That is what this thread is about. Children who already know God but who have as yet never made a personal commitment, (i.e. closed with the covenant into which they were born and baptized).

The promise of salvation is "To you and your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him". Acts 2:39 Notice there is no comma between ‘you’ and ‘your children’.

If there were a comma then it would mean the promise only pertained conditionally to the individual and also conditionally to their offspring as individuals. As it is it must mean that the promise of salvation is to the individual and (i.e along with), his / her children. Of course the promise has to be acted upon though faith and repentance in due course as the child grows within the church and eventually if it is possible for them they must make their own confession of faith and take their baptismal vows upon themselves, but they are nonetheless 'saved' in the meantime.

"I will establish my Covenant between me and you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your children after you". Gen. 17:7 This is the actual Covenant Promise into which we are all baptized. This is the legal basis for everybodies 'salvation', man, woman and child.

When a proselyte is introduced by baptism into the communion of the Church it is necessary that he himself should have heard the Word exhorting him to conversion, to faith, and repentance. But what is the promise that is given to him and sealed by his baptism? : “I will be your God and the God of your children after you”.

The promise of salvation is not given to the proselyte for himself alone, but also for his children. In virtue of the covenant which God has made with their (father / mother), in the child's name, and for the child's benefit, (his / her) children will be baptized on the basis of the doctrine which their (father / mother) has received, the doctrine, namely, which declares that God will be (his / her) saviour not only for (himself / herself) but for (his / her) children also.

This is why the children of a believer are 'Holy' to God. Because God has declared them in scripture to be so.

It is not for you to declare them 'unsaved' until adulthood.

“When a man has been a stranger to the company of believers and is converted to our Lord, the doctrine on which he is baptized is addressed to him. That is why it is necessary for him to have heard and understood it before he is received for baptism. The doctrine on which the children of Christians are baptized is not addressed to them, but to their parents and to the whole church. Thus it is not required that they should have heard the word before receiving the sign” : Calvin Against the Anabaptists, Opera, vii, p. 58

It is choices, not ordinances that make you a new creature in Christ.

You indeed speak the truth of the matter. The only difference between the actual choice offered by God to an unsaved sinner who comes from outsidethe promise‘ (see Eph. 2:12, - i.e. a child of unbelieving parents) - : and the choice offered by God to a covenant bound son or daughter of a believing Christian parent, (i.e. within the Covenant), whether mother or father, is this :-

Unbaptized sinner outside of the promises : = “Respond to the Gospel, accept the call of God upon you, repent of your sins and demonstrate your new commitment by being baptized” and you may enter salvation and the church of Jesus Christ.

Infant baptized sinner within the covenant : = “Respond to the Gospel, accept the call of God upon you, repent of your sins and demonstrate your commitment by putting your faith in Christ alone and walking in God's ways” and you may remain in salvation and the church of Jesus Christ within which you have been nurtured and blessed since infancy.

In either case it is either the acceptance or rejection of God’s call upon the life that decides the final salvation status of the individual.

Tell me, is it worse in your opinion to choose to remain outside the church and the promises of salvation or is it worse to choose to leave it, reject it's fellowship and neglect your salvation as though worthless. Which is the more insulting and ungrateful to God, do you think?

Either way is the way of the fool, but there are many that go that way. Thankfully we have a God of ‘second chances’, who is long suffering and of great goodness, so most ‘choices’ can be revisited, at least until we leave this life behind.

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Mar 11, 2012, 4:04 PM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Infant baptized sinner under the covenant : = “Respond to the Gospel, accept the call of God upon you, repent of your sins and demonstrate your commitment by putting your faith in Christ alone and walking in God's ways” and you may remain in salvation and the church of Jesus Christ within which you have been nurtured and blessed since infancy.

Can you prove an infant can Respond to the gospel accept the call of God upon you repent of your sins demonstrate your commitment?

Rather, read, study, listen, and watch blessed media, avoiding distractions away from holiness as much as possible.

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dovegiven: Mar 17, 2012, 1:46 PM
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven : And anyone else:

Can you prove an infant can Respond to the gospel
accept the call of God upon you
repent of your sins
demonstrate your commitment?


Have you read a single word of what I took the trouble to write in the last two days?

I don’t think so judging from the above question.

Infants cannot answer for themselves. They can’t understand or speak for themselves as you well know, so they are unable to respond to the Gospel. An infant of a 'believing' parent does not need to respond to The Gospel, until God expects it of them during childhood or adolescence. They are already 'Holy'. Therefore their believing parents and God Parents make the vows on their behalf.

Being unable to respond to the Gospel therefore in no way disqualifies infants of a believer from continuing being ‘saved’, (unless you are trying to suggest that all babies who die before adolescence belong to the devil and are destined for hell). If you are saying that then I utterly detest your theology and whatever god you think it is representative of. It certainly is not appropriate of the God that I know. A God such as that would have to consign to hell the mentally impaired as well, who could never reach the state where they can make a knowing and conscious personal commitment. To condemn someone for being unable, (not unwilling), unable to comply with your demands is the act of a tyrant. God is not a tyrant.

If you, like myself, are convinced, as I admit most Baptists also are, that there is a special dispensation for infants and imbeciles, perhaps you could explain to me the exact legal and scriptural mechanism by which their acceptance into heaven and the church can come about, if the only means of entry prescribed for them by Baptists is utterly beyond their capacity to perform in this life, in their present state?

So you think Mickey the Sorcerer, Buffy, etc is acceptable fare for children?

I don’t think I commented upon the ‘acceptability’ of them for children.

I’ve re read what I wrote and can’t see how you have managed to miss quote me.

What I actually wrote was :

Quote : “Possibly. But no more so than Micky Mouse, (Sorcerers Apprentice), Bewiched or Buffy The Vampire slayer did.

By which I mean that all entertainment can be seen as potentially harmful depending upon the state of mind of the individual watching it, including Micky Mouse and Buffy the Vampire slayer.

I think you might be actually in danger of getting ‘cross threaded’ here. You certainly seem to have your knickers in a twist over whether Christians generally (parents of course do have a God given duty to regulate what their children see and do for entertainment), have a God Given mandate to sensor and control what entertainment is deemed fit for other people's children to watch. I wonder that you seem so concerned. It can't surely be that your children or grandchildren have such little discernment that they cannot tell the difference themselves, between harmless entertainment and dangerous nonsense. (I think Harry Potter films are free of blasphemy, explicit sex and gratuitous violence else they would be certificated for adult viewing only and loose their biggest audience, Films which include that stuff are quite rightly not allowed to be shown to children).

You seem to prefer personal control over their viewing of films they are legally entitled to view, rather than exercising and developing their 'gifts of discernment' as 'children of God' through discussion of what they have seen and heard. Perhaps that might be because you did not really believe them to be ‘saved ‘ yet, and were really concerned that God would fail in preventing them being ‘turned to the dark side’ before they were old enough to get ‘properly converted’. I don’t know. What do you think? It's your theology; think about it.

To me it’s not a problem. My kids knew the difference between reality and make-believe by the age of three. I had a good enough relationship with both of them to be able to discuss the in’s and out’s of what they watched and to warn them of the dangers of mistaking fiction for reality, citing examples from the films I allowed them to see. Further more they were already 'saved' from day one so quite safe from any 'demonic' influences.

Of course, those who intend to try to bring up their kids entirely and only on a diet of The Bible and The Baptist Hymnal are going to run into some trouble sooner or later because their kids will know everything about being a Baptist and nothing about ‘being a normal Christian in the world’. Since being in the world but not of the world is their job here on earth, they would have suffered educational deprivation and might not be anywhere near as useful to God when it comes time for him to employ them. They also might be more tempted to go 'off the rails' as soon as they get the chance as adults to 'choose their own entertainment and do their own thing'.

Being a good parent is just about the most difficult job in the world. We definitely need God's help.

I think there is an issue here of some folks not knowing what being unstained by the world actually means in real terms. It does not mean just singling out, avoiding and condemning Harry Potter films though.

No! Harry Potter as fictional entertainment is OK ( to be viewed by the audience age it is certificated for), as long as kids are aware that it is entirely make-believe. If you really believe your kid is going to use it as a ' 101 ways to ' manual to help them ‘raise the spirit of Samuel from the grave’ like the Witch of Endor or ‘put curses and hexes on their neighbors crops’, then don’t take them to see it. (But they would be utterly deluded to believe it would impart that kind of information to them anyway). But if they are already inclined to want to put hexes and spells on your neighbors crops, play with ouija boards, tarot cards or horoscopes through lack of sensible Christian adult supervision and guidance then you will have already missed the boat, so refusing to take them to see a Harry Potter movie would do them little additional harm.

Tell me, in view of the stunning reality of the visual imagery in ‘The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe” is that too considered ‘demonic’ by some American ‘believers’? If so, I think they have entirely missed the point.

I got the impression that the fictional character Harry Potter and his friends battle AGAINST evil, do they not? (I don’t agree with their methods, but it IS just fictional entertainment). How different is that from any Hollywood Cowboy film where the guys in the white hats are always the ‘goodies‘ and the guys in the black hats are always the ‘baddies‘ and right always wins in the end because the goodies always end up killing the baddies and saving the girl. ( I don't agree with their methods either and though it is just fictional entertainment and righteousness generally triumphs over wickedness in the end, does it represent a ‘Christian’ code of ethics? I think not). I guess with the gun laws as they are over there however, that is the way your society is encouraged to deal with disputes. If the 'baddies' threaten you, then take out your own personal gun and kill them in self defense. (Really Christian educational material for children, I don't think. Attitudes being 'learned' from fiction, by weak minded people, that have affected society for the worse, : Possibly! yes)

I can't recall a single person admitting to a diet of such movies appearing to be a strong Christian. It might take a few years to figure out such things. We don't need to tolerate carnality among believers.

There must surely be a moderate degree of movie going that does no harm to the individual and there are viewing certificates regulating the audience age over here, (I guess there is stateside too). Excess in anything is intemperate and therefor bad for ones health ‘spiritual or physical’. I do think your attitude puritanical and judgmental though when you suggest that regular movie goers are of necessity less ‘strong’ Christians than yourself. I think it might be the other way around. The weaker the conscience, the more scrupulous the person.

We don't need to tolerate carnality among believers.

'Tolerant' does not come immediately to mind as one of your most obvious attributes Dovegiven.

Neither do we need ‘Holy Joes’ to tell everybody else what is good or bad for them as if they have cornered the market in ethical behavior and believe it is their God given duty to regulate others. The days when the Church controlled what everybody was allowed to do, defining and forbidding 'carnal' pursuits, are thankfully long since passed.

‘Christendom’ was a failed and discredited experiment of the Church in the Dark Ages. Thank God we are no longer under the tyrannical heel of Puritanical Ecclesiastic Organization such as existed during the Inquisition or the English Protectorate when 'religious' leaders legislated without consultation, on everyone else's behalf.

Now can we get just back to the Thread subject and discuss the various passages of scripture I have cited as the basis upon which infant baptism is predicated and the reasons the children of 'believers' carry a special status and occupy a special category regarding 'salvation'?

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Mar 14, 2012, 3:05 PM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
I apologize for that cross thread thing. I was sitting up at the hospital using IPhone, somehow posted like that. It's very hard for me to use that thing. The preceding on topic paragraph was obviously jumbled, now fixed while deleting the Potter reference. I will now go see what happened in the Potter thread Wink

There is no response from an infant required by God, and no infant baptism either. It has no power to "fill in" salvation until the child chooses. The Bible doesn't call for that. They are simply not accountable, and neither are the parents. Parents are custodians of God's property, the child, who is an inheritance from Him. But one day God will call for the child to respond to Him. Nowhere in scripture does water baptism save anyone, but is merely a sign of being obedient to that response. Fearful Christians add in the traditions claiming those save the child somehow, but the child is not "lost" to be saved until God says it is time for them to choose Him. Meanwhile, of course they remain sinners, but salvation is far more about Jesus than sin.
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dovegiven: Mar 20, 2012, 9:17 AM
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Hi Dovegiven : You wrote -

I apologize for that cross thread thing. I was sitting up at the hospital using IPhone, somehow posted like that. It's very hard for me to use that thing. The preceding on topic paragraph was obviously jumbled, now fixed while deleting the Potter reference. I will now go see what happened in the Potter thread


That’s OK. I hope the ‘Hospital’ visit did not auger ill tidings. Isn’t it great to be able to get on with things though while we are waiting. Hospitals usually have more than their fair share of 'waiting' going on. Whatever did we do before the IPhone.

There is no response from an infant required by God, and no infant baptism either. It has no power to "fill in" salvation until the child chooses. The Bible doesn't call for that.

Your assumptions are still wrong about what infant baptism actually does and does not do for the child and it's parents.

As I said before and will say again, Baptism ‘savesnobody. Neither Child, infant nor confessing Adult. The only 'baptism' which confers any 'salvation' is the baptism which comes from Jesus Christ, and that is 'of Fire and The Holy Ghost'. I can't be bothered to look up chapter and verse but I'm sure you probably know the reference.

It is not possible to preempt God’s calling upon a human soul by dunking them, sprinkling them, dousing them or even pushing them over Niagara Falls in a bathing costume.

Salvation is not ‘conferred‘ upon anyone by any physical act of man.

Salvation is obtained by adults, (according to scripture), by faith in God’s Grace.

When ‘Salvation‘ however, comes about for any individual they automatically enter into a Covenant with God under which not only are they ‘saved‘ but God has already undertaken, (as part of the terms of HIS Covenant with him / her), to be the God of the believer AND his children, i.e. in due course bring the children of that individual to a ‘saving knowledge of God’. Those are legally binding terms written into the Covenant by God in scripture and anyone who denies the force of them ‘lacks faith in God’s Promises’. That technically constitutes sin for someone declaring themselves to be a ‘believer in God’s Promises' because they clearly in fact do not ‘believe’ in what God has Promised to their children.

If the child does not actually go on to be a believer, him / herself, then it is no fault of God’s. The fault must lay elsewhere because God always keeps His promises.

The children of believers are 'Holy to the Lord' and in a different category of salvation to the children of unbelieving parents. In fact, even the Great Grandchildren of believing parents are known to God and still come under the Graceful provision of The Covenant God has made with the ‘elect believer’ on his/ her conversion.

It is therefore not unusual for an adult, late converted to God’s ways, to discover or recall that his / her Grandma / Grandpa was a faithful ‘Believer in God’s Grace’ and had actively prayed for their grand-children's conversion.

The parents may have been reprobates and renegades to God’s Covenant made with the Grandparent but God has still kept HIS Promise and the Grandchild has been enabled to respond to the call and election of God.

They are simply not accountable, and neither are the parents. Parents are custodians of God's property, the child, who is an inheritance from Him. But one day God will call for the child to respond to Him. Nowhere in scripture does water baptism save anyone, but is merely a sign of being obedient to that response. Fearful Christians add in the traditions claiming those save the child somehow, but the child is not "lost" to be saved until God says it is time for them to choose Him. Meanwhile, of course they remain sinners, but salvation is far more about Jesus than sin.

Here we find ourselves in agreement with one another apart from some minor points.

water baptism .... merely a sign of being obedient to that response.

In the case of an adult giving assent to his obligation to Christ for making Salvation and any kind of response possible, this is true. But not in the case of an infant who is (according to scripture), already under a Covenant obligation and currently in receipt of Special Grace, the personal recipient of Promises from God, which do not necessarily apply to the children of unbelievers.

Baptism can only be legitimately conferred upon an infant if at least one parent is ‘believing in God’s Grace and the Promise of God, as recorded in the scripture, to their child’.

The physical Baptism of an infant can do nothing for the infant which has not already been decided and performed by God, in accordance with the Covenant made between GOD and the Child’s Parent(s).

Baptism of an infant is a demonstration of faith, (by the Parent(s)), in the reliability of God’s Promise in Scripture. that “I will be your God and the God of your offspring”. Faith carries it's own reward.

Withholding the ‘outward and visible sign‘ of water baptism, (not the most important aspect), from the infant on the grounds that it cannot yet respond to the Promise of Salvation it’s parents have already received from God on it’s behalf, would be the same as calling into question the sincerity of an adult response to hearing the Gospel and denying them Baptism on the grounds that they 'don’t yet fully understand what they are asking for'.

This is often the position that the Baptist Pastor finds himself in, (apparently putting someone off being baptized), when children of a tender age or mentally impaired adults, prematurely come to him for baptism through possible peer pressure, desire to conform with their parents desires or simply to be ‘fashionable or popular‘ within the Baptist community ethos.

The baptism of infants should not be so much for the child’s benefit but more a public demonstration of the parents faith in God’s Promises for them and for their child. The parents are called upon to solemnly promise that the child will be 'Brought up in the fear and nurture of The Lord', as it says in the Book of Common Prayer. Duly to be brought to Confirmation at the proper time to take their vows upon themselves. If that promise is taken lightly, ignored or broken by the parents, then God cannot be held responsible for the resulting spiritual development of their child. If however the promise they made is faithfully kept then God's voice will be recognized and positively responded to by the child, because 'God's sheep know his voice'.

Meanwhile, of course they remain sinners,

Of course. And so does everybody else, baptized or not. Baptism does not stop anyone, child or adult, from remaining a sinner. All it does is demonstrate the intention of the believer to willingly accept God's discipline and rely entirely upon God's Grace as extended to us through Jesus Christ Our Lord. He is the Author and Administrator of The Covenant under which we all receive 'Salvation', adult, child, infant, mentally impaired and all.

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Apr 14, 2012, 9:06 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
We operate an eldercare service. I accompany the people to medical visits until replaced by an assigned caregiver(s), arranged for by my wife. None of her clients go or stay alone.

This covenant you speak of for the child. If it is one, it can be shown in a single verse from the Bible in context with the passage. Please be specific. One at a time. In your own words please prove from a canonized Bible using one verse Those are legally binding terms written into the Covenant by God in scripture and anyone who denies the force of them ‘lacks faith in God’s Promises’. That technically constitutes sin for someone declaring themselves to be a ‘believer in God’s Promises' because they clearly in fact do not ‘believe’ in what God has Promised to their children.

Lacking a clear-cut sighting of such a covenant of a guarantee an infant will grow up to make a decision for salvation in Christ indeed not many baptist, pentecostal, charismatic, non-denominational, or other pastors and ministers like me (not a baptist) are keen on the idea of allowing an infant or very young child be water baptized until the parents and pastor are convinced the child does in fact understand what it is about. That begins to be taken seriously around age 10 I suppose. The idea is to prevent anyone from resting upon that physical experience in lieu of making a true decision later when the Father does in fact call to believe upon Jesus and repent of sin. When the Father calls and the called respond there will be signs plain to all. It's the repenting part that is hardest to comprehend even for adults who often make a public confession, are water baptized, then repent decades later when they realize that had not been fulfilled.
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
I am not the Bible scholar some of you guys are, so feel free to correct me if I am wrong here; but I believe Jesus was twelve when He began His ministry. Seems to me that that is an indicator of what God believes is the age when a child has enough maturity to begin ministering. Therefore, my conclusion is that any child who has made a confession of faith prior to the age of twelve should probably rededicate their life to the Lord. Just my thoughts. :)
Blessings ~ Sarah
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Re: [praizeop2] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
You've cut through all the theology and philosophy to a succinct fact that answers the question. I wish I could keep things simple and to the point like that Smile

According to Luke 2:41 Jesus' parents made the annual Passover trip to Jerusalem. At age 12 the family was a day's journey back home when they missed Jesus. They returned, taking three days to search for Jesus in Jerusalem. They didn't find Jesus at the mall, but at the temple. Surprise, surprise! That was a new thing they had not been able to guess at, but in fact were amazed over that as had the doctors of the law over Jesus' understanding, determination, and questions.

Jesus definitely changed from boy to man there. When such things happen among our children we are likewise amazed over the sudden leaps of understanding. I believe it is proof of a literal fact from Jesus in John 6:[44] No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. [45] It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

It is all a matter of choices and choosing when the Father says "Choose".

So it is that we train up a child the way he should go, teaching them the Word of God, that one day each child becomes responsible to allow the Holy Spirit to convey the calling of the Father, choosing Jesus on their own. Until then they are simply not held responsible for their eternal destiny like a responsible adult is, though in my opinion are subject to being judged according to the conscience. I can't imagine a severe judgment for most little children. However, parents that fail to train them up in the truth might certainly reserve them to never value that choice. It seems to make for a very tough journey to find their way by another path. Train them up.
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Hi Dovegiven :

This covenant you speak of for the child.

The New Covenant which Jesus spoke about, yes.

Which is a better covenant than the Old Covenant, which was already Gracious toward the offspring of those who were bound by it, under the Old Testament Dispensation, yes. This is the self same Covenant under which you, I and everyone who repents and embraces the promises of God offered through the merits of the Blood of Jesus Christ Our Lord, receive forgiveness of sins and election into the assembly of those 'counted righteous' by God, on the merits of His Son Jesus Christ, whom we have agreed to serve and obey.

But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. Heb. 8:6 KJV

Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water: That thou (i.e. everyone present including the infants), shouldest enter into covenant, with the Lord thy God, and into his oath, which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day: That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Deut. 29:1-13 KJV.

This is the Covenant of Faith upon which we all depend for Salvation.

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. Gen. 17:7.

Cometh this blessedness, (Salvation), then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be 'the father of all them that believe', though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Rom 4:11-13.

For those who find the KJV easy to misinterpret and assume wrong meanings because of it’s archaic English grammar and vocabulary, here is the RSV of the same passage.

We say that faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it reckoned to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received circumcision as a sign or seal of the righteousness which he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them, and likewise the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but also follow the example of the faith which our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. The promise to Abraham and his descendants, that they should inherit the world, did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. Rom. 4 : 11-13.

You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He that is eight days old among you shall be circumcised; every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house, or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he that is born in your house and he that is bought with your money, shall be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant. Gen. 17:10-14.

Clearly the children of any Covenant bound descendent of Abraham, (the father of our faith), were not only Covered already by the Covenant as infants but that Covenant could also be broken, (for the infant), by a failure on the parents behalf, to fully meet it’s terms, as demanded by God.

Baptism has replaced circumcision as the sign and seal of The New Covenant. Children are integral members of The Church of Jesus Christ from birth, (if one or other or both their parents, (or grandparents), accepted the terms of the New Covenant and enjoy(ed) the benefits thereof). It was so under the Old Covenant and unless you can point to specific passages of New Testament Scripture which deny that children, even infants, are fully members of 'The Church' then their exclusion would be unjustified and unjust.

Upon those who affirm that infants of believers are not members of 'The Church' lies the onus of proving what they advance. I have as yet seen no one put forth any convincing scriptural evidence to this effect. If such infants are already fully members of 'The Church' then on what grounds can they be refused the sign and seal of their profession? Baptism!

I don’t believe that God any longer demands the sign and seal of The Covenant to be imposed upon infant boys, (or girls, since the New Covenant now has a sign and seal which both may partake of, namely baptism).

There is no penalty of exclusion for infringement of the obligation to be physically circumcised, (or baptized), in infancy in The New Covenant, as there was under The Old. Gen. 17:12, 14. The New Covenant is a better Covenant and therefore a more generous one. But neither is there any scriptural prohibition whatever from keeping the terms of The Covenant, by performing the rite of baptism on infants, which scripture states has replaced circumcision as the sign and seal of the Covenant.

God however still requires spiritual circumcision of every adult, male and female Covenant Covered or not.

Circumcision of the heart is an essential experience before one can fully enter into an ‘Assurance of Salvation’ and become a ‘minister of The Gospel’. (Until the beam has been cast from our own eye, we cannot see clearly enough to remove specks from other peoples eyes) and (If our spiritual 'eyes' are sound then our whole body is metaphorically filled with light).

James has it right when he says : Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. By 'works' in the context of what we have been discussing, I imply the act of Publick Baptism for adults who doubt their infant baptism, and a Publick Confession of 'faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour' for those who believe in the validity of their baptism as an infant.

Not only must we ‘talk the talk’ before God. We must also ‘walk the walk’. If one looks up all references to physical circumcision, OT and NT, (and read the preceding and following paragraphs as well for context), it gives a clearer idea of what must be involved in spiritual circumcision as an experience of The Holy Spirit. It painfully increases the believers sensitivity to personal sin, irritates the lazy conscience and renders one helpless to 'morally and spiritually' defend oneself before the gaze of a Holy God, and therefore more acutely aware of our need of a 'Saviour'. (Incidentally it also prepares us to be tender hearted to our sinful neighbour who we recognise as being no worse a reprobate, before God, than ourselves).

Anyone who has been called, convicted, alarmed, humbled, and raised up again in Christ knows the feelings involved. It is a lot more profound than just walking to the front and saying sorry for your life being in such a mess, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Apr 14, 2012, 9:18 AM
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Re: [praizeop2] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
praizeop2 :

You make a valid point here. I particularly agree on the point that 'ministry' is a key factor in the 12 year old incident of Jesus in The Temple.

Of course there is one factor which makes Jesus a 'special case'. Presumably He was in no need of a 'Saviour'. He WAS the Saviour. So personal 'Salvation' in his case was never an issue apart from whether He succeeded or failed in his mission. Had he failed, then we would have no thread subject to talk about.

I think that 'ministry' is what every Christian is brought into the world to do, in one way or another. It is when we grasp that fact and begin to discover our strengths and limitations 'in the Spirit', that we start to fulfill our 'God Given Purpose'.

If Jesus had died young, say at two or three, then "would he have gone to heaven"?

Was Jesus 'saved' before he died on the cross for mankind?

I have the feeling that Mary and Joseph had a good enough grip on God's Promises to them and their children, that they would not even have asked the question. It would probably have never even occurred to them to think it. For them all Jewish children, (children of promise), from infancy upwards were fully under the terms of The Covenant. Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day after birth in accord with The Covenant. He was therefore fully acceptable to God in all legal respects but the older he got, the more responsible for his own actions he became. Nevertheless at twelve years old he still submitted to his parents authority and went home with them.

Regards Chris.

P.S. I'm still intrigued to know what you learned about from God on this subject, (mentioned at the thread start).

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rdrcofe: Apr 14, 2012, 9:26 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
I have this figured out. Chris, you are blending two covenants that don't mix. Ours is a completely new covenant, not an improvement over the old. Being all new of course it is better in every way. Go and rehearse the meaning of Mark 2:[21] No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. [22] And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.

There is no NT requirement for a new version of flesh circumcision. When that was instituted it was no more than a sign that the bearer of that mark was of the covenant of Abraham. Abraham was found righteous before the covenant of circumcision was given.

Understand what circumcision of the heart is about. It has nothing to do with that sign, never did. If a man kept the law under that covenant, then his circumcision mattered. If he didn't keep it perfectly then it meant nothing other than to identify him as a national "Jew".

The only connection between the old and new covenants was an agreement in the first Jerusalem counsel in Acts 15. You are familiar with that. It wasn't a carryover of Mosaic Laws, but of agreement to satisfy Jewish believers still holding to the circumcision. The compromises were quite reasonable for any society, even to this day. Paul made it clear that couldn't possibly apply to Christians, and explained such things as why not to eat meat offered to idols to offend someone.
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
I'm not targeting you on this, Jim... it's just that yours is the last post.

Can you please tie the issue of covenant in with the OP? I'm not seeing your or Chris' connection. (Of course I usually don't see Chris' connection... lolol... so maybe it is a good idea I am responding to you.) :)

Or at least bring your comments back to the OP? Thanks.
Blessings ~ Sarah
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Re: [praizeop2] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Not the Jim you were referring to but here goes,(running out of cents here) 1st the idea of 12 as an accountability age was strictly rumor,or tradition just the same as the age of 13 when the--BAR-MITZFAH OCCURS FOR A YOUNG MAN. These were early measuring sticks for a boy becoming a man.
The Lord holds the person accountable when he reaches the age that he knows right from wrong. Afew people realize in the jewish tradition the young men actually begins instruction from the age of three. They continue in instruction until about their 30th birthday. That's why some scholars think that Paul would have had the equivalence of a doctoral status maybe twice over. He had to go through the status in the desert when the Holy Spirit took all the law he had digested and begin to show him how that it was precursor to Jesus--Gal.3--how the Law was the schoolmaster that pointed to Jesus.
You can't get caught up in then non-issues or sidetracked you must stay with in the realm of Jesus. You must also remember in one form or another the New Testament is literrally the Old Testament revealed. The Old Testament isthe New Testament concealed. People get caught in telling you that Old testament is done away with "not so" just fulfilled in Jesus.
Whenever you read in the old testament look for a revalation of the person of Jesus. remember Jeremiah said that a woman would encompass a man.
Important point --Paul established a principle here --to be saved --You must be able to identify Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:9-10) because you can only confess that if that is heart knowledge --The mouth is the revealer of the heart..
m7th
m7th--circle of revival
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Re: [praizeop2] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Linking that last post to the OP....

When a person is called by the Father to Christ and that person believes on Jesus, that person is saved right then, the next immediate expectancy from God being repentance of sin and water baptism. No Christian is subjected to a progressive "being saved". However, we are being sanctified to holy purposes each day of our lives, in that manner saved by Jesus' death and by His life.

I know lots of folks that entered middle age assuming some religious event as a child saved them. If they continued on without sanctification, following Christ, then there is little or no consciousness of a life in Christ. However, if a person is accepting of the concept of having been saved long ago "going to the altar", I believe they are a prime candidate to fall into holy conviction concerning what God wants of them. Upon being challenged about their relationship the door is opened to begin a process of self examination, the Word of God being a mirror for the soul.

Our responsibility is to preach the pure gospel, entertaining no substitutes, no alternatives, no religious rites not clearly commanded through the New Testament. Whatever each of us has believed concerning salvation, it is wise to review our status according to the New Testament Bible. The specific terms of salvation are clearly laid out and able to cast out all misconceptions that might keep a person lost while thinking they are saved.

If you carefully read back in Chris's statements you will discover the root used for growing an infant baptism rite. Male circumcision was a rite, a giving of a sign of the Abrahamic Covenant. The child never took that sign, as parents passed on that sign to their sons. Over time a man became comfortable relying upon the evidence of his being subjected to that rite as proof he was embedded in the covenant. Like the man that was offended in he OP, Paul and the other apostles caused indignation among those of the Jewish "Circumcision" by negating the value of that and any other popular sign concerning Christianity. Likewise, negating the eternal value of infant baptism does likewise. Based upon a "need" for a New Testament parallel sign stemming from circumcision comes infant baptism. It is entirely a man-made rite of no more value than Jewish circumcision.

Only one thing can come out of the old covenants to please God enough to give righteousness to someone, and that is the faith Abraham is known for. The sign of the covenant has no value towards that. Sacrifices and offerings according to the law have no value in Christ. In fact, leaning upon any ritual can be taken as stepping away from Christ. If we come to believe it is necessary to do a Jewish rite to be completed in Christ, then we make Christ of no effect. Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
It cannot be that there is any New Testament value to any link to OT circumcision. We have an entirely new circumcision of the heart resulting from being saved on the day of choosing Christ as savior and Lord. What the Jews had was an entirely physical rite that was entirely a sign. What we have is a spiritual "surgery" of the heart. Therefore as Paul puts it this way in Romans 2:[28] For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: [29] But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

There is no Letter of the Law that has a modernized counterpart among Christians. Circumcision was one of those Letters. Christ Jesus died to all of those. We ought not impose on our babies or anyone else any requirement of the old law.

So it is that regardless of a child's knowledge of the old covenants, regardless of any rites performed by parents with priest, choosing Jesus on their own volition has them crucified with Christ in a moment, rising to be a new creature in Christ in the next moment, Christ in us instantly, answerable to the new law of life and liberty in Christ for life. Age might not matter as each child is different, each becoming conscious of the Spirit at whatever time God knows that and calls them to Christ.
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dovegiven: Mar 27, 2012, 10:00 AM
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Re: [praizeop2] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
My 7 year old daughter is saved, has the gospel message down perfectly, can answer questions lots of adults can't. She knows what her water baptism was about. We witnessed a large change in her behavior, convinced she is saved as saved as can be. That child is not a partial new creature, but went 100%. Anyone that takes being made anew in Christ, is so far perhaps 35% towards being a fully new creature in Christ, has no clue what this is about. You are one or you are not. You are right now a citizen of Heaven, or of hell. You are either fully a child of God or still a child of Satan. If there was some progressive salvation, then works have been added back in, believing on Jesus not enough. You believe unto admiring Jesus enough to accept His ways, or not. The longer we remain saved, the more we learn of and do His ways. If a person merely believes Jesus was, then that person should tremble with the demons, for even they believe and tremble.

If a child shows all the earmarks, remarkably few of them indeed, of salvation then I believe God accounts righteousness at that time. The child might not preach from the pulpit leading souls to Christ (though I've seen that happen a few times), but they will be receptive to ongoing sanctification, growing in usefulness for the Kingdom of God.

Children know if what happens to them is real. They will express their thoughts about it. What happened to me at 12 was not real, and I knew it. I walked away convinced the whole deal was bogus, church being some social club, suffering for that several years. Yet all along I played the game, putting Christians off my trail.
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Great post, Jim. Thanks for sharing it.
The only thing I would add is that the child must still be nurtured as we all must be, but I believe especially becaus he/she IS a child.
Blessings ~ Sarah
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Re: [praizeop2] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Nurtured. I was needing that word earlier. Yes, so important. My grand daughters spend most Friday-Saturdays with us during school year, much more time summers while parents work. From the beginning we have taught them the Bible stories, used props to teach, watched Christian children's programs, movies, and kept them in church activities. Both 5 and 7 year old sing the songs, pray earnestly and biblically, know to stop the reading of the Word when they lose track of understanding. We are completely off the children's paraphrased Bibles, using KJV, their mother an avid literature specialist and high school teacher, able to continue their training at home. Their teachers are amazed over their knowledge, vocabulary, and skills far above kindergarten and first grade level. None of that "just happened". They will become adults fully equipped with Bible knowledge along with the best general education available. We are training them up the way they should go, which includes things lots of moms seem to be failing in these days, like brushing teeth and keeping clean bodies. First graders have showed up not knowing the alphabet, not even familiar with tooth brushes, alarming the school nurse who brought in a dental clinic to evaluate already endangered teeth. Too many parents apparently do little or nothing to educate them. Nurturing and training children should prepare them for everything they need. Just like when they are trained to brush often, they will learn to keep God great in their lives.
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven : Hi You wrote :

There is no NT requirement for a new version of flesh circumcision.

I have never said there is. I have merely said consistently that the children of believers have a valid entitlement to the sacrament of baptism, from day one of their life in this world. You conversely deny them this privilege because you have adopted the erroneous notion that only adults, (or at least only those who can hear, understand and respond to the preaching of The Gospel), can be saved and so enter The Church. You have gone on record as having written that the infants of believers, (before reaching the age of cognizance), are ‘children of Satan’. Perhaps you will need to explain that to a God who has declared them in scripture to be ‘HOLY’, when comparing them to the children of 'unbelievers'.

Chris, you are blending two covenants that don't mix.

Ours is a completely new covenant, not an improvement over the old.

So what is the New 'Better' covenant being compared with then? It obviously has to be The Old. You will not find anywhere in scripture that anyone denigrates The Old Covenant in comparison to the New. The New is only New by virtue of the fact that the Old Preceded it and it is better than the old.

Mark 2:[21] What makes you so sure that your interpretation of these words of Jesus is the correct one?

Could you perhaps be wrong in assuming that Jesus was referring to ‘The Covenant’. There is nothing in the context to allow such an interpretation. I would put it down to your prevailing ‘baptist’ mindset and declare it isogesis, (I wish I could find the correct spelling for that word lol). It was Jesus who said that he came to ‘fulfill’ not to abolish. The Law itself is an extension of the Abrahamic covenant intended to prepare the people for the coming of Christ. Not a jot or tittle shall pass from it until all is accomplished. Meanwhile it is still in force, unless you take advantage of the terms of the New one.

The Christian Church is not a new Church, but identical with that of Israel. There is but one olive-tree and it lives on (Rom. 11:1). The Christian Church is founded on the same covenant and on the same Gospel : ‘the promise of redemption by Christ’.

Because of the continuity of the covenant the new Israel is grafted into the old, and there is now but a single people.

This doctrine, according to which the Church is today founded on the Abrahamic covenant - in other words, that plan of salvation revealed in the Gospel, was revealed to Abraham and to the saints of the Old Testament, and they were saved in exactly the same manner as has been the case with men and women since the coming of Christ, namely, by faith in Christ - this doctrine is not revealed to us in Scripture in an incidental manner. It forms an integral part of the substance of the Gospel. It is present in the teaching our Lord, who came to fulfill and not to abolish the promise (Lk. 24:27), and who bade those who interrogated Him to search the Scriptures of the Old Testament if they wished to understand what He, the Christ, was teaching.

The Apostles did just the same. The Christians at Berea were praised because they examined the Scriptures every day in order to verify whether the doctrines taught by the Apostles accorded with this infallible norm (Acts 17: 11). These messengers of Christ made constant reference to the Old Testament in support of their teaching. Paul said that the Gospel which he preached had already been taught in law and the prophets (Rom. 3: 21 f.). He declared to the Gentiles that they were grafted into the old olive-tree that they might partake of its root and sap (Rom. 11:17).

It is thus entirely illegitimate to maintain that there is an essential contrast between the New Testament covenant of grace and that same covenant in the Old Testament.

The Gospel covenant of grace is the prolongation of the Abrahamic covenant. The Christian Church is the continuation the Church of Israel.

There are some who will not subscribe to these conclusions and, in view of principles which they may esteem as superior, I would say that they do not appear to regard themselves as bound by the exegesis of the ApostIes!

Theirs is an easy-going attitude which permits the saying and affirming of everything and equally the suppressing and denying of everything. Do they wish to pretend that they possess a greater measure of the Holy Spirit than the Apostles and a better understanding of the "secrets" of God?

To reject the authority of the Apostles on one point is to invalidate any authoritative appeal to them when our opinion happens to be in accordance with theirs! If the exegesis of the Apostles is not binding, what other exegesis can claim to be able to bind our minds and hearts? For myself, I feel myself bound, and not only bound, but constrained and persuaded by the exegesis of the Apostles, and at this point of the debate I can only say to those who disagree with me :

Non possumus.

In conclusion, God has always had but a single Church in the world. The God of the Old Testament is our Lord: the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob is the God of our covenant and our Father. Our Saviour was the Saviour of the saints who lived before His coming in the flesh. The divine Person who brought the Israelites out of Egypt and led them through the wilderness, who appeared in all His glory to Isaiah in the temple, and towards whose coming the eyes of the people of God have from the beginning been turned in faith and hope, is the same whom we acknowledge as God manifest in the flesh, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

ConsequentIy, He who was the Head of the Theocracy is the Head of the Church. The blood which He shed for us has been shed from the foundation of the world, as well to atone for the transgressions committed under the first Testament (Heb. 9: I5) as for us and our salvation in the second. The promise, whose fulfillment the twelve tribes who ferventIy served God night and day awaited (Acts 26: 7), is precisely the promise upon which we rest. The faith which saved Abraham was, as far as its nature and its object were concerned, the very same as that which is the condition of salvation under the Gospel. "The city which has secure foundations, whose architect and maker is God" (Heb. 1:10) is the Jerusalem resplendent with glory, the new heavens, to which we aspire.

Regards Chris.
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
My son loaned me two cents so here goes!!!
circumsion of the flesh old testament
Paul's circumsion of the heart--new testament
In the old --new birth was seeded through the loins of a man---
new--new birth into the kingdom is seeded in the heart
The new testament is the old testament revealed
Old- flesh
new--Spiritual
m7th--circle of revival
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Re: [m7th] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
REMEMBER A MAN BORN INTO THE KINGDOM AT 60 IS A NEW BIRTH --CHILD IN A SPIRITUAL SENSE
CAN YOU SEE THE CONNECTION IN THE CIRCUMSION?
m7th--circle of revival
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Hi Dovegiven : You wrote - among many, many other things :

No Christian is subjected to a progressive "being saved".

No! Of course not. But children are subject to a progressive ‘growing up’, and the children of ‘believers’ are ‘being saved’ day by day, by God, who has made his Covenant with their parents. All believers are in fact ‘being saved’ by God. 1 Cor 1:18 LITV. To believe oneself unconditionally ‘saved’ is presumptuous. WE have at best an assurance of ‘Salvation’, by faith in God’s word in scripture and the witness of the Holy Spirit within us.

Nobody is ‘saved’ by any kind of ritual. Either they are already ‘being saved’ or they are not yet ‘being saved’. Only they and God can know.

I know lots of folks that entered middle age assuming some religious event as a child saved them. If they continued on without sanctification, following Christ, then there is little or no consciousness of a life in Christ. However, if a person is accepting of the concept of having been saved long ago "going to the altar", I believe they are a prime candidate to fall into holy conviction concerning what God wants of them. Upon being challenged about their relationship the door is opened to begin a process of self examination, the Word of God being a mirror for the soul.

You have set up a false dichotomy here. If a child of ‘believers’, baptized an infant, brought up in the faith, taught the things pertaining to Godliness within a loving Christian home does not themselves close with the covenant for themselves in later life, then God will have failed to keep His promises concerning that child and it’s parents. Most probably do, quietly in their prayer closet, not necessarily publicly in a swimming baths.

Consider a child of ‘Adult Baptism only believers’, brought up in their version of the faith, (for it is not the faith of Abraham; in fact they doubt that their child is ‘Holy to God’ and they view God’s promises for them and their offspring with skepticism, if not complete doubt) : If they indeed believe their child to be a ‘child of Satan’ until such time as it accepts Christ as it’s personal saviour : If that child does not eventually either rebel against their oppression and be lost to The Lord, or succumb to pressure to conform in a merely outward and carnal show of ‘religion’, (say in an ill considered adult immersion ceremony), I would be much surprised.

This would be no loving way of presenting the Gospel, it would be a corrosive environment alien to the way God’s Covenant operates. It is merely a threat of damnation until they conform and will often as not either loose them completely or encourage a superficial religiosity in order to please.

Our responsibility is to preach the pure gospel, entertaining no substitutes, no alternatives, no religious rites not clearly commanded through the New Testament. Whatever each of us has believed concerning salvation, it is wise to review our status according to the New Testament Bible. The specific terms of salvation are clearly laid out and able to cast out all misconceptions that might keep a person lost while thinking they are saved.

You cannot separate Old and New Testaments in such a way and expect to formulate ‘balanced’ doctrine.

Christ’s Doctrine was entirely formed on the authority of only the Old Testament. To reject everything that Christ was convinced formed the basis and foundation of His theology in such a way is rash.

Since when has the New Testament alone become a Bible? How can a New Testament ‘Bible’ even be referred to logically, since The ‘Bible’ means The Books or The Library. The Marcion heresy c 160 wanted to exclude the whole of the Old Testament leaving only 10 Epistles of St Paul and an edited recension of the Gospel of Luke. I don’t think you have quite gone that far yet - but watch out!

If you carefully read back in Chris's statements you will discover the root used for growing an infant baptism rite.

I confess I went off on a wrong thread here. I thought you said "read back through Christ's statements. LOL Anyway here is what HE thought on the subject of children. It will be a lot more valuable theology than I can provide.

: “And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.”

The child had no faith to be healed. It was the father’s faith that mattered, not the child's.

Or Perhaps. “And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.”

Odd Jesus saying that in view of the fact that you say the child is a “child of Satan’. I guess the child must have been converted already.

Ah! but wait! The child probably did believe in Jesus, (or at least was looking forward to a Messiah). Indeed the child would have been born under The Covenant just as Jesus was.

“And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me, (the promised Messiah). But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

According to Jesus then ‘a child’ is already in a fit state for the Kingdom of God. Their angels see God every day. It is adults which are the problem. THEY have to become as the child already IS if they want to enter the Kingdom.

Adults were once effectively IN the Kingdom as children, they have at some time since left it. To enter it again they must be converted.

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

From this we could assume that Jesus did not consider children even ‘lost ’, let alone ‘children of Satan’. Jesus had no concern for their salvation, that was already assured. Jesus came for those who were 'lost'.

"Children of Satan" ! ! ! - I don't think so. I think you will need to argue that one out with Jesus, not me.

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Mar 28, 2012, 8:10 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
In response to your first line in post 26:

I checked out the CoE statement which says Fourthly, the Bible as a whole tells us that the children of believers are themselves part of God's family and therefore The Church of England feels that it is right that they should have the sign of belonging to the family just as Jewish boys in the Old Testament had the sign of circumcision (Genesis 17:9-14, Acts 2:39, 16:31, 1 Corinthians 7:14). http://www.churchofengland.org/weddings-baptisms-funerals/baptism-confirmation/confirmation/frequently-asked-questions.aspx

In your earlier posts in this thread you stated quite a lot concerning the Jewish rite of circumcision in relation to Christians and their babies, somewhat in tow with the CoE beliefs. Here are some:
It is demonstrably Biblical but nevertheless the Church has been baptizing infants since the day of Pentecost because water baptism has replaced circumcision as the ‘sign and seal’ of the covenant and the children of believing parents are fully entitled to receive the ‘sign and seal’ in advance of personal commitment, by virtue of the fact that they already belong to God, (scripture is very clear on that). Where in the NT was that established? Water baptism replaced circumcision? God did no such thing. The old covenant was set aside and abolished in Christ, fulfilled. There is no replacing of it or any part of it.

Previously circumcision was the only way of entering The Covenant.


You speak of the Abrahamic Covenant. Being circumcised was not the initiation of membership into that. Abraham was of that covenant before being circumcised. All his people entered into it before being given the sign of that covenant. That's all it was, a sign of obedience, faith in God being the core of the covenant, the sign of that covenant. Nowere in Hebrews 11 do any faith champions are reported to please God because of taking the sign of obedience. It was obedience itself, in faith, that was rewarded with imputed righteousness.

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. Gen. 17:7.

The covenant referred to there is the NEW Covenant ratified in the blood of Jesus. The Seed was to be Jesus, not many seeds. The old covenants are set aside and abolished, not everlasting. 2 Cor. 3:13 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
Ephes. 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
2 Tim. 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:


Cometh this blessedness, (Salvation), then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

That proves salvation is not based on flesh circumcision, that in fact through more scriptures circumcision avails nothing for any Christian. There is no reason to try combining flesh circumcision and spiritual circumcision of the "heart". The flesh version was merely a sign with no power. The spirit version is real, alive, far more than a sign, but what makes the believer a new creature in Christ from the inside out. That circumcision has power, seen by others through fruit of the Spirit in us.

Enough said about circumcision as a far fetched basis for water baptism!

Next there's If such infants are already fully members of 'The Church' then on what grounds can they be refused the sign and seal of their profession? Baptism!
Where does the Bible say infants are automatically members of the Church? Surely you mean only their name is written on the local church membership role as a courtesy to member parents. There is no logical reason to try proving infants need any help from parents to escape hell, having had no say in which family they enter the world through. We can look to infants born to godless parents for that matter. What is their status with God? Not accountable. Neither circumcising them nor sprinkling them with water will alter their status with God. But now you proceed to say an infant in your church has a profession to utter or think and is therefore not to be denied the rite of water baptism which is testimony to deciding for salvation by Christ.
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dovegiven: Mar 28, 2012, 10:25 AM
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven : Hi :

Only one thing can come out of the old covenants to please God enough to give righteousness to someone,

I don’t think anyone is given righteousness by God. God declares us ‘Justified’ but that is not ‘righteousness’, it is merely a legal term describing the status before God of the believer on the grounds of faith in Jesus Christ as saviour. Justification is awarded immediately following repentance and faith. God alone is ‘good’ in the absolute sense.

In fact, leaning upon any ritual can be taken as stepping away from Christ. If we come to believe it is necessary to do a Jewish rite to be completed in Christ, then we make Christ of no effect.

This of course would apply just as much to adult baptism by total immersion. It is recognizably a Jewish ‘Rite’. Practiced by John the Baptist and the Apostles but not by Jesus Christ. St Paul also did not consider it of any real importance. 1 Cor 1:14

"I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: (this could well have included infants), besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. (adult baptism was no big deal for Paul), For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel:

Anyone who thinks that undergoing the outward sign even as an adult, can compel God to bring about the inward one, (baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire), is on a hiding to nothing.

When considering the validity of an adult proselytes confession it is still difficult to discern whether they have had a true conversion or not. One is compelled to take their word for it. At least an infant can't lie about it's desire for the sacrament.

Once again you have entirely missed the point of infant baptism. No one is leaning on any ‘ritual’ to be completed in Christ. The infant is already completely in Christ. The child is already completely in the visible Church. The child is already Covenant bound through it’s relationship with it’s parent(s) who ‘have been bought with a price’ and are the property under God’s Law of the purchaser, namely Jesus Christ. The child can still become a renegade and covenant breaker though, the true status no doubt of many considered by church leaders to be life long unsaved sinners. It might be interesting to see what would happen if they were confronted with their sinful rebellion and casting off ‘of the yoke of God’s Gracious Covenant’ they had so much despised in their youth. A truer and more honest conversion might result.

Bought with a Price : If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.

I think it would be true to say that since to be ‘saved’ we were ‘bought with a price’, (the blood of Christ), we are also obligated to serve Christ forever along with our wives and children. Remember not a jot or tittle shall pass from the Law until all is fulfilled. Various other gracious clauses have been added though since Christ’s death and resurrection, no doubt.

There is no Letter of the Law that has a modernized counterpart among Christians. Circumcision was one of those Letters. Christ Jesus died to all of those. We ought not impose on our babies or anyone else any requirement of the old law.

I think a Letter is more significant than a jot or a tittle, don’t you. I have never suggested however that infant baptism is ‘imposed’ on the infant. Infant baptism is ‘conferred’ or 'bestowed' upon the infant because it is the infants entitlement to receive the sign that it is fully a member of Christ’s Church.

To think in terms of ‘imposing’ would be tantamount to accusing parents of ‘imposing’ education, hygiene, manners, discipline, and any number of things upon it that the child, left entirely to itself might not ‘choose’ to do. I don't think most parents would think in terms of 'imposition' when deciding whether to have their infant inoculated against disease. Why think of 'imposition' in relation to infant baptism? It's your mindset that's the problem.

The fact remains that God is sovereign and chooses whomever He will to be servants of His Son. “ No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44. The whole idea of us ‘choosing’ to be servants of Christ is nonsense. Salvation is 'imposed' upon us only from the point of view of those who reject it. To us being saved it is a great gift.

What happened to me at 12 was not real, and I knew it. I walked away convinced the whole deal was bogus, church being some social club, suffering for that several years. Yet all along I played the game, putting Christians off my trail.

I would be interested to know what led up to this in your childhood. Were you a Covenant bound child? Did you rebel against God. Were your parents / Grandparents ‘believers’. Do you perhaps have an underlined and dog-eared family Bible tucked away in some inaccessible drawer or attic, evidence of a distant ancestors covenenant with The Lord?

You seem to have had a clear sense at 12 that God was not to be fooled around with. He can’t be deceived. People - well they are gullible, not so God. You can't fool God.

You may have put Christians off your trail, but you never shook off “The Hound of Heaven”. (google it). God always brings back His strays, one way or another.

Regards Chris.
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven :

Where in the NT was that established? Water baptism replaced circumcision? God did no such thing. The old covenant was set aside and abolished in Christ, fulfilled. There is no replacing of it or any part of it.

In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ : Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; Col. 2:11-14 KJV.

There is a clear link made by Paul between true circumcision, (of the heart, i.e made without hands), and Baptism. Of course if you choose to ignore Paul’s words on the matter that is up to you.

The first communal act of membership of The Church of The New Testament was Baptism on the day of Pentecost.

In origin circumcision is not part and parcel of ‘The Law’, but, on the contrary, of the promise, of which it is a sign and seal of righteousness. obtained by faith. Abraham was the first to receive this sign because of his faith.

Historically, there is no justification for placing circumcision on the same plane with the ‘carnal’ ordinances of the Mosaic Law. By it’s origin circumcision is independent both of the promulgation and of the abolition of the Law of Moses, which it antedates by more than four centuries.

Circumcision was given to Abraham (and not to Moses!) as a sign and seal of the justification which he obtained through faith by believing in the promises of the covenant of grace and thus as a sign of the cleansing away of sins in the same way as is expressed in baptism today.

Circumcision is not exclusively a sign of the national covenant with the Hebrews. It started with Abraham and continued many generations before they became a nation at Sinai when The Law was given.

You speak of the Abrahamic Covenant. Being circumcised was not the initiation of membership into that. Abraham was of that covenant before being circumcised.

The Abrahamic Covenant is the only covenant we are concerned with here. Abraham was permitted to enter into covenant with God because he had ‘faith’ in God’s promises to himself ‘and his offspring’. In order to fulfill the terms imposed upon him Abraham was circumcised as a sign that he had ‘faith’. Subsequently all his descendants were obligated to bear the sign or else they were regarded by God to have ‘broken the covenant’.

Where does the Bible say infants are automatically members of the Church?

Nowhere. Because I have been careful not to say that. I have said that The infants of believing parent(s) are automatically members of The Church. Not just the local church assembly but the worldwide church of Christ. The children of believers are ‘redeemed’.


Surely you mean only their name is written on the local church membership role as a courtesy to member parents. There is no logical reason to try proving infants need any help from parents to escape hell, having had no say in which family they enter the world through.

Parents cannot do anything to help their children escape hell. Children don’t go to hell! Their angels see God every day.

We can look to infants born to godless parents for that matter. What is their status with God?

I simply do not know about the children of unbelievers who are them selves the children of unbelievers etc. etc.,( I think scripture is silent on the subject), but Jesus was reluctant to even minister to the child of a Phoenician woman on account of the fact that it’s parents were outside the covenant of promise. He changed His mind when she showed that she had great faith and humility. By so doing I feel he probably decided to preempt the outpouring of Grace to all mankind which came about through his death and resurrection later on.

“The woman was a Greek, a Syro- phoenician by race. And she begged Him that He would cast the demon out of her daughter. But Jesus said to her, Let the children first be filled. For it is not right to take the children's loaves and to throw it to the dogs. And she answered and said to Him, Yes, Lord, yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs. And He said to her, For this saying go, the demon has gone out of your daughter. And when she had come to her house, she found the demon had gone out, and her daughter lay on the couch.” Mk. 7:26-30 MKJV

Incidentally, the child was not healed through any 'faith' of it's own. It was entirely the mother who convinced Jesus of her case. Children do not need 'faith'.

Not accountable. Neither circumcising them nor sprinkling them with water will alter their status with God.

You must be confused. I have never suggested that infant baptism changed the status of anyone. I am on record as consistently insisting that infant baptism of the children of believers is merely a recognition of the child’s status as being already a member of The Church of Jesus Christ.

But now you proceed to say an infant in your church has a profession to utter or think and is therefore not to be denied the rite of water baptism which is testimony to deciding for salvation by Christ.

No I have not said that either. The child is entitled to be endowed with the scripturally authorized New Testament sign of membership of Christ’s Church. The child is not a proselyte. It is no stranger to the promises. It has however yet to close with the covenant and develop a fuller relationship with God. But it is by no means 'unsaved'.

Regards Chris.
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
I won't argue religion, especially that of a metaphoric kind. My position is shared by most Christian churches in the world. I stand on a literal reading of the Bible in all issues, never any mere popular tradition. We have taken a position that should alert anyone who has taken a traditional salvation "plan" on such a basis ought to reconsider with their own mind and heart, deliberately moving on to a real relationship with God in Christ.

All our children have been "made to feel a part of the Family of God" quite effectively without any religious rite, nurtured until each could choose on their own. I highly recommend that path.
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Re: [praizeop2] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Ah the beauty of mercy and grace from God.

There are but two classes of humans, two states of being. 1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Sounds tough, but it's the truth.

But in His love God was merciful first, now giving grace and still showing mercy until a person's time to live under grace comes.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

We can well say that while yet children of the Devil (Satan) Christ died for us, not condemning the world of such children, but that they might be saved to be children of the light, of God.

So it is that mercy covers the whole world of children and even adults who stumble in darkness, but only to a particular moment. There is nothing we can do to improve upon God's mercy or salvation plan. It is God who calls us to repentance and a decision to follow Jesus.

So while our children walk under mercy we should raise them up learning of God, that they are equipped to seize that moment with joy, far less likely to waste any of their precious lifetime.
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven : Hi : You wrote, (again among many other things) lol.

I won't argue religion, especially that of a metaphoric kind.

There is nothing ‘metaphorical’ about the covenant. It is the very glue which holds the whole plan of salvation together. The Apostles understood that. American Dispensationalists do not. That is their error and I don’t care to argue the toss about it any longer either.

My position is shared by most Christian churches in the world.

Unfortunately for you, you are wrong on that presumption also. The Armenian Church (very ancient indeed), Coptic Church, Roman Catholic Church, Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches, Anglican Church, United Reformed Churches, Methodist Church, Calvinist Churches, Lutheran Churches and many others too many to mention all understand to one degree or another the doctrine of The Covenant between God and the offspring of their ‘believing’ members.

It is only a few ‘Baptists’ and American Dispensationalists who hold your extreme view regarding the ‘unsaved’ and 'reprobate' nature of your offspring. How can a parent who ‘believes’ that their child is a ‘child of Satan’ until they can perform certain formalities later in life, (repentence, faith and adult baptism), be a ‘loving parent’? More like someone condemned to potentially bring up a ‘coo-coo in the nest’ rather than nurture a ‘Holy child gifted from God’.

I stand on a literal reading of the Bible in all issues, never any mere popular tradition.

You think you do. That is what is so sad. Clearly you know nothing of ‘God’s Secret’.

All our children have been "made to feel a part of the Family of God" quite effectively without any religious rite, nurtured until each could choose on their own. I highly recommend that path.

And how, pray, does it come about, according to your theology, (and lets keep it strictly scriptural), that your child is legitimately ‘part of the family of God’. You quite rightlymake them feel part of the family of God’, for indeed they are but the ‘family of God is The Church’ there is no other ‘family of God’ recognized in scripture, and you have devised a theology which bars ALL but those old enough to repent and declare their faith in Christ from, membership. According to your own warped theology your children cannot be ‘part of the family of God’ until they are old enough to repent, believe and be baptized. So with sighs of relief all round the parents finally see their child enter The Church at some indeterminate age of cognizance or must face the fact, ‘according to your theology’, that their child never has been and perhaps never will be ‘Holy to God’ and therefore an integral part of ‘The Family of Faith’.

There are but two classes of humans, two states of being. 1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Sounds tough, but it's the truth.

You are once again being selective with how you interpret the word my friend. Infants are incapable of ‘doing either righteousness or unrighteousness and they are also incapable of hating their brother. Clearly this verse is no guide to deciding if an infant is a child of God or a child of the Devil. I am appalled at your inappropriate choice of scripture to decide that issue. It must be your Fundamentalist Biblical Literalist pre-conceptions which cause you to interpret this verse as if it actually refers to ‘children’. You simply cannot recognize metaphor were it to jump up and bite you. The verse simply states the truth that a life of wickedness and malice is evidence of a certain spiritual lineage and that a life of love and righteous deeds likewise. It is clear from the clause following the colon that it refers only to adults not to infants or young children.

Personally I prefer to take Paul’s word for it that the children of believers are ‘Holy to God’. That eliminates for me any possibility of their being 'children of Satan'. That then makes at least four states of being, not merely two.

(1) Those who Know God and trust in Him as their Savior.
(2) Those whose parent(s) trust(s) in God but are not yet old or wise enough to trust in Him for themselves.
(3) Those who do not know God and are as yet unaware of God's grace toward them as demonstrated by the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ Our Lord.
(4)Those who know of God's love through hearing The Gospel but have spurned and rejected him and His offer of reconciliation.

Those who understand the covenant, (like Abraham did), know this. (Abraham had The Gospel preached to him Gal. 3:8).

Those that are ignorant of ‘Gods Secret’ find themselves preaching only half a Gospel to only adult proselytes, and thinking that it is they only who are in receipt of the truth and preaching it. Sad!

But in His love God was merciful first, now giving grace and still showing mercy until a person's time to live under grace comes.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.


Not for those infants and young children who die in infancy. What if a child has almost reached the age of cognizance and has sin in their life already and an unclear conscience, (like yourself who insincerely underwent baptism knowing it to be a lie and a sham). Had you died shortly after would you have been classed ‘a child of Satan’ and ‘an unredeemed sinner’ in the eyes of God and treated accordingly? I think not!

An understanding of ‘The Covenant’ and how it affects the children of believers removes all doubt as to the status of infants and young children in the scheme of salvation. Ignorance of ‘The Covenant’ in all it’s aspects forces ‘baptists’ to speculation and conjecture on the issue of whether ‘their’ infants and young children ‘are saved’, ‘will be saved’, ‘may ever be saved’. That is doubt - not 'faith' such as Abraham had.

Abraham believed God and was therefore willing to sacrifice his own son, believing that if he died then God would raise him up. THAT is the kind of ‘faith’ that God expects of the Parents of HIS children in The Church.

Clearly it is rarely seen in ‘baptist’ circles because of their extreme dualist and individualist theology.

We can well say that while yet children of the Devil (Satan) Christ died for us, not condemning the world of such children, but that they might be saved to be children of the light, of God.

Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. In other words, among other things, Christ’s death is an appeal to us to cease being sinners and walk as children of light as soon as we are able to do so while understanding what that means. Just exactly the situation of a covenant child, baptized as an infant, who is called by God to close with the covenant on it’s own behalf, which God previously made with it’s parent(s) at their conversion.

So it is that mercy covers the whole world of children and even adults who stumble in darkness, but only to a 'particular moment'.

Isn’t that just a bit unpredictable and ‘hit and miss’ when it comes to the salvation of ‘baptist’ children. How does anyone know when that ‘particular moment’ has been reached? Might it never be reached? Might it have already been reached and the child not responded positively?

There is nothing we can do to improve upon God's mercy or salvation plan.

Very true. God has made a very good ‘salvation plan’. It just seems to me that you are largely ignorant of it with respect to the salvation status of the children of believing parent(s). You only know about the requirements expected of Adult proselytes on entry to The Church of Jesus Christ.

It is God who calls us to repentance and a decision to follow Jesus.

True. Very true of both adults who are being incorporated into the Church for the first time, and of Covenant covered children who have not yet personally, willingly and gratefully accepted the enormous privilege accorded them by being the children of ‘believing’ parent(s).

So while our children walk under mercy we should raise them up learning of God, that they are equipped to seize that moment with joy, far less likely to waste any of their precious lifetime.

So while our children 'grow, become strong, filled with wisdom; with the favor of God upon them'. Luke 2:40. we should “teach (the ways of Godliness) diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Deut 6:7. THEN they stand the best chance possible of growing up to become ‘True Israelites in whom there is no guile’. Ps. 32:2, John 1:47, 1 Pet. 2:22 and 3:10, Rev. 14:5.

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Apr 14, 2012, 10:20 AM
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Re: [praizeop2] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
I recently asked the Lord this question and He answered me. Before I share that answer, I would like to hear what YOUR thoughts are on this subject.

Praizeop2:

Time to share with us your answer from God I think. Everyone else seems to have evaded the question or has no experience of God speaking to them as a child.

There are not actually two ‘salvations’, it is just that ‘salvation’ is nowhere near as prescriptive or well organised as ‘baptists’ and other American Dispensationalists would like us all to believe it is.

Timothy (in the Bible), presumably knew god from very early childhood and Paul was convinced of Timothy’s calling and election by virtue of his grandmother’s and mother's ‘faith’, not by any formal ‘adult faith declaration’ of Timothy’s.

(According to what we read in the Bible, Timothy was never ‘converted’ or ‘baptized’ as an adult). Indeed there is no record throughout the entire New Testament of the children of any believer being ‘baptized’ or 'saved' in adulthood). Search as we may, examples are simply not there. According to St Paul Timothy had ‘a sincere faith’. A faith that dwelt first in his grandmother Lo’is and his mother Eunice, and now in him. 2 Tim. 1:3-7.

This is The Covenant of Grace, in action. "I will be your God, and the God of your children after you".

There is not a single hint of St. Paul referring to Timothy’s ‘conversion’. ‘adult baptism’ or official entry into the church, (as an adult), through any ceremonial presided over by Paul or any other worthy person.

On the contrary the only reference is made to the ‘faith’ of his grandmother and the ‘faith’ of his mother before him. We must assume therefore that Timothy was baptized as a child and grew up in the church knowing God, because he is still a young man when Paul is writing to him in this letter. We may be fairly sure, since Paul seems to have known Timothy's family history quite well, that Paul would have been aware of the quality of relationships and depth of faith in Timothy's family and therefore the likelihood that Timothy had a sincere faith.

Of course Children can have a meaningful relationship with God, long before any ‘conversion’ or ‘getting saved’ experience has ever taken place. That is no substitute for developing a mature relationship with God in adulthood though.

Yet I didn't actually get "saved" (give my entire life and future to Him). I think you probably had already put ‘your future’ in God’s hands back then. It’s just that you were too young to appreciate what ‘a future’ actually was, and what what ‘placing yourself in God’s care’ actually involved. You were already there but did not yet know it.

For a child who knew God as a child, 'getting saved' as an adult is very much more a matter of ‘coming home’, getting into clean clothes, stuffing your old ones into God’s washing machine, relaxing and just enjoying the party. Luke 15:22.

Regards Chris.
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
I for one am not interested in religious traditions, so have concluded concerning the topic. However, I have something to say about Timothy supposedly knowing God from childhood. The Bible doesn't even hint at that.

Paul introduced the gospel to Timothy's home area. Acts 14:[20] Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. [21] And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, [22] Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Later Paul returned to Derbe and Lystra, finding Timotheus who believed, though his mother was a Jewess, father a Greek. Obviously Timothy was saved as a result of Paul's ministry. Paul called him his own "son of the faith" in 1 Tim. 1:2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

The meaning of that is Timothy was a disciple of Paul, possibly born again under ministry of one or more elders ordained on Paul's first trip there. Becoming a "son of the faith" is not going to happen no matter how many gallons of water are sprinkled on a baby. It means one thing, that the person responded to the gospel, choosing Jesus as Savior. Nowhere will you find a word about Timothy being born again before Paul's first trip there. Who else preached there before Paul? Are you proposing a salvation apart from grace through faith?

Perhaps you meant to bring up Samuel in 1 Sam 3?
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
I for one am not interested in religious traditions, so have concluded concerning the topic. However, I have something to say about Timothy supposedly knowing God from childhood. The Bible doesn't even hint at that.

I think you are quite wrong to make such an assertion.

The ‘hint’ is quite strong actually.

Why else would Paul refer to Timothy’s mother and grandmother on the subject of their ‘faith’, clearly connecting it with Timothy's. According to your way of thinking how could their faith possibly have anything to do with Timothy and his 'faith'? What possible bearing might it have on Timothy? Why even mention it? What is Paul's point? Does Paul even have a point in mentioning Lo'is and Eunice?

Well, yes, quite a lot, if you understand how the Covenant actually works in the case of 'believers'. But you obviously don't ! and won't !

I just hope that you haven't simply concluded that Paul wrote what he did concerning the faith of Lo'is and Eunice as an 'unispired irrelevance in scripture, from which nothing of value can be learned '.

It is in fact as 'inspired' as anything else in Scripture. Should you not at least try to understand what it might imply concerning Paul's thinking concerning the children of 'believers'?

Why did Paul not refer to Timothy’s ‘conversion’? I could understand Paul not wanting to refer to the fact that it was he who subjected Timothy to circumcision Acts 16:3 in order to quiet sensitivities among the Jews over the fact that Timothy’s Father was a Greek, (and therefore, along with his children, not under the Abrahamic Covenant from their point of view), but Timothy was under The Covenant because his mother and grandmother were both Jewish and both also ‘believers’ in the true faith which looked forward to and accepted Jesus as The True Messiah.

There is no hint whatever that Paul had previously known Timothy, let alone overseen his 'conversion'. All we are told is that his father was Greek, his mother a Jewish believer and he was well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Iconium.

It may even have been the debacle over Timothy's circumcision by Paul, (after it having been agreed that it be no longer requisite upon entry to The Church), that later caused Paul to re-think the whole issue and adopt a firm policy against the practice for 'Christian believers', substituting baptism instead as the sign and seal of The Covenant.

Timothy (and Paul is obviously referring to this in 2 Tim:4-7) was already an heir to that 'faith' by the Promise of God to Lo'is and Eunice for their offspring. Your assertion that all 'believers' in Lystra were necessarily and essentially converts of Paul from previous visits, is nothing but conjecture. It is clear to me that Paul's reference to Lo'is and Eunice is not merely concerning a matter of days or months 'in the faith', but years, even tens of years, going back possibly to their personal acquaintance with Our Lord himself, (people were dispersed around the Roman Empire a great deal in those days, often against their will).

The reference to Paul’s ‘laying on of hands’ is the only reference to any kind of adult rite which Timothy had undergone in the presence of Paul, (apart from circumcision that is), with reference to receipt of The Holy Spirit and gifts of ministry. Baptism or conversion are never mentioned by Paul in connection with Timothy. Why?

Should they not have had more relevance for Paul in connection with Timothy's 'faith' than the 'faith' of his mother and grandmother which Paul does mention.

I for one am not interested in religious traditions, so have concluded concerning the topic.

There you go again denigrating what you do not understand. It is just as well that you have concluded contributing to the topic since you seem unable to discuss it without casting aspersions upon those who find sound Biblical evidence for the concept of 'child, even infant, salvation' based upon a holistic understanding of The Covenant and it's Promises, preferring your own ‘traditions’ and well rehearsed 'Dispensationalist' ‘dogma’ to a balanced consideration of the Biblical evidence itself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispensationalism

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Apr 5, 2012, 4:12 PM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Where is the scriptural evidence for what yu claim about Timothy? Just a little hint will do.

Paul introduced the gospel, Timothy's family believed, the resulting faith of his matriarchal family commendable. I think it's quite reasonable to assume a mother and grandmother, just recently born again from hearing the gospel, would have quite some influence on the young man. When I made a true commitment to the Lord it shocked both our families. Those that thought they were saved came to realize they were not, 6 adults in that first year in the harvest, an uncle quitting his business to witness the last 5 years of his life. It's how things work. Sheep beget sheep.

My way of thinking is simply believing the word of God rather than swallow a bunch of catholic-based traditions. I understand the situation you are in, being in subjection to the machine. There was quite an upheaval over on your side of the world over such false doctrines, listed and nailed on a door.

I've said way more than necessary. Sarah gave her answer. It is finished with the Bible answers presented for all to see.
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Where is the scriptural evidence for what you claim about Timothy? Just a little hint will do.

1. No mention by Paul in any part of The New Testament of having ‘introduced’ anything whatever in Timothy’s, Lo’is or Eunice’s ‘faith’ experience.

2. Direct reference to the faith of Eunice. Direct reference to the faith of her mother Lo’is. No inference that their faith was attributable in any way whatever to Paul’s ministry.

3. Timothy was referred to as a ‘Disciple’ already when Paul arrived in Lystra. A disciple of whom? Not Paul, because he would not allow anyone to claim discipleship of himself. 1 Cor:12-17. So Timothy was a disciple of Jesus Christ having learned the faith from childhood from Eunice and Lo’is, a point that Paul emphasizes in 2 Tim 1:4-7

4. Paul’s reference to Timothy being ‘as a son to him’, is purely metaphorical, obviously. They became close friends and associates. Paul in no place insinuates that Timothy ‘owes his salvation’ to any ministry of Paul. On the contrary 2 Tim. 1:5-7 would seem to indicate that Paul was reminding Timothy that he owed his salvation status to his relationship with his mother and grandmother. (the idea that they were all 'converted' together by Paul is just incredible).

I think it's quite reasonable to assume. Yes ASSUME, and your assumption is based upon your dogmatic insistence that there is but one way into The ‘New’ Covenant, namely the way you and other modern American ‘Dispensationalist Theologians’ have erroneously assumed to be the ONLY way now available for God to use.

However modern Dispensationalist views do not hold water, neither do they accord with any Apostolic interpretation of the way The Covenant operates historically and currently for those who are in it and those who enter it.

You limit God!

Certainly ‘circumcision of the heart, not the flesh‘ is the only way of 'entering' but it is God himself that enables a person to reach that point and decides whether or not that condition has been met and it is God who ‘calls‘ and ‘chooses‘ and God does so, in most cases according to the Promises God has himself made in scripture to ‘those who love Him and keep His commandments’ Ex.20:6 (not all of which have been rescinded or annulled). Promises that you wrongly and unfaithfully deny having any current validity or relevance within the economy of ‘Salvation’.

I have searched in 'Bible answers' for a statement from Sarah but can find nothing. Do you have a link you could provide?

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Apr 6, 2012, 2:55 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
As expected whatever you disagree with theologically is metaphoric unto traditional belief with a mystic basis. I understand that now. Thank you for making that abundantly clear.
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Re: [praizeop2] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
praizeop2 wrote:
I am not the Bible scholar some of you guys are, so feel free to correct me if I am wrong here; but I believe Jesus was twelve when He began His ministry. Seems to me that that is an indicator of what God believes is the age when a child has enough maturity to begin ministering. Therefore, my conclusion is that any child who has made a confession of faith prior to the age of twelve should probably rededicate their life to the Lord. Just my thoughts. :)

I was raised a Catholic but, somewhere in my 30's I no longer agreed with their teachings and rules so, I became a Baptist. However, I was baptized at birth via sprinkling but, there's no way I was aware of what was happening or capable of making a decision for Christ. After I got saved, I was then properly re-baptized and I feel much better about this. I was able to make the decision to invite Christ in and then follow the command to be baptized upon being re-born. I often wonder about the practice of infant baptism.
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven: Hi - Blessings be upon you.

On metaphorical / mystical : I don’t apolgise for being of the opinion that Paul was never ‘literally’ Timothy‘s Father. Clearly he was not. If not `literally’ then Paul must have been ‘metaphorically’ speaking, in the sense that Paul felt a particular responsibility towards Timothy, (and perhaps a little guilt about being responsible for having Timothy circumcised, and that out of respect for ‘The Jews’). Since Paul later changed his opinion on the matter, as evidenced in his later letters perhaps he regretted the incident and felt responsible.

I don‘t see anything ’mystical’ about that. Do you?

Regards Chris. (Still can‘t find anything from Sarah about what God told her.) Where is it to be found?
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Re: [MaryPankratz] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Mary : Hi

Your story is interesting from multiple points of view.

It may be that you were never ‘saved‘ and that your choice to become a Baptist was the point at which you finally became ‘saved‘. That might be what you would be encouraged by Baptists to think happened.

It also is equally possible however that your parents or one of them or a grandparent actually ‘believed’ in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, (check it out if they are still alive), and therefore God had a Covenant with them that you would in due course be offered the opportuniy to close with The Covenant yourself. It may be that God had been trying to get through to you and failed until you dumped some of the erronious dogma of the RC church and got to know God for real, for yourself.

In those circumstances it would have been entirely appropriate for you to later submit to ‘Baptism’ and take your vows to God upon yourself.

I see no problem with your being ‘Baptized’ again if your first baptism was meanigless to you. Any batism has to be valued to be of any value. It does go to amply ilustrate however from my point of view that you obviously received no adequate instruction from childhood on what to expect as a Covenant Child. How to recognize God‘s voice when He speaks to you. What your obligations under The Covenant actually were, (to God, not to the Roman Catholic Church, a mere political / material organisation), and how to close with God‘s Covenant for yourself. The fact that it took Baptists to do that means that your own church and parents severely failed to fulfil it‘s obligations to you and God. Be thankful that you gained an understanding of the faith in the end.

Just don‘t make the mistake of thinking that the Baptists know all there is to know about God and how to get saved. They don‘t and neither did the Roman Catholics. God has not allowed any Denomination to corner the market in truth.

Regards Chris..

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rdrcofe: Apr 6, 2012, 11:04 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
So you must believe, based on your bent for metaphors, that if not a metaphor at all John either had physically begotten as blood sons and daughters (or by adoption) all those written to in 1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

OR, if you really believe what you theorize about Paul's
son of the faith' term toward Timothy is a metaphor of some supposed unrevealed idea, John was expressing some remorse or guilt over his ministry to them too.

I take the Bible as truth, not seeking escape routes through dubious metaphors. John "begat" his "children of the faith" just like Paul begat sons of the faith, those he was involved in some way opening them up to the gospel. Both were terms of endearment still used today of evangelists, anyone leading people to Christ. I claim many sons and children of the faith of Jesus Christ, and many call me "Dad" out of respect, and my wife is "Mom", though none of them are blood relatives.

The circumcision of Timothy had the permission of Timothy, agreeing he could have no ministry toward the Jews otherwise. They would never permit an uncircumcised son of a Greek preach to them. None of that was or is a compromise of the gospel. Paul made it clear the act had no inherent value, but remained a sign to the Jews.

The following will doubtless either be a mystery to you or some absurd metaphor, but I take it as part of the gospel as preached by Paul, good instruction for any laborer in Christ.
1 Cor. 9:[19] For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. [20] And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; [21] To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. [22] To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. [23] And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

That's part of what Timothy would have learned as a disciple of Paul.

You have stretched the importance of circumcision past the breaking point. For instance, what tradition existed for girls then unto now, if as your religion must decide circumcision for boys made them feel part of the family? How is it infant baptism of girls related at all to any of that? You can't deny that the COE keeps the tradition with male circumcision in mind.
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven :

I wonder if we are suffering from the misunderstandings generated by the fact that we are two nations divided by a common language.

What exactly do you understand the word ‘metaphor‘ to mean when used in the contexts that I have used it?

What is it that you seem to so object to in the use of metaphor in the interpretation of scripture?

‘My little children’ is a metaphor; a figure of speech. Not literally true in any absolute sense.

How are you defining ‘metaphor‘ and how do you think I am using the word?

I just wonder if it is a case similar to the way the word ‘compromise‘ has two different meanings. On your side of the Atlantic it seems to mean ‘the worst kind of unsuccessful outcome in negotiations‘. i.e (a bad thing). Over this side it means ‘the best kind of cooperative solution to an otherwise intractable confrontation‘, i.e. (a good thing).

Might we be unnecessarily wrangling over the word ‘metaphor‘ each with a slightly different definition in mind.

Regarding the Old Covenant, girls were not given a sign and seal. Only boys were, (a fact that tended to make Jewish spirituality tend towards mysogynism). The New Covenant is a better Covenant so it is not at all surprising that the sign and seal of it is equally aplicable to both boys and girls just as it is also applicable to both Jews and Gentiles. Also the two ‘sacraments‘ of the Old Covenant were both ‘bloody‘ sacraments but the sacraments of the New Covenant are not bloody, (The blood of Christ being sufficient to bring an end to all bloody sacrifices). Baptism is now both the sign and the seal of entry into the Covenant for both boys and girls, men and women, Jews and Gentiles.

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Apr 6, 2012, 3:19 PM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Are you one? Or have you completely missed the point of who we are in Christ?
Romans 8:14-16 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. [15] For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. [16] The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Your answer will help present your definition of "metaphor".
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
The New Covenant is a better Covenant so it is not at all surprising that the sign and seal of it is equally aplicable to both boys and girls just as it is also applicable to both Jews and Gentiles.

The sign of baptism is not applicable to Judaism. Male circumcision is.
Meanwhile, male circumcision is meaningless for Christians according to 1 Cor. 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. It really had no value other than a sign to any Jew who was only circumcised outwardly.

Yet, the COE claims
Fourthly, the Bible as a whole tells us that the children of believers are themselves part of God's family and therefore The Church of England feels that it is right that they should have the sign of belonging to the family just as Jewish boys in the Old Testament had the sign of circumcision (Genesis 17:9-14, Acts 2:39, 16:31, 1 Corinthians 7:14).
http://www.churchofengland.org/weddings-baptisms-funerals/baptism-confirmation/confirmation/frequently-asked-questions.aspx#babies

While in fact the sign of circumcision was not linked in the Bible to the purpose stated by the COE of "belonging to the family". The sign was a commandment for all male Jewish infants concerning identification with the covenant, which of course didn't signify the inward heart circumcision for infant or man of any age. There is no such direct commandment concerning parents identifying their infant with the New Covenant which is initiated with inward heart circumcision, not at all any outward sign. Baptism in water follows after belief and repentance. Your infant baptism takes the first step irregardless of the others, thereby posing an eternal threat to anyone having trust in that.

What you propose is like comparing apples to oranges. There is no connection whatsoever between Jewish circumcision and Christian infant sprinkling, other than man-made doctrine presented as tradition. The strength of your doctrine is in the age of the tradition alone.

It appears you are so wrapped up in your traditions you haven't been able to comprehend Sarah's answer that you still seek. Since a decision of the parents to sprinkle the infant has no value toward eternal salvation, she is right that upon an age of responsibility a child must make his or her own decision, as the former made by parents holds no living water.


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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Infant baptism can't possibly contribute anything to childhood salvation, the subject of this thread. It should have not been brought up at all. It is man-made false doctrine and must be refuted at every opportunity.

What Sarah wrote has everything to do with childhood salvation. Having had that traditional sign doesn't award a single advantage toward any person concerning salvation at any age. Each person will be called somehow to respond to God concerning eternal life in Christ, having no responsibility for that until the Father calls to come to Jesus. No work, no effort, no act before that moment will avail anything with God. Can a person that didn't have an assurance of being welcome to the family of God not find Jesus? If anyone then can find salvation apart from having the "sign" of infant baptism, then salvation remains open to all who receive it by their own decision. None needs that in their life, else it is required of all by commandment, which doesn't exist in the Bible.
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven : Hi

Are you one? Or have you completely missed the point of who we are in Christ?
Romans 8:14-16 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. [15] For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. [16] The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Questioning another servant’s kinship to God and identity in Christ is unkind and unwarranted. I will however overlook that impertinence and provide a working definition of “metaphor” for you to consider.

metaphor / met’-e-for n. a figure of speech by which a thing is spoken of as being that which it only resembles, as when a ferocious person is called a tiger.

By that definition the verse you quote does not refer literally to the physical male offspring of God when it alludes to us ‘believers’.

We may become children of God, (metaphor), by receiving Christ Jesus and believing in his name. We are born, (metaphor), not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, (literal), but of God.

Birth, being born, child of, sons of, are all metaphors when in reference to our relationship to God. They only resemble the actual spiritual reality that they refer to. They do not literally or substantively represent kinship in any physical form. (not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man).

The metaphor is further expanded to include ‘The Spirit of Adoption’. God has, (as it were), adopted us and made us his family, (metaphor again). WE have a ‘spiritual affinity’ with God, (A Spirit), whereby we are permitted, even encouraged to call Him Our Father. That Spirit confirms and convinces us that our spiritual relationship with God is real, actual and robust.

The sign of baptism is not applicable to Judaism. Male circumcision is.

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise". Gal.3:28-29

The sign of baptism was applied to Jews from the Day of Pentecost onwards. It is the sign of entry into The New Covenant. The better Covenant. The Covenant which is open to all who believe the promises to Abraham and his offspring, heirs according to the promise.

WHAT PROMISE ? you may well ask. The promise made to Abraham. “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you and to your seed after you”.

A promise that you seem only to actually believe in half of and deny the other half to be possible.

Meanwhile, male circumcision is meaningless for Christians.

Of course: it has been replaced by baptism, (since Pentecost), as the sign and seal of entry into The New Covenant.

Furthermore ‘baptism’ is merely an outward sign in exactly the same way as ‘circumcision’ is claimed by yourself to be merely an ‘outward’ sign.

It really had no value other than a sign to any Jew who was only circumcised outwardly.

This statement of yours here is however not really true. It merely reflects your prejudice. (You’re not affiliated to the KKK are you)? lol.

Circumcision was given to Abraham (and not to Moses!) as a sign and seal of the justification which he obtained through faith by believing in the promises of the covenant of grace, and thus as a sign of the cleansing away of sins in the same way as is expressed by baptism today. The significance of the covenant of grace was spiritual. The promise made to Abraham is spiritual, and the Apostle calls it the Gospel (Gal. 3:8). The significance of the rite of circumcision was thus spiritual also, not only because the sign was in harmony with the promise (of which it is precisely the sign and seal), but because of the spiritual meaning attributed to circumcision as representing at the same time the promise of God to circumcize the heart of the people and of their children: "The Lord your God will circumcize your heart and the heart of your posterity, so that you may love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and that you may live" (Deut. 30: 6).

Circumcision thus represents the obligation resting upon him who had received this sign, in authentication of this promise, to circumcize his heart and to live according to the covenant. It is essential that Deuteronomy 6:5-9, 30:6, and Matthew 22:36, 37 should be linked with each other, and parallel passages. It is simply a matter of a summary of the law! The law and the prophets, and not only the Apostle Paul, proclaim that it is not sufficient to be distinguished externally by the circumcision of the flesh, if the circumcision of the heart is lacking.

From this it follows that uncircumcized lips are impure lips, and that an un-circumcized heart is a heart stained with sin.! It is not by chance that the terms" circumcize" and" circumcision" are employed to express yielding of the heart, obedience to God, conversion, and faith. Those who are circumcized outwardly but unconverted in their heart are called the " false circumcision," since it is only believers who participate in the true circumcision, which is according to the Spirit (Phil. 3:2-3 and Rom. 2:28-29).

Circumcision, therefore, truly has a spiritual meaning in perfect harmony with the covenant of grace, itself spiritual, of which it is the sign and seal. The device whereby an attempt is made to divide this Abrahamic covenant into two or three covenants distinct from each other, in order that, to suit the convenience of certain people, a " carnal " element may be inserted into it, has no justification, for when the Bible refers to the covenant with Abraham it always speaks of it in the singular.

Furthermore, the New Testament interprets the promises made to Abraham in a spiritual manner, the material blessings being only the consequence of the spiritual blessings. 'thus, circumcision, which was their sacrament, possesses equally from this angle a spiritual meaning.

Finally, the New Testament declares that Jesus Christ was the minister of the circumcision for the sake of the truth of God, in order to confirm the promises made to our fathers" (Rom. 15:8). If, in spite of the texts, it is insisted that the true circumcision - that is to say, 'circumcision' as it was settled in the mind of God, and not as it has been deformed by the legalistic conceptions of certain Judaizers - is a carnal institution, then Christ was the minister of a carnal institution. I cannot believe that to be true. Therefore Christ is the minister of a 'spiritual institution' when the scriptures say HE is the minister of The Circumcision.

While in fact the sign of circumcision was not linked in the Bible to the purpose stated by the COE of "belonging to the family".

Which ‘family’ do you think it refers to? The reference is not to the family of ‘flesh and blood’ or ‘the will of the flesh’. It refers to the family of God. The Church.

The sign and seal of circumcision was precisely the ‘outward’ sign and seal of membership of The Family of God. The more important aspect of which was ‘circumcision of the heart’ which God had promised to perform in due course for the children of believers. Deut 30:6.

Baptism in water follows after belief and repentance.

Only for Adults not previously associated with God’s People.

I have no objection however to any person who has no faith in their baptism as an infant being baptized by total immersion as a consenting adult. I have myself been baptized in such a manner by a Baptist Minister when we ministered together at a Beach Mission for children. It however, in my case, by no means signified a significant metanoia because I had been circumcised of heart many years previously. Adult baptism is merely an outward sign of an inward grace and no more indicative of a true conversion, (circumcision of the heart), than the circumcision made with hands that you so much despise or infant baptism which you reject.

What you propose is like comparing apples to oranges. There is no connection whatsoever between Jewish circumcision and Christian infant sprinkling, other than man-made doctrine presented as tradition. The strength of your doctrine is in the age of the tradition alone.

Your opposition to the practice is based purely in your prejudice and ignorance of the scripture, particularly your ignorance of “The Secret of the Lord”. The fact that you have never bothered to look for the scriptural evidence by no means proves it’s non existence. I would guess that (given your tradition and closed mindset), you will never discover ‘God’s Secret’ for yourself.

It appears you are so wrapped up in your traditions you haven't been able to comprehend Sarah's answer that you still seek.

I fail to see any connection between ‘traditions’ and being unable to find a ‘post on Praize’. And how can I ‘comprehend’ a post I cannot find? I remain curious as to what God has told her regarding her question of Him.

I have asked if you have a link you could provide but it seems you either cannot or will not provide one.

Meanwhile I shall have to categorize Sarah's answer from God as just being another of the many, many things I don't yet know and leave it at that.

Have a happy Easter. Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Apr 7, 2012, 6:21 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Are you one? Or have you completely missed the point of who we are in Christ?
Romans 8:14-16 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. [15] For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. [16] The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Chris posted Questioning another servant’s kinship to God and identity in Christ is unkind and unwarranted.

Who says? The one who is not sure of his inheritance? I'm surprised that offends you. I was not judging, but asking in light of the scriptures. Teachers are subject to scrutiny of every saying. James 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

As they say, if it's too hot in the kitchen, leave. Cooking happens there, and the heat goes with the job.

Chris posted: metaphor / met’-e-for n. a figure of speech by which a thing is spoken of as being that which it only resembles, as when a ferocious person is called a tiger.

By that definition the verse you quote does not refer literally to the physical male offspring of God when it alludes to us ‘believers’.

We may
become children of God, (metaphor), by receiving Christ Jesus and believing in his name. We are born, (metaphor), not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, (literal), but of God.

Birth, being born, child of, sons of, are
all metaphors when in reference to our relationship to God. They only resemble the actual spiritual reality that they refer to. They do not literally or substantively represent kinship in any physical form. (not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man).

The metaphor is further expanded to include ‘The Spirit of
Adoption’. God has, (as it were), adopted us and made us his family, (metaphor again). WE have a ‘spiritual affinity’ with God, (A Spirit), whereby we are permitted, even encouraged to call Him Our Father. That Spirit confirms and convinces us that our spiritual relationship with God is real, actual and robust.

To which I repeat we are the children of God: My sonship doesn't resemble anything. I am as much a son of God as Jesus was and is, the only differnce being Jesus is the firstborn of many brethren. Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. I AM kin to Jesus by that spirit of adoption. There is no man-made doctrine capable of diluting that fact, but I know traditions do attempt to block that knowledge.

You call too many precious truths in the Bible metaphors, redirecting our attention to something else other than what truth points to. I reject that. You should too, seeking rather to discover the direct, unadulterated message from God, which is as His word says things are. I see such overuse of metaphors as a crutch, an escape from reality, a protection of one's liturgical commitments and career. In your "metaphormizing" as I like to pen it you seek ways out of conforming to the image of Christ.

I am not something else similar to that. God is very specific as to exactly who I am. I am being conformed to the image of God's Son Jesus, among the many brethren. It is by adoption, by which I am no less a son of God, among the children of God all included by adoption. I am not some other creature similar to Jesus with some relationship to God similar to what Jesus enjoys. That is true for any true Christian. If what you have is merely similar, then what you have is uncertain, subject to questioning as is proper for any teacher coming among the sheep.

Jim posted The sign of baptism is not applicable to Judaism. Male circumcision is.

Chris posted "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise". Gal.3:28-29


Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Jesus Christ is that Seed, that one seed. Jesus IS the promise for the spiritual part of Abraham's legacy. Christians inherit proper faith through Christ, the faith of Jesus Christ. The physical part is not spiritual seeds, but is the many seeds (children of Israel) who have their own promise, such as the lands promised to the Hebrews, not to Christians.

The sign of baptism was applied to Jews from the Day of Pentecost onwards. It is the sign of entry into The New Covenant. The better Covenant. The Covenant which is open to all who believe the promises to Abraham and his offspring, heirs according to the promise.

Where does the Bible say that? It doesn't. From before and after Jesus the Jews retained male circumcision as the only sign of being counted in the Jewish covenants of Abraham and Moses.

1 Cor. 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

Even though circumcision has no spiritual value, you maintain that God replaced a spiritually worthless sign with spiritually valuable water baptism? False. Water baptism was assigned to testify as to inward heart circumcision, begun by John the Baptist, signifying repentance, the confession of sins, under preaching concerning the coming Lord (Jesus).

Are you of the British-Israel theory? Unfortunately I am compelled to ask again.

Meanwhile, male circumcision is meaningless for Christians.

Of course: it has been replaced by baptism, (since Pentecost), as the sign and seal of entry into The New Covenant.

Jews didn't stop requiring circumcision. Water baptism was practiced before Pentecost, John's baptism, Jesus water baptized by John. Baptism was birthed concerning the New Covenant while male circumcision remained. Besides, the sign of New Birth is not water baptism.

THE SIGN of the New Covenant is.....................

1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

THE SEAL of the New Covenant is.....................

2 Tim. 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. and

2 Cor. 1:[21] Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; [22] Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

That word "earnest" is from the Greek arrhabon, meaning a pledge for the whole. I "bought" a house that is up for foreclosure recently, but won't pay for it in full until the seller assures there are no problems. I agreed to his final price, but to keep the deal from being taken away, had to deposit 15% of the price with a broker who is managing the sale. When the deal is completed I will pay the full price less that earnest money, which is in effect a down payment to the seller. If I back out before the sale is final, he keeps the earnest. The seller can't back out, will finish the deal unless some unforeseen problem that can't be corrected is revealed, such as a loan against the house that isn't expected.

God has given us His Holy Spirit, in our heart as a mighty pledge on His promise that of course He cannot back out of since I have in me one of the Persons of the triune Godhead, no less than the Spirit, as His earnest.

What pity for some who only have a sign of circumcision and or water baptism.

I've written enough for proper understanding. If the above is still a mystery, pray for understanding.
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dovegiven: Apr 7, 2012, 9:32 PM
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven : Hi : Christ is Risen - He is risen indeed Alleluia.

You say : Who says? : St Paul says in Holy Scripture. Rom.14:4 “Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand”. Rom 14:10, “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ”.


I'm surprised that offends you. It doesn’t. Why should I be offended by someone calling me to give account of the hope that is in me. “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 1 Pet. 3:15.

I see such overuse of metaphors as a crutch, an escape from reality, a protection of one's liturgical commitments and career. In your "metaphormizing" as I like to pen it you seek ways out of conforming to the image of Christ.

Spoken like a true literalist with little or no understanding of any difference between physical and spiritual, figures of speech or plain speaking. John 10:6, 16:29.

you seek ways out of conforming to the image of Christ. Rom. 14:10, 14:4 again.

I am not some other creature similar to Jesus with some relationship to God similar to what Jesus enjoys.

Heb 2:17 “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

1 John 3:2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Rom. 6:5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:”

Baptism is only symbolic of our death to sin. It is a metaphor signifying the removal of our sins in the ‘likeness’ of a death. Metaphorically we ‘die to sin’, that we should sin no more. Just as we ‘metaphorically’ rise to a new and sin free life in a LIKE manner to which Christ rose again to new life.

If in fact there is no ‘circumcision of the heart‘ involved, any adult baptism is even more invalid even than you suppose infant baptism to be. Adult baptisms which are entered ‘carnally’ and without metanoia ALREADY having taken place within the individual are mere outward shows of conformity to the ‘false circumcision’.

For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Rom. 2:28.

Phil 3:3.For WE are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Col 2:11-14In whom also YE are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross”;

Circumcision of the heart, a ‘circumcision made without hands’, i.e. spiritually and internally, is the only circumcision which results in 'the blotting out of all sins held against us with the result of their being nailed to the cross of Christ'. Notice the FACT that this ‘circumcision of the heart’ is inextricably linked now with BAPTISM as the sacrament which is appropriate to accompany it.

However, UNLESS this internal, spiritual act of God has taken place within the individual, no amount of adult baptisms by total immersion or otherwise can BRING ABOUT their ‘salvation’.

Baptism is, I repeat, an 'outward and visible sign of an inward invisible Grace'. Without the inward invisible Grace, no adult is entitled by God to the outward and visible sign. This is because in most cases adults are held accountable by God for their deeds, (there are some exceptions). Children and particularly infants however, are not held responsible, yet.

Even though circumcision has no spiritual value, you maintain that God replaced a spiritually worthless sign with spiritually valuable water baptism? False.

It is you who is preaching false doctrine here and flatly contradicting Apostolic opinion.

he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Rom 3:1-4. What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? MUCH EVERY WAY: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. For what if SOME did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Circumcision of the heart existed long before ‘baptism’ existed. It was expected of Israelites from the start. It is promised and performed by GOD. How else could Nathanael, for example, be referred to by Jesus as “a true Israelite in whom is no guile”. A compliment indeed from Jesus.

Circumcision (as instituted and commanded by God) has ALWAYS been a ‘spiritual’ sacrament. It is only that it had been ‘carnalised’ by the ‘FALSE BRETHREN’.

Gal. 2:1-5 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Jesus Christ is that Seed, that one seed. Jesus IS the promise for the spiritual part of Abraham's legacy. Christians inherit proper faith through Christ, the faith of Jesus Christ. The physical part is not spiritual seeds, but is the many seeds (children of Israel) who have their own promise, such as the lands promised to the Hebrews, not to Christians.

You are very mistaken to try and separate out in such a fashion the ‘spiritual’ element of Abraham’s blessing. In fact the whole of the blessing of Abraham was ‘spiritual’. The temporal and physical aspects were merely consequential following naturally from the fact of Abram’s faith in the Promise of God, (necessary for the fulfillment of the everlasting covenant leading up to Christ). These 'real estate' blessings should no longer be of any interest to Christians.

In particular his faith in the promise to his offspring which was tested by God in the land of Moriah was spiritual. It was as a result of this demonstration of ‘FAITH” that God said to Abraham. “I will indeed bless you, and I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the sea shore . . . . . . . . because you have obeyed my voice.

You wrongly imply that Abraham’s faith in the fact that his ‘offspring’ Isaac was assured of God’s favor, (as promised), was MISPLACED or UNWARRANTED, and that the promise only applied to Jesus Christ, (undoubtedly a seed, even THE seed of Abraham promised, but by no means the ONLY one, (as can be easily seen from the above verse from Genesis) and other New Testament statements.

Abraham’s descendants are many. WE, who have faith as he had, are his descendants. (Except that you seem not to believe for your descendents as he did).

Rom 4.16:18The promise to Abraham and his descendants, that they should inherit the world, did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants- not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, for he is the father of us all, as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations"- in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations; as he had been told, "So shall your descendants be."

Jews didn't stop requiring circumcision.

Not immediately no. But the Jerusalem Church soon adopted water baptism as being appropriate for an outward and visible sign of a true conversion or ‘circumcision of the heart’. This happened for the first time at Pentecost when about 3000 souls were added.

Water baptism was practiced before Pentecost, John's baptism, Jesus water baptized by John.

The baptism of John was a baptism unto repentance, not necessarily renewal by The Holy Ghost. (Which had not yet been given). John 7:39 Acts 19:4

The baptism of Christ is a different matter and a special case. John himself said so. John 1:26-27

Baptism was birthed concerning the New Covenant while male circumcision remained.

Not for followers of Jesus Christ it didn't remain. It was replaced. And it is a serious mistake to think that God Abolished The Old Covenant along with "The Law of Commandments contained in Ordinances" Eph 2:15-16 "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross", The Covenant was not ever the same as The Law. The Covenant was made with Abraham, not Moses. The Law came through Moses and reached it's fulfillment in Christ. The Covenant came through Abraham, reached it's fulfillment in Christ, was enhanced and improved, extended to all sinners Jewish or Gentile and now stands as The New Covenant in Christs blood. Not the blood of bulls and goats with which it is impossible to take away sins. Heb 10:4

Baptism was commanded by Jesus Christ as a sign of discipleship. Matt 28:19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Besides, the sign of New Birth is not water baptism.

I have already agreed in principle with you on that point, but on what authority can it be claimed that baptism is not significant of new birth since that 'new birth' is invisible, internal and known only by personal experience to the individual and to God?

Even adult baptism by total immersion is of no effect unto ‘salvation’ for those who partake of it ‘carnally’. But for those who have been alreadycircumcised of heart’ and for those who are already declared by scripture to be ‘Holy’ to God by virtue of their parent(s) faith and true conversion, baptism is the sign and seal of the Christian Profession. Those who are "buried with Christ in Baptism" certainly have a sign and seal, instituted by Christ himself and practiced by the church as a sign and seal ever since it’s inception. Else why were 3000 baptized on the Day of Pentecost? Acts 2:38-42

THE SEAL of the New Covenant is.....................

I find myself in complete agreement with most else you have written regarding signs and seals.

It must be bourn in mind though that it is insufficient to say that the foundation of baptism is to be found in Christ. Christ is the content of baptism and as such his place is one of eminence. But the true foundation of this sacrament aught to be sought higher still, namely, in the decree of God whereby Christ has become ‘God with us” and which is revealed to us in ‘the covenant of grace’.

Study will reveal that Christ is the Mediator, the Guarantor and the Fulfiller of the covenant; His sacrificial death fulfils and completes the covenant; His resurrection is the manifestation of the power of the promise of the covenant, thenseforth fully accomplished. He gathers his own and is The great shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the everlasting covenant. His entire ministry and that of The Apostles, is to administer the covenant in conformity with the riches of God’s plan of salvation.

By the preaching of The Gospel the covenant - fulfilled in Christ - is offered to whoever believes; and by the administration of the sacraments the covenant is signed and sealed.

The Lord’s supper is a sacrament of the covenant because the blood shed by Christ is that of the covenant.

Baptism, (which has reference to the death of Christ), which was accomplished according to the promises of the covenant and his resurrection in virtue of the same promises of the same covenant is equally a sacrament of the covenant of grace. This is no mere theory. All that the New Testament says about baptism bears this out.

In spite of what you may think, all this is of great relevance to the thread question posed regarding whether there is a difference between the 'salvation' that pertains to the faith of a child and the 'salvation' that pertains to the 'faith' of a mature adult.

It would appear that, (from my experience) and from my understanding of scripture, the 'salvation' of children is 'provisional' but being 'provisional' makes it none the less 'sure' and 'secure' for those who never reach 'adulthood' or who are always going to be incapable of 'making a decision for Christ of their own volition'.

It is equally true, it would appear from scripture, that each and every one one of us will have to give account to God for our every deed and word in this life and that God has decreed that all must repent and believe who are given opportunity to do so when presented with the truths of The Gospel, else their sins are retained.

Those that choose not to respond positively to the call of The Gospel must answer for themselves at the Great Judgment when the true intentions of the heart will be laid bare. Those who chose to follow the WAY of Christ, (a way of love, truth and compassion for others) will have Jesus Christ as their advocate, pleading on their behalf before a Holy God. Furthermore, meanwhile, they will have the Holy Spirit as a 'down payment' and an assurance of their acceptance into the family of God.

Many children, particularly those of believing parent(s) or grandparent(s), are quite naturally already in receipt of this 'down payment'. To some very young children it is so natural to them that they never question it's reality. However, the cares and troubles of this life or the glittering attractions of The World may divert their attention from God during their growing years. They may get 'lost' and require 'finding again' they may loose their assurance of God's love, they no longer value the down payment or even think they have never had it. They may become either 'self assured' or 'fearful' and loose their 'trust in God'.

If any of this applies to anyone reading this then you will know who is speaking to you. Listen to that voice within you. Feel God speaking. He want's you back. Don't put it off. Get on your knees just where you are and place yourself into God's care once more. Rely entirely upon what Jesus Christ has done for you. His blood of the covenant shed for you, and for many for the remission of sins, and give thanks in gratitude for the new start he has offered you today. God will tell you what you need to do each day. Mostly that will be just 'trust in Him'.

Those who have wandered away therefore should not be surprised when The Good Shepherd comes looking for them in later life and finally returns them to that which they only dimly remember as a loving and intimate relationship with God.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see our God.
The secret of The Lord is theirs,
Their soul is Christ's abode.

In answer to your question Dovegiven. I am not a British Israelite by denomination. I am an Anglican. I am British though and proud of it and I am metaphorically, (according to scripture), an Israelite, elected by grace, metaphorically grafted (as it were), into the rootstock of the People of God. Rom. 11:1-5, Rom.11:16-18

On that note I feel this might be an appropriate ending to this debate, unless Sarah decides to enlighten us with her revelation from God on the subject.

Come on Sarah - how about telling us now.

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Apr 9, 2012, 10:13 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Chris,

The fact that it took Baptists to do that means that your own church and parents severely failed to fulfil it‘s obligations to you and God. Be thankful that you gained an understanding of the faith in the end.

Just don‘t make the mistake of thinking that the Baptists know all there is to know about God and how to get saved. They don‘t and neither did the Roman Catholics. God has not allowed any Denomination to corner the market in truth.


The Catholic church was of no help to me when I was younger. As for my parents...I was raised Catholic but, my home life was not Christian. I won't however blame my parents for my messed up spiritual life. I didn't help myself any when I was younger you know? *Laughs a little*

Have I made the mistake of thinking I knew everything? I'm just voicing opinions and what I've learned. If I've led anyone to think I'm a know-it-all then I apologize. I want to be a part of these discussions but, sometimes I get the feeling people would prefer I keep my mouth shut. So, I don't really know how to take these comments. Anyway, thanks for letting me participate. Sorry.
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Re: [MaryPankratz] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Mary :

We are all 'learners' Mary and it sometimes seems to me that all the 'booklarnin' that I've done has done me little good in actually living the Christian life. 'Much study is a weariness of the flesh' Eccl. 12:12.

The most important verse in The bible is this.

Eccl. 12:11. "The sayings of the wise are like goades, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings which are given by the one Shepherd".

We all know who that Shepherd is, don't we.

He it is who 'nails it' every time. Don't give up learning and doing what He said.

Love Chris.
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
We are all 'learners' Mary and it sometimes seems to me that all the 'booklarnin' that I've done has done me little good in actually living the Christian life. 'Much study is a weariness of the flesh' Eccl. 12:12.

The most important verse in The bible is this.


Eccl. 12:11. "The sayings of the wise are like goades, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings which are given by the one Shepherd".

Well, that certainly explains your position. I think a far more useful scripture concerning Bible study and "booklarnin" is 2 Tim. 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The Hebrew for "shepherd" as used there indicates a literal keeper of literal sheep, Heb ra'ah. In the building of a sheepfold wall the shepherd provided soft "nails" that held woven reeds in place. Those "nails" were too soft for driving by hammer, so were placed vertically into the wall by hand as the wall was built. Now we can see more clearly in the context. Eccles. 12:[9] And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs. [10] The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. [11] The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. [12] And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

That can be taken as a warning for us today, relying too much on books ABOUT the word of God, filled with vanity. Instead, let us be that preacher using wisdom to teach the truth to our children.

Eventually, if you do that, you will walk the Christian life with your children, if you let the Holy Spirit use that knowledge against your carnal knowledge day by day. I think there is no such thing as excessive study of scriptures, as our very salvation depends on 1 Cor. 15:[1] Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
[2] By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. [3] For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;


Just take the scriptures first as literally as possible. Sure, you will find some places like 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

which is parallel to a metaphor of the Lord God like in Isaiah 31:4 For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof.

common sense would indicate there is no attempt to say the Lord nor Satan are African lions,
(Panthera felicidae), but that some of their actions resemble that particular animal. The truth is at least partially lost on people not having adequate knowledge of the nature of a lion. Understand it, then understand some ways of the spirit world.

When a scripture subtly interferes with one's traditions and peculiar interpretations, then it is wise to suspect any reference to metaphors, lest you end up over-philosophizing truth.


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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
I've already dealt with the bulk of your post today, except this part, which further explains why no parents ought to do to their children as the COE teaches concerning their spiritual guidance based on an infant baptism. Your own COE official site cites 4 points practically steeped 100% in men's traditions. But now there is more to guard against.

In answer to your question Dovegiven. I am not a British Israelite by denomination. I am an Anglican. I am British though and proud of it and I am metaphorically, (according to scripture), an Israelite, elected by grace, metaphorically grafted (as it were), into the rootstock of the People of God. Rom. 11:1-5, Rom.11:16-18

A mere casual reading of the entire chapter of Romans 11 leaves not a metaphorical understanding, but a total refutation of what you have added so far. If you are in fact of blood decent of an original tribe of Israel, then you would be a "natural branch" that, if you live long enough, will be graffed back in to the Tree, taking up your intended position as the elect of God. But as in Paul's day until now, only a tiny remnant of the tribes of Israel have fallen among the "elect" of God, finding Jesus as Messiah, Savior, Lord. They are already naturally graffed back in.

As for us non-Jewish and therefore non-Israelites, with no legal connection to the nation Israel, at best we are graffed in to the vacated natural branches of that spiritual olive tree. If you are a gentile Christian, then you are graffed into that spiritual olive tree by grace, not by election. By calling yourself an Israelite by grafting, you are then consiciously or not among the British-Israel theory, which is a false doctrine. There is also an American-Israel theory, saying the blessing of Israel passed to Britain then from Britain to America. Israel's blessing has passed to no other people, but is held by promise to Abraham to remain to the physical descendants of Abraham within the borders God established, but restricted to those who find Jesus, the Elect of God. They will have all their land back, and they will flourish. Gentile believers have no part in that part of the blessing. No Gentile believer will occupy a blessing God promised to the blood line of Abraham. Us Gentile believers will have our part in the greater part of the Earth apart from Israel.

Teach the children that in Christ they inherit the promise of the blessing of the single SEED of Abraham, Jesus, and not by any added doctrine invented by men.
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Re: [praizeop2] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
The only thing I would add is that the child must still be nurtured as we all must be, but I believe especially becaus he/she IS a child.
Blessings ~ Sarah

The sum of it all concerning childhood salvation is in that one sentence, trumping all the high-minded stuff a child couldn't understand.

Many parents offer some religious rite to their children before they can comprehend God, then the child is left on his or her own like Mary wrote about. We must nurture them from our own lifestyle in Christ, not in words only, not resting in artificial men's traditions taught as the word of God. They should be taught from our own experience of knowing God as the Person He is, instead of presenting some facsimile that is like something in nature, such as the wind, fire, a rock, a lion. God desires a personal relationship with people, and must not be set aside as only "known" by comparison to something He made in creation, through "metaphors" that leave comprehension of Him in the natural world.

Our experience has been that children can focus improperly on who God is much like heathens do with idol worship. Someone declares "God is like that rock." The natural reaction is to make an idol of rock, something everyone can handle. Avoid sideways comprehension of truth, give those children the real thing, making no excuses for ignorance. They can learn and prosper all the rest of their lives with the right view of God.


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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven : Hi

If you are a gentile Christian, then you are grafted into that spiritual olive tree by grace, not by election.


According to Apostolic teaching individuals can be elected to eternal life (2 Thess 2: 13; Eph 1: 4 1 Pet 1: 2 John 13: 18).

The ground of this election to salvation is the good pleasure of God (Eph 1: 5-11; Matt 11: 25, 26; John 15: 16, 19).

God claims the right so to do (Rom 9: 16, 21).

It is not conditioned on faith or repentance, but is of soverign grace (Rom 11: 4-6; Eph 1: 3-6).

All that pertain to salvation, the means (Eph 2:8; 2 Thess 2:13) as well as the end, are of God (Acts 5:31; 2 Tim 2:25; 1 Cor 1:30; Eph 2: 5-10).

Faith and repentance and all other graces are the exercises of a regenerated soul; and regeneration is God's work, a "new creature." (This is a natural potential within the children of believers by covenant promise of God who undertakes to work in cooperation with the believing parents to bring this 'work of God' into reality). God will always do HIS part, even though the church and parents may not.

Men and women are elected "to salvation," "to the adoption of sons (and because there is neither male nor female in Christ, daughters)," "to be holy and without blame before him in love" (2 Thess 2:13; Gal 4: 4-5; Eph 1: 4. )

The ultimate end of election is the praise of God's grace (Eph 1: 6-12).

Like it or not Dovegiven, you do not have all the knowledge available regarding ‘election’. I guess you may have increased a little in knowledge having read this; if you bother to look up the scriptural proofs of it and assimilate it.

The fact is that election is by God’s grace alone. No infant / young child of believing parents needs to ‘understand’, ‘repent’ and ‘believe’ for itself; it cannot, it does not need to, it would be unreasonable of God to yet require it. God has already taken care of all that and in due course will see to it that the child either responds appropriately and meets it's covenant obligations of 'repentence' and 'belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour' or (if they refuse to continue in His goodness), be ‘cut off’ and thrown away like a withered vine.

“Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.” Rom. 11:22-23

Although these words apply to the (children of the flesh) of the Israel of God, (cast out) and Gentile believers, (children of the promise), (grafted in), they also lay down a principle which refutes the OSAS heresy once and for all. We are included by 'grace' and remain in only by 'grace'. It is by 'faith' in God's grace that we are saved.

But there is always also the possibility of wayward covenant bound 'children' being 'grafted in again', because God is able to do so.

I am the vine, you are the branches: They that abide in me, and I in them, the same bring forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. If anyone abides not in me, they are cast forth as a branch, and wither; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you”. John 15:5-7

As for who constitutes a true Israelite, Rom. 9:8 makes that abundantly clear. "This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are reckoned as descendants".

Gal.4:28 " But brothers, we, like Isaac, are children of promise".

What 'PROMISE'? Are you going to quote it to me conveniently leaving out the part pertaining to the offspring of those who have 'faith' in it?

Of course you are! BECAUSE YOU DON'T BELIEVE IT! (well not all of it at any rate because you can't baptize your infants until you see evidence that they actually are 'children of God'). You even think them to be 'children of the devil', in spite of the words of The Apostle telling you they are 'Holy'.

YOU don't believe the promise. WE do. So our infants, children and mentally challenged adults are safe in God's care. They are fully entitled, (according to the sum of scripture), to receive the mark of 'faith', which is baptism, even though they have not yet so far reached a state whereby they can express it for themselves.

And if unfortunately (through our failure as parents to properly nurture them or the church to properly support and educate them) they fail to close with the covenant on their own behalf, go their own way and refuse to continue in God's goodness, then God has a remedy, but God, 'according to His Word' will never completely give up on them and therefore as 'believing' parents, nor must we.

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Apr 10, 2012, 3:38 PM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
According to Apostolic teaching individuals can be elected to eternal life (2 Thess 2: 13; Eph 1: 4 1 Pet 1: 2 John 13: 18).

The closest I can put that is Calvinism Gone Wild, yet the exegesis is too poor to sell that either. Not one of those references (all taken entirely out of context) has to do with any of your claims, and certainly has nothing to do with the topic.
I am picturing a great train wreck so bad the only solution is to build a lake over it. I am stunned.

I suggest going back, read at least the chapter around those references, then weigh any conclusions such that there is no conflict with Romans 4:[13] For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. [14] For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: [15] Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. [16] Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,......

If what you wrote was true, then that scripture passage is a lie. God doesn't contradict Himself, lying like a man.

Therefore, all that theory in your last post is error, exposed by the truth.


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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven : Hi

According to Apostolic teaching individuals can be elected to eternal life (2 Thess 2: 13; Eph 1: 4 1 Pet 1: 2 John 13: 18).

The closest I can put that is Calvinism Gone Wild, yet the exegesis is too poor to sell that either.

Not Calvinist. ‘Reformed’. The exegesis is not mine but ‘Jamieson Fauset and Brown’s commentary’. You had better take up your complaint with them.

Not one of those references (all taken entirely out of context) has to do with any of your claims, and certainly has nothing to do with the topic.

Election is what being ‘saved’ is all about actually, if any infant or child is ‘elect’ then it is ‘saved’. Your contention that no infant can be ‘elect’ is not supported in scripture, quite the contrary in fact.

I am picturing a great train wreck so bad the only solution is to build a lake over it. I am stunned.

I suggest going back, read at least the chapter around those references, then weigh any conclusions such that there is no conflict with Romans 4:[13] For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, THROUGH THE LAW, but through the righteousness of faith. [14] For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: [15] Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. [16] Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,......

As I have tried unsuccessfully to explain to you before, the PROMISE is not through The Law but through the righteousness of FAITH.

The PROMISE still stands and was never abolished with The Law of ordinances.

If what you wrote was true, then that scripture passage is a lie. God doesn't contradict Himself, lying like a man.

God has not contradicted Himself. It is merely your inability to comprehend Paul’s theology that is the root of your incomprehension. Peter foresaw the problems people like yourself might encounter with the teachings of St. Paul.

Try reading through this and gaining some understanding.

Quoted from "Jamieson Fauset and Brown’s Commentary" :

6. Not as though the word of God had taken none effect-- "hath fallen to the ground," that is, failed: compare Lu 16: 17, Greek. for they are not all Israel which are of Israel-- better, "for not all they which are of Israel are Israel." Here the apostle enters upon the profound subject of ELECTION, the treatment of which extends to the end of the eleventh chapter--

"Think not that I mourn over the total loss of Israel; for that would involve the failure of God's word to Abraham; but not all that belong to the natural seed, and go under the name of 'Israel,' are the Israel of God's irrevocable choice."

The difficulties which encompass this subject lie not in the apostle's teaching, which is plain enough, but in the truths themselves, the evidence for which, taken by themselves, is overwhelming, but whose perfect harmony is beyond human comprehension in the present state. The great source of error here lies in hastily inferring (as THOLUCK and others), from the apostle's taking tip, at the close of this chapter, the calling of the Gentiles in connection with the rejection of Israel, and continuing this subject through the two next chapters, that the Election treated of in the body of this chapter is national, not personal Election, and consequently is Election merely to religious advantages, not to eternal salvation.

In that case, the argument of Ro 9: 6, with which the subject of Election opens, would be this: "The choice of Abraham and his seed has not failed; because though Israel has been rejected, the Gentiles have taken their place; and God has a right to choose what nation He will to the privileges of His visible kingdom." But so far from this, the Gentiles are not so much as mentioned at all till towards the close of the chapter; and the argument of this verse is, that "all Israel is not rejected, but only a portion of it, the remainder being the 'Israel' whom God has chosen in the exercise of His sovereign right." And that this is a choice not to mere external privileges, but to eternal salvation, will abundantly appear from what follows.

7- 9. Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children-- "Not in the line of mere fleshly descent from Abraham does the election run; else Ishmael, Hagar's child, and even Keturah's children, would be included, which they were not." but-- the true election are such of Abraham's seed as God unconditionally chooses, as exemplified in that promise. in Isaac shall thy seed be called-- (Ge 21: 12).

10- 13. And not only this; but when Rebecca, &c.-- It might be thought that there was a natural reason for preferring the child of Sarah, as being Abraham's true and first wife, both to the child of Hagar, Sarah's maid, and to the children of Keturah, his second wife. But there could be no such reason in the case of Rebecca, Isaac's only wife; for the choice of her son Jacob was the choice of one of two sons by the same mother and of the younger in preference to the elder, and before either of them was born, and consequently before either had done good or evil to be a ground of preference: and all to show that the sole ground of distinction lay in the unconditional choice of God-- "not of works, but of Him that calleth."

14. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid-- This is the first of two objections to the foregoing doctrine, that God chooses one and rejects another, not on account of their works, but purely in the exercise of His own good pleasure: "This doctrine is inconsistent with the justice of God." The answer to this objection extends to Ro 9: 19, where we have the second objection.

15. For he saith to Moses-- (Ex 33: 19). I will have mercy on whom I will have-- "on whom I have" mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have-- "on whom I have" compassion-- "There can be no unrighteousness in God's choosing whom He will, for to Moses He expressly claims the right to do so." Yet it is worthy of notice that this is expressed in the positive rather than the negative form: not, "I will have mercy on none but whom I will"; but, "I will have mercy on whomsoever I will."

16. So then it is not of him that willeth-- hath the inward desire nor of him that runneth-- maketh active effort (compare 1Co 9: 24, 26; Php 2: 16; 3: 14). Both these are indispensable to salvation, yet salvation is owing to neither, but is purely "of God that showeth mercy." See on Php 2: 12, 13, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: for it is God which, out of His own good pleasure, worketh in you both to will and to do."

17. For the scripture saith to Pharaoh-- observe here the light in which the Scripture is viewed by the apostle. Even for this same-- "this very" purpose have I raised-- "raised I" thee up, &c.-- The apostle had shown that God claims the right to choose whom He will: here he shows by an example that God punishes whom He will. But "God did not make Pharaoh wicked; He only forbore to make him good, by the exercise of special and altogether unmerited grace" [HODGE]. that I might-- "may" show my power in thee-- It was not that Pharaoh was worse than others that he was so dealt with, but "in order that he might become a monument of the penal justice of God, and it was with a view to this that God provided that the evil which was in him should be manifested in this definite form" [OLSHAUSEN]. and that my name might-- "may" be declared-- "proclaimed" in all the earth-- "This is the principle on which all punishment is inflicted, that the true character of the Divine Lawgiver should be known. This is of all objects, where God is concerned, the highest and most important; in itself the most worthy, and in its results the most beneficent" [HODGE].

18. Therefore hath he-- "So then he hath." The result then is that He hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth-- by judicially abandoning them to the hardening influence of sin itself (Ps 81: 11, 12; Ro 1: 24, 26, 28; Heb 3: 8, 13), and of the surrounding incentives to it (Mt 24: 12; 1Co 15: 38; 2Th 2: 17). Second objection to the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty:

19. Thou shalt say then unto me, Why-- "Why then" is the true reading. doth he yet find fault? for who hath resisted-- "Who resisteth" his will?-- that is, "This doctrine is incompatible with human responsibility"; If God chooses and rejects, pardons and punishes, whom He pleases, why are those blamed who, if rejected by Him, cannot help sinning and perishing? This objection shows quite as conclusively as the former the real nature of the doctrine objected to-- that it is Election and Non- election to eternal salvation prior to any difference of personal character; this is the only doctrine that could suggest the objection here stated, and to this doctrine the objection is plausible. What now is the apostle's answer? It is twofold. First: "It is irreverence and presumption in the creature to arraign the Creator."

20, 21. Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made-- "didst thou make" me thus?-- (Isa 45: 9).

21. Hath not the potter power over the clay; of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another to dishonour?-- "The objection is founded on ignorance or misapprehension of the relation between God and His sinful creatures; supposing that He is under obligation to extend His grace to all, whereas He is under obligation to none. All are sinners, and have forfeited every claim to His mercy; it is therefore perfectly competent to God to spare one and not another, to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor. But it is to be borne in mind that Paul does not here speak of God's right over His creatures as creatures, but as sinful creatures: as he himself clearly intimates in the next verses. It is the cavil of a sinful creature against his Creator that he is answering, and be does so by showing that God is under no obligation to give His grace to any, but is as sovereign as in fashioning the clay" [HODGE]. But, Second: "There is nothing unjust in such sovereignty."

22, 23. What if God, willing to show-- "designing to manifest" his wrath-- His holy displeasure against sin. and to make his power-- to punish it known endured with much long- suffering the vessels of wrath-- that is, "destined to wrath"; just as "vessels of mercy," in Ro 9: 23, mean "vessels destined to mercy"; compare Eph 2: 3, "children of wrath." fitted for destruction-- It is well remarked by STUART that the "difficulties which such statements involve are not to be got rid of by softening the language of one text, while so many others meet us which are of the same tenor; and even if we give up the Bible itself, so long as we acknowledge an omnipotent and omniscient God we cannot abate in the least degree from any of the difficulties which such texts make." Be it observed, however, that if God, as the apostle teaches, expressly "designed to manifest His wrath, and to make His power (in the way of wrath) known," it could only be by punishing some, while He pardons others; and if the choice between the two classes was not to be founded, as our apostle also teaches, on their own doings but on God's good pleasure, the decision behooved ultimately to rest with God. Yet, even in the necessary punishment of the wicked, as HODGE observes, so far from proceeding with undue severity, the apostle would have it remarked that God "endures with much long- suffering" those objects of His righteous displeasure.

23. And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy-- that "glorious exuberance of Divine mercy" which "was manifested in choosing and eternally arranging for the salvation of sinners."

24. even us, whom he hath called, &c.-- rather, "Whom he hath also called, even us," &c., in not only "afore preparing," but in due time effectually "calling us." not of the Jews, &c.-- better, "not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles." Here for the first time in this chapter the calling of the Gentiles is introduced; all before having respect, not to the substitution of the called Gentiles for the rejected Jews, but to the choice of one portion and the rejection of another of the same Israel. Had Israel's rejection been total, God's promise to Abraham would not have been fulfilled by the substitution of the Gentiles in their room; but Israel's rejection being only partial, the preservation of a "remnant," in which the promise was made good, was but "according to the election of grace." And now, for the first time, the apostle tells us that along with this elect remnant of Israel, it is God's purpose to "take out of the Gentiles a people for His name" (Ac 28: 14); and that subject, thus introduced, is now continued to the end of the eleventh chapter.

End Quote :

Therefore, all that theory in your last post is error, exposed by the truth.

All too easily said Dovegiven. By no means so easily proved. I think you still need to clearly show through scripture that my last post was in error. Just saying it is is not enough. Your assertion may be convincing to some in here but not to those who know and understand the scripture.

Paul appeals to the Corinthians as recognizing the principle, that the infants of heathen parents would not be admissible to Christian baptism, 1 Cor. 7:14 because there is no faith on the part of the parents; but where one parent is a believer, the children are regarded as not aliens from, but admissible even in infancy as sharers in, the Christian covenant: for the Church presumes that the believing parent will rear the child in the Christian faith.

Infant baptism tacitly superseded infant circumcision, just as the Christian Lord's day gradually superseded the Jewish sabbath, without our having any express command for, or record of, transference. The setting aside of circumcision and of sabbaths in the case of the Gentiles was indeed expressly commanded by the apostles and Paul, but the substitution of infant baptism and of the Lord's day were tacitly adopted, not expressly enacted.

No explicit mention of it occurs till IRENAEUS in the third century; but no society of Christians that we read of disputed its propriety till fifteen hundred years after Christ.

Anabaptists would have us defer baptism till maturity as the child cannot understand the nature of it. But a child may be made heir of an estate: it is his, though incapable at the time of using or comprehending its advantage; he is not hereafter to acquire the title and claim to it: he will hereafter understand his claim, and be capable of employing his wealth: he will then, moreover, become responsible for the use he makes of it [ARCHBISHOP WHATELY].

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Apr 11, 2012, 8:11 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Calvinism, AKA Reformed Theology. Read your Bible more, rely less on commentaries. They have blinded you to simple truths such as Romans 4:[13] For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, THROUGH THE LAW, but through the righteousness of faith. [14] For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: [15] Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. [16] Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,......

You are performing typical Calvinist deflection maneuvers avoiding the truth. Salvation is entirely by faith first, empowered by grace toward all who believe by faith. Infant baptism doesn't involve faith on the part of the child.

Of course, if grace came by way of the Law, then faith would be dead, which is a lesser point in Rom 4. Election is simply that God chose by His sovereignty to make Gentiles eligible to receive the gospel, believe by faith, repent, and be blessed with salvation, even though He originally elected only Israel to enjoy that. Through their rejection the promise to Abraham bypassed the Law, was opened up to salvation by faith (our part) through grace (God's part).

God will not pick and choose individuals to be saved as His normal course of action. He chose the gospel plan before creation, to include all of faith. That's called grace.


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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven : Hi

Salvation is entirely by faith first, empowered by grace toward all who believe by faith. Infant baptism doesn't involve faith on the part of the child.

Salvation is entirely initiated and organized by 'God's Grace', without which there is nothing in which to have 'faith'. Faith is a fruit of the Holy Spirit following upon receipt of God's grace. All is of God so that no one may boast. For proof of this read Rom.3:24, 5:2; Gal. 1:15; Eph. 2:5,7,8; 1 Pet.1:2 that should be enough to go on with.

You make 'salvation' and 'election' entirely dependent upon intelligence, education, maturity, logical reasoning, human choice and good hearing or eyesight, many of which are beyond the capability of infants, (and a good many adults also). Your assertion cannot be true because scripture tells us that Jacob was 'elect' before he was born, and Paul was speaking about 'spiritual',
as 'children of Promise', i.e 'faith', not merely temporal or material election.

I think this has gone far enough now. The thread is derailed and your argument has metaphorically run into the buffers.

Start a new thread if you want to discuss the differences between 'Reformed' and 'Dispensationalist' views on Election and how it affects views on the status of the infants of believers within, (or outside of), The Church.

I think we should not fall out over this though. It has been a bone of contention within The Church since The rise of The Anabaptist s. You do things your way and we will do things the way the church has always done.

Regards Chris


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rdrcofe: Apr 11, 2012, 9:09 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Although I have enjoyed many years of online discussions concerning Calvinism and linking it to infant baptism, this will be my last post in this thread too.

I wrote: Salvation is entirely by faith first, empowered by grace toward all who believe by faith. Infant baptism doesn't involve faith on the part of the child.

Chris wrote: Salvation is entirely initiated and organized by 'God's Grace', without which there is nothing in which to have 'faith'. Faith is a fruit of the Holy Spirit following upon receipt of God's grace. All is of God so that no one may boast. For proof of this read Rom.3:24, 5:2; Gal. 1:15; Eph. 2:5,7,8; 1 Pet.1:2 that should be enough to go on with.

Because of the importance of this topic, childhood salvation, I will close with the need to sound the alarm once more for guardians of children. I will bring to the attention of all, you again refuse to deal with my twice stated challenge of Rom 4 in my previous post. I understand, Calvinists can't deal with it, having to pick up other points of Rom 4 instead.

Here's another one you must avoid, as it flies in the face of what you already believe. Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Once again it is obvious salvation is based on receiving the gospel then believing it. Grace allows all people to get into that position, but nothing happens for them apart from belief by faith.

There is no distinction in the Bible positioning infants as in need of a Salvation Plan B apart from belief by faith. There is no direct calling in the Bible to bring infants into the Church through baptism. Fear that a precious child might grow up not believing is what drives that belief. They are simply not accountable towards God, needing no baptism, no mental capability, most people understanding that no infant could comprehend the message of the gospel anyway. Parents then should assume the position of "preacher", delivering the gospel to their children at least until they are capable of comprehending.

There is no work humans can do to get around salvation on the basis of Rom 10:14

You make 'salvation' and 'election' entirely dependent upon intelligence, education, maturity, logical reasoning, human choice and good hearing or eyesight, many of which are beyond the capability of infants, (and a good many adults also). Your assertion cannot be true because scripture tells us that Jacob was 'elect' before he was born, and Paul was speaking about 'spiritual',
as 'children of Promise', i.e 'faith', not merely temporal or material election.

I present what the Bible teaches, my basis on believing by faith, made possible by grace of God. Check out the context around 1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

The verse you must be pointing to, Isaiah 45:4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

ISRAEL, the tribes thereof, were initially God's elect, and remains so for those of Israel that do and will believe the gospel. Jacob was servant of God in that verse. Nowhere is Jacob called the "elect", certainly not before he was born, and not anytime since his birth. The "elect" began with the offspring of Jacob. Election was then extended to Gentiles through prophesy of Isaiah, and Jesus' obedience to the cross.

All that remains concerning your assumption is Genesis 25:23 And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

That deals with NATIONS, Israel already having ruled many times over Esau's descendants, destined to be served by the whole world in the Millennium, the last standing group God allows to be His elect. Election for Gentiles will soon be ended.

I think we should not fall out over this though. It has been a bone of contention within The Church since The rise of The Anabaptist s. You do things your way and we will do things the way the church has always done.

The true Church is what the Bible says it is, not "the way the church has always done." Men's traditions corrupted it, requiring a deliberate return to the Bible way, giving rise to the Spirit led movement you seem to detest.

I don't "fall out" with people over online discussions, but will not compromise the truth in favor of religion.

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dovegiven: Apr 11, 2012, 4:30 PM
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven : Hi

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Paul is not here referring to the children of believers. He is referring to adults who have never yet heard the Gospel and have never yet been incorporated into the Church. in other words Proselytes.

How else are they to even know of God’s grace unless it is preached. Even Cornelius was preached to by Peter before The Holy Spirit fell upon them. Fairly obvious I think.

You are very much mistaken however to imagine that Paul, (who elsewhere in scripture claims the children of believers to be Holy), is implying that 'believers' children cannot be thought to be ‘children of promiseUNTIL they have grown up and ‘believed’. They are already ‘children of promise’ by virtue of their parent(s) faith, as confirmed in the words of the promise of the covenant. All that remains is that they grow in the knowledge of the Lord Isa.11:9; Eph 1:17; Col.1:10. This would naturally entail them understanding the riches of their inheritance in Christ and choosing, of their own volition, to walk in the way of faith. Eph 1:18; Heb 11:13. That would naturally, as you suggest, involve preaching. But not preaching aimed at 'converting them' only at making them aware of the privilege of their inheritance.

Once again it is obvious salvation is based on receiving the gospel then believing it.

Obvious to you yes. But you go too far. For adults capable of hearing, understanding and responding to The Gospel it is a most certain way of beginning to be saved. Indeed of receiving The Holy Spirit. Yes. Gal 3:2-9

But for the infants and young children of ‘believers’ it would be an unnecessary obstacle barring entry to the church in which they already have full rights of entry guaranteed by God, according to the Promise of the covenant.

Grace allows all people to get into that position, but nothing happens for them apart from belief by faith.

Not strictly true. For one thing, not everyone gets an opportunity in this life to ‘hear the Gospel’. God’s grace in Jesus Christ is unlimited though and it is still God’s perfect right to ‘choose whom ever He will’ to serve His Son. God still reserves the right to be gracious to whom ever God pleases.

A positive response to the preaching of the Gospel may be the NORMAL way God elects His chosen, but it may by no means be, (and in fact isn’t), THE ONLY way. God’s hands are not tied by the reasoning's of Dispensationalist Theologians.

There is no distinction in the Bible positioning infants as in need of a Salvation Plan B apart from belief by faith. They are simply not accountable towards God, needing no baptism, no mental capability, most people understanding that no infant could comprehend the message of the gospel anyway. Parents then should assume the position of "preacher", delivering the gospel to their children at least until they are capable of comprehending.

The covenant of grace is no ‘plan B’ of salvation. It is an integral part of the plan of salvation the promise of which 'baptists' deny in unbelief. It is their lack of faith in the promise of God which stands in the way of their children’s baptism and visible inclusion into ‘the church’. They are therefore 'apparently' left outside it with no outwardly identifying sign of membership, (baptism), due to an obstinate resistance on behalf of the parents and the assembly, to believing God’s promise , concerning them.

Be that as it may, I'm sure God understands.

I present what the Bible teaches, my basis on believing by faith, made possible by grace of God. Check out the context around 1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

So do I. by the same basis, by faith in the prevenient grace of God. Elect by God’s foreknowledge of me before my birth and sanctified through the ministry of The Holy Spirit, a servant of Jesus Christ the Righteous.

ISRAEL, the tribes thereof, were initially God's elect, (not everyone in them)

and remains so for those of Israel that do and will believe the gospel. (true) There were 12 tribes 10 of which never returned from captivity. No one knows where they dispersed to for sure. Paul was convinced though that God keeps His promises and also has secrets He keeps to Himself.

Jacob was servant of God in that verse. Nowhere is Jacob called the "elect", (Try Rom. 9:10-12)

certainly not before he was born, and not anytime since his birth. (Try Rom 9:10-12 again)

The "elect" began with the offspring of Jacob.
(and your scriptural proof for that is ???)

Actually, according to St. Paul, election began with Isaac. Rom. 9:6-9. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. (Isaac)

Jacob was ‘called by God’ (that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth;). It is St. Paul that implies that Jacob was chosen according to ‘election’ by God. His main point in so doing was to point out the sovereignty of God in choosing who He will. A principle that remains in effect.

And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. Rom. 9:10-13

Of course if you disagree with St. Paul you would certainly not be the first to so do. Just don’t have the nerve to call the resulting version of the Christian faith ‘Apostolic’, at least on the particular point of disagreement.

No. I have not fallen out with you either Dovegiven. You do your thing as your conscience dictates. I’ll do mine and somehow, sometime we may discuss our different points of view with our Lord and Master. He will no doubt explain all in the fullness of time.

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Apr 12, 2012, 2:46 AM
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven : and anyone interested in reading this :

Being nearly at the end of this thread I decided to recap and go back a bit to see what might emerge from what has been said which might give confirmation of the way God operates mercifully in the business of ‘election’, (which is what ‘child salvation’ is actually all about).

I came across your testimony and was struck by the fact that it so amply illustrates the patience, persistence and steadfast forbearance of God when dealing with ‘recalcitrant man’, (by this I am not singling out yourself but am referring to mankind generally). God seems to have been deeply involved with you for many years before you ever responded appropriately to The Gospel.

His involvement with you probably began even before you experienced the following :

Quote : “I had no idea what was involved, but followed him, did as instructed, repeating some words to the folks up front, agreed to return that night, though my lost parents were not interested in attending. That night they put me in a white gown and dunked me in the baptistry, the pastor declaring me "A new creature in Christ!". I still didn't have a clue what it was about except that my class won that banner, then followed up with Sunday School attendance for about a month learning about Noah's Flood and maybe another Bible story. Soon I was back fishing Sundays. I didn't give my "salvation" another thought until I joined the Navy at age 21, when I had to choose a religion for my dog-tags. It was stamped Baptist. I didn't give religion another thought until marrying my wife of 45 years this month. Until then I could not have proved in court that I could be counted as a Christian. Whenever anyone inquired of my spiritual status I affirmed I was a baptized Baptist. Yes, like the man Sarah encountered, I was easily offended whenever anyone dug deeper than that”.

It is by no means uncommon for ‘children of the promise’ to be ‘easily offended’ when they are convicted inwardly that they have as yet not closed with the covenant of their own volition. Those of us experienced in such phenomena know that only God can work through such internal and private struggling with the Spirit of God. At best we can only remind someone going through this that they need to personally invite Jesus into their life and thenceforth trust in HIM for their spiritual wellbeing.

I was 23 years old, serving in the RN, far from home, having nearly lost my life 3 times in three separate serious accidents, very concerned about my eternal destiny should I not survive another, intellectually unable to trust the over simplification that literal fundamentalists peddle as The Gospel, when I was confronted by a dear brother in the faith, (a baptist), who challenged me with the fact that I had so far never given my life entirely over in obedience into the care and Lordship of Jesus Christ.

This I did, on my knees in sincerity of heart, in absolute privacy with God, and have never regretted it, though it has resulted in quite a few situations I might otherwise have preferred to avoid. But to return to your own ‘life’ story :

But all along the way family and others insisted I was a Christian since I was water baptized, and "once saved always saved", they say. "Huh, OK". Probably in a subconscious way, lacking any Bible knowledge that might shape a person for good, I took that promise as a license to sin somewhat with impunity, rising to the lows of occasional alcohol abuse and chain-smoking unfiltered Pall Mall cigarettes, emulating the Marlboro Man. I acquired a beaver cowboy hat like this when working near Pendleton, OR”.

And through all this God remained true. Let you have your ‘freedom’, (as you were at that time inclined to view it, but now probably can see it as a kind of slavery to your lower passions).

My wife was one of God's "workers" sent to minister to me, to get me to a place at which I would face Jesus at age 31. It took that long for me to "get the point of" the gospel, even though the church had already paid for my seminary training towards being a pastor, and I had been teaching and preaching regularly in view of ordination, which was not what I wanted. It was what "they" wanted. I wanted to be a forester or geologist. I taught and preached from the head, not the heart, but they loved the words.

Only God knows exactly what was going on in you at that particular time. You clearly recognize however that it was God who was ‘putting his servants at your disposal’ in order to bring you to your senses. (What a wonderfully gracious God we have, so gentle with us, even in our rebellion).

There is no way of knowing for sure whether ministry or forestry was what God had in mind for you. Who knows, God needs both and either can be as usefully employed in the service of God. Certainly it is true however that there have been many ‘propelled into ministry’ by misguided well meaning ‘supporters’ when the person themselves do not actually feel the call of God upon their lives and are therefore not ready for it. God does not endorse the ministry of those He has not called Himself and my guess is that only those who have fully closed with the covenant themselves (given themselves unreservedly over unto obedience to Jesus Christ and become reliant upon his grace), will prosper in a ministerial capacity. God's timing would be linked to the fact of your experience on Jan 6 1976.

What I had was a mere 18 inches from glory, the distance between brain and heart. But praize God, on Jan 6 1976 I met Jesus and was born again, then water baptized again, then again "in the Holy Ghost" with tongues and prophesy issuing forth. I was set on fire for Jesus, the news of which resulted in our having to leave the baptist community”.

I’m sorry that your community could not rejoice with you in the completion of the final part of your ‘salvation’ journey. They must have lost a valuable ‘gift’ to their church. But their loss has doubtless been some others gain.

I am just so amused at the fact that our God is such a joker. Who would have believed the chain of events which were initiated all those years ago when you set out on your ‘fishing trip’.

I think someone else was doing some ‘fishing’ of their own in your case and he played you like the expert that he is, not being able to land you without mishap until Jan 6 1976. Wow - what a whopper - He must have thought !

Great that you are in His keep net now.

God Bless you and your ministry Dovegiven.

Love Chris.

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rdrcofe: Apr 12, 2012, 4:11 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
GREAT post, Chris!
Only one point I would take exception to and that is this:

I’m sorry that your community could not rejoice with you in the completion of the final part of your ‘salvation’ journey.

He has one more step yet to take to reach the fullness of his salvation. :) Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Blessings ~ Sarah
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
I've certainly given my upbringing much thought, wondering what might have been had I paid attention, believed, repented, at least try to avoid deliberate sinning. Of course, I was not born again until after married, but what happened pleased other folks in my extended family. There was no belief in the gospel, not knowing the gospel, and no repentance. There was one instance when I regretted an act of rebellion, when I shamed my high school teachers upon turning in my senior literature term paper, a favorable review and commentary on Charles Darwin's "The Descent of Man". My biology teacher was so loving, crushed by my writing. She didn't accept evolution, but said she was crushed by my own words which simplified those of the book, clarifying the message for better understanding, adding my own conclusions. She was alarmed because the paper was too convincing, "as though the Devil himself helped you." Those words haunted me until the Lord helped me shed the shame and guilt at last.

I do agree God begins to reach out to us early even before we're ready, sometimes to some extent laying out a chain of events to mark a path for us, but I don't believe He unilaterally takes us into salvation until we satisfy Him with meeting His conditions and His timing, chiefly upon maturing to a point of comprehension. Salvation is a two-way relationship.

I know the places in the Bible that support concepts such as those of Calvinist/Reform election, but the argument fails when as always those are put back into context so that the theory contradicts other passages. I was trained, and have successfully practiced guarding against poor exegesis, and am very familiar with the verses chosen. Wherever I find myself online or in person it is my calling to engage in apologetics in defense of the gospel message being corrupted at an alarming rate. Sometimes my fervor is taken a personal attack, but my ministry is of the message, not the messengers.

A factor that I didn't get into concerning our involvement in the Southern Baptists will shed some light on my testimony. Having been exposed to every part of the Bible, learning how to interpret scripture with scripture, and all the other wonderful benefits of formal training, I returned to that church to realize the pastor and teachers were not operating well. I also came to realize very painfully I had not captured the very necessary LOVE needed to be a Christian minister as they had hoped I would, certainly pastoring. That can't be drummed up, patched up, made up. It just wasn't there. I knew the SBC was very opposed to the use of speaking in glossolalia (unknown tongues), but was taught to just not bring it up. "Don't rock the boat, Brother Jim, and you will go far." My pastor demanded the congregation must literally blot out all sections in the Bible about that, as I mentioned before. About that time, being dissatisfied with the intensity of our church activities, we began meeting in homes of other members wanting more of God. Our groups grew to the point we had only one home large enough, 90 people attending weeknights sometimes all night long studying the Bible together. It was during one of those studies while I was teaching that God dialed me up, showed me I was not yet born again. That night I was born again and filled with glory, and instantly all that word stored in me came alive with understanding. The LOVE came. OH, the love of God in me, and to be given out! Many signs followed, tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophesy, healing the sick, wisdom to listen to and counsel people with problems, teaching with people being born again in class, on and on. At that moment that night I finally realized the power God gave me to make up my mind to stop sinning. In the spirit I heard "Just say "No" to what doesn't belong, then set that answer in stone." I instantly was delivered from heavy smoking, alcohol (not yet an alcoholic), fear, and other things that beset me. I thank God there wasn't a drug problem anyone knew about. I was also delivered from fear of losing my church membership, soon leaving the SBC when they asked all those not satisfied with what happens there to please get up and leave the building. My pastor collapsed when half the congregation departed that night. He called me in the next day to try convincing me Satan had hold of me. I told him Satan is not a fool to strengthen me toward God. I pledged to refund their investment in me, taking several years of payments, using my 4 year GI Bill benefit to gain a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management degree. I became a career forester, but God placed me in an unbroken array of ministries all except pastoral.

I am just so amused at the fact that our God is such a joker. Who would have believed the chain of events which were initiated all those years ago when you set out on your ‘fishing trip’.

Sundays were my day to do with as desired, and fishing was my passion. Yes, a half dozen fishing trips were interrupted, but soon I resumed fishing for fish even until now, but now I fish for other fish too, being a fisher of men for Christ.

God bless your ministry, Chris. We disagree on things that remain a hot topic ever since Calvin took the head of Michael Servetus, but overall you are a great ally for Christ.
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Re: [praizeop2] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
  
I’m sorry that your community could not rejoice with you in the completion of the final part of your ‘salvation’ journey.

He has one more step yet to take to reach the fullness of his salvation. :) Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Blessings ~ Sarah

I agree, the kind of post I like to see here, even if not in theological agreement.
I just checked again, and indeed I'm still in this old body groaning for that redemption.


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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Sarah :

He has one more step yet to take to reach the fullness of his salvation.

LOL. As usual Sarah you make a very good point. One that applies generally to us all I think.

Dovegiven : I bet you didn't know this verse when you underwent baptism all those years ago. It just goes to show how things we might not think important at the time can have very long standing consequences where God is involved.

If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. Num. 30:2

let it be a lesson to us all. Joel 2:26 "you shall eat fully and be satisfied; and you shall praise the name of Jehovah your God, who has dealt wondrously with you".

Regards Chris.
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Chris, unfortunately I made no vow then, certainly not one to be honored. I drew a mental blank as to the meaning of what those Baptists did to me. It meant nothing to me, except to help those boys win that attendance banner. In my ignorance, and theirs, I violated Numbers 30:2 If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

The Law required instant obedience, day by day, never failing, with no mercy for failure because a vow was entirely voluntary, a deliberate declaration backed up by a mortal life. That commandment wasn't meant for obedience eventually years later. Careless vows are not a mark of maturity or wisdom, as men and God are keen to hold one to a vow.

I was under the Law because I was still a sinner, merely dunked in a tub of water in the hopes of others witnessing. In fact, I am certain the gospel was never preached leading up to that. My family had no clue about it. The sermons were strange words. The words I repeated at the alter were repeated in total ignorance of their meaning, and I didn't have the whole of the gospel until I actually entered seminary. As a Gideon visiting many churches over decades past I know the gospel is generally not preached even today, probably less than in my youth.

I then fell unwittingly under the curse of Eccles. 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

I went on playing the fool, though by then knowing right from wrong at that young age, another 19 years blind to God, even though filled with the words of the Bible, consumed by the letter of it, could turn instantly to any verse searched for. Then came Jesus to my rescue.
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dovegiven: Apr 12, 2012, 2:10 PM
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven :

The words I repeated at the alter were repeated in total ignorance of their meaning.

That matters not a jot. If you had signed a piece of paper with a declaration on it, you could be held to it in law.

I made no vow then, certainly not one to be honored.

Oh but indeed you did for the words proceeded out of your mouth and that was all God needed to see to it that you would not be permitted to 'break your word'. He has held you to it but in such a lovingly gracious way, patiently awaiting the time when you could say it and mean it.

It meant nothing to me.

What it may or may not have meant to you is irrelevant. All that mattered is what you said to God with the words of your mouth.

Ps. 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight. O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

God seems to have accepted 'the words of your mouth' long before the 'meditation of your heart' was acceptable in His sight. It is my personal opinion that God had agreed to be 'your strength and your redeemer' long, long before you would ever give Him any credit for it.

Furthermore it is highly likely that your gift of preaching (much admired by your previous Baptist Congregation) resulted from your 'first' baptism, not your second. You didn't suddenly become a gifted preacher on Jan 6 1976. Just having 'the gifts' did not yet validate 'the calling', but the gifts and the calling of God are nevertheless irrevocable. Rom 11:29

Your 'second' baptism, (the one you entered into of your own volition and fully understanding the full import of what you were undertaking), was when God endorsed and gave sanction to your ministry. (In similar manner to the way he did with Our Lord, saying ' . . . . . with thee I am well pleased').

All of this is of course conjecture, (my prophesy is not sure), 1 Cor. 13:9, we will only know when we can ask God for ourselves why He does things the way He does and it is not for me to tell you how God has dealt with you. I confess though that I am fascinated by believers testimonies and regularly see the hand of God in their life's 'circumstances' leading up to a 'new birth', where they see nothing at all unusual.

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Apr 12, 2012, 3:35 PM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
All of this is of course conjecture, (my prophesy is not sure)

Of course, and I warmly thank you for adding that.

I kept almost all my textbooks, tapes, commentaries, lessons, etc from college even though I couldn't afford that, like practically all fellow students also struggling, in my case losing hours of work marking timber for IP Co. But my wife, pastor, deacons, and some sweet ladies partially sponsoring me encouraged me to hang in there. Part of what I took home was a huge collection of sermons, including quite a large number of Smith Wigglesworth's sermons given to me by pastor that gave me a part time janitorial job at the church near the college. Interesting, I didn't know he was pentecostal, but knew people loved his messages. I believe the reason people loved my preaching is I memorized entire Baptist sermons of fame, then delivered them, never having to repeat any. I told my home pastor what I was doing and he approved it, as all of those were of course acceptable in the SBC. I took notes watching or listening to Billy Graham and others, then repeated those sermons. Like it or not, most pastors have copies of sermons in book form for each week of the year, and covering Christmas and Easter in particular. To avoid too much repetition you just selected another series. Sunday School lessons consisted of mostly just reading the Bible instead of what the folks had grown to accept as the best available, the quarterlies with series lessons. I broke with tradition, refusing to read those lessons word to word, line to line, though couldn't get the lessons directly from the Bible reading. I just knew listeners were blessed simply because of the majesty of the word of God.

When I was actually born again I can still describe that as like a Christmas tree decorated with lights, but no electricity is available. But once it is, the tree bursts into glory. The Bible, the word of God, burst into its glory for me that day, 1/6/76. From then on I have never needed notes, never preaching or teaching a prepared lesson. The things of God came alive in me instantly. I went from knowing I didn't have a pastor's heart, and knew I didn't have a shred of agape love in me....also known to those evaluating me....to loving even those who had kicked us out for simply believing all the Bible. We knew our old church was struggling since almost all the tithers were kicked out, so we continued sending our tithe there, plus to our newly founded church. My wife knew then what I had was genuine, my old selfishness and judgmental nature gone. I left there hating, but came to love them, forgiving, blessing.

What I believe about utterance of words disturbs some folks. At age 12 I uttered prepared words without knowing or caring what they meant. But the large majority of words I spoke since age 12 were such that I added enormous curses over myself if God always holds people to their vows. Indeed, many of my dire predictions came true, judgment overwhelming me. Whether saved or not, I have come to believe each of us is a prophet over our own lives. You will have what you say, even if said in ignorance, to be judged for every idle word. Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Upon learning I had years of bad words sown in my fields, I have prayed much for many crop failures, and God listened. It is all the more important that my children and grands don't grow up repeating my mistakes, instead reaping benefits of my hard learned lessons.
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dovegiven: Apr 12, 2012, 8:19 PM
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Re: [dovegiven] Childhood Salvation? In reply to
Dovegiven :

Smith Wigglesworth was indeed a quite remarkable man. I have read his biography.

Nominally a Methodist, he became a born again Christian at eight years old. His grandmother was a devout Methodist; his parents, John and Martha, were not practicing Christians although they took young Smith to Methodist and Anglican churches on regular occasions. He was confirmed by a Bishop in the Church of England, baptized by immersion in the Baptist Church and had the grounding in Bible teaching in the Plymouth Brethren while learning the plumbing trade as an apprentice from a man in the Brethren movement.

Wigglesworth married Polly Featherstone on May 2, 1882. At the time of their marriage, she was a preacher with the Salvation Army, and had come to the attention of General William Booth.

In 1907 Wigglesworth visited Alexander Boddy during the Sunderland Revival, and following a laying-on of hands from Alexander's wife Mary Boddy he experienced speaking in tongues (glossolalia). He spoke at some of the Assemblies of God events, though he never joined the denomination.

Alexander Boddy was vicar of All Saints Church Sunderland, (Anglican). It was through the prayers of his wife Mary Boddy, (Anglican), in the church library that Alexander received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

It is not difficult to discern through all this the purpose of God in election. God is no ‘Denominationalist’ and still chooses to operate His grace through the administration of the covenant right across denominational boundaries.

Notice that Smith Wigglesworth’s Grandmother was a devout Methodist and he was ‘born again’ when only 8 years old.

Smith Wigglesworth may have therefore been baptised an infant within either the Methodist or Anglican churches, but there is no record of it. In any event in order to have been 'confirmed' within the Anglican church he would have to have had some evidence of baptism first. It s not unheard of for some adults to be baptized and then confirmed immediately after, if there was any doubt in the matter, (I have attended confirmations myself more than once when this has happened).

But the large majority of words I spoke since age 12 were such that I added enormous curses over myself if God always holds people to their vows.

I would prefer to look at that from a slightly different point of view.

God does not ‘force people against their will to keep their word’. Once a person vows with the words of their mouth God has every perfect right to expect them to ‘keep their word’; after all He always keeps HIS. On the other hand God also knows the perfidy of the human heart better than even we ourselves. God therefore ‘enables us’ through life's circumstances, to keep our word without overriding our God given right to choose to serve Him of our own volition.

It is not about ‘curses’ it is all about God’s abounding GRACE towards sinners and who HE chooses as His ministers. YOU my friend have been a subject of God’s grace for many years longer than you imagine or give Him credit for.

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Apr 14, 2012, 5:10 AM