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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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