Infant Baptism Biblical or Unbiblical? (Part 3)

Some professing believers simply don’t see any harm with infant baptism regardless if it’s biblical or unbiblical.  However, there is indeed a great danger to the practice of infant baptism vs. believer’s baptism.  Danger?  Yes, danger!  Mankind is born into sin and to declare an infant to be spiritually cleansed is heresy!

Paedobaptists believe that the infant offspring of believers enjoy hereditary right to the covenant of grace, and due to their “baptism” they have full membership privileges in that local church.  These churches that ascribe to this practice of “infant baptism” would never consider baptizing an infant whose parents are unbelievers.  Whether the newborn infant is the offspring of believers or unbelievers doesn’t change the spiritual status of the newborn infant as a sinner in need of Christ as their Savior!

Note:  “not everyone who says Lord, Lord”…there are parents who profess themselves as believers who in fact are not.  This begs the question as to the supposed spiritual benefit inherited by the infant who is “baptized” with the assumption that their parents are believers when they in fact are not.  Now what happens regarding the infant based upon the presupposition that they are (true) believers?

The belief that infants of believing parents will guarantee the covenant benefits that God in Christ will be their God too, and thus, making them as God’s chosen elect is contrary to God already choosing His elect before the foundation of the world.  Some hold to the view that the mere physical birth of an infant to believing parents makes them members of the church and were never ungodly sinners to begin with, and their (physical) birth alone makes them members in the household of faith.

Let’s consider the subject of universal depravity regarding the harmony of these two principles.  “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself” (Matt. 12:30-32).  By nature, men prefer the world and its sinful gratifications, versus preferring the love of God and of their neighbor.  Mankind’s affections take the place of God’s affections and therefore mankind is totally depraved.

How does this depravity apply to infant’s born to believing parents?  Simply put, the children of believing parents are just as depraved as infants born to unbelieving parents (as previously stated).  “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).  “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12).

Ok, let’s do some comparison between infant baptism and universal depravity.  They teach that the children of believing parents are sanctified by being born of believing parents, and that they are federally holy, and therefore, they should be “baptized.”  Though these churches teach universal depravity they negate universal depravity based upon their belief of infants being born to believing parents.  You cannot be totally depraved and somehow holy at the same time of your physical birth.  The truth of the matter is the fact that all are born into sin, and are by nature, depraved.  Those who ascribe to the hereditary claims of infant baptism falsify the doctrine of universal depravity.

Here’s what Paul said, “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring” (Rom. 9:6-8).  Which shall we believe and stand firm upon?  Dear (Christian) reader we shall always stand firm upon the Word of God above any creed or confession of faith.

Another consideration to ponder is, if the infant children of believing parents are “holy,” in the “covenant of grace,” and “born into the church,” this would mean that they have pure nature’s, and the work of the Spirit of God is quite unnecessary indeed.  Being taught this from their early and formative years produces men and women who have never felt a deep sense of the miserable condition as (lost) sinners on their way to a devil’s hell nor can they have any deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for the (saving) grace of God Almighty!

Some of them may very well come to a saving knowledge of Christ by the hearing of His Word and the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, yet apart from this they will never know the King of kings and Lord of lords.  Infant baptism nullifies universal depravity and teaches an unbiblical message that the children of believing parents have no need of the renewing power of the Holy Spirit of God.  Therefore, infant baptism is not only unbiblical at its core, it is a doctrine of devils because it is completely contrary to God’s Holy Word.

More to come…………………………………………………..

 

Total Depravity – Man’s Natural Condition

Again, Brian Borgman does a yeoman’s job explaining the biblical truth about man’s natural condition; yet he continued to confuse the issue a bit by claiming Christians are depraved. None the less, it is most beneficial to the souls of the saints to comprehend this doctrine and Brian’s exposition is well worth the time to listen closely.

Listen here.

Fruit of the Spirit 6: Goodness

I am sorry it has taken so long to continue my series. Life has been really hectic lately but I continue to think about what exactly it means to walk in the Spirit.

This particular fruit is interesting to me. Romans 3:12 tells us, “There is none that does good; no not one.” Jesus said the same thing in Mark 10:18 and yet “goodness” is one of the fruits that we are to have if we are full of the Spirit. So what does it mean to be good?

goodness

In our humanity, we are vile, sinful, selfish creatures. It is only with God’s help that we have any goodness in us. When we come to know God, He teaches us to love others. As we learn to love others, we become more selfless. That is when the goodness of God begins to show through.

I realize that there are “good” people who do not know the Lord but without His Spirit, your goodness avails nothing. Only with God’s Spirit will we exhibit the goodness that leads to life and Godliness.

Things I have learned: Disease vs. Cure, Overcoming the Will

Some say there’s a heaven for those who wait
Some say it’s better but I say it ain’t
I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
The sinners are much more fun
–Billy Joel, “Only the God Die Young”

Continuing the series of theological truths I have seen illustrated through our fostering experience, we come to two truths: the natural man would rather die and go to Hell than have to accept and submit to the Lordship of Christ; man’s will must be overcome in order to believe the gospel.

Shortly after these children came to us, the little one was sitting on her bed one evening, holding her ears and crying. We asked her what was wrong, her answer was, “Nuthin”. Of course, we knew something was wrong, so we took her to the local children’s hospital. Long story short, turns out she had an ear infection–in both ears. This the result of being allowed to sleep with a bottle of milk at night, even until she came to us at the age of six (yes, you read that right. She was on a bottle at six years old). The doctor prescribed some liquid antibiotics, the local pharmacy filled it and added flavoring to it, and we began the next day to try and give her the antidote to her infection. No problem, right?

Wellll……the next morning we tried to give her the medicine. She sat there crying for an hour, refusing to take the 1 1/2 ounces of medicine. We tried convincing her that if she didn’t take her medicine, her ears would not heal. We tried telling her that if she did take it, her ears wouldn’t hurt anymore. We tried every way possible to convince her to take her medicine. Finally, after an hour, she took it with a sip of Sprite. This very same scenario was played out twice a day, every day, for two weeks.

And isn’t that just like us? How many times, before God’s grace opened our eyes, did we hear the name of Christ, hear the gospel, and refuse to obey the gospel? Why? Because we were a natural man, and the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1st Corinthians 2:14). We cannot understand the importance of the gospel, or even the gospel itself, in our natural state, for we (like the Corinthians) think it’s ridiculous that our eternal fate rests on believing in a man dying on a cross and coming up out of the grave. Besides, even if the natural man did believe the gospel, he certainly would not want to forsake the life he has, and all its pleasures and comforts, to humble ourselves to God and repent of our sinful lifestyle and put others ahead of our own wants.

What, you don’t think that’s exactly what happens when someone rejects the gospel? What did Jesus say? John 3:19-20“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light.” We’re having too much fun, living the good life, to be bothered with all this “Jesus stuff.” They would rather have their fun now, rather enjoy this time that have–you might say they would rather have their “Best Life” now. Or, as Benny Hinn once famously said, “Who cares about streets of gold in Heaven? I want my gold now, baby!” And just like that little girl who would rather suffer the pain of a double ear infection than take her medicine, the natural man, unregenerated by the Holy Spirit, would rather die and go to Hell than to receive the things of the gospel and submit himself to Christ.

But that is the natural man. That is the nature of man, to want what he wants when he wants it, without having to submit himself to anyone’s yolk. And that is where the natural man finds his folly. He thinks he is free. He does not realize that he is actually a slave of sin, and is only free in regard to righteousness (Romans 6:20). We are all slaves. None of us has a will that is truly free. When we are born, we are born slaves of sin, even though we all belong to God. “The earth is the LORD’s…the world and all that dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1). We belong to God,  And we must overcome our master in order to obey the gospel. For “no man can serve two masters, else he will love the one and hate the other, or despise the one and love the other” (Matthew 6:24). We cannot set ourselves free from Satan in order to obey Christ, for we are all our lifetime subject to bondage (Hebrews 2:14).

In fact, we don’t want to free ourselves from Satan, because we are having too much fun. Satan may be our master, we may be his slave–but he is not a very demanding master. He gives his slaves everything they want in order to keep them happy.

  • “So, you like drugs? What do you prefer? Alcohol? Marijuana? Cocaine? Ooh, here’s one of my favorites–methamphetamine!”
  • “So, you like sex? What kind do you like? Heterosexual? Homosexual? Bisexual? Transvestites? S&M? Ooh, here’s one of my favorites–living together without marriage!”
  • “So, you like money? And you don’t want to work for it? Well, we’ve got all kinds of ways for you to get other people’s money. Robbery. Fraud. Ponzi schemes. Ooh, here’s one of my favorites–the lottery!”

And he gives us enough stuff to keep us happy in these bodies of flesh. And rather than take the antidote for fleshly happiness, we would rather continue on with the disease. But. God, in His grace and mercy, overcomes our stubborn will so that we may understand that we need that antidote–and that we will want that antidote. This was the task to which the apostle Paul was commissioned, as we see in Acts 26:17-18“I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.'” A man can no more understand the gospel apart from being granted that power by the Holy Spirit than a blind man can read Dostoyevsky. (Or anybody else for that matter) There is nothing in the heart of man that says “I want to know the things of God.”

And just like we had to overcome that little girl’s stubborn will to convince her she needed to take her medicine to be made well, so God has to overcome our stubborn will to convince us that we need Christ in order to be made well. That is where the Holy Spirit comes in. John 14:16-17“And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper…the Spirit of Truth whom the world cannot receive.” And what will that Helper do? “He will teach you all things” and “He will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 14:30, 16:8). It was this Helper, the Holy Spirit, that opened the eyes of a certain seller of purple to accept Christ. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us…the Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul (Acts 16:14). But not all people receive the Holy Spirit. Agrippa did not receive this Helper. Acts 26:27-28 (Revised Version)–“King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. And Agrippa said unto Paul, “With but little persuasion thou wouldest fain make me a Christian.” (I use the RV because it is actually one of the closest in translating this passage). What prevented Agrippa from accepting Christ as Savior and Lord? He had all the facts before him. He even believed all that the prophets said about Mishiach. But why wouldn’t he take the medication that would cure him of his disassemble of sin? He did not receive the Helper. And this because he was of the world, and the Helper is the One “Whom the world cannot receive” (John 14:17).

Agrippa would not believe because he could not believe. Just like the Pharisees would not believe because they could not believe. John 12:37-4037 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled…39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: 40 He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.” John Gill wrote of Agrippa’s near-conversion–

“An almost Christian is one that has much light and knowledge, but no grace; he may know something of himself and of sin, of its being a violation of the law of God, and of the bad consequences of it, but has not true repentance for it; he may know much of Christ in a speculative way, concerning his person and offices, as the devils themselves do, and of the good things which come by him, as peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation; but has no application of these things to himself; he may have a large notional knowledge of the doctrines of the Gospel, but has no experience of the power, sweetness, and comfort of them in his own soul; all his knowledge is unsanctified, and without practice…he has a great deal of faith in the historical way, and sometimes a bold confidence and assurance of everlasting happiness; but has not faith of the right kind, which is spiritual and special, which is the faith of God’s elect, the gift of God, and the operation of his Spirit; by which the soul beholds the glory, fulness, and suitableness of Christ, under a sense of need, and goes forth to him, renouncing everything of self, and lays hold upon him, and trusts in him for salvation; and which works by love to Christ and his people, and has with it the fruits of righteousness…Agrippa was only persuaded, and but almost persuaded by the apostle to be a Christian, but not by the Lord, nor altogether.”

The one who is sick, whose will is not overcome by the Lord, cannot be persuaded by any amount of words to take of the medicine–the only medicine–that will cure his eternal sickness and impart eternal life to his deal spirit.

Quotes (531)

brotherwasher

One might clothe a leper in the finest white silk to cover his sores, but immediately the corruption of his flesh would bleed through the garment, leaving it as vile as the man it seeks to hide. So are the “good works” of men before God. They bear the corruption of the man who does them.

– Paul Washer from his Bible study, “The Doctrine of Man” (page 17)

God ONLY Saves Bad People!

In this brief video from Truth Crossing, Art Azurdia shares the truth of God’s Word.  All men are created equal, but that equality is found in man’s total depravity!  Man is NOT just depraved, but because of our inherited sin nature, he is also totally unable to come to the foot of the cross OR do anything to please the Most High God of Heaven!

Are YOU a bad person??

Where are we ever “safe”?

I’m sure, by now, you have heard the news about the shooting at the church here in Knoxville:

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities on Monday were investigating why an apparent stranger entered a Unitarian church and opened fire during a children’s performance based on the musical “Annie,” killing two, including a burly usher hailed as a hero for shielding others from gunfire.

No children were hurt, but seven adults were wounded as frightened congregants dove under pews and ran from Sunday’s shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, authorities said. Witnesses said some of the men present tackled a man who pulled a shotgun from a guitar case before at least three loud blasts rang out.

Jim D. Adkisson, 58, has been charged with first-degree murder and was being held on $1 million bail, according to city spokesman Randy Kenner.

Church members praised Greg McKendry, 60, who died as he attempted to block the gunfire. Church member Barbara Kemper told The Associated Press that McKendry “stood in the front of the gunman and took the blast to protect the rest of us.”

Before I begin, let me just say I sympathize with those who lost friends and loved ones in this dispicable act. But such is the condition of the unregenerate human heart. It is always bent toward evil, and only the restraining grace of God prevents us all from becoming Jim Adkissons of our own making. That said, there are a couple of ironies I pulled from this development:

(1) There are people, even at our church, who will not help in the ministry we do in the projects. Why? Because they think it’s “dangerous.” They think they’re going to get shot, held up, robbed, carjacked, whatever, as soon as they get there. However, the church where this shooting took place is located in one of the two wealthiest neighbordhoods in Knoxville. Houses in this area of the city–an area known as Sequoyah Hills–START at $500,000. Some go for upwards of $1M. Knoxville Police Department patrol there regularly. If there is any area that ought to be safe, it is this area.

Yet a man travelled 10 miles, to a neighborhood completely disconnected from his own, planned out an attack whereby he snuck a shotgun into a church in a guitar case, and carried out the imaginations of his heart. A desperately wicked heart. The kind of heart you and I are born with. A heart unrestrained by the hand of God. A heart that, unless brought to life by the Holy Spirit, will continue to act in such a way with no hesitation.

(2) This happened at a Universalist gathering. Universalists believe we are all going to heaven. That when Jesus died on the cross, He saved every single person, and no one is going to Hell. There is more about Unitarianism here from CARM. And here about Universalism. What I am about to say I do not say with malicious intent, but oto make anyone reading this aware of this fact. If those people who died–as courageous as they were in their last act on earth–if they died not knowing who Jesus was, and never knew Him as their Lord and their Savior–then they are in the very Hell they spent their lives denying. Dying a courageous death does not guarantee a person a free pass into Heaven. It is only by faith in the true God and His Christ, repenting from sin, and knowing that we are sinful creatures who need to be saved by the blood of Christ. And yes, these people believe that if the shooter died today, he may be punished for his sins (somehow) but that even if he did not repent, he would indeed be in Heaven.