Universalism

Those of us who love Jesus Christ through redemption by His shed blood, and also love His Holy Word the Bible are well aware of the incursions the enemy has made into the visible church through the false teaching of universalism.  We reject the heresy of the heretics C. S. Lewis, Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Mother Teresa and others, but we must be aware this destructive false teaching can even find a hiding place in our hearts and minds if we are not careful.  What do I mean by that?  Let me first share some verses that pointedly reveal the final destination of any and all who do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, both heretics and unbelievers.

1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.  2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.  3 By covetousness the will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.  2 Peter 2:1-3

14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”  Jude 1:14-15

12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside?  Do you not judge those who are inside?  13 But those who are outside God judges.  Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”  1 Corinthians 5:12-13

5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in that day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”:  7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  11 For there is no partiality with God.  Romans 2:5-11

7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” 8 and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.”  They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they were also appointed.  1 Peter 2:7-8

12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.  Romans 2:12-16

3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power; 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.  2 Thessalonians 1:3-10

These multiple passages declare without equivocation that God judges by eternal damnation in fiery hell all who do not know Him and do not believe or obey the gospel.  Why else do we think it is so important that we share the gospel with everyone; so they can be delivered from sin and God’s just eternal judgment in the Lake of Fire.  If an individual consistently gives a testimony that contradicts what God  our Father has clearly declared in His Word about the way of righteousness and faith in His Son Jesus Christ, then we can without a doubt know upon death that person is in hell.  If there is no evidence of repentance and faith in Christ then that person is in hell and we don’t have to be concerned about so-called death bed salvation.  The only instance that we see of a near death conversion is the repentance and faith of the thief who hung upon the cross next to Jesus.  He turned from verbally attacking our Savior during His agony to faith in Him because of God’s gracious work.  Lest any think this gives us leeway to say those who have been the enemies of the Lord and His glorious Word are somehow converted before death, notice that the thief gave testimony of his faith.  We must follow the truth of God’s Word and not the vain imaginings of the wicked hearts of fallen men.  Let us throw off this tacit universalism that infects even the true children of Christ and let us agree with what the Scriptures say about all those who deny the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints!  The saints, praise God!  The enemies of God will spend eternity in hell because they are not His saints!

44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.  Matthew 27:44

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”  40 But the other, answering, rebuked him saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?  41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”  42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”  43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”  Luke 23:39-41

3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.  Jude 1:3

Advertisements
This entry was posted in God's Word and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Universalism

  1. selah says:

    excellent article..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eliza, I’d like to discuss this but don’t want to seem to argue. From the Bible I know and trust that people are under the wrath of God – they will die in their sins – if they refuse to repent and trust Jesus Christ to save them. This is disobedience because the Lord commands everyone everywhere to repent. I will say this much, but naming individual people is more than I’m willing to do.

    However using their lives as examples to warn others away from their ungodliness and folly is okay – that is, the part of their lives that we can know with certainty. I just wouldn’t say that so-and-so is in hell, because that person may truly have repented, and, for example, made their confession of true faith in Jesus Christ to a hospice nurse on someone else – perhaps the Lord alone.

    This isn’t a form of universalism. Unless universalism means that we can’t know who has repented and believed and so we can say that maybe all have been saved, which universalism doesn’t mean. Universalism is the belief that eventually all of mankind (and perhaps even unholy angels) will be saved after a time of being purged – this is what George MacDonald believed, and I know he influenced C.S. Lewis – who is such a disappointment to me after having loved him as a child and an adult. His views were very wrong about many things and this saddens me.

    We have an actual Unitarian Universalist “church” on the outskirts of town. They fly a rainbow flag, offer to perform same-sex “marriages”, and use a Harry Potter curriculum for a kind of mock VBS.

    And too, we need to remember that not all Christians have the strength to say “he is in hell” – he is a cut off branch, withered, to be burned. This is difficult. Hell is real, and the Lord preached so much about it as you know – but not everyone has the strength to say such things. They’re not universalists but sometimes afraid and tender-hearted.

    Now I’m willing to be corrected and God forbid that I should ever deny any Bible doctrine, but if you think I’m wrong in some way, please tell me.

    Like

  3. Kristi Ann says:

    Amen Sister in Christ Jesus!! Great Post!! ❤ and Amen!!

    Like

  4. Eliza says:

    Hi Maria,
    I have a problem with this because then it becomes a means of winking at false teaching. This has been my experience with other believers. It is so sad. Also, Jesus made it clear that what we proclaim indicates our hearts, whether they are good or evil. Good in the sense that we believe in Him and hold fast to His truth, evil in the sense that we are against Him. The individuals I mentioned at the start of the post have promoted antichrist doctrines, and yet so many accept them as genuine believers. They are not, They are bound for hell if still alive, and in hell if dead. It is too bad that those who are high profile rarely if ever repent of their sin and speak out according to the Bible. Therefore their hearts are evil. If their hearts are evil then they are doomed for destruction. It is good to consider the words of our Savior:

    23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed of lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s and of the holy angels. Luke 9:23-27

    The people I listed have gained the world and the world’s approval and they have proven to be ashamed of Christ’s Word. Why should we think they are in heaven after death?

    23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 26 then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.'” Luke 13:23-27

    If we can’t say the obvious workers of iniquity are in hell when they die, then who can we say has been cast away by the Lord? Any?

    43 “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. 46 But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” Luke 6:43-46

    The ones I listed called Jesus Lord, Lord but have not done and did not do the things which He said. They have done the things the world has said instead. If that is the case, and it is, they can’t possibly be in heaven, but are instead in hell. I don’t say that with any joy or self-righteousness, but as a warning to others. Many are so careless in what they confess and maybe some conceitedly think that they can make things right on their death bed, but can they? Did the ones whom I mentioned who have since died at the last minute end up in heaven? How can we say? We can’t, all we can assert is they denied the Lord Jesus Christ their entire lives and therefore they must be in hell. We are not speaking from a place of being unmerciful, but rather from a place of dire warning, so others will be well alerted to their precarious position before the Lord and rather than continue in unbelief and rebellion, repent and believe. Let us give the sinner no quarter for their eternal well-being and salvation. May we never assume salvation where it is not warranted by the life the individual lived and the confession that they made. You said, that it is good to use their lives as a warning against wrong living and false confession, well, if they lived wrong and believed in lies then how could they die right? May Christ abundantly bless us to be faithful to Him, stand fast for the truth, and valiantly share the gospel of our salvation. Love you dear sister.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bob Wheeler says:

    With C.S. Lewis, Joel Osteen, and Mother Theresa there are serious problems with their theology, including their doctrine of salvation, that makes their professed faith suspect. And I personally don’t know enough about Rick Warren to pass judgment on him, although I have read two of his books. But in the case of Billy Graham isn’t the main problem his methodology? And is it not possible that he was simply misguided? (I understand that he was influenced by his father-in-law to cooperate with non-evangelicals). If you say, then, that he is going to hell because of the way he conducted his crusades, then aren’t you teaching a form of justification by works?

    Like

    • Eliza says:

      Doesn’t our doctrine inform our faith and practice and isn’t that from the Scriptures? Didn’t he align himself with the enemies of God? Didn’t he teach the false doctrine of universalism? Yes, Yes, and Yes!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bob Wheeler says:

        “Doesn’t our doctrine inform our faith and practice and isn’t that from the Scriptures?”
        That question has been one of the most hotly debated questions in all of church history, and is the main reason there are so many denominations. One view, (called the Normative Principle), says that whatever is not forbidden in Scripture is permitted. This would typically have been the view of Lutherans and Episcopalians — it is based on the principle of Christian Liberty. The other view is called the Regulative Principle, and holds that whatever is not commanded in Scripture is forbidden. This is the view held by Presbyterians and other groups such as Primitive Baptists and Plymouth Brethren. How far do you take it? Some have held that the use of musical instruments, Sunday schools, and paid clergy are all unscriptural and should be condemned. Both sides were perfectly sincere in their beliefs, and convinced that their faith and practice were informed by Scripture. So which group is going to hell? And I’m not sure that Billy Graham taught universalism, but I’ll have to look into that.

        Like

        • Eliza says:

          Bob, Romans 14 and 15 cover those cases, and it is because they refuse to follow the Scriptures in that regard that there are divisions. Paul makes the point in 1 Corinthians 3 that those who divide over none essentials are at the best carnal Christians. My question would be where do they stand on Jesus Christ, the way of salvation, God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, Heaven and Hell, the end times, etc. If they deviate/deviated from the Scriptures in those vital teachings (doctrine) then they are bound for hell. If anyone believes in a false christ, false gospel, false teaching for their salvation and are led astray by a false evil spirit, they are unbelievers who will receive the just reward due to them because of their sin. Believers, those who have repented of their sin and put their faith in Jesus Christ for their salvation because of His death upon the cross for their sins and His resurrection from the dead for their justification and eternal life because of God the Father’s great mercy and love for us, can be led astray. They won’t lose their salvation, but they will lose their reward. The Holy Spirit, though, will keep them from gross error by warning them Himself, through exhortation from the Bible by other believers and from their own study of the Word of God. In the meantime, we must preach the gospel to all so that God in His mercy will lead them to repentant faith in His glorious Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Too bad that Billy Graham contradicted this in the following quotes.

          Billy Graham did teach universalism, here are the resources that give the quotes:

          McCall magazine January 1978 (pages 156-157):

          “I used to believe that pagans in far off countries were lost—were going to hell. I no longer believe that. I believe there are other ways of recognizing the existence of God–through nature, for instance.”

          So no need of the Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, just believe there is a god who created all things. Unless they believe in God and His Son as revealed to us in the Bible, there is no salvation.

          Robert Schuller Power of Hour Interview 5/31/1997:

          “I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they’re conscious of it or not, they’re members of the body of Christ. And that’s what God is doing today; he’s calling people out of the world for his name. Whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the body of Christ because they’ve been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their heart that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved and will be with us in heaven.”

          [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WFkb9NkEHE]

          Liked by 1 person

          • Bob Wheeler says:

            Your argument about non-essentials is essentially the same one that Luther himself made, and on the doctrine of salvation I wouldn’t hesitate to say that both he and Calvin were solid Christians and are now in heaven. And Reformed theologians, as a general rule, will attempt to explain infant baptism in a way that does not conflict with the doctrine of justification by faith alone. So in both of these cases I think we need to give them the benefit of the doubt in the judgment of charity.
            I was very sad to see the quotes from Billy Graham. I think he probably started out well, but veered off course with his ecumenical evangelism. I think he probably meant well, but was misguided, with tragic results.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Eliza says:

    You and I disagree regarding infant baptism. You yourself said it, they attempt to explain it so it doesn’t conflict with justification by grace alone through faith alone, but they can’t do it biblically. It is heresy.
    Regarding Calvin and Luther, they both loved the false teachings of Augustine and placed his writings on par with the Scriptures. Very dangerous ground for anyone to be on and expect to be in heaven. We must listen to Jesus and we listen to Him as we study and know His Word, period.
    May Jesus be merciful to us so that we will avoid the prevalent error and hold fast to His doctrine, from His Word, the Bible. Thank you Jesus that you will do this for your beloved.

    Like

    • Bob Wheeler says:

      They most emphatically did NOT place the writings of Augustine “on par with the Scriptures.” Luther and Calvin could both distinguish between divine inspiration and a human’s opinion. Moreover they both devoted their careers, and literally risked their lives, fighting the Roman Catholic notion of tradition. It was Luther, after all, who uttered the memorable words, “Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason — I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other — my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”
      We need to be very careful about misrepresenting the opinions of others lest we fall into the sin of bearing false witness!
      It is also true that just because Augustine said something does not in itself make itself wrong. The sovereignty of God, the depravity of man, salvation by grace are all major themes of the Bible, and cannot be dismissed just because Augustine and Calvin also happened to have taught them. The question is, what does the God’s Word teach? And our answer must be based on sound exegesis, which Calvin did and most of his critics do not.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        Really Bob? Then why when writing the Institutions of the Christian Religion did Calvin say that he could write it all from the teachings of Augustine?

        And that sound exegesis is how Calvin arrived at infant baptism and limited atonement. No, he relied upon human reason for those two false doctrines. It is interesting to read his mental gymnastics to arrive at the necessity of infant baptism and pronounce a curse upon those who reject it, just like Augustine!

        Calvin also believed in persecuting those who disagreed with him. Hmmmm! That is a false doctrine that Augustine also taught. Augustine actually persecuted genuine believers during his lifetime. The Catholic Church particularity liked this false doctrine and evil example and murdered many genuine brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ because of this wicked example and false teaching. If Augustine were so clear about the biblical doctrines you mentioned then why does the Catholic Church consider him their father and twist and pervert the Scripture by their traditions that they consider to have the same weight as Scriptures. Oh wait, Luther and Calvin did the same exact thing! Infant baptism, limited atonement, transubstantiation, persecution of the Jews.

        We are under the New Covenant, where the kingdom of God is within us. We are not called to persecute anyone! What does God through Paul say about interacting with those who profess false teaching? A number of things, warn and rebuke, avoid and turn away from, turn over to Satan that they learn not to blaspheme. There is not a word from our Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament about persecuting others. On the contrary, He told us to turn the other cheek, and/or flee when persecuted.

        Calvin relying on Augustine is dangerous because Augustine placed the church’s authority over the Scriptures, rather than the Scriptures as authoritative over the church. Augustine taught the tradition of the Catholic Church has greater weight than the Scripture. He also believed the Scriptures could only be correctly interpreted by church councils. He allegorized the Scriptures to get them to say what he wanted them to say. He believed the Genesis account of Creation was a myth, and so did not believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant, preserved Word of God. He had a low opinion of the Scriptures and a high opinion of doctrines and traditions of men. If Calvin and Luther were faithful in all that God commands us, they would have turned away from the false teacher Augustine, and stood by the Scriptures alone. By standing up for these two men and their errant doctrine you are relying upon men rather than the Scriptures. Let the Scriptures lead you in your doctrine and faith by the power of the Holy Spirit.

        Here we go at it again Bob. You quote your men and stand up for them. I quote the Scriptures and point out where those men were in gross error. I think that you have had your say more than once, that is enough.

        Like

        • Bob Wheeler says:

          You twist and distort what these men teach and, frankly, are guilty of slander. Luther and Calvin did not “rely” on Augustine. They quoted Augustine to prove two points: their theology was not an innovation, as the they Catholics claimed, but was taught by one of their own doctors himself, and secondly, the Catholic church itself had wandered from what it originally believed.
          As for “Limited Atonement,” what the Bible itself actually teaches on the subject is that Christ died as our substitute, that He paid the penalty for our sins, and He effectively redeemed us. The Bible clearly teaches a vicarious, substitutionary atonement. It was a real substitution and a real payment of a debt. (Isa. 53:4-6; Tit. 2:14; Rev. 5:9). The Bible does not say that Christ paid the penalty for the sins of the entire human race, or that His death merely made forgiveness possible on other grounds. It was a real substitution, and the real payment of a debt, and it effectively secured our salvation.
          Yes, Luther and Calvin made the mistake of trying to reform territorial, state churches, and that involved them in infant baptism and religious persecution, although Luther hesitated on both points. But if neither Luther nor Calvin were not saved, then no one is. We are not justified by theological correctness; we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ, and Luther and Calvin taught that as clearly as anyone. And if it had not been for Luther, humanly speaking, we would all be in the Catholic Church today.
          If you venture to criticize someone, you need to quote them directly, rather than put your own words in his mouth. In the case of Lutheran and Reformed theologians this is especially inexcusable, since both communions have published detailed doctrinal statements. And if you’re not interested in finding out what they actually said, then put your hand to your mouth and remain silent. You frankly don’t know what you’re talking about half of the time. “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea seven are an abomination unto him: . . . a lying tongue,. . . A false witness that speaketh lies . . .” (Prov. 6:16-19).
          As far as I can see, you are just as guilty of teaching false doctrine as are they — or are you claiming infallibility for yourself?

          Like

          • Eliza says:

            No Bob, I am not infallible, but I seek to understand where the well-spring of the heresy that has infiltrated the church has its origins. I have read both Calvin’s and Luther’s works and I have also read their histories. It troubled me greatly that supposed sound leaders and teachers were allowing false teachers to be accepted as if genuine believers (especially C. S. Lewis with the Reformed crowd) and I have just been trying to understand why they are so willing to accept someone who didn’t believe or teach the truth. It became obvious to me that they were willing to accept the theological assertions of others, even if those assertions did not agree with what the Bible has to say. Limited atonement is one such example. 1 John 2:1-2 plainly states that Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins (believers) and also for the whole world. That being said by God, He undoes the intellectual reasoning behind limited atonement, because propitiation means that Jesus Christ took God’s wrath for every individual, appeasing it and has made the way for reconciliation between God and the sinner as they repent of their sin and put their faith in Christ. The who notion of limited atonement undoes the necessity of the sinner repenting of their sin and believing in Jesus Christ. I was thinking about this while on the way home from work today, and it dawned upon me that one’s intellect must always be subservient to the Scriptures and not the other way around.

            The Catholic Church didn’t wander away from what it originally believed, it always embraced the heresies of the early church fathers. I doubt that we would all be in the Catholic Church today. God has always had His remnant. You are again, mistaken at this point. I am sorry to see you leave, but it is probably best because you cause confusion where there should be the clarity of God’s Word on these matters.

            Like

          • Eliza says:

            This is in regards to Bob’s assertion that Luther and Calvin quoted Augustine to prove their theology wasn’t new and that the Catholic Church wandered from what it originally believed. This is what is written in the introduction to the Institutes in section X:

            Throughout the Institutes Calvin’s self-confessed debt to Augustine is constantly apparent….It has been said that “the Reformation, inwardly considered, was just the ultimate triumph of Augustine’s doctrine of grace over Augustine’s doctrine of the church.” The measure of dependence of Luther and Calvin upon Augustine cannot easily be stated, but certainly both Reformers were frank to recognize their debt to him, without in the least exempting his opinions from the test of Scripture.
            (Except of course in the area of infant baptism, this is my statement (Eliza)).

            In the source index for Institutes there are thirteen and a half columns of references to Augustine’s works. For sure, Calvin quoted the Scriptures far more, as should be the case for a work titled the Institutes of the Christian Religion, however, this reference to Calvin’s dependence upon Augustine is also reported in section X of the introduction:

            Calvin may be said to stand at the culmination of the later Augustinianism. He actually incorporates in his treatment of man and salvation so many typical passages from Augustine that his doctrine seem here entirely continuous with that of his great African predecessor.

            Luther, on the other hand, was an Augustinian friar before he became a reformer, was well versed in the works of Augustine, admitted his debt to Augustine, and cited Augustine frequently in his works.

            It appears that in addressing the error of Augustine and the reliance of Luther and Calvin upon this false teacher, that Bob did not deal faithfully with the facts regarding the Reformers dependence upon Augustine. He couldn’t refute the false teaching of Augustine nor the fact that the Bishop of Hippo is considered to be the father of the Catholic Church, so instead, he prevaricated about the depth of influence that Augustine had upon Luther and Calvin.

            The false teaching of infant baptism that arises from Augustine, and embraced by Luther and Calvin, is contrary to justification by grace through faith because of Jesus Christ’s death upon the cross for our sins, and admits a human work that appropriates God’s grace so original sin is expunged and the infant is regenerated. This is false teaching and apostasy. Baptismal regeneration, either of adult or infant, is nowhere taught in the Scripture, and if any had the occasion to read Calvin’s defense of this tradition, they would see that he goes to great lengths to impugn the integrity of those who oppose it on biblical grounds while he himself is not able to give a biblical reason for the practice other than relating it to circumcision, which is denounced as a means of justification before God, and is no longer a covenant sign between God and His people. Christ, and Him crucified and most importantly risen from the dead is the covenant sign between Himself and His people, with the Holy Spirit the guarantee of our adoption. Additionally, Calvin brings up non-biblical arguments to defend this indefensible tradition.

            I am sure that I cannot stand with heresy no matter the name of the one espousing it! I will stand with what God says through His Holy Word the Bible, and by Christ’s grace, stay faithful and true to Him. By your mercy, truth and grace Jesus Christ may it be so!

            Like

          • Eliza says:

            I enjoyed your most recent well-written post. You show the thread of apostasy that has plagued the visible church since the day of the apostles. You applied it only to the life of the church though. It goes deeper than that. It involves the same behavior and attitude that motivated the Jews against Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry. That behavior and attitude is based upon elevating the false teaching of men to be above and in place of the well-spring of the truth of the Scriptures. We need to be extremely clear on this matter, because it regards eternal life and eternal damnation.

            6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 8 “For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men–the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” 9 He said to them, “All to well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, “Honor your father and your mother’; and ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man says to this father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”–‘(that is, a gift to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” 14 When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 15 There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. 16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!” 17 When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. 18 So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” 20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man,” Mark 7:6-23

            15 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” Mark 8:15

            Men in power without the life of God always want to rule over and be esteemed by others. They will always put forth their words in place of the Word of God. Then they will join with unbelieving governmental associates to make sure their way becomes entrenched in the heart and life of the people so they can continue with their lavish lifestyles and dishonest dealings. This is the attack of the enemy that has crippled and disfigured the visible church, so that its deformity repulses unbelievers from following Christ. These wicked workers will always put forth a way of salvation that is according to their traditions and has absolutely nothing to do with simple repentant faith in Jesus Christ as taught in the Word of God. Bob, it would be good if you could disclose the false teachings taught by so many of the early church fathers that have contradicted and contravened the work of God by His Holy Spirit through His Holy Word which alone makes known to us the way of salvation that is through Jesus Christ alone. It is the false teachings that have created a false fellowship of unbelievers who masquerade as disciples of Jesus Christ, and is eagerly elevated by the enemy of our souls as the “way of salvation.”

            Like

  7. Bob Wheeler says:

    And as for your blog — good riddance!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Bob Wheeler says:

    P.S. Neither Luther nor Calvin taught transubstantiation, either. Luther taught consubstantiation (the body and blood of Christ are “in, with, and under” the elements of the Lord’s table) and Calvin taught the spiritual presence of Christ in the Lord’s Table (I Cor. 10:16). Zwingli thought it was a mere memorial. Get your facts straight before you criticize!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Eliza, about John Calvin and Martin Luther, their failings but genuine service to and love of the Lord, I believe this verse applies here, to our attitude towards them.
    Romans 14:4
    4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

    Like

    • Eliza says:

      My dearest and beloved Maria, these verses apply to matters of conscience upon things such as observance of days, eating meat, drinking wine, they cannot be applied to doctrine. My issue with these reformers is they taught baptismal regeneration for infants, and that is gross heresy. They got the focus off of God and His faithfulness and placed it on man and the church so that many would be compelled to attend, given the high rate of infant and childhood mortality. It also attacks the Person and Work of Jesus Christ and cannot be countenanced. I hope you will understand my firm conviction in this matter. I love you sister. May Jesus bless us to be faithful in all things for His glory.

      Like

  10. Hi! I havee your email. Should I respond at length by email or here?
    In His love,
    Maria

    Like

  11. Bob Wheeler says:

    Eliza, if you have the Institutes, Book IV, Chapter XVI is where Calvin attempts to defend infant baptism. Why don’t you point out where he says that children can be regenerated by being baptized, and we’ll take a look at it.

    Like

    • Eliza says:

      Thank you Bob, I appreciate your willingness to help me out in this matter. I have read it thoroughly last night and today. He doesn’t say infants are regenerated by baptism, but that baptism is a sign of the regeneration that has already taken place. Since Calvin links baptism with circumcision, it appears, from what I read that he makes some erroneous assumptions about the spiritual benefits of circumcision. It would be good to look at what he says here, and then keep in mind what happened with the children of Israel, who were circumcised, in the wilderness and how that relates to their eternal destiny as revealed in Hebrews. Then, once that is done, it will show that his whole foundation for infant baptism falls to the ground. What do you think?

      Like

      • Bob Wheeler says:

        I’m still reading through the chapter myself — I think he’s argument is pretty convoluted. He seems to be saying that baptism is a sign and a seal of something that could possibly be true of an infant, but not necessarily, or that it represents a promise of something that God might do in the future, but might not. And his argument about infants possibly having faith is stretching it. On the practical level I think the problem is this: if you are a parent and have your child baptized, what do you tell that child as he grows up about his standing before the Lord? Is he saved or is he not saved? And if he is not saved what does his baptism mean? I think that historically Presbyterians have struggled with this, with some taking the more “Baptistic” view that we are all born sinners and need to repent and believe in order to be saved, while others have taken the view that they have always been Christians since early childhood, — there never was a time when they did not believe. Presbyterians have actually split over this in the past. The danger, i think, is in giving children a false assurance, and confusing what Reformed theologians call “historic faith” (attachment to the church for purely social and cultural reasons) and true saving faith.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Bob Wheeler says:

    On the analogy with circumcision I think the problem is with the relationship of the covenants with each other. (Bear in mind that Calvin largely took this argument over from Zwingli). Zwingli and Calvin are treating the Mosaic and New Covenants as simply two different dispensations of the same covenant that was made with Abraham, but in reality I think that they are separate and distinct from each other. The Mosaic Covenant was made with a specific ethnic group and was conditional in nature — you keep the commandments and you receive the blessings, which involved material prosperity in a given geographical location. Circumcision represented a kind of self-imprecatory oath — you were promising to keep all of the commandments at the risk of being cut off from the people if you did not. And because the covenant was ethnically based it made sense to circumcise your offspring — they were born into the covenant as it were. The New Covenant is different — it is unconditional, and base on union with Christ, and that can occur only on the basis of personal faith on Christ.
    Calvin’s exegetical problem here is that there are a number of NT texts (which he menitions — Rom. 6:3-5; Gal. 3:27; Col. 2:12,13; I Pet. 3:21 — that suggest that people who are baptized are saved. Logically you would think that there are only two possibilities here — either the Roman Catholic view that the sacrament itself saves you (baptismal regeneration) or the Anabaptist view that only professing believers are being baptized. Luther, Zwingli and Calvin however, didn’t want to accept either one of these alternatives. Hence the convoluted explanations that a baby might be able to exercise faith or that baptism is a sign and a seal of something that may or may not actually be true of the person being baptized.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Bob Wheeler says:

    Calvin’s problem was further complicated by the fact that he was a firm believer in election. So if you baptize an infant, does that mean he is elect? Is election based on our decision to baptize someone? Is God obligated to save someone because we baptized him? I think Calvin would recoil at any of these suggestions. So then, if we baptize an infant we really don’t know if he is elect or not. So what, then, is the promise attached to baptism? How does it offer either the parent or the child any assurance? The plain fact of the matter is that the Anabaptist view of baptism accords better with Calvin’s (and the Bible’s!) view of sovereign grace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eliza says:

      Amen! And yet, notice the language that Calvin uses against the Anabaptists, it is so divisive and derogatory. No love wasted there! His attitude about what he is saying is also troubling, since he almost abrogates to himself infallibility in this matter. It is truly troubling and doesn’t give a sense of him being a humble servant before his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There is one other portion that is troubling, and that is where he contradicts what the Bible says about the salvation of sinners, making it clear that he believes there are other ways of regeneration other than a broken sinner repenting of their sin and placing their faith in Jesus Christ upon the sovereign call of the gospel preached to their hearts. This is what he said:

      “They counter with the objection that the Spirit in Scripture recognized no regeneration except from incorruptible seed, that is, from God’s Word [ I Peter 1:23]. In this they wrongly interpret Peter’s statement, which has reference only to believers who had been taught by the preaching of the gospel. We indeed admit that to such person the Word of the Lord is the only seed of spiritual regeneration; but we deny the inference from this that infants cannot be regenerated by God’s power which is as easy and ready to Him as it is incomprehensible and wonderful to us. Besides, it would be an unsafe argument that would take from the Lord the power to make himself known to them in any way He pleases.” Book V, Chapter XVI, section 18.

      This is dangerous ground and is the germ of the seed of universalism being taught from Calvin’s heart and pen.

      We ought to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and His glorious Word rather than any man. We cannot make the argument that he taught good things with his lies and twisting of and taking Scripture out of context, because all false teachers do the same thing. May Christ keep us beholden to Him and no other!

      Like

      • Eliza, I believe you are using the term universalism incorrectly in this instance, and that in stating that John Calvin was divisive and derogatory when he spoke against the Anabaptists, you are doing the same thing, because of saying this, that “he almost abrogates to himself infallibility in this matter. It is truly troubling and doesn’t give a sense of him being a humble servant before his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

        You have no respect for John Calvin, that is clear, though your tone is more gentle; your expectation is that anyone who is a child of God will be entirely Biblical, perfect in their doctrine. How can that be until the Lord’s return, when we will know as we have been known?

        Like

        • Bob Wheeler says:

          Actually, most of the 16th Century writers used derogatory language, even Menno Simons (and you should hear Luther!). But that obviously doesn’t excuse them. What is annoying in this instance is that Calvin’s argument here is especially weak, and I think he’s trying to compensate for it by trying to make his critics look stupid. It reminds me of the advice that an experienced lawyer once gave to a beginner: “If you have the law on your side, pound on the law. If you have the facts of the case on your side, pound on the facts. If you have neither the law nor the facts on your side, pound on the table!
          Book IV, Chapter XVI of the Institutes is definitely not Calvin at his best.
          If you want to see the winsome side of Calvin’s personality look at Book III, Chapters VI through X. These were also published separately under the title “Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life,” and is good devotional reading. May God help all of us to practice what we preach!

          Liked by 2 people

          • Okay, Bob, I understand something of those times. And you’re right about the weakness of the arguments. For a while I’ve been sensitive to criticism of the reformers but especially during the last few weeks because of losing a friend who thinks I am deceitful for never telling her or those who subscribe to my blog that I believe in the doctrines of sovereign grace and therefore must be a “Calvinist”.

            Like

          • Eliza says:

            Thank you Bob, Amen!

            Like

          • Eliza says:

            Here we see Calvin trying to justify what cannot be justified from the Bible. I believe, if he had used the Scriptures as his only source of revelation, then he would not have embraced infant baptism. But we have to keep in mind that previous figures in the church had relied upon Augustine, Anselm and Thomas Aquinas, and that his complete works were printed from 1490 to 1506. Also no less a figure in recent church history then B. B. Warfield had this to say about Augustine’s influence upon the Reformation:

            “The Reformation, inwardly considered, was just the ultimate triumph of Augustine’s doctrine of grace over Augustine’s doctrine of the Church.”
            B. B. Warfield , Calvin and Augustine (Philadelphia, 1956), p. 332.

            (Unfortunately for millions, the RCC, his doctrine of the church has been preeminent in their lives and has led them on the broad way that leads to destruction and we cannot hold him harmless for this great wicked betrayal of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.)

            So my whole point all along has been that Calvin and Luther were influenced by a false teacher and that false teacher was Augustine. If we take what the Bible says literally, and I do, then I have to wonder about their salvation, as difficult as that may be for many to accept.

            15 And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation–as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:15-18

            Wicked workers twist the Scriptures and do not understand what it says because they are untaught by the Holy Spirit, and unstable in their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. These Scriptures that may be difficult to understand are not impossible to understand as we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If we do that, we will not fall from our own steadfastness, and will not be led away by the error of the wicked. So I reiterate again, and again, let us follow Jesus Christ and be students of His Holy Word the Bible.

            Lord Jesus Christ make us true to You no matter our heroes that may fall by the wayside. Lord God Almighty bless us to be faithful and true to You!

            Liked by 1 person

        • Eliza says:

          Dear Maria,
          God has given us His Word and He has given us His Holy Spirit so we can understand His Word. My contention all along has been that Calvin was influenced by Augustine in his views on infant baptism. I read all that Calvin wrote regarding infant baptism in book four chapter 16 of the Institutes, did you, have you?
          He presumed to be a doctor of the church and wrote this book to correct error, and yet he embraces glaring error in this book and chapter of his work. I didn’t write what I wrote in a cavalier fashion, I wrote it based upon his words. Words such as this:

          “In other niggling arguments by which they try to discredit this passage, they only betray their own ignorance For they argue from this saying of Christ, “Let the little ones come unto me.” that these were already somewhat grown and not fit to come. But the Evangelists call them “babes and children” [Luke 18:15; cf. Matt. 19″14; Mark 10:13]; by these words the Greeks mean infants at the breast. Therefore, the word “to come’ is used simply in the sense of “to have access.” See what webs of deceit those who have hardened themselves against the truth are compelled to weave.” Book IV, chapter XVI, section 8

          Here is an instance, among many, where Calvin takes Scripture out of context to support his false teaching on infant baptism.

          “For this holy institution of his, by which we feel our faith singularly comforted, does not deserve to be called superfluous. For God’s sign, communicated to a child as by an impressed seal, confirms the promise given to the pious parent, and declares it to be ratified that the Lord will be God not only to him but to his seed; and that he wills to manifest his goodness and grace not only to him but to his descendants even to the thousandth generation.”[Ex.20:16] Book IV, Chapter XVI, section 9

          Calvin leaves out the rest of that verse. Here it is in its entirety:

          4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. Exodus 20:4-6

          Finally, that he considered what he wrote about infant baptism to be infallible, here is his threat against those who reject this false teaching.

          “Finally, we ought to be greatly afraid of that threat, that God will wreak vengeance upon any man who disdains to mark his child with the symbol of the covenant: for by such contempt the proffered grace is refused, and, as it were, foresworn.” Book IV, Chapter XVI, section 9.

          The term universalism applies to there being a means of salvation other than the call of the gospel by the Holy Spirit upon the sinner. Calvin left open another way with the words that I quoted. This same deluded sentiment has been echoed by many who believe in universalism, Lewis, Graham, Bell, and others. It is dangerous and reprehensible. Calvin doesn’t write it once, but attests to it twice in this section of his work.

          “But how (they ask) are infants, unendowed with knowledge of good or evil, regenerated? We reply that God’s work, though beyond our understanding, is still not annulled. Now it is perfectly clear that those infants who are to be saved (as some are surely saved from that early age) are previously regenerated by the Lord.” Book IV, Chapter XVI, section 17

          “And to silence such gainsayers, God provided proof in John the Baptist, whom he sanctified in his mother’s womb [Luke 1:15]–something he could do to others. And they do not gain anything here by this mocking evasion–that it was only once, and that from this one instance does not immediately follow that the Lord usually deals thus with infants. But we are not arguing this way either. Our purpose is solely to show that they unjustly and wickedly shut God’s power within these narrow limits to which it does not permit itself to be confined…..Let us not attempt, then, to impose a law upon God to keep Him from sanctifying whom He pleases, just as He sanctified this child, inasmuch His power is not lessened.” Book IV, Chapter XVI, section 17

          I hope that I have made it plain that I am not showing Calvin disrespect by what I said, but I am merely showing his tenor and his error in this section of his work. I am sorry if that offended you, but we should really know what he said and how he said it so we can then use wise discernment. God bless you dear sister.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Eliza, please be patient with me… Here is what I believe: that believer’s baptism is Biblical, however I know that many true believers practice infant baptism. That is what I care about honestly. I do have major problems with baptismal regeneration however.

            Incidentally I researched Martin Lloyd-Jones’s view and it’s instructive. From a discussion on The Puritan Board:

            “His position was also original on the subject of the administration of baptism. Though serving all his ministry in churches belonging to denominations of paedo-baptist belief, he early abandoned the practice of infant baptism. Yet he did not become a Baptist because he did not believe in immersion. Two authors in particular swayed his judgement against immersion; one was Charles Hodge and the other B.B. Warfield in his article, ‘The Archaelogy of the Mode of Baptism’. As a result he was to say: ‘I was quite convinced that the case for infant baptism could not be proved but equally convinced that the case for immersion could not be proved.’ In practice, then, he dedicated the children of believers and baptized others by sprinling upon their profession of faith. The questions which he put publicly to those he baptized were usually taken from the Heidelberg Catechism. His views on baptism almost never appeared in his public ministry, partly, I suppose, because opposition to infant baptism would have been contrary to the trust deeds of the churches he served but certainly because of his burden to emphasize the things which all evangelicals hold in common. He especially regretted that baptism had ever been made a point of denominational identity and was critical of Baptism in that regard.(Iain Murray, “D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The Fight Of Faith 1939-1981″, pgs. 790-791)”

            God bless you!!
            Maria

            Liked by 1 person

  14. Bob Wheeler says:

    The charge against Calvin of universalism is probably stretching it a bit. He argued that the children of believers were participants in the covenant and could be saved, but insisted that adults outside of the faith had to repent and believe in order to receive salvation. “Those who embrace faith in Christ as grown men, since they were previously strangers to the covenant, are not to be given the badge of baptism unless they first have faith and repentance, which alone can give access to the society of the covenant. But those infants who derive their origin from Christians, as they have been born directly into the inheritance of the covenant, and are expected by God, are thus to be received into baptism.” (IV.xvi.24 — p. 1374). That’s quite different from what Lewis or Bell would say. My problem with Calvin is seeing how an infant can be “born directly into the inheritance of the covenant.” Exactly what is the “inheritance”?

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Eliza says:

    He does describe it as regeneration, because he states that the symbols, circumcision and baptism represent regeneration and then applies that to infants.

    Now we can see without difficulty the similarity and the difference of these two signs. The promise (in which we have shown the power of the signs to consist) is the same in both, namely, that of God’s fatherly favor, of forgiveness of sins, and of eternal life. Then the thing represented is the same, namely, regeneration. In both there is one foundation upon which the fulfillment of these things rests. Therefore, there is no difference in the inner mystery, by which the whole force and character of the sacraments are to be weighed. What dissimilarity remains lies in the outward ceremony, which is a very slight factor, since the most weighty part depends upon the promise and the thing signified. We therefore conclude that, apart from the difference in the visible ceremony, whatever belongs to circumcision pertains likewise to baptism. To this anagogic relationship and comparison we are guided by the rule of the apostle, which bids us examine all Scriptural interpretation according to the proportion of faith [Rom. 12:3, 6] And the thing is so true we can almost touch it. For circumcision was for the Jews their first entry into the church, because it was a token to them by which they were assured of adoption as the people and the household of God, and they in turn professed to enlist in God’s service. In like manner, we also are consecrated to God through baptism, to be reckoned as his people, and in turn we swear fealty to Him. By this it appears incontrovertible that baptism has taken the place of circumcision to fulfill the same office among us. Book IV, Chapter XVI, Section 4

    In Section 4, Calvin is saying that they signs of baptism and circumcision represent an outward symbol of an inward fact that is contingent upon faith in Christ Jesus. That he clearly states in section 2, he then likens baptism to circumcision in section 3. After stating correctly that baptism symbolizes the reality of our union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, through faith in Christ Jesus, he then applies the reality of the symbol to infants and states that they should be given the rite of baptism to signify their inclusion in the covenant with God in section 5.

    Now, if we choose to investigate whether is is right to administer baptism to infants, shall we not say that a man is talking nonsense or indeed raving who would halt with the mere element of water and outward observance, but cannot bear to turn his mind to the spiritual mystery? If any account of this is made, it will be evident that baptism is properly administered to infants as something owed to them. For in early times the Lord did not deign to have them circumcised without making them participants in all those things which were the signified by circumcision [Gen. 17:12]. Otherwise, he would have mocked his people with mere trickery if he had nursed them on meaningless symbols, which is a dreadful thing even to hear of. For he expressly declares that the circumcision of the tiny infant will be in lieu of a seal to certify the promise of the covenant. But if the covenant still remains firm and steadfast, it applies no less today to the children of Christians than under the Old Testament it pertained to the infants of the Jews. Yet if they are participants in the thing signified, why shall they be debarred from the sign?…Therefore, since the word “baptism” is applied to infants, why shall the sign, which is an appendix of the word, be denied them?…but since the Lord, without fixing the day, yet declares that he is pleased to receive infants into his covenant with a solemn rite, what more do we inquire? Book IV, Chapter XVI, Section 5

    So here we see Calvin teaching that through symbols of circumcision and baptism the children of believers are pictured as regenerated by God’s Fatherly favor. So, he is saying that children born to believers have their sins forgiven, and are possessors of eternal life. Calvin is saying that is their inheritance.

    Here lies the germ of the seed of universalism, in that, there is another extra-biblical way apart from repentant faith in Jesus Christ being given for forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God, and isn’t that the substance of universalism which contends that God made many ways to Him for sinners to gain eternal life? Now, to be sure, universalism refutes the truth from Scriptures that those who do not repent of their sins and place their faith in Jesus Christ remain under God’s wrath and will spend eternity in hell when they die, but those who hold this false teaching also proclaim God’s mercy in providing for the sinners salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ. For sure, John Calvin believed and taught what the Bible says about eternal damnation, and the need for repentant faith in Christ Jesus for adults (not baptized as infants?), however, any false teaching that includes other ways to God besides repentant faith in Christ Jesus can be seen as supplying encouragement to those who deny salvation is based solely upon turning from sin, believing in Jesus Christ and trusting what He has done for us to procure our salvation in obedience to God the Father.

    Lord Jesus please give us discernment to judge between what is false and true, and to hold fast to what is from Your Word the Bible. Amen!

    Like

    • Bob Wheeler says:

      Actually here is where Calvin is really confusing. He says that baptism pictures regeneration, but does that mean that infants actually are regenerated? At one point he seems to be saying that they are capable of faith, that baptism signifies some kind of promise on God’s part, and that we can glean some kind of assurance from it. Yet he would be the first to insist that the elect are chosen by God from all eternity, that everyone is born totally depraved, and that it takes an act of God’s irresistible grace to bring them to spiritual life. Just because an infant is born to Christian parents does that make him elect? I think Calvin is arguing in circles here.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s