Infant Salvation

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Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
"The fact that Psalm 22 is a Messianic psalm means nothing unless you believe the Psalm doesn't apply at all to David. What exactly is David trying to say "figuratively" when he says that he was made to trust on his mother's breasts?"

What are you saying here - are you denying typology?

Scott
 

Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
For the record, I do not think it was the case John was somehow merely regenerated but unjustified in the womb.

However, for those people who do believe that, do you believe that ordinary adults can be regenerated but unjustified (say the members of a tribe in Africa who have not yet encountered the gospel)?

Scott
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm saying that the fact that this Psalm is Messianic doesn't speak to this issue at all, that's all I'm saying, unless you deny that the Psalm is also talking about David himself, as well as a foreshadowing of Christ.

In other words, so what that it's Messianic?

[Edited on 1-16-2004 by luvroftheWord]
 

Susan

Inactive User
OK, glad to be of service. :D I would say that it would be wrong to say that nothing in the Psalm applied to David, but it seems clear to me that it is a Psalm about Christ.

Here's Spurgeon's take on this Psalm.

[quote:8ee1592366]SUBJECT. This is beyond all others THE PSALM OF THE CROSS. It may have been actually repeated word by word by our Lord when hanging on the tree; it would be too bold to say that it was so, but even a casual reader may see that it might have been. It begins with, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" and ends, according to some, in the original with "It is finished." For plaintive expressions uprising from unutterable depths of woe we may say of this psalm, "there is none like it." It is the photograph of our Lord's saddest hours, the record of his dying words, the lachrymatory of his last tears, the memorial of his expiring joys. David and his afflictions may be here in a very modified sense, but, as the star is concealed by the light of the sun, he who sees Jesus will probably neither see nor care to see David. Before us we have a description both of the darkness and of the glory of the cross, the sufferings of Christ and the glory which shall follow. Oh for grace to draw near and see this great sight! We should read reverently, putting off our shoes from off our feet, as Moses did at the burning bush, for if there be holy ground anywhere in Scripture it is in this psalm.

DIVISION. From the commencement to the twenty-first verse is a most pitiful cry for help, and from verse 21 to 31 is a most precious foretaste of deliverance. The first division may be subdivided at the tenth verse, from verse 1 to 10 being an appeal based upon covenant relationship; and from verse 10 to 21 being an equally earnest plea derived from the imminence of his peril...
[/quote:8ee1592366]

I know that the Lord watches over all His children's ways, even from the womb long before we ever come to a saving faith. This must be balanced against the other verses showing that all Adam's children are born in sin and need salvation. In my humble opinion, it is a stretch to say that faith in an infant is a normative truth because of other Scriptures that teach otherwise.

[quote:8ee1592366]Genesis 6:5
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.[/quote:8ee1592366]


[quote:8ee1592366]Romans 3 v.9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:

"None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one."[/quote:8ee1592366]
No exception is made for Covenant children. Jesus said he came to save the "lost sheep of Israel". Matthew 15 v. ." 24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." If they were born saved, there would have been no "lost sheep" to save.

Continuing with spurgeon:
Verse 9. "But thou art he that took me out of the womb." Kindly providence attends with the surgery of tenderness at every human birth; but the Son of Man, who was marvelously begotten of the Holy Ghost, was in an especial manner watched over by the Lord when brought forth by Mary. The destitute state of Joseph and Mary, far away from friends and home, led them to see the cherishing hand of God in the safe delivery of the mother, and the happy birth of the child; that Child now fighting the great battle of his life, uses the mercy of his nativity as an argument with God. Faith finds weapons everywhere. He who wills to believe shall never lack reasons for believing. "Thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts." Was our Lord so early a believer? Was he one of those babes and sucklings out of whose mouths strength is ordained? So it would seem; and if so, what a plea for help! Early piety gives peculiar comfort in our after trials, for surely he who loved us when we were children is too faithful to cast us off in our riper years. Some give the text the sense of "gave me cause to trust, by keeping me safely," and assuredly there was a special providence which preserved our Lord's infant days from the fury of Herod, the dangers of travelling, and the ills of poverty.

Verse 10. "I was cast upon thee from the womb." Into the Almighty arms he was first received, as into those of a loving parent. This is a sweet thought. God begins his care over us from the earliest hour. We are dandled upon the knee of mercy, and cherished in the lap of goodness; our cradle is canopied by divine love, and our first totterings are guided by his care. "Thou art my God from my mother's belly." The psalm begins with "My God, my God," and here, not only is the claim repeated, but its early date is urged. Oh noble perseverance of faith, thus to continue pleading with holy ingenuity of argument! Our birth was our weakest and most perilous period of existence; if we were then secured by Omnipotent tenderness, surely we have no cause to suspect that divine goodness will fail us now. He who was our God when we left our mother, will be with us till we return to mother earth, and will keep us from perishing in the belly of hell.




http://www.gospelcom.net/eword/comments/spurgeon/psalm22.htm
 

Guest

Puritan Board Freshman
They were lost because they had forsaken the covenant.

Normatively, children of believers are the children of God,

Isa 59:21 As for me, this [is] my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that [is] upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Susan,

The theme of the judgment lawcase against the covenant breaking people of God is a huge theme overlooked by many today. John the Baptist prepares the way. The Johannine text tells us that he came from "God". The literal meaning is that he came "from the side of God" as if he stood as a representative of the law court and was enacting a "rib" (Hebrew - "reeb", not a rib like a rib in our bodies) a lawsuit against the covenant breakers. Thus, the covenant people were coming to be "washed" by him as those who needed to make amends when the Judge actually appears (that is Christ). Christ then comes to save the wayward people, the spiritual adulterers, who had forsaken the covenant, and who had been placed under the covenant judgment of God. John "prepared the way" making "crooked paths straight and rough places plain" (a reference to grading the streets when the dignitary came to town (something the people did with palm branches and their cloaks when Jesus came riding in on the donkey)). So hopefully more research will be sone ont he role of John and Christ in this respect, because it add alot to our understanding of God's "judgment case" against the wayward people. Then, Christ come sto the lost house of Israel to make amends for their covenant breaking (which was why they were in exile - scattered about) and why the restoration passage in Joel is used by Peter at pentecost as a first sermon text. it is fitting for Peter to announce the restoration.
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
There is no contradiction in saying on the one hand that children can be believers from their birth, and on the other hand saying that all men are born in sin. This is because nobody is saying that infant children of believers are born with an innate capability to believe in and of themselves. Faith is the gift of God, is it not? He can give it to us whenever he chooses, even in infancy. My belief is that in the case of David, John the Baptist, and maybe even many, many other children, God gave them faith in their infancy. There is nothing in such a view that contradicts total depravity.

I am aware of what Spurgeon, Calvin, and many other commentators say about these verses. Though it is true that God providentially cares for his children, that doesn't take away the personal element that is present in the Psalm. It seems very obvious to me that David is saying more than simply, "God was watching over me in my infancy".

[Edited on 1-16-2004 by luvroftheWord]
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
[quote:ef6f4e4fca][i:ef6f4e4fca]Originally posted by luvroftheWord[/i:ef6f4e4fca]
There is no contradiction in saying on the one hand that children can be believers from their birth, and on the other hand saying that all men are born in sin. This is because nobody is saying that infant children of believers are born with an innate capability to believe in and of themselves. Faith is the gift of God, is it not? He can give it to us whenever he chooses, even in infancy. My belief is that in the case of David, John the Baptist, and maybe even many, many other children, God gave them faith in their infancy. There is nothing in such a view that contradicts total depravity. [/quote:ef6f4e4fca]

There is when you make the unwarranted leap and say that John the Baptist's experience is normative.
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
I agree. What's your point?

By the way, its only an unwarranted leap in Baptist theology. In Presbyterian theology it isn't.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
[quote:1899267a7c][i:1899267a7c]Originally posted by luvroftheWord[/i:1899267a7c]
I agree. What's your point?

By the way, its only an unwarranted leap in Baptist theology. In Presbyterian theology it isn't. [/quote:1899267a7c]

My point is that it is poetic hyperbole.

Your second sentence... hmmm... your comment is revealing about your position's dependency upon the express teaching of Scripture as to what is normative for members of the human race. (Unless you're positing that paedo theology is for some other species or race!)
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
Did you miss what I said about total depravity earlier? Why does anything I've said contradict total depravity or original sin?
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Ok, you're right... I missread your words.
Your view doesn't contradict total depravity. But IF there are these vast throngs of inants coming into the world that have faith from the womb then your view certainly does effectively diminish it to nothing more than a theoretical reality for a significant number of the worlds population.

[Edited on 1-16-2004 by SolaScriptura]
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:1fe3708523]
your view certainly does effectively diminish it to nothing more than a theoretical reality for a significant number of the worlds population.
[/quote:1fe3708523]

It's no more theoretical for regenerate, believing infants than it is for regenerate, believing 23-year-olds.
 

TheonomyNZ

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:352decc1e8][i:352decc1e8]Originally posted by luvroftheWord[/i:352decc1e8]
By the way, its only an unwarranted leap in Baptist theology. In Presbyterian theology it isn't. [/quote:352decc1e8]

I would want to correct that by saying that you probably (or should) have ARMINIAN Baptist theology in mind when you say that.

But even in presbyterian theoogy, it isn;t obvious that John the Baptist's case is normative, is it?
 

TheonomyNZ

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:57c2380d5c][i:57c2380d5c]Originally posted by joshua[/i:57c2380d5c]
Is that you in your Avatar? Who is it? Just curious... [/quote:57c2380d5c]
Well, some people have avatars of famous Christian thinkers of the past. i simply chose one from the future. :)
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
TNZ:
[quote:3f989b0f0f]But even in presbyterian theoogy, it isn;t obvious that John the Baptist's case is normative, is it?[/quote:3f989b0f0f]
Why not? If Jesus refers to John as least in the kingdom of God (Matt. 11: 11 ) then why would not His electing purposes for each, no matter their calling vocationally, be the same, i.e, from the womb? This does not undermine the personal responsibility of each elect person, not even of John the Baptist, to be daily repentant, and daily seeking God. Personal repentance is still my daily obligation, even though I have been a Chrisitian a long, long time, just as much as one who comes to it the very first time.
 

TheonomyNZ

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:4619fc1a5d][i:4619fc1a5d]Originally posted by JohnV[/i:4619fc1a5d]
TNZ:
[quote:4619fc1a5d]But even in presbyterian theoogy, it isn;t obvious that John the Baptist's case is normative, is it?[/quote:4619fc1a5d]
Why not?[/quote:4619fc1a5d]
Because it is bad hermeneutics to take a specific occurence in Scripture, and then move to the declaration that this occurence is normative for each of us.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that elect people are never regenerate in the womb. I'm just saying that we're not in a position to regard it as normative, just because it happened to John the Baptist.

The reality is, the question is not "why not?" The question is "why?" There is no obvious reason why John's experience must be a normative one.

[quote:4619fc1a5d]If Jesus refers to John as least in the kingdom of God (Matt. 11: 11 ) then why would not His electing purposes for each, no matter their calling vocationally, be the same, i.e, from the womb?[/quote:4619fc1a5d]

I see no reason to link John's being "least" in the kingdom of God with the point in his life at which he became regenerate. For example, a person who becomes regenerate at age 80 is greater than John according to these words fo Christ, so clearly being greater than John does not require that we are regenerate at the same point in life.

I say we must remain agnostic about [i:4619fc1a5d]when[/i:4619fc1a5d] an elect person is regenerate. All we must do is presume that our children are elect, and always teach them to fear the Lord and repent. The hidden things belong to the LORD.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
TNZ:
Actually the questin to ask is "Why not?" since the idea of normativity is being addressed by you and other RB's. I'm referring to the burden of proof. But this is also a Red Herring by me, I know. So forget that part of it.

[quote:e90a598324]I see no reason to link John's being "least" in the kingdom of God with the point in his life at which he became regenerate. For example, a person who becomes regenerate at age 80 is greater than John according to these words fo Christ, so clearly being greater than John does not require that we are regenerate at the same point in life. [/quote:e90a598324]
I guess we have a differece here of what that reference by Jesus means. It may not mean that John will have the lowest place inthe kingdom, but that in the eyes of the Jewish people one may prefer to be anyone else than John because of persecution he suffered for his puculiar ministry.

But be that as it may, we cannot regard John's earthly ministry, as singular as it was, as being more deserving of his person than any occupation that we of God's people serve in daily life. Yes he was chosen for a very particular work, but his regeneration and election were as particular as any other's. And I take it that was Jesus' point.

If I turn 80 before I turn and believe, I am not any the less destined from the womb as one who is born into the church; but one who is born into the church has a particular place as God's child in the visible church. That is taken for granted throughout the Old Testament, and also, therefore, throughout the New Testament. What needs to be found in the NT is a clear reference that God no longer deals in that way. For that way of dealing with His people is called "Covenantal", and "Covenantal" is therefore inclusive of children in the congregation of His people, with the rights and privileges of that inclusion.

We have gone through all this before on this Board. I don't disrespect my Baptist brothers; in fact I defend them as fellows on this Board. We differ. But we do not question each other's commitment and faith. We allow each to state their beliefs forthrightly and sincerely, without taking offense at it. And that is as it should be.

That means that some of us do believe that the concept of Covenantal Theology must include the infants of believers. And we must have the right and obligation to say so plainly, without being taken as offending or bad-mouthing our brothers. That is what we believe. It must also be believed that we dearly love and value our brothers who differ, for they truly are valuable to us in that they offer us sincere critique of our view.

But that pales in the face of all the good that is done together for the general good of the advancement of the gospel, which this Board also is very much a part of. You will find White equally receiving positive review along with Duncan; Spurgeon along with Warfield.

This is just a reminder of all the work that has preceded this discussion in establishing a truly Christian relationship between differing parties, a marked characteristic of this Board. At least that is how I feel about it, and how I respect this discussion.

I guess this was uncalled for. I apologise; I guess I just felt in a "rant" mood. But it is not untoward, so I will post it. Thanks.
 

TheonomyNZ

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:aa2bd246ad][i:aa2bd246ad]Originally posted by JohnV[/i:aa2bd246ad]

If I turn 80 before I turn and believe, I am not any the less destined from the womb as one who is born into the church; but one who is born into the church has a particular place as God's child in the visible church. That is taken for granted throughout the Old Testament, and also, therefore, throughout the New Testament. What needs to be found in the NT is a clear reference that God no longer deals in that way.[/quote:aa2bd246ad]
Of course God still works that way. the question I'm addressing is not whether or not every elect person is ELECT while in the womb. The question I'm addresing is whether every elect person is REGENERATE in the womb. All I'm saying is we can't say they all are just because we know John was.

having said that, I am also not denying that some may be regenerate in the womb. As I said, our (covenantal!) obligation is to assume the election of our children and to trai them in the fear of the LORD. When regeneration takes place is a hidden thing belonging to the LORD, which He does when His good pleasure dictates. It may be in the womb, it may be after birth.
 

TheonomyNZ

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:45d7b08e7d][i:45d7b08e7d]Originally posted by joshua[/i:45d7b08e7d]

Which is whom? [/quote:45d7b08e7d]I aologise for the undue subtlety. Yes, it is me. :)
 

Susan

Inactive User
[quote:0fe47dbb28]I assumed so, but, we know what happens when one assumes... :tongue:[/quote:0fe47dbb28]
or PREsumes! :D
 

TheonomyNZ

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:a311dd8403][i:a311dd8403]Originally posted by joshua[/i:a311dd8403]
I assumed so, but, we know what happens when one assumes...:p [/quote:a311dd8403]
Yes, they baptise their babies! :lol: *runs for cover*
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
Should the prophet Jeremiah's calling be equated with womb regeneration like that of John the Baptist? Can this be exegeted from the text if only implicitly.

Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations."

It follows from the decree of election that a truly called believer is inevitably going to be regenerated in accordance to God's perfect timing whether at 3 years of age or 30 years. Though, we should never confuse the new birth with the natural birth.
:pilgrim:
Calvin's treatise said covenant parents should rest in solace that children of believers in light of Scripture. John MacArthur has written a book on infant salvation called Safely in the Arms of God...

I often hear of infant innocence, and the elusive age of accountability, but does this harmonize with Scripture? The simplest evidence the infants are under the curse of sin is the fact that they face the consequences of sin... and they can die. I think after my mom had me, she probably doesn't think kids are so innocent. I imagine she thinks it is possible for even small children to goto hell.;) Anyway, I think it's to the glory of God to redeem the unborn victims of abortion and miscarriages as well as infants and toddlers.
:candle:
 
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