Infant Baptism? Infant Salvation? What does the Bible say?


Baby

In my theology class last week I had to answer a prompt regarding the practice of infant baptism and thus the question of infant salvation: if an infant dies before the “age of accountability” what is their destiny? Does the atoning work of Christ in someway apply to them?

I have posted my thoughts on the topic below (I was restrained by a word count, FYI) and want you to think about this topic during the week. I will say that my brief look a the topic is not at all complete and is something that I believe requires further study to understand at a deeper level. I will also say that I believe there are some things in life that we need to admit ignorance to and place completely in the hands of God.

I believe this is one of those areas, especially because God’s Word is silent on the matter regarding infant salvation.  All of that said, I challenge you to do independent study on this (this replaces the weekly memory verse for this week).

Scripture is quite clear, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, NIV), and “all have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Psalm 14:3). Where Scripture is clear on the state of humans, it is also clear on the special place that children hold. This is especially seen in the time that Christ had on earth (Matt 19:13-14; Mark 10:14; Luke 10:21; Matt. 21:16; Matt 18:6)[1]. Although it is clear that God loves children, Scripture is also clear that “all” (literally “everyone”) has sinned and falls short of His Glory, deserving death (Rom 6:23). This author does not see (in the scope of this study) how children (also infants) can be exempt from this judgement and penalty.

Another area where this author believes Scripture is clear is on that of God’s sovereign choice. “What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion'” (Romans 9:14). Is it possible that the atoning work of Christ on the cross could somehow be applied to infants without the infant making a volitional decision to put their faith in Christ for salvation? This author will submit that yes, it may be possible. But what, then, is to be made of the action required to believe and have eternal life (John 5:24)?

Based on this brief study the conclusion that unborn infants, or infants who die shortly after birth, are sinners and thus deserve full judgement (as we all do), are subject to the full punishment (as we all are). Apart from faith in Christ there is no hope for salvation. Paul’s question (already stated) is appropriate here: “What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.'”

[1]Bromiley, G. W. “Baptism, Infant.” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Elwell, A. Walter. 132. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House Company, 2001.

Let God Work


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Exodus 4:10-12 (New International Version)

10 Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

11 The LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

This is exactly how i feel sometimes, “God, why me? I can’t do this!”, and i always ending up doing it, whatever ‘it’ is, and doing it well. I have been in so many different situations in my life so far, in so many different levels of leadership where i have felt inadequate, or not worthy of something. I can remember being worried about the turnout of an event or how i would sound during a certain speech and always saying a silent prayer to God before hand for His protection and His will to be done through me.

I can see the point Moses is trying to make in the passage above, but God’s point is much better (obviously!), “I will be with your mouth and teach you what to say.” God will do it. Moses is simply a tool for God to use in order to do what He wants done on earth. This is something that we all need to realize on a regular basis! God is in control…He is working through us to achieve His will. No matter how much we resist, if it is in His plan He is going to do it. That is why we need not worry (as much as we do). Like i have said before, giving up control of every area of our lives is the best thing, the best decision, that we could ever do/make. Not only will a peace come over us knowing that God is in control, but we will begin to notice His plan take shape in our lives.

When we move out of the way, GOD is able to do His best work in us.

Joseph: A dreamer, a Man of God


Genesis 50:20 (New International Version)

20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

I am amazed at the entire story of Joseph!  God had a plan for his life, and even though it may have seemed quite opposite in Joseph’s eyes, God executed that plan with the perfection that only He has.  Joseph’s brothers hated him (Gen. 37:4) and wanted nothing to do with him, so they plotted against him (Gen. 37:18) and sold him away.  Now, if i were Joseph, i would loose all hope at this point, but that is not what we see in Joseph. All through his life, from his brothers selling him to being accused of rape and thrown into prison, Joseph is faithful that God will deliver him and protect him from harm.  I believe that it is that faith that Joseph had in God that eventually placed him in a position of great authority (Gen. 41:41) and gave Joseph the opportunity to save the lives of many people and through it all forgive his brothers for what they had done to him!  

God blesses those that put their trust in Him for everything!  This is evident in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and now Joseph.  The Lord provided for all of these men and blessed them for their strong faith, trust, and love in and for Him.  That is the kind of faith that i want: strong, bold, and steady faith!

God’s Sovereign Will Cannot Be Interrupted


Brought to you today with almost commercial interruption!

Computers do have minds of their own. Last night i checked my email before crawling into to bed around 10:30 and it worked, i was able to see that i had received junk mail. So i shut down and that was that. I wake up this morning at 5am and nothing works; no internet, no signal, etc… which also means that my Vonage phone was not working…but, as you can see, we are back up and running! So no worries, all you non-commenters, your daily post, my thoughts and prayers, is here!

Matthew 10:28-31 (New King James Version)

28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

This is obviously a continuation of yesterdays passage that i wrote about, and as it turns out, my thoughts here and now may be along the same lines. In reference to what i mentioned yesterday with my fear of witnessing, or talking to strangers about God, i was reminded today that i am not to fear them or the reaction they may have to what i say to them. I should fear God alone. So yesterday i find out that He will give me the words to speak (v.19b) and today learn that i need not fear those who can only harm my body and not my soul (v.28). In everyday life my only concern should be that i am pleasing the Lord. if i do that, and just fear Him along, everything else will fall into place because God is in control and has everything under His control. He controls everything all the way down to the timing of a sparrow’s death, even the number of hairs on our heads (v. 29b-30). if God has such seemingly insignificant things under His control, then why should i not trust in Him? Why should i worry?

He has things under control. The difficult part for me sometimes is to admit that He does, and release my grip. This is what i need to do: trust in the sovereign will of God, start living my life as second in command, consult Him daily, and live according to His will.

God this is what i want more than anything else! I want your sovereign will to take over in my life, God i know that you are in control, please help me to release my grip on anything that i am holding back. I want you and need to to be in control of my life, i know that i cannot do this on my own, i need you to help me!

Thank you so much for your blessings! I pray that you will continue to meet our needs and provide for us. Lord continue to give us wisdom in the decisions that we need to make. God i pray that you will continue guiding us along this path. Thank you for your constant Love. Amen.