Sunday, February 13, 2011

Training Soldiers

One's view of the sacraments, baptism and the Lord's Supper, shows itself in how one reads scripture. For instance, when one views baptism as merely an entrance into the covenant, all kinds of equivocation takes place surrounded verses that talk about the efficacy of baptism.

Abraham Kuyper is a name easily recognized among Calvinists. He is highly regarded and well-respected as a reformed theologian. Recently, I heard this quote from Abraham Kuyper, "The children of believers are to be considered as recipients of efficacious grace in whom the work of efficacious grace has already begun. And that when dying before having attained to years of discretion they can only be regarded as saved. Of course, Calvinists never declared that these things were necessarily so as they never permitted themselves to pronounce official judgment on the inward state of an adult but left the judgment to God. So they have never ususrped the right to pronounce on the presence or absence of spiritual life of infants."

Compare that quote against what scripture says about baptism, that it confers salvation, new life, makes disciples,forgiveness of sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit, the promise of resurrection, to name the promises.

I also found this catechism for Calvinists regarding infant baptism. It is full of equivocations. The very first question is about whether an infant is part of the covenant of grace.

Question 1. Are Infants of believers included in the Covenant of GraceAnswer: Yes, children are included in the Covenant of Grace, and the visible church."

What is the covenant of grace they are talking about? The catechism is stating that is it for entrance into the visible church. Did Jesus institute a covenant for entrance into the visible church?

This is the covenant Jesus instituted.

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table.
~Luke 22:19-21

Today in Sunday School we asked young children how one knows that Jesus loves them. One little boy said, "When the pastor puts water on our foreheads, we know we belong to Jesus."

Out of the mouths of babes comes the straightforward answer. There was no hedging the bet, there was no equivocation by adding "baptized into the covenant of the visible church". This little boy's yes was yes!

And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from evil.
~Matthew 5:36-37
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