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To show conclusively, that the practice of infant baptism perpetuates the superstitions by which it was originally produced example 2

April 30, 2021 2 comments

Calvin next demands our attention. What did he teach, and what do his followers now hold, on this subject?

Two incompatible and contradictory theories struggled in his mind. The infants of believing parents, and these only, he taught, are to be baptized. He says: “This principle must always be maintained,” “that baptism is not conferred upon infants in order that they may become the children and heirs of God, but because they are already [their parents being such] in that rank and position. Otherwise Anabaptists would be right in excluding them from baptism.”[109]

The grace conferred upon children, and the faith upon which they are baptized, are therefore hereditary! This is the former theory. The latter refers to his doctrine of election. He taught that some infants are elect, and some non-elect, and that only the elect children receive any benefit by baptism! He remarks:

We diligently teach that God does not put forth his power without distinction to all who receive the sacrament, but only to the elect.”[110]

How, it is inquired, are infants regenerated, who have no knowledge either of good or evil? We reply, that the work of God is not yet without existence, because it is not observed or understood by us.”[111]

Calvin says:

Though these graces [repentance and faith] have not yet been formed in them, the seeds of both are nevertheless implanted in their hearts by the secret operations of the Spirit.”[112] The grace and benefit are therefore elective! But if they be hereditary how can they be elective? And if elective how can they be hereditary? These two theories are radically the opposites of each other, and never can be harmonized, unless, indeed, God has elected to salvation only the infants of believing parents, whose faith and election are the faith and election of their offspring; in which case faith and election are propagated by natural generation, and no man can be saved whose parents before him were not believers in Christ. Thus does infant baptism overwhelm and destroy the scripture doctrine of Predestination!

Apart, however, from these considerations, the Calvinistic doctrine on the subject before us, may be stated in a few words, thus:

Faith is necessary to baptism. No child can be baptized without it. The parents of the child have faith. What belongs to the parents belongs to the child. Therefore the child has faith, and upon that faith is baptized!”

So taught Calvin, and so teach his disciples at this time. Of this fact I could introduce instantly a hundred witnesses. One, however, is sufficient. Dr. Miller, the late distinguished Professor at Princeton, to whom I have before several times referred, remarks: “After all, the whole weight of the objection [to infant baptism] in this case, is founded on entire forgetfulness of the main principle of the Pedobaptist system. It is forgotten that in every case of infant baptism faith is required, and if the parents be sincere is actually exercised. But it is required of the parent, not of the child. So that if the parent truly present his child in faith, the spirit of the ordinance is really met and answered.”

The Calvinistic doctrine is therefore substantially the same as that of the Papists and the Lutherans. Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and the others, arrive, although by a different route, at the conclusion that the gospel does require faith on the part of all those who are baptized as an indispensable condition of their receiving the ordinance; that the children to be baptized have faith, since their parents’ faith is their faith; and that infants are therefore baptized upon a profession of their faith.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 8- Infant baptism is an evil because its practice perpetuates the superstitions by which it was originally produced

What are the practical inferences from all this?

IV. And so I close with this last question, WHAT ARE THE PRACTICAL INFERENCES FROM ALL THIS? “Have respect unto the covenant.” Why, that if we ask God to have respect unto it we ought to have respect unto it ourselves, and in this way.

Have a grateful respect for it. Bless the Lord that he ever condescended to enter into covenant with you. What could he see in you even to give you a promise, much more to make a covenant with you? Blessed be his dear name, this is the sweet theme of our hymns on earth, and shall be the subject of our songs in heaven.

Next, have a believing respect for it. It’ it is God’s covenant, do not dishonor it. It stands sure. Why do you stagger at it through unbelief?

His every work of grace is strong

As that which built the skies;

The voice that rolls the stars along

Speaks all the promises.”

Next, have a joyful respect for it, Wake your harps, and join in praise with David: “Although my house be not so with God, yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant.” Here is enough to make a heaven in our hearts while yet we are below — the Lord hath entered into a covenant of grace and peace with us, and he will bless us for ever.

Charles H. Spurgeon- ‘The Covenant Pleaded,’ at the Metropolitan Tabernacle Newington

The Wednesday Word: This is Gospel Truth!

April 28, 2021 5 comments

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

What is the gospel? The simple answer is, the gospel is the person, doing, dying and rising again of the Lord Christ. He, Himself, is God’s good news from Heaven. Since the gospel is about Him it is, therefore, not about you and not about me. It is about Jesus.

This is Gospel Truth!

The gospel, among other things, reveals God’s purpose, accomplished by Christ, for the recovery of sinful people from the deplorable state into, which they had fallen (Luke 19:10; Matthew 1:21).

This is Gospel Truth!

The gospel tells of how God came to this earth in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was not an impersonation of God, He was, in fact, God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16).

This is Gospel Truth!

As a man, He obeyed God’s laws and requirements on our behalf. (Hebrews 4:15; 2 Corinthians 5: 21; John 15:10). I’m amazed by this grace. My only qualification for such a Saviour is that I’m such a sinner.

This is Gospel Truth!

As a man, Jesus made a suitable and satisfactory atonement for His people’s sins. In His doing and dying, He gave us the gift of God’s favour (Ephesians 1:7).

This is Gospel Truth!

Because of the gospel, we now have a High Priest who takes us to God (Hebrews 3:1). We can now say to the Father,

“Thy Christ who bled and died,

Up to thy throne has gone;

Himself thy love gift we accept,

We rest on Him alone.

This is Gospel Truth!

Christ is now in Heaven representing His blood-bought people. Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit is here on Earth opening hearts to receive the gospel. However, it must be remembered, the Spirit´s work in us is not the gospel. The Spirit’s work is ongoing but Christ’s work is finished. By the way, the work of the Holy Spirit does not redeem us. The Spirit instead brings us to where we receive Christ’s accomplished redemption as our own (Ephesians 2:1).

This is Gospel Truth!

Also, when it comes to faith, may we always remember that , although faith is the channel of salvation, faith itself cannot justify us. It is not the gospel. Faith was not tried, found guilty and executed on our behalf. We rejoice that the power to believe is generated by the Holy Spirit yet this quickening (making alive) by the Spirit does not justify us. Nothing within us saves us. We are entirely saved outside ourselves by the finished work of Christ. The Spirit has baptised us into Christ (Romans 6:3-4), and in Christ, all spiritual blessings are discovered (Ephesians 1:3).

This is Gospel Truth!

Christ Himself is the object of faith. He is our salvation, not our faith and not our experiences. We depend on neither faith nor feelings but upon the Lord our God Himself!

Come ye weary, heavy laden,

Bruised and mangled by the fall;

If you tarry till you’re better,

You will never come at all.

Not the righteous, Not the righteous, Not the righteous;

Sinners Jesus came to call.

Joseph Hart

This is Gospel Truth!

To be continually amazed by the gospel, it helps to continually keep it in mind. Our gospel is much more than an innocent man dying for the guilty. As we meditate on the Finished Work we recall that the man of the gospel was none other than the God-Man. Watch Him revealing God to us. Then see Him being reckoned as a the vilest of all sinners and then, in majesty, putting sin away (Hebrews 9:26).

Because of what the Lord has done, if we feel our sin, it ought not to drive us away from Christ. No indeed, the feeling of our sin ought to propel us towards Christ.

The curse and damnation of His people fell on Him 2000 years ago at Calvary. He was slaughtered, and we were set free. He was raised from the dead in power and majesty, and we were raised with Him (Colossians 3:1).

Faith claims Jesus as King

As our all-atoning Priest;

It claims no merit of its own,

But looks for all in Christ.

Benjamin Beddome

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

They have learned the custom of the true church of God

6. When a man has a child, he trains him up to his own liking–they have learned the custom of their father’s house; so are those that are born of God–they have learned the custom of the true church of God; there they learn to cry ‘My Father’ and ‘My God’; they are brought up in God’s house, they learn the method and form of God’s house, for regulating their lives in this world.

John Bunyan- Bunyan’s Last Sermon

Man’s defection from his primordial state was purely voluntary

Arthur PinkMan’s defection from his primordial state was purely voluntary and from the unconstrained choice of his own mutable and self-determining will. Adam was “without excuse.” By eating of the forbidden fruit, he broke, first, the law of his very being, violating his own nature, which bound him unto loving allegiance to his maker: self now took the place of God. Second, he flouted the law of God, which requires perfect and unremitting obedience to the moral Governor of the world: self had now usurped the throne of God in his heart. Third, in trampling upon the positive ordinance under which he was placed, he broke the covenant, preferring to take his stand alongside of his fallen wife.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

A Caution to the Presumptous

Spurgeon

Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”- 1 Corinthians 10:12

IT is a singular fact, but nevertheless most certain, that the vices are the counterfeits of virtues. Whenever God sends from the mint of heaven a precious coin of genuine metal, Satan will imitate the impress, and utter a vile production of no value. God gives love, it is his nature and his essence. Satan also fashioneth a thing which he calls love, but it is lust. God bestows courage; and it is a good thing to be able to look one’s fellow in the face, fearless of all men in doing our duty. Satan inspires foolhardiness, styles it courage, and bids the man rush to the cannon’s mouth for “bubble reputation.” God creates in man holy fear. Satan gives him unbelief, and we often mistake the one for the other. So with the best of virtues, the saving grace of faith, when it comes to its perfection it ripens into confidence, and there is nothing so comfortable and so desirable to the Christian, as the full assurance of faith. Hence, we find Satan, when he sees this good coin, at once takes the metal of the bottomless pit, imitates the heavenly image and superscription of assurance, and palms upon us the vice of presumption.

Charles H. Spurgeon- A Caution to the Presumptous, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, at Exerter Hall Strand, May 13, 1855

Hope in Christ in the face of death Pt 2

April 24, 2021 6 comments

As many of you know I posted about my wife’s cancer at the end of last year. It is hard to believe that it has been almost 6 months since I blogged about this life changing event! I just wanted to give a short update on how things are going.

My wife underwent surgery in December. The doctor removed some colon, an ovary, a kidney, and some of the lining of her muscles on the left side of her body. The tumor, which was discovered via cat scan, had grown that large. She pulled through the surgery quite well.

She then began chemo therapy. However, as the beginning of February dawned, we both caught covid and she had to stop her chemo treatments. In March she restarted chemo therapy and is doing very well. She goes to Birmingham every other week, and sits in the office, as they pump two different types of chemo into her veins. She is then sent home with a pump attached to her, which pump, is administering a third type of chemo.

In order to pay bills and to keep our finances stable, I had to go back out on the road and drive a big rig. So this is why I have not posted any special material on my blog in a while.

Also, Wednesday April 21 her mother passed away. She was 80 years old. I had to come home the 22nd of April and we buried her mother Friday the 23rd of April.

Through all of this God has been gracious. He knows what is best for us in each and every situation. This does not mean that we do not need prayer! Oh no! Keep praying saints! What it does mean however, is that God works where and how he wills and we must thank him for his many blessings in the midst of it. We our not our own, we are bought with a price!

Therefore, I want to thank all those who have prayed for us and ask that you continue to do so.

God bless you,

Hershel

To show conclusively, that the practice of infant baptism perpetuates the superstitions by which it was originally produced example 1

These were mainly, the superstitions that originally produced infant baptism; the belief of a mysterious cleansing power in baptism itself; the necessity in all cases of baptism in order to salvation; and the plea that infants who are baptized have the necessary preliminaries demanded in the gospel. From this accumulation of theological impurities, like Python from the mud of the deluge, sprang infant baptism.

I now proceed to the other branch of the proposition, and shall show conclusively, that the practice of infant baptism perpetuates the superstitions by which it was originally produced.

That all the Sects of Protestant Pedobaptists are under the influence at this moment; to a greater or less extent, of the first, and the second, of these forms of superstition, is a fact that no man can successfully deny. Their standards and other authorities teach unquestionably, that baptism carries with it some mysterious cleansing power, and that it is connected somehow, with grace and salvation! The ancients believed, moreover, that little children brought to baptism are endowed with the graces of repentance and faith, and have therefore the gospel preliminaries required for baptism! Do modern enlightened Protestant pedobaptists credit this absurdity? The inquiry is worthy of our attention.

We turn, first, to the great, and, in some respects, incomparable Martin Luther. He practises no concealments, but expresses himself boldly, and without equivocation. He remarks: “We here say and conclude that the children believe in baptism itself, and have their own faith which God works in them, through the intercession and hearty offering of the sponsors, in the faith of the Christian church, and that is what we call the power of another’s faith; not that any one can be saved by that but he thereby (that is, through another’s intercession and aid) may obtain faith of his own from God by which he [the infant] is saved.” This faith is, he declares, the infants’ “own faith in which they believe, and are baptized for themselves.”[107] In his larger Catechism, published 1529, he further says: “The great efficacy and usefulness of baptism being thus understood, let us further observe what sort of persons it is that receive such things as are offered by baptism. This, again, is most beautifully and clearly expressed in these words: “He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved.” That is, faith alone makes a person worthy to receive with any profit, this salutary and divine water. Without faith baptism profits nothing, although in itself it cannot be denied to be a heavenly and inestimable treasure.”

We bring a child to a minister of the church to be baptized in this hope and persuasion, that it certainly believes, and we pray that God may give it faith.” And again. In the “Conference at Wittenberg,” in 1536, when called upon to explain how infants who do not think at all, can believe, Luther answered,

As we even when asleep, are numbered among the faithful, and are in truth such although we are actually thinking nothing of God, so a certain beginning of faith (which nevertheless is the work of God) exists in infants according to their measure and proportion, of which we are ignorant.”[108]

Thus we have the doctrine of Lutheranism on this subject. It cannot be mistaken. That church holds that it is lawful to baptize those only who exercise repentance of sin, and faith in Christ; that infants do exercise repentance of sin, and faith in Christ; therefore it is lawful, and indeed obligatory, to baptize infants!

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 8- Infant baptism is an evil because its practice perpetuates the superstitions by which it was originally produced

Take the covenant as you find it in Jeremiah at the thirty-second chapter at the fortieth verse

Or suppose you desire to be upheld under strong temptation, lest you should go back and return to your old ways. Take the covenant as you find it in Jeremiah at the thirty-second chapter at the fortieth verse. Note these verses and learn them by heart, for they may be a great help to you some of these days. Read the fortieth verse of the thirty-second chapter of Jeremiah. “And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.” Blow go and say, “O Lord, I am almost gone, and they tell me I shall finally fall, but O, my Lord and Master, there stands thy word. Put thy fear in my heart and fulfill thy promise, that I shall not depart from thee.” This is the sure road to final perseverance.

Thus I might take you through all the various needs of God’s people. And show that in seeking to have them supplied they may fitly cry, “Have respect unto the covenant.” For instance, suppose you were in great distress of mind and needed comfort, you could go to him with that covenant promise, “As a mother comforteth her children, even so will I Comfort thee, — out of Zion will I comfort thee.” Go to him with that and say, “Lord, comfort thy servant.” Or if there should happen to be a trouble upon us, not for yourselves, but for the church; how sweet it is to go to the Lord and say, “Thy covenant runs thus — ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against her.’ O Lord, it seems as though they would prevail. Interpose thy strength and save thy church.” If it ever should happen that you are looking for the conversion of the ungodly, and desiring to see sinners saved, and the world seems so dark, look at our text again — the whole verse — “Have respect unto the covenant, for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty, to which you may add, but thou hast said that thy glory shall cover the earth, and that all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Lord, have respect unto thy covenant. Help our missionaries, speed thy gospel, bid the mighty angel fly through the midst of heaven to preach the everlasting gospel to every creature. Why, it is a grand missionary prayer. “Have respect unto the covenant.” Beloved, it is a two-edged sword, to be used in all conditions of strife, and it is a holy balm of Gilead, that will heal in all conditions of suffering.

Charles H. Spurgeon- ‘The Covenant Pleaded,’ at the Metropolitan Tabernacle Newington

The Wednesday Word: More About Grace Alone

Have you noticed that certain people, when we talk about salvation by grace alone retreat to their works? They say, “Yes, it’s true that we are saved by grace through faith, but the Book of James says we also need works.”

But James doesn’t teach that a combination of faith and works are needed for salvation. Those who use that argument are missing the point. Good works result from the gospel but cannot in any way be added to the gospel.

It is Finished!

Consider this, if we are saved by grace, then leave it be! Don’t mix anything with it. Salvation is by grace … not by grace plus works … it’s by grace … grace alone!

If we are in any way depending upon our works, then we cannot appeal to the grace of God. Grace and works, can never be mingled. Salvation must either be all of works (i.e. keep the commands of God perfectly) or else it’s all of grace.

God’s way of salvation excludes all our works. Salvation is “Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:9-9) Right standing and acceptance before God is a matter of grace, pure grace.

God’s plan of salvation is actually a man … the Lord Jesus Christ. We rest on Him and His accomplishments alone and have no confidence in our attainments. The gospel helps us see that since we cannot be saved by our own works, we must be saved by Christ’s works for us. He is our only hope.

Listen to me, if a friend paid your entire debt, how much would you pay? Nothing! Likewise, salvation was obtained by Christ apart from us altogether. Faith receives it as gift. How much then do we pay?

Nothing!

The blood of Christ blots out our sins like a cloud (Isaiah 44:22).

Our iniquities are hurled into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19.

Our sins and iniquities are no longer remembered (Hebrews 8:12).

We have no merits, but the Lord Jesus has boundless qualities which He imputes to us. We are full of sin and, by rights, should be punished, but Christ has been punished instead of us.

How sub-standard are our works! We dare not bring them before God as evidence that we should in any way be blessed. Our works? … that would be a wretched addition to make to the Finished Work!

The gospel truth is that all the merits of Jesus are our merits. They are imputed (reckoned) to us: all the sufferings of Jesus are our sufferings. As Spurgeon said, “You stand before God as if you were Christ, because Christ stood before God as if He were you.

I’ll finish with an old yarn which I sometimes use in preaching. It’s just a yarn yet it’s helpful. It goes,

An Irish man dies. Of course, St. Patrick (not Peter) meets him at the Pearly Gates.

Patrick says to the man, “You need 10,000 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you have done, and I’ll give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 10,000 points, you get in.”

“Okay,” the man says, “I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart.”

“That’s wonderful,” says St. Patrick, “that’s worth three points!”

“Three points?” he says.

“Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service.”

“Terrific!” says St. Patrick. “That’s certainly worth a point.”

“One point!?!!

I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans.”

“Fantastic, that’s good for two more points,” he says.

“Two points!?!!”

Exasperated, the man cries, “If I ever get in there, it will have to be by the grace of God!”

“Congratulations 10,000 points! Come on in!”

Salvation is by grace … not by grace and works … just grace … grace alone!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com