Is Infant Baptism Protestant?

R. Scott Clark has a 9-part series on Paedobaptism that is quite helpful. Here is the portion of the first installment:

Is Infant Baptism Protestant?

In short, yes. All the Protestant Reformers including Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin held to infant baptism. Though these three great Protestants disagreed on many things, they all agreed on the Protestant doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. They also agreed that infant baptism is a biblical practice and the best expression of the Protestant gospel.8 In fact, infant baptism has been the practice of the historic Christian church since the Apostolic period.9 Of course the historic practice of the church does not settle the question. Historic practice, however, suggests a certain presumption in favor of infant baptism. Nevertheless, tradition alone is not sufficient reason for any practice in the church. Therefore Reformed Christians practice covenant baptism because we are commanded to do so in both the Old and New Covenant Scriptures. 10

Advertisements

Expose Them

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them (Ephesians 5:11).

This verse really jumped out at me as I read it yesterday. Paul instructs us on how it is that we should walk as believers, given that we have the fruit of the Spirit, goodness, righteousness, and truth. Given this, we are to work toward what is acceptable to the LORD and have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness.

Most would agree up to this point. But Paul doesn’t stop there. He continues with one more clause: but rather expose them.

We are not only to keep from having fellowship with that which is sinful, but expose that which is sinful as well. This is the part of the verse that most people want to quickly jump over and think nothing of it, because in this part of the verse, it requires something of us. In fact, the verse requires two things of us.

Continue reading “Expose Them”

Raising the Bar on Salvation

We live in a day when a morbid charity induces many to exaggerate God’s mercy, at the expense of His justice, and when false teachers are daring to talk of a ‘love of God, lower even than hell.’ Let us resist such teaching with a holy jealousy, and abide by the doctrine of Holy Scripture. (J.C. Ryle’s commentary on Matthew).

I remember my church history professor, John Hannah, telling us about the early church and the practices they had for joining a church. If I recall correctly, a person that wanted to join the fellowship had to go through several years of instruction while the leaders of the congregation got to know the new acolyte. Then, after supporting a credible profession of faith, the new convert would be baptized and allowed into the congregation.

Continue reading “Raising the Bar on Salvation”

“Test the spirits” Is Not a Suggestion

I was listening to my local pastor preach through 1 John 4, and he made a subtle statement that jumped out at me concerning verse 1, Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits. The statement is a command.

It was at this point that the command really jumped out at me. As believers, we have been given the responsibility to “test the spirits.” In other words, we have to be on our guard against false prophets, false claims, and false religions.

Continue reading ““Test the spirits” Is Not a Suggestion”

More Thoughts on Suicide and the Jason Foundation

Recently I had to take some online training for being a teacher with the Jason Foundation. This prompted me to think about their claims that Suicide is a Bad Choice. In other words, when it comes to telling other children not to commit suicide, the best reason they could give was that it was a “bad choice.” They could not give any rationale for the reason it was a bad choice, which shows the emptiness of their worldview.

Continue reading “More Thoughts on Suicide and the Jason Foundation”

Three Rules of Life

On Friday as I was teaching my sixth graders, one of them duly noted that there was another class outside playing in the field across the street from the school. They quickly declared that they wanted to go out there and play with them. I told them that we had work to do and we were not going to join the other class outside.

If you have spent five minutes with any child at all in you life, you know their next statement: “That’s not fair!”

My quick response was: “There are three truths you need to know for today. The first is that life is not fair. The second is that nothing is “free.” The third is that Santa Claus comes from the land of make believe!”

Continue reading “Three Rules of Life”

Going With the Crowd

IMG_8015

One of the greatest pulls on true Christians on this side of glory is to go along with the crowd. It’s very seductive to do so because those in the crowd are saying how right and just it is to go with the crowd. We see this today in the hot topics like gay marriage, or transgenderism. Yet, as believers, we must declare that the Bible is our guide to our beliefs, practices, and lives. What the crowd believes is really quite foolish given what Jesus told us about those on the broad path.

Continue reading “Going With the Crowd”

The Church Does Not Need Christian Radio

The church doesn’t really need Christian radio to survive. I know that there are many who tune into Christian radio and listen on a regular basis, but the truth is, Christian radio is not necessary for our spiritual growth in Christ.  We especially do not need listener-supported Christian radio stations. If a station has to ask us for money, using the typical ploys of telling us we will be blessed by blessing them, then we should donate our offerings to more legitimate ministries such as the White Horse Inn, or Truth for Life, in which their focus is the preaching and the teaching of God’s word. My focus in this post are the stations that play Christian contemporary music, are doctrinally and theologically inept, and take no real moral positions at all.

What prompted me to say this?

Continue reading “The Church Does Not Need Christian Radio”

Demons, Pigs, and People

The Demons

And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”

When Jesus went to the country of the Gergesenes, He encountered two men who were demon-possessed (Matthew 8:28-34). This is quite interesting because so many in our day and age try to ignore the existence of demons and the devil all together. But not Jesus. He confronted them head on in His ministry, and in doing so, showed us that He is not only the King of kings, but the King over all principalities, powers, and the rulers of darkness of this age.

If we could truly see the world with the eyes of Christ we would have no doubt that demon-possession does indeed exist. Not that I think we should go overboard and start hunting for demons, looking for demons in every corner, doorknob or crevice of our lives. However we should not ignore the reality that much of the problems we face in the world with people are related to demonic influence and possession. This is one reason why the evil seem to prosper as they do. It is why the wicked are exalted to such heights with their power, fame and influence. But none of the wickedness in this world is able to take place without the permission of our Father in heaven and His Royal Son. In the passage before us, we see Christ’s dominance of this realm, as well as everything else.

Continue reading “Demons, Pigs, and People”

J.C. Ryle on ‘Judge Not, Lest Ye, Be Judged!’

“People tell me judge not lest ye be judged. I always tell them, twist not scripture lest ye be like satan.” Paul Washer.

I know I have posted on the abuse of the passage found in Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” before, but really enjoyed what J.C. Ryle had to say about the passage in his commentary on Matthew. I post this in the hopes that my fellow believers will not be silenced when the wicked twist this passage in an attempt to silence us. Let us press on in doing good, regardless of what the wicked do.

Our LORD does not mean that it is wrong, under any circumstances, to pass an unfavorable judgment on the conduct of opinions of others. We ought to have decided opinions. We are to ‘prove all things.’ We are to ‘try the spirits.’ — Nor yet does He mean that it is wrong to reprove the sins and faults of others, until we are perfect and faultless ourselves. Such an interpretation would contradict other parts of Scripture. It would make it impossible to condemn error and false doctrine. It would debar anyone from attempting the office of a minister or a judge. The earth would be ‘given into the hands of the wicked’ (John 9:24). Heresy would flourish. Wrong-doing would abound.

What our LORD means to condemn is a censorious and fault-finding spirit. A readiness to blame others for trifling offense, or matters of indifference–a habit of passing rash and hasty judgments–a disposition to magnify the errors and infirmities of our neighbors, and make the worst of them–this is what our LORD forbids.

Of course, the lost will have no problem ignoring these clarifying words of Ryle. It doesn’t fit their narrative of finding a few passages to try and silence believers and the truth. They will continue to twist Scripture to their own advantage and their own peril until God calls them to give an account. Let them do so. Our calling is to continue to stand for the truth even when the wicked do not heed our words. Our LORD is big enough to deal with them.