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#10353 - Monday, January 26, 2004 6:53 PM Re: Covenantal Succession
MHeath Offline
Addict

Registered: Monday, March 17, 2003
Posts: 453
Loc: Michigan, USA
Ron,

You said, "As for the encouraging aspect, I can only imagine that God is giving his elect children the comfort of knowing this precious truth from birth. I can only wonder whether God on some occasions has ordained reprobation to covenant children by the means of also ordaining that they not be treated as Christís lambs by their parents from birth."

Could you explain that please?
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Michele

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#10354 - Monday, January 26, 2004 7:19 PM Re: Covenantal Succession
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13348
Loc: NH, USA
Quote:
The apostle Paul told the baptized community at Corinth that Christ died for "our sins." Yet some were not converted no doubt. Accordingly, when hypocrites manifest there unbelief the church should say with the apostle John that they went out from us because they were not truly of us. The church often times has to change its declarations. This is no surprise. If we arenít willing to do this then the church can never say with Paul that Christ died for our sins Ė for the declaration will on occasion be incorrect.

Ron,

Again, I do feel your view is based far more on presumption than biblical factual statements. You are presuming that the letter to the Corinthians was addressed to infants as well as adults, to which I simply cannot imagine nor agree. Also your categories of "establishment of the covenant" and the "administration of the covenant" are not found in Scripture but are deductions, based upon a presupposition, to which I again must reject. There is nothing wrong with my knowledge of "Vosian" biblical theology. I am well aware of what Vos taught and I also realize that he was influenced in his views of covenant by Abraham Kuyper. And thus, I believe he errs in this particular area of theology.

Lastly, you didn't answer my question, which is fine... in regard to what you tell a covenant child who you have instructed from his/her earliest days that Christ has atoned for their sins and who never comes to faith. What do you then tell that now adult? that Christ didn't die for their sins? or that Christ did indeed for their sins and that despite that fact, they are destined to eternal judgment? Sounds awfully much like Arminian language to me.

Yes, you KNOW I respect your freedom to hold to your view, even though I find it indefensible and inconsistent. And although I find it a dangerous one, in that it has a potential to ingrain a false assurance in children and/or cause a crack in the wall of Calvinistic soteriology, specifically concerning Definite Atonement, it is far less objectionable than those who hold to a consistent presumptive regeneration. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Peace,
_________________________


simul iustus et peccator


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#10355 - Monday, January 26, 2004 7:37 PM Re: Just curious [Re: John_C]
Anonymous
Unregistered


John,

Nominalism is not merely found in Reformed circles. If your question is why so many covenant children do not go on with the Lord, I believe the primary reason is that we parents do not nurture our children as well as we ought.

If a child professes heresy or has a lifestyle that is incongruent to his profession of faith in Christ, such should be disciplined. Also, if a person will not proactively profess Christ there might be cause to discipline him. In other words, we mustnít allow covenant children to grow into non-confessing adults without disciplining them.

And finally, YES, ďUnless we received Christ Jesus by faith and repentance, our covenant standing will go for naught.Ē

In His Grace,

Ron

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#10356 - Monday, January 26, 2004 7:44 PM Re: Covenantal Succession [Re: MHeath]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
MHeath said:
Ron,

You said, "As for the encouraging aspect, I can only imagine that God is giving his elect children the comfort of knowing this precious truth from birth. I can only wonder whether God on some occasions has ordained reprobation to covenant children by the means of also ordaining that they not be treated as Christís lambs by their parents from birth."

Could you explain that please?
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Michele


Michele,

Let me put it this way. If God would have us teach our children that he loves them and that Christ died for them, then we ought to. To not do so would be a means of depriving them of an early knowledge of God's love. This could work out to be the means by which they are hardened. Of course we need to square this with election, which is easy. God's means of providence are not just the means to bring to pass what he ordains (in this case election), but rather these means are ordained alongside with election. In other words, I find it quite feasible that to not treat our children as lambs of Christ is precisely what God warns Abraham of when he says that the child who is not circumcised breaks covenant with God.

Blessings,

Ron

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#10357 - Monday, January 26, 2004 7:57 PM Re: Covenantal Succession [Re: Pilgrim]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Lastly, you didn't answer my question, which is fine... in regard to what you tell a covenant child who you have instructed from his/her earliest days that Christ has atoned for their sins and who never comes to faith. What do you then tell that now adult? that Christ didn't die for their sins?


Pilgrim,

I thought my answer was clear enough with my reference to 1 John, but let me elaborate in more detail. We might say that they denied the Lord that bought them. "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them... And man shall follow their pernicious ways..." 2Peter 2:1

Obviously such weren't truly "bought" by the blood of Christ. However, they were regarded as such and the apostle speaks as if they were prior to denying the faith. Whatever your interpretation of the verse is, the same strictures apply to any pastor who pronounces 1 Corinthians 15:1-3 to even only professing believers. There's no getting around it, unless you refuse to say that Christ died for anyone person in particular.

In His Grace,

Ron

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#10358 - Monday, January 26, 2004 8:06 PM Re: Covenantal Succession
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13348
Loc: NH, USA
Quote:
Whatever your interpretation of the verse is, the same strictures apply to any pastor who pronounces 1 Corinthians 15:1-3 to even only professing believers. There's no getting around it, unless you refuse to say that Christ died for anyone person in particular.

Again, the pastor has a Scriptural warrant to presume the salvation of ADULTS who have made a profession of faith and thus he can with good conscience say that Christ died for THEIR sins. But he has no warrant to look out to a congregation of mixed individuals, some members, some not and say that Christ died for everyone's sins. Infants are incapable of displaying marks of grace. Election is only known unto God and thus we cannot presume the election of anyone without evidence of a profession of faith and a life which exhibits the fruit of the Spirit. And even then we have no warrant to make a pronouncement but only a hopeful conjecture. We deal in the temporal, not the eternal. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Lastly, I seriously doubt that those who "left us", those false prophets were infants in diapers. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> Again, they were ADULTS.

What we DO know is that ALL, with perhaps the very rare exception, is that ALL are born in sin. ALL have a corruption of nature. ALL have guilt imputed to them. ALL are in need of a radical change of nature; aka: regeneration. ALL are in need of Christ. ALL need to put faith in Christ and be justified. That much I can presume!

In His Grace,
_________________________


simul iustus et peccator


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#10359 - Monday, January 26, 2004 8:10 PM Re: Covenantal Succession
MHeath Offline
Addict

Registered: Monday, March 17, 2003
Posts: 453
Loc: Michigan, USA
Ron, you may have already given the reference, but this is a long thread lol. Where does the bible say that an infant has broken covenant?

Michele

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#10360 - Monday, January 26, 2004 8:37 PM Re: Just curious
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Moreover, when the supper is served to individuals, those serving the elements are no less than treating the recipients as if they were in Christ ; though God hasn't given us that information, to again borrow your terminology. My point is that you yourself cannot get around these strictures. We all treat as believers for whom Christ died those who may not be and probably aren't.

Ron,
Our church draws a clear line between believers and unbelievers. The pastor fences the table and unbelievers are warned not to partake of the supper lest they drink and eat condemnation on themselves. They are told they need to repent and believe the gospel. Likewise, our Covenant children who have not yet made a profession of faith are told that they must not partake of the supper .
A good pastor draws clear lines between the saved and unsaved and warns those in danger to repent and be saved. Paul said this to the Corinthians:

Quote:
2 Corinthinans 5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.


We all know that there are wheat and tares in the church and it is no charity to give people false assurance of salvation if they are under the wrath of God!

Quote:
You must admit that when the pastor addresses the congregation he treats it according to 1 Corinthians 15; in other words he will say to the visible church that Christ died for their sins without knowing for sure.


Faithful pastors will surely make a distinction in application of the text for believers and unbelievers.
Spurgeon would speak to unbelievers at the end of his sermons and tell them the things of comfort and promise do not belong to them if they are outside Christ, and he would warn them that they need to flee to Christ for mercy and for salvation.

Quote:
We all treat as believers for whom Christ died those who may not be and probably aren't. Accordingly, you are presuming (again using your terminology not mine) certain people to be converted without knowing for sure because God hasn't given us that information. So, it is not a matter of God imparting to us some special knowledge of who is converted or elect, but a matter of following the biblical paradigm set forth in Scripture. Even Judas, whom Christ knew, was treated by the Lord according to his profession and not possession.


Our church practices discipline to those whose life does not match their profession. Our elders must examine those who want to join the church to discern, as far as they are able, whether their profession of faith is genuine. It would be very irresponsible to do otherwise. Paul expresses his confidence in the validity of the Corinthians' salvation.

Quote:
1 Corinthians 1:4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge 6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you 7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

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#10361 - Monday, January 26, 2004 8:43 PM Re: Covenantal Succession [Re: MHeath]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Michele,

I hadn't sited the address, but it is Genesis 17:14. "And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant."

Blessings,

Ron

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#10362 - Monday, January 26, 2004 8:48 PM Re: Just curious
Anonymous
Unregistered


Susan,

If it surprises you that I agree with all you wrote then you have not yet understood my position.

Blessings,

Ron

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#10363 - Monday, January 26, 2004 8:53 PM Re: Covenantal Succession [Re: Pilgrim]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Pilgrim,

I've addressed all these points.

Grace and Peace,

Ron

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#10364 - Monday, January 26, 2004 8:56 PM Re: Covenantal Succession
MHeath Offline
Addict

Registered: Monday, March 17, 2003
Posts: 453
Loc: Michigan, USA
so, do I understand correctly that God is saying basically, that if the 8 day old infant does not get himself circumcised, he's out?

Michele

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#10365 - Monday, January 26, 2004 9:58 PM Re: Covenantal Succession [Re: MHeath]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:

so, do I understand correctly that God is saying basically, that if the 8 day old infant does not get himself circumcised, he's out?


In the old covenant that would be true Michele. But keep in mind that circumcision didn't necessarily mean that the child's heart was also circumcised too. A child could be circumcised have all the benefits of growing up in the covenant community and yet in his heart of hearts be a rebel against God completely unregenerate.


Pete

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#10366 - Tuesday, January 27, 2004 12:14 AM Re: Covenantal Succession
Tom Offline
Needs to get a Life

Registered: Sunday, April 8, 2001
Posts: 3902
Loc: Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Hmmm, "that soul shall be cut off from his people". That would seem to support what Pilgrim said about the physical, as opposed to the spiritual.
It also makes me think about Paul's writing in Romans 9, on how much he grieved for his kinsmen according to the flesh.

Tom


Edited by Tom (Tuesday, January 27, 2004 12:21 AM)

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#10367 - Tuesday, January 27, 2004 2:58 AM Re: Covenantal Succession [Re: Pilgrim]
J_Edwards Offline
Needs to get a Life

Registered: Sunday, December 9, 2001
Posts: 4843
Loc: USA
Quote:
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
The BIV gives this interpretation:

They crawled out from us, but they were not sucklings with us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have sucked with us: but they crawled out, that they might be made manifest that they were not sucklings like us.

BIV-Babies International Version
translated from the original Goo-goo Gaa-gaa of the Gerber's version

On a more serious note, I do not think the above translation works too well with the original. maybe RonD does <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" /> Children are born into sin. This is what the Scripture states and to deny this is to deny (1) the teaching of Scripture, and (2) Calvinism itself.

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