The Staunch Calvinist

"Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God." - Jonathan Edwards

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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling - Commentary

... in making a statement upon a subject which is generally not that clear. I do not believe that by saying “elect infants” they assumed that all other infants were in damnation. Rather, by “elect” they want to assert that their salvation is solely by grace and not through deserving it or merit, even if they die in infancy. 

In the following paragraphs, I'm going to argue the case that Pastor MacArthur made in Safe in the Arms of God. I think that he made a pretty good biblical case for Infant Salvation. I do not mean that he answered every question that could be posed, but I thought it was a good case for what happens to those who die in infancy and those are disabled. I know that some Reformed people disagree with him and usually because of his Dispensationalism, but hear him out. I have also benefited from:

Infant Salvation

We are now approaching a very difficult and touching subject, it is very emotional and that is obviously understandable. We do not neglect our emotions, but the Scriptures are the infallible standard of truth. So our search for the answer must begin and finish with Holy Writ. What has God said on this subject?

Persons

First, we must begin to answer the question: “Are fetuses human persons?” I believe that the biblical answer is positive. The first go-to-text is Jeremiah 1:5. There the Lord speaks about Jeremiah's ordination and election. Before Jeremiah came out of the womb, the Lord knew Him and talked about Him as a “you” and not an “it.” In Psalm 139:13-16 the writer speaks of God who formed him from the very beginning in the womb until the end. God had determined his days before there was any. The Lord saw the person, He didn't see a fetus who became the writer of the Psalm. But He saw him who once was a little fetus. In Luke 1:41-44 upon Mary coming to Elizabeth, the baby in Elizabeth, John leaped in her and could express his feelings. Elizabeth does not refer to him a thing or as merely a fetus, but she says the baby leaped in her. He was able, even in the womb, to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:15), which is only for persons and was able to express emotions. The Law gave the same protection for unborn children as for adults. In Exodus 21:22-23 we read of the punishment of someone fighting a husband and who hits his pregnant woman. If there was harm the lex talionis was to be followed. Calvin on this says:

22. If men strive, and hurt a woman. This passage at first sight is ambiguous, for if the word death (39) only applies to the pregnant woman, it would not have been a capital crime to put an end to the foetus, which would be a great absurdity; for the foetus, though enclosed in the womb of its mother, is already a human being, (homo,) and it is almost a monstrous crime to rob it of the life which it has not yet begun to enjoy. If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man’s house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought su...


Welcome To The Staunch Calvinist

...nbsp;(including a case for the Substitutionary Atonement, Active and Passive Obedience of Christ, Definite Atonement and answers to passages used against the doctrine)
  • Of Free WIll (with the help of Jonathan Edwards, the consistency of moral agency being found in carrying one's desires, the inconsistencies of libertarian free will, explanation of necessity and inability)
  • Of Effectual Calling (with a case for Infant Salvation)
  • Of Justification (faith is a gift and regeneration precedes faith)
  • Of Adoption
  • Of Sanctification
  • Of Saving Faith
  • Of Repentance Unto Life and Salvation
  • Of Good Works
  • Of The Perseverance Of The Saints (Positive case for the Reformed doctrine and responses to passages such as Hebrews 6 and the like)
  • Of The Assurance Of Grace And Salvation
  • Of The Law Of God (Threefold Division of the Law, the Decalogue before Moses, a brief exposition of the Decalogue, ceremonial and civil laws, the abiding moral law under the New Covenant in the OT prophecy and the NT, Threefold Uses of the Law, The Law and the Gospel)
  • Of The Gospel, And Of The Extent Of The Grace Thereof
  • Of Christian Liberty And Liberty of Conscience
  • Of Religious Worship And the Sabbath Day (A case for the Regulative Principle of Worship and the Christian Sabbath)
  • Of Lawful Oaths And Vows
  • Of The Civil Magistrate
  • Of Marriage
  • Of The Church
  • Of the Communion of Saints
  • Of Baptism And The Lord's Supper
  • Of Baptism
  • Of The Lord's Supper
  • Of The State Of Man After Death And Of The Resurrection Of The Dead (Intermediate State Hades, Sheol, Heaven; A Case for Amillennial Eschatology; critique of Premillennialism)
  • Of The Last Judgment (Endless punishment in Hell contra Annihilationism)
  • ...