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Page 423

covenant God in a saving, internal sense (not in an outward sense), of all the baptized. Every baptized person has received the fulfillment of God's promise, therefore he is to believe, and not doubt, that God is his covenant God in a saving way.

This view contradicts the following scriptural truths:

  • The inward and outward relationship to God's church and covenant is denied. It teaches that all "outward members" are "inward members" -all the baptized are called to believe that God has saved them. Scripture's "outward Jew and circumcision" is no longer distinguished from the "inward Jew and circumcision" (Romans 2:28-29).

  • The necessity of personal, experiential conversion to become a saved child of God is undermined. Covenant, circumcised "Nicodemuses" are not instructed that they "must be born again" to enter the kingdom of heaven, but they are to believe that they are already in the kingdom in a saving way because of their covenant baptism (John 3:3).

  • The distinction between the sealing of the promise offer and the promise fulfillment is not clarified. In baptism, God personally seals the truth of His promise to everyone who is baptized, that He is willing to save the baptized in a way of repentance, faith, and obedience. God's gospel call is sincere. He confirms its truth by baptism. However, the saving application of God's outward call is different. The gospel's saving application takes place only by the Spirit's inward, irresistible, saving call.

    When this view teaches that a baptized person remains in the covenant by faith or falls out of it by unbelief, it introduces the following contradictions with the first and fifth points of The Five Points of Calvinism:

    a. If baptized persons are not regenerated when baptized, then they are totally depraved in sin and cannot exercise faith to stay in the covenant.

    b. If, however, baptized persons are regenerated when baptized, then they cannot fall away from grace. This would

Does the saving value of baptism lie in the application of the .water and the promise being offered, or in the application of the Spirit and the promise being spiritually applied? Why?




What promise is sealed to children of the church in their bap.tism? What is the fulfillment of this promise in the life of the individual?





Who works saving faith to believe God's promise? Who .upholds all true believers in their state of grace? How does this truth conflict with the saving-application baptism view?


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