Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Infant Baptism and Circumcision

Posted in Christianity by Kathy on January 20, 2008

Many Christians will “baptize” (that is, sprinkle water on) their infants, and believe that they are following the command of Scripture. I will refer such persons to a book by William Shirreff, entitled Lectures on Baptism. He lived probably about 150 years ago, and was a life-long Presbyterian, and a minister, until the end of his life when he began studying the practice of paedo-baptism, and came to the conclusion that it is not mandated nor even warranted by Scripture. He gave a series of lectures (compiled in this book) to those of his loving and beloved congregation who wondered how he could leave the Presbyterians and join himself to the Baptists, to explain his position, and to attempt to turn them from their error. While I agree with what he said, I make a further conclusion, and I think an important one.

Paedo-baptists (those who baptize, or sprinkle, their infants) will found their authority to do so based on the command given to Abraham to circumcise all of his offspring. Since it precedes the Law, I suppose that they believe that command to be still in force. (Click here for a fuller explanation of my position on that.)

Mr. Shirreff made many excellent points that are well worth considering, but I think that he allowed the waters to remain a little muddy in one point. The New Testament does liken baptism to circumcision (which Mr. Shirreff does allow). The point that I believe he leaves a little unclear is that all of the physical offspring of Abraham were to be circumcised, as a mark of their belonging to the Abrahamic covenant, just as all of the spiritual offspring of Abraham (otherwise called in the Bible, “true Israel,” “believers,” “the elect,” etc.) should be baptized, as a mark of their belonging to the New Covenant. The comparison holds. New believers are many times referred to as being in a state of spiritual infancy: in John 3 is the term “born again”; other passages mark a new birth, adoption, and newness of life, as well as Scriptures such as 1 Peter 2:2 which says, “as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word…..” Here, then, is the comparison: newborn natural descendants of Abraham were circumcised, while newborn spiritual descendants of Abraham are to be baptized.

Mr. Shirreff shows in many ways that infants cannot fulfill the prerequisites of baptism given in the Scriptures, including being taught, believing, confessing sin, etc. Since they cannot give evidence of being spiritually alive (born again, spiritual infants), then they cannot receive spiritual circumcision, that is, baptism. He further points out that many (perhaps even most) of the babies who were sprinkled grew up to be reprobates. They gave great evidence to their not being Christian, not being believers, never having been born again. They certainly were not believers when they received baptism. The Bible clearly says that believers are to be baptized. In sprinkling infants, that clear command is being violated in two ways. Not only are unbelievers being “baptized,” but if any of these children do grow up to become believers, they are refused baptism as believers, because of their having been sprinkled as an infant.

Is sprinkling water or pouring water over someone “baptism”? No. I don’t care how far back you can trace the practice of sprinkling or pouring water over anyone–whether an adult believer or the infant of a believer–it does not go back to the Bible, and is therefore not Scriptural. First of all, the English word “baptism” (and all derivatives) is not a translation but a transliteration of the Greek word which means to dip or immerse. Translators of the Bible were primarily sprinklers (or the king in charge was), and to accurately translate this word would be to condemn their form of baptism. The first time that baptism is talked about in the New Testament, we see John the Baptist at the Jordan River. Why was he not beside a well, if all he needed was enough water to pour over someone’s head? Other times that baptism is described show similar amounts of water, including the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch (who was likely baptized in the Mediterranean Sea). In this account (Acts 8), it clearly says that both Philip and the eunuch went into the water. Why? If all that was required was for Philip to pour some water over the eunuch’s head, why was not a servant sent for a bowl of water? Nowhere is there a change outright described, nor even intimated.

The onus of proof rests with those who would countermand the clear words of the Bible, and change the obvious intent of what is stated by nebulous tangential arguments drawn from out-dated Old Testament practices and post-Biblical Catholic practices.

*Update* Since writing the above, I have finished typing out a pamphlet-sermon by Isaac Watts written in 1806 entitled, Infant Sprinkling No Baptism. It will soon be posted to the Mt. Zion PBC website, under “Articles and Books” (and there are many other works there, for your perusal). In the meantime, however, here is part of it which is pertinent to the last paragraph–that of when did sprinkling and/or pouring become used in place of immersion:
The church of Rome confesseth, by a learned pen, the Marquis of Worcester, in his Cortam. Relig. “The she changed dipping the party baptized over the head, into sprinkling upon the face.”That until the third century we find not any upon any consideration did admit of sprinkling.—The first we meet with is Cyprian in his Epistle to Magnus, L. 4. Ep. 7, where he pleads for the baptizing of the sick by sprinkling, and not by dipping or pouring, called the Clinical baptism. Mag. Cent. 3 C. 6 P. 126. As also for sprinkling of new-converted prisoners, in the prison-house; and which by degrees afterwards they brought in use for sick children also, and then afterwards all children. Here you see its origin and its progress, oh! how is fine gold become dim, and the pure gold changed, when men lay aside the commands of God, and follow the traditions of men. Admission of persons to baptism, who are not visible saints, is a profanation of an holy ordinance, to proclaim an agreement between Christ and Belial; concord between light and darkness; an abuse of God’s ordinance; the highway to make the people Atheists, and to believe nothing that God hath declared.


19 Responses

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  1. Tony Billoni said, on March 31, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Note that baptism, according to that Greek definition does mean to dunk or immerse. But was that all that John the Baptist was doing… getting people wet. No, baptism from that point on took on religious significance and changed the nature of the act.

    Read some of the early church fathers’ writings and you’ll see that infant baptism was performed early in the second century. How did their understanding of baptism develop? Were they confused by Paul’s writings? And where was the correction to the pedo-baptist practice?

    There are pros and cons on both sides of the debate. But there is a strong amount of theology regarding infant baptism. The four largest groups in Christiandom all incorporate it, and they do so independent of each other’s theologies.

  2. womantowomancbe said, on April 4, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    We see in the Bible (primarily Paul’s writings) that there were many problems that arose in the churches within the first 40 years of the existence of Christianity. The epistles were primarily written to correct these practices, and inform the churches of the true way. Yet there were some, as we can see by John’s writings, who did not hold to the truth, but wanted the preeminent places for themselves. If this could happen prior to A.D. 70 (even if one does not place all of the Apostolic writing prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, it is evident that Paul was executed prior to that, so if you wish to include merely his writings, they would still suffice), then I still have ample reason to believe that worse errors can have crept in the next 40 years, or the following 40 years. Which is why I don’t base my theology, beliefs, or practices on what early church fathers have said, but rather on the Bible alone.

    How did all of the denominations form, but for differences in belief about what the Bible (or other sources) teaches? How is it that beliefs as diverse as free will versus total depravity can both claim to be based on the Bible? Who is confused? Where is the correction on that?

    The corrections for this and all errors lie in a proper understanding of the Scriptures. While theologians may give insight into the Scriptures, they are often set up as a substitute for them, which is wrong.

    Since baptism means to dunk or immerse, where is the Biblical allowance for altering that definition to include sprinkling or pouring water? [I would insert here that various people are currently trying to change the definition of “marriage”; this is extremely slippery ground!] Obviously the religious significance of baptism is more than just getting people wet. In fact, if you read the Bible you’ll see that baptism is a symbol of death, burial and resurrection. Now, would you consider that someone was buried who had merely had a little bit of dirt poured or sprinkled on his head? The religious significance does not change the symbol. If anything, it strengthens it!


  3. gary said, on August 31, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Why is the New Testament silent on Infant Baptism?

    Baptist/evangelical response:

    The reason there is no mention of infant baptism in the New Testament is because this practice is a Catholic invention that developed two to three centuries after the Apostles. The Bible states that sinners must believe and repent before being baptized. Infants do not have the mental maturity to believe or to make a decision to repent. If God had wanted infants to be baptized he would have specifically mentioned it in Scripture. Infant baptism is NOT scriptural.

    Lutheran response:

    When God made his covenant with Abraham, God included everyone in Abraham’s household in the covenant:

    1. Abraham, the head of the household.
    2. His wife.
    3. His children: teens, toddlers, and infants
    4. His servants and their wives and children.
    5. His slaves and their wives and children.

    Genesis records that it was not just Abraham who God required to be circumcised. His son, his male servants, and his male slaves were all circumcised; more than 300 men and boys.

    Did the act of circumcision save all these people and give them an automatic ticket into heaven? No. Just as in the New Covenant, it is not the sign that saves, it is God’s declaration that saves, received in faith. If these men and boys grew in faith in God, they would be saved. If they later rejected God by living a life of willful sin, they would perish.

    This pattern of including the children of believers in God’s covenant continued for several thousand years until Christ’s resurrection. There is no mention in the OT that the children of the Hebrews were left out of the covenant until they reached an Age of Accountability, at which time they were required to make a decision: Do I want to be a member of the covenant or not? And only if they made an affirmative decision were they then included into God’s covenant. Hebrew/Jewish infants and toddlers have ALWAYS been included in the covenant. There is zero evidence from the OT that says otherwise.

    Infants WERE part of the covenant. If a Hebrew infant died, he was considered “saved”.

    However, circumcision did NOT “save” the male Hebrew child. It was the responsibility of the Hebrew parents to bring up their child in the faith, so that when he was older “he would not depart from it”. The child was born a member of the covenant. Then, as he grew up, he would have the choice: do I want to continue placing my faith in God, or do I want to live in willful sin? If he chose to live by faith, he would be saved. If he chose to live a life of willful sin and never repented, and then died, he would perish.

    When Christ established the New Covenant, he said nothing explicit in the New Testament about the salvation of infants and small children; neither do the Apostles nor any of the writers of the New Testament. Isn’t that odd? If the new Covenant no longer automatically included the children of believers, why didn’t Christ, one of the Apostles, or one of the writers of the NT mention this profound change?

    Why is there no mention in the NT of any adult convert asking this question: “But what about my little children? Are you saying that I have to wait until my children grow up and make a decision for themselves, before I will know if they will be a part of the new faith? What happens if my child dies before he has the opportunity to make this decision?” But no, there is no record in Scripture that any of these questions are made by new converts to the new faith. Isn’t that really, really odd??? As a parent of small children, the FIRST question I would ask would be, “What about my little children?”

    But the New Testament is completely silent on the issue of the salvation or safety of the infants and toddlers of believers. Another interesting point is this: why is there no mention of any child of believers “accepting Christ” when he is an older child (8-12 years old) or as a teenager and then, being baptized? Not one single instance and the writing of the New Testament occurred over a period of 30 years, approximately thirty years after Christ’s death: So over a period of 60 years, not one example of a believer’s child being saved as a teenager and then receiving “Believers Baptism”. Why???

    So isn’t it quite likely that the reason God does not explicitly state in the NT that infants should be baptized, is because everyone in first century Palestine would know that infants and toddlers are included in a household conversion. That fact that Christ and the Apostles did NOT forbid infant baptism was understood to indicate that the pattern of household conversion had not changed: the infants and toddlers of believers are still included in this new and better covenant.

    Circumcision nor Baptism was considered a “Get-into-heaven-free” card. It was understood under both Covenants that the child must be raised in the faith, and that when he was older, he would need to decide for himself whether to continue in the faith and receive everlasting life, or choose a life of sin, breaking the covenant relationship with God, and forfeiting the gift of salvation.

    Which of these two belief systems seems to be most in harmony with Scripture and the writings of the Early Christians?

    Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals

    • Kathy said, on September 13, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      You write well, but leave me completely unconvinced. There are numerous differences between the old covenant and the new, not the least of which is that there was no genetic component (“not of blood”, John 1), nor did it rest on “the will of man” (including the parents’ will, also John 1). Besides, there is much evidence that Jews did in fact believe that circumcision saved them — hence the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 to decide if circumcision was a requirement of Gentiles who became Christians, and the tendency for Judaisers to follow Paul around and teach new Christians that they also had to be circumcised to be saved, that faith in Jesus alone was not sufficient, which is why Paul wrote Galatians, to demonstrate that circumcision specifically and keeping the law generally were not only not requirements of salvation, but were in fact keeping them from trusting in Jesus’ finished work alone by trusting in their works to save them.

      I still remain convinced that being born of God and believing of your own accord (not your parents) should precede baptism, as is taught by the Bible, which you wrote very concisely in your opening.

      • gary said, on September 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm

        We are in complete agreement that sinners must have faith and believe to be saved. How do you know that the infants who are baptized do not believe and have faith in Christ?

        • Kathy said, on September 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm

          According to Romans 10, the typical way people come to faith in Jesus is a preacher is sent to preach, the person *hears* and understands, and then believes. Infants do not have the capacity to understand until they are older, therefore they are not fit subjects for believer’s baptism, until they can demonstrate that they do believe.

          You and I both agree that infant baptism does not produce saving faith, and does not really cause any benefit on behalf of the child, except at most as a formal ritual and outward statement by the parents that they intend to raise the child in the Christian faith. Baptists parents raise their children in the Christian faith without that ritual. According to your comments, both groups leave it to the child to continue in the faith or not; but Baptists then allow the child to be immersed for his own faith, rather than having been sprinkled only for his parents’ faith.

          You would prefer to sprinkle or pour water on all babies because some might be as John the Baptist, who was made spiritually alive before being born the first time; we would prefer to immerse those we know to be believers. Neither of us believes that if an infant or child is not baptized (in whatever form) and dies before coming of age (I don’t believe in “age of accountability”), that the child is then condemned to hell for not having been baptized; neither of us believes that if an infant *is* baptized (in some form) and dies before coming of age, that it was baptism that takes the child to heaven.

          Thus by your own definition, I consider infant sprinkling at best a pointless ritual, and at worst a violation of the Bible’s commands that a person must first believe before being baptized.

          It’s been a nice conversation, and you’re welcome to continue it if you wish, but you should know that it will likely be pointless for you to continue, since I’m firmly convinced in my own mind, after having examined paedobaptist teachings, and finding them lacking, having to draw conclusions based on circumstantial evidence from the OT rather than direct Biblical teaching from the NT (as you did in your first post).

          • Gary M said, on September 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm

            You said, “Infants do not have the capacity to understand”…John the Baptist, in his mother’s womb, understood when he heard the voice of Mary, the mother of Christ, and leaped for joy! The writer of the Psalms says that he relied (had faith) on God since his birth. Jesus referred to “babes” who he says believed in him. If you can believe that God can part the Red Sea, walk on water, and raise the dead, why is it so hard for you to believe that God can and does give infants, whom he has elected for salvation, belief and faith?

            You misunderstand my position on Baptism. It is not the act of Baptism that saves, but God DOES save in Baptism. He saves not through magical baptismal water, but the by the power of his all-powerful Word received through faith. And this faith is not something produced by the sinner. It is a gift from God, as stated in Ephesians 2:8-9. God can give faith to whomever he chooses, at whatever age he chooses. We both believe that a sinner must believe and have faith to be saved. Where we disagree is that you require the sinner to do something in order to be saved. This something is to make a “decision” to believe and have faith.

            If I am required to do something to be saved, then I am assisting in my salvation, which means that my works help to save me. The Bible clearly states that NO work, good deed, or good decision of man can help save him. So to put it concisely: Sinners do NOT make a decision for God…God makes a decision for sinners. Salvation is 100% an act of God.

            Decision Theology has its roots in Roman Catholicism’s doctrine of Works Righteousness.

            • Kathy said, on February 9, 2014 at 11:21 pm

              As I said, infants do not have the capacity to demonstrate that they are fit candidates for baptism.

              Yes, I do misunderstand your position on baptism; I still don’t understand how that God does save in baptism, but at the same time that baptism doesn’t save.

              Actually, I don’t believe that people have to “make a decision”, your next-to-last paragraph is like something I would write. However, I know that that is the minority position of Christians these days, so didn’t want to get in a Calvinist-Arminian debate.

  4. Gary M said, on September 13, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    You said, “Neither of us believes that if an infant or child is not baptized (in whatever form) and dies before coming of age (I don’t believe in “age of accountability”), that the child is then condemned to hell for not having been baptized; neither of us believes that if an infant *is* baptized (in some form) and dies before coming of age, that it was baptism that takes the child to heaven.”

    Unfortunately, this is another misunderstanding.

    Lutherans believe that the infants of believers are included in God’s covenant, as mentioned in Acts chapter 2, and therefore if they die before baptism or after baptism, they are saved and will be in heaven. However, the Christian parents who reject and spurn baptism, may be placing their infants eternal salvation in jeopardy, just as what happened with Hebrew children under the Old Covenant who the Bible says in Genesis very clearly were “cut off” from God’s promises. They were cut off for a lack of faith, not a lack of circumcision, because infants who died before the 8th day (the day required for circumcision) were considered saved. It is never the lack of the sign that has condemned/damned, it has always been the lack of faith that damns.

    The infant who is baptized receives God’s seal that says, “You are my child. I have given you the gift of salvation; the whole package of salvation: faith, belief, repentance and eternal life as a free gift, not of any act or decision on your part, but by may gracious will and action alone.” This child is saved because God chose to save him in his baptism. He is saved in/at the time of his baptism. An infant is not saved if his unbelieving/pagan/non-Christian parents decide they like the beauty and pageantry of a Christian infant baptism and ask a Christian pastor to apply water to the child. God has not predestined this child to election. God has not predestined this child to salvation. Applying baptismal water to everyone who walks by on the street only gets them wet! You must be one of the Elect for baptism to have any effect on your sinful, lost soul.

    God decides salvation, and God promised salvation to the infants of believers in Acts chapter 2.

    • Kathy said, on February 9, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      Here is the verse to which you refer, in Acts 2:39, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

      If this means that God promises salvation to the infants of believers, then that means that God promises salvation to “all that are afar off”! If “even as many as the Lord our God shall call” is a qualifier showing that salvation is not promised to every single person who was alive at that moment of time (as I think you will agree — somehow I doubt that you would assert that the Mayans and Incas and whoever else were living at this time in the Americas were also promised salvation, simply because they were “afar off” at the time Peter preached), then it must also be a qualifier showing that salvation is not promised to every single infant of every believer. Instead, Peter is saying that the gospel is to be preached to all, with none presumed to be outside the hope of salvation, yet only those whom God calls will actually be saved.

      • Gary M said, on February 11, 2014 at 4:31 am

        All those who are called refers to the Elect. All who are the Elect will be saved.

        • Kathy said, on February 11, 2014 at 5:47 pm

          Agreed; but since you admit that not all the offspring of believers will ultimately be saved [you previously wrote, ” It was understood under both Covenants that the child must be raised in the faith, and that when he was older, he would need to decide for himself whether to continue in the faith and receive everlasting life, or choose a life of sin, breaking the covenant relationship with God, and forfeiting the gift of salvation.”], there must be some believers’ offspring which are not of the elect. You then run the danger of baptizing the non-elect who will never be called and will not be saved. I do not believe that baptism is necessary for salvation, though I believe that those who believe will be baptized (unless they have been horrendously and erroneously taught, and don’t correct it with their own reading of the Scriptures).

          • Gary M said, on February 11, 2014 at 11:17 pm

            In I Peter 3:21 God says, “Baptism now saves you.” That statement is not dependent on you whatsoever. God does the saving in Baptism. Salvation is not dependent on the strength of YOUR faith, your intellectual assent, or your “decision” to believe. Salvation is 100% an act of God.

            Therefore, all persons baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ARE saved. ALL Trinitarian baptisms are effectual. But unfortunately, not all baptized persons will persevere in the faith “to the end”…and enter heaven. Some, will not persevere, and the “weeds” of this world will choke their faith, and the seedling of faith planted in their heart by the Word in Baptism will die.

            All persons baptized in the name of the Trinity are saved in their Baptisms.
            Not all persons baptized in the name of the Trinity will be in heaven. Some will spend eternity in hell.
            A true believer CAN lose his salvation.
            A person who is of the Elect cannot lose his salvation.

            This may seem complicated, but it is the plain, simple interpretation of Scripture and the teaching of the orthodox Christian Church for 2,000 years. We Lutherans refer to it as a “paradox”.

            • Kathy said, on February 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm

              This means that you believe in works salvation, though you have previously decried that.

              Have you ever heard the catch-phrase from a Christian ministry, “Never read a Bible verse”? — the meaning being not to read a verse in isolation, but to read the context, because taking things out of context twists the meaning into something wrong. How I like to demonstrate that is by saying, “Did you know that the Bible says flat out, ‘There is no God’?” Then I follow it up with saying, “But it’s preceded by, ‘The fool hath said in his heart….'”

              In your proof text of baptism being the means of salvation, Peter says that baptism is “the answer of a good conscience toward God”; if he’s referring to infant baptism, then your “good conscience” for being baptized is the result of your parents’ obedience rather than your own, which makes no sense to me. This is more than a paradox; it’s nonsensical that Peter would urge people have a good conscience based on the actions of someone other than himself: “My conscience is clear, because Mom & Dad were good people.” — ??

              • Gary M said, on February 23, 2014 at 12:46 am

                Your comment suggests to me that you hold to Arminian “Decision Theology”. This theology teaches that sinners have a free will to choose righteousness, to choose God. Romans 3 and the second chapters of Ephesians and Colossians adamantly state that sinners do not have the capacity to choose God: they are spiritually dead. Dead men do not choose. Dead men do not make “decisions” for Christ.

                God decides salvation, not sinners. God elects/chooses/appoints/predestines those who will be his children, those whom he will save, just as the many passages of Scripture clearly state.

                Baptism gives us a clean conscience, which is just another name for “soul” in the NT, not by our decision to be baptized, not by our parents’ decision to have us baptized, but by God’s divine election and the power of his Almighty Word, spoken at Baptism, to quicken/make alive the dead souls of predestined sinners, regardless of their age, maturity, or capability to make an informed “decision”.

                Salvation is 100% an act by God. He doesn’t need or allow your decision before he saves you. God can save at the time of Baptism by the power of his Word, and he can use his Word to save in other situations too: hearing the Word preached; reading the Word in a printed Bible; reading the Word in a Gospel tract.

                There is only one means of salvation: the quickening of a predestined soul by the Word. Period.

                • Kathy said, on February 25, 2014 at 7:54 pm

                  I don’t know what about my comment makes you think I’m Arminian, but CONGRATULATIONS, you’re the first person to call me that. Most people think I’m “hyper-Calvinistic” if anything, but if you can twist my words into “decision theology”, I guess we can’t really continue the conversation, because we’re using words in entirely different ways, ways which preclude meaningful conversation, because somehow I say “black” and you interpret it as “white”.

                  But fwiw, I agree wholeheartedly with your first and second paragraphs (except you make it sound as an ongoing process, while the Bible says that we were chosen in Christ before the world began — i.e., in the past, not in the present). I disagree with your interpretation of “conscience” as “soul”; the same Strong’s word is used every place for “conscience” in the NT, and it often cannot mean “soul”, as in, the immaterial part of you that makes you who you are and will go to heaven, as opposed to the immaterial part of you that inherently knows right from wrong, but which can be seared by continually doing the wrong things.

                  You sound like you believe that it is man’s power in speaking the Word of God at baptism that causes infants to be born again, though that is in opposition to John 1, which says that the sons of God become so NOT by the will of man, but only by God.

                  • Gary M said, on February 26, 2014 at 5:08 am

                    The same words that turned water into wine, calmed the seas, healed lepers, and raised the dead, are the same words that quicken the souls of spiritually dead sinners, gifting them faith, and creating belief. God saves sinners by only ONE means: his Word. However, he can use his Word to save in multiple situations; Baptism is one of them.

                    If you believe that God can save anyone, anytime, under any circumstances, at ANY AGE, without ANY assistance or even cooperation on the part of the sinner, solely by the supernatural power of his spoken (and written) Word, then, no, you are not an Arminian.

  5. Gary M said, on September 13, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    So do baptized infants now have a “Get into heaven free” card? Can they sit back, live a life of willful sin, ignore or reject God, and still get into heaven? No. Salvation requires faith and not just one time faith in an evangelical “decision for Christ”. A Christian who outright rejects Christ or ignores his faith and lives a life of willful sin, may die, and wake up in hell.

    Baptism is NOT an automatic ticket into heaven, but God DOES save in Baptism.

    I’m sure you can see that Lutherans do NOT believe in “Eternal Security”. A Christian who’s faith is in Christ his Lord and Savior need never worry about his eternal security. We are not saved by our good works, but by God’s grace alone. But the Christian who lives a life of willful sin, turns his back on God, and expects he will still get into heaven when he dies just because he was baptized as an infant or because he made a onetime “decision for Christ” in an evangelical altar call, may wake up one day in the torments of hell and eternal damnation!

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