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Page 574


 

Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

-Job 14:4

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

-I Corinthians 15:22

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

-Ephesians 2:3

For he (John the Baptist) shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he sh1'll be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.

-Luke 1:15

But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

-II Samuel 12:23


 



no guilt. All sin is an affront to God's righteousness and holiness. Sin is rebellion against God as our rightful King and a transgression of His law. Therefore all sin must be punished -either in the life of the sinner or in the life of the sinner's Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ.

All actual sin flows forth from original sin, from a sinful, self-centered heart. Even persons who are mentally handicapped or babies who die in infancy are not guiltless or innocent. While their capabilities or opportunities to commit actual sin in words or actions are limited or non-existent, God views their hearts -their motives and desires. The basic motivation of a self-centered heart is that "I am most important." Therefore the first thoughts and emotions of the unregenerate soul, even before the person is born, are rebellion against the true God by being self-centered thoughts. While infants are virtually innocent of actual sins in words or actions, they are not guiltless in motives and thoughts. "Behold 1 was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Psalm 51:5). "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12).

The salvation or condemnation of those dying before birth or in infancy is a matter that is not clearly explained in the Word of God. We do know from Scripture that God can regenerate souls from conception, e.g. John the Baptist (Luke 1:15), and save children who die in infancy, e.g. David and Bathsheba's infant child (II Samuel 12:23). Whether some, most, or all children dying in infancy are saved is a question that has produced various responses. The three main views concerning this matter are as follows:

1. All elect children dying in infancy are saved. This view holds strictly to the position of not teaching more on a subject than Scripture clearly states. The Westminster Confession of Faith declares this view when it states, "Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who worketh where and how He pleaseth" (Chapter X, Section III).

2. All covenant-born children dying in infancy are saved. This view places more emphasis upon God's special promises to His covenant children, the promises which provide a special pleading ground to parents, e.g. Genesis 17:7, Acts 2:38-39, and 1 Corinthians 7:14. While emphases will vary, in general this view reasons


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