Regarding the death of unbaptized infants or miscarried infants of believers Luther had this to say:"Who can doubt that those Israelite children who died before they could be circumcised on the eighth day were yet saved by the prayers of their parents in view of the promise that God willed to be their God. God has not limited his power to the sacraments, but has made a covenant with us through his word."and Chemnitz said this:By no means, but since our children, brought to the light by divine blessing, are, as it were, given into our hands and at the same time means are offered, or it is made possible for the seal of the covenant of grace to be applied to them, there, indeed, that very solemn divine statement applies: The man-child, the flesh of whose foreskin is not circumcised on the eighth day, his soul shall be blotted out from [his] people (Gen. 17:14). Hence the Lord met Moses on the way and wanted to kill him because he had neglected to circumcise [his] son (Ex. 4:24-26). But when those means are not given us--as when in the Old Testament a male died before the eighth day of circumcision--likewise when they, who, born in the desert in the interval of 40 years, could not be circumcised because of daily harassment by enemies and constant wanderings, died uncircumcised, (Jos. 5:5-6) and when today infants die before they are born--in such cases the grace of God is not bound to Baptism, but those infants are to be brought and commended to Christ in prayers. And one should not doubt that those prayers are heard, for they are made in the name of Christ. (John 16:23; Gen. 17:7, Matt. 19:14) Since then, we cannot bring infants as yet unborn to Christ through Baptism, therefore we should do it through pious prayers. Parents are to be put in mind of this, and if perhaps such a case occur, they are to be encouraged with this comfort." (An Enchiridion, by Martin Chemnitz, Page 119, CPH St. Louis 1981)At some point in your service as a pastor you'll have to deal with this sort of tragedy and I hope you would find these helpful at such a time. And for good measure here is John Calvin:" 'But there is a danger that he who is sick may be deprived of the gift of regeneration if he decease without baptism!' By no means. Our children, before they are born, God declares that he adopts for his own when he promises that he will be a God to us, and to our seed after us. In this promise their salvation is included. None will dare to offer such an insult to God as to deny that he is able to give effect to his promise.":)
By far this is your best one, Jordan. Very good job of doing "clean-up" with this third podcast! Amazing to think about that, if you had told me ten years ago that I'd be subscribing to infant baptism and baptismal regeneration, I would have laughed at you. Shows what happens when church history is actually covered in detail!
Thanks for these three programs. I really have enjoyed them. I fully support and agree with you on these issues. Thanks so much and God Bless.
Great programs. Thanks for putting these three together.
"Who can doubt that those Israelite children who died before they could be circumcised on the eighth day were yet saved by the prayers of their parents in view of the promise that God willed to be their God. God has not limited his power to the sacraments, but has made a covenant with us through his word."Wait....so that means Luther supported prayers for the dead after all! (at least in some circumstances).
No, Luther assumes Christian parents pray for their children before they are born. A reasonable assumption.
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