I enjoyed this insight from Jonty Rhodes in Covenants Made Simple. He is commenting on John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. ”
Satan is the arch assassin. His mission, his driving appetite, is for death. Remember, death in the Bible isn’t just about physical death, but eternal separation from God in hell. This is Satan’s fate, and he is intent on bringing as many humans as possible with him: he is the ultimate serial killer. But notice how he kills. Rather than marauding around the world with flaming pitchfork as the cartoons would have us believe, Satan kills with his tongue. Jesus tells us not that Satan murders and lies, but that he murders by lies: “not holding to the truth.” He kills Eve not by stabbing her, but by speaking to her; not with a sword, but with a sermon.
Yesterday I posted some of Hughes Old’s quotes from The Shaping of the Reformed Baptismal Rite in the Sixteenth Century. All those quotes focused on the Anabaptist view of baptism. Today I want to post some quotes from the same book about the Reformers’ view of baptism, in particular infant baptism. The titles in bold are mine.
The Primacy of Grace
At the very heart of the Protestant Reformation was the revival of Augustinian theology with its strong emphasis on the primacy of grace. The Reformers believed that God took the initiative for humankind’s salvation. In light of such a strong doctrine of grace the baptism of infants was quite understandable. In fact, the baptism of infants demonstrated very powerfully that our salvation rests not on any knowledge or work or experience or decision of our own, but entirely on the grace of God.
Another matter which should be equally clear from this study is that the position of the Reformers in regard to infant baptism was an integral part of their whole theology. It is not as though baptizing very young children was a strange inconsistency which was perpetuated out of habit. It is not as though here was a place where the Reformers strangely neglected to apply their usual principles of reform…The baptism of infants was a logical corollary of sola gratia, for it clearly demonstrated prevenient grace…Far from being a failure to carry through their reforming principles to their logical conclusions, the Reformers’ position on infant baptism was thoroughly consistent with their whole program of reform.