• What is conveyed to an infant at baptism? Question and Answer

    What is conveyed to an infant at baptism is a sign of God’s promise to give that child the benefits of the person and work of Christ when he comes to faith. Baptism is the sign of the covenant, which is that God promises salvation to all who believe. It does not convey faith, nor does it convey the benefits. However, the sign does convey, symbolically, the promise of God to all who believe. This transcript is from an Ask R.C. Live event with R.C. Sproul and has been lightly edited … View Resource

  • Are Arminians saved? Question and Answer

    I certainly hope that Arminians are saved and believe so because I was one for five years after I was converted, before I became Reformed in my theology. I believe that I was in a state of grace at that time. I think that Arminianism is an extremely defective and weak theology. It has serious consequences and ramifications for the church in general and for the Christian individual in particular.Are they saved? I always like to say yes, but by a happy inconsistency. If they really believe what they say they believe, then I don’t think they would be … View Resource

  • How concerned should we be for the lack of truth taught in the church? Question and Answer

    John 17:17

    SPROUL: I don’t know how to put a ceiling on that concern. The church is to be the house of truth. The church is to be founded on truth. The church is committed to the distribution and proclamation of the truth. If you’re not concerned about truth, then what are you doing in the church at all? We’re living in one of the darkest moments in church history with respect to concern for truth. People seem to be more concerned about peace and relationships. They say, “I don’t need to know doctrine, I just want to have good relationships.” They … View Resource

  • Is Roman Catholic baptism valid? Question and Answer

    The question concerning the validity of Roman Catholic baptism is difficult, and Reformed people are divided upon it. The basic question is this: Was the baptism done in the name of the Trinity, with water, and with the intent to mark the person with the promises of God for His covenant? If you’ve concluded that was the original intent of the Roman baptism, then I think it is not a requirement for that person to be re-baptized. The other position that people in the Reformed church take is this: since the Roman Catholic Church, in the sixteenth century, condemned and … View Resource

  • Why did God promise to give a new heart of flesh to His Old Testament people? Question and Answer

    Ezekiel 36:25

    Our natural condition is to have a heart of stone, which means we’re dead to the things of God. When we’re reborn by the Holy Spirit, that which was stony now is flesh—it’s alive. That’s problematic because in the New Testament the term “flesh” is a synonym often for our sin nature. So, God is not saying in the Old Testament, “Someday I’m going to give you a sin nature”—you already have that—but rather He’s saying that He will change the disposition of the heart. The Bible makes it clear that people in the Old Testament were born again by … View Resource

  • Does repentance require confession? Question and Answer

    Repentance certainly requires confession. It is not simply a resolve to change and behave differently in the future from what I do today. I don’t believe that I need to confess every sin I’ve ever committed to everybody in the world or to all the people in my family. Ultimately, my sin is against God, and what repentance always requires is confession of our sin before God and confession accompanied by contrition—real remorse. I know that I have never approached the full measure of remorse and contrition for my sins that I should have. I believe it was Thomas à … View Resource

  • How many wills does God have? Question and Answer

    2 Peter 3:9

    When we talk about the will of God, it gets complicated because the New Testament uses two different Greek words that are translated by the English word “will.” It would be nice if you could know which will of God a text is speaking about based on which Greek word it uses. Unfortunately, those two words are often used interchangeably, so that doesn’t help. From the context of Scripture, however, we do distinguish among several words with respect to the will of God. For example, we speak of His sovereign, efficacious will. We define this will as that which comes … View Resource

  • How will we become sinless in heaven? Question and Answer

    1 John 3:2

    SPROUL: This is why we talk about the order of salvation and the way the term salvation is used in every tense of the Greek verb—“we were saved,” “we were being saved,” “we have been saved,” “we are saved,” “we will be saved,” “we will be being saved.” The pattern is that we’re justified the moment we believe. Luther’s famous motto, simul justus et peccator, “at the same time just and sinner,” means we’re justified by an imputed righteousness but remain sinners in and of ourselves. However, sanctification begins immediately. We are being conformed to the image of Christ as … View Resource

  • Should we pray to the Father, to the Son, or to the Holy Spirit? Question and Answer

    Our worship, prayers, and all of the attending things are Trinitarian from beginning to end. When we look at the function of the different members of the Godhead with respect to prayer, we see that the second person of the Trinity, Christ, intercedes for us as our Great High Priest. That’s why we usually pray in the name of Jesus. Additionally, the Holy Spirit assists us in articulating our prayers to the Son, who then carries them to the Father. We make that distinction among persons, but we’re distinguishing among three persons of one being. So, all that we do … View Resource

  • Does God love the wicked the same way He loves the elect? Question and Answer

    John 3:16

    When the Bible says, “God so loved the world” (John 3:16), it doesn’t say that He loved everybody in the world equally. This text is pointing to the world, the generic cosmos. God loved this fallen world enough to send His only begotten Son into this world to save believers. It doesn’t say that He sent His Son into the world to save everybody in the world, but rather to save those who would put their faith in Him. In theology, we distinguish among three different kinds of God’s love. First of all, there is the benevolent love of God. … View Resource

  • Did anyone believe in justification by faith alone before the Reformation? Question and Answer

    One of the classic works on this question was written by a man by the name of James Buchanan. It was simply titled Justification, which addressed the chief issue of the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century. One of the great values of Buchanan’s contribution is that he traced the doctrine of justification by faith alone through the patristic period and all the way through church history, showing that it was never totally extinguished within the Roman system that had radically departed from the biblical doctrine. So, that information is available. This is a critical matter. I wrote a book … View Resource

  • Is there hope for a child who turns away from Christ as a college student? Question and Answer

    THOMAS: Yes, of course Scripture provides hope for anyone who turns away from Christ. There is always the possibility of repentance—even deathbed repentance. The dying thief, pastorally, is an important example that even on one’s deathbed one can turn and embrace Christ. Of course, one doesn’t want to use that as a ploy not to believe in Jesus at an early age. As a Presbyterian, I would also draw comfort from the view of the covenant that our children are in covenant. Therefore, even though they may drift and wander and rebel and become prodigals in a season of life, … View Resource

  • Who can administer the sacraments? Question and Answer

    Hebrews 5:4

    4. There be only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, baptism, and the Supper of the Lord: neither of which may be dispensed by any, but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained.[1] […] The final clause of section 4 is frequently disputed among Christians: neither of which may be dispensed by any, but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained. In the so-called Jesus movement of the 1960s and 1970s, young people reacted against traditional authority structures and created an underground church that dispensed with … View Resource

  • Does God love us just the way we are? Question and Answer

    SPROUL: The kingdom of God is not Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. There are few things more dangerous than preachers preaching that God loves everybody unconditionally, because the message people hear is: “There are no conditions. I can continue to live just as I’m living, in full rebellion against God, and I have nothing to worry about because there aren’t any conditions that I have to meet. God loves me unconditionally. I don’t have to repent. I don’t have to come to Jesus. I don’t have to leave my life of sin. There are no conditions and no strings attached; God loves … View Resource

  • Since everyone knows God (Rom. 1:18–23), how does that affect our defense of the faith? Question and Answer

    Romans 1:18-23

    SPROUL: I can remember being invited to speak and give the case for the existence of God on a college campus to the atheist club there. I went through a defense of theism, but I also went back to the passage in Romans 1:18–23 and said: “I’m happy to try to discuss with you all the intellectual questions that are involved in trying to prove and demonstrate the existence of God. However, I want to put my cards on the table upfront and tell you that, in light of what the Apostle teaches in this passage, I’m persuaded that I’m … View Resource