Theology for all!

Monday, February 8, 2021

NAKED FAITH

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” –Matthew 28:19-20
If you did not know this before, now you do—GOD’S LAW IS HOLY!
In the New Testament, we read:
So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
–Romans 7:12
And we can look back to the Old Testament and read,
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.
–Psalms 7:12
We all know the feeling we get when someone acts selflessly towards us: joy, warmth, and love. And we also know the other side of the coin—when we resent, hate, and slander our neighbors. It’s hard to read and take comfort in our Lord while looking at Matthew 28:19-20, then reading the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:1-48, and concluding, “I am observing all he has commanded.”
So is sola fide true or not? I need to know because my life depends on it!
Faith with no layers, no dressing up, no make-up, just Christ and faith in his atoning work, is naked faith—this is the heart of the Gospel. What good is a second or third chance when we know before we start, that it’s just a matter of time before we err (Jas. 2:10)? The thief on the cross shows us that it is reliance on the fact that it’s Jesus who saves us, not our self-perceived glorious works, that keeps us in, or our constant failures that keep us out.
One of the most impactful theologians in my life, Dr. Rod Rosenbladt, stated that Romans 4:5 is “Christianity in one verse.” The confession of the thief on the cross, words not works, not an action on his part, is all he had, and Jesus declared that this sinner would be with him in his kingdom.
And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.
-Romans 4:5
This passage establishes the premise of why the thief on the cross was granted salvation. As I stumble through life, attempting to be the best person I can be, I can rest assured in Christ and not try to keep a tally of my good and bad deeds.
An interesting thing I recall about Jesus’ interaction with the woman caught in adultery (Jn. 8:1-10), is the pronouncement of her sins being forgiven. She the sinner says only three words to Jesus in the whole saga, “No one, Lord.” Then after her confession of Jesus being Lord, he declares that he does not condemn her. She did not earn forgiveness through her keeping of the holy law and Jesus did not “make her drop and give him 20 push-ups” to show she really wanted forgiveness—her naked faith was enough.
Later in John 8, there is a beautiful passage that states:
I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.
–John 8:24
“UNLESS YOU BELIEVE THAT I AM HE,” is the definition of sola fide. Jesus does not tie anything to this proclamation. Naked faith that Jesus is Lord, the promised Messiah, was and is enough to save a wretched soul. Looking further at the context, Jesus is talking to respected law keeping Jewish elders here. This could be the equivalent of the “the Gospel is enough to save even a Christian.”
YES!
Naked faith—sola fide—is true! Thank God it’s true! I don’t care who proclaims that it’s “deeds over creeds” or “that the final judgement will be based on works.” The truth of the matter is “faith alone” saves (Gal 3:6)! The obedience that is mentioned in Matthew 28:20 flows from our justification. And this justification is based solely on faith in Christ. The one work of God that Jesus says for us to do when asked is:
This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.
-John 6:29
Grace, Mercy, and Peace to you.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

UNMERITED GRACE

Unmerited Grace

by - Lex Lutheran

I’ve learned throughout my life that God’s immeasurable love and mercy are shown to me and noticed by me in my weakness more than my perceived strength. When I talk to others and confess my trials and tribulations, the heart of the Gospel, ‘the forgiveness of sins,’ is proclaimed stronger than anything I could do myself.

The main reason I go by the monicker, Lex Lutheran, is because when a person reads it they instantly think of Lex Luthor—one of the most notorious villains/sinners in comic book history. Knowing my sins and my transgressions, I can relate personally to the disgust or hatred people might feel for the character of Lex Luthor. If God’s grace can and could save a sinner of that magnitude (which it can and has), I know he can save anything you or I go through.

At the age of 8, I lived in a four-bedroom house with eight people. It was my family living with my auntie and her family, and we got by on the little that we had. I am my mom’s only child and she had married into this family. Needless to say it was me, myself, and I in that house and I was okay with that. I learned real quick how to lie, steal, manipulate—I was good at it! My career plan was to be a con artist when I became an adult.

My mom worked long hours so I saw very little of her and was basically free—free from supervision, rules, regulations, and correction. One day, my cousin decided that we needed some new toys. He was a few years older than me but I agreed with his proposal. And his proposal was, “Let’s break into my friend’s house.” Although my mother worked long hours and got me whatever I wanted, I knew we weren’t “rich,” but even if we were rich, all that mattered was I wanted their stuff.

Needless to say, we broke into the friend’s house and stole various things. Remorse and repentance was not on my mind at all. We ended up getting caught and this was a key moment in my life. Even though I was only 8, what transpired has left an amazing mark on my life.
Two of the most grace-filled things in my life resulted from this. As I was placed on public display, I could only think, “Why’d my cousin snitch on me?” I was not concerned about the cop car, my mom staring through me, the neighbors peaking through their blinds at me, or the friend I betrayed. By the grace of God, charges were not placed and I received discipline from mother.
BUT NOW, I had to wait for my Dad.

I expected nothing less than a beating. My father had a one-hour distance drive to meet me. One hour of boiling rage, as he sped down the highway. He arrived and I could barely look him in the eyes! But to my surprise, he didn’t lay a hand on me. The punishment I rightly deserved was nowhere to be found. He talked to me, explained what I did, why it was wrong, what results from this, and forgave me.

Forgave me!

To this day I am still awestruck by this. I blow a gasket when my own kid does something way less than what I did. Yet, my father did not even yell at me. One could say he gave me a law / Gospel sermon. The grace shown me in that moment has impacted my life more than he will ever know.

Many people will read this, roll their eyes and think, Spare the rod spoil the child. And I can not disagree. But that is only one of the two most impactful lessons of grace I learned as a result of my transgression.

During my sophomore of high school, the kid whose house I broke into, transferred to my school. We ran into each other during various settings while growing up, but this was the first time we were going to be around each other and our families as well. Though he could’ve rightly said something, there was no time during my high school years where my reputation was tainted or my previous sin brought up. I never apologized, and it did not matter. We were friends and my sin was not held against me. His mom treated me like any of the other kids and I never felt as if I had been marked with a scarlet letter.

Both of these examples of undeserved grace have impacted my life. These brief glimpses are the type of grace that is found and offered through Jesus Christ. Knowing the punishment we all rightly deserve is not held to our account. The punishment that says, If you break even the least of these commandments, you are guilty of it all. And to know that we ARE guilty, with no excuse, BUT GOD, who came to earth and wiped the slate clean! What glorious news! My example is tame compared to the scandalous mercy poured out from the cross. But these day-to-day examples of grace can leave an impactful, lasting and even life-changing, impression on a person. After I was caught, the discipline that I received did not prevent me from doing it again, it was the grace!

God’s grace with no strings attached has the same, yet more profound effect! Jesus did not request that the apostle Matthew attend a twelve-step program to holiness to earn his forgiveness. After Moses murdered, God did not make him do penance before selecting him to do his work in freeing the Hebrews. This list can go on and on, from Jacob to the apostle Paul; God’s grace is in the business of forgiving and redeeming undeserving sinners. Christ came for sinners! Like it or not, the truth of the matter is:
We are a League of Sinners! Only made righteous through the blood of Christ!
(Thanks to @SinnersLeague for the motto).
And this forgiveness and grace is a free gift from God. -Ephesians 2:8
Love, Grace, and the Lord’s peace to you!

Saturday, May 30, 2020

HE SAID, “BE PERFECT…”

As I sit in the pew at this church that closely resembles the atmosphere of my childhood more than my current church, I notice something—a passage from Matthew. If a person gets this one passage wrong, it can be a stumbling block for the many.

Self-worth and confidence are important things—things that we all need to have on a basic level. But when we arrive at the dreaded Matthew 5:48 passage, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” we are befuddled.

If verses 1 through 47 did not show that we’re not pulling off the Christian life, then this passage surely will. Or will it?

At this point many will proclaim the viewpoint that “God would not command, what we could not do,” or “The word in the Greek language can be translated as mature”.

How cute! Seriously, it is a noble attempt at trying to ease the gut punch that Jesus has just landed. (Looking at the context of this passage, both of these premises fall flat, but that is not the point of this article.)

As a Christian, I truly wish I could live a life that is perfect (as described in verses 1 through 47). Viewing this passage as being “attainable,” slowly takes our eyes off of Christ and places them on ourselves. Either we think we are reaching a point where we need Christ’s daily mercy less, or we place a burden on our neighbor about them pulling themselves up by their boot straps. Both postures remove relying on God for our daily bread (Mt. 6:11).

If we could be as perfect as our loving Father, what is the need for Jesus as our substitute? Yes, this question is offensive, but it must be asked. Even if you change the word “perfect” to “mature,” God is still the perfect example of any word change.

Can you be perfect?

I cannot be perfect, and this truth slams my soul to the foot of the cross. I try my hardest to walk the walk and be salt of the world, but I know my only hope is Jesus. But could that be the point of Matthew 5:48? To drive us back to the cross? To remind us that God is holy and perfect, and that is his standard?

Moses was a pretty “mature” kind of guy in the faith. If I recall correctly, after God used him to rescue his people, split the red sea, and lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, Moses was denied entry into it for not trusting God (Num. 20:11-12). If perfect is not God’s standard, was Moses not “mature” enough?

To view this passage wrongly results in people thinking they are David slaying the Goliath of their life, rather than Jesus conquering on our behalf. Such a stance may seem very small, but it eventually leads to the logical question: Is the Gospel for Christians? Do we need Christ in the office of Savior after we come to faith in him, or do we turn the cross into a ladder to ascend to perfection?

I beseech you, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, never to take your gaze off of Christ. Christ tells us he came to fulfill the law, and that is exactly what he did. Everything demanded in the sermon on the Mount, Christ accomplished for us: “But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

Christ was spat upon, mocked, and beaten for our sake. Although he could have called a legion of angels, he turned the other cheek. “But I say to you, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.'” After the bloody melee of Good Friday, Jesus prayed, “Father forgive them.”

God’s standard is perfection, and Jesus was, and is, that. There is zero need to water down God’s law in an attempt to make it attainable for me. I am baptized into Christ (Rom. 6), purchased not by silver or gold, but by his royal blood (1 Pet. 1:18-19), so my comfort rests with my Lord. There is no need to reword Matthew 5:48, because it reminds us of our sin and brings us helpless to the foot of the cross. And that is a great thing.

Grace, mercy, peace.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

I EAT WITH SINNERS

“I eat with Sinners.”

This may seem like a trivial statement, but it’s more serious than it appears at first glance. In the first century, to eat with a person was considered a gesture of intimate fellowship and no small matter.

 “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation” (Acts 10:28).

 In today’s climate, fellowshipping with sinners, unbelievers, etc, is viewed in a similar light. Many think we should only have close friends that are Christians. I eat with sinners! I do not say this vaguely or proudly. It seems to me that many unbelievers grasp the impact of the fallen world more than many Christians. I can confide in my neighbor and know that they are struggling in this falling world as much as I am. It is a sad state of affairs when pagans know to weep with those who weep (Ro. 12:15), more than our brethren in the faith. Everybody wants to offer their 12 Biblical Steps to explain why I am struggling or how to resolve my problems, rather than admitting they can relate and empathize. So why should I talk to you? I do not want to hear what you would’ve done, I just want a sinner’s ear to hear a sinner’s problems.

Recently, a person I spoke to regularly on Twitter mentioned that he will not have new friends that are not in the faith. I found this to be a sad state of affairs. God reveals himself in many things and having a friend that is not a believer enables a person to share the Good News in a personable way.
At my previous job, I considered one of my managers a friend. He is an unbeliever with many questions and doubts. For Christmas, I purchased him a New Testament Bible so he could read the Gospels. I was able to do this by being a friend and having honest conversations with him over the years.

When I look across the table and see sinners, I know that the only difference between us is my hope in Jesus Christ. They experience dark days and joyous days, too. And there is no facade that they have to maintain to prove to me that they are an upstanding citizen of Christianity. I already know they struggle in this fallen world too, so their whole demeanor is not a sham!

I grow so weary of carrying my burdens alone and of the constant Oscar award-winning Christians. The ones that boast of their strong faith—always mentioning the peaks but never mentioning the struggles in the valley.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses…” (2 Cor 12:9).

I know this is wrong of me, but I look at you like a fool when I hear your triumphant, braggadocious tales. It’s wrong of me to judge, but I have witnessed too many times the gossip and chatter of the saints, and these always seem to be the ones with the triumphant, never struggle tales.

Over the past two years, I have learned that there is a hidden place in Christianity where you can share your fears, doubts, pain, struggles, and be pointed to Christ. You don’t have to worry about being pointed to the “saints'” examples, or about your image being tarnished. The sinners know they are just as much a sinner as you, so how could they judge you? Luckily, I have found such a place, and now pray the same for you. If you have seen or found this haven cherish it, because it’s rare. If you have not found it, keep looking.

Grace, peace, mercy to you.






Sunday, May 17, 2020

CHRIST ALONE

I read an interesting passage in the book The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis that holds a lot of truth:
When he goes to his pew and looks round him he sees just a selection of his neighbors whom he has hitherto avoided… Provided that any of those neighbors sing out of tune, or have boots that squeak, or double chins, or odd clothes, the patient will quiet easily believe that their religion must therefore be somehow ridiculous.
Many find assurance by looking at others’ fruit and patting themselves on the back because they think they are doing better. Or they may view other Christians as hypocrites which causes them to doubt their own walk. Both are bad, but I personally have struggled with the latter. As a youth, I would see my Islamic friends dedicate themselves to prayer or see Jehovah Witnesses knocking diligently on doors, and then would begin comparing them to my fellow believers—going to church and then having no problem being a cheerful sinner from 2:00 p.m. onwards on Sunday, when church might normally end, until bedtime the following Saturday. It bothered me.

It would also bother me to read about people who where unbelievers, doing more good deeds than the “Christians” I knew. Why be a hypocrite? Why even try? Those were the thoughts that floated through my head. That and what if Christianity is not true?
Solus Christus saved my life.

It is the fact that I am saved because I am in Christ and not because of any other factors. Hearing God’s law properly preached to me revealed, “Yes, my neighbor is a hypocrite, but so am I,” enabled me to love my neighbor. We all need Christ! Grasping that it is Christ who saved me fully, allowed me to be honest about my own sin and my neighbors short comings. Yes, I mean fully. Christ did not just walk into my wretched heart and point me to exit, or leave directions for me to use—Jesus came into my wretched heart put me in a headlock and dragged me to safety. Knowing that I don’t tithe fully or that others give to charities more, or even that others are more loving does not mean God loves me less. Faith in Jesus is the key and it is all that matters.
And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness…
-Romans 4:5
I always struggled with the concept of “if God has always been God and is never changing,” how is it we are saved by faith in Christ, but the Jews were saved by other means? Once I learned that Solus Christus was their means of salvation also, it rested my weary soul. The promise in Genesis 3:15 is the object of hope for the pre-Christ people. The only difference is their faith was in anticipation and ours is in his completed works. Christ has always been for us, with us, and rescuing us.

God coming to earth as man, his perfect life, resurrection, substitutionary atonement at Calvary, is the cornerstone of our faith (Eph 2:20). He not only nailed our sins to the cross, but imputed his righteousness to us. So when the Father looks at our filthy, sin ridden, corrupted, prideful flesh, all he sees is his perfect Son and his obedience covering us. The beautiful and glorious exchange. It is Christ alone that saves. Not how much better you feel than your neighbor, not the number of homeless people you gave a dollar to, or anything of your own means—it’s just Jesus the Christ!
For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
-Philippians 1:8
Grace, Peace, and Mercy to you!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Baptismal Hypocrisy

"I’m not welcomed at this Church!" 
How did it come to this? Imagine for one second, you have visited a church for a few months and have decided to join. There are not many churches in your town, but you need to be around the preached Word of God. You do the walking to the front of the church routine to publicly show you want to be a member—many in my tradition do not understand this practice, but it's normal in the evangelical land. Everyone is happy. They give you full on and side hugs as church comes to an end.
Then you go to the office. It looks quite shabby. There are degrees and pictures everywhere. There is even a Billy Graham photo next to Michael Bolton ... wait, nevermind that's supposed to be Jesus. Still, you talk to the leaders and they ask you a few questions. You inform them “Yes, I am baptized.” They ask if it was full immersion and what the status is for your kids. You answer, “We are all baptized. We were sprinkled in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit some as adults and others as infants. As our Lord commanded in Matthew 28:19-20.”
The tone changes, a look of puzzledness appears in their eye. They regretfully inform you that your baptism does not count and you are in rebellion to God. Okay, they might not say rebellion, but from their view, baptism is an act of obedience and you sir/madam are disobedient! And so they ask you to enroll in their 6-week new members class that ends with baptism to welcome you to the family of the Lord (as a symbolic gesture to represent your new life and being buried with Christ).
At first, you are puzzled, befuddled, and then angered because in all your studies you have never heard of this stance. You have studied the Methodist, Anglican, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Eastern Orthodox, Coptic, Reformed/Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic church and never once have you heard that your baptism was "invalid."

In Holy Writ, there are serious passages about taking the Lord Supper incorrectly. If this hypothetical church which stands against church history is correct, then you and your family have been taking the Lord's Supper wrong for decades:
28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself (1 Cor 11:28-29)
This passage is not directly about a non-baptized believer partaking in the Lord's Supper. But it would be hard to say that an unbaptized believer—in purposeful rebellion—should not be viewed in the same light. One stance universally and historical agreed upon throughout Christendom is that baptism is a sign of entrance into the new covenant and is required to be viewed as a member. (I would not be me if I did not tell you baptism is much more than that!)
In Holy Writ, people are baptized as soon as possible. Thus, the concept of a person in the faith that is not baptized is unfounded. They are basically saying I am not a Christian or that I am not in good standing as a Christian. So in the previous example, my family and I cannot officially be one with this visible church until I stop my rebellion and get really baptized (in my view re-baptized).
It is an un-argued fact, that since the 2nd century, church history states the universal church practice was infant baptism and sprinkling was not forbidden. But I am convinced by Scripture as well. A passage in Luke shows that it is possible for an infant to have faith and be moved by the Holy Spirit:
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:41)
If this was in modern times little Johnny would be denied baptism and viewed as outside of the body of believers. When Scripture cites "bring the little children to me," do they think Jesus wanted to play peek-a-boo with the kids or hide-and-seek? Nowhere in any part of the bible has a child of a believer been viewed as a pagan or outside of the covenant of God because the promise is for the parent and their children:
“Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” (Acts 2-38-39)
To think that a church body would dis-fellowship and deny the majority of historic Christians from fellowship is appalling and offensive. Martin Luther one of the reformers credited with starting the Protestant Reformation would be denied membership because he was baptized as a baby. John Calvin’s father was close to the Rome Catholic Church, so it is safe to assume he was baptized as a baby too. He too would be denied. And a host of others from 100 A.D. til about 1800 A.D. would be told “you are not welcome or able to join our church body” by some churches. Let's look at a few.
Irenaeus
"He [Jesus] came to save all through himself; all, I say, who through him are reborn in God: infants, and children, and youths, and old men. Therefore he passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, sanctifying infants; a child for children, sanctifying those who are of that age . . . [so that] he might be the perfect teacher in all things, perfect not only in respect to the setting forth of truth, perfect also in respect to relative age" (Against Heresies 2:22:4 [A.D. 189]). 
Augustine
"What the universal Church holds, not as instituted [invented] by councils but as something always held, is most correctly believed to have been handed down by apostolic authority. Since others respond for children, so that the celebration of the sacrament may be complete for them, it is certainly availing to them for their consecration, because they themselves are not able to respond" (On Baptism, Against the Donatists 4:24:31 [A.D. 400]). 
"The custom of Mother Church in baptizing infants is certainly not to be scorned, nor is it to be regarded in any way as superfluous, nor is it to be believed that its tradition is anything except apostolic" (The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 10:23:39 [A.D. 408]). 
Hippolytus
"Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them" (The Apostolic Tradition 21:16 [A.D. 215]). 
Origen
"Every soul that is born into flesh is soiled by the filth of wickedness and sin. . . . In the Church, baptism is given for the remission of sins, and, according to the usage of the Church, baptism is given even to infants. If there were nothing in infants which required the remission of sins and nothing in them pertinent to forgiveness, the grace of baptism would seem superfluous" (Homilies on Leviticus 8:3 [A.D. 248]). 
"The Church received from the apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants. The apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of the divine sacraments, knew there are in everyone innate strains of [original] sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit" (Commentaries on Romans 5:9 [A.D. 248]). 
Cyprian of Carthage
"As to what pertains to the case of infants: You [Fidus] said that they ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, that the old law of circumcision must be taken into consideration, and that you did not think that one should be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day after his birth. In our council it seemed to us far otherwise. No one agreed to the course which you thought should be taken. Rather, we all judge that the mercy and grace of God ought to be denied to no man born" (Letters 64:2 [A.D. 253]). 
"If, in the case of the worst sinners and those who formerly sinned much against God, when afterwards they believe, the remission of their sins is granted and no one is held back from baptism and grace, how much more, then, should an infant not be held back, who, having but recently been born, has done no sin, except that, born of the flesh according to Adam, he has contracted the contagion of that old death from his first being born. For this very reason does he [an infant] approach more easily to receive the remission of sins: because the sins forgiven him are not his own but those of another" (ibid., 64:5). 

I have come to realize that I am not welcomed in many Baptist, non-denominational, or Pentecostal churches. Yes, all church bodies throughout history acknowledge that a member of a church should be baptized. But for these sects (!) that have requirements not accepted or practiced in the majority of the 2000 year history of the church (or forbidden in scripture), I wonder if they realize the weight of their stance?
It's just a minor doctrinal point in their eyes and it truly shows how ignorant they are to the weight of their stance. I contend that they should at least acknowledge the full weight of their stance and deny complete fellowship with every other tradition. If a person is not baptized, should a church body really welcome them into fellowship? Draw the line in the sand and stand by your choice to cast out most of the Holy Saints that have ever lived! Truth be told, most of these church bodies would rule me (and the Saints quoted) a heretic anyways, once I informed them what biblically happens in baptism. So maybe the mode or age isn't even of real importance.
This hypothetical example is the reality for many people. Teaching or requiring someone be re-baptized doesn't just mean their first baptism was invalid. It means they are not true members of the church. Please consider the full impact of the doctrines you and your church body hold.

Sola Scriptura and Paedobaptism

 I was asked an interesting question on twitter a few days ago:
"What one passage would you use to show paedobaptism?"
This is a common question from various Christian traditions in conjunction with their current evangelical definitions of "Sola Scriptura" to understand infant baptism. The scripture I chose to answer with was:
"And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you" (Gen. 17:7)

Most would go with Acts 2:39. But I'd go with the above passage. It's not explicitly about baptism, but it does show that God's covenant is for believers and their children. This passage establishes that the eternal, non-changing, Creator has decreed and established a covenant including believers and their offspring.
To show membership in the covenant, God established a sign to show this membership. God's covenant promise is to be God to you and your children. Further, God says it is an everlasting covenant—"So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant."
Here the road divides. Many people focus on "what the sign is" rather than "did God use a sign to show His covenant." By changing the primary focus, we get lost in trees and, eventually, one can not see the forest for the trees. The mode of the sign is not what is promised eternally or even the gist of the covenant. The topic at hand should be, "what is the covenant and who is it for?" Only after this is established then a conversation of how members of the covenant are shown (e.g. the sign proper).
God views entry into the covenant and the sign and seal of entry so serious that He decreed:
"Any male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant" (Gen. 17:14)

No Jewish person protested saying, "I'm not saved by the sign, thus it is not needed." They took God at His word and gave their children the sign and seal. Even Jesus received the covenant sign.
Fast forwarding to the New Testament, a very important thing is shown—when God establishes previous ordinances have been fulfilled and new modes implemented, He informs His people clearly. An example of this is when God lifts the dietary laws from His people. God clearly informs the Apostle Peter that all things are clean. The dietary laws were a huge thing in Jewish customs and traditions. To change this, a clear and distinct message had to be sent. The inclusion of a believer's seed was more fundamental than any dietary laws. I feel comfortable saying this because I do not see the dietary laws worded with a context of "[he] shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."
Instead of seeing passages in the New testament distancing children of believers from the community of faith, we see:
"In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism" (Col. 2:11-12)

And circumcision was typically done to infants.
"For the promise is for you and for your children" (Acts 2:39)
The New Testament also includes multiple statements of households baptized (if a person's child is not a primary definition of household, nothing is).
In our day, many have concocted many lines of reasoning to establish that kids were not included in these passages. But the true line of reasoning should be, "how would a first-century Jewish person view these passages?" This is an important question because these statements were to people in the first century. People that had no religious notion of child exclusion. How would they know their kids were kicked out now? (Keep in mind the Acts 2 passage is the first Christian sermon ever preached by Saint Peter. So in-depth teaching of removing kids from the covenant could not have been and, coincidently, was not taught.) 
And that is why I used the Genesis 17 passage to answer my friend's question.
"And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you."

God stated that His eternal covenant to be God to you and your children and He has never rescinded this promise.  Yes, the sign has changed (as noted in Colossians 2), but the primary focus of this conversation should be on the substance of God's promises in His covenant and what (potentially) changed in membership requirements. To be in the new covenant is to have Christ's life and death applied to you. His righteousness imputed to you and the Holy Spirit indwelling in you. The precedent has been established by God that the people in the covenant receive a sign of being in the covenant:
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Rom. 6:3-4)
In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. (Col. 2:11-12)

All of the traits of being in the new covenant are shown to be apart of baptism. Nowhere in Holy Writ has a believers' child been denied their part in the covenant or asked to prove that they qualify for entry. God has made a promise to be God to you and your children, say "Amen" and baptize your kids!
Peace, mercy, & grace to you.
Many will say, "infant baptism is an argument from silence." And I agree. The fact that it is silent, is the biggest supporting factor to me. Silence on a topic so crucial establishes nothing changing. And in all honesty, both sides argue from silence. There are no passages of kids being turned away in holy writ.
A claim of "it is tradition" always arises as well. This is why I mentioned "the current evangelical definition of Sola Scriptura" earlier in the article. Yes, tradition shows infant baptism and it is built upon Old Testament to New Testament continuity. And the Old Testament is clear about the inclusion of kids. Man is overstepping the boundaries to throw out a clear historic teaching to discontinue including kids in Gods covenant.  Sola scriptura was never intended to make tradition a bad thing. Traditions that go against Scripture were to be addressed. Here is an example of tradition, "praying with your eyes closed." Per the current thought on how sola scriptura is used, "closed eyes while praying" is clearly wrong because the bible does not state to do it. The only reason you pray with your eyes closed is that you were taught it by another person. It is a man-made tradition. You should repent!
Seems idiotic to draw that line in the sand, but this is the same argument used against infant baptism.
“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children's offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.” (Isa. 59:21)