Wednesday, April 11, 2007

An Attainable Goal for Instructing Our Children

I heard a good and convicting comment when listening to podcasts today and it was this,

“Every six year old in this church should be able to answer the question, ‘How could God punish sin in Jesus if Jesus had no sin?’ And if our six-year-olds cannot answer that question, we need to beef-up our devotional life at home.” – John Piper1
Piper said that when he picked the age of six, he was giving the middle age of where children should be able to answer this question. I think what he means by this is that children who grow up in our (believer's) homes should be able to answer this question in a basic way at the age of three. The answer that the children should be able to say is that God didn't punish Jesus for His sins, but for our (my) sins....

We should point our children to (and know them ourselves) the following passages in the Bible:
“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being {fell} upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

“He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.” (Romans 4:25)

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:3)

“who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,” (Galatians 1:4)

“and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)

“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;” (1 Peter 3:18)2
If our children can get that fact straight as early as 3 (and it is possible), just think how fertile the soil will be for the gospel when they are old enough to understand it deeper and respond in repentance of sin and trusting the savior for salvation.

Christ saves through grace and faith, but as parents and workers in the church, and even more so as parents, we have a responsibility to teach our children these things as of first importance even before they can talk with us. It seems to me that the instilling of this kind of teaching into our children with verbal communication is the second step that follows them hearing it from us to one another and seeing it in how we live.

Grace be with you all.

1 “What the Law Could Not Do, God Did Sending Christ, Part 2” by John Piper as heard on the 2/8/07 Desiring God Radio Netcast, originally preached on November 4, 2001.

2 All emphasis shown in these passages is mine.

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