Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Real saving faith cannot be ignorant, not even for kids

Is content important in the faith of a child? Is "Jesus is my friend" all they need to believe to be saved? John MacArthur offers the following council. Parents should be thorough, being careful not to soften or shorten the gospel for their children. Simplistic evangelism formulas should be avoided. These often leave out important information. In his book Successful Christian Parenting he writes:

“Real faith involves understanding and affirming some important concepts that may be out of reach for small children. The sole object of genuine faith is Jesus Christ as He is presented to us in the gospel. How can children exercise true saving faith before they are old enough to understand and affirm essential, objective elements of gospel truth? Saving faith is not blind faith. Real saving faith cannot be ignorant of essential gospel concepts such as good and evil, sin and punishment, repentance and faith, God’s holiness and His wrath against sin, Christ as God incarnate, the idea of atonement for sin and the meaning of the resurrection and the lordship of Christ. The specific age at which the child’s understanding is mature enough to grasp such concepts may differ for each child. (So there’s no reliable way to pinpoint a physical “age of accountability.”) But until the child demonstrates some degree of real understanding and some measure of spiritual fruit, parents should not be quick to regard the child’s regeneration as a settled matter.”
Will The Next Generation Treasure Christ? is a dialog on reforming childrenÂ’s ministry and equipping parents - for the glory of Christ and the joy of our children.

1 comment:

Bhedr said...

Boy do I ever agree on this. Unfortunately my two Pastors feel that impressing the Children to make a quick descision is safer. They unfortunately view me as being legalistic. Doesn't matter though, the good news is they are letting me teach Jr Church kids.

Praise God!

I am so convicted about this as when I was 4 I went forward, but my mother stopped and quized me. I didn't fully understand, but as she explained over the next couple years I came to an understanding and at the age of six, prayed with her. She grounded me in the fact that Jesus was God and that I must trust in him to be my sin bearer and nothing or no one else.

I remember like a tad pole of light or something dancing in my soul that day and wonderful peace.

Since that day I have had many ups and downs, some dark thoughts, horrible delirium, and even great terror (God has never let me rest in sin comfortably. Quick confession is always best. Stay current on that always) but I cannot deny that day as I would be denying God's faithfulness. The day was real as the child that entrusted his soul to the living God of this universe.