SPIRITUAL STATUS OF CHILDREN IN THE CHURCH
It is common tendency to speculate from denominational or rational or cultural points of view about the mystery of the SPIRITUAL STATUS OF CHILDREN IN THE CHURCH. These human views are not necessarily biblical or authentic since these CHILDREN ARE NOT ANSWERABLE TO ADULTS SPIRITUALLY, BUT TO GOD. As the Scripture clearly shows, Children of Divine Covenant parents are SEEN BY GOD to be CHILDREN OF HIS COVENANT because they are offspring of His believers (Gen 17:7; Psa 132:12; Mal 2:13-15; 1Cor 7:14; 2Tim 1:5). They cannot be regarded spiritually as same with children born to unbelieving parents in other covenants (Act 2:39; 3:25; and 16:14-15,31).
In the Old Testament, God claimed all Israelite firstborn male children as SANCTIFIED to Himself even before birth so they had to be PRESENTED AND REDEEMED (Exod 13:2,12, Num 3:40-48; Luk 2:22-23). God also gave circumcision of both old and young males as THE SIGN TO SEAL THEM for Covenant promises (Gen 17:10-14) and for faith unto righteousness (Rom 4:11). Likewise Gentile parents effectually initiate their children into their clan and cult covenants even from the womb. BAPTISM/DEDICATION of Christian children in the New Testament is because the Apostles reckoned them both CLEAN AND HOLY (7:14) to be received as PARTAKERS of the Kingdom Covenant promise (Mar 10:13-16; Act 2:39). Surprisingly, Christ even reckoned disciples’ children as also BELIEVERS in Him (Mat 18:6) for RECEPTION in His Name into His Church (Mat 18:5).
(5) And whoever shall RECEIVE ONE SUCH LITTLE CHILD IN MY NAME receives me.
(6) But whoever shall offend ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES WHO BELIEVE IN ME, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
But how do we RECEIVE our infants into the Church IN CHRIST’S NAME?
And how come such infants BELIEVE IN CHRIST?
- Of what use is this truth in parental prayers and training for children and the controversial scruples about Christian children baptism/dedication?
- What use is this truth in family covenant/curse breaking and deliverance as well as in fear/fable about Christian children being initiated to demonic cults by those who are not their parents?
- How do we reconcile generational visitation in Exod 20:5-6 and individual judgment in Ezek 18:19-20?
- Can we dedicate/baptize children from mixed marriage households? Why? (7:14; 2Tim 1:5; 2Tim. 3:15; Matt. 18:5-6; Acts 16:14-15,31).