Read: Acts 10:34 - 48
Our Lord Jesus considered covenant children to be the children of God. Therefore He took them into His arms and blessed them. He even made them examples of the child-like faith that is necessary for entrance into the kingdom. He warned everyone of the severe judgment of God should they hurt one of these little ones. He said concerning these little ones ‘of such is the kingdom of heaven.’
The truth of God’s covenant way of saving His people in families, including believers and their children, is the reason why after Pentecost, whole families were at once brought to faith in Jesus Christ and saved. Properly, whole families were then baptized. Whether or not the family baptisms mentioned in the scripture included infant children, cannot be proven either way. We would expect that, of the several examples of family baptisms mentioned in scripture, at least some of them included infants.
Infant baptism does not mean that the grace of salvation is somehow inherited by the children through the genes of their parents, somewhat like physical characteristics are inherited by children. The truth of the covenant means that God, by His sovereign grace, according to the promise He makes throughout scripture in both the Old and New Testament, is pleased to bestow His grace upon the children of believers. See Acts 2:39.
Church history abundantly proves that God continues His church with believers and their children. This is simply the wonderful way of the working of God’s grace. No Christian ought to ignore or refuse to acknowledge this wonder of God in His church.
Covenant children are to be brought for baptism by their parents. At the time of the baptism of these children in the Reformed Church, parents are required to solemnly vow to raise their children in the knowledge and fear of the Lord. They are made to promise that they will do this to their utmost power. There are many admonitions in the letters of the apostles instructing parents to bring up their children in the fear and nurture of the Lord.
When covenant children come to mature adulthood, they are admonished to make public confession of their faith in the Lord before His church. Covenant children are all the days of their lives exhorted to faith and repentance in Jesus Christ, without which there is no salvation.
In the Old Testament, not all those who were circumcised in infancy later showed themselves to be children of God. Scripture has the example of the twin sons of Isaac and Rebecca, concerning whom God said, ‘Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.’ See Rom 9:10 - 13. Both Jacob and Esau were circumcised as God commanded for all children of believers.
In the New Testament times, all children of believing parents are to be brought to church for baptism. Parents must believe the promise of God’s covenant concerning these children. It is in the hope of the promise of thecovenant, that godly parents are to raise their covenant children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, always depending completely on the grace and Spirit of the Lord to make the instruction of their children effective unto their salvation. In fact, if God does not work in the hearts of children, they cannot receive and benefit from the godly instruction of their parents.
den Hartog, Arie
Rev. Arie denHartog (Wife: Sherry)
Ordained: October 1974
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1974; Foreign Missionary, Singapore - 1979; Randolph, WI - 1987; Redlands, CA - 1990; Minister-on-Loan, Singapore - 2001; Southwest, Grandville, MI - 2005Website: www.southwestprc.org/
Address4895 Ivanrest Ave. SW
State or ProvinceMichigan
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