About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Our Children's Faith


I often hear Christian parents ask why their adult children whom they raised to be Christians aren't Christians.  When thinking of this I am reminded of Timothy, the only recorded person in the New Testament that we know was raised in a Christian home.  2 Timothy 1:5 says this:  


"I am reminded of your [Timothy] sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 


I wish we knew all of the details concerning Timothy's path to genuine faith, but we don't.


Over the decades I have observed that it is common, and maybe even natural, for children of Christian parents to adopt their family's Biblical belief system.  That is a good starting point on the road to sincere faith, but adopting a Biblical belief system does not constitute salvation.      


A born again believer in Jesus is one who in one way or another becomes aware of his sinfulness.  In a step of faith he hands himself over to Jesus in order to receive the Holy Spirit into his life.  Simply adopting a belief system is no substitute for the steps that lead to the reception of the Holy Spirit, who, as Ephesians 1:13 states is the seal of our salvation.


"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,


From my study of the Greek text, you can render the last half of Ephesians 1:13 this way.   


"... having also believed you were sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit."    


The Greek word "sphragizo" translated as "were sealed" (a Greek aorist indicative passive verb) means this.  When someone, in faith hands his life over to Jesus, he is given the Holy Spirit that authenticates, or validates, him to be a true believer with genuine faith.  As a lawyer validates a document to be authentic with his seal, so the Holy Spirit is that validating seal for a Christian.  Without this authenticating seal, there is no salvation, even if you have adopted your family's belief system.   


Like anyone else, a child must respond favourably, not just to his parents' invitation to meet Jesus, but to our Father's invitation to meet Jesus.  John 6:44 makes that clear.   


"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day."


As parents we raise our children in the ways of the Lord and intercede in prayer on their behalf until the day our heavenly Father, by His Spirit, extends His invitation for them to meet Jesus.  Children raised in a Christian home must progress beyond merely adopting a belief system.  They must meet the person of Jesus, receive His Spirit that is the seal of their salvation, proving they have the same genuine faith as Timothy. 


David Duplessie, a world-renowned Pentecostal evangelist of the twentieth century said it best.  "God has no grand-children - just children."



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