The Spiritual Condition of Children (Matthew 19:13-15)
1. In our lesson we are studying passages that teach us what we need to know about "the spiritual condition of children." 2. Before we search the Scriptures, let us consider . . .
I. A STATEMENT FROM THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH
A. Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (p. 61) B. This doctrine (total depravity) has led many people to believe that children inherit sin from Adam and are born in a depraved or sinful state. C. This belief that babies are born in sin has led to the practice of baptizing or christening infants. D. The New Testament nowhere teaches that babies are to be baptized.
II. LET US EXAMINE SOME STATEMENTS MADE BY JESUS
A. (Matthew 19:13-15) Jesus took time from His busy schedule to bless some little children. B. Concerning these little children, Jesus said, "of such is the kingdom of heaven." C. Earlier (Matthew 18:3), Jesus said that we must "be converted, and become as little children" in order to enter the kingdom. D. This point is made even more emphatically in Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17. E. Was Jesus teaching that we must become sinners to enter the kingdom? F. You can see the position that must be taken by those who believe that children are born in sin. G. The truth is that children are born in a state of innocence. H. We must become innocent like little children to enter the kingdom. I. This occurs when we obey the Gospel of Christ (Acts 2:38; 47).
III. LET US EXAMINE SOME PASSAGES WHICH TEACH THAT SIN IS NOT INHERITED
A. (Ezekiel 18:20) Under the law, Jews were responsible for their own sins. B. (Romans 9:11) When they were in their mother's womb, Jacob and Esau had not done any good or evil. C. (2 Corinthians 5:10) At the judgment, each person will be accountable for "the things done in his body."
IV. IF WE ARE NOT BORN IN SIN, HOW DO WE BECOME SINNERS?
A. We become sinners the same way that Adam and Eve became sinners. B. Adam and Eve were created in a state of innocence. C. (Genesis 3:1-6) They sinned when they transgressed God's law (1 John 3:4). D. Their punishment was death. E. There is something that we suffer today because of Adam's sin -- "death" (Romans 5:12). F. We become sinners when we give in to temptation and transgress God's law (James 1:13-15). G. The punishment for sin is "spiritual death" (Romans 6:23a - "For the wages of sin is death"). H. Thankfully, "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (vs.23b).
1. Children are not born in sin -- they do not inherit sin from Adam. 2. There is no need to baptize babies -- they have no sin. 3. Baptism is for those who are able to believe (Mark 16:16), repent (Acts 2:38), and confess Christ (Romans 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).