I was speaking with a faithful brother of mine today (Gordon Graham, from ChurchVictory, he is much smarter than me, he’s a Harvard grad) about the nature of our children and their position in the covenant and as we spoke, we commented about the force of Matt 18, 19, Mark 10 and Luke 18. Have you ever truly considered the force of the words that are used in these texts in reference to the children that are being addressed? Think about some key points from Matthew 18:
1) First, the context is that of covenant children, a very important point as we proceed.
2) In Matt 18:2, our Lord Jesus brings to Himself a paidion as the example of faith, which is a young child or infant.
3) (Matt 18:3) The adult must have the faith of the paidion and not the other way around. Consider this; there is a place for a confession of faith but not at the expense of forcing the child to demonstrate his faith like an adult, which happens more often than not in modern evangelical circles. We are to become like children and not attempt to force the children to have adult like faith.
4) In Matt 18:4, the use of “Kingdom of Heaven” is a euphemism for the New Covenant according to some theologians.
5) Matt 18:5: whoever receives a covenant child receives Christ.
6) Matt 18:6: the term “believe” (πιστευόντων) is used of covenant children; “who believe in Me.” Jesus is speaking about paedofaith.
7) Verse 10: the Father is concerned with covenant children.
8) Verse 14: it is not the will of the Father that any of these little covenant children should perish. By greater application, this is extended to “covenant children” in general and notice the use of the words “will of my Father.” This sort of language is used elsewhere in the Scriptures, specifically, John 6:38-40 where all that He (the Father) gives to Jesus will be raised up on the last day (where the context is the elect). In essence, this is a wonderful conformation that covenant children, having YHWH as their God (Gen 17:7-9), are saved if they die prematurely, for it is not the will of the Father that any of these paidion should perish (be damned). Also note that the context is again, covenant children and infants. The verse does not say that all covenant children are elect (in Matt 18), but rather, that it is not the will of the Father that any paidion should perish.
These are just a few highlights as to the position of our covenant children in relationship to the God who is their God and I urge any and all to read the previously mentioned chapters regarding this glorious subject. These are not the words of a group or call of individuals who are excluded from the operations of the covenant, but rather, they are wonderful words of confirmation that our covenant children, even the smallest of them, are vital members of God’s covenant dealings. Praise God for His covenant faithfulness.
“Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them.16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Luke 18:15-17, ESV