The subjects of Christian Education, as opposed to the subjects of Non-Christian Education, are all persons brought inside and especially all children born inside the Covenant of Grace. And whereas, except for our very first forebears, all adults once started out their lives as children — our analysis of the subjects of Christian Education should also start with the children. For we are born as children, before we grow up and become adults.
Now ever since the fall of man all people and all children, even Christian people and Christian children (that is, children born of Christian parents), are conceived in sin. They are “shapen in iniquity,” even before their birthd.(20) Indeed, they cannot see the Kingdom of God — unless they are born again from above.(21)
This applies even to infants from Christian homes. However, these Christian children -unlike Non-Christian children — are sanctified from birth [and indeed even from conception(22)], on account of their being conceived and born inside the Covenant (23).
Page 7 of 21
Children conceived and born of at least one Christian parent, are “holy” children. They are not “unclean”; as are the children of unbelievers — according to God’s most Holy Word.(22)
We read that before the exodus “the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.”(24) Indeed, God promised He would send the Angel of death over the land of Egypt Who would take the life of every first born child — unless the blood of the Passover lamb was painted on the lintels of each home in which he or she resided.(25)
So God’s Word says that children born inside the Covenant of grace — are holy, and are not unclean. Indeed, what God hath cleansed and made holy, let no man call unclean (26).
Nevertheless, it is still up to Christian parents to point to the blood of the lamb across the lintels of their home – as did the covenantal parents of old. Thus God will “put a difference” between our children and the children of the heathen, when God passes through the land and smites all of the first born and executes judgment “against all of the gods of the Egyptians.”(25) This divine threat was duly carried out — in accordance with God’s most perfect punitive justice. And yet, the Lord then spared His covenant people and their children. Why? Because they were not born in sin and iniquity? No! Only because the blood of the lamb was painted on the doorpost, and because they were born or living under covenantal privileges — living under the blood of the lamb, sprinkled on the doorposts of their homes.(25)
So on the one hand we see that Christian children, the principal subjects of Christian Education, are to be regarded as sinners and “by nature children of wrath” — as are all children.(27) For it is not possible that “a clean one come out of an unclean” one; no, not one.(28) But on the other hand, by virtue of God’s Covenant, Christian children -unlike Non-Christian children – are also regarded by grace as saved sinners.(24).
If the (Christian) children were born of two unbelieving parents, the children would be unclean. But now, because those children have at least one believing parent, they are holy.(24)
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shalt be saved — and your household!”(29) That is what the Lord says. Unless and until the contrary is clearly evidenced in the later lives of these covenant children — they are to be regarded as saved by virtue of their covenantal position from birth; and, indeed, even from their very conception.