Sharing the gospel with your children

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Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Election my friend. John 6:44

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

the blurb in the OP was just one sentence from the article, Chip. 

Alex Guggenheim's picture

The heart my friend. Luke 8:4-15

Oh wait, they used the parable of the sower....rather confusingly. The first ask how some can hear and believe and others be unaffected and then they switch to being concerned about bearing fruit which is not synonymous with believing, rather with maturing and as well, ask how we can help them believe and bear fruit. They seems to mix contexts rather indiscriminately.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

This is not to say the article did not contain helpful information, it did with respect to practice. It presents the Christian life being transferred as a way of life rather than a fundamentally academic or task oriented exercise though as a way of life it contains elements of both. It reflects Deuteronomy 11 in my mind.

G. N. Barkman's picture

Faith without works is a dead faith, which saves nobody.  It is not saving faith at all.  It is more like the faith of demons, an acknowledgment of truth without embracing it and surrendering to it.  (James 2:14-20)

The problem with the Focus on the Family article was not in using the parable of the soils, or mixing faith and fruit.  The parable of the soils was given to explain the difference between empty faith and saving faith.  The production of fruit is a necessary result of saving faith.

The problem was in assuming that parents can do something more than present the gospel clearly to effect the conversion of their children.  Of course, prayer is vital, and living a consistent Christian life is important, but ultimately, the exercise of saving faith is dependent upon a special work of God's Spirit.  Apart from the Holy Spirit, nothing will avail, but when the Spirit "blows", nothing will prevent the child's conversion.

G. N. Barkman

Alex Guggenheim's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

The problem with the Focus on the Family article was not in using the parable of the soils, or mixing faith and fruit.  The parable of the soils was given to explain the difference between empty faith and saving faith.  The production of fruit is a necessary result of saving faith.

The Bible presents only one faith in the gospel, a saving faith, there is no such thing as believing the gospel and not being saved. James, by the way, is not a reference to the gospel with respect to what demons believe, it is a reference to monotheism only.

But to the parable, the assertion that it is about empty and saving faith errs, both contextually and exegetically. It is about the condition of the human heart in the reception of the gospel.

Only the first is referred to by our Lord as not believing and being saved.

The other three distinctly are classified as believing in the analogy of coming to life (phuo or sumphuo). What differs with them is their various levels of maturity, not whether they came to life.

Which is why their imprecise us of the parable was confusing. But the parable does explain why some do not believe and are not saved and why some do not mature beyond spiritual diapers, some only to spiritual adolescence and some to full maturity, because of the condition of the soil, their heart.

 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Susan R wrote:

the blurb in the OP was just one sentence from the article, Chip. 

So - I am missing the point you are trying to make. All the suggestions in the article are practical things to do. However, none of them answer the question. Some parents will follow the advice and see their children receive Christ; others will follow the advice and see their Children live their entire lives in rejection of Christ; and some will follow the advice with all their children and seem some their kids receive Christ while some reject Him. As I said before, election is the answer to the question posed as the purpose of the article in the opening sentence/paragraph. Their reasoning for providing the list, as stated in the opening of the article (underlined below) is entirely unbiblical. What they have listed has nothing to do with faith.

Many Christian parents face a paradox: How can some children hear the good news of the Bible and believe, while others hear the same message and remain unaffected? While the process of faith may be miraculous, it is not entirely mysterious.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?