“We and Our Children”
“God’s Grace in Salvation”
WE WITH OUR CHILDREN ARE CONCEIVED AND BORN IN SIN
A frightful confession? Yes, But a confession God wants to hear from us. It was familiar to previous generations, but not this one. A generation that has died under the influence of the mind-altering drug of evolution, fed to the multitudes of humanity. Many imprisoned and living under the illusion that in all men there lies a seed of goodness, just waiting to grow into perfection. The empty chatter of liberalism and nauseating drivel that has bombarded people, besotting them with ignorance. If we are not told and do not understand the root problem in humanity, we are never going to grasp our need for God’s grace in Jesus Christ…
Our deceitful hearts, of course, recoil from such a humiliating confession, that we, along with our children are hard-wired for sin. It’s in our DNA. The connection of original sin between parents and children is not grasped, perhaps because it’s not external and visible, for a time at least. It is neither appreciated nor painfully felt, that we come into this world monsters in God’s eyes. At birth, the sentence of death lies waiting already. Not just of temporal but eternal death. Born to die and suffer grief. Born in and with sin. Lying at the end of the rocky road of life stands a coffin and an open grave and behind it a mocking abyss.
Should not this make us tremble? To implore the great Judge to have mercy upon us? Surely it should cause us to seek the mercy of which God presents us within Holy Scripture. It must, if we and our children are to be saved, inculcate in us a depth of gratitude to the Author of grace. And to pray that he will be merciful to such spiritually and morally miserable, terminally ill souls such as we are. We and our children. We must not forget that there is a moral as well as a physical bond, “Behold, I was shaken in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). It is not fate that decrees or conditions what we are, away with such superficiality.
Note please our Baptism Formula does not say sins, but sin. Sin is the inherent condition, sins are the unrighteous deeds that spring from the condition. The word sin indicates our general sphere of unrighteousness, in which we lie, in the throes of death. “Who (Jesus) was delivered for our offences (sins) and was raised for our justification” (Romans 4:25). “Being dead in your sins” (Colossians 2:13). When you stand appalled at the state of the world, your society, or perhaps your own self, remember, this is where it comes from. The only antidote lies in the saving grace of God in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and no other. Because the consequence of your sin and your sins are….
AND THEREFORE ARE CHILDREN OF WRATH
This is the necessary consequence. And this cuts just as deeply as does the former. It is not a confession easily uttered. It takes a humility that few possess. But it is the native vernacular of Holy Scripture, “We…were by nature children of wrath, even as others” (Ephesians 2:3). It is enough to fill anyone with terrible dread, anguish, grief. But contrast the alternative, as our Formula says, “children of grace and heirs of God.” What a sharp contrast there is between the natural man and the spiritual man?
A child of wrath is someone who is made out of wrath, “vessels of wrath fitted to destruction” (Romans 9:22) and lives under wrath, or rather dies under wrath day after day.“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18). One day he shall receive the fulness of inheritance, that is, the full revelation and outpouring of wrath. It comes forth from God’s wrath, and to him, it returns. God’s wrath is the terrible debt that awaits man born in sin. The rather low interest it pays here on earth in disappointments and distresses, the cares and weariness of life, is only a bitter foretaste. We cannot come close to fathoming the depth of the abyss of misery that yawns here also!
Children of wrath are born outside God’s kingdom and therefore into the devil’s kingdom. They come into this world entering the gate of hell. It is only when we begin with this naked, miserable fact that the grace of God begins to appear as a flame of light. It is not that we may become or that we have become children of wrath, but that we ‘are’ children of wrath. Both we, and our children. Let this harden you and you will extinguish the blesséd light of God’s forgiving grace. What need is there for mercy if there is nothing that necessitates mercy? God from eternity has chosen some, given some to his beloved Son, and has secured their justification in His resurrection. For we and our children.
The original pollution in which man is conceived and born is the root of all, the vilest and abhorrent, sins, the fruit of man’s original guilt. It is only when we stammer, with profound humility as our Baptismal Formula declares, “children of wrath even as others” (Ephesians 2:3), are we ready to even speak of God’s covenant of grace. Without the conviction concerning our condition, God’s disposition towards us and our children will not alter, from wrath to love. God is and remains God. Until the miracle of grace is imparted we remain outside paradise…
IN SO MUCH THAT WE CANNOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Outside of heaven! It gets worse, you say. Paradise is a lost possession. Except that is we are born again. It is the only remedy available to you to live in this kingdom. A higher, spiritual, and divine power must needs ‘compel’ you to enter. The right, the ability, the desire to enter must be provided. You must become a different person. “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). The new birth. What it is we know not. It is a miracle. When all said and done, the natural birth, the origin of life, is still an unsolvable mystery, even for science with its X-rays and scans. It will never explain the mystery of a rational creature being composed of material cells.
So what can we say of the miracle of miracles? The new birth. Only what the Holy Scriptures tell us about it. It is the outpouring of life by the Holy Spirit of God into our souls. It is the life of God himself injected into us. It is the love of God poured into our hearts by God himself. It is not the destroying of self and creating a new being. That would not be rebirth. It is a re-creation. A renewal of the old. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2Corinthians 5:17). “Except we are born again.” We need much more than just right knowledge. We need to be reborn, Jesus says so.
We have developed and improved standards of education, seeking to develop good people, totally ignoring what God has revealed. Despite all the modern developments in education, science and technology we still continue to slaughter one another. We are not made any better. Educate an evil heart and you get a more wicked heart. The greater the mind the greater the beast! But we’re civilised? Yes, cut the leaves from a thistle and you’re still left with a thistle. “Except we are born again,” we and our children. Take the drunkard, he has no argument against your reasoning, he is destroying himself, in mind, body and soul. But still, he drinks. His old passion keeps him imprisoned, he needs a new heart.
Tell the formally religious man that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, that he should “turn and live” (Ezekiel 33:11). You answer the sinner’s every objection and point that salvation is at hand. They do not deny the truth. But they cannot appropriate salvation for themselves, they have not the new birth. You can enter the United Kingdom of Great Britain by immigration or naturalisation. Not so God’s kingdom. Only one who is born in Zion may become a true citizen of the kingdom of God. “Except you be born again.” There is no other way for the child of wrath, conceived and born in sin. For you and your children.
“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7)
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39).
(©️James R Hamilton, July 2018)