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Children and Ordinances

Jesus no longer walks the earth in human body, laying his hands on children, because our Lord ascended to the Father and sits at his right hand.

But this doesn’t mean that he no longer blesses little children today. How does he do that?

How about baptism?

While I don’t believe that the Scriptures teach infant baptism, as my parents were members of the Evangelical Covenant Church, I was baptized as an infant and I can’t see that it did me any harm.

The Baptist would object, arguing that it cannot have any meaning for them since babies can’t understand or appreciate its significance by faith.

True, but the child’s parents can. Just as water cleanses dirt, so baptism by the Spirit cleanses the heart from sin. Use that as an object lesson for the younger children in the congregation.

Infant baptism might be more properly thought of as an act of dedication on the part of the parents, and it doesn’t absolve the child from, at some later point in his life, making the informed decision to obey Christ and be baptized.

But certainly, water baptism is not the only element of worship which can be adapted for children?

What about singing? Many children of Christian parents learn to sing the songs of praise to the Lord even before they learned to speak sentences. This is good. Children should learn that their voices are important to the corporate worship in song.

What about preaching? Can very young children learn anything from the preacher’s sermon, or be reasonably expected to listen?

I’ll answer that question with another question. Is preaching intended to be nothing more than a learning experience? Why then would we have preachers, when there are teachers in the congregation?

While you should be able to learn something from a good sermon, it is also important that we understand that grace is administered through preaching, albeit through the work of the Holy Spirit. Why would we deprive our children of God’s grace?

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Overview of Bible Study