How To Train Your Children
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church
1. Train them to know the Bible. Teach your children to know that the Bible is God’s book. It is the only book given to man by God. The Bible must relentlessly be pursued. The wise person knows the Bible. A godly person knows the God of the Bible. A Christian knows his Bible and the more he takes in the hungrier he becomes for more.
2. Train them to read the Bible. Children must learn to read the Bible. They must examine every page of Scripture as a studious biologist studies a cell. He should look at every tree, every branch, every twig, every leaf, and every vein in the leaf to as to know it full-well. A child can read and can understand the Bible because it is a book that can be comprehended by little children. The message of the Bible is a message of life that even a young child can ascertain. Teach a child not just to skim words in a Bible, but to read — really read — the Bible.
3. Train them to reverence the Bible. As a book given by God the Creator, the Bible must be revered highly. As high as we esteem God is as high as we must esteem the Bible because it is in the Bible where God has disclosed His character. Children should honor the Word. They should speak of the Word. They should ponder the Word. And children must be taught how to honor, respect, fear, and obey the Word in all that it says.
4. Train them to study the Bible. A young child learns early in school how to read, write, listen, take notes, and interact intellectually with what has been taught. In the same way, a young child can learn how to read the Word, write thoughts down concerning the Word, listen to God’s voice from the Word, take notes when the Word is preached, and interact intellectually with what he has read. Studying is worship. To study is to examine every part of a chapter, a verse, a clause, a word! To study is to notice why the author wrote the word the way he did, why he chose that word and not another, and why he put it in the place he did in the text. He is to inquisitively ask questions about the text so as to observe and interpret the text rightly according to the intent of the original author (and Author).
5. Train them to reject sin’s allurements. Sin is like an apple that looks bright red on the outside until one takes a bite and realizes that the inside is worm-infested and corrupt. Sin draws one to the candy store and tells the little boy to eat anything and everything he wants for all of his days and yet the boy does not know that if his diet consists only of chocolate candies, it will eventually lead to his death. So it is with sin. Sin looks beautiful, appealing, enticing, alluring, satisfying, and utterly pleasant. But sin is like a bee that brings pain. Children need to know that sin promises delightful pleasure but only brings divine punishment. Children must learn that sin promises a happy reward when in fact it only produces harmful ruin. Children must see the enticements of sin. They must learn of Satan’s plots. They must know of the temptations of the flesh. And children must be taught to flee temptation, to reject rebellion, to run from iniquity, and to scatter from sin.
6. Train them in the Holy Spirit’s work of saving grace. The greatest miracle in the world is when God saves a sinner who believes in Jesus Christ. This gospel of God’s saving grace is made available to all who repent of their sin, turn to God, and believe wholly upon Christ Jesus alone. This divine gift is nothing short of a supernatural miracle enacted by God and granted to a believing sinner by grace. Parents must dispense the gospel message of saving grace to their children daily. Children must know of their sinfulness and thus their plight before a holy and just God. Children must learn of the brevity of life, the urgency to repent, and the exclusivity of Christ. Children must hear of the deity of Christ as it is revealed in His virgin birth, sinless life, substitutionary death bearing the Father’s eternal wrath, and culminating in his supernatural resurrection from the dead. Children must know of the humanity of Christ as it is revealed in His childhood piety, obedience to the Law, endurance of every temptation, and dying on a criminals cross. Parents must resound the song that Jesus fully bore the Father’s wrath in the place of His people so that they no longer have to pay the penalty for their sins. By faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, the believing sinner is reconciled to God and clothed with the complete robe of Christ’s righteousness so as now to be righteous in God’s sight. And this entire salvation plan is a gift and an outworking of God the Spirit. Children must learn this, know this, hear this, and be reminded of this regularly.
7. Train them in the practical living founded upon theological truth. To glorify God is to live a holy life. For to be holy is to reflect God and His character for He Himself is holy. To know God leads to right living for God. To know the gospel of Jesus Christ inevitably leads to a life of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. To be saved by Christ is to be satisfied by Christ. Right theology leads to right practice. Biblical orthodoxy fuels biblical orthopraxy. Children must know that the assurance of salvation comes when a life is continually being changed, shaped, molded, and conformed more into the image of Jesus Christ. Sanctified living, fruit bearing, godly deeds, a life walking in the Spirit are marks of true conversion. Parents must tell their children to follow Christ, to love Christ, to enjoy Christ and to use all the available means of grace to further their sanctification. The life of the Christian is likened to one who rings out a wet rag repeatedly. He should squeeze the Scriptures in frequently so as to extract its fullness, fruitfulness and its flavor so that his mind is filled and his heart is warmed and his life is transformed.
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