The Nail in the Coffin (Grace)
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Romans 6:14 “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
A number of years ago before God graciously gave my wife and I children, we were holding a meeting in northern Michigan. We had been to the church a few times through the years, and we had noticed a godly older couple in the church whose children had all turned out right for God. I watched as this man, now a grandfather, dealt with one of his grandchildren. I mentioned what a great job this man had done with his children, and I’ll never forget his words. He replied, “It wasn’t just simple obedience to God’s law, but a dependency upon God’s grace that did it.”
A number of Christians say what this man said about kids turning out right being because of grace, but most of these believers don’t mean the same thing as this godly father. Most believers today act as if God’s grace is inconsistent and impartial. “If my kids turn out right it will be by God’s grace.” But wait, are you saying that if your kids don’t turn out right, God somehow didn’t give you and them His grace? That is a very false, Calvinistic view of parenting (Read “Calvinistic Parenting”). Dear reader, God’s grace is freely given to all. Whether or not your children turn out right, God gave His grace to all. The issue is not whether or not God’s grace is given, but rather, whether or not you as the parent lived in, through, by, and under God’s grace.
You must realize, dear reader, that Proverbs 22:6 won’t work by man’s efforts. (Please read both, “The Letter Killeth” and “The Spirit Giveth Life’”.) Many obey God “under the law”, but lose their kids because they weren’t “under grace.” God promises sin’s defeat in any person’s life who abides under the umbrella of grace not simply the works of the law. “sin shall not have dominion over you” And do you know how to access grace for godly living and parenting? Faith.
Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
Romans 5:2 “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
This goes back to our first articles on Prov. 22:6. What you believe is how you behave and ultimately what you become. Satan has tempted the average believer today to doubt God’s Prov. 22:6 promise, and lack of faith always causes God to not be able to do many mighty works in your life. (Matthew 13:58 “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”) This unbelief has resulted in many parents who sadly remain under the law, defeated by sin, and losing their offspring to the devil. But this cannot be! Grace promises believers victory over sin (Rom. 6:14), that believers are already free from sin (Rom. 8:2), and that believers are more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37). All of those verses are victory even for parents. Believers really need to stop living in the pit of despondency and defeat. “Souls aren’t saved anymore.” “You can’t build a church around these parts.” “A national revival is impossible now.” “Most Christian children will deny God in these wicked days.” I do not wish to be mean, but what a shame that Christianity has turned into such a pathetic excuse for discouragement and lack of results.
Friends, simple obedience “under the law” to God has never been enough. Faith to access God’s grace has always been the key. Noah, by faith (Heb. 11:7), found grace in God’s eyes (Gen. 6:8). The children of Israel could not enter into the Promised Land of victory because of their unbelief (Heb. 3:19), and all of them except Joshua and Caleb and the next generation died. Abraham believed God (Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6; Jms. 2:23), and God’s grace imputed righteousness to him (Rom. 4:4-5). As a matter of fact, after revealing Abraham’s faith in God’s promises in Gal. 3:6, God reveals in vs. 10, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Every parent that tries raising their children “under the law” is “under the curse” because no parent is perfect in raising their children to continue “in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” The absolute, only way to raise a godly offspring is by depending in faith on all of God’s Word and all of God’s grace.
Believer, stop trying to define God’s Word by your personal experiences and others’ lives. “Well, I/they were godly and my/their children didn’t turn out right.” Believe God’s clear promise of grace in Prov. 22:6 (children turning out right), and by faith abide under the umbrella of grace. Grace did the impossible and saved your sinful soul by faith in Jesus, and grace continues to do the impossible through every parent whose faith is fully in Jesus and God’s Word!