Contend Earnestly: My Son's Story of Redemption: The Beginning

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Son's Story of Redemption: The Beginning

The story has only started, especially when one thinks of eternity, of my son's redemption. Of course we don't know when God started to pierce his heart inwardly, but outwardly, we have had two distinct times that we have noticed, one being when he turned to God for redemption.

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Mark 1:15

My son is only 7 years old (as of January 30) and I never thought that he would start to understand and be affected by his sin at such a young age. Of course, understand and affected, are subjective terms that can never be fully realized until at the feet of our Saviour. But, about 4 months ago, my wife told me that my son, Caleb, was weeping over his sin. Not really sure what to think about this, my wife prayed with him, held him close and spoke to him about the gospel.

Fast forward a couple more months and about 6 weeks ago.

Caleb was having some issues and we sent him to bed after dinner because of his behavior. I prepared my grand sermon to give him and headed up the stairs to his room to allow him to hear my amazing wisdom. As I entered, I laid next to him in his bed and we started to talk, me looking for an opening to enter into my diatribe.

I just opened with, “How are you?” At this point, my son started to weep loudly. He asked me, “Dad, why do I keep sinning when I don’t want to sin? Why do I keep being so stupid when I know that I should obey?”

Taken back, I went to Romans 7. But, before I could, he said, “Why don’t you just tell me what you think, why do you always talk about the Bible and what it says?”

I simply asked him, “Who knows all things?”

Caleb: God

Me: Does daddy know everything?

Caleb (quickly responds): No.

Me: Isn’t it better to hear what God says about things instead of daddy?

Caleb: Yes.

Me: Where does God tell us about things?

Caleb: The Bible

I proceeded to tell him about Paul’s dilemma in Romans 7, and that the only reason that Paul had any hope was because he repented and believed in Jesus.

Caleb then stated, “But I really hate my sin!”

Me: Who else hates sin, even more than you do?

Caleb: God

Me: What did God do because he hated sin so much? Who did he send for us and what did He do?

Caleb: He sent Jesus to die on the cross

Me: Exactly

Caleb: But, why would God send Jesus who never sinned to die for me when I sin all the time?

Me: We aren’t completely sure why, but we do know that God loved us so much that he did. We also know that God did it because it glorified him most. Isn’t that amazing news? That you don’t deserve Jesus to die for you, but that God loved you so much that Jesus did die for you?

Caleb: Well…yeah!

Me: Speaking of your sin and you wanting to do good instead of sin, can you do anything apart from Jesus?

Caleb: No.

Me: Is your heart dirty or clean?

Caleb: Dirty. But, I want it to be clean!

Me: Do you want to ask Jesus to clean your heart?

Caleb: Well yeah, but tomorrow I will just sin again…am I supposed to just keep praying every day that Jesus would clean my heart and forgive me?

Me: Exactly. Caleb, know that a prayer won’t make you perfect. Is daddy perfect?

Caleb: No.

Me: Right. Daddy asks for Jesus to forgive his sins all the time and asks for Jesus to give him power over sin, but I still sin. We aren’t perfect, but with a clean heart given to us by God, through Jesus, we can then have the power by the Holy Spirit to do good things that please Jesus. But, the cool thing is that when we sin, we can go to Jesus and we can ask him to clean our heart and forgive us.

Would you like to thank Jesus for dying for you and ask him to clean your heart?

Caleb: Yes, should we do it right now?

Me: Yes. Go ahead, I’ll just listen…you can pray to Jesus and talk to him

At this point, Caleb thanked God and Jesus for all that they had done. He asked Jesus to clean his heart. In all, Caleb and I spent a little over an hour speaking about the things of God and the cross of Jesus Christ.

A couple of weeks ago, our church announced that they would be doing a baptism and said that if anyone else desired to be baptized that we should get in contact with them. I ended up meeting with one of our pastors and told him about Caleb. I told him that in past churches I have attended that they would never allow, or be very skeptical, of a 7 year old saying that he repented and turned to Jesus.

He simply asked, “What are we waiting for in baptism? Are we going to wait until we see enough good works before they get baptized? That’s not grace, that’s legalism. In the Bible, they never wait to see good works, but they based the baptism on the profession of faith because of grace, not on the good works of the individual.”

I completely agree. We cannot withhold baptism because we haven’t seen enough good works. We must understand that to withhold because of works, we don’t portray the goodness of the gospel, but the gracelessness of moralism.

My son even mentioned, “I shouldn’t get baptized because I am too young.” He then mentioned our previous church (this is not mentioned to be hateful to my last church in anyway...this is jus what my son picked up) and said, “They wouldn’t let me get baptized, so I’ll just wait until I am older.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, and how much he had caught on. I quickly corrected him and we spoke of the gospel and then we read passages concerning baptism and I asked him, “Do you want to be baptized?” He quickly responded, “Yes.”

The past week, my son at the age of 7 was baptized. He professed, through his tears (probably my fault as I cried while introducing Caleb) his faith in his own words and we celebrated. My wife asked him what he thought and he said, “I’ll never forget this day.”

So, on February 14th, 2010, my son preached his first public sermon in the proclamation of what Jesus did on his behalf both in words and in the visual of baptism. From this day, I will continue to seek out what it means to be a repentant person in Christ and instill that in my son.

My wife and I have been praying for this before Caleb was born and entrusted him to Jesus. This entrusting doesn't end here, as we don't truly know if he is saved (as we as humans don't know who is truly a part of the invisible church), but continues from here and our job is to nurture his growth in grace through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The verse that Caleb read at his baptism, that he asks to read every night before bed (which has caused him to memorize it on "accident") is found in 2 Corinthians 7:10

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Soli Deo Gloria.


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this Seth, it's a beautiful story.

Anonymous said...

This is incredibly awesome. Thank you so much for sharing. It encourages me with my own children, the oldest of whom is 8. I pray that God will grant me the wisdom to teach them, but most of all that they will see the ugliness of sin and the beauty of God.

Thanks again.

SnatchedFromTheFire said...

Hallelujah! I fully agree that there is no age limit for the effectual calling and while time will tell the veracity of his conversion i think it is right and fitting that a child who God gives eyes to see the ugliness of their sin and the goodness of God, be baptized. From your story is sounds totally un-coerced and simply his young faith expressed in word and action. So awesome! May the Spirit ignite all the 'kindling' we place on the altar of their lives and grant them true repentance and faith. amen.

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