Piper on Addressing Justification By Faith Alone in Christ Alone with Your Children

“And to make it more pointed, mothers – and all those charged with training up the younger ones in the family and the church – are we teaching the Old Testament and the New Testament to make our children wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? The emphasis is on “faith in Jesus Christ”! Or are we turning the Scriptures into a collection of little morality plays? Do the stories of the Bible point again and again to the need for a Savior or do they point only to the need for you to get your moral act together? Are children getting the impression that Christianity is mainly a list of do’s and don’ts or mainly the story of how God justifies the ungodly through the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Are they getting the impression that the foundation of their acceptance with God is their good behavior or the perfect behavior and death and resurrection of Jesus received by faith alone? Are they learning to win God’s favor by a righteousness they perform, or by a righteousness that Christ performed for their sake?

Or to make the question more complete, and draw in the larger issue of how the obedience of believers – their sanctification – relates to their justification, we ask: Are the children learning from us that the practical, personal obedience God requires of believers is the way to become a justified person or the way a justified person becomes? When you tell a child to do something, and insist on his obedience – which you should – are you leading the child to think that his good behavior is the root that grows into justification, or a fruit that flows from justification by faith alone? Are we helping the children see saving faith both as the way we have Christ’s righteousness as the basis of our acceptance with God, and as the way we have Christ’s power to become like him in daily life? Are we keeping both those things together but in the right order: faith in Christ as the link first to his perfection and pardon, and second as to his purifying power – the one for justification (his perfection and pardon), and the other for sanctification (his purifying power)? The same faith linking us to Christ for both.”

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