Children of the Congregation

Blog & Mablog | 1/19/2019 | Douglas Wilson
Kaliela101 (Posted by) Level 3
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INTRODUCTION:

As Reformed Christians, we naturally think in terms of covenants. We do this when thinking about our salvation, and the covenant of grace, and we also do it when it comes to some of our horizontal relationships—we have a rich understanding, for example, of the covenant of marriage. And related to marriage, we also think of the family in covenantal terms. We are covenant families; our children are covenant children. This means that when our children are brought into the faith, they are introduced into the universal church. But they also individuals who, for the most part, grow up in a particular congregation (this one), and this has additional ramifications. They are not just brought to the faith. They are brought to a particular church, and they grow up to maturity within the church.

TEXT

THE TEXT:

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).

SUMMARY - THE - TEXT

SUMMARY OF THE TEXT:

This passage is one that is very familiar to us, having been appealed to regularly as we have urged and argued for the necessity of a Christian education for Christian kids. Fathers are here instructed not to provoke their children, which is something that fathers are prone to do (v. 4). In addition, as you have been told many times, the word translated nurture here is paideia. This paideia of the Lord is, of necessity, an all-encompassing reality. Our word education doesn’t begin to touch it. This word actually represents the profound experience of enculturation. The other word, admonition, could also be translated as instruction. Christian kids need a Christian education; the apostle requires that they be reared in an environment dominated by the Word of God.

Interest - Today - Verb

That said, my interest today is with the verb rendered as “bring [them] up.” The...
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