Marriage Glue

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,

There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not,

Thy compassions, they fail not;

As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

—Thomas O. Chisholm (1866-1960)

By Dave Alberts

This old hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” reminds us of the faithfulness of our God towards us. God’s faithfulness never changes. Likewise in marriage, faithfulness is exceedingly important – even when we see much unfaithfulness during this day in which we live.

Trusting in God’s plan for our lives is vital. When a Christian man and woman are doing so and are brought together for marriage, they must realize that God has faithfully brought them to each other. He knows the need we have to be loved and to love. When God instituted marriage it was because He saw that it was not good for man to be alone, so He created a helpmate perfectly fit for him (Gen. 2:18).

God’s way of providing a helpmate for Adam was to take a rib from Adam’s side in order to create his wife, Eve. The rib came from near Adam’s heart so he would love and cherish her as his own body. She was taken from under his arm that he might protect and provide for her. His helpmate was taken from his side to stand by him in all that life involves. This is still what God intends for marriage today. God has not changed His pattern from that very first marriage.

Our God went on to say in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (KJV). It is very beautiful to see how God faithfully takes two individuals and molds them into one. It is much more than just a physical union – it is a spiritual and emotional one as well. The word “cleave” in this verse really means to “cling to” or be “glued” together. Let’s consider four things that will help keep your marriage “glued” together.

1. LOOK To The Needs Of Each Other 
The first thing is to look for how you can meet the needs of your spouse. Scripture says in Philippians 2:4, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” As an unmarried individual you only needed to see that your own needs were met. Now as a married man your responsibility as stated in Ephesians 5 is to love, nourish and cherish your wife as much as you would care for yourself. This means putting her needs above your own. As a wife you need to willingly and lovingly submit to your husband’s leadership. Look for ways you can encourage him in his responsibilities.

Both of you must look for ways to meet the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of your spouse. Meeting emotional needs means being available to your spouse with understanding and love during the ups and downs of life. Spiritual needs are met through reading Scripture together and seeking to help each other apply it to your life. The intimacy that God says is honorable in marriage should be shared freely and enjoyed with your spouse to meet the physical needs. Look up to God in prayer together and alone that He may show you how to meet these needs.

2. LISTEN Carefully 
Listen! Good communication is so important in marriage and it starts with listening carefully to each other. In James 1:19 God says, “Wherefore, My beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” It has been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth so we would listen twice as much as we speak. Listening means that we focus on what our spouse is telling us and act on it. What is being communicated may be verbal as well as nonverbal. For men the nonverbal can be more difficult, so we need to look as well as listen.

Don’t let the busyness of life take away from the time that you share your hearts with each other. Always be open and honest with one another and create a relationship where there is trust and no fear to tell each other your thoughts. When there are misunderstandings, resolve them quickly and lovingly.

3. LOVE Sacrificially 
The third thing is to love as God describes in 1 Corinthians 13: “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” If you aren’t able to remember all these things, at least remember the first two: “Love suffers long and is kind.”

In your marriage you will need patience and kindness. Kindness includes being willing to say, “I was wrong.” It means you are willing to forgive each other as Christ also has forgiven you. This love is a sacrificial love that always puts God and our spouse above ourselves. How can you fulfil this love toward each other? 

As believers in the Lord Jesus you each have the Holy Spirit living in you. Galatians 5 reminds us that the first feature of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love. If He is in control, His love will be seen. Beside this love there will also be in your marriage the added benefit of joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I’m sure these are things we would all desire in our marriages, so let the Holy Spirit be in control.

4. LIVE Abundantly 
Lastly, live abundantly the life the Lord Jesus desires for you to live together. He said in John 10 that He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. This means seeking together to serve Him and follow His leading in your marriage. Read His Word together to hear His voice. Enjoy one another fully – laughing together, crying together and serving others together. And spend time in recreational activities together.

I encourage both of you, husband and wife, to look to the needs of each other, listen carefully, love sacrificially and live abundantly. In doing so, God will be faithful to keep you “glued together.”

Remember: the vows of commitment you expressed at your wedding were before God, who has been faithful to you. By being faithful to Him and fulfilling those vows as God expects of you, He will abundantly bless you and make you a blessing to others. There are many couples who can testify to God’s faithfulness to bless because they were faithful to their vows and to Him. May you be counted together in that number!

How To be a Godly Woman

By Tom and Susan Steere

First, we must recognize that “today’s world” is really no different from the “world” that ever was or will be until the Lord reigns on earth. Cultures may be different, but we all live in the same world. Technology has definitely changed over time, but the heart of mankind has not. The reply to God in the heart of men and women is similar, regardless of culture or technology. 

With that said, let’s see what we can learn from the responses of a few women in the Bible who were women of faith, devotion and meekness.

Women Of Faith 
Who comes to mind when considering women of faith in the Bible? There are many to choose from, like Rahab of Jericho who is mentioned in three places in the New Testament (Mt. 1:5; Heb. 11:31; Jas. 2:25). Sarah, wife of Abraham, is set forth as an example in the great chapter of faith, Hebrews 11, as are Moses’ mother and “women who received their dead raised to life again” (Heb. 11:11,23,35). Then, too, the unfeigned faith of Timothy’s grandmother Lois and mother Eunice brought joy and thanksgiving to the heart of God’s apostle, Paul (2 Tim. 1:5). Let’s consider a few women.

They Do Not Fear Man 
Our first example is Rahab, a prostitute in the corrupt city of Jericho. Taking an opportunity God must have set before her, Rahab the harlot hid the Israelite spies from the king of Jericho who would have killed them. This act of treason might be condemned if it were not for the just judgment of God against her wicked city. Rahab considered the condemnation of God greater than the condemnation of man so she aided these men at the risk of her own life. She openly acknowledged the Lord their God as “God in heaven above, and in earth beneath” (Josh. 2:11 KJV). Rahab put her faith immediately into action by tying in her window the red cord the spies gave her that very day (Josh. 2:21), even though the actual judgment was at least a month away. How often she must have checked to make sure that little scarlet cord was still safely there! For her faith she is recorded with the faithful in Hebrews 11. In fact, in James 2 she is mentioned on equal footing with Abraham, the father of all who have faith in God (Rom. 4:16). Rahab is an example of everyone who puts his or her trust in the blood of Christ and the Word of God. She also takes her place in the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1, her former life never being mentioned. Quite a woman who had faith in the great God!

What are a few things we may learn from Rahab?

  • God accepts anyone who comes to Him in faith.
  • He will never hold our past life against us.
  • Our faith should manifest itself in action.
  • God will protect and exalt those who have faith in Him.

They Do Not Fear Circumstances 
Abraham’s wife Sarah grieved over her infertility as do many women today. After she was too old to think of bearing children, God repeated His promise that Sarah herself would bear Abraham a son. Sarah at first laughed at the thought of ever bearing any children, but she must have repented for Hebrews 11:11 says she received strength to conceive seed. Many women in those days feared childbirth as it could easily mean death from complications or infection. Being ninety years old must have compounded those fears. She could also have refused to have relations with her aged husband, fearing discomfort, inconvenience, frustration or ridicule. Sarah faced those fears and received the strength she needed because she judged Him faithful who had made the promise. She was rewarded with her beloved son Isaac, the father of Israel.

Another example is Jochebed in Exodus 2. She and her husband were not afraid of Pharaoh’s command that every baby boy must be thrown into the river. She used her creativity to place a waterproof basket between the river and her precious child as she obeyed the king’s command. She was rewarded for that fearlessness by being paid wages by Pharaoh’s household to rear her own son, Moses.

Today, God exhorts women of faith to love their husbands and their children. This is not always easy as daily life becomes trying and personalities clash. Nevertheless, let us be sure we have the priority in our lives that God desires, no matter what our circumstances may be. God “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20-21)!

They Hold On To The Promises Of God 
Two women in the Old Testament saw their sons raised from the dead: the woman of Zarephath, by Elijah (1 Ki. 17:8-22) and the Shunammite woman, by Elisha (2 Ki. 4:18-37). Both of these women came to the men of God in great consternation [dismay or distress] for the death of their beloved sons because God had promised life to them. Did they give up in despair when tested? No, they came to God, the Source of all life, and were rewarded with the restoration of their children. God has not often done miracles of this kind, but we may rest assured that if we are tried as these mothers were, He will hear our cries with pity and is able to send comfort in His own time and way. Disease, accident, even random violence may separate our children from us through death. But if we, as parents, and our children trust Christ (or by the Lord’s mercy toward young children) we may rejoice with confidence that we will see them again and that they now are rejoicing with Him.

Women of faith, fearless of man and of their circumstances, hold to the promises of God!

Women Of Devotion 
When it comes to dedication and devotion, who comes to mind – Ruth, Hannah, Mary the mother of Jesus, Anna, Mary who anointed the Lord’s feet with that expensive ointment, or Dorcas? The common thread among these women, young and old, single, engaged, married or widowed, was that they kept one object in view without being sidetracked by the things of this world.

Ruth, a young widow, did not return to her family and former friends among the ungodly Moabites, nor did she follow after attractive young men, but she trusted in the God of Israel to provide a loving husband for her. She stayed under the protective wings of the One in whom she had come to trust. Ruth’s object was a relationship with her kinsman redeemer, who turned out to be Boaz. He was a wealthy man who must have been much older than she, but who gladly redeemed her even though she was a Moabite. What a beautiful picture this is of Christ’s redemption of ungodly sinners!

Hannah, like Sarah, dealt with infertility and consequent ridicule, but her devotion and desire for a child who would serve the LORD were rewarded with a son, Samuel. She followed through with her promise and willingly gave him to the service of the LORD, even as a little boy. God then blessed her with five more children, and Samuel became a great prophet (1 Sam. 1-2).

Mary, of course, was the chosen vessel to carry the Baby who would be “called the Son of the Highest” (Lk. 1:32). She was willing to be the handmaid of the Lord so she became the fulfillment of the 700 year old prophecy: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14) – Immanuel meaning “God with us.” She accepted this calling gladly, even though it meant disgrace before people who would misunderstand her pregnancy while still just engaged and not yet married. She was nearly put away by her fiancé, Joseph, for what appeared to be her unfaithfulness to him before their wedding. Yet God sent an angel to explain the situation, providing through Joseph protection for Mary and a legal connection to the throne of David for her child. Mary was highly favored by God and is highly honored today (Mt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:26-56, 2:1-20).

Dorcas of Joppa was evidently an older, single woman since no family was mentioned among the mourners at her death. Her single-minded dedication toward the needy around her resulted in many widows’ devotion to her. They appealed to Peter who raised her from the dead. God’s eye is even on the sparrows – little, devalued creatures in the eyes of the world – and He will reward those who serve Him in humbleness (Acts 9:36-42; Mt. 10:29-31).

Anna, a widow for 84 years who must have been more than 100 years old [or a widow 84 years old], spent her time and energy devoting herself to fasting and prayer in the temple. She was rewarded by being an eyewitness to the redemption of Israel, embodied in the tiny child Jesus, and she became one of the first to spread the good news that God’s promised Redeemer had come (Lk. 2:36-38).

The attitude of these women can be summarized by the words of Mary in Luke 1:38: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to Thy word.” Ladies, do you accept the word of the Lord in your lives? Can you accept, especially in our days of extreme feminism, God’s way for you? Are you willing to submit yourselves, not to man’s domineering, but to the Lord’s word, spoken through the apostles in passages like 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 and 14:34-37, 1 Timothy 2:9-15, Titus 2:3-5, and 1 Peter 3:1-6? Are you dedicated to following His Word? If you are, you may be described by our final theme of godly women.

Women Of Meekness 
Meekness can be defined as power under control for another’s benefit. Women hold a large amount of power in the family, in relationships and in the church. Their influence on the people around them is tremendous. Without meekness that same power can cause much heartache. Consider Eve who chose to act in independence from her husband and gave that forbidden fruit to Adam to eat. His choice to follow along with her plunged our race into perpetual sin and made our redemption necessary (see Genesis 3 and Romans 5:12-21). We thank God that there have been many women since who have acted in a “meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (1 Pet. 3:4). The passage in First Peter specifically mentions Sarah, the wife of Abraham. Just at the time her faith faltered concerning having a child, she called Abraham “lord” (Gen. 18:12). Her meekness saved the day, as it were, so she could eventually lay hold on God’s promises and find strength from Him to bear a child at such an elderly age.

If your faith falters and devotion is slipping, remember to be meek and quiet. Commit yourself to God, and He will help you to grow in fearless devotion and to be strong in faith.

Engagement And Marriage For The Christian

Editor’s Note: A few points in this article may not be viewed as suitable for young children.
If reading to a family, it may be wise to review the article first.

By Eugene P. Vedder, Jr.

Engagement And Marriage
From beginning to end God’s Word speaks much about marriage. It makes clear the sanctity of marriage, for marriage was instituted by God in the Garden of Eden before our first parents sinned and was designed by Him for the blessing and joy of mankind. Marriage is also a lovely earthly picture to help us understand the relationship between Christ and the Assembly (Church). Ephesians 5:22-33 makes this very clear.

Scripture does not say much about engagement, the period of commitment immediately prior to the consummation of a marriage. But God’s Word definitely recognizes engagement, sometimes referred to as betrothal. Customs and practices in regard to engagement vary in different parts of the world. However, what is important for Christians is what God says in His Word.

In the western world two people may decide they want to get married and they then make this known by getting engaged. Sadly enough, in this ungodly world often a man and a woman simply begin living together and then perhaps later decide to get married. This is, of course, absolutely contrary to God’s will for mankind. No matter how commonplace it has become or how it is glamorized in the world, before God this is sin, and God’s Word speaks of it as fornication.

At the time the Bible was written engagement was normally a matter arranged by the parents or families of the couple. This pattern is still followed in many cultures today. It makes sense to the extent that parents normally have acquired experience in married life that their young people do not have, but it has serious, potential drawbacks too. Marriage is probably the second most important decision an individual has to make in his or her life, second only to accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior and Lord. The will of God must be paramount in our lives!

Strictly speaking, at least for Christians, engagement is a matter of a man and a woman committing themselves before God to marry one another (we emphasize, a man and a woman, for God’s Word does not recognize any other relationship as marriage, regardless of men’s laws or court rulings). The period of engagement is the final time for them to prepare themselves for marriage. Their love will be growing and they will want to be together, but they must exercise care to keep pure, avoiding all intimate contact for God has reserved the joys of this pleasure for the married couple.

If during the engagement either individual should find that he or she does not feel free before God to enter into a lifelong exclusive oneness with the other, this is the time to end the relationship, heartbreaking as this may be. Both God’s Word and practical life experience demonstrate the awful disaster that a wrong marriage can be for husband, wife, children and even the families and friends of both partners.

Some Scriptural Examples, Pro And Con 
In Genesis 24 we see Abraham concerned about a wife for his son Isaac and sending his oldest servant to find one suited for him. He gave careful instructions as to where he should go and what kind of woman would not be suitable. Upon arriving where he was sent, the servant prayed for direction and eventually negotiated with the family of Rebekah. The family agreed that the match was of God, and Rebekah personally said, “I will go,” when asked whether she would go with the man. The family blessed Rebekah as she left. Arriving home, the servant told Isaac all that he had done. The marriage was consummated and Isaac loved Rebekah. Many today would have problems with such an arranged marriage, but this is the first marriage we read of after the original instance where God made and brought Adam his bride. Furthermore, in many of its details this story is a beautiful picture of His Bride, now being procured [taken] and prepared for our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the case of Esau we see him taking wives for himself that were a grief to his parents (Gen. 26:34-35). There is no word as to an engagement or even of his parents being consulted about whom he married. He took two Canaanite wives to begin with, and a daughter of Ishmael as a third wife when his parents were grieved because of the first two wives (Gen. 28:6-9). Nothing is said about his parents being involved in any of his decisions.

Isaac and Rebekah sent Jacob to his Uncle Laban to take a wife of his daughters (Gen. 28:1-5). Jacob went with his parents’ blessing but made his own arrangements (Gen. 29), ending up with both of Laban’s daughters plus their maidservants as his wives. Jacob worked seven years for Rachel whom he loved, he was deceived by his uncle who gave him Leah, and then he worked seven more years for Rachel. We see the disorder and strife that polygamy brings as we consider Jacob’s messy family life.

In Genesis 34, after Jacob’s daughter Dinah was humbled by Shechem, he and his father came to Jacob to arrange for Shechem to marry Dinah. Jacob’s sons came in from the field and involved themselves in the negotiations for this marriage. Shechem was noted as being honorable above all in the house of his father. But Jacob’s sons Simeon and Levi were treacherous and killed Shechem, his father and all the males in their city. Thus the engagement was broken and no marriage occurred.

Judah in Genesis 38 acted shamefully and entirely on his own – first in having a Canaanite as a close friend, then in taking a Canaanite wife. His shame continued in looking for a prostitute and later in almost having his daughter-in-law burned for her pregnancy for which he was responsible.

Deuteronomy gives us a restatement of the Law God gave to Israel. Galatians shows us clearly that we Christians are not under that Mosaic Law, yet there are many things we can learn from it. Several times, and especially in Deuteronomy 22, we find God making a distinction between a woman who was married, a woman who was engaged, and one who was not engaged and thus not married. We see that the penalty for lying with a man’s wife – what we would term adultery – was more severe than for the rape of an unmarried young woman. The penalty for raping an engaged woman was more severe than if she was not engaged. Thus God clearly differentiates between non-engaged women, engaged women and married women. The distinctions God makes show us plainly that engagement is not a light thing in His holy eyes.

How sad to read of Samson’s engagement and subsequent wedding in Judges 14. “She pleases me well” or the converse is still the criterion for many an engagement and wedding in the world today. Insistent self will, putting pressure on parents, acting against God’s expressed will, keeping secrets from parents and spouses, marrying out of the will of God, making worldly friendships, following customs of the world – all these things are integral to [essential parts of] the lives of all too many, even Christians.

Turning to the New Testament we find in its very first chapter an engaged couple, Joseph and Mary. Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant. He was called her husband although they were not yet married and Mary was still a virgin, something Luke also emphasizes. Matthew 1 calls Joseph an honorable man and says that he was not willing to expose Mary publicly, so he wanted to break the engagement secretly. God’s angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, telling Him not to fear to take Mary as his wife for the child she was bearing was by the Holy Spirit, and this Son would save His people from their sins. Inspired, Matthew added that all this was according to prophecy, which he then cited. So we see that under normal circumstances Joseph could have broken the engagement, but that it took a message given by an angel in a dream to keep him from doing this.

The apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11 spoke of espousing (engaging) the believers at Corinth to Christ. He wanted to present them as a chaste virgin to Christ, but they were listening to false teachers and thus being unfaithful to Him. He regarded this as a very serious issue. We, indeed, are in a period of engagement waiting for our Lord to come and take us to Himself. After this the marriage supper of the Lamb can be celebrated for which the Bride has made herself ready (Rev. 19). 

Dissolving An Engagement 
These passages from both the Old Testament and New Testament show clearly that engagement and marriage are not the same in the eyes of God. Engagement is a solemn commitment which should never be taken lightly, but there are circumstances under which an engagement can be broken. One of these would be fornication on the part of either the woman or the man. Also if two individuals are engaged and one is a believer and the other is not, the believer should not marry the unbeliever. Scripture tells us that our “yes” should be yes and our “no,” no. But we must obey God; and there are circumstances where we need to humble ourselves, recognizing that in getting engaged we have failed by making a wrong decision or agreement. In such a case we should humble ourselves before the Lord, confessing that what we have done is wrong rather than making the matter worse by entering into a marriage that would bind us for a lifetime in a relationship that is contrary to the will of God. These are not the only reasons that would warrant dissolving an engagement.

When it comes to wanting to dissolve an engagement simply because one feels that he or she loves someone else more, this must be seriously weighed before the Lord. Do not enter into marriage lightly! God tells the husband to love his wife (Eph. 5:25,28,33) and the wife to love her husband (Ti. 2:4). Beware of entering into a marriage if your heart is taken up with someone else rather than the person you are engaged to marry! When a person is engaged he or she should be looking forward to married life with the one they are engaged and not be occupied with someone else.

In Conclusion 
Many other factors may enter into the matter of engagement and marriage: wealth or poverty, education or illiteracy, unity of faith or lack of this, health, goals in life, family, social or cultural pressures and so much more. But the most important thing for Christians is that both the man and the woman must be firmly convinced that the engagement and the marriage before them is truly the Lord’s direction and will. If such is not the case, the marriage will be a prospective disaster. It would be better to break off the engagement and relationship than to have to live in a marriage not of God the rest of one’s life – or to break such a marriage by divorce, which is something God hates (Mal. 2:16). Divorce is not in God’s plan for marriage for it completely spoils the picture of Christ and the Assembly, which human marriage is meant to portray. May the Lord be seen in all that we do!

Teaching Children Their Need Of A Savior

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

By Charles H. Spurgeon; adapted from the sermon, “The Blood of Sprinkling and the Children.”

Let’s spend a short time looking at the institution that was connected with the remembrance of the Passover. “It shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? that ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s passover” (Ex. 12:26-27). 

Inquiry should be aroused in the minds of our children. Oh, that we could get them to ask questions about the things of God! Some of them inquire very early while others seem diseased with much the same indifference as older folks. We have to deal with both orders of mind. It is good for our children to observe often the Lord’s Supper, and for us as parents to explain to them the meaning of this ordinance for it shows forth the death of Christ. The Lord’s Supper should be placed in view of the rising generation that they may then ask us, “What mean ye by this?” 

Now, the Lord’s Supper is a perpetual gospel sermon and it dwells mainly upon the sacrifice for sin. You cannot explain that broken bread and that cup filled with the fruit of the vine without reference to our Lord’s atoning death. You cannot explain “the communion of the body of Christ” without bringing in, in some form or other, the death of Jesus in our place and stead. Let your little ones, then, see the Lord’s Supper and let them be told most clearly what it sets forth. Dwell much and often in their presence upon the sufferings and death of our Redeemer. Let them think of Gethsemane, Gabbatha (Jn. 19:13) and Golgotha; and let them learn to sing in plaintive [mournful] tones of Him who laid down His life for us. Tell them Who it was that suffered, and why. 

When attention is focused upon the best of themes, let us be ready to explain the great transaction by which God is just and yet sinners are justified. Children can well understand the doctrine of the atoning sacrifice; it was meant to be a gospel for the youngest. The gospel of substitution is a simplicity, though it is a mystery. We ought not to be content until our little ones know and trust in their finished Sacrifice. This is essential knowledge and the key to all other spiritual teaching. If our dear children know the cross, they will have begun well. With all their “gettings” may they get an understanding of this, and they will have the foundation rightly laid. 

This will necessitate your teaching the child his need of a Savior. You must not hold back from this needful task. Do not flatter the child with misleading rubbish about his nature being good and needing to be developed. Tell him he must be born again. Don’t bolster him up with the fancy of his own innocence, but show him his sin. Mention the childish sins to which he is prone and pray the Holy Spirit to work conviction in his heart and conscience.

Deal with the young in much the same way as you would with the old. Be thorough and honest with them. Flimsy religion is neither good for young nor old. These boys and girls need pardon through the precious blood as surely as any of us. Do not hesitate to tell the child his ruin; he will not else desire the remedy. Tell him also of the punishment of sin and warn him of its terror. Be tender, but be true. Do not hide from the youthful sinner the truth, however terrible it may be. Set before him the coming judgment and remind him that he will have to give an account of himself to God.

Labor to arouse the conscience; and pray God the Holy Spirit to work by you until the heart becomes tender and the mind perceives the need of the great salvation. Children need to learn the doctrine of the cross that they may find immediate salvation. Believe that God will save your children. Do not be content to sow principles in their minds which may possibly develop in later years; but be working for immediate conversion.

Expect fruit in your children while they are children. Pray for them that they may not run into the world and fall into the evils of outward sin, and then come back with broken bones to the Good Shepherd. Seek from the Lord that your children may by God’s rich grace be kept from the paths of the destroyer and grow up in the fold of Christ, first as lambs of His flock and then as sheep of His hand. 

One thing I am sure of is that if we teach the children the doctrine of the atonement in the most unmistakable terms, we shall be doing ourselves good. I sometimes hope that God will revive His Church and restore her to her ancient faith by a gracious work among children. If He would bring into our churches a large influx of young people, how it would tend to liven the sluggish blood of the inactive and sleepy! Child Christians tend to keep the house alive. Oh, for more of them! 

If the Lord will but help us to teach the children we shall be teaching ourselves. There is no way of learning like teaching, and you do not know a thing until you can teach it to another. More so, you do not thoroughly know any truth until you can put it before a child so that he can see it. In trying to make a little child understand the doctrine of the atonement you will get clearer views of it yourself. Therefore I commend the holy exercise to you. What a mercy it will be if our children are thoroughly grounded in the doctrine of redemption by Christ! If they are warned against the false gospels of this evil age and if they are taught to rest on the eternal rock of Christ’s finished work, we may hope to have a generation following us which will maintain the faith and will be better than their fathers.

Atonement – ExodusThe Old Testament sacrifices never removed man’s sin; it was “impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb. 10:4). The Israelite’s offering implied confession of sin and recognized its due penalty as death; and God passed over his sin in anticipation of Christ’s sacrifice which did, finally, put away those sins “previously committed” [in Old Testament times] (Heb. 9:15,26). 
Propitiation – RomansThe lid of the ark (mercy seat) was sprinkled with atoning blood on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:14), representing that the righteous sentence of the law had been executed, changing a place of judgment into a place of mercy (Heb. 9:11-15). Propitiation is not placating a vengeful God, but it is satisfying the righteousness of a holy God, thereby making it possible for Him to show mercy righteously.—C. I. Scofield