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biblical teaching

Dedication of our children to God

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Before I became a true believer in God, I would consider the significance of the Jewish New Year, what we call Rosh HaShana (even though it is the 7th month). What is important to us as Jews, and new years in general, also on Gentile calendars? Someone is watching over us and preserving us. Another year of life. I thank God our Father and our Lord Yeshua the Messiah that He is the Watcher over Israel, and the Preserver of our souls! Because He is, our lives are dependent upon Him.

Lk 2:21-23Lev 12:6-8 Joseph and Mary dedicated their baby son, Yeshua, according to the Law of the LORD/YHVH

Becoming parents as believers in the Lord our God, it was a great joy that our first child and daughter (and all the subsequent children) had come into our lives, and that God was with us, that our house was under the grace of the New Covenant. I did not grow up in such a home, but I thank God very much for His hand upon Randi and me. We dedicated our daughter to God in Yeshua’s name as a token of our faith in Him, and in His covenant, and that we were accountable to Him, both in this life, and for the life after.

(Even though as believers in Yeshua/Jesus, we are not under the Law of YHVH given through Moses to Israel at Mt Sinai, there is still much for us to learn and apply in our lives. Dedicating our children after birth is important to God, and should be to us. Even Yeshua/Jesus was dedicated under that Law. In our congregation, we dedicate babies and baptize believers.)

For those who are mothers and fathers, we can testify to the wonder of it all that from virtually nothing visible to the naked eye, a human being comes out in the way that the Creator designed. It is also usually painful for the mother in natural birth, and this, too, is in accord with the Word of YHVH God in the Bible, from before the very first birth of a child, a son to Adam and Eve.

Children are born not only in the image of God, but also in the image of their parents – physically, emotionally, spiritually. (Gen 5:1-3James 3:9) All are born in separation from God due to inherited sin, and each person needs a Savior! Parents are entrusted from our Father in Heaven with the responsibility to train up our children in such a way as to lead them to Messiah/Christ. Only by Him will any of us and our children be restored to the image of God fully in the likeness of His holy and righteous character by the power and life of the blood of

Jesus shed on the cross, and by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God in our lives. This will be fully realized only in our resurrection bodies.

Gen 18:17-19 God spoke of Abraham knowing the way of YHVH before there was the Law of Moses. Just as YHVH God gave His Torah (His teachings, instructions, laws, precepts, judgments) to teach His chosen people and family of their sinful nature, He also gave them to know the consequences of obeying Him with faith, or of disobeying with a bad attitude. Our eternal destiny is the ‘reward’! He wants them to know their need of their heavenly Father’s mercy and grace and love. This is our example for teaching our children in a manner that each of them will come to recognize their need of God’s salvation, but also to want it – to want Him, who is a much better parent than we can ever hope to be! Our heavenly Father is our pattern, and we need His grace to help us bring up our children. He forgives our sins as parents when we do not or can not do all that His Word requires, which He is fully aware of. Yet, we want our children to honor us – for their own good as well as ours – so we must trust the Lord to help us be worthy of their honor and respect. Our Father in Heaven is the perfect Father, yet most of His children by creation and by redemption do not honor Him or really love Him. How sad this is; and He grieves over all those who refuse His love and His promised inheritance. This relieves us as mothers and fathers of a great burden and sense of guilt, and we can take comfort in His love and grace as we seek to know and to do His will in training up our children.

God the Father told Mary and Joseph, through the angel Gabriel, to name their first and unique Son Yeshua, because He would save His people from their sins. That is the meaning of His Name: Savior. So, we too, when choosing names for each of our children, want to realize that the choice of a name imparts identitywho do we want our children to be; what do we want them to be like in their character? We do not want to give our children a name that will embarrass them, or us, but a name that will give them dignity and purpose, that lets them know we love them from the very beginning, and want the best for them in life. (If someone is a prophet, and the Lord gives you to name your child something strange for His own reasons, that is an exception to the rule.)

When we dedicate our children to God about a month after their birth, we are “registering” them with the government of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Kingdom of God, and before witnesses — other brothers and sisters in the faith. We want all honor to go to YHVH God and to His covenant of grace. All of us come into the world with a sinful nature and, therefore, in need of salvation. This truth is taught in both the first and the second covenants. Every person who enters the world contributes and adds to the sin and evil of the world! Parents – mothers and fathers – have a great privilege and responsibility to disciple our children to know the one true living God, and His Son Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah. It is He who baptizes them with the Holy Spirit in new birth from Above when each one repents and believes the gospel. 

Circumcision does not save Jewish males; infant baptism/sprinkling does not save Christian infants. Dedications of our children do not save them either, but it professes faith of the parents (if not done as a mere religious custom) that their children are given to us by God in order for us to grow them in the knowledge of Him. Baptism, if only a ceremonial custom, also does not save anyone, but must be done in faith on the part of the one baptized for who

Yeshua the Messiah is, and what He accomplished through His death, burial, and resurrection for that person to be forgiven of his/her sins and be a new creation. In that case, that new-born believer by the Holy Spirit is dedicating him/herself to God as His son or daughter through faith in His beloved Son, to live worthy of the One who has called us into His kingdom and His glory. They are not dependent on what their parents may or may not have done; the believer being baptized is dedicating their life to God their Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jn 1:10-13 Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah is the true light of all who come into the world. All who seek truth and true identity and purpose for living find them in Him – or else remain in some measure of darkness; for the Light has come into the world. True life is in Messiah/Christ. All people seek to live (unless you are demonized to love death more than life). God has promised that all who believe in the name of His Son, Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah, have eternal life with Him – life which is really life. 

As parents, we dedicate our children to God because we want to teach our children, in the fear of the Lord and by the grace of God, both through instruction, discipline, and by example, that they see and hear that the Word of the true God is our light and life, so that they, too, will want to know personally the Father, and Jesus Christ, whom He sent into the world to call sinners to repentance, and bring them home to their Father in Heaven.

Rev 5:8-14
  8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.” 

11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice:

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:

“Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

14 Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever. 

Howard Bass is the congregation pastor/leader of Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua's Inheritance) in Beer Sheva, Israel.

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