The Bible teaches accountability (Acts 10:34-35)
The Bible does not teach inherited sin; the age of accountability does not occur at birth. (Ezekiel 18:20)
When does one become accountable?
Is there a chronological age?
If there is no certain age, how can one know when one is held accountable for their sins?
Knowledge of good and evil
Capable of believing, repenting, and confessing
Able to understand abstract ideas forgiveness, eternal life, sin, guilt
Able to realize the consequences of their choices and actions
2-year old with a loaded gun
14-year old with a loaded gun
Accountability always involves responsibility
If a young person can explain 1 John 2:15-16, they may have reached a state of responsibility to God.
Joshua 22:22-24 God requires an account
Joshua 22:25-29 Must be done for the right reasons
Psalm 10:13 Some think they are not accountable
Romans 14:10 This accountability is personal
Romans 14:10 It is directed toward God
There comes a time when innocent children mature and their innocence is replaced with accountability.
Knowing that one day they will be accountable:
Teach them Gods plan of salvation
Not memorize 5 steps
Teach them that God has a plan:
God loves them
God wants them to be saved
Jesus came to die in our place
Do not confuse what we know as adults with what children should know
When should parents start this teaching?
2 Timothy 3:15
1 Samuel 2:18
At some point children must accept personal responsibility
At the same time parents must accept that their training is completed.
The child is now responsible for its own actions, choices, and decisions.
Children need forgiveness at birth
Children are evil, lost, depraved the moment of birth
Children are born free from guilt, in a state of innocence
Adults must learn to have a childlike heart
If a child is free from sin, innocent, not guilty Baptism is not needed
Baptism has a purpose
Remission of sins Acts 2:38
Wash away sins Acts 22:16
Without guilt of sin baptism has no value or purpose
When does one reach this age of guilt?
Make a conscious choice to rebel against God
They feel guilt for their decision and action
They know that a correction or change must occur
They understand that without baptism, the guilt will remain
Not a chronological age
Awareness of guilt
Understanding that their choices create guilt
Understanding of some biblical information
No account includes children being baptized
Household baptisms include people with faith
Acts 16:34 Jailer
Acts 10:43 Cornelius
Matthew 3:1-2, 5-6
Repentance was fundamental to the message of John and Jesus
People responded by confessing their sins
In response to their repentance and confession of sins, they were baptized
Afraid wrong motivation for obedience
Seen others feel that it is expected of them
Friends Only one in class not baptized
Family Older family members were baptized at my age
Preachers, Teachers God commands, I want to obey
Trouble, Unstable home Children think that baptism will solve their home troubles, keep the parents together, make the home better
Attention Some want attention
Seek security Baptism is seen as a way to be secure
Over simplified obedience We make sound as if A + B + C = heaven. There is more to being a Christian than faith and baptism.
A 5-year old can memorize the 5 steps
He loves God; He wants to obey God.
Should this 5-year old be baptized?
Nothing to do with conversion, salvation
Nothing to do with repentance
No concept of guilt
How can one be saved if they are not lost?