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Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

-Matthew 18:14

So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My lambs.

-John 21:15

 

Read Mark 10:13-14:

And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them: and His disciples rebuked those that brought them.
But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Does Jesus' teaching promote the inclusion or exclusion of children from His covenantpromise, church, and kingdom? Does man have the right to exclude those whom God includes? Why not?

If God includes children in the church in heaven, are they to . be excluded from the church on earth?

disciples against excluding them. " And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them: and His disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them" (Mark 10:13-16). The New Testament epistles are all addressed to the various church congregations and contain numerous references to children, e.g., II John 1, Ephesians 1:1 and 6:1-3, and Colossians 1:2 and 3:20.

As members of God's church, the children of the church bore the visible mark of this relationship in both Testaments -circumcision in the Old and baptism in the New. The core, heart, and essence of God's church, promise, and covenant are inward, spiritual, and invisible, as they pertain to the Church Invisible. Therefore the deepest significance of circumcision and baptism are also spiritual -they portray cleansing from sin and consecration to God. However, as God's church, promise, and covenant also have an outward and visible manifestation, so circumcision and baptism do also -they distinguish those who are born into an outward relationship to God's church and covenant (the Church Visible), those who are to be brought up under God's Word and promise from those outside of these blessings. Paul writes of this dual -outward and inward -relationship to God's church and covenant, as follows, "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God" (Romans 2:28-3:2).

4.God's command to place His covenant sign and mark of distinction upon the children as well as the adult members of His church. When establishing His covenant with Abraham and his children, God firmly commanded that every baby boy that was born or brought into an Israelite family had to be circumcised. If not, that soul would be cut off from His people. "And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep My covenant therefore, thou, and thy


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