God’s Promise for You and Your Kids

Happy Pentecost!

“Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing…Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” (Acts 2:33-39 ESV)

Pentecost is about promise-keeping. The Father gave the Spirit to Jesus and Jesus gave the Spirit to all his people just as he promised.

The promise of the Spirit was poured out for you, that your heart might be circumcised, that you might be washed clean, that your sins might be forgiven, that you might be marked with the sign of the new covenant, that you might be sealed for the day of redemption, so that you might devote yourself to the Lord, to his word, to prayers, and to the fellowship.

And the Spirit was poured out for your children for all the same reasons.

Your children need the gift of the Spirit so that they might grow up in wisdom and stature and favor with God and men — just like Jesus.

They need the gift of the Spirit so that they may be consecrated to the Lord Jesus Christ, and connected to his church, and commune at his table, and be conformed to his image — just like you.

They need the gift of the Spirit so that they might live, move, and exist in the power of the Spirit, not in the weakness of the flesh — just like Jesus.

They need the gift of the Spirit so that they may be saved from this crooked and depraved generation — just like you.

Christ knows that you need the gift of the Spirit; and he knows your children need the gift of the Spirit as much as you do. That is why the gift promised by the Father was poured out by Christ for you and your children on Pentecost.

The Spirit is a gift.

Not for you only, and for your children when they are no longer children.

The Spirit is a gift.

Not for you to enjoy now, but for your children only when they reach some mythical age of reason.

The Spirit is a gift.

Not a prize to dangle in front of your children as a reward for making good decisions and doing the right things.

The Spirit is a gift.

Not a wage earned by virtue of our efforts or works, but a gift received only by virtue of Christ’s mercy and grace.

The Spirit is a gift, and the gift is a promise.

No one in their right mind wants to face the devil, the flesh, or the world alone, armed only with the weakness of their sinful nature. So why we would let our children do that?

Why raise our children as if they were Christians without first letting them become members of Christ’s church — and God’s covenant people?

Why treat our kids as cross-bearers without first having them marked with the sign and seal of the covenant of grace?

Why act as if our children were united to Christ without first letting them become united to Christ by means of the sacrament of baptism?

The Spirit is a gift promised to the youngest, weakest, and neediest of all.

Pentecost is about promise-keeping. The Father gave the Spirit to Jesus and Jesus gave the Spirit for you and your kids just as he promised.

Now, turn your hearts to your children.

Let them be baptized with water. Let them learn the Law and the Gospel. Let them worship God with songs and prayers. Let them trust and obey the Lord. Let them eat and drink at his Table. Let them live, move, and exist in the Spirit. Let them be saved from this crooked and twisted generation. Let them grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. Let them go on mission for the life of the world. Let them receive the gift God promised them.