May 14th, 2023
In 1 Corinthians 7:14, the Apostle Paul says that the child of just one believing parent is considered by God to be holy. Paul writes, “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now they are holy.”
Under the Old Covenant, uncleanness spread from father to son, from parents to children. The very act of giving birth made a woman unclean, for 40 days if she bore a son, and 80 days if she bore a daughter. It was only after the days of her impurity that she could enter the sanctuary again and offer sacrifice to God. All of this changed with the coming of Jesus Christ.
Under the New Covenant holiness now spreads from parents to children. If you are a father or a mother, and you are believer, then God declares that your children are holy. They are not holy as in they never sin or never will (as you already well know), but rather they are covenantally holy, that is, they are heirs of God’s promises and therefore rightful recipients of the covenant sign of those promises. Just as Isaac and Ishmael were both circumcised not on the basis of their own faith, but on the basis of Abraham’s faith, so also the children of all those parents who have the same faith as Abraham. For what is baptism and what is circumcision, but signs of the same spiritual reality. As Paul says in Colossians 2:11-12, “In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”
Baptism and circumcision are both signs of death and resurrection, of regeneration and righteousness, of cutting off the old man and putting on the new. Both of these covenant signs seal and declare what God says in 1 Corinthians 7:14, that now you are clean, now you are holy.