A Solemnizing and Galvanizing Recovery


“It is imperative that the doctrine of covenant succession be recovered in our churches. Its loss has deeply diminished the church’s appreciation of and wonder over the liberality and perfection of divine grace. Further, the appropriation by faith of this divine promise and summons is the means appointed to furnish the church with generation after generation of great multitudes of Christian servants and soldiers who reach manhood and womanhood well taught, sturdy in the faith, animated by love for God and man, sophisticated in the ways of the world and the Devil, polished in the manners of genuine Christian brotherhood, overshadowed by the specter of the Last Day, nerved to deny themselves and take up their cross so as to be counted worthy of greater exploits for Christ and Kingdom. Presently the church not only suffers a terrible shortage of such other-worldly and resolute Christians, superbly prepared for spiritual warfare, but, in fact, is hemorrhaging its children into the world. Christian evangelism will never make a decisive difference in our culture when it amounts merely to an effort to replace losses due to widespread desertion from our own camp. The gospel will always fail to command attention and carry conviction when large numbers of those who grow up under its influence are observed abandoning it for the world…inscribing the doctrine of covenant succession upon the heart of family and church must have a wonderfully solemnizing and galvanizing effect. It will set Christian parents seriously to work on the spiritual nurture of their children, equipping them and requiring them to live the life of covenant faith and duty to which their God and Savior called them at the headwaters of life. And, ever conscious of the greater effect of parental example, they will forsake the easy way, shamelessly and joyfully to live a life of devotion and obedience which adorns and enables the faith in the eyes of their children. This they will do, who embrace the Bible’s doctrine, lest the Lord on the Great Day should say to them: ‘You took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them to idols.'”

from “The Presbyterian Doctrines of Covenant Children, Covenant Nurture and Covenant Succession” by Robert S. Rayburn


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