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I received this question twice

  • "Pastor Tim, …The visual with the 4 squares was so helpful. I have not understood Romans 7 as well reading it on my own. Thank you!! (Weekend of 6/13-14/2015) I have a question about Romans 7:9 "I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died." Something I had never considered: Spiritual innocence…Infants, toddlers, some kids with special needs. When we are spiritually innocent, we are still born a sinner and commit sins… but you are not spiritually dead? Did I get that right? If that's true, what impact does this have on salvation…to be a sinner but not understand it. Maybe that's not explicitly addressed in scripture. Thanks…!"

I responded:

  • "As a baby/toddler:
    • You have a sin nature
    • Sin nature is still tempting you
    • But it is "dead" in you
    • You haven't realized right from wrong yet, morally
    • You sin but are not yet held accountable for it
    • Therefore you are still spiritually alive at that time"

They followed up:

  • "Yes, the thought of having spiritual innocence and not yet being held accountable for that sin is not something I have considered before! It is comforting to me because I have wondered this before about babies or children with special needs… This does of course lead me to question do they go to Heaven when they die? I would certainly hope so!"

Check out the video below. Here are the verses I referenced:

Q&A with Pastor Tim Part 39 on the meaning of spiritual infancy from Grace Church on Vimeo.