What does the Bible teach about the innocence of a child. How long is a child innocent in the eyes of God? What is a child’s age of accountability? Does the language of the Bible speak of such topic? Yes.
Anyone who studies God’s Word knows that every human being born on the face of the Earth is born with an Adamic Nature. A child is born “polluted” with sin.
Ps 51:5…Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me
Ps 58:3..The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
A child (polluted with sin) is not not accountable for inherited sin. Here’s why. The Bible says…Sin is not imputed where there is no law.
Rom 5:13…sin is not imputed when there is no law.
In other words a child is not a violator of the law of God if there is no knowledge of the Law. The law of God is what brings the knowledge of sin. Since a child in infancy has no knowledge of God or of sin, there is therefore no accountability to God due to a lack of knowledge.
Rom 3:20…for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
In a child’s case (when in infancy) there is no knowledge of God or of sin. This substantiates the fact that a child is born with a sinful nature but not accountable for inherited sin. Why? God doesn’t automatically hold a child accountable for something Adam did. Is a child tainted with sin? Yes.
Rom 5:19…For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,
Is this child accountable? No. Not until this child has an accountability to God. Accountability to God does not come by age. Accountability to God comes by knowledge of God. Innocence is lost when guilt is found. Guilt comes from recognition of the presence of God. An example of guilt is when Adam and Eve covered themselves with the fig leaf. Innocence was lost and guilt was found.
Paul made and unusual statement in Romans 7 that he was alive once without the Law. Paul was referring to his infancy.
Rom 7:9…For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
When Paul came to an age of accountability God was revealed through the Law and Commandments. When Paul learned the Law (God’s Commandments) sin revived and he died. The Law was spiritual. The acts of sin were revealed. When knowledge of the Law came “separation” from God (death) was revealed. Similar to the example of Adam and Eve.
The language of the Bible teaches that a child’s innocence is granted by God due to a lack of knowledge. Innocence automatically and spiritually keeps a child connected with God until guilt comes. Innocence is lost when guilt is acknowledged through “enlightenment” to God. This accountability comes as God is revealed to the human soul and thus retained in the human conscience.
Jesus Christ restores innocence to the human conscience and to the human soul. Men today are enlightened to God’s Law through the preaching of the Gospel message. The power of the Gospel removes guilt from the human conscience and restores innocence to the human soul. Glory to the Lord Jesus Christ who saves our souls and offers us forgiveness for our sins from the cross at Calvary.