Last Saturday I spent a good part of the day with my son David, his beautiful wife Brielle, and the extraordinary young lady who is my 19 month-old granddaughter Ella (note the picture).  There is something of exceptional beauty and innocence in all young children.  When I watch her play, try to talk, and intereact with her surroundings, there is an almost surreal quality to the moment.  I had not seen this up close like this (where I would notice) since my three children were born (over 20 years ago now).  Such innnocence actually reminds me of what I wish human beings were normally like (at least the innocent part).  However, even young children of Ellas’s age show signs of temper, rage, and rebellion.  I don’t think my son David trained Ella to have those undesired traits.  Sin is not merely environmental.  Children don’t just learn to sin from parents and others in their lives.  No, there is something more serious going on.  Men and women are born with sin natures — that is, a propensity to go contrary to God’s design for them (Eph. 2:1-3 among other passages).   The absolute quandry we were in required the Cross of Christ as the only possible solution to render both the justice and the grace of God (Rom. 3:21-26) in our behalf–applied to us by faith and faith alone in Christ’s finished Cross-work.  I am thankful for Christ’s work for me in this way.  As a result I have hope that my innocence will return — in fact, I’ll have more than I have ever had, complete freedom from the presence of sin.  When Jesus returns he will begin to make all things right.  I long for that day.  Until then, I have a glimpse of things to come in the exceptional beauty and innnocence of a young child.