Author Topic: Why do we need to become as a child to enter God's kingdom?  (Read 159 times)

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Offline Derek1955

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Why do we need to become as a child to enter God's kingdom?
« on: August 03, 2020, 01:29:11 PM »

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Luke 9:46-48   Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest and Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him and said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receives me: and whosoever shall receive me receives him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.

Luke 18:15-17  But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein."

Jesus is quite definite when relating childlike innocence, trust and faith to be essential features for entrance into  God's kingdom.  Why must we become as a child in order to enter God's kingdom? What are their distinguishing features?

Jesus referred not to a child who has grown in duplicity and deceit, who has begun to violate conscience and develop motives for trying to appear what they are not.  Jesus spoke instead of a young child in its innocence, before that innocence is  gone forever due to the cares and trials of life.

A lack of guile is one characteristic of very young children.  A proverb relates that children and fools always tell the truth.  The innocent, infant mind is a stranger to guile. It has not yet learned to be duplicitous

Another characteristic of infants is that of humility. The very young feel no resistance to being known as they are and never try to conceal their true identity.
 
Little children are also  naturally inclined to love. Treat them kindly, and we will not fail to win their hearts and then having done so we observe how easily and spontaneously their warm affections, in turn, flow forth. 

The innocent child lives by faith and trust.  The little one has complete faith in loving parents and so trusts them implicitly, perfectly assured they will provide everything they need.  The very young instinctively know they can do nothing, or almost nothing towards the care of themselves and so live day to day with a simple faith and trust that all will be well.

In Matthew 18: 6  Jesus warns against causing one of these little ones to stumble, and that it would be better for the perpetrators to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.  To take the innocence away from the young carries with it a most severe penalty for having done so.

Equally, Christians living their lives in Christ must have a spirit of trustful dependence on the loving provision of God.  There is no other way to live a Christian life; no other way to enjoy the peace of mind amid a world of striving, turmoil and care which comes from doing so.

Why must we possess the characteristics of an innocent young child in order to enter God's kingdom?  In Matthew 5:48  Jesus instructs us in this life to be perfect, even as our Father which is in heaven is perfect.  In the eyes of Jesus the small, innocent child is as near perfection as it is possible to be in this life.  When we become as small children with their innocent attributes, we enter His kingdom with virtually nothing remaining in our make-up from the corrupting years of our mortal lives to be washed away. 
Nevertheless Jesus well knows the traps and pitfalls we face in our far from perfect mortal life as recorded in Matthew 10: 16 when He warns us that when we go forth into the world we are sheep in the midst of wolves and must therefore be as wise as serpents, and harmless as doves in our approach to others.

That is the combination we must have in our lives.  To become as innocent and trusting as a small child in our love for our heavenly Father, with a love that is without reservation; trusting totally in His love for us and then reflecting that love on to others by using the mirror of our lives (John 13:35) whilst all the while, with God's help and using the intelligence He gifted us, doing all we can to keep ourselves pure and spotless in His sight.

We are instructed to be child-like and not to be childish.  There is a difference.

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Offline Cariad

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Re: Why do we need to become as a child to enter God's kingdom?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2020, 05:03:04 PM »
Luke 9:46-48   Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest and Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by Him and said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in My name receives Me: and whosoever shall receive Me receives Him that sent Me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.

Luke 18:15-17  But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein."

Jesus is quite definite when relating childlike innocence, trust and faith to be essential features for entrance into  God's kingdom.  Why must we become as a child in order to enter God's kingdom? What are their distinguishing features?

Jesus referred not to a child who has grown in duplicity and deceit, who has begun to violate conscience and develop motives for trying to appear what they are not.  Jesus spoke instead of a young child in its innocence, before that innocence is  gone forever due to the cares and trials of life.

A lack of guile is one characteristic of very young children.  A proverb relates that children and fools always tell the truth.  The innocent, infant mind is a stranger to guile. It has not yet learned to be duplicitous

Another characteristic of infants is that of humility. The very young feel no resistance to being known as they are and never try to conceal their true identity.
 
Little children are also  naturally inclined to love. Treat them kindly, and we will not fail to win their hearts and then having done so we observe how easily and spontaneously their warm affections, in turn, flow forth. 

The innocent child lives by faith and trust.  The little one has complete faith in loving parents and so trusts them implicitly, perfectly assured they will provide everything they need.  The very young instinctively know they can do nothing, or almost nothing towards the care of themselves and so live day to day with a simple faith and trust that all will be well.

In Matthew 18: 6  Jesus warns against causing one of these little ones to stumble, and that it would be better for the perpetrators to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.  To take the innocence away from the young carries with it a most severe penalty for having done so.

Equally, Christians living their lives in Christ must have a spirit of trustful dependence on the loving provision of God.  There is no other way to live a Christian life; no other way to enjoy the peace of mind amid a world of striving, turmoil and care which comes from doing so.

Why must we possess the characteristics of an innocent young child in order to enter God's kingdom?  In Matthew 5:48  Jesus instructs us in this life to be perfect, even as our Father which is in heaven is perfect.  In the eyes of Jesus the small, innocent child is as near perfection as it is possible to be in this life.  When we become as small children with their innocent attributes, we enter His kingdom with virtually nothing remaining in our make-up from the corrupting years of our mortal lives to be washed away. 
Nevertheless Jesus well knows the traps and pitfalls we face in our far from perfect mortal life as recorded in Matthew 10: 16 when He warns us that when we go forth into the world we are sheep in the midst of wolves and must therefore be as wise as serpents, and harmless as doves in our approach to others.

That is the combination we must have in our lives.  To become as innocent and trusting as a small child in our love for our heavenly Father, with a love that is without reservation; trusting totally in His love for us and then reflecting that love on to others by using the mirror of our lives (John 13:35) whilst all the while, with God's help and using the intelligence He gifted us, doing all we can to keep ourselves pure and spotless in His sight.

We are instructed to be child-like and not to be childish.  There is a difference.

* David said:-
'LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty:
neither do I exercise myself in great matters,
or in things too high for me.
Surely I have behaved and quieted myself,
as a child that is weaned of his mother:
my soul is even as a weaned child.
Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever.'

(Psalm 131:1-3)   

Praise God! 

Thank you, Derek1955.

In Christ Jesus
Chris


Offline Cariad

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Re: Why do we need to become as a child to enter God's kingdom?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2020, 06:46:08 PM »
'Then there arose a reasoning among them,
which of them should be greatest

and Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart,
took a child, and set him by Him
and said unto them,
Whosoever shall receive this child in My name receives Me:
and whosoever shall receive Me receives Him that sent Me:
for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.'

(Luke 9:46-48)
 
'But Jesus called them unto him, and said,
Suffer little children to come unto me,
and forbid them not
:
for of such is the kingdom of God.
Verily I say unto you,
Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child
shall in no wise enter therein.
"

(Luke 18:15-17) 

Hello @Derek1955,

Thank you for your entry.

Luke 9:46-48, is addressed to the twelve, and so is Luke 18:15-17.  The first in relation to who would be greatest in the kingdom, the latter concerning the reception of little children, and the need to receive the kingdom of God as a little child.  I believe this refers to a childlike faith, and simple trust.

*  Forgive me,  for I do not believe that the question, 'Why do we need to become as a child to enter God's Kingdom?' has application to any but the People of Israel, to whom Christ came: who were obligated to keep the law, and who looked for the restoration of the Kingdom, and the reign of their Messiah; many not recognizing that He was among them, and that the Kingdom was 'nigh' them, in the person of their King.  The Kingdom is now in abeyance, awaiting that day when Israel will once more be the People of God, and He their God.

* For us in this present dispensation the salvation of God is received by God's grace, and not by the possession of characteristics such as those you have listed, for we are saved by grace and not by works.  We are saved 'unto' good works, but that has no bearing on our acceptance in Christ Jesus our Saviour and Lord.  For He is made unto us:-

'For ye see your calling, brethren,
how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise;
and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen,
yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
That no flesh should glory in his presence.
But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus,
who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
'

(1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

Thank you
In Christ Jesus
Chris 

Offline Derek1955

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Re: Why do we need to become as a child to enter God's kingdom?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2020, 09:49:48 AM »
Hi Chris,

Surely, once we have been truly saved by the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we then become as trusting, loving and innocent as a child.  I find it puzzling to try and understand why so many prune the beautiful flowers of Christ's words to make them better fit the garden of their own understanding. 

At the last supper Jesus told His Apostles to Take eat and not take understand.  For my part I accept His words implicitly and nowhere do I find in my longish life that He has led me wrong.

This is not a criticism but just a thought.

Forever in Christ.
Derek 

Offline Cariad

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Re: Why do we need to become as a child to enter God's kingdom?
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2020, 10:59:50 AM »
Hi Chris,

Surely, once we have been truly saved by the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we then become as trusting, loving and innocent as a child.  I find it puzzling to try and understand why so many prune the beautiful flowers of Christ's words to make them better fit the garden of their own understanding. 

At the last supper Jesus told His Apostles to Take eat and not take understand.  For my part I accept His words implicitly and nowhere do I find in my longish life that He has led me wrong.

This is not a criticism but just a thought.

Forever in Christ.
Derek 
Hello @Derek1955,

I also do not desire to cause offence to you: and I thank you for your response.

In Ephesians chapter one we are shown that we are indeed, in Christ Jesus, Holy and Without Blame before the Father. Not because of any merit of our own, but because of what Christ has done. We are accepted in the Beloved.  We now walk in newness of life before the Father, and seek so to walk that we may reflect that in our daily lives: to the praise of the glory of His grace.

Forgive me if I have misunderstood you.
In Christ Jesus
Chris   


Offline Derek1955

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Re: Why do we need to become as a child to enter God's kingdom?
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2020, 12:00:26 PM »
Hello again Chris,

Never would I take offence at anything you say and if any of my replies indicate otherwise then I most sincerely apologise. 

My relationship with the triune God is now total and absolute.  My trust in Him is absolute and whilst on occasion His gentle strictures I might find difficult to understand I nevertheless follow them and always they are correct and in my best interest.  Sometime, if you are interested I'd be delighted to let you know of my means of communication tried and tested over many years.   If it was by normal human speech it would not be long before I would be arguing with the God without whose input in my life I would have no ability to argue at all.  How could I possibly argue with God who made Heaven and earth and all things visible and invisible.   

I'm far from perfect, only God is perfect, but I await His call with equanimity. 

I believe you once said you reside in Wales.  Although not Welsh by birth I have lived in South Wales a long time and very much feel at home here.

Take care,
God bless you,
Forever in Christ
Derek

Offline jaybird

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Re: Why do we need to become as a child to enter God's kingdom?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2020, 04:25:09 AM »
IMO the younger you are, the less rooted you are into this world.

Offline John

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Re: Why do we need to become as a child to enter God's kingdom?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2020, 10:42:21 AM »
Jesus also said that we must be born again!

We do not have to become children or child like in how we behave, any more than we have to enter our mother's womb again.

We do have to, like children have total trust in God/Jesus.

Again that does not mean a child's understanding of God or salvation.
We area adults with adults reliance on our ability to do things.

To have a child like trust in Jesus is humbling we have to know that we cannot save ourselves, but must depend like a child on Jesus.

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