As a little child
1) On several occasions, Jesus chose a little child to represent the characteristics of a christian.
2) And we are willing to accept some of them--But there are many things about a child that should be a lesson for christians.
Matthew 19:13-14 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Mark 10:13-15 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
I) Jesus taught that we must be born again.
John 3:1-5 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mothers womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
1) Jesus pointed out that we are born into the family of God.
a) Just as our children are born into our physical families--God's children are born into His spiritual family.
2) Paul shows how we become the children of God.--
Galatians 3:26-2726 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
3) Paul also teaches that this relationship demands a change in our lives.
Romans 12:1-2I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
a) Paul says be not conformed but be ye transformed.
b) conform means--"To make like--To bring into harmony with"
c) transform means "To change the character of oneself"
Colossians 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
d)Romans 6:16-1916 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
4) When we become children of God--Our lives are changed to the extent that we live for God as His children--Obedient children.
II) Christ taught that we must become as a child
1) We must be humble as a child.(Matt 18:4)
a) Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
b) Read Matt 15:21-28
c) This woman was willing to humbler herself--
d) When Jesus said "It is not fitting to take the children's bread and give it to the dogs"
e) Yet she responded "Yet the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their master's table."
f) We must be humble as a little child in order to receive God's blessings.
2) Christians must grow as a child
1 Peter 2:1-5 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 5:12-1412 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
a) When a baby grows sufficiently on milk--Then he gets solid food.
b) This same principle is true with christian babies--"Babes in Christ"
(2 Tim 2:15 read)
c) By study of the Word we grow.
3) Christians must be obedient as a child
a) Paul taught that children should be obedient to parents
Ephesians 6:1-3Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
b) Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
c) Christ Himself was an obedient Son.
e) Acts 5:29Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
f) 2 Thessalonians 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
g) As God's children--We must be obedient--Not just obey commands we like--But all of them.
4) Christians must be pure like a little child
a) 2 Timothy 4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.
b) James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
c) Children of God are pure--The world no longer holds a place in their hearts.
5) Christians must be free from malice like a child.
1) The first definition in the dictionary of malice is "evil intention to injure others"
a) Christians must be free from this.
1 Corinthians 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
b) Paul said--Be a child in malice--Be a man in understanding.
2) A little child soon forgets the differences he has with other children--He does not have malice in his heart.
Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
3) Long harboured anger finally becomes malice--and we have intentions of injuring others.
a) Paul said--Let your wrath subside quickly--Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.
6) Christians must be willing to confess wrong.
a) It is easier for a child to confess his wrongs than an adul--It seems the older we get, the harder it is for us to confess our wrongs.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
b) 1 John 1:8-9 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
c) Before God will forgive our sins--We must be willing to confess them.
d) Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
e) In order for our worship to be acceptable to God--We must make our wrongs right.
f) If you know that a brother or sister has ought against you--Why not make it right just as soon as you possibly can--Then you can worship God in an acceptable manner.
7) We as christians must be dependent on the Father.
a) Of course our physical children depend upon us for their very being--and it is scriptural and right.
1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
b) In the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples
Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
c) Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
d) If we put the kingdom of God (Church) first--Then we can depend upon God for the necessities of life.
e) As a child depends upon his earthly father for the necessities of life--We as God's children should also depend upon Him for our necessities.
8) Christians must love the family fellowship
a) Nothing seems more important to a child than the fellowship of the family.
b) Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
c) If we love the fellowship of the family of God here on earth as we should--We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.
9) Finally--We must love and respect God's word.
a) As a child of my earthly father, I loved and respected him--His word was Law.
b) This is also true as a christian--We must let God's word be the Law that guides us.
c) John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
d) John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
e) If we love Jesus enough to keep His commandments--We are showing love for the Father.
f) As christians, we must never fail to develop these characteristics of the childl--Which Jesus used to show us the way to heaven.
g) If you are not a child of God--You know you have no promise of eternal life--Hear--Believe--Repent--Confess--Be Baptized.
h) If we fail in christian life--We must be willing to acknowledge our wrongs--Repent--Confess--Pray--
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