Tuesday, January 29, 2013

We Are Children: MacArthur Introduces Matthew 18:1-4

This is good. Sunday we will be looking at Matthew 18:1-11 and John MacArthur's introduction on the theme of Christians being described as children in the New Testament is helpful.

Now, as we look at that passage, we basically are struck by the fact that Jesus picks up a little child in verse 2. And that child becomes the object lesson. The people of God are called by many names in the Bible, many beautiful names, many expressive names, many that describe various and sundry elements of belonging to God. But the most common name by which we are ever called is that of children. Beyond anything else, we are the children of God, the children of the Lord, the children of promise, the children of the day, the children of light, beloved children, dear children. Over and over again hundreds of times in the Old Testament and the New Testament, the people of God are called children.

And we rejoice in that reality. I think, however, for the most part we...we tend to see that as a term which links us to God. And when we hear that we are children, we celebrate the idea that that means we belong to God who is our Father, and surely that is true. And we have every reason to rejoice in that.

But the richness of the concept of being a child of God is not limited to the fact that that means we belong to God and we are His children and we are in His family. Inherent in the concept of children is the fact that we are children and we are well described as children. It not only means we belong to God, but it means like children we are imperfect, like children we are weak, like children we are dependent, as children we are simple and submissive and unskilled and ignorant and sometimes stubborn and very vulnerable. So that we see in the concept of children, not only that which implies a relationship to God, but that which describes us as marked out as children, with all of the foibles and failings and weaknesses that children have. John tells us in 1 John 2:12 that we are children. And so he says, "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven."

So, as we look at the concept of the believer, we see him as a child. Now the whole of the eighteenth chapter of Matthew describes the child likeness of the believer, the child likeness of the believer. Somewhere in your Bible at the heading of Matthew 18, you need to write that down. This chapter is all about the child likeness of the believer. We're not the high and the mighty. We're not the noble. We're not the lofty. We're not the mature and the adult and the profound. We are children with all that that conveys, lowly children at best.

John MacArthur - Entering the Kingdom 

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