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.
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."
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