Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Children Of The Kingdom

Leif E. Halvorson 11/6/10
1) Text: Matthew 18:1-14 ESV
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
 5 "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 6but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
 7"Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! 8 And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.
 10"See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. 12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”
2) A Child is Humble (vs. 18:2-4)
            A. Turn (v. 3)
                        i. turn around, change, change one’s thinking
                        ii. O.T. use can also mean “repent”
            B. Humble (v. 4)
                        i. has humility
                        ii.  does not consider one’s self sovereign
                        iii.  does not consider one’s self better than others
                        iv. is void of self
                                    a. an adult is “full” of his own thoughts,
                                       own w
ords, own deeds, looking to
                                       himself (not humble) The disciples are
                                       asking Christ “Which one of us is the
                                       greatest (v. 1) possibly considering things
                                       of which they had done that might warrant
                                       an elevation of status. (not humble)
                                    b. a child is “empty” and can therefore be
                                       “filled” or led by it’s superior (Christ is
                                        our superior) which directs and changes
                                        its thoughts, words and deeds (humble)
                                    c. the child responded to Christ and came
                                        to Him simply because Christ called the
            C. Dependant
                        i. must rely on someone to provide for them as they
                           are incapable
                                    a. requires loves but cannot produce it for
                                    b. requires things for sustenance (i.e. food,
                                        shelter) but cannot produce it for
                                    c. cannot survive on its own, will die
3) A Child is Valued
            A. We know this when Christ says: "Whoever receives one
                 such child in my name receives me”
(v. 5)
                        i. a child who is received or welcomed by someone
                           is likewise receiving the parent because the
                           child is of the parent. A child is the parent’s own.
                        ii. a believer in Christ has been redeemed and
                           justified by Him. The believer is Christ’s own.
            B.  We know this when Christ gives us stern warnings:
                        i. …but whoever causes one of these little ones
                           who believe in me to sin…”
(v. 6)
                                    a. It would be better to experience this type
                                        of hopeless drowning than to cause
                                        (tempt) “one of these little ones” to  sin
                                    b. In other words it would be better, for us,
                                        to be dead than to tempt and lead one to
                                        to sin.
                        ii. “…woe to the one by whom the temptation
(v. 7-9)
                                    a. “woe” –  doom to anyone who cause,
                                        tempts, others to sin
                                    b. it is very evident how much God hates
                                        temptors, temptation and sin
            C. We know this when God has his children watched over
                 (v. 10)
            D. We know this when He seeks to save that which is lost
                 (vs. 12-13)
                        i. He rejoices when He saves his children
            E. We know this because God does not wish His children
                 to be lost to eternal death. (v. 14)
4) A Child of the Kingdom
            A. Must become like a child or we will be lost (v. 3)
                        i. The only way to become like children is for the
                           Law (i.e. the Ten Commandments) to expose,
                           convict and destroy the worldly adults that
                           we a
                                    a. We are selfish, self-centered, self-
                                        -relient, self-pleasing, full of our thoughts,
                                        our words, our deeds and like a sheep
                                        have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6)
            B. We are saved by Christ
                        i. Christ seeks after us like the shepherd who
                           searched for the lost sheep
                        ii. Lost in the wilderness due to our own choosing
                            of self, Christ saves us by grace through faith
                            when we are broken and have and contrite
                        iii. He has redeemed us and has justified us before
                            the Father
            TLSB (Concordia)
          Commentary on Matthew (Lenski)

Jesu Juva
Soli Deo Gloria

1 comment:

  1. It is most certainly telling of God's gracious love, that even a child can be saved if they are, as you said "broken and have contrite hearts." The Holy Spirit's involvement in the salvation of children, giving them the ability to cognitively repent (a Work of God the Spirit)and exhibit faith (a gift of God the Father), and to call out unto Him to be saved (Romans 10:13) and confess Him as Lord (Romans 10:9).

    And we should all pray, for our own children, that the Holy Spirit shall make them be born again (John 3)as soon as He sees fit to give them faith (Ephesians 2).