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Lesson # Matt. 18:2-4
Study Material - Matt. 18:2-4
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
2 And [kai] Jesus [Iesous] called [proskaleomai] a little child [paidion] unto him [proskaleomai] , and set [histemi] him [autos] in [en] the midst [mesos] of them [autos] ,
3 And [kai] said [epo] , Verily [amen] I say [lego] unto you [humin] , Except [ean me] ye be converted [strepho] , and [kai] become [ginomai] as [hos] little children [paidion] , ye shall [eiserchomai] not [ou me] enter [eiserchomai] into [eis] the kingdom [basileia] of heaven [ouranos] .
4 Whosoever [hostis] therefore [oun] shall humble [tapeinoo] himself [heautou] as [hos] this [touto] little child [paidion] , the same [houtos] is [esti] greatest [meizon] in [en] the kingdom [basileia] of heaven [ouranos] . KJV-Interlinear
2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, 'Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 'Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. NAS
A child here is a reference to a very young child, an infant or child not quite a toddler. A youngster this young is incomplete, weak, dependent, undeveloped, unskilled, vulnerable, certainly immature. This age is a very unassuming age. You haven't lived until you have been offered a sip out of a bottle of a child that is simultaneously eating cream corn and oatmeal. Don't forget the kiss! Mmmm, goo!
A child of this age is very simple. They are dependent, totally, on others. They are helpless, but usually unaffected by the world around them. Their aspirations of grandeur are nonexistent. They do not make any claims of greatness, nor do they attempt to convince others of their greatness. They simply mold to the will of their parents, and cling to that security in total faith, though they have no comprehension of faith.
To the typical pre-toddler, fear doesn't exist, as a natural state of curiosity draws them to colors and motion. They have no presumptions of life or of things that surround them. Without hesitation they enter life. They are not skeptics and have no basis for doubt. They do not look to others for competitive comparisons with regard to their own status. They simply have their parents with whom they feel totally safe and complete.
Converted means to turn around or is a process of turning around. To go in a direction 180 degrees, or completely opposite, from the one in which you were originally going. This refers to a change in attitude or thought, or opinion. In life, adults go in the direction their thoughts lead them. We cannot see heaven. We cannot see God. We cannot see angels. We cannot feel spiritual sensations. These things all belong to a spiritual realm which is beyond our five senses and instruments of measure. Anyone who says they have received the 'ghost' the 'spirit' or some spiritual phenomena through some form of emotional experience or seizure gyration are both fools and liars. Such does not exist in this life. The spiritual life is not a part of nor sensed through the human senses or emotions.
Actually the word 'repent' used in various passages means to change ones attitude, to change ones mind. Here 'convert' means to turn into the direction in which you should go. One has to change their attitude then proceed in a different direction in life. This 'proceeding' is the daily spiritual life as opposed to living ones life from under the direction of the sin nature.
So here we have the basis of ones attitude in life. To be unassuming and innocent. Pride has no place in the spiritual life. The disciples were arguing competitively as to who would be the greater or who would occupy the greater position in heaven. Such objectives are not the case and should not be pursued.
The disciples here are already saved. All except one disciple, Judas. They will all enter into heaven. Entry into heaven comes from faith. Faith in the one whom we have never seen, but have only read and heard about. Like the child we trust in God, in His plan, in His support for our life. We are comforted by His word within our soul, as the arms of a mother surround and comfort her child. In that we have confidence of protection and safety.
As for life in heaven. Our eternal status does not again, depend on our human ability or earthly assets or earthly abilities. Not all of mankind is equal on earth. Some are very smart, some not so smart. Some possess a lot of talent, some not so much talent. No matter. In the spiritual life all are equal, or I should say, all have equal opportunity and equal access to God. The spiritual life is totally dependent on God and no one else. We gain access to the spiritual life by first changing out all our preconceived ideas, and attitudes that would hinder us in our spiritual lives. As such our minds are open to learning and thus growing up spiritually. So get rid of the adult attitudes of me first, of adult philosophy of human righteousness, of preconceived ideas from religious indoctrination, and become like the child. Look to God and learn His wisdom.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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