As A Child
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. (Galatians 3:26-27 NLT)
Growing to be His Child, is what it is all about.
Note from Kip…
Look into the eyes of a child, you almost immediately see why God desires us to be His Children. Why he wants us to adopt the pure untarnished approach to His nurturing with the same appreciation, devoid of distrust and self-serving motivations, as a child is when being fostered in the love of a parent.
As we grow older it is not uncommon for us to become more tainted by the world around us. We see the cruelty of people towards other people, a division of groups, those with less than honorable motives for achieving wealth and possession. If not countermanded, left as our focus, there is little hope of our minds being able to grasp fully the Grace God has provisioned for us.
Yes, if you have given your life to Jesus and availed yourself of His sacrifice on your behalf, you have a measure of that Grace, you have salvation, but you will never come to appreciate the fullness of that Grace until you adopt the unblemished faith of a child. His child.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “So who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven? ” He called a child and had him stand among them. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child — this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:1-4 (CSB)
In the phrase “enter the kingdom of heaven”, the specific word that is translated to ‘enter’, doesn’t really have an English equivalent. It doesn’t mean to be inside of but reflects the act of moving towards something or going to something.
Jesus is saying clearly we must not just be the children of God but we must become childlike in our humbleness and adopt the clear and unmitigated faith of a child.
I am often a bit taken back at how we can ‘flyover’ verses where we are being told clearly the earnest adoption of God’s truth is central to how He wants us to respond to Him.
We want to breeze by passages where clearly The Word is telling us specifics that we are to adhere to, but we pass them off as ‘figurative’ and not really something we need to concern ourselves with, as ‘serious’ people.
Case in point.
Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (CSB)
There is absolutely no wiggle room in these three verses. None! You can go back to the Greek and try to get around it any way you can, but the bottom line is that there is a clear set of directives here that we either must accept as a child would, or deny God’s authority in our lives.
I know that sounds a bit harsh, but it is the truth and is serious. For virtually the same reason Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden and a legacy of sin became the inheritance for all mankind. Defiance of God.
And yes, the scripture does tell us to ‘grow up’ in several areas.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love — but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:11-13 (CSB)
This is true and we need to accept it as such. However, don’t mistake this call to discard ‘childish things’ as a countermand to our instruction to move towards accepting these truths with the unconditional faith of a child.
When Paul speaks of putting aside “childish things“, it is not a call to cease to be accepting of the instruction we are blessed with. He is telling us to discard the selfish nature that holds us back from maturing into becoming a ‘Child of God‘. Which sounds an awful lot like that word ‘enter’ in Matthew 18:3. It does! Maturing into becoming, is akin to ‘making a movement towards’.
God wants us to be His Children, accepting of His instruction, dependent on His provision, willing to go where He calls us to go and do what he calls us to do.
For many, this means being a reflection of His light and love to all those around you where you are today. For others, it represents changes in location, vocation, and surroundings. But for each and every one of us, it means accepting His truth, His Word, as is for what it is, never to disregard the authority of our Father.
We need to mature into becoming, ‘As A Child’, His Child!