"I tell you the truth, unless you turn around and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven!"
As I read this, "only those that turn and become as little children, will enter the kingdom of heaven" I saw something that I had never seen before. Instead of reading each verse as an independent comment I put this entire section of verses, in my mind, as one continuous topic about a simple, innocent, pure child of God.
If I carry that thought forward through verses 6 and 7 I find a warning, especially to those that are telling others what they believe is the Gospel; their testimony.
"But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the open sea.
Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! It is necessary that stumbling blocks come, but woe to the person through whom they come."
This is a very sober and serious warning to anyone that is teaching or sharing the Word of God with others, especially children.
Make sure that you are sharing only the Truth and not man's doctrines. Be sure that you are Not influencing or causing a child of God to feel free to sin!
I believe that I am safe in saying, in reference to all protestant denominations, that most teachers and pastors, in our day, believe and tell all listeners that it is not possible to live a "holy life, as God is Holy".
What does the Bible teach regarding Holiness? What is the heart of God regarding holiness? Have you asked the Holy Spirit to teach you?
The common teaching appears to be some form of the idea that God only sees Jesus and not us, after the confession, with the mouth, that Jesus is Lord ; this confession somehow covers the reality of the individuals sinful, worldly life and nature, since God now only sees Jesus and not the reality of the person making that confession.
This process has become known as being "saved". The word saved in the Greek, means "delivered, protected". What is the Spirit of the Word of God talking about when it uses the the idea of being 'delivered or protected'?
The salvation (Greek meaning, rescue or safety.) which you believe that you have; is it for the life in this world now, or the life in the world to come?
The Saviour (Greek meaning, a deliverer, that is, God or Christ.) that you believe in; is it for the life in this world now or the life in the world to come?
Do you believe, and tell others, that you have been delivered from a future hell, or delivered from self and sin now?
For His children, God disciplines now, when they error, to direct them away from an eternal punishment.
Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be 'born again', a spiritual work of God which was available to him before Jesus' death on the cross. Nicodemus would have then been a spiritual child, free from the power of sin, innocent, even as Jesus was, having been fathered by God, not by a descendant of Adam.
Every person that comes to Jesus in child-like faith, is born again, free from the power of sin. Anyone that would intentionally, tell such an individual, that has received this new birth, that they are not free from sin, or can not be free from sin, or any such idea, would be causing them to be open to sin; as well as to return to a bondage of sin.
They would be tempting them to be as a dog returning to its vomit. Their repentance would become a repentance without value. There deliverance would know no freedom from the power of the flesh, the self-life, or the senses. There would be no knowledge of the deliverance from the power of sin, until the Holy Spirit would reveal the Truth.
They would be tempting them to be as the soil that is prepared and cultivated in preparation for a good crop when the rain falls, but when the rain fell it produced only weeds and briers, instead of the useful crop that the soil was prepared for.
If we will be held accountable for every idle word, I know that we will be held accountable for the influence that we have had on those around us, by the words that issue out of our mouths.
Repentance is real. Deliverance (salvation) from the power of self and sin is real. If you have been deceived or are an innocent deceiver, repent!
Ask the Father to give you His Spirit, shut off all the influences of mankind, sit daily at Jesus' feet with the Word of God, and obey what the Holy Spirit reveals to you as Truth.
Talk to Him all the time about everything in your life, all your success and struggles.
Thank Him and Honor Him as you begin to see His Spirit living through you.
Mat 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
Mat 18:2 He called a child, had him stand among them,
Mat 18:3 and said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn around and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven!
Mat 18:4 Whoever then humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 18:5 And whoever welcomes a child like this in my name welcomes me.
Mat 18:6 "But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the open sea.
Mat 18:7 Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! It is necessary that stumbling blocks come, but woe to the person through whom they come.
Mat 18:8 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 to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.
Mat 18:9 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into fiery hell.
Mat 18:10 "See that you do not disdain one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
Mat 15:7 Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said,
Mat 15:8 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart (the thoughts or feelings (mind)) is far from me,
Mat 15:9 and they worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "
Mat 15:10 Then he called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand.
Mat 15:11 What defiles a person is not what goes into the mouth; it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles a person."
Mat 15:12 Then the disciples came to him and said, "Do you know that when the Pharisees heard this saying they were offended?"
Mat 15:13 And he replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted.
Mat 15:14 Leave them! They are blind guides. If someone who is blind leads another who is blind, both will fall into a pit."
SIN, n. 1. The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule of rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity. Part of the definition, of sin, from the Noah Webster's Dictionary.