Receiving the Kingdom of God
November 8, 2020
 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them.  But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.  Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (ESV)
Main Point: Only those who humble themselves like children and receive the kingdom of God will enter it.
I. Dependent Faith
- There were a variety of children there – young, even infants. What do they all have in common? They are dependent! They couldn’t care for themselves They were not self-sufficient.
- A newborn baby is a picture of helplessness. Infants depend on others to care for their very basic needs.
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” — James 4:6
- Being like a child is to express a dependent faith in Christ, without which we will perish.
II. Childlike Trust
- Whereas faith is the believing, trust is the leaning — leaning on the everlasting arms.
- There’s an enormous different between being childlike and being childish. May we be child-like in our trust in Jesus!
- Childlike trust is a beautiful thing.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.” — Prov. 3:5,6
- Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
“Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
III. Eager Thankfulness
- When you give a child a gift, how do they respond? Children want to receive the gift you’ve given. Their eyes are big, they are excited. They’re eager to receive. That’s part of what it means to be child-like in our approach to God.
- To be childlike in faith is not not doubt God’s goodness, but rather we open ourselves up to receive whatever it is that He has for us!
- ILLUS: Picture of young birds with mouths wide open
“Open wide your mouth and I will fill it” — Psalm 81:10
- People who place their trust in Christ to lead them are those who will enter the kingdom of heaven
“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” – v.17
IV. Receiving, Not Achieving, the Kingdom of God
- Jesus puts the accent on receiving the kingdom of God like a child so that the emphasis is on what God has done in granting us faith, not on what we do.
- Let us never be confused that we receive the kingdom, we don’t achieve the kingdom. That’s what the religious rulers of Jesus’s day got wrong. They thought that all their religiosity was their way of earning their place in the kingdom.
- When we fall into a works mentality in the Christian life, we fall into a similar temptation.
- We come into the kingdom by the kingdom’s coming to us. We are receivers of the kingdom not achievers of the kingdom. We don’t scale the gates of the kingdom and work our way into it – faith in the kingdom is given by God as a precious gift.
Every time we look at the cross, Christ seems to say to us, “I am here because of you. It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.” Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size. — John Stott
- When we come to Christ like a child it blesses God – because then we are coming in the right posture.
- To receive
- To believe
- To trust
V. Application: Do Not Hinder Them
- How can we hinder children? One way we can hinder them is through a lack of biblical instruction and teaching.
- A reminder of the call of fathers and parents to disciple their children.
Questions For Discussion/Application:
- Re-read the text, Luke 18:15-17. What initial observations and insights do you have from reading this text?
- What does it mean to have childlike faith in Jesus?
- What hinders us, at times, from walking in childlike faith?
- How do you personally want to grow in demonstrating childlike faith in your Savior?
- What are some practical ways you have sought to lead your children towards Christ?
- What are some ways we as parents can at times inadvertently place obstacles and hinderances in front of them to coming to Christ?
- As parents, what can we do in order to more effectively shepherd our children towards Christ?
- Consider taking time to pray, asking God by His Holy Spirit to help us to model childlike faith in the Savior.