Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
—Matthew 18:2-4 (NLT)
We, adults, make loving Jesus so difficult. A child comes with innocent wonder and readily believes. In these verses, Jesus tells the disciples that unless they become as little children, they will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Someone who believes with humble childlike faith—someone without an adult’s need to reason and to analyze and question—shall be greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
The disciples did not understand that Calvary waited, where Jesus, the sinless Son of God, would perfectly fulfill the requirements of the Law. Calvary waited where His Grace would change everything. Sin would no longer have the power to condemn. In Jesus, sin would be entirely washed away so God’s children could enter His presence. In Jesus, the kingdom of heaven would come to live in each believer.
At Calvary, everything did change!
"Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God,” penned the writer to the Hebrews. “For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins” (Hebrews 9:14, NLT).
Your conscience was purified from condemnation for your sins by the blood of your Savior. When God sees you, He sees His Son—holy and without blemish. But when you have a sin consciousness, you are always dwelling on sins that Jesus washed away instead of His Grace that saved you. You live in a prison of shame and guilt. You live in fear instead of living in the peace you have with God. When your mind does not dwell on the sins Jesus has forgiven, you live in the liberty of God’s grace free from shame and guilt. You live in His perfect peace.
Through Jesus, God, who had been unapproachable, becomes completely accessible. When we believe in Jesus, sin no longer has the power to master us. Jesus is our Master. We can run to God as little children with clean consciences. We can come to Him without fear of punishment. We can come to Him without the baggage of guilt and shame.
“Sin is no longer your master,” Paul wrote, “for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace” (Romans 6:14, NLT).
At Calvary, the fear of punishment the law imposed was erased!
“You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves,” Paul wrote. “Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father'" (Romans 8:15, NLT).
We need no longer remain slaves to fear, dwelling on all our failures. Jesus has slung open the door to God's presence. We are God's adopted children, a coheir with His beloved Son. We, too, are His beloved and can come to Him as little children. Just as a little child with no preconceptions or hesitation, we can cast our cares on Him and receive the revelation of His Grace with fresh wonder.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field,” Jesus told the disciples. “In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field” (Matthew 13:44, NLT).
The Holy Spirit wishes to reveal the treasure of new life Jesus has invested in you. Will you lay down all your baggage Jesus took to the Cross so you can come fresh as a little child? Will you guard His treasure in your heart? Will you sell all for His treasure of Grace?
Believe as He believed in you. Sin, which gives power to the Law, has been defeated by His Grace. The Kingdom of Heaven—the treasure of His Grace—is in you. It is Jesus who dwells in you. You are unshakeable because Christ in you is unshakeable. When you come as a little child, the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, you live in the freedom of His Grace.
© 2024 Lynn Lacher