7. BECOME LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN BY BEING HUMBLE.
Little children are humble. They are not naturally arrogant, but they do learn it quickly from others. Christ was also humble. He "made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant...He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death on the cross" (Phil. 2:7,8). Jesus taught humility by example in washing the feet of His disciples (John 13). He expects us to be humble like Him and like little children. Our Lord declared in Mark 9:35 - "If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." Humility is also needed when attempting to restore a brother who has fallen into sin (Gal. 6:1,2). If we do not approach the one in error with gentleness and a humble spirit, we will fall into the sin of pride. Our Lord pronounced a blessing upon the humble in Matthew 5:3 as well as 18:4 - "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven...Whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." James also taught - "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" (James 4:10). Jesus was humble and little children are humble. Are you?
8. BECOME LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN BY BEING PURE.
Little children are born pure and innocent. They are not born sinners as Calvinism falsely teaches. There is no such thing as inherited sin (Eze. 18:20). If little children were born sinners, then why would Jesus instruct us to become like little children in order to go to heaven (Matt. 18:3,4)? Surely Jesus isn't telling us to become like "little sinners" in order to be saved--is He? Of course not!
As an adult, Jesus was like a little child in that He was without sin (I Pet. 2:22). We are not sinless according to Romans 3:23, because we've all transgressed God's law and continue to fall short of His glory. In order for us to be pure like little children and like Jesus, we must be forgiven of our sins. The Scriptures teach that in order to be forgiven a person must do several things: (1) they must believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God (John 3:16) and be willing to confess that belief (Acts 8:37), (2) they must be willing to repent (Acts 17:30), that is, have a change of mind that will lead them to turn from a life of sin to one of righteousness, and (3) they must be willing to be baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 22:16). Jesus, as a sinless man, was pure, and little children are pure. Are you?
Friends, if you are a baptized, penitent believer, then you have been converted. According to the words of Christ in Matthew 18:3 - "Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." If you have been converted, I rejoice with you and would like to ask you some questions in closing. Are you becoming more and more childlike (and Christ-like) daily? Do you submit to those who have authority over you? Are you joyful? Do you obey God fully? Are you free from anxiety and worry? Do you have a forgiving spirit? Are you a loving person toward everyone? Are you humble? Are you pure and innocent like a little child? If you're a Christian, you need to develop these attributes. Jesus has them and you had them at one time, when you were a little child. If you are lacking in these attributes now, pray for them and consciously labor to add them to your life. The Lord expects you to do so, if you want to live with Him in glory!