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Become Like Little Children

I Corinthians 13:11 says "put away childish things." Matthew 18:3 says "become as little children." How do we reconcile these verses?

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1 Cor. 13:11 is referring to skill of speech-understanding truth and understanding knowledge. Was undeveloped. Paul is not implying that he had reached that level of maturity, however, going into Philippians 3:7-15, especially verse 12: where he writes it is the end toward which we should be strving....Matthew chapter 18>>TO BECOME AS LITTLE CHILDREN: MEANS TO BE BORN AGAIN. As a newborn spiritual child, characterized by faith and humility. FAITH: when God shows up you will have the faith. HUMILITY: you don't want to go to hell, and convictions of your sins, all plays a roll in your conversion. Ask Him to forgive you. It's not hard. God does the work. He did it on the cross, too. Again must turn to Christ with an attitude of humility.
---pat on 1/13/13


1 Corinthians 14:20 "Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men."
---Nana on 12/7/12


The reconciling of the two verses is a matter of context.

Matthew 18:3 is talking about having love toward God, being receptive to God's teachings of mercy and grace, wisdom and understanding.

1Corin13:11 is talking about immaturity of attitude as a hindrance to growing in God's love and grace enough to be able to benefit others.
---jan4378 on 12/6/12


---pat on 11/6/12

The two verses are different in subject and scope. They are not reconcilable.

1C 13:11 When I was a minor, I spoke as a minor, I was disposed as a minor, I took account of things as a minor. Yet when I have become a man, I have discarded that which is a minor's.

The subject is the spiritual manifestations of the earthly Kingdom. They had to cease so that the spiritual attainments of faith, expectation and love could prevail.

As long as believers held onto "signs", maturity would not come.

If it can be seen, it no longer is faith, it is evidence.

Maturity needs no physical proofs. It is inward and in spirit, not flesh.
---Phil on 11/11/12


After much studying and praying, and hoping: 1 Corin 13:11>>>is referring to, when God's people enter into heaven's gates. And in Matthew 18:3>>>Has to do with on this earth. [1] humility, to be converted>>>[2] must be of another mind [3] care for nothing. Note: In a sense we are all back sliders. This is why we must stay in prayer, asking God in the name of Jesus, to forgive us of our sins through His mighty, powerful, Blood, please. The age of childhood: is the learning age. Wthout this you can not enter into the Kingdom of God. I believe that is referring to the new birth. Before one is saved you don't know much.
---pat on 11/6/12




---Geraldine on 10/17/12

In Chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians, Paul, our apostle, is contrasting the physical manifestations of the Kingdom, with spiritual maturity that comes through faith, love and expectation.

The grace-effects of the spirit were not to continue on, as they rely on the flesh for evidence, and are like "candy" that provides no norishment.

Children will always want more candy.

This is Paul's meaning. True faith is not seen. Relying on and trusting in grace-effect gifts is babe-like in this sense. Maturity never arises from them.

All temporal manifestations at this time are false. There is only faith, hope and love.
---Phil on 10/19/12


---Geraldine on 10/17/12

In Mt 18:3, the Lord is addressing the human desire to be first in place or position, by reason of uniqueness or favor.

Most men I know today are always seeking to put themselves above the next person in any given field. It is a matter of being served instead of serving.

It is always for the purpose of getting the advantage for oneself.

The Lord smacks that down by pointing out that a minds and hearts cannot be polluted this way, in service to God. It is a place of neediness and helplessness that all children possess, and unless this is acknowleged, the entrance to God is blocked.
---Phil on 10/19/12


Steven G, you said,

"Most christians know about God, but deny His power."

If you don't deny His power, why do you believe in free will of man? you must be talking about the power of man. You talk about knowing God, but in all your knowledge, and computer helps, you still defend the free will of man, over an Omnipotent Almighty God. Those people in Moses time were like you,
"You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt" the people saw with their own eyes, "the great trails which your eyes have seen, the signs and those great wonders. Yet the Lord has not given you a heart to pereceive and eyes to see and ears to hear to this very day" (Deut. 29:2-4).
---Mark_V. on 10/19/12


steveng, christan is referring to those with only head knowledge. with no heart, the teacher may have the right words but convey a different attitude. how does this help the unbeliever?
---aka on 10/18/12


Brother Christan, I have a pen-pal address here on Christianet. It is "markv9959" send me a message there and I will give you my email address. I will look for it. Love to hear how God has been using you. blessings
---Mark_V. on 10/18/12




Brother Mark in Christ, yes I would like very much to tell you but his is a blog and they are not allowed to give out the details of emails.

Maybe the Moderator can help in connecting us, I would deeply appreciate.

Peace and the grace of God be with you.
---christan on 10/18/12


How does "memorizing" the Bible help...

First, a few verses:
1 Corinthians 15:2
2 Timothy 2:15
1 John 2:5
Revelation 3:8
Proverbs 15:28
Proverbs 22:17
Proverbs 22:21
Proverbs 23:12
Isaiah 50:4
Daniel 12:4

In order for a person to have an intimate relationship with God, one must know Him. To know Him, one must study about Him, to remember His words, to find whether what is being preached is the truth, knowing a false teacher and a false prophet from the true.

Most christians know about God, but deny His power. So when does studying end and the persoanl relationship begin? Whould you marry someone without knowing them?
---Steveng on 10/18/12


Brother Christan, you gave some great answers concerning "as little children" I believe that is exactly what Jesus meant in (Matt. 18:3) A person born of the Spirit is dependent upon God for all things, just as a child is dependent upon their parents. Without their parents they feel helpless. They humbly put their faith and trust in them. We should feel just like them, if we are born of the Spirit.
Brother, I would like to hear why you were gone for a while, maybe we can contact each other, what do you think? Peace brother.
---Mark_V. on 10/18/12


Becoming as or like little children refers to humility as in

"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven",
whereas, leaving childish things behind has to do with maturing,
that we grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, until attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ
---Chria9396 on 10/18/12


Many "memorize" but are still not saved [on judgement day] nor are they [are a part of] the Kingdom of God - chrisran

oh, how true!
---aka on 10/18/12


Deuteronomy 6:6_7 "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

Why so much repetition?
Why Paul say, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God"? or "But exhort one another daily?

It is not the eyes or the ears to understand what separates, it is rather living daily in that understanding.
To be guided and seeking and desiring that guidance.
---Nana on 10/18/12


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How does "memorizing" the Bible help one to identify a false from a true teacher of the Word? Many "memorize" but are still not saved nor are they going to the Kingdom of God. The spirit eyes and ears are dead to the Word unless you're "born of the Spirit".

Jesus declared: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." John 3:3,5, "It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63
---christan on 10/17/12


Simply amazing how a person can take verses out of context without reading the verses within context (the verses before and ofter). Matthew 18:3 says to become as little children, Matthew 18:4 explains the meaning. As for 1 Corinthians 13:11, you need to read the whole chapter.

It is very important, especially as we are living in the end days, to study the bible and memorize it so to lay a strong foundation in spiritual matters. This will help you know the difference between a false teacher and a true teacher, and a false prophet and a true prophet of God. This will also help you from swaying to and fro at all the other gospels and doctrines taught by man. Colossians 2:8-10
---Steveng on 10/17/12


A little child is a blank page. They have no pre-conceived ideas or theology. They are new and fresh and ready to learn.

By the time we are adults we have ingested false teachings from others. I believe that what Jesus is saying in Matt 18:3 is that we must humble ourselves and become as little children to learn the truth from the Holy Spirit. Only by humbling ourselves and admitting that we may not be walking in the Truth can we get rid of lies.

I cannot reconcile what Paul wrote about childish things with Jesus' Words. Paul wrote in the next verse 1st Cor. 13:12 that "we" see thru a glass darkly. If we are walking in the light as Jesus taught us then we are children of the light and there is no darkness in us.
---barb on 10/17/12


True maturity is Spiritual maturity.
---pat on 10/17/12


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pat, your explanation sounds familiar to Scripture in John 3:3,4:

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" Notice the similarity in tone?

When Scripture says "become as little children", it's a figure of speech for the person born of the Spirit, ie he/she becomes 100% trusting in God, "like a child". Especially his salvation in Christ Jesus.

How does one who's "dead in sins and trespasses" strive to be "born of the Spirit"?
---christan on 10/17/12


A child's speech is undeveloped, his understanding crude, and knowledge incomplete....Becomes a man, speech becomes subject to his mind, his understanding is tempered [specified disposition], and his knowledge complete. Paul is saying maturity has not been reached but we should always be striving.....Matt. 18:3: As a child to be born again. [New born Spiritual child]
---pat on 10/17/12


reconcile childish v. childlike.
---aka on 10/17/12


"childish things" > a lot of people were born in sin and they have not gotten with Jesus so they can even start to grow up. So, things they do now are not even childish. All the things this world's people are doing are not even childish.

So, we need to start, by becoming as little children. Then we need to grow up learning how to love . . . not what many married adults have done, and they are violating and destroying their kids with their bad example. Jesus says, "learn from Me" (in Matthew 11:29)
---willie_c: on 10/17/12


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These verses pertains to the spiritual, not the carnal. The carnal is used as an example to give our finite and fallen mind some idea of being child-like and later on, maturing as a Christian by the teaching and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

It's all about when the sinner is being "born of the Spirit of God". Only when this miraculous act happens, that one can only believe every Word that's written in the Bible like a "child". Through the Holy Spirit as the Christian matures, knowledge comes.

1 Cor 2:14 says it best, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
---christan on 10/17/12


Good question
God always goes for the heart. How do children love - unconditionally, totally dependent Matthew 18.3. However children are also selfish this is where 1st Corinthians ch 12, 13 comes in thus spiritual gifts are not for you but for the body.
---Scott1 on 10/17/12


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