Jesus uses little children to show that we cannot earn salvation through any works of our own

The Pharisee and Tax Collector

9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Some islamic apologists make much of this scripture to prove that man is forgiven by God’s mercy alone in response to our repentance. But then they go on to insist, somewhat paradoxically, that their own works must be added to the ingredients of the paradise cake that they want to bake by quoting such scriptures as these:

Ezekiel 20:11 I gave them my decrees and made known to them my

Then I gave them My statutes and explained My ordinances to them–the person who
does them will live by them. The one who carries them out will live by them!
//biblehub.com/ezekiel/20-11.htm – 16k

Leviticus 18:5 Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys

Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them.
//biblehub.com/leviticus/18-5.htm – 16k

The question is do these scriptures mean eternal life when they say that man will live by being obedient to these laws?

There is no question that if any man can keep all the laws of God continually from the beginning of his life to the end he must go to heaven. He cannot go to hell. He is sinless. So in that sense these scriptures are true. But if we have a partial obedience and forgiveness for the sins that we have committed is that enough to enable us to go to paradise as a reward for our works? Islam answers with a resounding yes here. In this case our partial obedience plus forgiveness through God’s mercy would be enough to make us righteous enough to earn the reward of paradise. Salvation, in the islamic model is a synergy between mans works and God’s mercy. Is this the case in Christianity? It is clearly not the case but that is a topic for another post. Right now let Jesus reply to those who claim that they can use their own works in any way, shape or form, to earn them a place in paradise. He clearly refutes this idea:

Jesus Blesses the Children

(Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16)

15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

Little children do not have any power or strength to perform work to earn the things that they need in life such as food, clothing and shelter. They must receive these things as a gift. Just so is it with our salvation. We have no power or strength to do any works that would earn any merit that would place God in debt to us to reward us with paradise. We are like these children Jesus invited and welcomed in to his loving arms. We can do nothing which is meritorious to earn our salvation, to justify us before God. We conclude that salvation is:

  • Sola Fide, by faith alone.
  • Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
  • Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
  • Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
  • Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.

Amen.

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4 Responses to Jesus uses little children to show that we cannot earn salvation through any works of our own

  1. θ says:

    “Madmanna says: Little children do not have any power or strength to perform work to earn the things that they need in life such as food, clothing and shelter. They must receive these things as a gift. Just so is it with our salvation. We have no power or strength to do any works that would earn any merit that would place God in debt to us to reward us with paradise. We are like these children Jesus invited and welcomed in to his loving arms. We can do nothing which is meritorious to earn our salvation, to justify us before God. ”

    You misunderstood the Gospel too far. Being like a little child just means being unable to disobey or commit sin or do malice, but the understanding of mind ought not to be not childish. Of course children don’t earn income for the family but they still have to help and obey the parents at home accordingly, they have to be obedient of family rules, such as on the daily eating, bathing, clothing, and sleeping at night.
    1Cor 14:20
    Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

    Children are not free from a household responsibility. At the most basic level, they are ordered to do good works, at least they ought to learn how to obey, honor, show piety, requite the parents at home.

    A toddler doesn’t disobey, lie, steal, let alone to insult, murder, fornicate, et cetera. Normally, a little child does not know how to do violence or to be unruly. They have a basic responsibility at home.
    In fact, the 4th Commandment is universal duty for children and older Jews alike. Little boys get circumcision. As the integral part of the household, the male and female children get baptism altogether with the matures.
    1Tim 5:4
    But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.
    Col 3:20
    Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
    Eph 6
    1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

    Book of Acts infers the children of the household get baptised.
    Acts 16:15
    And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying,
    1Cor 1:16
    And I baptized also the household of Stephanas:

    Jesus confirms the Law of Moses can’t be broken, hence the little boys are circumcised, even on day of Sabbath.
    Jn 7:23
    If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?

  2. madmanna says:

    We must receive our justification as a little child because we can contribute nothing to it. Jesus did it all for us on our behalf.

  3. θ says:

    Christians do contribute in killing Jesus of Christian version, as their sins have slain him retroactively. Even they still paraded their killing of Jesus by nailing his statue in the churches and at crucifix til these days.
    Peter sums up the killing as “the just for the unjust”.
    1Pet 3:18
    For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
    Acts 2
    36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.37 . Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Reformed Christians count less and belittle a strong statement of inspiration of the Spirit thru James that the faith can be dead alone if it has no work. James confirms the Eternal Life doesn’t immediately get attached to one’s Faith despite saying “Jesus is Lord”. A dead faith is antithesis of the Faith meriting Eternal Life.
    A dead faith means the absence of the eternal Life.
    The Reformed Christians tend to mistakenly see the works as a fruit of the Faith, but how can the works die out the Faith?
    Jas 2:17
    Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

    Worse, the Spirit’s inspiration on John states further that certain wrong deeds cancel out the yield of eternal life of one’s Faith. How can one’s work eclipse or outwit his Faith in Jesus, unless the work is equally crucial to the faith?
    If the faith could be died out by the work, it is wrong to consider the work as a fruit of the faith.
    1Jn 3:15
    Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

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