I have a question. There is a passage in Matthew 18:3 - And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." To the best of my knowledge God wants the sinner's whole soul to change to be converted. Does humbleness make a difference in salvation? And according to John 1:13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will but born of God. Meaning it's God's work from beginning to end, since one can't choose to believe in him and Jesus gives the salvation itself. How does one go to heaven if someone believes it's all of God yet one must be humble to enter it? I believe the blood of Jesus saves souls. How does one trust the Lord when I'm so focused on trusting if I am humble or not?
The context of Matthew 18:3 describes Jesus’ disciples coming to him with the question “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus’ answer included the example of a little child and the instruction to have childlike humility.
Jesus’ answer to the disciples’ question warns against sinful pride. Sinful pride certainly can “make a difference in salvation.” When “self” becomes more important than God, the very first of God’s ten commandments is broken. When “self” becomes more important than God, then “self” becomes a god. If life continues that way, then salvation can be forfeited. This is reason why the Bible states: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
So, how do Christians address sinful pride? They confess it to God. Then, they rejoice in the forgiveness of their sins of pride (1 John 1:9). This is not a one-time occurrence in the lives of Christians. Luther’s Catechism reminds us that “Baptism means that the old Adam in us should be drowned by daily contrition and repentance, and that all its evil deeds and desires be put to death. It also means that a new person should daily arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.” Bible passages that reinforce that quotation include Psalm 38:18; Acts 20:21; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 4:22-24; and, Colossians 2:11-12.
Along with confessing sins, Christians trust in Christ as their Savior from sin. Faith in Jesus means that he, and not “self,” occupies the throne of the sinner’s heart.
I hope you can see that confessing our sins and confessing faith in Jesus Christ will address the subject of humility. While confessing our sins means that we need to take an honest look at ourselves, I would encourage you to look more to Jesus in faith as your Savior. Focus your attention on him (Hebrews 12:2). As your Lord comes to you in word and sacrament, the Holy Spirit will nurture and strengthen you with his gifts of “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). Those attitudes and actions are the opposite of the “acts of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19-21). God’s blessings to you!