ARE YOU GROWING???
The New Testament Epistles are all about such things as:
MATURITY v IMMATURITY
GROWTH v NO GROWTH
We are living in such a generation of Biblical illiteracy, no (or little) Biblical Discipleship, no real desire to change, after a person has made their “Profession of Faith”, just a “decision” along the way, and so little evidence often of “higher” standards from Leaders in the local church, consequently no strong desire or need for change to take place in one’s life.
The paragraph above to some will seem harsh, but it is a painful reality in much of my personal world. I have to ask the question “HAS THE SPIRITUAL TRANSACTION REALLY TAKEN PLACE” ??? When a person genuinely comes to Christ, HE IS A NEW CREATURE, therefore God’s DNA should be starting to operate in their lives even from day one.
The New Testament writers grappled with this problem, so I guess it isn’t just a modern problem in the church. Just as natural HUNGER is a basic drive within us from day on of our birth, so should spiritual HUNGER. The Apostle Peter says in 1 Peter 2:2 NKJV As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. The MESSAGE says You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God. The PASSION Bible says In the same way that nursing infants cry for milk, you must intensely crave the pure spiritual milk of God’s Word. For this “milk” will cause you to grow into maturity, fully nourished and strong for life.
These various translations suggest that if we are truly born again, our spiritual sense of TASTE and as has the HUNGER drive been activated and WE AUTOMATICALLY WANT MORE. May a Disciplemaker encourage this in the new Believer.
The writer to the Hebrews make some sad statements in Hebrews 5: 12-14 NKJV For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. The AMP N.T. says: For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food.
For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]!
But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.
As parents we know that a baby feeds on its Mother’s Milk , but slowly it is encouraged to eat soft foods as well, and eventually solid food. If you had a teenage son (or daughter) who just wanted to lay on the lounge and say “give me a bottle, I just want milk” we would be very concerned , yet all around us we have Believers who sup on a bottle occasionally and are not GROWING UP. Biblical Discipleship MUST ENCOURAGE the development of SPIRITUAL TASTE AND HUNGER.
What I have written so far may seem harsh to some people, but it is the sad reality in too many Believer’s lives, and we have a responsibility to change this and see God’s people GROWING.
Peter admonishes his readers in 2 Peter 3:18 NKJV But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and evermore. Amen.
The AMP N.T. says But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) and recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him [be] glory (honor, majesty, and splendor) both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (so be it)! The PASSION BIBLE says But continue to grow and increase in God’s grace and intimacy with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May he receive all the glory both now and until the day eternity begins. Amen!
Now let us give ourselves A SPIRITUAL CHECK UP
- Is the revelation of God’s grace, His undeserved favour and mercy growing on me, so much that I have to fall at His feet and say “without You I can do nothing”.
- Is my understanding of God and His plan for my life ever increasing,
- Am I growing in intimacy with the Lord. and can say with Paul in Phil 3:10 NKJV That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
- Am I spending quality time regularly in the Word of God and hearing from God.therefore GROWING IN FAITH Romans 10:17 NKJV So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
- Can I say “The things I once loved I now hate, and the things I once hated I now love.
- Do I have a revelation that as Peter says in 2 Peter as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.
Only you and I can personally answer these questions, I trust that by the grace of God you and I can say yes to these questions, and can clearly discern, and be able to say I AM GROWING. Thank you Lord Jesus.