Oh Just Grow Up! Are You A Spiritual Baby?

Reach, teach and unleash is my pastoral motto, and teaching is a critical link in the chain.
 
Why do we need to be taught? And why does a healthy church insist on providing learning opportunities?
           
One answer the Bible is clear about: Because we all enter the kingdom of God as spiritual babies.
 
Scripture insists that anyone who enters God’s kingdom is, spiritually speaking, a baby. 1 Peter 2:2 says, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up onto salvation.”  
 
There was a group of American tourists vacationing in England, who were walking through a village one day. They passed an old man sitting on a park bench, and one of the tourists, being a wise guy, called out in a fake English accident, “Old chap, were any great men born in this village?” The old man replied, “Nope, only babies.”
  
Sometimes we look in our Bibles and we see Moses parting the Red Sea, David slaying Goliath, Elijah taking on the prophets of Baal, Mary and the great courage she showed in being the mother of Jesus, and rather than be inspired by them, we’re intimidated. They’re so far above us, we think. But that’s not true. Each one of them started off as babies.
 
And you my brother, my sister, have that same opportunity in front of you. The opportunity of growing. Of growing in faith. Of growing in love. Of growing in purity. Of growing in fruitfulness. What will release this growth in your life? One thing – will you or will you not commit to learning, then living out the Lord’s teaching? That’s it. It’s no mystery.
 
How do you know if you’re a spiritual baby or not? Is a person who has been a Christian for ten years more spiritual and mature than one who has been a Christian for five years? Many think that’s how it works. Musicians are always asking each other: How long have you been playing? I can impress people by saying, “I’ve been playing guitar for 40 years. Aren’t you impressed?” But I stopped taking lessons 30 years ago. And since then, the only times I have improved as a guitar is whenever I have dedicated myself to learning.
 
In the kingdom of God, you could be a Christian for 20 or 30 years and still be a baby. Because there are two things that mark out spiritual infancy:
 
First, a lack of biblical knowledge.
 
The author of Hebrews said this to a group of Christians who had stopped growing. “Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again…You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness since he is a child.” (Hebrews 5:12-13).
  
If you don’t know a lot about the Bible yet, or you still haven’t mastered the habit of seeking God every day through Bible reading and prayer, or if you don’t know and understand the core doctrines of the faith, then you’re still a spiritual baby, no matter how long you’ve been a Christian.
 
But knowledge alone doesn’t prove maturity.  You could win every Bible sword drill, and score a 100 on any Bible quiz that gets thrown at you, you still might be a spiritual infant.
 
Because secondly, spiritual infancy is shown by lack of biblical behavior.
 
Paul said to the Corinthians, “If I have all knowledge and understand all mysteries but have not love I am nothing.” (1 Cor.13:2).
 
We find out in reading Corinthians that the folks in this church were bickering amongst themselves who their favorite preacher was. One group said, “We like Paul!” Another group said, “But we like Apollos!” Paul had to tell them to grow up. He had to give them a timeout, and send them to their naughty chair.
 
He tells them in 1 Corinthians 3:1,4, “But I could not address you as spiritual…but as infants in Christ,” he said.
 
A lack of holiness, a lack of showing the love and grace of Christ in your life is proof positive that you’re still in spiritual diapers and need to grow up.
 
Pastor Bear

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