Friday, October 28, 2022

Spiritual Growth (1 Corinthians 14:20-25)

"Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults" (1 Cor. 14:20).

The road to spiritual maturity is long and difficult; many snares and detours lie in wait along the way. Yet God has promised to bring all His children to glory. All who have been justified will be glorified—the tough part is the journey in between, the road of sanctification that is less traveled than the broad way that leads to destruction.

While the path to spiritual maturity is difficult, we must not deter from trying to attain “the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:15). Too many people in the church want to be like the thief on the cross who died with little knowledge or growth. Few people are taken from the battle field the minute they step onto it. Most face a long climb from infancy to maturity.

The Scriptures tell us that Christians are to have a child-like faith, one that trusts in the Father implicitly, but they are not to remain in infancy. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11). You can only grow into an adult by eating solid spiritual food: “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” (Heb. 5:14). The mature Christian has studied the Word and has communed with God to such a degree as to distinguish good from evil. They have increased their knowledge and practice to be able to discern what is right (Phil. 1:9–11).They have enlarged the harvest of their righteousness (2 Cor. 9:10), growing in conformity to Christ. The tools necessary for such a development are constant prayer, Bible study, worship, fellowship with believers (especially mature believers), and service in the kingdom. If you are a newborn believer, “crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). If you have walked with the Lord for a long time, put away childish things, leaving the “elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity” (Heb. 6:1). Continue to persevere and “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever” (2 Peter 3:18).

How much time do you spend in prayer, Bible study, worship, fellowship, and service? Is growing in spiritual maturity a goal of yours? God has commanded you to grow in knowledge and grace—this means action and effort. Pray for perseverance and commitment to growing up in the faith in one of these areas.