Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Growing Up

Paul in speaking to the Corinthian church mourned their inability to feed on the deeper things of God. In 1 Corinthians 3:3, he lists a number of behaviors that were preventing their spiritual growth: envy, strife, and division, and then he very plainly states, "You are yet carnal...and walk as men."
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. (1 Corinthians 3:2)
The world carnal implies someone who is more concerned with worldly, temporal things in their life than with spiritual.

We see this thought again in 1 Peter 2:2.
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Very plainly, this scripture says, "Feed on God's Word and grow up!"

I am drawn now to a passage in the book of Ephesians. In verse 11 there is a list of callings in the church.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Now, this verse has been used a lot to describe the different offices God has ordained, but I want you to notice that it does not say, "He [God] gave some apostles, and some apostles, and some apostles, and some apostles," nor is any other office strictly highlighted. Instead, this list covers a number of different callings. We can see this again in 1 Corinthians 12.

Now there are diversities of gifts (verse 4)
And there are differences of administrations
(verse 5)
And there are diversities of operations
(verse 6)
There are diversities and differences, but...But how does each of these scriptures end?

...same Spirit
...same Lord

...same God
In both 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4, the same point is being made. The book of Ephesians uses the word "unity" and in 1 Corinthians it says "the selfsame Spirit". (Ephesians 4:13; 1 Corinthians 12:11) God works, not just through one man, one preacher, or one group of Christians, but through all of us, to bring unity to the church.

God speaks to each man in the body of Christ (in the church) in whatever "language" they need to best hear and promote growth in that person. In other words, how He speaks to one person might not be how He speaks to another. It is not the language we, as believers, should be concerned about, and by that, I mean the particular church or building, denomination or faith.

Doesn't it say in verse 12 of this same passage in 1 Corinthians, "the body is one, and hath many members"? And in two other passages, the Bible also specifically says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11)

Now look back at verse 14 of Ephesians 4.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine...
Our "job" as Christians is to hear God's voice so that we may grow and become strong in Christ. Then, as we grow, we will grow together, we will grow unified, building up the church. How each of us hears, what church we attend, or what preacher most speaks to our heart, is not what's important. What's important is that we determine to "come...unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:13) In other words, we grow up! I know that is my goal.

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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