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From Milk To Solid Food – The Road To Spiritual Maturity, I Peter 2:2


NOVEMBER 13, 2018

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1.     There are two types of Christian babies

(a)       those born into the faith, in that they were born by Christian parents

(b)      those who came into the faith by conversion

Those in the first group can be further categorized into two (i) those born by nominal christians and (ii) those whose parents are born-again, spirit-filled believers.

The spiritual journey of children of nominal christians is hardly noticeable.  Their contact with the word of God by personal study, through sermons or revivals may be quite minimal. Indeed if they remain in the faith at all it is hardly for life for the simple reason that the word, which is the source of christian sustenance, is hardly in them. So when the problems of life surface they are not able to stand, Matt. 13:3-7. For children of born-again christians the privilege of early and regular exposure to the Word makes a difference in their christian journey. The parents serve as committed disciplers teaching and guiding them.

 

The last category are converts - those who come into Christ from another faith. These are usually adolescents or adults Acts 9:1-16. An example is Paul the Apostle. They are almost always eager to explore their new faith by any spiritual means available to them, such as biblical text or the electronic media, church gatherings and the like.  They are Pastors Missionaries, Evangelists and Bible Teachers are encouraged by the determination of the new converts to hear, and if educated, to study the bible.  As they grow in the faith disciplers discover that these “students” look ahead, rather than backwards, whatever challenges they may encounter in life.

They are eager investors of their resources, throwing in everything including time, money, energy, into the expansion of the Gospel. Some are even ready to die for the faith. A clear example is Paul the Apostle, 2Cor. 11:22-33, 2Cor. 12:7-10

 

2.     Christ The Great And Ultimate Discipler  

When Jesus selected his disciples He taught them the way of salvation. He never took anything for granted, knowing that the devil might pick them up and use them against Him. Judas Iscariot is a clear example, Matt. 26:14-16.  Jesus made it clear to them that being a disciple required hard work, John 5:17, and that

·                    The enemies of the Gospel would persecute them, John 15:20

·                    Those who do not believe in Christ would hate them, John 15:18-19

·                    If they have faith they would do the impossible, as He did, Mk. 11:23-24

·                    But they must have compassion for the sick and the distressed as He did. It is for this reason that He gave them the power to heal, Matt. 16:16-18

·                    However, in the course of their training they sometimes failed Him but, unlike human leaders, He never gave up on them, Mark 9:14-29, Luke 22:31-34.  The only disciple who lost out completely was the one who, on account of his greed and disloyalty, forfeited his place in the divine kingdom. And that was Judas Iscariot, Matt. 26:14-16

·                    So committed was Jesus to the survival and welfare of His disciples that He spent quality time praying, as He handed them over to the Father, prior to His departure, knowing that in the interval between His death and arrival of the Holy Spirit satan might sow seed of discouragement among them, John 17:1-26

 

3.       Evidence of Maturity

(i)      To be a mature christians is to be a fully developed child of God who runs away from sin knowing that the wages of sin is death, Rom. 6:23; I John 3:9

(ii)     To work with the Holy Spirit, day and night, as He is your teacher and guide, John 16:7-15

(iii)    To listen to the Holy Spirit as He helps you to have a fuller understanding of the Gospel and be in a position to effectively disciple/counsel others.

 

Some issues for deliberation

(i)      The christian life is not always a life of ease. Indeed, the more committed you are the greater the likelihood that you would suffer physical deprivation of one kind or the other, Matt. 11:2-5, Matt. 17:10-13; 2Cor. 12:8-10

(ii)     Although Jesus came to the world to save the entire humankind many would not accept Him, then, and now.  And He knew in advance. Hence His decision to speak in parables, Matt. 13:10-17

(iii)    Believers are privileged to know, and be followers of Jesus. Unknown to most, they were actually invited by The Father indeed, before they were born, John 6:44, 65.  


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