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Everyone wishes that they were further along in their spiritual maturity with Christ. Including me!
This is the time for a personal assessment of your level of spiritual maturity.
Before change can begin, we must first know where we are...right? Here
is where we take a look into our personal mirrors and evaluate
ourselves. Before we continue, we should be able to clearly define our
position on the spiritual growth pole, and this e-book can help .
Not one individual was born into the world already at the stage of adulthood. We all came into to earth as babies; then we grew into toddlers; adolescence and then adulthood.
Same goes for our spiritual voyage.
As I've previously indicated, our spiritual growth is not based on the amount of years that we have been in our assemblies, or how many years we were baptized, or when we became a Christian. To truly know if we have been growing, we should instead look at the fruits that we produce.
So what fruits do you produce?
Fruits of growth: growing more in Christ? Childhood? Or are we at the first level of spiritual maturity?
1 Peter 2 : 2
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that they may grow thereby:
As babies, we came into this world not having a past and not too aware of our future. We were just simply present, and fully dependent on our parents for care and protection. When we were born into Christ we also had this same experience called innocence.
Everything about Christianity is new and at times overwhelming.
2 Corinthians 5: 17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
At our birth in Christ, all of our sins
were washed away and in the eyes of God we were made new. At that moment
If we take a minute to remember the first time we said yes to Jesus Christ we will also remember four characteristics about ourselves. We were:
Am I correct? Has these qualities become extinct in our lives, or are they still prevalent?
Even though all of the above is true about our character at this level in our Christian walk, this stage still represents our spiritual man at its weakest state.
For because of this simplicity of mind; lack of understanding and experience; roots are not planted. So you can easily be deterred when faced with trails, hurt and hardship.
I know of persons that gave up on Christ because someone they loved or a mentor did not live up to their expectations.
1 Corinthians 3: 1-2
And I brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 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.
There are so many things I can say on this one area. Peter made mention of it, Paul also supports the same. As babes, we are fed with the milk of the word because in this level of spiritual maturity, we are just too fragile to bear strong meat.
This is acceptable for a newborn in Christ, but is this still our condition after many years? If so then we are still lingering in the ‘new born’ level of spiritual maturity and God will not be able to use us to our full potential until growth begins.
So then, what really is the ‘milk of the word’?
Paul explains this in Hebrews when he said:
Hebrews 5: 12 - 13
‘For when for the time we ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again, which be the first principles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe’
The milk of the word speaks of the doctrine of salvation: believe, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost.
I can go on to list more principles that are taught to us at this very stage of our salvation process but I believe you have gotten the main idea.
These principles are what Paul calls the first principles of God. They are necessary to be taught to every Christian, but the problem begins when after years of being fed with milk we have still not yet grown so that we can begin venturing into deeper depths in God.
The problem exists when time has passed and it still remains that these are the only preach word we can respond to or understand. It might be that we are still lingering at the level of a new born babe.
This very same scripture in Hebrews gives us two other traits of new born babes:
Looking at Hebrews 5 above, we see another feature:
Newborn babes always need to be taught and always need to be reminded. Because ‘Christianity’ is a new walk for them, they must be constantly reminded, and principles constantly instilled, so that they can be molded according to God’s word.
While we were babes I am certain that our parents had to constantly say ‘say Ma Ma’, until eventually our mouth formed the words. Well, the day that you finally said ‘Ma Ma’ or ‘Da da’ was the best day of your parent’s life. I’m sure they went around telling the whole world about the experience, ‘My child just spoke.’
Am I right?
Now that Youtube is a part of our daily lives, look out world, now these video clips also goes viral!
The excitement wears away, if this child grows to be 12 years, and still cannot call his mother by name. Usually, this child is taken to the doctor for a checkup.
Do you see the point? It is ok and even acceptable for a new born babe to need this much attention, but this becomes a problem if we are still at this level, after many years.
Newborn babes are unskillful in the Word. We can read it, but cannot fully understand most of what we read, neither can we rightly divide the Word of God.
At this level of spiritual maturity, in our Christian walk, we usually know just a handful of random scriptures. Paul calls this unskillful because we would not be properly equipped to teach the truth of the word of God correctly and directly.
Without the word of God planted in our hearts, we would not be able to effective witness to others about Christ neither would be able to defeat the enemy when trials come. We would often stumble and fall.
When that day comes when we are able to answer questions asked and give proper guidance and clarity to another, while using scriptures from God’s word as support, then this is an indication that we are growing!
1 Corinthian 3:3
For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
This brings us
to the number one ( 1 ) trait of new born babes, carnality. Romans 8, gives a
perfect description of what carnality truly is. In brief it means fleshly, or
after the flesh. I define it as believing and consistently acting as you used to behave before you came to Christ.
Galatians 5: 19 – 21 identified a list of these qualities:
These are the signpost of a newborn babe in Christ.
All these traits above may not be dominant in the life of a believer at this first level of Spiritual Maturity but if any of these traits are prevalent in our lives to the point of being almost acceptable, then we must begin wondering whether we are growing spiritually.
I know of persons that has anger issues. Year after year, instead of getting better it seems to be getting worst. What puts the icing on the cake is when statements are made like ‘They better not play with me. They already know what type of person I am! I am hot headed and I would put them in their place!’
What! Anger and hatred are things we must get rid of out of our lives, not embrace!
We will know that there has been
growth in our lives when, when we can truly say that we have overcome or we can see progress.
Finish with the lesson?
Or join me in the next lesson. We're about to find out more about the second level of spiritual maturity.