“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle“
which you were taught,
Christians will remain spiritual babies if they do not submit to the sound teaching of God’s Word. Spiritual pigmies fill churches today because 1) they do not get solid teaching in the pulpit or 2) they have little interest in what God says to them through His Word.
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers [one gift in the Greek], for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…” (Ephesians 4:11-12).
“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7)
“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach…” (1 Timothy 3:2).
“Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine [teaching]” (1 Timothy 5:17 ).
“But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:23-26).
Christians suffer arrested spiritual development because they do not present themselves to solid Bible teaching.
Many Christians suffer from arrested spiritual development. They do not apply the principles of God’s Word to their experience. Whether your problems are spiritual, domestic, or financial, you can address them by God’s Word. It may take time. It will take growth in maturity. If you expose yourself to God’s Word, it will change your attitude and actions.
Growth in God’s principles for life cannot be hit and miss. You must daily expose yourself to the line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept study of the unadulterated Word of God.
“…as newborn babes, desire the pure [unadulterated] milk of the word, that you may grow thereby…” (1 Peter 2:2 ).
The Word of God will give us an apparatus for living. However, if we try to grow by a “do-it-yourself-kit,” we will never mature in Christ. We may develop some skills in life, but these will not enable us to deal with spiritual battles.
“How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You!” (Psalm 119:9-11).
It is not enough to learn facts about the Bible. It is critical to learn the principles of the Word. If we learn principles, we will be able to apply them to our experiences. Principles transcend isolated information. Only the Holy Spirit can impress these principles on our hearts.
Principles come from teaching, not from exhortation. An exhortation is a challenge to do a specific thing. Principles show you how to appropriate God’s way of handling that specific thing.
We get these principles from sitting under a pastor who faithfully exposes God’s Word for what it actually says. This kind of pastor understands the overarching principles of life that will govern the spiritual life of the people in his congregation. God wrote three books to pastors [1 and 2 Timothy and Titus (the pastorals)]. The keyword in all three of those epistles is “teach,” sometimes translated “doctrine.” It is doctrine that forms solid principles for living.
One of the reasons why there are so many spiritual pigmies in evangelicalism today is that Christians do not know doctrine. If they do not know doctrine, they will lack discernment. The lack of discernment gets many people into spiritual hot water. They fall for much of the cultic teaching in evangelical circles today. They cannot identify error because they do not recognize the truth! Everything sounds good to everyone.
We live in a day of syncretism where all truth is one big glob of grease. We cannot distinguish truth from error. “It sounds good to me. What’s wrong with that teaching? It’s spiritual, isn’t it?”