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Read Introduction to Philippians

 

“Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.”

 

“as many as are mature”

Paul referred to the Corinthians, who had been Christians for some time, as “babes in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1). A baby is totally dependent upon someone else for nourishment. Paul could not speak to the Corinthians as people who could feed themselves. He spoke to them as babies dependent on others. They did not know how to feed themselves spiritually. They did not know the principles of the Word. They did not apply the Word to their experience. Therefore, they did not grow. They were ignorant of the Christian life.

No one expects a baby to behave like a teenager. We do not expect much from a baby. A baby cannot chew steak. A baby must begin with milk. The formula increases gradually in the weeks after birth. Eventually the baby begins to eat solid food. As a Christian grows, hopefully he eats the right kind of food (the Word of God) and in the right amount.

Eventually babies grows out of babyhood into childhood. If all things are equal (eating and exercising well), they will grow into manhood or womanhood. Growth out of infancy means they no longer think and act as new Christians. They no longer demand their own way most of the time. If they keep growing, they develop into spiritual fathers and mothers who have the ability to reproduce themselves.

It takes some Christians 30 years to grow into maturity. Others reach spiritual adulthood in just a few years. We have all seen new Christians who have been believers for only a few months outstrip others who have been Christians for decades. All along the highway Christians are pegged by God for their progress toward their destination of maturity.

If a baby does not increase in weight and length after a few weeks, something is stunting its growth. Lack of nourishment is likely the cause. Christians stunt their growth due to lack of subsistence. They may not know the grace of Christ. Their knowledge of Jesus the Lord is embryonic and undeveloped:

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet. 3:18)

They need to become stronger in their faith (what God has revealed in his Word):

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith [Scripture].” (Jude 20)

PRINCIPLE: 

Growth into maturity takes a regular diet of the unadulterated Word of God.

APPLICATION: 

Are you growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus the Lord? Are you stronger in your faith today than you were a few months ago? Are you getting nourishment from the Word?

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