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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”

Verses 15 and 16 submit the life that pleases God. A life that pleases God is one of maturity. Paul asked his audience to walk with him in the objective of Christlikeness. His goal for himself was his goal for them.

Paul stated in verse 12 that he was not “already perfected.” Verse 12 conveys the idea of sinless perfection. He insisted he never attained that. In this verse he used a similar term in the sense of spiritual adulthood, spiritual maturity.

The first order of business after birth is nourishment: 

“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (2 Pet. 2:2,3).

When a person is first born into the family of God, he has life and that is all. He knows nothing about how to live the Christian life. He does not even know everything there is to know about his birth. He does not know about justification, reconciliation, or propitiation. All this he will discover to his delight later in his spiritual life. For the moment all he knows is that he was lost without Christ, and with confidence in Christ’s death on the cross he owns a right relationship with God. New birth is the crisis that launches a process. The process is maturity in Christ.

When parents bring a baby home from the hospital, they are concerned with nourishment, not life. The baby received life at conception. They are not concerned with life but with development. It would be a tragedy if the baby still had a baby’s body at five years of age. A baby needs nourishment. The proper formula is necessary if a baby is to receive the right vitamins and minerals.

In Second Peter 2:2 Peter challenged new believers to “desire the pure milk of the Word.” The word “pure” means unadulterated. If a baby Christian is to grow, he needs to hear God’s voice without distortion. We are long on devotionals (even such devotionals as Today’s Word!!) and short on the Bible. If we use substitutes in place of the Bible, we will lack spiritual nourishment. A baby must have pure milk. A new Christian cannot allow any spiritual substitute to displace the Word of God. Growth groups, fellowship, and Christian books are no alternative to the unadulterated Word of God. The fundamental nourishment for growth is God’s voice.

PRINCIPLE: 

The Bible in its unadulterated form is the basis for Christian growth.

APPLICATION: 

Have you substituted numerous complexities into your spiritual diet? Has that process blunted your spiritual growth? Have you taken a detour from the Word? Why not return to the unadulterated Word of God?

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