A Babe No More
The Lord desires that all of His children “grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). Growing is a natural process in every form of life. Apple seeds become apple trees that bear the fruit that we all enjoy, cute little puppies bark their way into “doghood” and become man’s best friend, and our precious babies grow to cry no more, finding their mature role in the family. In the biochemistry world, scientists have discovered the invasive presence of hormonal growth inhibitors, that become growth prohibitors. In the spiritual world, the Word of God gives us the eye-opening discovery of that deterrent which prohibits our spiritual growth in Christ: “to be carnally minded is death” (Romans 8:6). Holy Spirit inspiration does not stop with that death sentence, the Word then tells us: “but to be spiritually minded is life” (v. 6). A carnal (living for self) Christian has death’s power hovering over him; he remains a babe (crying and complaining), and no growth is possible, because he has a “walk as men” (I Corinthians 3:3), instead of enjoying a spiritual walk “looking unto Jesus, the Author, and finishers of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). There is a choice that every Christian needs to make: do I want to be a dead unhappy Christian, or an alive member in the body of Christ, growing into the “knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). The Word reveals that the “babes in Christ” in the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 3:1) needed to make a decisive walk out of the natural-carnal state (the growth inhibitor), into a spiritual state, into a living, personal walk with the Lord. The Apostle Peter challenges us to “grow in grace (divine favor), and in the knowledge of our Lord, and Saviour Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18). Spiritual growth is a more than a possible consideration, it is a powerful quest incited with His personal presence within: “Know ye not … that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you” (I Corinthians 3:16). The Apostle Paul reveals the answer with regards to living the spiritually mature life: “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live: yet not I but Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of he Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). For Paul, and for that matter, every Christian willing to be a babe no more, becoming a mature, growing up into His stature as a yielded believer, begins with a decision: “For to me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21).