Summary: You and I should consistently grow in spiritual maturity, but this process takes a lifetime. In the book of Colossians, we find some very important steps to help us.
It’s Time to Grow Up!
Pm November 29th 2009
There’s a rebuke in the book of Hebrews which we as Christians would do well to take to heart:
Hebrews 5:11-14 says, “Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”
He’s saying, “We have a lot to say about Jesus, but you don’t listen the way you used to. You let the world dictate your philosophy, so it’s hard to explain the deeper things of God.”
These folks had been in church all their lives, and they had sat under enough teaching that they themselves should be able to teach. But because they had become dull of hearing they continually needed only simple truths the same way a baby needs only simple foods like milk. But babies are supposed to grow in size and appetite, and as they age they are expected to process more complex and solid foods. In the same way, believers are expected to mature beyond what is simple.
The reason is clear: those who mature learn to discern good from evil. You and I should consistently grow in spiritual maturity, but this process takes a lifetime. In the book of Colossians, we find some very important steps to help us.
Read Scriptures: Colossians 2:6-14
I. Maturity Occurs When We Walk In Him
Vs. 6 “…as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him…”
We received Christ Jesus by confessing His Lordship and turning away from sin. Now Paul commands us to continue by walking in the same way.
Walking is a way of life.
I knew a guy in high school who bench pressed more than 450 pounds. He didn’t walk into the weight room one day and start doing it, though; he had to work towards it. He would wake up at 4:00am every morning to drink a protein shake, he would snack on lunch meat several times a day, and he would take gobs of vitamins. He would go to the weight room every day where he would work hard to build his muscles.
The same dedication is expected from Christians. We aren’t supposed to be theological weaklings or spiritual dwarves. When we walk in Jesus we will grow up in our faith.
But, what does that mean to walk in Him?
1 John 1:5-7 “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
“Darkness” is a metaphor for “ungodliness and immorality.” Walking in the light (or walking in Christ) is the exact opposite of walking in darkness. To walk in Christ is to make a life of godliness and morality. To walk in Christ is to perpetually submit to His Lordship and to renounce sin.
This is the first step of maturity, but it’s not sudden or easy. Every day we make the decision to obey or rebel. Every moment we make the decision to walk in darkness or light. When we fail we make the decision to either get up or stay down.
II. Maturity Occurs When We are rooted in Christ
Vs. 7 “…having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed…”
There are two word pictures given in verse seven. First, we have been “firmly rooted in Him.” I think of a tree being rooted in the ground. The branches don’t take the responsibility of stability because that is the job of the roots. This leaves the branches free to produce leaves and to function as a tree.
The second picture is found in the two phrases “built up in Him” and “established in your faith.” This brings to mind a house being built up and established on its foundation. The house won’t sink because of the foundation, so the house is free to function as a house.
When we are rooted in Christ and established on Christ we are free to function as intended.