Summary: The last in a three part series on Spiritual Maturity.
IT’S TIME TO GROW UP Part 3
Instability in the Faith
Ephesians 4:11-16, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
Jesus established the church before going away after his resurrection. The church was established with the idea in mind that it would be a place for God’s children to come together in mutual agreement and help one another to grow closer to Jesus. In establishing the church, God placed within the church certain positions or ministries that are absolutely necessary in helping people to grow into spiritual maturity.
All of us begin this walk with the Lord by being Born Again into the family of God. This is not a physical birth for such would be impossible. Nicodemus questioned Jesus concerning this very thing when he said in John 3:7, "...How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? "
Since we are Born Again into the family of God by the Spirit of God through the power of His Blood, isn’t it reasonable to assume that we must all go through the growth process to become mature and stable in the faith of our Lord?
Becoming a mature Christian requires as much hard work, a lot of hard knocks, falling and getting up time and again until we reach Heaven. We are ever growing as long as we are walking upon the earth and we won’t grow up or mature completely until we enter the streets of the New Jerusalem. Just as it takes a long time to grow from a newborn baby, to a toddler, to an adolescent, to a teenager, and on into adulthood, it takes time to grow into a more mature Christian who is stable in their walk with the Lord.
All of us go through stages of growth. Perhaps it would do us good to look at the different stages of growth and make some comparisons to our spiritual growth. It may help each of us to know where we are in our maturity in Christ.
Just as your mother, father, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts or uncles are placed in your natural family to help you grow up, Jesus has chosen to place Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers in your life to help you grow up spiritually. These are often referred to as the 5-Fold Ministry within the church.
The role that these offices will play in your life depends upon the level of spiritual maturity that you have reached.
The Evangelist is usually the first exposure you have to the 5 fold ministry within the church.
It is the Evangelist that first brings the message of the gospel to your heart and life. That evangelist may be a close friend, family member, acquaintance at school or on the job, or it may be a fiery evangelist preaching behind a pulpit. The fact is that anyone who carries the message of salvation through the Blood of Jesus to a lost soul is an evangelist.
The evangelist gives you the bottled milk of the Word of God. The message of salvation is the only food you need to become a child of God. We hear the milk of the Word and it tastes sweet to our soul. Then we choose to either accept that word or to reject it and remain outside of the family of God.
It is fitting that mild is white in color, (unless you get yours from a brown cow, then it’s chocolate – HA!) for that white color represents the power of the Gospel to wash away your sin in the Blood of the Lamb and place upon you the robes of righteousness like pure white linen. That’s the milk of the word. Those who listen to it and obey it with sincerity are born again and on their way to Heaven.