Weak Christians

January 18, 2013

Weak Christians

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

       For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which  be        the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

It’s unfortunate that some believers have a great lack of spiritual maturity.  The author of the book of Hebrews says “for the time.”  Most commentators say that by that he means that considerable time had passed since they first believed.  We can’t expect a believer to mature from one day to the next.  A chicken egg has to be in the incubator for 21 days.  The gestation period of a colt is 11 months.  How long should it take for a believer to go from being born again to spiritual maturity?

Perhaps we should explain what it means to be spiritually mature.  To be sure, it doesn’t mean that we arrive at perfection because we never reach that level in life.  When the Bible says “Be ye holy, for I am holy” (I Peter 1:16) we believe it is talking about maturity.  The word “holy” means perfect.  Romans 3:10-12 says, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:   There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.    They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” That’s why we believe that the word “holy,” for a believer, must mean maturity.

In I Corinthians 2:6-7 the Apostle Paul gives us some idea of the level of maturity a believer should reach.  “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught:   But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.” For Paul, a good indication that a believer has reached maturity is that he has wisdom.  Not all wisdom is the same.  James speaks of earthly wisdom and wisdom that is from above. “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.   For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.   But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”  The wisdom from above comes from God.  It is promised in James 1:5.  “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

Another characteristic of a mature believer is that he has a measure of stability in his Christian life.  He can be counted on.  He will be faithful in church attendance.  He will have developed the habit of spending time alone with God every day, reading his Bible and in prayer.  That means he has learned to have self-discipline regarding the use of his time.

If a good number of mature believers attend a church, it has the ability to carry out its function of evangelizing the community around it.  Then it can also discipline new believers and bring all to a higher level of spiritual maturity through the ministry of its Sunday school. Most churches have several members who are not regular in their attendance.  They can’t be counted on to help with the ministry of the church or contribute financially.  Sometimes the church leaders feel led to add a new ministry to the church, but they can’t do it because there aren’t sufficient mature believers.

Weak Christians fail to use their spiritual gifts.  God has graciously given us talents by which we can serve others and thus be fruitful.  Some of the talents are enumerated in Romans 12:6-8.  “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;    Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;    Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” It gives us a great deal of satisfaction to know that we have something others need.  We can’t enjoy that satisfaction unless we are using our talents to serve others.

My Christian brother or sister, where are you in this matter of maturity?  Have you arrived at a level of wisdom and stability?  How long has it been since you accepted Christ as your Savior?  God saved you for a purpose.  He wants to use you.  Our talents are called gifts.  They are given to us so that we might give.  Remember the promise of Luke 6:38.  “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

If you haven’t arrived at a good level of maturity, it’s time for you to ask God’s forgiveness and start claiming his promises.  The promise of wisdom has already been mentioned.  It is found in James 1:5.  Philippians 4:13 is the promise that we can do what God asks us to do.  “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” II Peter 1:3 says that God has given you all you need. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”  Don’t go on being a weak Christian.  Even the mature Christian keeps on growing.  Don’t be one of those weak Christians who stopped growing before they reached maturity.

 

Our e-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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