Monday, July 09, 2018

"A 50 Year Old Infant?"

1st Corinthians 3.1 NASU

“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.”

I want to be a spiritual man, not a man “of flesh.” According to his first letter to the church at Corinth around twenty-five years after the crucifixion of Jesus, Paul described “men of flesh” as nothing more than “infants in Christ.” Apparently, a believer’s maturity has little to do with time logged as a believer. Maturity in Christ should not be measured by the number of church services attended, ministry involvements, Bible knowledge, positions or church offices held, size of charitable donations, Christian labels, jewelry, or lingo.

True spirituality has less to do with outward indicators and everything to do with deeper and less noticeable concepts like quiet suffering, hard choices, self-denial, delayed gratification, personal endurance, reliance on God, faith, obedience, discipline, and sacrifice. There is no easy way to grow up. Spiritual adulthood is developed in the trenches of temptation and hardship. There we find strength to trust Someone bigger than ourselves and make decisions that shape our destinies.

A true ‘man of God’ must prepare to suffer. He will remain ‘an infant in Christ’ if he consistently chooses the easy path, harbors secret sin, and nurses on the milk of self-centeredness. No matter how established he may appear, a man is only as ‘grown up’ as the depth of his relationship with Jesus who said,

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
Luke 9.23 NASB

Brand new believers can quickly grow into a spiritual adults if, by virtue of true repentance, they submit themselves to the authority of Christ. Conversely, devoted followers of Christ can easily fall backward toward ‘spiritual infancy’ by consistently succumbing to the voice of temptation. In Christ, it is possible to be a fifty year old spiritual infant or a brand new Christian man of God!

“So, if you think you are standing firm,
be careful that you don’t fall.
1st Corinthians 10.12 NASU

The photograph above of a man crying is called "Big Baby" by Canadian photographer Jean-François Thériault who kindly gave me permission to use the photo with these important words: "Lots of photographers find their pictures used around the web without any credits or any kind of compensation. I'm very happy to see there is still good people around here that are aware of our hard work."


One Sided said...

In high school I was a "c" student, I did just enough work to pass more to keep Dad off my back than anything else. After I graduated an automible accident changed the course I had set my doctor said "You will need to find a line of work that makes use of your head not your back." Back ay my parents house and back in school a trade school for computer operations. I aced every class, I scored higher than my instructor and graduated at the top of my class.
I remember when I studied, blocking my tendancy to daydream reminding myself, that I needed to learn what was before me. It had become important to me. I was motivated beyond wanting to avoid my fathers lecture.
When I became a Christian, I was a "C" student. I did just enough to impress those whom I interacted with.

Von Draco said...

No matter how established he appears, a man is only as ‘grown up’ as his current relationship with Christ.

A brand new believer can quickly grow into a spiritual man if, by virtue of true repentance, he submits himself to the authority of Christ.

I understand one sided very well, I too did the samethings in school and found myself doing in life as well. I felt I was not giving my best, not even for me. Now I am recovering from my accident and I feel I can do anything I want to and in fact plan to. I am going back to school, where is the only question I have. So to be growing out of being an infent of God to more like a Man of God I need to trust in him to focus as you did one sided.

God bless,

Dave's Bible Blog said...

good words, danny.