Putting away therefore all wickedness, all deceit, hypocrisies, envies, and all evil speaking, as newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, that with it you may grow” (1 Pet. 2:2) WEB.
“Therefore, rid yourselves of every kind of evil and deception, hypocrisy, jealousy, and every kind of slander. Like newborn babies, thirst for the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow in your salvation” (1 Pet. 2:2). ISV.
We began in part 2 to examine ways by which we grow up spiritually. We saw that desire plays a significant role in spiritual development. Let’s look at two other ways: diet and decision.
Diet: What physical food is to the natural man, the Word of God is to the spiritual man. “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). A spiritual man is the born again man (Jn. 3:3,5-6). But as he feeds on the Word which Paul called the Word of His grace, his mind is renewed to the image which he already is! “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Col. 3:10). Hence, spiritual growth is about your mind aligning with the realities of Christ within. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him, rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Col. 2:6-7). Christ is the meal on which we feed for growth.
Decision: The most important decision you can ever make as touching spiritual growth is the kind of local church you attend. You must find the right local church where Christ is preached and stay committed there. Many are static in their growth today because they are attending a church out of convenience. They attend a local church because it is close to their residence, some attend because their friends or family attend same. Others attend because of a magnificent church building. Some it is music, drama or comedy that informed the choice of the church they attend. You don’t attend a church because it is popular or the pastor is. These are all flimsy or frivolous reasons.
We must have spiritual reasons for taking an interest in a particular local church. The early church “…continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers”(Acts. 2:42). They continued in the doctrines or teachings that the apostles taught. The spiritual nourishment you receive from a church determines your spiritual development.
If what you hear in your church is business ideas, skill acquisition, motivational talks, comedy etc., it is impossible for you to grow spiritually.
The church was designed for the spiritual maturity of the believer and not his career or professional life. Hence, the scriptures tells us why we have been given ministers of the Gospel “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting (maturing or equipping) 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 fulness 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” (Eph. 4:11-15). There is no place for entertainment or dissipation of energy in the local church, Christ alone is preached and every believer is presented mature in Him (Col. 1:27-29).
Say these words out loud: I feed on Christ regularly and I grow up spiritually. I allow the word of Christ to dwell richly in me in all wisdom. As I have received Christ Jesus the Lord, I walk in him, rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as I have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
To be continued…