Wednesday, October 2, 2013

From Infancy to Maturity

From Infancy to Maturity

The Apostle Paul writes about maturity in the faith and what the Church's role is in this process. As I read Ephesians 4 I can’t help but see that maturity and unity are mentioned in conjunction with each other. In verse 2 and 3 it says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” He is putting a personal responsibility on each disciple to be proactive at keeping the unity of the Spirit. We do that by living a life of forgiveness. We forgive others as Christ has forgiven us. That puts the bar pretty high.

In Ephesians 4:11-13, it says, “So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Did you catch it? Christ is so invested in our maturity that He provides called people to equip each one of us for service so we may be built up in unity and maturity in knowing God more. That is where our role as a church is given. We are to be a place of equipping and maturing in the faith so we can attain the fullness of Christ. If we respond and come together for this purpose, then we will no longer be tossed back and forth, in and out, encouraged and discouraged, or falling to every false teaching, but we will be growing in the truth and not be wavering. We will stand on solid footing. There are so many things in our world that scream tolerance, or maybe God has changed His stance in this area or that lifestyle. We need to come together and understand His Word more. We cannot settle for mediocrity living any longer.

I don’t want our church to fall into the mode of the ones the Hebrew writer says, “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk not solid food” (Hebrews 5:11-12). There is nothing wrong with being on milk for a while. Only in the church do we accept people staying on infant food for the rest of their spiritual life. We should strive to learn and grow toward solid food. “Solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14). When we hunger and thirst for more of Jesus and His word, then we learn to follow Him no matter what the circumstance because we have a new perspective and knowledge of good and evil. The enemy wants to do all he can to keep you from that knowledge so he can continue to deceive you in these last days.

There is a class for everyone – from infants to adults. This Sunday is, “Back to Class Sunday.” Our church wants to come along side of families and reiterate what you are teaching your children at home about being a follower of Jesus Christ. We want to provide an opportunity for parents to sit and learn with other believers while your children are in safe, loving classrooms being taught the Word of God. We want to help make Bible Study a priority in your week.

So if you don’t have a class you are attending on Sunday mornings, come this Sunday with other new attenders and find a class where you will be "built up until we all reach the unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." There are Discipleship Classes offered at 9:15 and 10:45 a.m. The service you choose to attend will dictate which class you attend. Try out several before you decide which one you like best. We have great teachers in each one.

This Sunday is also Grandparents Day. There will be a special choir, a quartet, and a delicious meal following the service. Come and celebrate with us as we meet new people and have an opportunity for those attending both services to enjoy a meal together in the Family Life Center at noon.

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

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