«      »

Christian Growth

By Okwudili Umeweni

Right from when a man turns from his evil ways to become a matured Christian, there are various stages involved of which can also be compared to the birth and growth of a baby into full maturity.

I have grouped this into various stages comparing both developments at each stage.

1. IN THE WOMB

When a baby is in the womb, it’s all darkness but the baby will seem not to be bothered about it, rather, it feels that’s where it is supposed to be forever.

This is just the case of the man who is still in his sinful nature. He feels so much comfortable in his sin and wouldn’t care to know the joy of coming into light. Such a one calls sin enjoyment; and to such did the Bible say, “For the god of this world (the devil) has blinded the unbeliever’s minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the image and Likeness of God” (1 Corinthians 4:4 Amplified).

2. AT BIRTH

For the baby in the womb, nine months is the exact time for its coming forth. At this time, many people await its birth with great expectancy. Sometimes, the baby dies in the womb but often the baby is born safely, thereby bringing joy to all relatives.

Such is the case of the man who after a while in sin and destruction will like the prodigal son of the Bible say, “I will arise and go to my father.” (Luke 15:18).

At that time, Jesus is standing on the door of his heart knocking. Unfortunately, the man may decide to harden his heart and one day, die in his sin. But to the man who opens up his heart at that set time to make Jesus Lord over his life will be translated from darkness to the light of God’s kingdom in a split of second; having eternal life (the God-kind of life). Then, we say he is born again.

At such a time, the Bible says, “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:10).

Just as the baby would cry, so may this man weep, for all these while he has wasted his years in darkness not realizing the joy of light.

3. INFANCY

Now, though the baby can be called a normal human being, he still has to be nourished and taken good care of by the parents. The baby wouldn’t so much as cry, before he gets the attention of his loving parents. All the baby needs is given to him.

The baby now has to be kept on liquid and paste food such as water, milk, or pap till he becomes a little bit matured.

He also begins to identify the voices of his parents from that of other people.

So also is the infant Christian. Every prayer he prays, God Almighty being the Father seems to answer immediately. He begins to see and enjoy the unsearchable riches in Christ Jesus; though having lots of questions in mind. To such did Peter admonish: “Like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto [completed] salvation” (1Peter 2:2 Amplified).

Just as the newly born baby would crave for the mother’s milk or anything in form of liquid that comes his way, would this infant Christian long and crave for God’s Word by all means possible.

At this stage also, he starts learning to recognize the voice of God from the chatters of this world.

Writing to the infant Christians in Corinth and the Hebrews, Paul says:

“However, brethren, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men], but as to nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates], as to mere infants [in the new life] in Christ [unable to talk yet!] I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not yet strong enough [to be ready for it], for you are still [unspiritual, having the nature] of the flesh [under the control of ordinary impulses]. For as long as [there are] envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere (unchanged) men?” (1Corinthians 3:1-3 Amplified)

“For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food. For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]!” (Hebrews 5:12,13 Amplified)

4. CHILDHOOD TO ADULTHOOD

Here the baby refuses to be addressed as one. He has come to a level where he no longer feeds on liquid and paste foods. He now needs solid foods such as meat and bone to grow thereby. The love, care and concern of his parents enable him to grow everyday. Responsibilities now fall on his shoulder as someone matured to handle it.

This also applies to the Christian. He doesn’t only need to sit back and be fed with God’s Word. He reaches out for it with so much hunger and zeal by joining a fellowship group, attending bible study classes and devoting his time to much study and prayer; growing thereby.

He goes through trials, temptations & persecutions and comes out victorious counting it all joy knowing fully well that all things work together for his good. At this time, not all his prayers may be answered like before but he has decided to unwaveringly hold on to God’s promise that says, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

There is no such thing now as backsliding in his ‘personal Christian Dictionary’. He now knows what it means to be led by the Spirit of God. His sole aim in life is to bring pleasure to God, his maker.

Talking about the matured Christians, Paul writes: “Yet when we are among the full-grown (spiritually mature Christians who are ripe in understanding), we do impart a [higher] wisdom (the knowledge of the divine plan previously hidden)” (1Corinthians 2:6a Amplified). That is unveiling mysteries (the bone I am talking about).

Just as the ordinary child may grow speedily above his age depending on his nutrition and welfare; so also would this Christian grow so fast spiritually depending on the level of his hunger and thirst for the things of God.

5. AGED

By this time, the Christian have given birth to children and grandchildren; even great grand children. That is to say he has converted and trained lots of people in the way of the Lord. Every gift and talent endowed upon his life by God have been selflessly deposited to his generation in obedience to 1Peter 4:10 “Each one, as a good manager of God’s different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God” (Today’s English Version). Having completed and fulfilled his purpose for living, he can now say like Paul: “I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2Timothy 4:7).
Please note that when one is born again, he becomes a child of God immediately. Old things are wiped away. Glory to God!

This does not mean he must begin to manifest or possess the whole fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22,23; just as a newly born baby is not expected to manifest the full traits of an adult (though being a full human being). The development happens gradually.

An evangelist cum author

http://www.okwudiliumeweni.com

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERSMAKE A WEBSITE

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • Stay Up to Date with TheHolyStory News!
    Get Your TheHolyStory News here!
    * indicates required
  • Categories
  • Search the Net from here!
    Custom Search
WP Flex by WP Queen
Wordpress theme developed by Simpler Computing and others - Wordpress and WPMU Plugins, custom code and more.