I think it was Jerry Vines that coined the phrase, “there is nothing wrong with being a baby, but it is a tragedy to be a baby all your life”. And, of course, Dr. Vines was speaking concerning our spiritual growth as Christians. On Wednesday nights we are working our way through the little letter of 1 John. Last Wednesday I hit upon a passage that really struck a chord in my heart. Here are the verses out of 1 John 2:12-14
“I write unto you little children because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”
It would seem that John was giving us stages of Christian growth. We first get saved, that is come to point in our lives that we realize our sin, repent of that sin and place our trust and faith in Jesus Christ as both Savior and Lord. And in this new found faith we are but little children. That is why Peter says we must crave the milk of the word like newborn babes (1 Peter 2:2). And we know little but we understand our sins are forgiven and we have a loving Heavenly Father. Then as time goes and we study and learn we grow into the next stage; young men. At this stage we learn that life is not a playground but rather a battlefield. And in the battle we overcome the wicked one through the Word of God. Then eventually we come the father stage and that is simply intimate, first hand knowledge of Jesus Christ. Actually knowing Him, abiding in Him and having sweet fellowship with Him.
Then as I read through the rest of the letter I found 5 instances where John addresses the little children and in these 5 Scriptures I believe there are some critical, theological truths that we must understand in order to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So I will begin a sermon morning series this coming Sunday (July 9) entitled Basics for Christian Growth.
The first sermon will be understanding what the Bible means by the “last days” and what the ramifications are for us as Christians. Our text will be 1 John 2:18 and I believe this will be a very practical message series that will help us all go to the next level in our Christian experience. I hope you will join us for this journey.
I realize that due to all the events scheduled between now and the third week of August that we may have to miss a Sunday or two, but you will not want to miss these 5 messages. God expects his children to be changed into the image of Christ from glory to glory.
Here are the 5 topics: Understanding the Last Days, What it means to Abide in Christ, Be Discerning not Deceived, Love that takes Action, The Holy Spirit that Dwells Within, and Idols Still Exist. May God bless us as we learn His Word!