And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.
Insights: In chapter two Paul has been laying out the distinction between those lost and those saved, those condemned to hell and those destined for heaven. When Paul moves into chapter three, however, he is writing to just the later group. Notice, he says, “And I, BRETHREN, could not speak to YOU. . . .” Over these next three verses Paul is making a distinction between carnal Christians and spiritual Christians. John Short wrote, “. . . the charge has been leveled against the church that there is not enough difference between those who are members and the average man-in-the-street with whom one can do business, whose character is trustworthy, but who makes no profession of faith . . . .” Short’s words are the heart of this verse. Yes, it is true; these individuals to whom Paul is writing are saved. The ability to grow is present because the Holy Spirit dwells within them, but they have no desire to grow; and therefore, lack the spiritual discernment to live a life that looks different from those poor lost souls around them. Their maturity level in Jesus is still that of a child. For a moment, think about the physical development and desires of a child. With who is the sole person the infant child is concerned? The answer is itself! In other words, when the child is hungry, he cries until someone feeds him. When he has a dirty diaper, he cries until someone changes him. When he is sleepy, he is cranky and cries until he falls asleep. Everything about his world is himself and his wants and his needs. The mother on the other hand, sacrifices a great deal for the child. When he cries in the early hours of the morning, the mother does not role over and say, “I am too tired, I am not going to get up and feed this child.” Rather, exhausted, the mother gets up and goes and feeds the child. Now, image this same child is now twenty years old. If he is still wearing diapers and crying for someone to feed him, we would know there was something wrong with that man. And yet, we as Christ-followers have so fallen from growth in Jesus that we do not question when the church is full of “twenty-year-old” Christians who are still babies in Jesus. Beloved, we must grow up and mature in Christ.
- How old are you physically in Jesus?
- How old are you emotionally and intellectually in Jesus?
- Do your physical years of knowing Jesus match your maturity level?
Prayer: O Lord, do whatever is necessary to mature me in my faith. Grow me as Your child and nurture me the way You see fit. Let my love for You increase and my faith in You abound. Amen.