‘A Word from the Pastor’
By Clayton Adams
What leads one to spiritual maturity? Just as important, how does one gauge spiritual growth? Is there evidence of spiritual growth and maturity? The apostle Paul wrote, “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? (1 Corinthians 3:2-3) Paul is chastising Christians for their lack of spiritual maturity and equated the issues of “jealousy and strife” with immaturity and a lack of spiritual growth. Growing spiritually strong and maturing in faith is accomplished by following the practices of the first century church. These practices are found in Acts 2:40-47 and include devoting themselves to the apostles teachings, to fellowship (with one another of like faith), sharing meals together and prayer. In Romans 10:17 we are told that “… faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Paul’s word is confirmed by the apostle Peter when he wrote, “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” (1 Peter 2:2-3) There simply comes a time when those who say they are followers of Christ must become mature in thought, word and deed. We move from the milk of the Word to the meat of the Word. For those who believe in and follow Christ there is always the need for the milk of the Word at the beginning of a life of faith. The maturing process takes time and does involve painful experiences. Everyone is different and no two people mature at the same pace and this process is called discipleship. The Bible is full of markers to gauge ones spiritual growth and maturity. In a short and succinct letter to a young pastor, Paul wrote, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4:12) Spiritually mature faith is evidenced in our thoughts, words and deeds. Do you desire to develop a mature spiritual faith, if so, begin studying the more harder “meat” of the Word as found in Romans 14:13 and Luke 6:28 and pray that God gives you opportunities to mature and strengthen your faith. Clayton Adams is pastor at Earle First Assembly of God. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find Earle First Assembly on Facebook.