Welcome to Episode #118 of Way of the Bible podcast. This is our sixth of eight episodes in our fifteenth mini-series, It’s All About Jesus. On this episode we’re going to take a look at what the letters and epistles say is the way to maturity in the faith.
In this mini-series we’ve been looking at unfolding TRUTH associated with Jesus’ explanation of the Parable of the Sower found in Luke 8:4-21. A key verse in this passage we’ve been launching from is Luke 8:18 – “Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”
We learned on our last episode there is a way to apostasy that has been in the church since the beginning. That way is promoted by false and deceptive teachers purposefully leading away members of the flock for their own purposes.
Paul noted in Eph 4:14 the need for ALL to mature so as to avoid remaining as children and being tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. He again emphasizes this in Col 2:8 – See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
The problem is not in the world where we would expect trouble. But it is in the church amongst us as Paul notes in Romans 16:17-18 – I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
You will also find Peter, John, and Jude making similar warnings in their letters regarding false teachers and deceivers entering the flock in their day and beyond. Jesus pointed this reality out in his Parable of the Weeds where he told his disciples the devil will plant his children alongside God’s children both in the world and in the church. The devil’s children will not be removed until the end when angels from heaven will do the reaping and binding for burning.
For those who may not have listened to previous episodes, there is a significant difference between being a child in the faith and being mature. Hebrews 5:11-14 – About this [Supremacy of Christ] we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word [LOGOS] of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
Children in the faith are living on milk and unskilled in the word [LOGOS] of righteousness. Mature in the faith are living on meat and skilled in the word [LOGOS] of righteousness having their powers of discernment trained to distinguish good from evil.
The obvious question becomes how does one go from being a child to being mature?