To fully understand the profundity of the Creator’s eternal purpose in “bringing many sons [and daughters] unto glory,” we must learn of the spiritual life cycle of God’s Spirit in us–how it grows unto full maturity.
This is a great mystery that has been “kept secret from the foundation of the world” (1). This mystery of the growth of the Spirit within us has been carefully guarded, couched in the criptic words of the parables of the kingdom. These are the very secrets of the kingdom of God, how He rules and reigns both in His children’s hearts and throughout the earth and universe.
These parables are not nice little stories to make it easier for all to understand what the Master is teaching us, but to prevent interlopers from receiving it. They are secrets, after all, and are hidden in plain sight.
The disciples asked Christ why He spoke to the crowds in parables. “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand” (2). They may hear the words, but they won’t understand what they mean. Those who do not have “ears to hear” will just not get it.
The Seed Is the Word
In the parables, Christ likened this spiritual growth unto a seed that grows. He refers to a natural seed. And He explains that this seed in His parables represents the word of God. He said, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God” (3). A seed must die in the ground; it must lose its original identity as a lonely grain of wheat, for instance. It takes in moisture, which corresponds to the “water of the Word,” and then, as it dies, new life springs out of it, and a blade of grass rises “from the dead” and vaults out into the sunlight.
First Stage of Growth–Babes in Christ
This answers to newborn “babes in Christ,” spiritual infants, who have not matured or grown. They are like natural children–mostly alive for what they can receive from their parents. A little child receives nourishment from their parents and grows. There is nothing wrong with this, for all new children of God must receive spiritual food from God’s word in order to grow. Truth plus study and prayer is the recipe for spiritual growth.
The problem lies in the fact that most Christians stay in this growth as babes and children. They do not mature, for they are fed with teachings tainted with error. Even with much study in false doctrines, the child of God cannot grow. “We are not meant to remain as children at the mercy of every chance wind of teaching and the jockeying of men who are expert in the crafty presentation of lies” (4). The truth is that “certain men have crept in unnoticed,” (5) and they are teaching lies to the new Christians who are desiring to have their lives changed from darkness to light.
For we are warned of this very thing. “There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies”. “Many will follow their shameful ways…and in their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up” (6).
Thus we see that a newborn babe in Christ is in peril because of false teachers and preachers. As disease and malnutrition stalks natural babies, false teachings and lies stunt and threaten the lives of the children of God.
So Which Are the Lies About God That Stunt the Growth of Babes in Christ?
How can we tell the false teachings from the true teachings? Christ gave us the answer. “By their fruits you shall know them” (7). Look around and observe the fruits of the various ministries and denominations. Are the people growing? Are the flocks changing, or are they still trapped in sin and sinning? Are the people still mostly alive for what they can receive of God, or are they unselfish? If they are not changing and growing “up into Him,” if they are remaining selfish, desiring to be blessed and not yearning to be a channel of blessings unto others, then it is safe to say that the teachings they are fed with are tainted. KWH
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- Matt. 13: 35
- Mark 4: 11-12
- Luke 8: 11
- Eph. 4: 14 (Phillips)
- Jude 1: 4 (NKJV)
- II Peter 2: 1-3
- Matt. 7: 20