Mar 10, 2023 Growing Up – Words of Grace – March 10, 2023
If we have read and believed what the Apostle Paul wrote about the spiritual battle we are currently fighting (Ephesians 6:10-12), then we can easily imagine the devil and the forces of darkness in conversation, plotting ways to get the children of God to pursue things that bear the name Christian rather than actual conformity to Christ.
Learning Christian words, following Christian trends, and joining Christian clubs are our attempts to be Christians. They have become substitutes for becoming like Christ. Growing up into salvation is not our priority because we have not withstood the schemes of the devil.
To this deception, the Apostle Peter brings a life-giving corrective. “Like newborn infants, long for the pure milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). Here is a brief breakdown of the way a Christian grows up:
Be like a newborn baby. We have been born again, so we are to be like spiritual newborns. Peter is not telling us to become childish, but child-like. To grow spiritually, we must become humble and dependent upon God and all that he provides for our growth.
Long for pure spiritual milk. We are accustomed to thinking that there is nothing we can do about our longings; we either have desire for God and his word, or we don’t. But that’s not true. We are commanded to long for spiritual milk. Longing for spiritual milk is possible and natural for Christians because of the new birth. The Holy Spirit awakened us to new life and awakened new desires in us.
With new life and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we make decisions to pursue God’s way to nourish the life of the soul. That way is by his written word. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable to us. By it we grow up into salvation.
Make growing up into salvation the priority of life. Much has been written these days about the “modern self” and “expressive individualism”. The idea is that we are each a “self” with the responsibility to determine and express our identity to achieve authenticity. This has become the goal in life. But this is not true, nor is it working well.
We are humans created in the image of God, sinners who want to be our own god, and broken because of our sin. If by grace through faith in Christ alone we are reconciled to God, we can be restored to God’s purpose for us. We can grow up into salvation by becoming more and more like Christ until we are fully like him when we see him face to face (I John 3:1-3).
This is the real thing, the real Christian growth that both glorifies Christ and makes us whole.
Brothers and sisters of Grace Community Church, let’s be deaf to the devil’s lie that using Christian as an adjective for the things we do is the same thing as actually growing up into salvation and becoming more like Christ.
Let’s heed the high call to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
We’ll be talking about these things on Sunday. Let’s be in prayer this weekend.