And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?-1 Corinthians 3:1-3
How long have you been born-again? Have you grown up in the Lord since then? Children of God are expected to grow up just like newborn babies. It’s normal to feed a newborn baby; however, it’s totally unacceptable to continue feeding a 7 year old child (except in case of sickness). In the above passage, Paul is frustrated at the Corinthians who, after years of receiving Christ, are still behaving like the people of the world by indulging in jealousy, envy, quarrels, sexual immorality, etc. Are you also found in this same condition that after years of being in Christ, you continue to act as a “mere man”? You struggle with anger, doubt, worries, unforgiveness, and the likes. A new employee is expected to make mistakes here and there but after working for 3, 5, or 10 years in the job, he should become experienced; so it goes with the children of God.
The Word of God throughout the New Testament clearly emphasizes that believers should grow up spiritually, here are few examples:
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food—Hebrews 5:12
But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up?—Matthew 16:8-9
We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other—2 Thessalonians 1:3
This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. —Ephesians 4:13-14
The two main reasons why the majority of Christians are still babies are ignorance & non-application of the Bible and refusal to suffer for Christ. When we don’t spend time reading and studying the Word of God, how can we know that our Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to worry (Matt6:34)? And even if we know this truth but don’t apply it, how can we conquer worry? Indeed we perish for lack of knowledge as Hosea 4:6 said. The typical Christian wants to live free of trials, temptations, and persecutions; we are just satisfied with going to church, giving our offerings, and doing things we enjoy until we get to Heaven. Why then take on the title of ‘Christian’? A Christian is a ‘follower of Christ’ and that automatically entails persecutions (2Tim3:12). These sufferings and trials for Christ sake are good for us because when we learn to endure, we grow up in the Lord: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” James 1:2-4. When we refuse to endure hardships for Christ by following our own path or reasoning, we miss opportunities to grow.
So what if we don’t grow in the Lord? So what if we remain baby Christian? Employees that do little to no progress on the job over the years are usually fired, babies that show little to no growth over the years are usually signs of sickness, and trees that produce little to no fruits over the years are usually cut down. Any way we want to look at it, growth is extremely essential; and the ‘lukewarm’ Christians are usually spat out by the Lord and become the puppets of the devil. It’s not that we should be perfect as years increase, it’s rather about moving towards perfection. And this can definitely be achieved when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, as He will do in us things we cannot do by our own power such as submitting to the Word of God or enduring persecutions for Christ. Let’s seek to mature in the Lord by overcoming our persistent bad habits and resist the devil so that the Father can entrust us with greater revelations and blessings.