Growing Disciples – Part Two

“God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love – like Christ in everything.” – Ephesians 4:15

It is God’s desire that every Christian would mature, growing up into the likeness of Jesus. But what are some of the marks of spiritual maturity? First, maturing Christians need to know certain things. The Apostle Paul writes that a part of maturing is that we grow “in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature.”.

And Paul even tells us why a certain level of knowledge is important for maturing Christians. He writes, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:14)

I can remember being a little boy and my older brother “reading” me a story from the newspaper, a story about me. Something about a crime being committed and the police were searching for me and when they caught me I’d be put in jail. I was like 3 years old, and I ran screaming to my mother because I believed what my brother told me. As I recall, I got ice cream and he got spanked!

Mature Christians can’t be like that. We can’t be ignorant of the basics of the faith. Ignorant Christians are too often blown here and there by myths and stories. Here are a few of the myths I hear pretty often.

1. My dead relatives are angels who are now watching over me
2. God helps those who help themselves
3. If you have deep faith nothing bad will happen to you
4. If someone believes something sincerely then it must be true for them.

We too easily fall prey to these kinds of things if we’re ignorant, if we’re not grounded in the Word of God.

Now make sure you hear my clearly: Christians cannot afford to be ignorant, but knowledge can never be an end unto itself. Knowing lots of stuff, even knowing lots of the Bible does not make you a disciple. The Devil knows the Bible backwards and forwards and he is definitely not maturing into the likeness of Jesus! For maturing disciples knowledge always leads to action. Here’s a verse worth holding onto, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” If what we know isn’t moving us to be more like Jesus then our knowledge is futile at best.

Are you growing in knowledge?

Bringing it Home
1. What habits have you built into your life to help you to grow in your knowledge of the things of God?
2. How are you applying, in very practical ways, what you’re learning?

Father, open my mind to your truth. Give me a hunger for your Word that translates into a life-long pursuit of knowing you and seeing the world through your eyes. Keep me so anchored in your truth that I will not be easily swayed into believing things that will only cause me to drift away from you. Protect me from getting puffed up with knowledge. Lead me to apply your Word to my daily walk. Shape my heart, mind, and soul into the likeness of Jesus. In his name I pray. Amen.

Jeff Marian
Prince of Peace, Burnsville, MN

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