Here are some nice thoughts I have found profitable. What do you think about it?

- 1 Watchman


SPIRITUAL GROWTH

"Whom shall He teach knowledge, and whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little" (Isa.28:9-10).

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New babies need milk, but they would not grow well if that is all they ever received. In time they need stronger food. So it is with saints of God. They need to be "weaned from the milk". That doesn't mean they should forget about their new birth and salvation through the gospel, but they need more.

There is a need to learn and grow. The apostle exhorts believers, saying: "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able" (I Cor.3:1-2). "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the Word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Heb.5:12-14).

God is not saying that everyone should have the same knowledge of the Word, but that we must understand the fundamentals of the faith: the trinity of God, the Person and work of Christ, and church truth. He has given us pastors, teachers, and evangelists to help us learn and grow (though some give themselves these titles who are not).

Does one believe in God? They do well. "The devils also believe, and tremble" (James 2:19). Is one saved? "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31). One may not rightly say when that is, but truly if one believes on the Lord Jesus Christ and receives Him into their heart, they will be saved by the work of the Holy Spirit. The new birth is essential, and is God's work in the soul---not something we can accomplish (II Tim.1:9; Titus 3:5). Sometimes one confesses the Name of Christ and some Christians say he is saved, but we need to wait to see "their fruit" to know that they are "born again" by the Spirit. Some would even try to coach them on what to say and how to behave to be a Christian, but that is only the flesh and is deceptive and dishonest. In the epistle of James, God emphasizes the need to see evidence of faith and the new life, by which one can profit from teaching. One then can grow.

Often we hear young Christians say: Where is a verse in the Bible for this or that? Asking questions is a good thing (if not a presumptuous challenge to others), but God doesn't give us a verse for every situation. The teaching of God is through the Word by the Holy Spirit, and is "all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). One must compare scripture with scripture "rightly dividing the Word of truth" (II Tim.2:15). It is often by principles and by commandments, and is often repeated under other circumstances ("line upon line").

Regarding the world, God says: "come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord almighty" (II Cor.6:17-18). He is not talking there about salvation, but fellowship. It applies to friends and also to religious associations. Believers in Christ are the children of God, but He calls us unto separation from the world and unclean things, and to walk in holiness for spiritual maturity. He can then relate to us as sons and daughters, rather than as babes.

"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God" (Heb.6:1). Some real evidence of going on to spiritual maturity, is found in what one thinks of the Son of God, the Word of God, the testimony of God, and the people of God.

May it be: "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ; from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love" (Eph.4:14-16).
- R. L. DeWitt, 5/05