Are You a Mature Christian?

Brooks Cochran
Bartlett, Tennessee

"Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to interpretation, seeing ye are become dull of hearing. For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not solid food. For every one that partaketh of milk is without experience of the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But solid food is for full grown men, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil" (Heb. 5:11-14).

In this reading we find four categories of Christians. Which one describes your spiritual status?

1. Some are babes. This would included those who are young in the faith; i.e., new converts. They must be fed with ,'milk" or the simplest elements of the gospel.

2. Some are "full grown men." This would be the individual who can relish and digest the "solid food" of the Word. Such study and growth on the part of these individuals will help them acquire a firm grasp of the truth. By acquiring such knowledge they will be able to teach others. They also will have "their senses exercised to discern good and evil." The goal or aim of all Christians should be to attain this level of spiritual development (1 Pet. 2:2; 1 Cor. 2:6; 3:2; 14:20; Eph. 4:13ff).

3. Some are in the process of growing to "full grown men." This would include those that are still on the "milk of the word," but at the same time are beginning to take "meat" into their spiritual diet. They are beginning to make "use" of their "senses" "to discern good and evil." There are many like this in the church today. The main thing to remember is that if one is in this group he needs to rely more and more on the "meat" and not regress back to an all "milk" diet.

4. Some are invalids. This would include those individuals who either regressed to "milk" or never went on to the "solid food." Sadly one finds a good number of these individuals in the church. They obeyed the gospel years ago and by now should be well on the way to full maturity. But they have remained in this pitiful condition.

If you are in category one you need milk. But remember, as you age in the faith you need to go to "solid food." To those in category two you need to give all diligence to remain in good spiritual health. Do not regress! Continue to eat the "solid food" which helped you get to your present condition in the faith. If you are in category three keep growing. Don't look back! To those in category four you need to repent! You are failing to heed the admonition given by Paul. If you willfully fail to grow as a Christian, God will hold you accountable. In fact, by not eating the right spiritual food you will get so weak that before long you will leave the faith. One in that condition will be lost.

How do you rate yourself spiritually? More importantly, how does God rate your condition?

Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 19, p. 591
October 1, 1992