Growing in Christ (Ephesians 4:14-15)
Ephesians 4:14-15 (NASB) As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
Our memory verses this week are urging us to mature in Christ. We are assisted in our growth by leaders in the church but as believers we are to develop knowledge of sound doctrine so that we do not follow false teachers. Doctrine simply means “teaching.” Growth is the dynamic movement of our lives. It is a life long journey of learning from our leaders and individual study with application of each. Interesting words in these verses:
The opposite of maturity is juvenile gullibility. An adult, well-founded faithfulness to the gospel, to Christ Himself is required. There is a sense in which our faith and life-stance is to be childlike, but this does not change the metaphor of its meaning. The metaphor of children is clear in relation to its opposite, mature personhood. The Christian is to grow out of a flighty, unsettled, gullible character into maturity.
The mixing of metaphors here makes the image more graphic, despite the absurdity. The added metaphor is that of a boat bobbing up and down, veering here and there, controlled and tossed about by changing and erratic winds. Young children tend to believe everything they are told, and rudderless boats, or boats without someone at the helm, tend to go wherever the wind takes them. Christians are to be more mature, wiser, and more perceptive so that they recognize and withstand the cunning craftiness of those who would deceive. Of course this is possible only as our minds and hearts are formed in Christ. We must know sound doctrine.
Our leaders are equipping us to do the work of ministry. The primary task of the equipper is to make disciples and prepare others to serve Christ.
We must always remember, there is such a thing as deceivers, cheaters in the faith, people who will cheat us out of the truth. They can be deceivers who act clever and have novel ideas that sound correct, but they are only deceptions of the truth.
If you have any questions about Christian Doctrines, Alpine Bible Church has three booklets at the entrance called “Dive,” “Know,” and “Grow” to help you with understanding the Trinity, the Gospel, and Christian Growth. If you have questions, you can always contact Pastor Nathaniel or obtain the book by Wayne Grudem called “Christian Beliefs.” If some teaching or doctrine seems odd to you, don’t be afraid to ask questions of your leaders.