Baby on milk

Milk Can Sour

Over the last few weeks, The Spirit of God has led me to teach on the subject of moving on with God. In becoming mature in the knowledge of Him.

Most Christians are spoon fed a little scripture each week through their church service. Just like we would feed a baby, little bits at a time. Truthfully, we all need to begin our walks with God in this manner. We can’t be mature first and then turn into a baby with God. There is an order of time for our lives, both physically and spiritually.

The Scriptures hold valuable insights into how our walk with God should grow. The first being in how we view them. Do we see the Word of God as a physical work or a spiritual work? It’s both. Yet, for those who really dive in, the Spiritual side will rise up over the physical. A baby Believer will not discern this. Anymore then a baby discerns the world properly.

Secondly, a Believer should begin to discern the patterns found in the Scriptures. What does that mean to us as we read the Bible? If we look at Jesus alone and the work He did, we find that His ministry lasted about three and a half years. During that time, His disciples grew from being babies to mature Followers of Christ. They partook in the milk of what Jesus taught to walking in the miraculous with Him. After He was crucified, they walked out their lives in maturity.

The disciples watched Jesus model the Kingdom of Heaven perspective here on the Earth. They heard His concerns for mankind. They learned about the nature of sin and how Jesus dealt with it.

They saw Jesus walk in compassion towards others. They saw how he opened up each day in prayer, made Himself available to men and then closed His day in prayer. They discerned the patterns of His life for themselves. Jesus created a wonderful model.

That is what it means to discern the patterns found in the scriptures. In order to do this you also must realize a single verse doesn’t stand on it’s own. Yet many take and run with one verse and make it their doctrine.

This happens with scriptures attesting to Holy Spirit. Or the subject of tongues. A mature Believer will follow the Word of God and rightly divide it. Learning for himself.

Honestly, The Word of God is a good meal. It’s very real food for our souls, but if a Believer only picks up their Bible on Sundays, or haphazardly throughout the month, that person is being spoon fed and is still on the milk of the Word. Worse, maturity will not take place in that person. Ultimately, Satan will be holding the upper hand in this persons life.

In 2 Peter chapter 1, we find a very interesting set of scriptures. To the person on the milk of the Word, the words won’t truly make sense. They will look like physical instructions to a person’s life. But they aren’t that at all. They are a spiritual teaching about who we are as humans.

2Pet 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
2Pet 1:3 as His divine power has given to us all things that [pertain] to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
2Pet 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption [that is] in the world through lust.

It begins with the instruction that we should see our lives as being connected to God in the same manner as a lamp is connected to electricity. It should be a life of godliness spring forth. The only way that can happen is through the knowledge of who He is entering us.

The verses tell us we should be partakers of the divine nature of God, so that we will escape the corruption in the world through lust.

You will begin to notice these set of verse are going to be a set of places in our growth as a Believer. An order of maturity. At this point, the verse speak to our physical lives. Now we move into the meat of the Word and find out what should change in us spiritually.

2Pet 1:5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
2Pet 1:6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
2Pet 1:7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
2Pet 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, [you will be] neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pet 1:9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

This set of verses are a list for you. They list out a hierarchical order of what your growth in Christ should look like.

“For this reason, giving all diligence”

When a person moves from living in darkness to Light through Salvation, the first step that person should take is towards a life of diligence. Diligence in what? In chasing after the knowledge of God. That person should be studying the Word of God for himself. Rightly dividing the Word himself. The excitement of reading the Word of God should create in a person a desire to go deeper. If it doesn’t, there is either warfare going on or a lack of interest. Just as a baby would have a lack of interest in a new toy.

The writer of 2 Peter then says, “The next step after becoming diligent is to add faith and virtue to our lives.” With diligence, your faith will grow. With faith growing, a Believer should want to become virtuous. No longer living a life of corruption as the world teaches.

To virtue, knowledge. As your life changes from being a new born baby in Christ, barely knowing who He is, there should be growth in the knowledge of Him.

After your knowledge grows in who God is, what His Character looks like, then a person should be coming into a place of self-control. In the past, we all walked around as the world did. Clearly, from Gods perspective, that isn’t what He wants for us. He wants us to be in control of our actions. To begin to represent the Kingdom of Heaven becomes a personal responsibility.

At this point in a Believers life, being a baby should be fading away into the teenager times, spiritually. The teen then begins to walk in perseverance. Doing all we know to push through into the deeper things of God. The mature works of His will for us and others.

I see this in the church body God has given me to shepherd. The majority of the people have decided to study the Word of God together in a Bible study. We use Precepts Ministries studies as they are very in depth works. They are persevering in moving on with God.

The next step after perseverance is becoming godly. The world sees this person and knows they are different. They know this person walks with God. Knows God personally. Knows Jesus. Knows Holy Spirit. They see the virtue in them. They see the perseverance. They see the faith and diligence.

In the baby season, the people can’t see much of that in us. They see an excited person who just found a new friend. But they can’t relate to that excitement. They see a baby and truly don’t want to be one themselves. This is why it’s so important we grow in Christ.

After godliness, brotherly kindness springs forth. The days of being offended with others is over. Wrongfully judging others is no longer part of the menu. Brother kindness is the beginning of a mature believer who is being shown off by God to a dying world.

This person just wants to help others, and show off the kindness of God to everyone. Yet there is still a maturity ingredient missing. Love.

Many people in the Body of Christ say, “I love you…” But that love isn’t the Love that comes from God. It’s the same type of love as one would love a cat or dog. Or even a good meal. We speak this language often about everything. “Oh, I love the weather today” or “I love your new dress!” While it sounds great, it isn’t the Love that we are being taught in the scriptures.

This Love is Christ. Is is hearing Him from your own heart towards others. It is having compassion out of Love for others. It is never finding issue with anyone, but compassion towards them. There is no malice in true Agape Love. And honestly there are few Believers who walk in this type of Love.

The acid test to know if you are a mature Believer or not is determining where you fall into the list of growth steps.

Salvation – Baby
Diligence – Baby
Faith – Baby
Virtue – Toddler
Knowledge – Toddler
Self-Control – Toddler
Perseverance – Late teens
Godliness – The beginning of Maturity
Brotherly kindness – Maturity
Love – Maturity

Then the writer of this book says something so wonderful!

2Pet 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, [you will be] neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This person will not be barren nor unfruitful in their life. Wow! A mature Believer in Christ begins to walk out a life as Christ. The world sees this person as a Jesus. Someone who abounds in their Salvation, their diligence towards learning, their faith growing. They will see virtue springing up like a well full of water. They will notice the knowledge you hold to the things of God and Heaven.

They will notice your self-control in how you handle day to day issues in your life. How you relate to others with issue which can rise up. They will see your Godly attributes clearly as they don’t walk in them.

They will love your perseverance to know God more, and often will want this for themselves. Many have come to the Lord through watching a person persevering after God.

They will see godliness come forth. What they are really seeing is a view into the heart of Jesus but Heaven itself. You will be speaking the language of God and they will hear it. Not the usual church language such as “Amen!” and other one liners we often speak. But a person who speaks and life springs forth.

They will see your kindness towards them, with no strings attached to it. Awesome!

What the world is missing is Love. Not the worldly love, but the Love of God seen through you.

Uncompromising Love. Love abounding to see their life made well. Love which is sacrificial in the same way Jesus went to the Cross. At any cost. That Love.

I hope this helps. If you stay where your at right now, your milk will sour. The Word of God will sour. Your life will become smelly to the world. Get off the milk of the Word and dive in for yourself. Take it in and let it change who you are.

I hope this creates in you a desire to move on with God. Look again and see where you really fall in the list of growing in Christ. Most people will pick a virtue that is truly above their current standing with God. Be honest with yourself.

By the way, I LOVE you. I care about your life and future in Christ. Get going! Go on! Head out of the baby years and into maturity in Christ. The ride will be a little bumpy, but you will arrive into the Hands of a Loving God at the end of your journey.

Pastor Jeff Mauer

Senior Pastor of Faith Tabernacle Church

One Comment

  • Linda Morden

    God has surely blessed you and us with the gift of your ability to break down the Word of God an put it into words of our understanding. Giving us bites of the meat that are the Word of God in a form we can digest and learn from. May God be glorified in the way we place what we have learned into our own life walk with Him and in Him. Thank you Pastor Jeff for your willingness to share with us, understanding that Almighty God has given to you. To God I give all Glory and Praise and say Thank You Lord for blessing us in all the ways that You do.

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