2 Peter 3.18
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
Growing to spiritual maturity is a priority. It is a consistent focus in scripture. The Lord wants Christians to continuously grow. He does not want any of His people to be immature and childish.
The book of Hebrews addresses a group of immature Christians. Rather than spiritual adults, they were spiritual children. As a result of their lack of growth, they were not in a position to receive deeper teaching in the word of God: “You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.” (Hebrews 5.12)
Like a young child, they were still living on spiritual milk, not spiritual meat: “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5.13-14)
The apostle Paul had the same message for the believers in the early church at Corinth: “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh.” (1 Corinthians 3.1-2)
There were many in the Corinthian church who were not growing — who were stuck in spiritual immaturity — and as a result were acting according to their old nature. Because of the immaturity of the Corinthians, Paul could not teach the full spectrum of kingdom principles and practices. As the passage says, Paul had to address them as “infants in Christ.”
There are many Christians in 21st century America who are in the same condition of spiritual immaturity. Sadly, there are also churches who enable this state of spiritual infancy by failing to engage their congregants in a disciplined process of discipleship and growth. It should not be this way. If the Christian community is to fulfill its calling and have a transformative impact in our generation, the followers of Jesus must commit to spiritual growth.
Heed the commands of the word of God. Today’s world does not need immature Christians.
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” (1 Corinthians 13.11)