Wednesday, May 7, 2014

When We’re Stronger

I read this recently:
Corrie ten Boom in "The Hiding Place" described it as a suitcase too heavy to bear. She told the story how as a child she'd asked her father what "sex sin" was (she'd heard that said and didn't know what it meant). In response he asked her to carry his large case of clockwork tools. She laughed because she couldn't -- it was too heavy. And he said that the answer to her question was too heavy for her and that he would carry it for her until she was stronger.
There are some things children should not be given to bear. That’s true for new Christians, too.  Often people expect immediate changes from new Christians, and too often those expected changes are nothing more than pre-conceived notions based on personal standards not doctrinal matters. New Christians have much to learn, and it is a blessing for both when church members recognize and support that learning.

When thinking of the too-heavy suitcase, I was reminded of Paul’s reference to milk and meat:

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. (1 Corinthians 3:1-2 KJV)

After a time of growth, there are greater expectations, as we find in Hebrews, where those expectations were not met:

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. (Hebrews 5:12-14 KJV)

Do we stand in need of learning the first principles? Do we remain unskillful in God’s word? Or do we have the sense to discern both good and evil? If not, we do need someone to teach us to grow beyond being babes in Christ?

We are not alone in seeking answers to those questions. There will be teachers provided who love us enough to share what they’ve learned and they will be able to cite chapter and verse to back up what they are teaching.

The Bible tells us there also are some eager to lead us astray:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4 KJV)

Check the source of any doctrine against the Bible. If it takes a book to explain away what the Bible states as truth, we should be able to discern that. If an explanation allows us to attain physical pleasure before glorifying God, that should show us who designed it, as Jesus told Peter:

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Matthew 16:23 KJV)

Being “good” and enjoying life are not the goals of a Christian, though we may achieve those things. Being in the presence of and glorifying God – that is our substance, the reality of our growth.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 KJV)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)