Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Behaving Like Mere Mortals

“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?’” – 1 Corinthians 3:1-3

 One of the greatest challenges in the Christian life, I think, is making the transition from having a child like faith to that of being mature in the faith. When I speak or write to Christians, it often sounds harsh but that is because my words are received not as spiritual but as carnal.  The hearts of the hearers or readers, as it were, if not submitted to the Spirit will not receive spiritual truth as a balm, as a refreshing breeze, but perhaps as chastisement.  Very often the difference between criticism and encouragement is motivation. If I speak Biblical truth or write about it, the motivation is not to beat you down but to lift you up – to encourage you in the faith.

What do you think “behaving like mere men” means? I would suggest that it means that we are living like the rest of the world. Preferring the ways of the world over the clear declaration of God in His Word. Making excuses for why things are really “OK” or “not that bad”. When the Spirit has quickened our hearts that the “truth” we are embracing and pursuing is really a “lie”.

Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.” – Romans 1:24-25

Those verses have to do with people have fully rejected God and have never embraced salvation through Jesus by faith. But when we embrace the world – the things of this world – the ways of this world – we are essentially doing the same thing. 

Part of the reason so many Christians are living like those without faith is that they have never been weaned from the bottle – from the “milk” of the Word – have never eaten meat – and don’t even have a desire to do so.  They are content with the bottle once a week.  In comparison to the human body, that is not normal.  If you were to see a child in first grade with a pacifier or a baby bottle in their lunch bag - you would think it strange. I can remember speaking at a church some years back and told the congregation that I wished I had spiritual eye glasses to give them. If they put them on and looked around the sanctuary they would be surprised, maybe even shocked, to see those who were still in spiritual diapers.  It is not because they were victims, it was because they made a choice.  They are content with the bottle. Do you remembering weaning your children? For some it was easy, but for many it was an effort.  They wanted their bottle- they wanted their pacifier – they wanted to be comforted and not forced to grow up. And that is the mark of a Christian that has been weaned?

 “for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” – James 1:20-22

 Not just taking the Word in but expressing it by the way you live and do. By the way you love and by what you love.  I realize that for many reading this, I am “preaching to the choir”, but I hope that it gives you pause to think about what is happening in the Church right now. Why there is an expectation that the Body of Christ would do one thing – the right thing – the Biblical thing - but it is failing at the doing. Why – because on the whole – it is not as Spiritual as it should be.  Many are being asked to leave the bottle and eat meat. Cold turkey.  Those asking for the Church to rise up are finding that the “Church” can barely stand on its own – spiritually. Like being trained academically – but never really having applied what was learned.  Never really went to work, if you will. It is revealing and saddening. If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need Him now.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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