Before you get all, “What do you mean two classes of Christians, we’re all one in Christ?” on me, read 1 Corinthians 2:15-3:4 and Hebrews 5:13-14.
These passages introduce us to two types of Christians—babies and grownups. Notice that the difference has little to do with how long you’ve been a believer.
Paul’s Scolding: Grow Up!
Paul’s fed up with the infantile Corinthians. After all this time and with all these spiritual benefits, they should be chewing on the deep truths of God’s Word. Instead, they can only suck down the same baby formulas that sustained them at birth.
Paul’s Contrast: Babes and Grownups
Were you able to pick out the differences between grownup Christians and babies? Babes are so dominated by fleshly desires that they have trouble thinking biblically.
They’re unstable and easily discouraged.
Their immaturity is most apparent in their divisive behavior: Babes love a fight and have to have their way in a church.
Grownups are dominated by the Spirit’s desires so that they develop discernment, based on God’s Word.
Their confidence in God is unshakeable.
They demonstrate their maturity in a church by giving up their rights.
Look Around You
Does this change the way you view the people in your church? It should. It’s not how long someone has been a Christian or how many generations they have been at a church that makes him or her someone you should listen to. It’s how grown up they are in Christ.
And the surest indicator of a baby heart is a demanding spirit. When we let the babies have their way, our churches look more like chaotic playgrounds without adult supervision. The bullies rule and he or she who screams loudest gets the most attention.
Until a church stands up to the bullies and tells the screaming toddlers to shut up, it’s an unsafe climate for spiritual growth.
Look In the Mirror
How about you? Do you need to grow up? Before you answer no. Ask someone close to you—your spouse, your children, your friends. The choice is clear. We can either stay on the bottle of self-centered behaviors or start chewing on the solid food of selfless, Christlike, Spirit-powered, Bible informed truths of life.
So what will it be? Grow or no?
For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:13-14).