But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. ~2 Peter 3:18
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(1) The baby stage (1 Cor. 3:1-4)
A baby thinks only of self; and, if denied the things desired, it will raise noise and disturbance. It seeks its own; its feelings are easily hurt and it is often jealous. A baby lives to be served—it never serves. It drinks milk, and cannot eat strong meat. It cries, but never sings. It tries to talk, but never makes sense. These infant characteristics are so prominent in the lives of many church members. They have been born into the family of God, but have failed to develop spiritually. They are spiritual babies-carnal Christians.
(2) The little child stage (1 John 2:12)
Some Christians grow to be little children spiritually, but stop there. Here are some of the characteristics of children: they are often untruthful, envious, and cruel. If rebuked, they become martyrs; if crossed, they are resentful and often make a scene. They are talebearers, repeating everything they hear (in adults, it is called gossip). They are given to emotional outbursts, and are easily puffed up. They love praise, and will accept it from any source. They seek only the things that appeal to self.
(3) The young man stage (1 John 2:13)
Spiritual growth to that of a young man is not reached by many. He is strong and virile and is well able to overcome his enemy. He has a vision for the future and the faith and courage to tackle it. He is preparing for his productive years. You, too, can become a young man spiritually by doing “away with childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11).
(4) The father stage (1 John 2:13)
This stage of spiritual development can be reached by all, but so few ever attain it. The spiritual father has peace with God (Rom. 5:1) He knows the peace of God (Phil. 4:7). He rejoices in his spiritual children (1 Thess. 2:19 and 1 Tim. 1:2) He has learned contentment under all circumstances (Phil. 4:11) He knows the only source of true strength (Phil. 4:13) He does not brood over the past, but looks to the future (Phil. 3:13-14) He knows that all things work together in his life for his eternal good (Rom. 8:28) He enjoys abundant life now and will enjoy it in the life to come (Eph. 2:7).
May the Lord give you the grace to attain maturity in your Christian life. It is the well of God
to every believer in Christ. God bless you!