We are studying the book of Ephesians to find out what God says about our new identity in Christ. Chapters 1-3 explain the blessings, gifts and treasures of our salvation, leaving no doubt that we have a rich inheritance in Christ! In chapter 4, Paul explains how we can learn how to grow up and to walk in all aspects of our calling to beloved sons and daughters of God.
There are five stages of spiritual growth and maturity that are described in God’s Word and they correspond to how we grow from infancy to adulthood (for the handout on these five stages, click HERE). Paul is passionate to see his spiritual sons and daughters make steady progress and reach maturity. In Eph 4:14-15, he makes his impassioned plea, “No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything” (The Message).
His point? Babies need to grow into children, children into young adults and young adults into full maturity. The rest of the chapter described 4 ways that this happens, 4 ways that we are called to grow up.
Growing up in Community and Unity (this means being committed and connected to a local church).
Growing up in Character (this happens as we learn to love and accept people who are different from us).
Growing up in the Grace and Gifts of God (discovering how to operate in your God-given gifts)
Growing up in conduct (the lifestyle changes that reflect our new identity and values)
Yes, we are called to grow up and live in a way that demonstrates what it means to be new creations in Christ. We can understand the stages of growth and the steps towards maturity that will keep us from getting stuck. We can also make a commitment to intentionally grow as a child of God. All of the resources and support that you need to do this is available for you to appropriate and use. In fact, there is nothing stopping you from answering God’s call to grow up.
Let’s get growing together,