When we are saved, we’re adopted into God’s family as infants. We then need to grow into the full-fledged rights of sonship. I want to take a few posts to go through the growth stages that we find in the Scripture. We start our walk with God as infants.
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly — mere infants in Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:1
One of the main characteristics of an infant in Christ is worldliness. They run after the things that our society says will satisfy them. They have the same mindset as the world and place importance on obtaining things and pleasures.
Unfortunately, because we are unaware of the growth process, many overzealous believers will write these people off. Sometimes in our self-righteous fervor we may even accuse them of being unsaved. That’s as foolish as telling your 5-month old that he’s not a part of the family because he never takes out the trash. Instead of condemning them, we should be there to help guide them through the growth process.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
Spiritual infants are inexperienced in the Word. Because of this, they’re very trusting of anyone quoting a Bible verse. They tend to jump in with any new fad that comes out on Christian radio or TV.
That’s why they need to be firmly grounded in a local church where the basics of the Scripture are taught. That’s the only way they can learn to distinguish truth from flakiness.
The United States has become a hotbed for new doctrines for people to follow. Sometimes I watch Christian cable networks. I see people who use the Scriptures to convince you to take money from your wallet and put it into theirs.
Even though their doctrines and teachings are foolish, out of context from the Scripture, and, many times, illogical, Christians flock to their meetings. They rake in millions of dollars a year. Spiritually speaking, they’re “stealing candy from babies.”
But, more than anything else, the infant stage of our walk with God is characterized by the following…
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
The word acquainted in this verse literally means to test, attempt, or experience. This verse says that the infant believer has not yet tested, attempted or experienced the Word of righteousness. Yes, they are righteous by position in Christ. But they haven’t yet learned how to apply it to their daily walk.
So many American believers are living for themselves, yet they feel secure because they only know about positional righteousness. When they read the Bible, or hear a sermon about the effects and blessings of righteousness, they think it automatically applies to them. Little do they realize that so much of Scripture deals with the walk of righteousness rather than the position.
Because of the lack of teaching on the Word of Righteousness we have produced a generation of Christians who seem to be perpetual infants. They are continuing in their habits and sins. They follow after whatever the world offers them. Worst of all, they don’t realize their condition – total powerlessness in the spiritual realm.
It’s time for us to grow up in Christ.
Question: How do you treat the infant believers that are in your circle?
© Nick Zaccardi 2014