Posted by danong2013

Dearly beloved,

When God called us into His saving grace, He had in His sight our spiritual growth and maturity. The Apostle Paul underscores this when he writes, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying (or building up) of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect (or mature) man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Eph. 4:11-15).

Hence, it’s a real concern to God when spiritual growth and maturity of His people are found wanting. Paul raised this up in his letter to the believers in Corinth: “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready” (1 Cor. 3:1-2 ESV). The writer of Hebrews also raised a similar concern about this in his letter: “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food” (Heb. 5:12).

With this in mind, it’s most crucial for us to check the barome-ter of our spiritual health. Is it growing and maturing? Or stag-nant? Are we having solid food? Or still have need of milk?

Giving his perspective in formal education, Robert Hutchins wrote, “Because most of the important things that human beings ought to understand cannot be comprehended in youth….The great books of ethics, political philosophy, eco-nomics, history, and literature do no yield up their secrets to the immature.” Likewise, God’s Word doesn’t yield up its great treasures and secrets to the immature.

Responding to Hutchins’ observation, Virgil Hurley gives his thought on Christian teaching, “True Christlike teaching in-cites a desire for increased knowledge that grows toward the teacher’s level and beyond, becoming a teacher one’s self, beginning the cycle again.”

Dearly beloved, this has always been my desire. I keep up with my learning, and wish to see that the teaching will incite you to grow beyond the teacher’s level.

Growing with you,

Pastor Peter

“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”—2 Peter 3:18

亲爱的弟兄姐妹:

当神召我们进入祂的救恩里,祂重视我们在灵命里的成长与成熟。使徒保罗在他写书信的的时候就强调了这事:“祂所赐的,有使徒,有先知,有传福音的,有牧师和教师,为要成全圣徒,各尽其职,建立基督的身体,直等到我们众人在真理上同归于一,认识神的儿子,得以长大成人,满有基督成长的身量,使我们不再作小孩子,中了人的诡计和欺骗的法术,被一切异教之风摇动,飘来飘去,就随从各样的异端,惟用爱心说诚实话,凡事长进,连于元首基督。”(以弗所书4:11-15)

从此可见,如果神的子民在灵名的成长和成熟上有所缺乏,神会非常关心的。保罗在写信给哥林多教会时特别提出这一点:“弟兄们,我从前对你们说话,不能把你们当作属灵的,只能把你们当作属肉体,在基督里为婴孩的。我是用奶喂你们,没有用饭喂你们。那时你们不能吃,就是如今还是不能。”(哥林多前书3:1-2)希伯来书的作者在他的书信里同样提出类似的关注:“看你们学习的工夫,本该作师傅,谁知还得有人将神圣言小学的开端另教导你们,并且成了那必须吃奶,不能吃干粮的人。”(希伯来书5:12)

想到这些,我们最重要的就是察看我们灵命健康的量表。灵命是否在成长成熟呢?或是停滞不前?我们在吃干粮吗?还是仍然在吃奶吗?

罗伯特哈钦斯就曾写出他在正统教育的观点:“因为大部分人需要明白的东西小孩子不能理解…那些道德,政治哲学,经济,历史和文学巨著的秘密并不能揭示给未成熟的人知道。”类似地,神的道不能向未成熟的人揭示宝藏和秘密。

维吉尔赫尔利回应哈钦斯的观察,也把自己在基督教教育上的想法讲出来:“真正的基督教教育会激起一个人增进自己的知识,达到老师的程度,然后超越他,之后自己又成了老师,然后一直循环。”

亲爱弟兄姐妹,这一直都是我盼望。我持续学习,并希望看到教导能激发你去成长,超越导师的程度。

与你一起成长,

庄彼得牧师

“你们却要在我们主,救主耶稣基督的恩典和知识上有长进。”——彼得后书318