''Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man..."
—Ephesians 4:13
How is that going to come about?
I guess we all want to be mature spiritually, but just wanting to be doesn't make it so. How are we to grow spiritually?
We've already pointed out I Peter 2:2, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." God starts us in the spiritual, just like folks get started in the natural. When babies are bornthey start off on milk. They certainly couldn't eat meat. And God says that this sincere milk of the Word will cause us to grow.
Yet there are some things Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians and to the Hebrew Christians which are of interest to us.
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
HEBREWS 5:11-14 (Comments in parentheses)
11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. (Some things are hard to get over to folks because they are dull of hearing.)
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness (The margin reads 'hath no experience in the word of righteousness.' Now why has he noexperience in the word of righteousness?): for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age (mature), even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
They had the same problem then we face now—that of growing. They were just like us. They should have been teachers, but they still needed to be taught. They couldn't be taught anything very deep, but still had to be taught the milk. Paul said, "I fed you on milk for you couldn't take the meat."
The milk of the Word he's talking about here is the preaching and staying with the first principles of the doctrine of Christ (Hebrews 6:1-2). Paul calls that the milk of the Word, not the strong meat. When you still have to be taught the first principles, you are still on the milk. It seems to me that's about what we've done—and about what we've had to do.
But how are we going to grow up? Look back at this clause in Ephesians 4:13 which speaks about growing in "the knowledge of the Son of God" unto a perfect man.
Receiving the knowledge, feeding upon God's Word: Until you gain a knowledge of the plan of God which He planned and sent the Lord Jesus to consummate...Until you gain a knowledge of what you