God wants us to grow up by being vitally connected to Christ and his church.
Open your Bibles to Ephesians 4 beginning at verse 14 and concluding at verse 16. The apostle Paul is in prison. He is manacled and his feet are tethered. He has left the church of Asia Minor in the leadership of gifted people. He has received word that the church has thwarted its growth process. It has been impeded for some peculiar reason. Verses 11-13 gives us an argument that God has given gifts to men for the purpose of building up the body of the Lord Jesus Christ that they may grow into the full measure of Jesus Christ. Paul has drawn the attention of the church as he marshals the argument of unity and says that there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." And now he drives this last point, beginning at verse 14 as he tells us to grow up.
Let's have fun with that. Turn to your neighbor and tell him, "Grow up." I wish I was out there. I would have pointed my finger at somebody. I would have said, "Grow up."
Listen to the Word of God this morning.
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. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
This is the Word of God. You may be seated.
There's more than one way to grow up. And sometimes when we grow, we don't grow due to some deficiency. There is a malfunction in our growth. In fact, there are some people who grow normally, and then for some unexplained reason they just stop growing. The shortest man in the world today is two feet ...
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Dr. Ralph Douglas West serves as founder and senior pastor of The Church Without Walls (Brookhollow Baptist Church, Houston, Texas).