Monday, November 13, 2017

Growing Mature In Our Faith

Maturity Produces Faithfulness

“Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect 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“ (Ephesians 4:13-15 NKJV).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: We are making an appeal to our brothers and sisters here to please be so kind and give a donation on our behalf to Fellowship Tract League for tracts. Accordingly, tracts are free but shipping tracts is a challenge to this organisation which serves many ministries to spread the gospel around the world. Our dependence is not on the arm of flesh, as we have found that such appeals are being ignored, with the Lord's permission, He knows whom He has appointed to work with us for the glory of His Kingdom.

Brethren, this is a very important message and the Lord placed it on my heart to share with you that we should all strive to mature in our faith in order to bear good fruit (John 15:8). While all the fruit of the Holy spirit are good and essential, our times demands patience that should be rooted in love and this way we produces the fruit of faithfulness. Now, Christian maturity is fundamentally a very important teaching and command as the above Scripture and many other scripture references encourage. As it is, we need to consider this as being at the heart of our faith, and without being mature in our faith it leaves us open to "every wind of doctrine and trickery of men" (Ephesians 4:14). It is a known fact today that the body of Christ, the universal Church of the Lord, is vastly divided. Christians everywhere around the world are reading from the same Bible, yet there is no unity as a result each following their leader, church or denomination (1 Corinthians 3:3-5). Some follow for various reasons like loyalty, trust, fear of being ostracized, socializing, loneliness and love to mention but a few reasons. The present Church period with its well-established institutionalization has created more non-faith and non-fruit bearing baby Christians who have been left living off every word from the mouth of their leaders instead of having faith in the word of God (Matthew 7:24-27).

On this website, we have shared some powerful and soul-satisfying testimonies on how the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to us and expressed His satisfaction with us as a family for reading and meditating on His Word, the Bible daily (1 Peter 2:2). Please read also our testimony on how this ministry started. This daily exercise has held many advantages for us. We received answers to our prayers due to a living and well-motivated faith fueled by the Scriptures. Additionally, by reading the Bible and following it with a childlike faith, we are being well equipped with Scriptural knowledge to conquer the various attacks, fears and uncertainties.

Applying Bible Knowledge to Everyday’s Situations

Before we Scripturally show how true Bible knowledge works to a Christian’s advantage, I would like to share a brief testimony of a dear brother in the Lord. For ethical reasons, we will not mention his real name here and for the record, our brother, John (not real name), fully committed his life to the Lord more than five years ago. A few years ago, my brother John related to me how he became backslidden as a Christian while he was a Bible student at a Christian Bible college. My brother John told me how he lived a double live. He secretly attended night clubs, smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol, and engaged in various other sins, while he displayed a superior Bible knowledge. Despite all this, brother John reported that he was constantly bothered by guilt and feelings of inadequacy. He knew his faith was fake and dead, because faith without works is dead (James 4:17).

Consequently, Brother John recalled how miserable his life became as a result of his double-life. To run away from his guilt, Brother John changed many jobs in pursuit of peace and as his frustrations deepened, he drowned himself more and more into drinking. A few years ago, when I met him, he appeared to be a smart and principled Christian fellow with impeccable reasoning and Bible knowledge. He quoted Scripture to almost everybody’s hearts delight in correction and encouragement of others. As ordinary a guy as he had been, some people find it a joy to be around him. His drawing power from what I observed, was his sincere and serious look, combined with his flawless speech and eloquence that seemed to have drawn people to him. However, he later told me that the Scriptures he quoted so freely carried power as it delivered convictions onto his hearers but to him those Scriptures were powerless and had no effect on him. When I inquired of him why the Scriptures had no effect on him, he answered saying “My life is such a mess. I fail to apply the Scriptures to my life; that is why the Bible has no effect”. In other words, Brother John had no faith in the Scriptures he learned; he merely used them as knowledge to impress and to be accepted by others. As Christians, knowledge of the Bible is of paramount importance (Colossians 1:10) because knowledge of God gives us power and we are being strengthened against false teachings which are fueled by the dominion of darkness. In addition, our knowledge of God’s Word helps us in our worship, our faith, and our fear for God (Colossians 1:10-14). When we walk in fear of God, we will be careful to obey Him and live according to the standards as commanded by the Scriptures (Joshua 23:6; John 15:10).

God Honors Those who Fear and Obey Him

Let us briefly consider just how God honoured men who walked in His fear. When Moses sent the twelve spies out, only Joshua and Caleb came back with a favourable report and they were honoured to enter the promised land (Numbers 14:30), while the other ten spies poisoned the minds of the people and suffered the consequences with death for their faithless efforts (Numbers 14:36-38). Similarly, King David, who had a heart of worship and fear for the Lord was singled out amongst his father’s clan as being a man after God’s own heart and he was made King of Israel (1 Samuel 13:14; 16:1;). And let's not forget how the Lord blessed, honor and lifted up Daniel (Daniel 2:48), Joseph (Genesis 41:41-43) and Mordecai (Esther 10:3).

In sharp contrast, we read how God was troubled by Saul’s disobedience which led to his down fall as king of Israel (1 Samuel 15:11, 28). The Lord was also grieved by the willful disobedience of the Israelites, and as a result He banished them from His Presence (2 Kings 17:18-20). These are but few examples on how God expressed His love for those who feared Him and His displeasure with those who dishonoured Him.

How Maturing as a Christian Benefits Us

It is knowledge about the Lord and His will that should direct the way we live. Over a period of almost 5 years that we heard and received messages from the Lord as a ministry. He repeatedly reminded each one of us and many other brethren how important daily Bible reading is. By so doing, the Lord emphasized that His will is being renewed in our spirits as we read the Word, and this builds up our faith, knowledge and fear for Him. When we submit to Scriptural instructions, growth takes place, doubt disappears, distorted myths and beliefs are challenged, and faithful fellowship with God is established (Romans 12:2).

Before expressing a concern with some Bible teachings, let us mention by saying that no amount of Bible teaching is wasted. The ministry of the Word is in every way profitable to our salvation (2 Timothy 3:16). However, as an observation, my wife and I have witnessed how ineffective some Bible teachings in school are. Some courses are designed to impart Bible knowledge and to highlight a certain doctrinal position. And with some success, this has produced more graduates and Bible-educated Christians with little or no fruits of the Holy Spirit and a love for souls. Being a product of the same institutionalized system, the benefit of going to Bible school and graduating is to have one’s church and stand behind a pulpit. This could be a great desire, but does it actually bring us closer to the Lord and result in effective ministry work? Personally, I doubt these works because the church is locked up in a building and unlike the Old and New Testament models no one ministers out on the streets (Jeremiah 11:6; Ezekiel 2:1-7;3;33; Isaiah 58, Mark 16:15; Acts 9:15; 23:11; 2 Timothy 4:2).

In conclusion, some years ago after completing a two-year Bible school course, I planned on going for my third year, but the Lord told me, through a vision to Charis, not to attend Bible school anymore. Honestly, I was ambitious to earn the degree. The Lord later told me that this is the desire of many Christians who go to Bible school; they are interested in the qualification to impress, while they bear less or no fruit at all. After the Lord’s command not to attend Bible school again, He encouraged me to read the Bible book by book. By doing this, the Lord promised that I will gain a much deeper knowledge of His will, unlike the selective teaching approach of Bible schools aimed at imparting knowledge. From our experience, Bible reading is a one on one encounter with God, a personal commitment. This will ensure we develop a Godly character, changed attitudes, greater results in ministry work and prayer breakthroughs. This is what we have been doing and we share for your encouragement.

If you desire to start  a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus and mature as a Christian, here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance to get you started. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed regards,

Brother Glenn and Ministry team.