Maturing in the faith

When is the church going to stop chasing signs and wonders?  We can move in the prophetic as the Lord gives unction’s of the word of knowledge or wisdom, but I personally put no confidence in the prophetic. Please understand, I do not take away from the prophetic or other gifts like tongues and interpretation. Our victory does not come by the prophetic or tongues; but only through the blood can we have victory within our lives.

The prophetic will fail! Tongues will cease! We prophesy in part and we know in part.

1 Cor 13:8-10 (KJV)

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

A lot of emphasis is put on prophesy or tongues even though they will fail. In an earlier paper, I made the statement that we can gage our maturity by our understanding of the cross and addressed the question as to why Paul would bring out the following:

1 Cor 13:10-12 (KJV)

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then (when he became a man) shall I know even as also I am known.

What does the Holy Spirit mean when he states, “that which is perfect is come”?

Eph 4:13-14 (KJV)

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man(fully mature), unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That wehenceforthbe no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God are two things that bring us upon the perfection (fully mature) that Paul speaks about in I Corinthians 13:10 “that which is perfect is come”. What is the unity of faith? It is something very specific in that when we have perfect faith then we all will be able to stand and preach on the same message.

James 2:21-22 (KJV)

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

The general way in which most of us think today is that anything we do for the Lord can be considered works. The “correct” way in which we should think is very specific. The perfect example of what I am talking about is when Abraham offered his son Isaac on the altar. Therefore, our conclusion would emphatically be that the cross of Christ is the works that will make faith perfect (complete).

Now, we can grow in grace in the knowledge of the Son of God.

2 Peter 3:18 (KJV)

18 But grow in graceandinthe knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

We must understand that before we had perfect faith, we grew in grace because of sin (false doctrine). Now we grow in grace not because of sin, regardless of whether we acknowledge it to be sin or not, but because of perfect faith which is in the cross of Christ. A child is easily tossed because they do not have perfect faith.

1 Cor 14:20 (KJV)

20 Brethren, be not children (immature) in understanding: howbeit in malice (evil) be ye children (babe, immature, innocent), but in understanding be men (perfect, fully mature).

Heb 5:14 (KJV)

14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age (perfect i.e. fully mature), even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Through Heb. 5:14 can we understand I Cor. 14:20 because Hebrews 5:14 explains that a person who is mature in their understanding of what is “good” can also be immature towards what is “evil”. When I was a child in Christ, it was difficult for me to shift through all the different messages being taught because it was all wrapped up with scripture. I knew that the scripture was right, but I still felt that something was wrong.  I understood what was good, but I did not know what was evil. It was not until I realized that the bible, Genesis to Revelation, is a singular message solely about the cross of Christ. Then I started to understand what was evil in all the different messages being preached from the pulpit. I realized that very few scriptures were given concerning salvation, but the vast majority was given over to how we live before God. The majority of born again believers have no idea of how to receive from God and this is one of the major reasons why signs are pushed so hard whether it is prophesy, tongues, miracles, etc… because we do not understand how to attain that victory from God.

Finally, we must understand that the only way a person can receive spiritually or physically from God is through the exclusive faith in the cross of Christ. Then will we no longer be children easily confused by doctrine because our faith will be exclusively in the work of the Cross. The cross of Christ will never fail and it will never cease to be spoken of. 

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