Growing up in Christ. You need to decide what it is you’re standing for and stand for it instead of allowing yourself to be moved by every influence that comes along.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? You’re doing Alright today? Well, yes I care how you are. I don’t know all of you personally, but there’s a great big place in my heart that reaches out for those of you who fellowship with me day by day, by way of radio, and when I pray. Oh, how I pray that God may touch and bless and encourage your heart through the Word of God as we present it, and as the Holy Spirit applies it.
Now what we’ve been doing in Ephesians 4, we’ve been looking at Verses 13, 14, 15 and 16, we haven’t gotten that far yet. But we’ve been looking at that portion as a development of the concept found in verse 12, the edifying of the body of Christ. The edifying of the body of Christ, that means building up. How does this happen? Well, he tells you what happens in this process of building up, talks about the unity of the faith, verse 13, “The knowledge of the Son of God”. That is knowledge that has to do with the personal… A personal experience.
Ginosko is the verb and there’s a little prefix in this instance: Epi ginosko. A knowledge that is overriding a personal intimate knowledge that is overriding, in terms of your relationship with other knowledge, other contacts with life, other relationships. The knowledge of the Son of God, it overrides other factors in your life. That’s part of building up the body of Christ, part of growing up.
Let’s stop here just long enough to ask a question, may we? At what point are you willing to let some part of your life override your commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ? Is there a place anywhere, where you say, “Well, I know that this is my Christian commitment, but a man must live. I don’t wanna risk my job. This would affect my career”? So on and so on. Now, people say that all the time. I’ve heard them say it through the years, where they allow some concept, some relationship, some challenge, some threat perhaps to override their commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. Now if you want to be built up, and if you want to grow up into Him, he says in verse 15, “If you wanna grow up into Christ, your relationship with the Lord Jesus has to be an over-writing one. He spoke about the fact that your love for him has to be greater than father, mother, wife, or children, or lands, or houses, or anything else.
He himself gave us that standard for measuring our relationship with Him. So think about it, will you. I can’t begin to answer the question for you. I can answer it for me, because I live with me, I know me. [chuckle] But I can’t begin to answer it for you, but you my friend, are already thinking about the answer. And if there are some areas, beloved, listen. Now, if there are some areas in your life where you tend to let other factors override your commitment to Jesus, turn that around will you? Because part of the process of building up in the faith, is that the knowledge of Christ and your commitment to Him, be the overriding factor, alright.
Now, unto a perfect man. And that is a Greek word teleios isn’t it, which means something that it lines up with the grand design of God, lining up with God’s plans, find out where God is moving, Dr Bob Jones Sr, used to say, find out where God is moving and get in there. Line up with God’s plan for your life, that’s part of growing up. The measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Everything you ever need to know about God is in Jesus. And John 1 says, “Of His fullness have all we received and grace upon grace”. And then your relationship with other believers is spoken of in Ephesians 1, where Paul speaks to the church, “His body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all”. Christ is the fullness of God, Christ is the extension, so far as our experience is concerned, of all that God is. And the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, the body of– the Spirit indwelled believers is the extension of all that Jesus is. “The fulness of him that filleth all in all” God’s purpose is that you should so represent the Lord Jesus, that other people know who and what He is. The fullness of Him. A tremendous concept, isn’t it?
Now, then He says, “That we henceforth be no more children”. It’s a Greek word, an nepios, which means infants, little toddlers, infants. Have to be led around, have to be picked up, have to have their removable seat covers changed down that little chassis. Little, little kids. But He said, “Speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him”. Now, what constitutes the condition of being a little toddler spiritually? The first thing he mentions is ups and downs, tossed to and fro. And that’s a verb that is specifically related to being tossed by the waves. On occasion you’ve stood by the ocean, and you’ve seen some object. Perhaps a quarter of a mile out from shore. And you’ve seen it rising and falling. You wonder what it was, then you identified it, and you said “Well it’s gone, and then a moment later you say, “No, there it is, at the top of the wave”. And then later on, it disappeared. What was… It was being tossed by the waves. Now that’s the word that is used here in your Greek New Testament, that’s translated tossed to and fro, ups and downs.
Well, we all have them, don’t we? But you don’t have to be the victim of your moods. I think, number one, you need to realize that we are creatures of moods. Number two, we need to tie our faith not to our feelings, but to the eternal Word of God. And number three, when you’re aware of the fact that your feelings are changing, you present them to your blessed Lord and let him manage your moods. I did a study of my own moods for a whole year. Can you imagine that? I had a sheet of graph paper that had 365 spaces on it, so that one could calibrate any kind of measurement for a whole year. And so day after day, I would measure my moods, and I found out that in packages of 14 days they swung wildly from “Hallelujah! Yippee!” to “Yuck!” Strangely enough, my moods were subject to regular swings. I don’t know whether it constitutes the reaction of the lunar cycle or whatever it may have been, but that’s how it was.
Also, I found that when I neglected my quiet time with the Lord, my mood was affected adversely. If I was going to be brutally honest with myself, I would have to admit that on certain days, when I neglected to meet the Lord genuinely in a time of prayer and worship and Bible study, my mood was affected adversely and things didn’t go as well as they should. All of that graph that I kept for a year showed these different things. And I learned then that you make your plans when you’re high and you evaluate them when you are low. And you strike a balance that way.
But you don’t let your moods run you, because you know they are subject to change, they change with the weather, as a matter of fact, anybody who’s ever lead singing knows that it’s harder to get a crowd to sing if the barometer is falling. Why, you have to work about three times as hard to get a crowd to sing enthusiastically if the barometer is falling, they just don’t respond. By the same token, you never, never that is, go in and ask the boss for a raise when the barometer is falling, because he feels bad, his hair pulls, his teeth bite, his corn pinching, he’s gonna throw you out without hearing you. You wait till the barometer is rising, and then you go in and ask him for a raise and he’ll listen to you, and then throw you out. Well, anyhow. So you don’t let your feelings run you. But you know what happens, like that object that’s being tossed around in the waves, you know it happens, but you don’t let it master your life. No longer children with your ups and downs.
And then he says, “Carried about by every wind of doctrine.” You need to decide what it is you’re standing for, and stand for it, instead of allowing yourself to be moved by every influence that comes along. Carried about is as a literal translation actually. The Greek word phero means to carry. And that’s the one he uses here, carried about with every wind of doctrine. So he says part of this matter of growing up and being built up as the body of Christ, is that maturing that fits into God’s grand design, what they call a perfect man, the teleios man, the person who fits into God’s plan. The measure the stature of the fullness of Christ, you become an accurate representation of who Jesus is and his saving power.
Then henceforth no more little infants, having to be carried around and picked up and change. And part of that is the idea that your subject to ups and downs and that you are unstable, carried about, driven by every wind of doctrine. What else. Part of growing up is that you learn not to be influenced by people’s logic contrary to the word of God. “The sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” And unfortunately there are some people who work hard at deceiving others in the name of religion, that always has been true. Paul mentioned it here 2000 years ago, and it’s still true today. Part of growing up is that you learn to measure everything by the eternal Word of God and by the witness of the Holy Spirit within you. And by exalting the Lord Jesus Christ. Does it exalt the Lord Jesus, does it. Is it true to the eternal Word of God, and does the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit witness with my spirit that this is true. That’s a pretty good criteria to have in evaluating your relationship with eager beavers around you who want to influence you.
Growing up into Christ. Well, we get at this again the next time we get together.
Father God today, oh, may we be grown up in Christ solid in our faith in Him, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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