Varying Stages of Spiritual Growth
God created natural things to give us views into spiritual things. Jesus taught us in the parable of the sower, that there are six types of or conditions of the human heart. Only 50% of these six types produced any lasting harvest. Jesus told us that of he 50% who produced good fruit, that 1/3 of them produced 30 times, 1/3 produced 60 times and the other 1/3 produced 100 times. But, we can see that the other 1/2 of the people who also heard, allowed circumstances, persecution, lack of understanding and the cares of the world kill the harvests that God had wanted to give them. It is interesting to note that they all had the same seed sown in them, but only 1/2 produced anything worth while. We should all take note that the seed is constant, it is only the soil that changed what was produced and how much. This is a very critical lesson to learn. The seed or Word of God will never change, so that leaves only one place that changes can and should occur. Guess where that is?
So getting back to natural things showing us spiritual things, there is a comparison given to us in the Bible about Christians being born again. Jesus told us in John 3, “ye must be born again.” He of course was speaking of a spiritual rebirth. When Nicodemus asked him can a man go back into his mother’s womb? Jesus replied that “What is born of flesh is flesh, but what is born of the spirit is spirit”. Jesus was speaking of a spiritual birth process, that many times corresponds to a physical birth process. What are the implications of being born spiritually? You can see by looking at new born natural babies that these children are completely helpless and totally dependent upon someone else for nourishment and care. Well even though new born Christians can be fully grown natural people, from a spiritual stand point they need the same level of care that any new born needs.
As babies grow, they begin to develop more and more skills and abilities. By the time they are 4 years old they can do a lot of things that grown ups can do, but just not as quickly or as well. With continued training and development these children will eventually become responsible adults. So all of these physical developments are analogous to spiritual development. Just like a college student can not have a calculus conversation with a 2 year old, so are there many things in the Bible that are as equally as hard for a new Christian to accept. By realizing there are differences and by placing yourself somewhere on the following scale, you should be able to determine how much you need to grow.
So where would you fall on the scale? Zero being a new Christian and 9 being where Jesus is today. It think we all are striving for the 9, but none of us are very close to it yet. What does all of this have to do with Bible interpretation and understanding the Bible. Well more than you can imagine. Most of the dissension within the Body of Christ is coming from baby Christians. Babies holler the most, cry the most, complain the most, ask why the most and oblivious to what they are doing to others. Babies are self centered and focused only upon themselves and what they need or what they want. Children do many things that are harmful and hurtful without regard to anyone else. They’ll take toys away and bite and fight not caring about anyone else. Sounds like a lot of Christians I know. When a two year old comes to me and criticizes something that I do, I don’t let that bother me. Why because I’m older and I know they don’t know any better. It is funny, Jesus took the same attitude towards the Jews, while hanging on the cross, Jesus said “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”. It is no different today, when someone criticizes me for something I say, I just say “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”