THE CHOICE WE FACE
BY: KENNETH GREATOREX
The constant choice believers face is that of being religious or Christ like, the possession of great Bible knowledge or the knowledge of Christ. Most of us fall victim to being religious, or full of Biblical information. Paul’s heart cry for the Galatians is found in these words, “My little children of whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.” (4:19) This is more than salvation, having peace, going to heaven, or religion. Our English word religion comes from the Latin, religare. (re – back, and ligare – to bind) It means to bring back into bondage. See Galatians 4:9 and 10. Are you guilty of doing this to yourself or others? We MUST REMEMBER that we are under grace, not law.
The word “again” is informative. First Paul labored, or travailed in birth, for their salvation. Now it is labor for mature development. The formation of Christ in them, His nature and character. Much effort is required to bring INFANTILE SAINTS to maturity. Some may never make it. The parable of the Sower will give comfort to all in spiritual leadership who are frustrated, and self-condemning. Having seen some new believers spring up rapidly and then suddenly gone, the leadership blames themselves. The answer is simple. They were reaped before they were ready. The GROUND in them was NOT PREPARED.
We may become frustrated when we see some satisfied to play delightful religious games. Much of our modern gospel is humanism. The appeal is to the carnal. The gospel preached is, “Come to Jesus and GET, GET, GET.” God is someone to be used! There is no message of the ongoing work of the cross. Spiritual growth is of no interest to these converts, unless it comes with a promise of getting some blessing or power to do great things. If you take the world and its methods, music and sensual appeal out of many churches, they would fold. They are not build upon the Rock Christ Jesus. While God does desire, and has much to give, He is more interested in changing us into Christ’s image.
Jesus spoke of thirty-fold, sixty-fold and one hundredfold growth. While the capacity is there, some will never reach full maturity. Reasons for failure vary, but, it is not the lack of God’s provision. We read in Colossians 2:9-10a, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead (deity) bodily; and you are complete in Him.” Natural DNA contains the genetic programming to reach physical maturity. Nourishment and health care are required to attain it. In the spiritual God has programmed us by Christ’s indwelling life (DNA) to reach 100% maturity.
The ministry gifts of Christ were given to bring maturity. Ephesians 4:12-14a reads: “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man (mature/full grown), to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children (literally – infants).” God’s purpose is, every believer serving in some form of ministry. Few are called to function in the ministry gifts of Christ, as these ministries are a gift of Christ to His body.
God desires to have a family of sons just like His dearly Beloved Firstborn Son. WE must remember that the term “firstborn” implies that there are others who were born later. Sonship is more than merely being born into God’s family. Sonship is a positional place. Sons are those who have come into the full maturity that God has designed for them. Going to heaven is not their goal. Heaven in them is. The kingdom of God is within for the KING reigns NOW in their lives. While “a child is born, a son is given.” We are born as children, but called and adopted into sonship. We are called to rule and reign in this life.
CHOICE WE FACE, THE [Kenneth Greatorex] 1