Put Away Childish Things

Text: 1 Corinthians 13:11

As one moves from childhood to adulthood, changes take place – physical changes; changes in relationships and responsibilities; levels of maturity, knowledge, and wisdom, etc. Paul used this basic principle of growth and maturity as an analogy for our spiritual lives. This lesson deals with some of the “childish things” we are to put away from a spiritual standpoint.

The Need for Miraculous, Direct Revelation

  • In context, Paul is discussing the temporary nature of miraculous spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 13:8-11) – these would only last until “the perfect comes,” which was the completed revelation
  • Until the revelation was complete, miraculous prophecies, tongues, and knowledge were necessary (Romans 1:11)
  • With the completed written word, we have “everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) – through the word we grow (Acts 20:32), teach (1 Peter 4:11), and test (Acts 17:11); we lack nothing that we need
  • Some are not content with the revealed word of God – they foolishly want more (Galatians 1:8-9; Jude 3)
  • Needing miraculous, direct revelation from God today is a childish attitude – we must be mature… content with what God has revealed

Limited Understanding of God’s Will

  • Some characteristics of children are to be emulated, while others are to be avoided – limited understanding (1 Corinthians 14:20)
  • Everyone has a period in their life of immaturity in regard to their knowledge of God’s word (1 Peter 2:2) – but everyone is to grow out of that into a state of maturity (Hebrews 5:12-14)
  • Practical ways in which we can grow in our understanding of God’s word – read it (1 Timothy 4:13), study it (2 Timothy 2:15), write it (Deuteronomy 17:18-20), hear it (Nehemiah 8:2-3), practice it (James 1:22)
  • A lack of understanding of God’s will is childish – we must “press on to maturity” (Hebrews 6:1)

Being Easily Swayed by Others

  • Christians are like children when they are “carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14)
  • We are to grow to maturity – the church is designed to help this happen (Ephesians 4:11-13, 16)
  • We are not to believe everything we hear (1 John 4:1), nor are we to depart from the word of God (2 Timothy 1:13)
  • This is not to say we may not ever need to change – but be careful & test all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)
  • It is childish to believe everything that is said or to follow someone for frivolous reasons – we must be mature… always holding fast to the word of God

Being Completely Dependent Upon Parents

  • In marriage, a man leaves his parents & forms a new household with his wife (Genesis 2:24) – this principle of independence from parents is true spiritually as well
  • Moses chose to be a child of God rather than a child of Pharaoh’s daughter (Hebrews 11:24-26)
  • Pleasing God must take precedence over pleasing our family (Matthew 10:34-37)
  • Of course, children may surely benefit from the influence of godly parents (Ephesians 6:4; 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15)
  • But it is childish to rely upon parents (or anyone else) for one’s faith – we must be mature… spiritually independent, willing to be faithful to the Lord no matter what anyone else does

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