Young believer, Old believer. You, nurturing your spirit with milk, and you, who has teeth and knows the taste of meat. What is the difference between you? Today, we’re going to be taking a closer look at 1 John, which speaks extensively on the philosophical outline of both young and old believers.
Theologians, while I appreciate your zeal, the meat is missing from your understanding. Theology is the “What?” But Philosophy is the “Why?” Spiritual maturity always, and I do mean always, begins development as the importance of not only the theological aspects of the Bible are called into account, but also the philosophical aspects.
Knowing the way to walk, and knowing why we must walk such a path, need to work in conjunctions with each other. To give an example, you can read 100 verses about discernment, but if you don’t know how to exercise discernment, or where to find it, then your knowledge of the verses is meaningless.
Let’s give an example according to the topic, “young & old believers.” 1 John 2:9 says, ‘If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness.’ It’s easy for us to say, “Well that settles it! I won’t hate my brothers and sisters in the Lord!” But that knowledge of “What,” is easily forgotten when someone does wrong against you.
So, why? There’s a few reasons why we shouldn’t share animosity between each other. For starters, holding a grudge is breeding sounds for division. If anything ought to divide us, it’s the essential doctrine that Christ is God in the flesh, who dwelt amongst us and sacrificed himself for our sins, making us right standing with the Father. If anybody comes preaching a different gospel, he is not of us. What I’m saying is, personal attacks shouldn’t divide us, who cares what someone thinks of you. What you should be concerned about, is attacks on Christ.
It’s interesting, that Jesus would say “if you hate a brother, you’re already guilty of murder,” considering a common grudge doesn’t bear the same weight as taking someones life. However, when you stop to consider “who is really dying?” You’ll notice, like I previously mentioned, that your animosity towards each other can result in division. A Body is supposed to be unified, and when you remove the heart or the head, you kill the entire body. Yes, even cutting off an arm or even the foot, can result in bleeding out, to death. When we hate each other, and in turn divide the body of Christ, we’ve done much worse than murdering a mere human, but we’ve taken part in the murder of Christ’s body.
Satan knows that a kingdom divided among itself cannot stand. ‘If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness.’ I want to put emphasis on “that person is still living in darkness.” People living in the light, do the will of God, and people living in darkness, do the will of the devil. Hating a brother, and diving ourselves, is Satans ultimate goal, with a large sale attempt to cripple, if not kill, the body of Christ.
‘I am writing to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I am writing to you who are young in the faith because you have won your battle with the evil one.’
[1 John 2:13]
Not only does this verse indicate that both young and old believers, don’t share animosity between each other, but it also lays out the foundation of both the young and mature. Meeting Christ, is not the same as knowing him. It simply means you are about to come to know him.
When you meet Christ, he becomes the Lord of your life, and you have won your battle with the evil one. As time progresses and you dig more into the theological aspects of the Bible, along with the philosophical implications, you come to know Christ more and more. The young have made Christ Lord of their life, and the Mature have come to know him.
I see a lot people say things like, “That person is still on spiritual milk,” almost in a condescending manner. What are you doing to help them? “Spiritual Milk,” isn’t a buzzword insult you use to throw at somebody who doesn’t believe what you believe. I’d even go as far as to say, “how dare you?”
When you use it as an argument, you’re sharing animosity, sowing seeds of division. Edification and Exhortation are the tell tale signs of someone who is mature in their faith. You cannot claim to know God and spit on brothers and sisters in Christ. If someone is still drinking spiritual milk, then as a mature believer, it’s your responsibility to nurture their learning process.
Facilitate in the changing of each others minds, and let God work on changing their hearts.