Still Being Fed with Milk

Discipleship remains one of the most important factors in church membership retention, and more importantly, in the development of an individual’s relationship with God. Yet, the following statistics would lead one to believe that many who attend church are not growing in their biblical knowledge and Christian maturity.

Paul admonished the Corinthians in his letter for the lack of maturity by not growing in the Word of God, and thus creating divisions in the church. In 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 Paul writes:

“But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?”

Similarly, the writer of Hebrews expressed the following:

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”  (Hebrews 5:12–14)

Which category would you place yourself in? Milk or Solid Food?

Bible study is clearly no longer in fashion in most Christian households. The statistics at the end of this post would attest to that fact. We have gotten away from the Word because of the world and as a result many of us are still babes in our knowledge where by now we should be teachers.

This not only affects our own development, but it weakens our witness to the world. Many of us are afraid to evangelize out of fear of embarrassment for not being able to answer a question should an unbeliever pose such a response.

We are obligated to study and grow in our spiritual knowledge – it is a part of our sanctification. If we are only relying on the word from the pulpit each Sunday or an occasional trip to a Sunday school class to develop our faith, then we are not much better off than those who do not believe at all. For if we believe in God’s Word, why would we not want to know more about it?

In Ephesians, Paul reminded the believers of the importance for growth:

“to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,” (Ephesians 4:12–15).

We must not abdicate our own Christian maturity to church attendance and simply listening to a 15-30-minute sermon, regardless of how faithful and biblically-centered it may be. Let the church be the re-enforcement tool and a place where we can exercise our faith and be encouraged by others.

Make today the day you decide to go from being fed solely with milk to enjoying the meat of what it means to be a growing, healthy Christian.

Study your Bible. Don't be like these folks below:

Statistics on those who profess to be Christians:
  • Sixty-nine percent of churches agree that "there is one true God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit," but 53 percent agree that "Jesus is the first and greatest creature created by God" and 56 percent agree that "the Holy Spirit is a force but is not a personal being”
  • Seven out of ten born again Christians said they do not believe in moral absolutes.
  • Only one out of ten Christians base their moral decision-making on the principles taught in the Bible.
·         A recent LifeWay Research study found that only 45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week.
·         Over 40 percent of the people attending are reading their Bibles occasionally—maybe once or twice a month, if at all.
·         In fact, 18 percent of attenders say they never read the Bible.
·         Of students at Wheaton College (Billy Graham's alma mater) NT professor Gary Burge has uncovered these statistics:
§  One-third could not put the following in order: Abraham, the Old Testament prophets, the death of Christ and Pentecost.
§  Half could not sequence the following: Moses in Egypt, Isaac’s birth, Saul’s death and Judah’s exile.
§  One-third could not identify Matthew as an apostle from the list of New Testament names.
§  When asked to locate the biblical book supplying a given story, one-third could not find Paul’s travels in Acts; half did not know that the Christmas story was in Matthew; half did not know that the Passover story was in Exodus.

·         Barna has also researched the beliefs of churchgoing American Protestant denominational members. A summary of the more sobering findings:

o    Only 35% of mainline Protestant church members believe Jesus was sinless. (c.f. 2 Corinthians 5:21)
o    Only 34% believe the Bible is totally accurate.(c.f. 2 Samuel 7:28; John 17:17)
o    Only 27% agree that works do not merit salvation, only faith does. (c.f. Ephesians 2:8-9)
o    Just over half (57%) of evangelical Christians believe many other religions can lead to eternal life. (c.f. John 14:6)