Pampers to the Cross
People fall into one of two categories. Some are baby people, some aren't.
If you're not a baby person, you look at a new born and say, "Call me when
the baby starts to walk!" I'm from the call me camp! My philosophy about
babies is summed up with this statement: "A baby is a digestive apparatus
with a loud noise at one end and no responsibility at the other!"
Well, there's a parallel between babies and the Christian life. God's Word
equates new Christians with babies. Peter, says in 1 Peter 2:2, "Like
babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your
Like newborn babies starting out in life, new Christians mess up and need
special care and attention, even though they show a great deal of promise and
There is nothing wrong with that. We all go through the early stages of
and we all have to learn how to walk. But, what would happen if the babes in
Christ remained babes? A year old baby is expected to still be in diapers.
It is normal and perfectly fine. What about a ten, twenty, or thirty year old
baby? What would happen if the church were like a nursery full of babies?
If that were the case, the church would be full of self-centered demanding
people noisily competing with one another for the most attention. It would
be a place of self, with no service. The church would be a messy place, full of
hungry, grumpy kids desiring to be amused and entertained. Ever been in a
church like that? There are a few out there, and probably always will be!
Perhaps that's why there is such an emphasis in the New Testament on
growing up. In 1 Corinthians 14:20, Paul says, "Brothers, stop thinking like
children. In regard to evil, be infants, but in your thinking be adults."
Ephesians 4:13 we're told that the goal of the Church is that we would "all
reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become
mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." Finally,
the writer of Hebrews says, "Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings
about Christ and go on to maturity" (Heb 6:1a).
How important is growth and maturity in our Christian lives? Well, let me
to you this way: the more we grow, the more we glorify Christ and fulfill
His purpose for our lives. Sounds kind of important to me. What about you? Well,
let's shift gears and look at Jesus for a moment. (You were wondering when I would
start to get to the Easter theme weren't you?)
Jesus was born into this world as a baby. And, just like you and me, He had
to be fed, cleaned, and protected. But then He began to grow and Scripture
that "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men."
(Luke 2:52) Jesus was perfect in every way, but was He fully mature? NO! Was he
all that God wanted him to be? NO! Soon he reached thirty years of age and was
called into his time of ministry. Well, what would have happened if Jesus
mature enough to obey that call? What if He hadn't submitted to those waters
of baptism that signaled the beginning of His ministry? Jesus' life, His
perfection, would have been wasted.
For three years, Jesus taught and healed and restored and loved and rebuked.
For three years he lived His life constantly reflecting the glory of God. During
this time, He was always in perfect obedience to the Father's will. But then it
came time for the cross. In the garden came the greatest battle of His life. He
to God and said, "Take this cup from me." Jesus declared: I don't want to do
this, I don't want to go to the cross, I don't want to finish what you sent me to
do. Father, let's switch to plan 'B' -- quickly.
But as he prayed and struggled, He finally found the faith, the strength,
to say, "Father, what I want doesn't matter. Not my will, but Yours be
Would Jesus' teaching have really had any eternal benefit for us today if He
didn't take that last step of giving Himself completely to God by going to the
Would it matter that he healed a few thousand people during His ministry?
NO. Would it matter that He even raised a handful of people from the dead? NO.
Nothing that God intended to do through Christ would have mattered if Christ
hadn't fully and finally said, "Father, I don't want to, but I will -- for
If Jesus hadn't submitted to that final step in God's will for his life, He
have never uttered those words on the cross, "It is finished." You see those
words didn't just concern the completion of His ministry. They also signaled
the completion of His growth as the perfect human being. And without those
words, we would be still be in our sins, without life, without hope, without
Jesus' life wasn't fully mature until everything He had, including His very
willingly given to God. Only then was God ultimately and fully glorified.
Only then was the will, the work, the plan of God made a reality.
Well, let me leave you with a question. Have you stopped growing? Have you
stopped asking, "Lord, not my will, but thine?' Some of us are still babes
because we are new in the faith and that's fine, but if you're in that
realize that being a babe isn't enough. You have been called to grow so that
you "may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way." (Col
1:10). The same thing applies to all of us. God wants all of your life, not just
part of it.
Addendum -- Philippians 1:6 (NIV) "... being confident of this, that he who
began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ
[ By: Grant McDonald -- Ed: Anon. ]
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