Sound a clarion call for Christian maturity; point out the characteristics and consequences of immaturity; present the Biblical principles for personal growth.
Text: 1 Peter 2:2; Ephesians 4:11-12
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
And he gave some apostles: and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting (maturing) of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
The 1933 science fiction movie King Kong, produced by RKO and directed by Merian Cooper, was a box-office bonanza during the decades of the thirties and forties. It was hailed as the greatest monster movie of all. They produced some of the most memorable moments with trick photography. The story was the escape of a fifty-foot gorilla that terrorized New York City. He eluded all efforts to capture him. His weakness was his infatuation with an attractive lady named Fay Wray that eventuated in his demise.
The original King Kong was a rabbit fur model eighteen inches tall. In hopes of recapturing “big bucks” the movie was produced the second time in 1976 using a life sized inflatable model. This time it was a “flop!” He was folded, stored in boxes and forgotten. Fifty years had passed since the first movie and some enterprising person devised a scheme to use the inflatable model to recover some of the “big bucks” they had lost in producing the debunked film. They organized a 50th Anniversary of King Kong event. It was expected to produce “big bucks” in revenue through the sales of mementos; calendars, coffee mugs, oven mittens, refrigerator magnets and the like. The entire city came out to see the spectacle. When they inflated King Kong, he sprang a leak and deflated. The crowd was sent home and asked to return the following week. Embarrassingly, he sprung a leak the second time. When the ever-enlarging crowd came back the third week, it included dignitaries and reporters from foreign countries. On the third attempt, King Kong suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. Part of his head split open and he deflated! To save an embarrassing day, a reporter asked a foreign correspondent what he thought of King Kong. “It’s so American” he responded. The reporter asked, “What do you mean by the term, ‘It’s so American’? “It’s so big, It’s so flashy and it doesn’t work!” he replied.
Is this an apt picture of the modern Christian church? We are so big with our multi-building complexes; so flashy with our stained glass, brass-pipes, maple trimmings and marbled floors. State of the art electronics display our talented performers; well educated, suave and polished, they have become icons in Christian media. So big, so flashy and we don’t work!
Maturity has little to do with age, position, possession, power, education or station.
3.1 A TEXT WITHOUT A CONTEXT IS BUT A PRETEXT
1. Children of God by faith 2. Baptized into one body
1. If Christ’s, ye are Abraham’s seed 3. Heirs according to the promise
2. Born, not of man, but of God 4. Engrafted into Divine Nature
3.2 THE THREE CHARACTERS WHO ARE ADDRESSED
1. Must be born into the family 3. The Testator must leave a will
2. The heir must have a Testator 4. The Testator must die
1. Little boys and girls – Tikvou 2. Seven words translated as children
1. Not an heir; no genetic relationship 2. Stranger; no part of the inheritance
3.3 THE CONDITIONS OF THE HEIR
1. As long as he is a child – Napios 2. Diapers; Nappies
1. Bondage to the world; Our tutor 2. Bondage to the world; Our Taskmaster
3.4 THE PRESENT RIGHTFUL HERITAGE OF THE HEIR
1. Jesus Christ our Testator 2. Calvary; The death of our Testator
1. Redemption 2. Adoption
1. We cry Abba Father 2. Heirs of God; Joint heirs with Christ
3.5 THE CHALLENGE TO THE HEIRS OF SALVATION
1. Why do you live as slaves? 2. Do you wish to live enslaved?
1. Experience differs from testimony 2. Examples: Saul, Esau, Solomon
1. Prioritize your life- Eph. 2:12-17 4. Heed those placed over you- Eph. 4:11
2. Acknowledge your call – 1John 2:20 5. Become involved in service- Rom. 12
3. Dedicate self to God- John 15:1-7 6. Let us go on to perfection- Heb. 6:1-3