1. Nepios– means no speech, newborn or baby.
- Hebrews 5:13
- 1 Corinthians 14:20
- All they do is eat and sleep. Be careful what you feed them. They are easily deceived and will eat anything. In the spiritual, they crave the Word. It’s their first love. They must be cared for and watched.
2. Paidion– means toddler stage, terrible twos to teenagers
- Luke 2:40
- A child discovers will and desires, and that creates rebellion.
- A tremendous learning stage! They will learn more here than the rest of their lives. They ask the question “why?”.
3. Teknon– means child, teenager to early twenties.
- Luke 10:17
- Numbers 11
- Teenagers look for identity. They want to make their own decisions. They want independence, but not responsibility, accountability or submission.
- Spiritually they know the Word and seem to have it altogether.
- They rejoice more in power than in relationship.
- Teknon’s hate to wait.
4. Huios– means fully mature son
- Romans 8:14-15
- Not only do they know the Word, but they understand it.
- Character determines anointing.
5. Pater– means father.
- 1 Corinthians 4:15
- Their heart is to restore, not to destroy.
Don’t Take Me To The Hospital, Please!
This scene didn’t make sense. There he lay in the street, bleeding- the hit and run driver gone. He needed medical help immediately!
Yet he kept pleading, “don’t take me to the hospital, please!”
Surprised, everyone asked why.
Pleading, he answered, “Because I’m on the staff at the hospital. It would be embarrassing for them to see me like this. They’ve never seen me bleeding or dirty. They always see me clean and healthy; now I’m a mess.”
“But the hospital is for people like you! Can’t we call an ambulance?”
“No, please don’t. I took a Pedestrian Safety Course, and the instructor would criticize me for getting hit.”
“But who cares what the instructor thinks? You need attention.”
“But there are other reasons, too. The Admissions Clerk would be upset.”
“Because she always gets upset if anyone for admittance doesn’t have all the details she needs to fill out her records. I didn’t see who hit me, and I don’t even know the make of the car or the license number. She wouldn’t understand. She’s a real stickler for records. Worse than that, I haven’t got my Blue Cross Card.”
“What real difference would that make?”
“Well, if they didn’t recognize me in this mess, they wouldn’t let me in. They won’t admit anyone in my shape without a Blue Cross Card. They must be sure it isn’t going to cost the institution. Just pull me over to the curb. I’ll make it some way. It’s my fault that I got hit.” With this, he tried to crawl to the gutter while everyone left, leaving him alone. Maybe he made it, maybe he didn’t. Maybe he’s still trying to stop his own bleeding.
Does that strike you as a strange, ridiculous story?
It could happen any Sunday in a typical church membership.
I know it could happen, because last night I asked some active Christians what they would do if, on Saturday night, they got hit and run over by some unacceptable sin.
Without exception they said, “I sure wouldn’t want to go to church the next morning where everybody would see me. The members would ostracize me. They would look at me like I was strange, and didn’t belong anymore. Some of the self-righteous would accuse me of being a hypocrite. The Sunday School teacher would be mad at me for not learning what had been taught. Those sitting next to me would be embarrassed, not knowing how to react because they didn’t know how everybody else felt. They really wouldn’t know how to react to a known dirty saint.”
In the good natured spirit of the conversation we decided, if caught—hit and run over – by some unacceptable sin, we would be better off to go to the pool hall instead of church.
At the pool hall, we would find sympathy and real understanding. Immediately, someone would say, “This isn’t the end of the world. It happened to me, and I lived through it.”
Another would say, “I see you slipped and got caught. Well, don’t let it get you down. I know a good lawyer who will help you.”
Another would add, “You really seem more like one of us than you did before. Now we know you’re just like us.”
Now, the question that bothered us is: Where should real love and understanding live—in the pool hall or in the Church of Jesus Christ, who died for sinners?
Is the church really going to be the Church until every Christian, hit and run over by some sin, starts pleading, “Take me to the church. My brothers and sisters are there. They care for me. I can get well there. I’m a weak member of the Body, but when I hurt, the strong members favor me. And I don’t need a paid-up Blue Cross Card. And I know they won’t talk about me when it’s over.”
Yet, to the last single person at the party, there was not one who said he would feel welcome in his church, if the night before, he had been caught in some sin which had become known.
The way to spiritual growth is, not only to be hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word:
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22
“The world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” 1 John 2:17.
“Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14
Instruction + Involvement = Growth
- We need to have a teachable spirit to receive instruction.
- Four kinds of Hearers
- Distracted Hearer, Matthew 13:4 & 19
- The devil wants you to have your mind on other things
- Don’t allow yourself to be a distraction to others.
- Do nothing Hearer, Matthew 13:5-6 & 20-21
- If we don’t apply the word we have heard, we will never be deeply rooted.
- A do nothing hearer will be off-balance and unstable.
- Hearer, Matthew 13:7 & 22
- Deceived by cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches.
- The love of money is the root of all evil.
- Don’t be materialistic.
- Heaven & Earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
- Dedicated Hearer, Matthew 13: 8 & 23:
- The truth will not set you free. It is only the knowledge of the truth that will set you free.
- We are to prove the Word.
- Prove means to habitually live out the instruction.
- Four ways to be a better hearer:
- In 2 Peter 3:1 & 2 Peter 1:12-15. Peter was trying to get them to remember.
- Concentrate on what is being said.
- -Don’t be distracted.
- -Have a pure or sincere mind to learn the word.
- Ask God to help you remember.
- – John 14:26, “the Holy Spirit will bring things to remembrance.
- Write down what is being taught.
- – The Bible was written for us to remember.
- Review notes and share them with someone.
- – As you share what you received, you will grow.
- You don’t grow by hearing you grow by doing. The reason for receiving instruction is to share it.
*A question you need to ask yourself is…
Whose life is different because I’m a Christian?
3. Three phases of involvement:
- The Great Commandment
- The great commandment is to love others.
- 1 Corinthians 13: Without love we have nothing.
- The Great Commission
- The great commission is to witness to others.
- Witness of what we have seen and heard.
- The Great Commitment
- The great commitment is to serve others.
- Jesus came not to be served, but to serve.
- Instead of getting blessed, look for someone to bless.