“that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (
Spiritual growth must be guarded. If Satan cannot have our soul, he will try to minimize our effectiveness. Such impotence results from immaturity. Grow up!
Paul warns of Satan’s henchmen, who poison the soil of the soul with error, so that we are unfruitful in service. They prey on those juvenile in their thinking. Quoting Scripture, they twist it so that while sounding right, it is a distorted and damaging doctrine they declare. If we do not grow, then we will have a naiveté that leads us to swallow this toxin.
My youngest grandchild will put anything in her mouth. Leave the dog dish out and she will be helping our pooch eat. Pick up a rubber ball, and you note little bite marks. It seems we must repeatedly ask, “What have you got in your mouth?” The cure for this is growth. She will mature and understand there are things you shouldn’t swallow.
That very growth which guards us from error, serves as guardrails to steer us into the thoroughfare of truth. As the truth is spoken in love, a climate for spiritual growth is created. The church is to be marked by the clear, compassionate and compelling communication of sound doctrine. Believers are nourished by Scriptural singing and solid sermons. The Bible is not used to batter us, but to better us—it is spoken in love. But, it isn’t a diet of junk food that is served up, but a substantial portion of solid teaching—it is truth. Where truth is spoken in love, growth is guarded and a healthy church is established.
We will be rooted. That is, there is a consistent connection to the body of believers. Spiritual tumbleweeds are “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine.” They run to the next celebrity pastor and entertainment center that brands itself as a church. It becomes a pattern. Some drop out of church and plop down in front of a TV or computer screen as their shrine. Error proliferates on the air waves these days. If you are not active in a local assembly, then growth will not occur.
Our church should be a spiritual hot house where tender plants get rooted and grow to become abundantly fruitful. The pastor is important, of course. If there are others on staff, choosing the songs, leading the young, they too are vital in presenting the truth in love. Teachers of small groups and Sunday School classes partner in this process of edifying the saints. Yet, according to Paul, every member has a responsibility to build up other believers so that spiritual health leads to Scriptural growth. What say you?