How to Graduate to Christian Maturity and Leave Babyhood Behind

Three Stage Christianity – Just as a natural baby must grow through stages to enter maturity, so it is with the Christian that has just been born into the kingdom of God. He must go through three stages to fulfill God’s destiny for his life: the new birth, head knowledge and heart knowledge. Most Christians never reach the third stage because they are stuck either in the first or second stage on the road to maturity. You want to make every effort to go beyond the first and second stages to enter the third stage.

Why do you want to make every effort to leave the first and second stages to enter the third stage? Because the third stage is where the real fun begins. That’s where you begin to walk in a realm of glory, virtue, faith and power that people only dream about. That’s where you bear the most spiritual fruit for the kingdom of God. Where you get more people saved, healed and discipled than you ever imagined. That’s where God’s peace, joy and love flow through you like a river to minister hope and life to people. That’s where God’s grace abounds toward you to do things you could never do on your own. That’s where you fulfill the destiny God has purposed for you. That’s where you grow up into the fullness of Christ, the ultimate Christian goal. So, let’s look closely at these three stages to understand how to graduate from Christian babyhood to Christian maturity.

Stage One – The New Birth

When someone first becomes a Christian, their understanding of what God expects of them is based on what knowledge they have. Their knowledge is probably limited to the elementary requirements of a Christian: stop sinning, go to church, be baptized in water, read your bible and pray. These are the basics that help lay a foundation for going to the next stage, head knowledge.

Stage Two – Head Knowledge

As a Christian spends time reading his bible and listening to messages given by his local church pastor and other ministers, he begins to acquire more knowledge of who God is and what Christianity is all about. The amount and quality of his scriptural knowledge will depend on how much time he reads and studies God’s Word and how much knowledge he gets from his pastor and other sources.

Some scriptures tell him the things he can do through Christ, like praying to the Father in Jesus’ name, healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, casting out demons and raising the dead. Some scriptures tell him what he has inherited from his Heavenly Father through Christ, things like power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessing. He might also learn that he has been redeemed from the curse of the law which makes him free from sickness, poverty, fear, lack, the second death (lake of fire) and a host of other curses listed in Deuteronomy 28:15-68.

All this knowledge is good, but it is head knowledge, not heart knowledge. There is no faith in head knowledge because faith is of the heart (spirit of man) as written in Romans 10:10, “For with the heart (spirit of man) man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” We are not talking here about the physical heart that pumps blood through your body. No, we’re talking about your spirit man, the inner man. Meaning the same thing, the heart of man and the spirit of man are interchangeable.

So we see that head knowledge does not give a Christian the faith to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers or raise the dead. Head knowledge will not deliver him from lack, sickness and disease. Head knowledge alone will not allow him to walk in God’s love, joy and victory in every situation. Head knowledge will not give him victory over sin. Head knowledge will not give him supernatural wisdom and knowledge to solve impossible problems. Head knowledge will not cause God’s supernatural financial blessings to flow into his life so he can be blessed and be a blessing to others. Head knowledge will not cause him to fulfill God’s glorious destiny for his life.

Because head knowledge (mental assent) by itself will not get the job done, that is why Christians continue to have problems with their flesh, their sinful nature, and why they may live very defeated frustrated lives because their minds have not been renewed with God’s Word and God’s Word has not dropped into their hearts and become reality to them. They continue to live far below their divine potential, prisoners of the lusts of the flesh and lacking God’s provision for a victorious life which only comes through heart knowledge. Heart knowledge is what creates the God kind of faith to overcome the world.

Sadly, most churches are filled with first and second stage Christians unable to walk in the faith, power and might of God’s liberating promises, never growing up into the fullness of Christ. Never becoming manifested sons of God to advance the kingdom of God. Why are Christians stuck in the first and second stages of spiritual development to never graduate to the third stage? They simply have never been taught how to enter the third stage or if they have been taught, they have lacked the zeal to go forward. Assuming you desire to please and obey God to go forward to fulfill your divine destiny, let me explain below how to get God’s promises to drop from your head to your heart so you can graduate to the third stage where Christian maturity is an ongoing process of going from glory to glory.

Stage Three – Heart Knowledge

Jesus said in John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” He said in John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” So, how do you get the truth, God’s Word, to drop down into your heart and set you free to begin walking in the power and might of God’s liberating promises that will cause you to fulfill God’s destiny for your life? Just reading God’s Word is not enough. You must memorize and meditate God’s Word until you receive revelation knowledge of God’s Word, specifically the promises that belong to you as a son or daughter of God. These promises help to mold you into the image of Christ so you can live the abundant and overcoming life that pleases God.

First, begin memorizing scriptures that tell you how big your God is, who you are as a child of God, who you are in Christ and what your inheritance is in Christ. Next, you must spend time meditating these scriptures for them to become a reality to you, to become rhema to your heart. Rhema is a Greek word that refers to a word that is spoken and means “an utterance.” An “utterance” is when the Holy Spirit illuninates a scripture to your heart producing faith for you to believe that scripture is now true in you. Illumination, revelation of God’s mighty promises is what sets you free. Meditation of God’s Word is what God told Joshua to do to get God’s Word to go from his head to his heart, to become a reality to him: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8).

So what is meditation of God’s Word? The meditation of God’s Word as defined in Strong’s Hebrew dictionary is to murmur, ponder, imagine, meditate, speak, study, talk and utter God’s Word.The end result of meditation of God’s Word brings forth revelation knowledge to your heart, spirit man. God’s Word becomes no longer just words on a page, but a reality in your heart and His Word becomes part of you. Then 2 Peter 1:4 will begin to manifest in your life as you take on God’s divine nature: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

Memorization, meditation and revelation of God’s Word allows you to graduate from the second stage of head knowledge to the third and final stage, heart knowledge that produces Christian maturity. Christian maturity is an ongoing process, your goal being to grow up into the fullness of Christ and to fulfill your destiny which advances the kingdom of God. The more time you spend meditating God’s Word resulting in revelation knowledge of His Word will determine the speed of your spiritual growth.

Besides the memorization, meditation and the revelation of God’s Word, there are other important things God would have you do to please Him and accelerate your spiritual growth: being baptized in Holy Ghost power, fire and God’s love, daily praying in tongues as written in Acts 2:4 and Romans 8:26-27, daily spending time alone with God to hear His instructions for your day, daily prayer for yourself, others and those in authority, daily worshipping God in spirit and truth, living a life of giving as you sow your finances for divine harvests as led by the Holy Spirit, sharing the Gospel with the lost and fellowshipping with other believers as commanded in Hebrews 10:25, living a holy life free from sin and of course always walking in love and forgiving others as God forgave you.

Romans 14:10b says, “For we (Christians) shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ.” That being said, we should always be about are Heavenly Father’s business so when we stand before Jesus Christ we will not lose rewards, but receive rewards. May God’s grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May your desire to know, love and obey God increase mightily each day.

Mary J. Gibson

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