We all know that there are stages in life, and because God is a God of order, we know that they have a purpose that He designed. But often, because of sin, it can feel as if we are scrambling through life without understanding what we should be doing along the way. We are born, we spend time as children, we are thrust into adulthood, we have families and careers, we have grandchildren, we retire, and then… we die. But looking back, we can see how we did not use our time properly, and how certain periods were suited for specific growth and purpose. It would be good if we could understand their purposes before we entered into them. It would be good to be able to better prepare our children.
And from a spiritual perspective, God has given us this image of being born again and becoming children of God who are trained up by Him in his household. But scripture does not spend a great deal of time talking about what that process of spiritual maturing should look like. Instead, God points us back to what physically maturing and growing should look like, insisting that those physical stages of maturity are a metaphor for growing spiritually. From Scripture, we can see five basic stages of life. In Hebrews, it talks about children before they are weaned and the writer is rebuking the people for still being like babies that they are not yet able to feed themselves solid food. Then as with the picture of Samuel being brought to the temple to server, there is childhood which extends until puberty. There is youth which goes from puberty to thirty when the priests would start their ministries like Christ. Then the ministry of the priesthood which goes from thirty to fifty. Finally, there are elders who are older than fifty. In each of these stages, there are both specific and general steps that are taken in the process of maturing, with each new stage building on the last. And these physical stages parallel spiritual maturity.
In this episode, we are going to cover the first three stages of life. From conception to birth, from newborn to around five years old, and from five to thirteen. We want to talk about how God designed each of those periods to accomplish specific things as we physically mature. And then we want to tie that to the corresponding picture of spiritual growth so that we can better understand what we should be looking for in ourselves and others as we mature in Christ. Please join us as we discuss this very important topic.
Listen to the audio version here: https://theconqueringtruth.com/2023/10/from-birth-to-childhood-building-toward-physical-and-spiritual-maturity-ep-142-audio/
00:04:07 Physical vs Spiritual Stages
00:08:36 Infancy – Birth
00:16:31 Infant – Newborn
00:21:29 Infant – Toddler
00:56:20 Transition to Adulthood
Production of Reformation Baptist Church of Youngsville, NC
Hosts – Dan Horn, Jonathan Sides, Charles Churchill and Joshua Horn
Technical Director – Timothy Kaiser
Theme Music – Gabriel Hudelson