Why Don’t You Grow Up?: 2017 Study of 1 Peter #9
This is an exposition of 1 Peter 3:8-12This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, July 2, 2017.
You’ve heard it said a thousand times. You’ve no doubt said it to others. Others have said it to you. “Why don’t you grow up?” But growing up is not an easy thing to do! I mean of course we all get older. That is the natural result of not dying. But growing up, that’s something else. You can get older and not grow up. Gray hair is no assurance that you have maturity. How do you determine whether or not you are maturing? How do you know if you are more mature now than you where a year ago? Has living another 12 months made any difference?
Growth/maturity is the natural course of life. If I have a plant and it is not growing – I know something is wrong. Without sickness or disease growth must come. Growing up is a stated objective in the Christian life. If you are a child of God – God intends that you grow up. How do I know that? He said so – Hebrews 5:11-6:3.
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits…
God intends that we grow up and in fact, appears to be miffed if we do not!
Chuck Swindoll said, “Few things are as pathetic to behold as those who have known the Lord for years but still can’t get in out of the rain doctrinally and biblically.”
But beyond the fact that maturity should be the natural result of walking with Christ, is the fact that maturity is essential to life in this fallen, broken world. That is Peter’s point in our text this evening.
Text: 1 Peter 3:8-12
Peter is writing to hurting, frightened people.
The first great wave of persecution has begun.
People are dying for their faith – others will suffer the same fate.
Peter writes to encourage but also to strengthen their resolve.
After laying the doctrinal foundation he begins to apply the Gospel.
Pointing out, we have been called to a life of radical holiness.
We are a peculiar people – set apart for God’s glory.
Our relationship with Christ is to impact every area of life.
Our relationship towards authority.
Our relationship with our spouse, children, and our employers.
Our faith is to inform our decisions and our lifestyles.
But don’t remove this from the context – the context of living out the faith in a hostile environment. Living the faith in less than ideal circumstances. Living the faith when others don’t follow the rules. When others don’t play fair. Peter reminds us in this passage that:
Thesis: Maturity is essential to survival in a hostile environment.
There are three things about Christian maturity I want us to note in our text.
- Christian maturity exhibits genuine grace. (3:8)
- Christian maturity is marked by a spirit of forgiveness. (3:9)
- Christian maturity is characterized by purity and peace. (3:10-12)
So, you’re growing older. Are you growing wiser? You’ve gotten gray-headed, but have you grown up?
Maturity is essential to survival in a hostile environment.
Christian maturity exhibits genuine grace.
Christian maturity is marked by a spirit of forgiveness.
Christian maturity is characterized by purity and peace.