Growing in Christ
Category : General
Ephesian 4: 14 (KJV)
14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.
As when men stand and look into the heavens with the naked eye they see some three thousand stars; as with a glass of a certain power they may see some ten or twenty thousand, and as with a larger glass they may see still more, penetrating to the infinite depths of space, so the human mind has been such that at first it could see a little of the nature of God, then a little more, then a little more, and so on, with a power of vision that has increased clear down to the present time. (H. W. Beecher.)
The apostle warns us that we are in danger from the sleight of men, and the cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive. Children, here, are opposed to the perfect man in the preceding verse; and the state of both is well explained by the apostle’s allusions. The man is grown up strong and healthy, and has attained such a measure or height as qualifies him for the most respectable place in the ranks of his country. The child is ignorant, weak, and unsteady, tossed about in the nurse’s arms, or whirled round in the giddy sports or mazes of youth; this seems to be the apostle’s allusion. Being tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, refers to some kind of ancient play, but what I cannot absolutely determine; probably to something similar to a top, or to our paper kite
In many respects, Christians “are” to be like children. They are to be docile, gentle, mild, and free from ambition, pride, and haughtiness-Matt.18:2-3. But children have other characteristics besides simplicity and docility. They are often changeable Matt.11:17; they are credulous, and are influenced easily by others, and led astray. It is in these respects, Paul exhorts the Ephesians to be no longer children but urges them to put on the characteristics of manhood; and especially, to put on the firmness in religious opinion which became maturity of life.
However, the fact that we are no longer children demands a manly steadfastness of will. The inconsistency, the fickleness, the shiftiness, natural in a child, because a sign of immaturity, is out of place in those who are no longer children. The greatest mistake that any Christian can make is to assume that teachers of error are sincere. While true enough that some of them are, it is equally true that many are not. From the whole learn, that seducers and false teachers are crafts-masters of sleight and subtlety, and stratagems of deceit; they have artifices, ways and methods, to take men unawares, and to make merchandise of the people: they wrest and rack the scriptures to make them speak what they please, not what the Holy Ghost intended. Therefore, we must “speak the truth in love”; or “be sincere in love.” As we must adhere to the truth, so we must grow up in all things into Christ, who is the Head.
Have a great and godly day!