Recently Becky and I came across some older photos and videos of our kids. We laughed and reminisced about their younger years. We laughed at their very simple speech, chubby cheeks, and their waddling around in diapers. It was cute then, but it would be disturbing and creepy if it was still happening today. You see, we’re all meant to grow up and mature. As we get older, things that would have been cute before, would be troubling today.
The church is no different. It’s kind of funny to think of the entire church walking around like toddlers, but the reality is, that church in real life would be a disaster. We’re meant to grow up and mature. That’s exactly what we saw in Acts 19.
As Luke describes the church in Ephesus, there are a few things that we should be challenged by today as individuals and as a part of the church.
A Maturing Church Matures in Theology: With Apollos and some of the disciples at the church in Ephesus, there was a need to mature in theology. This is true for all of us. This isn’t simply an intellectual exercise that we eventually complete, but a lifelong journey in growing in a greater understanding in the whole of God’s Word. If we aren’t growing in our understanding in the person and work of Jesus, we aren’t maturing. A maturing church matures in theology…which brings about changes in the rest of our lives.
A Maturing Church Matures in Sanctification: As we learn more about Jesus and His Word, that understanding changes who we are. Truthfully, any theology devoid of sanctification is hypocrisy, and that theology hasn’t taken root in us. As we mature in sanctification, we look more and more like Jesus. Our desire is to see the gospel go forward. We live on mission. The evidence of God’s work in our lives is obvious. We grow in righteousness. Now hear me, it’s not about chasing outward perfection, it’s about a heart that is fully committed to being all that God calls us to be. In that, we change for the better.
A Maturing Church Impacts Society: What’s obvious is that the church has a dramatic impact on the city of Ephesus. Luke doesn’t describe the church as picketing, demonstrating or lobbying for something. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The church is simply living faithfully to the mission that God has for them. It’s in this that the entire community is impacted. As the church matures, we should have an impact on our community.
God help us that we would be a church that continues to mature for the sake of God’s glory.