Last Friday I turned fifteen years old. Turning fifteen is one of the more important birthdays because it means that I can now get my learners permit and begin to drive, which I am sure is a scary thought to those of you who know me. It means that I will now have more responsibility and that I can legally get a job. As we get older physically, we have more responsibility, more opportunities, and more obligations. In Genesis 47, Jacob has moved his entire family to Egypt. When he meets Pharaoh in verse 8, the leader of Egypt asks him: “How old are you?” Jacob replies that he is 130 years old.
I must assume everyone reading this article knows their physical age, but have you ever given thought to your spiritual age? You probably think I am talking about how many years you have been a Christian, but I am really talking about how much you have matured as a Christian. You might have become a Christian twenty years ago and still be a one-year-old Christian in maturity. Your spiritual age is not determined by years but by your learning and growth. If you have been a Christian for one year, you should know more about the Bible than you did when you first obeyed the Gospel. Furthermore, if you have been a Christian for twenty years, you should know more about the Bible than you did when you had been a Christian for one year. Sadly, some Christians do not grow or mature spiritually.
How do we grow as Christians? Well, how do we grow physically? We must eat. Our bodies need physical food, but our souls need spiritual food. If we do not eat spiritually, we will not grow in or knowledge of the Bible. To grow as a Christian, we must take in the Word. If we don’t eat, our bodies won’t grow, and if we don’t consume the Scriptures, we will not grow as Christians. Hebrews 5:12-14 says, “for though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
This verse means that in the first-century church there were those who had been Christians for some amount of time, but they had not matured spiritually as they should, and they could not teach people. Instead, they needed to be taught again themselves. As Christians, we need to mature spiritually so that we can teach others, but how will we be able to teach others if we do not know what the Bible says? The simple answer is we cannot. As Christians, we need to study our Bibles daily in order to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks the reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).
As I come to the end of this article, I ask you, how old are you? Are you growing as a Christian? Are you studying God’s Word daily? Are you ready to give a defense to any man that asks you a reason for the hope that is in you? Has your growth as a Christian become stagnant? Growing as a Christian is not just an option – it is a necessity. So, I ask how old are you?