Growing Up

Read:

". . . God has shown me that I should not call anyone unholy or unclean." Acts 10:28

Reflect:

"Oh my, how you've grown!" A familiar phrase we've all heard from grandparents, aunts, and uncles.  For whatever reason, time has passed, things have changed. Distant relatives and friends upon seeing us once again admire the progress of time and maturity in us. Eventually, we all grow up.

The story in this chapter is about the growth of Christianity. Christianity began and grew in much the same way an individual grows up. And growing up is never easy. 

You see Christianity was born in a Jewish home. There it learned about the wonderful world of God. It was taught the majestic ways of God’s and of His great royal power. It was instructed to remember that the word of God and the way we live always go hand in hand. It was taught that belief and behavior have an inseparable union, because, they most fully reflect the character of God.

One of the great difficulties of growing up is leaving home. We must at some point break away from the nest, even though there are growing pains. Still there comes a time when we have to move out and move on.

Christianity could not be contained within the walls of Judaism, for the simple reason that Judaism was the religion of a nation, and Christianity was to be for all nations. The baby clothes had to come off. Exclusiveness had to be overridden. A new stage of spiritual maturity was taking place. 

The story of Cornelius is the story about the first time a Gentile was publicly and official welcomed into the fellowship of faith without having to observe all the rituals and requirements of Jewish law. It, and the point Christianity, dramatically and decisively asserted its independence from Judaism.

There comes a time in our own spiritual maturity when faith cannot be confined within the boundaries of mere ideology. Faith will not be second to anything in life it must grow up, grow out and go forward.

Respond:

Are you growing in your faith?