New Borns (healthy and growing) ~ “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious’ (1 Peter 2:1-3).
Little Children (growing) ~ “I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father” (1 John 2:13c). “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that theAntichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour’ (1 John 2:18).“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we knowthat we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God” (1 John 3:18-21).
Infants (an unhealthy condition) ~ “Brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). “Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world” (Galatians 4:1-3).
Young Men (normal growth) ~ “I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one” (1 John 2:13b). “I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one” (1 John 2:14b). “The glory of young men is their strength” (Proverbs 20:29a).
Fathers (full grown) ~ “For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me. For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church” (1 Corinthians 4:15-17). “I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning” (1 John 2:13a). “I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning” (1 John 2:14a).
closing thought ~ “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:11-13).
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