That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting. (Ephesians 4:14)
No Longer Children
A child’s heart can easily be persuaded to believe a lie. Without the maturity of knowledge, a story can allow an innocent heart accept a cleverly told falsehood. This may not mean a bad thing in the child’s world, as childhood stories often are based on creative fantasies that fill the mind with imagination. The warning of the apostle Paul is the danger of spiritual children being led away with the imaginations of Satan’s lies that have eternal consequences. This is the greater danger when those born into Christ never grow in spiritual discernment and maturity. Paul warns the brethren not to be immature like children who can easily be swayed with any new teaching or doctrine. A child can be influenced and tricked into believing lies so clever they sound like the truth. The child of God must protect themselves from such dangers.
Knowledge is power, and it takes time and energy to equip the mind with the word of God. The power of Satan is immense, seeking on every turn to trick the soul of man into believing a lie. When the serpent came to Eve in the garden, his first words were dishonest to the command of God. He convinced Eve that God did not mean what He said and that she and Adam deserved to eat the forbidden fruit. Satan did not force or compel Adam and Eve to disobey God. He merely suggested they disregard the will of God and enjoy what was forbidden. The devil tricked them, and they immediately discovered his scheme was a lie, but it was too late. Shame, guilt, and the burden of sin had overshadowed them, and they hid from the presence of God.
The church’s work is to equip its members with the necessary tools to be edified, increase in knowledge, and fortify their souls against the wiles of the devil. God has put the tools required to build a wall of defense around his children, but these defenses will have no value if the individual does not implement those plans in his life. The Christian should always seek ways to grow in Christ so they will not be like a child in the knowledge of God’s word. There are many doctrines that stand against the truth of God’s word. If a Christian is not diligent in their knowledge of the Bible, they will easily be tossed about with every wind of doctrine. This is where apostasy plants its seed. Ignorance is the vast field of Satan’s farm where he tends the hearts of those who do not know the word of God. Any trickery of men filled with the devil’s lies will become what a person believes to their destruction. Is that not why there are so many churches and why so many different faiths?
Children are expected to grow, and when this does not happen, concerned parents seek medical advice to correct the problem. In the church of Christ, the only infants and babies in the church should be newborns. However, there is a large population of older Christians by virtue of how long they have been in the kingdom of Christ that are still unlearned, ignorant, and feeding on soy milk. They have no substance, depth of knowledge and are so unlearned in scripture; they are unable to find a chapter and verse in the Bible. These poor souls are fertile ground for the devil’s deceptions who seek people who are still childlike in heart and mind that he can fill with the deceptions of his lies—grown adults in the kingdom with minds of a child.
Paul warns the Ephesians to grow up in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Children must grow in maturity to become productive citizens of the church of God. Unity of faith comes from a knowledge of the Son of God to a perfect man. The measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ is when a man says he will no longer be a child tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. He will spend the time filling his heart with the word of God, leading his family and others to the redemption found in Jesus Christ. Truth stands upon the hearts of those men and women who grow each day to be stronger and bolder in proclaiming the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan is not afraid of children of God who remain infants. He is terrified of children who have grown up to be mature, responsible, and capable teachers of the word.