Print Sermon

The purpose of this website is to provide free sermon manuscripts and sermon videos to pastors and missionaries throughout the world, especially the Third World, where there are few if any theological seminaries or Bible schools.

These sermon manuscripts and videos now go out to about 1,500,000 computers in over 221 countries every year at www.sermonsfortheworld.com. Hundreds of others watch the videos on YouTube, but they soon leave YouTube and come to our website. YouTube feeds people to our website. The sermon manuscripts are given in 42 languages to about 120,000 computers each month. The sermon manuscripts are not copyrighted, so preachers can use them without our permission. Please click here to learn how you can make a monthly donation to help us in this great work of preaching the Gospel to the whole world.

Whenever you write to Dr. Hymers always tell him what country you live in, or he cannot answer you. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net.




HOW DO YOU GROW UP?

by Dr. Christopher L. Cagan

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Saturday Evening, August 10, 2019

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (I Corinthians 13:11; p. 1224 Scofield).


Children love to play with their favorite toys. Some children have stuffed animals. My sister had a bear. Another child had a large stuffed dog. That dog was a part of his life for years. Later he “retired” the dog and stopped playing with it.

When I was a child, I had a set of blocks with the letters of the alphabet on them. I arranged them in lines and patterns. Later I forgot about them, but thirty years later I saw them again when my parents gave them back to me. They had saved them all those years!

As a child, I wasn’t thinking about politics or who would be president. I wasn’t thinking about having children of my own. I wasn’t thinking about the meaning of life. “When I was a child...I thought as a child.”

When I got older I had other things to think about. At college I was thinking about grades. I was thinking about making a living. I was thinking about moving my life forward. Later I started thinking about God, and what my life was all about, and what would happen when I died. I trusted Christ and began to serve Him as a disciple. But I was a new Christian. I was a child. When I prayed for people to be saved I rattled off a long list of names of people I knew, without really praying for any of them. In this church I learned to pray better. I have been a Christian for 42 years. Now I think about preaching sermons, leading people to Jesus, and working for Christ in the church! I don’t think as a child, but as a man. “When I became a man, I put away childish things.”

Many people today are still children – even when they are older. They can’t control themselves. They expect to be taken care of. They can’t help others because they are still children in their minds. They never grew up.

But the Bible says that Christians do grow up! They start as children. If you are a new Christian, you are a child in Christ. People sometimes call new converts “baby Christians.” It’s all right to be a child in Christ at the beginning. That’s the only place you can start from. But later, God expects you to grow into a spiritual man or woman. The Apostle Paul wrote our text,

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (I Corinthians 13:11; p. 1224).

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

OUR SERMONS ARE AVAILABLE ON YOUR CELL PHONE NOW
IF YOU GO TO WWW.SERMONSFORTHEWORLD.COM AND
CLICK ON THE GREEN BUTTON WITH THE WORD “APP” ON IT.
FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT COME UP.
THEN YOU WILL BE ABLE TO GET THE SERMONS
SIMPLY BY PUSHING THE APP BUTTON.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Some new-evangelicals think that church is only a place to have fun. It’s the job of the church to entertain you. The church is there to make you feel good, and to lift you up when you’re sad. The church teaches you some pleasant things. The church gives you friends. The church is there to make you happy. If you think that, you’ll be a baby Christian all your life, if you’re a Christian at all.

The Bible talks about growing in Christ from children to adults. When you trust Jesus, your salvation is settled forever. Your sins are forgiven, washed away in the Blood of Christ. You’re ready to meet God. That is settled forever. It doesn’t change. But you are not grown up yet. You are a child in Christ. You need to go through a process of becoming stronger and more holy and more spiritual. That is called “sanctification.” Salvation is settled forever the minute you trust Jesus. But sanctification, growing up in Christ, goes on for your whole life.

The Bible tells us about growing in Christ from children to adults. Turn to I John, chapter 2, verses 12 to 14. It’s on page 1322 in the Scofield Study Bible.

“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one” (I John 2:12-14; p. 1322).

In these verses John gave three stages of growing up in Christ.

First, there are little children. That doesn’t mean people in elementary school. It means new Christians, people who have just trusted Jesus. If you are a new Christian, you are a “little child” in Christ. Little children in Christ are completely saved, just the same as older Christians. The Bible says, “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake” (I John 2:11). That’s what children in Christ know. Your sins are forgiven because you trust Christ.

But don’t stay as a child. The Bible says, “That we henceforth be no more children” (Ephesians 4:14; p. 1253). Our text says, “When I became a man.” Don’t stay as a child. Grow up as fast as you can.

How do you do that? The answer is simple. Everything you need to grow and become an excellent Christian is available to you, right in front of you. The Bible is in front of you. You have a Bible of your own. It’s God’s Word. It “is profitable...that the man of God may be perfect [mature, complete, grown up], throughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16, 17; p. 1281). Read it every day. Meditate on what you read. Think about it. As you think about the Bible and obey it, you will become a strong Christian.

Prayer is in front of you. Pray every day. When God answers your prayer, thank Him for the answer. It will help you when God gives you what you ask. It will strengthen your faith so you can pray better next time.

The preaching of the Word – the sermons – are in front of you. Don’t just sit through the services. Listen carefully to each sermon, even if you think you’ve heard something before. In our church we give you help that I haven’t seen anywhere else. We give you the full manuscript of each sermon – in your own language. Don’t throw that blessing away. Take the manuscripts home and read them carefully. You will soon be an excellent Christian.

Listen to the pastors. God gave them to help you become a strong, mature, grown up Christian. Turn to Ephesians, chapter 4, verses 11 and 12. It’s on page 1253 of the Scofield Study Bible. The Bible says,

“And he gave some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11, 12; p. 1253).

Keep your Bible open to that place. Don’t be confused by the English word “perfect.” It doesn’t mean you’ll be as perfect as God. The Greek word translated “perfect” means “mature, someone who has reached the goal.” Christ gave pastors and teachers to the church to help the Christians become mature and grown up. Christ gave pastors and teachers so that you could reach the goal of the Christian life and become a solid, grown up Christian.

Listen to the pastors. Listen to the sermons they preach. Talk with them when you have a question. Talk to them when you have a problem. Talk with them when you are going to make a big decision in your life. They will help you not to make a mistake. That’s why God gave them to you. If you will do that, you will go far. Look down at the next verse, verse 13. It says that you will become “a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). You will be a complete, strong, grown up Christian who has reached the goal of the Christian life.

Now look at the verse after that, verse 14. This verse that says why God gave these men to the church, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight [tricks] of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14). God wants you to be “no more children.” That’s why pastors and teachers are given to the church. If you listen to them, you won’t be a child any more. And you won’t be “tossed to and fro” and deceived by the “sleight [tricks] of men” who lie waiting to deceive you. If you stay close to the men God has given to the church, you won’t be deceived. You won’t be tossed around. You won’t be carried away by this and that. You will be a strong, complete, grown up Christian. May it be so for you!

There is one more way to grow up. People talk about what schools they went to. But there is another school with no books and no classes. It’s the school of life. People say, “I went to the School of Life.” “I went to the School of Hard Knocks.” When you face life, going through trials and sufferings, the hard knocks of life, you gain experience and become a strong person who can handle life.

The Apostle John didn’t just write about children. He wrote about “young men.” He said, “I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one” (I John 2:13; p. 1322). Again, he said, “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one” (I John 2:14; p. 1322).

These young men became strong because they fought against the Devil! Yes, we are in a struggle against the Devil and his demons. The Bible says,

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12; p. 1255).

There’s no getting around it. We’re in a fight against the Devil. If you back away from that fight, you’ll never be a “young man [or woman].” You’ll always be a baby Christian, if you’re a Christian at all.

And don’t be afraid of going through trials. Don’t be afraid of going through pressure. The Bible word translated “tribulation” means “pressure.” And the Bible says,

“We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience” (Romans 5:3, 4; p. 1197).

Don’t hide from trouble and tribulation. Don’t hide from pressure. Expect it. It will make you patient and give you experience. The Bible says so! You will become a strong, grown up Christian.

The Apostle John didn’t just write about children and young men. He wrote about “fathers.” He said, “I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning” (I John 2:13). Him “which was from the beginning” is Jesus Christ (I John 1:1; p. 1321). You may ask, “Don’t all Christians know Jesus?” Yes, they are forgiven by Jesus. Yes, they know Jesus. But this verse is talking about something more. It’s talking about the confirmed, deeper relationship that a mature Christian has with his Saviour. Matthew Poole’s commentary on this verse says, “fathers, because to such belong much experience.” The Bible commentator John Gill said that these fathers are “such, who, in comparison of others, were perfect [complete, mature]... and were, in understanding, men, fathers, and not babes in Christ.” My friends, that’s your goal! You can become a father or mother in Christ. You can handle work and trials and whatever life throws at you. You will be an example to others. You won’t be thrown around here and there by weird words from weird people. You will be able to handle the Christian life. You will be “stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58; p. 1228). Start learning and growing right away. You can do it! That’s your goal – and you can reach it! I pray that you will.

But some of you here are not Christians at all. Jesus shed His Blood to wash away your sin, but you have not trusted Him. Can it be because you don’t want to grow up? Have you become used to being outside of Christ, outside of the full fellowship of the church, outside of God? Will you face God’s judgment for your sin when you die, because you won’t come to Christ now? May it not be so. If you would like to speak with us about trusting Jesus, please come and stand at the front of the room now. Amen.