14As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
What does it mean to be an “infant in Christ”? What is Paul referring to when he uses this analogy? It is important to remember that anyone who comes into Christ comes into Him as a babe. In this sermon on Ephesians 4:14 titled “No Longer Children,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that it is a vital point to understand since Paul makes it an objective in many of his epistles that the goal of new believers should be to jump into learning more about God and His word before jumping into positions of spiritual influence within their church. Just as children are required to mature before they are handed responsibilities, babes in Christ are not firm enough to be given influence expected of mature believers. Paul calls new believers to seek the knowledge of God in order to grow out of childish tendencies that tend to stagnate new believers spiritually, such as being unstable in doctrine, easily deceived, reacting excessively, and not being able to control his or her own spirit. New believers must understand these tendencies so that they can move past them in order to avoid the tragedy of staying as children spiritually.
- We all start the Christian life as children. We are born again and come in as spiritual babes.
- As children, we have certain characteristics and tendencies:
- We are unstable and tossed to and fro like waves. We are fickle and changeable.
- We lack self-control and discipline. We react excessively and violently to things.
- We hold views violently and go to extremes. We are in a state of constant turmoil and agitation.
- Children are liable to be misled and deceived. They are carried about by every wind of doctrine.
- Children are like this because of:
- Ignorance. They lack knowledge and standards to properly judge teachings.
- Dislike of discipline. They don't like to be taught slowly and thoroughly. They want novelty and excitement.
- Susceptibility to showmanship. They are taken in by the spectacular and gaudy.
- We must realize we start as children so we can grow out of these tendencies and dangers. We must seek knowledge, discipline, and maturity.
The Book of Ephesians
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.