Stages of Christian Growth
“Perfection” in Strong’s Concordance is the translation of the Greek word # G5046-‘Telios’ = Maturity, Completion, limit, term, goal, purpose, and a few other definitive descriptors.
Please NOTE: This is one of the MOST IMPORTANT Teachings that I’ve ever discovered to help us understand what is being Said and Required of Believers and Clergy in Scriptures.
A word to those who seek Wisdom and Understanding: Hebrews 6:1 THEREFORE LET us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ, advancing steadily toward the completeness and [perfection] that belong to spiritual maturity.
Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. There are 94 references to the word perfect (Maturity) in the King Jimmie Bible and 11 references to the related word perfection; maybe we should pay ATTENTION to the command of Jesus, or Yes?
How does understanding this affect my personal bible study and growth to maturity as a Christian? Short answer is “a lot”. For now just read thru a few times, bookmark this page and come back to as you need to and it will continue to make more and more spiritual sense to you as go and grow. ALSO NOTE: Our spiritual maturity or lack thereof has nothing to do with our physical age. See 1 Corinthians 2:13
STAGES OF CHRISTIAN GROWTH
Christian growth and development is similar to human growth and development, but is not automatic. Character is cultivated through discipline and adding to our faith virtue and knowledge that only comes as a result of our taking up our Cross as we mature and are able and willing.
One can also slip backward to an earlier stage.
A person starts to become a new creation in Christ, from the starting point of a spiritual baby—NEPIOS; a suckling infant needing milk both naturally and spiritually.
NEPIOS Baby 0-2 years (3516 Strong’s, “not speaking,” infant, simple-minded, immature)
Carnally minded: Defining characteristic 1 COR 3:1
Tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine EPH 4:14
Unskilled in the Word of righteousness HEB 5:13
Can offer praise to God (perfect: to complete or to repair praise) MT 21:16
Can receive revelation MT 11:25
PAIDION Little child 2-10 years (3813 Strongs, “childling,” immature, lad)
Are humble: Indicates that NEPIOS has begun to grow MT 18:4
Are to come to their Lord (learn how to pray and listen) MT 19:14
Have begun to intimately know the Father 1 JN 2:13
Jesus called his disciples PAIDION JN 21:5
Should be under the teaching of a spiritual father (PATER)
Receive and enter the Kingdom of God by simple trust MK 10:15
Deficient in spiritual understanding: Defining characteristic 1 COR 14:20
TEKNON Older child 10-17 years (5043 Strongs, son, daughter) TEKNION (5040 Strongs, “darlings”)
Learn to mimic their heavenly Father EPH 5:1
Do righteousness and love their brethren 1 JN 3:10
Actively seek their Lord: Defining characteristic JN 13:33
Are commanded not to sin (learn to deal with sin and the world) 1 JN 2:1
Are not to be deceived by others concerning lifestyle 1 JN 3:7
Are told to abide in Jesus 1 JN 2:28
Are told to love in deed and in truth 1 JN 3:18
Are struggling to have Christ formed in their character GAL 4:19
Must keep themselves from idols 1 JN 5:21
NEANISKOS Young man 17-40 years (3495 Strongs, youth under 40 years)
Keep the law but lack the spirit of love: Defining characteristic MT 19:20
See visions ACTS 2:17
Serve leadership ACTS 5:10
Have overcome the wicked one 1 JN 2:13
Are strong, and the Word of God abides in them 1 JN 2:14
HUIOS Mature son 40+ years Spiritually Speaking-having been Tested and Tried. 40 is the number, Spiritually, of testing and trying; porving. (#5207 Strong’s, mature relationship with God)
EXTREMELY Important Verse: Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
HUIOS Are led by the Spirit of God: Defining characteristic ROM 8:14
Are peacemakers (they end fights) Matthew 5:9
Love their enemies and pray for their persecutors Matthew 5:44-45
Learn obedience through suffering (putting down the flesh) HEB 5:8
Are chastised by the Lord HEB 12:5
Live a separate lifestyle from unbelievers 2 COR 6:14-18
PATER Father (3962 Strongs, father) MÉTER Mother (3384 Strongs, mother)
Has intimate knowledge of God (knows his ways): Defining characteristic 1 John 2:13-14
Charges, exhorts, encourages the believers 1 THESS 2:11
Often works with HUIOS and NEANISKOS as a mentor PHIL 2:22
and helps the NEPIOS, PAIDION, TEKNON to grow in Christ
1Co 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
TOOLS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH
1. Daily Bible reading with understand and application: the Logos must become flesh, take ROOT in Good Ground in our lives to be effective and productive.
2. Meditation and pondering on the Scriptures: “Selah” in the Old Testament
3. Daily quiet time of prayer and listening for the Holy Spirit’s Guidance and Inspiration: Rhema.
4. Absolute Surrender to take up our Cross and deny ourselves, our flesh, lower self, #5590, daily as Required by Jesus Himself for all His followers.
This study was done by Rev. Kevin Porter of Lyons, OR. It is the best study of the stages of Christian growth that we have seen, however, I modified it a bit to include the In-sight that I have obtained over the years, Marion Williams.
LOOK at these verses carefully and you can see that unless the Ministers know this, they CANNOT help us into the Glory-Realm, the Full Stature that the Captain of Salvation paid such a Price for:
Eph 4:11-14 KJV
(11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
(12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
(13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the [knowledge-#1922-epignosis] of the Son [HUIOS-#5207] of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
(14) That we henceforth be no more [children-#3516-nepios], 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;
Heb 6:1(a) Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto [perfection-#5047-teleiotēs]; KJV
Heb 6:1(a) So then let us once for all quit the elementary teaching about Christ and continue progressing toward [maturity-#5047-teleiotēs]; Charles B. Williams Translation