Mature in Christ


Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon

Song of Solomon 2: 1-2

 Photography by Doula Faith

 “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is”
1 John 3:2

When God created Eve, while Adam was in a deep sleep, He took from Adam’s side a rib.  And with that rib he created a perfect help-mate. Adam’s first reaction upon seeing her was to say,

“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” Genesis 2:23

 Scriptural Context: Ephesians 4-5

God’s purpose in creating mankind– male and female was for the purpose of developing a perfect help-mate for His Son- Jesus Christ.  Upon creating the world He placed them in His garden where He could fellowship. He created them according to His image (Genesis 1: 26-31). There in the garden of Eden He purposed Adam and Eve to know Him.  They were perfect and innocent and knew no sin (Genesis 2: 25).  When they mistrusted God the Father and bent their ear to the deceiver, the divine union was broken.  Fellowship with a Holy God was now impossible. But with God all things are possible (Matthew 19: 25-26) and He had a plan not only for reconciliation but a plan for maturing all those who would trust Him into the “Bride of Christ” (Genesis 3:15, Ephesians 5: 21-33).

How does maturity come about?  It’s not by sheltering someone from the trials of life, but through guidance and love, allowing that person to overcome adversities and sin. The fruit that is born from these trials is then wisdom, faith and endurance (Romans 5: 2-5) which equips a person to overcome the obstacles that would prevent an abundant life (John 10: 7-10).

The beauty of a rose begins with a tiny seed planted in rich soil.  That seed grows to produce a plant with branches that are covered with thorns. The thorns are there to protect the beauty of the maturing plant.  When the rose bud appears it is tightly closed. If you were to try to open the bud before its time, the bloom would be destroyed and the unfolding would never take place.  The thorns represent the trials that come to bring humility into one’s life purposed for protection (2 Corinthians 12: 6-10).

The beauty of a pearl occurs from a grain of sand entering the small crevice of a sea shell.  The oyster or clam  that produces the pearl is rough and dull from outside, yet by the penetration of the irritating grain of sand, it produces from within a smooth and beautiful gem.  If the irritating grain were prevented from entering the environment of the shell, no pearl would be formed.

The development of the Monarch butterfly begins with a tiny egg laid upon a Milk Weed Plant. There it begins to develop and grow into a caterpillar. The Milk Weed Plant is the only plant that this kind of caterpillar can eat (1 Peter 2:2).  As the caterpillar grows it comes to the place where it yields its skin and head and there within the struggle forms a green Chrysalis jaded with gold beads.  As it hangs still (Psalm 46:10) and remains dormant, a miracle takes place. There inside the enclosed dark tomb the caterpillar changes (2 Corinthians 5:17). When the time is ripe, the creature emerges with a struggle.  If someone were to forcefully open the protective shelter before its time, or prevent the struggle, the new creature, the butterfly, would emerge crippled with no strength in its wings for flight (Isaiah 40: 29-31).

God has given us these examples in nature to teach us spiritual truths (Romans 1:20, Matthew 6: 28-30). He has purposed these trials in a “believers” life to teach “Trust” and the realization that He is faithful in all things (Romans 8:28).  But something has to die in order for a new life to emerge and that is our “self-will” (Proverbs 3: 5-6).  The rose allows vulnerability as it opens up to bloom, the shell allows a small irritant to enter in order to develop a pearl, and the butterfly yields its flesh, and “waits” to become what was predestined (Romans 8:29).

So the fall of mankind came about through the deception of pride, with a lie that somehow mankind has the wisdom to initiate his/her own development into God’s image (Genesis 3).

God the Father came to earth in man’s image to bring about the birth of reconciliation through His Son (John 14: 8-9).  He does not accept man’s way (Isaiah 55: 8-9).  There is only one way back to the Father, and those who are seeking Him find it (John 14:6). That way is through His Son, Jesus Christ, the Holy Seed from heaven, who died and was buried, but later emerged resurrected as the “Tree of Life” (John 12:24).  He took on our iniquities and suffered the punishment for all mankind. He suffered all trials and temptations and emerged triumphant and obedient. That is why the Father accepted His plea from the cross, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

Just like it is impossible for mankind to bring about the maturation of a rose, pearl or butterfly, it is impossible for mankind to develop himself into the image of God.

It is through trusting in a Holy God and His plan of salvation that causes the maturation to begin and then be completed (Hebrews 12:1-2). That plan is believing in His Son, Jesus Christ who has predestined that all who love Him and believe in His sacrifice will develop and change through His Holy Spirit into His likeness (1 John 3:2).Those who will accept His invitation of fellowship will become His eternal help-mate; His Bride, “bone of his bones and flesh of His flesh” (Genesis 2:23)

             And we know that “When He appears we shall be like Him because we shall see Him as   He is.”  ( 1 John 3:2)

Doula Faith

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