Charles E Whisnant
I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008. I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969. I have four grown children. Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio
1. The Gospel Is for Maturity
Out of a good desire for growth and maturity, it’s tempting to focus our attention on our own lives. We assess our relationships. We evaluate our priorities. We may even zero in on our own heart issues like pride, lust, envy, or greed. And while it’s healthy to realize our own need for change, it’s possible to divert our eyes and hopes from what truly transforms.
Paul wanted the same thing we want in our own lives and churches—maturity. But to bring that about, he directed the gaze of his people toward Christ, not their own cares. He described his ministry like this: "[Christ] we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ" (Col. 1:28).
We know Paul desired to preach nothing but "Christ and him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:2), but do we subtly assume this kind of preaching is really for the unconverted? Paul had a different understanding. He was convinced the same gospel that saves the lost also sanctifies the found. Maturity is the goal, and the proclamation of Christ is the means. He insisted that the spiritual sight of Christ brings growth, vitality, and transformation to the soul.
Paul proclaimed the glories of the King so that believers would grow. We should do no less