God’s aim in your redemption is you growing up to maturity in Christ. This is not to be thought of as independence from Christ, for that would be tantamount to the sinful folly of unbelief. Think of a passenger on airplane; if he is ever to overcome gravity the plane is his only hope. When it is 10 feet off the ground the consequences of exiting the plane are not quite so severe as when it is at cruising altitude. God is growing us up into greater dependence on Him, and this maturation process requires us to recognize how insidiously deceptive the sin of unbelief is.
Sin whispers to us that we’ve been a well-behaved Christian and deserve a little selfishness, self-indulgence, and self-pity. “Surely,” it opines, “all this time in the plane has equipped you for self-sufficieny.” Growing in maturity in Christ should result in a more pronounced understanding of our great need for Christ.
Good, as it ripens, becomes continually more different not only from evil but from other good. C.S. LewisNow, to change metaphors, saplings are much more endangered by frost, drought, and wind than a well-established tree; by nature, a full grown tree is more capable of enduring such trials. But it is because its roots are firmly enmeshed with the soil beneath it and its trunk has hardened to the severities of the changing winds around it. It doesn’t somehow need less soil, less air, less water, less sunshine; but by design it is made to endure these trials and temptations because of its growth in maturity.
C.S. Lewis points out that “ripening” goodness learns to not only differentiate from good and evil, but good and greater good. And R.M. M’Cheyne wisely reminds us to not become conceited to think that as we grow we gain immunity from sin, he says, One might as well speak of gunpowder getting by habit of resisting fire, so as not to catch spark. R.M. M’Cheyne“One might as well speak of gunpowder getting by habit of resisting fire, so as not to catch spark.” We need this reminder often, and true Christian maturity does not grow weary of such reminders.