Maturity does not come by a relationship with the Bible...It comes through a relationship with Christ.

Jesus said, in John 5:38-40... But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

To many believers have placed the written word above the living Word. I have heard some say regarding the Bible, "This is Jesus". BUT and it is a BIG BUT, the living Word is GREATER than the written word. No matter how much know and move in the written word it is NOT JESUS! Denominational people search the scriptures looking for doctrines, commands to obey, direction, do's and don'ts to follow, etc. They are looking for something, when they should be looking for Somebody...Jesus.

First century followers of Christ did not always have Old Testament scriptures. They certainly didn't have the New Testament scriptures because those were still being written. On top of that many people were illiterate. With the emphasis we currently put on personal study of scripture how then were these people able to make such an impact in the generation of Christ's earthly ministry and in the early Church? I believe the answer is a relational one.

These followers of Christ were taught by those who were in Christ before them. Acts 2:42 says, "They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship , to the breaking of bread and to prayer." The apostles' TEACHING was JESUS CHRIST, He was their DOCTRINE! Jesus was taught as a living, personal, and interactive being. The apostles' teaching style was personal and interactive, like that of Jesus. Today we are guilty of replacing the doctrine of Jesus with the doctrine of man!

Their fellowship wasn't in name only like much of today's so denominated denominational denominations. True fellowship is friendship and companionship that involves participation and contribution. That is what they were devoted to. These weren't people listening to stale non-participatory monologue sermons. They were filled with joys that brought on questions. They ate together and they prayed together. At this point the Judaizers weren't interfering and they had no systems or traditions to blind & deafen them. They purely got to enjoy Jesus Christ and each other with no religious rules or regulations bondage. That is the beauty of how the believer's life should be lived.

God's plan for maturity in Jesus Christ was never for an individual to listen to the one-man-showmanship that takes place in religion. God's plan is that we are built together through mutual participation and sharing of His truth. Read Ephesians 4:25 and 1 Corinthians 14.

His plan is for us to love Jesus as Jesus loves us so we will love people as Jesus loves people."


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