so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
(Ephesians 4:14 ESV)
Paul has just explained that, due to the leadership of the evangelists and pastors/teachers, members of God’s family become mature in their faith through unity in Christ and by having a deep knowledge of Jesus. Today He contrasts that with what we would become if we did not achieve this maturity. We would be like children.
Children are gullible. They can’t distinguish good from bad or right from wrong. If left to themselves they’d never take a bath and would eat candy bars for dinner. In a spiritual sense, people who do not know God’s word are children also. They are “tossed to and fro” by every new idea that comes along. Children think that whatever is the most shiny and the most new is best. But adults have learned that “new” or “different” does not necessarily mean better.
When it comes to philosophy, however, people in our postmodern world – which vehemently espouses that there is no absolute truth – grab onto whatever sounds best to them. They move from one belief to another thinking they are making progress. But they aren’t. They are confusing movement for growth. God wants us to grow spiritually. Growth doesn’t happen simply because we move. Growth happens when, like a tree, we are firmly rooted in a nourishing environment.
But there are many who present a false truth [2 Corinthians 11:13-15]. These people are like wolves in sheep’s clothing – they present something that sounds good but in reality will only do harm to anyone who believes it [Matthew 7:15].
The Greek word translated “cunning” here is κυβεια (pronounced: koo-bi’-ah). This is a very interesting word. It refers to people who cheat by using loaded dice. Anyone who plays against them is guaranteed to lose – only they don’t know it. In the same way, anyone who follows a teaching other than that of Jesus will “lose” when it comes to eternity – they will end up separated from Him forever (we call that “hell”). Just like the game with loaded dice, the outcome is assured.
Many people get offended at this, claiming that such thinking is close-minded. But that is another lie of Satan. God has created one way – albeit one way – to heaven. He tells us that any other way leads to hell [Matthew 7:13-14]. He tells us exactly what this way is – it is through Jesus [John 3:3, 3:16, 14:6]. He has not withheld any information from us – He has been completely open with us about our sin and the way to have it forgiven. That is not closed-mindedness. That is caring.
God loves us deeply and wants us to spend forever with Him in heaven. And He has told us exactly how to get there.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.