the building blocks of maturity | jay fesperman (1/3)
Often I get “hooked” on a word that I see used but rarely in the Scriptures, and I enjoy looking through concordances and commentaries to determine the full meaning of this word. Recently, I noticed such a word was underlined in my Bible in Colossians 2:5. That word in English is “ORDERLY”. I had written in the margin the word “discipline”. To quote the full verse, Paul says to the Colossian Church, “I delight to see how ORDERLY you are and how firm is your faith in Christ”. (emphasis mine)
The English synonym for this word orderly is “arrangement”. It has the definite connotation of “planned order”. For example, the word is used seven times in the epistle of the Hebrews when it speaks of Jesus being a high priest “after the ORDER of Melchizedek”. In one of these verses it says, “Jesus went before us into the inner sanctuary on our behalf. He has become a High Priest forever after the ORDER of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 6:19-20). Interestingly enough, just prior to this statement, the writer says in verse 17, “Because God wanted to make the UNCHANGING NATURE of His PURPOSE very clear to the heirs of what was PROMISED. . . .” (emphasis mine). This reminds me of the sentence in Paul’s opening paragraphs to the Ephesian Church when he talks about the PLAN of God and the PURPOSE of God and the WILL of God for His people and for the Church.
The Psalmist tells us that God knows every day of our [lives] before there is one of them. We begin to see that there is DIVINE ORDER in the LIFE that God expects to be lived in the Church. Therefore, there must be a form of divine order – or plan – in the individual members who make up the Body of Christ. Unfortunately, most of us have very little training about an orderly life, in the natural day-to-day existence as we live it in 20th century America.
MATURITY is a sequence of events, one growing out of the fulfillment of a previous event. Our lives are not meant to be put together helter-skelter; we are meant to be trained in a particular period or a particular area of activity, and, thus, become prepared to function wisely in the next position. Manhood grows out of boyhood. Fatherhood grows out of husbandship. And, thank God, Jesus is not only our Shepherd, but He is also our example, our guide. Just before the verse with which we opened this letter, Paul said, “My purpose is that you might be encouraged in heart and united in love so that you can have the full riches of COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING in order that you know the mystery of God; namely, CHRIST, in whom are hidden ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge“. (emphasis mine)
IN CHRIST are hidden ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge!! No wonder God could say, when He was creating the universe, “Through HIM (Jesus) are all the things made, and without Him, nothing was made that has been made. In Him was LIFE, and THAT LIFE is the LIGHT of MEN” ! (emphasis mine)
From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 23, July 1982.