According to St. Paul’s inspired epistles, the human race is divided into four categories:
- The natural man, i.e., the fallen son of Adam, as he is, without God. Of him the Apostle says: “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (ICor.2:14).
- The babe in Christ. When a person sees himself as a sinner and trusts Christ as his Saviour, he is “born again” and becomes a “babe in Christ”. But babes can and should grow, so these are exhorted: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere [pure] milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby” (IPet.2:2).
- The carnal Christian is one who, though perhaps a Christian for years, has not grown, due to indifference and neglect of the Word of God. He still has to be treated as a babe in Christ. The Corinthian believers were examples of this. Paul had to write them: “I…could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear [digest] it, neither yet now are ye able” (ICor.3:1,2). Everybody loves a baby, but the joy that fills the hearts of loving parents turns to bitterest sorrow if their baby fails to grow.
- The spiritual Christian is one who, through prayerful study of the Word of God, has grown to spiritual maturity. He is no longer merely a child of God; he is a “man of God”. We should all “desire the sincere [pure] milk of the Word that ye may grow thereby” (IPet.2:2) — “THAT WE HENCEFORTH BE NO MORE CHILDREN, TOSSED TO AND FRO, AND CARRIED ABOUT WITH EVERY WIND OF DOCTRINE” (Eph.4:14). Let us then heed St. Peter’s inspired exhortation: “BUT GROW IN GRACE, AND IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST” (IIPet. 3:18).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.