FAQ :: What is a spiritual baby?

Wherever you find a Christian who is not leading men and women to Christ, something is wrong. He may still be a babe. I do not mean that he does not know a lot of doctrine and is not well informed through hearing good preaching. I know many people who can argue the pre-, the post- and the amillennial position and who know much about dispensations, but who are still immature. Paul said of some such in Corinth: “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual (or mature), but as unto carnal, even as unto babes…” (1 Corinthians 3:1).

Because they were babes, they were immature, incapable of spiritual reproduction. In other words, they could not help other people to be born again. Paul continued, “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it … ye are yet carnal (or babes): for … there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions…”(1 Corinthians 3:2-3).

There are a lot of church members, Sunday school teachers and members of the women’s missionary society who will say to each other, “Have you heard about so and so?” and pass along some gossip. Such have done an abominable thing in the sight of God. How horrible it is when a Christian hears something and spreads the story!

The Bible says, “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him…a lying tongue…” (Proverbs 6:16-17).

Oh, the Christians I know, both men and women, who let lying come in!

“…he that soweth discord among brethren” (Proverbs 16:19) is another. This is walking as a babe, and I believe that it is one of the basic reasons why some Christians do not have people born-again into God’s family through them. They are sick spiritually. There is something wrong. There is a spiritual disease in their lives. They are immature. There is not that union with Christ.

But when all things are right between you and the Lord, regardless of how much or how little you may know intellectually from the standpoint of the world, you can be a spiritual parent. And that, incidentally, may even be when you are very young in the Lord.

A young lady works at the telephone desk in our office in Colorado Springs. A year and a half ago she was closely associated with the young Communist league in Great Britain. She heard Billy Graham and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ. Soon she and a couple other girls in her art and drama school were used of the Lord to win some girls to Christ. We taught Pat and some of the others, and they in turn taught the girls whom they led to Christ. Some of these have led still other girls to Christ, and they too are training their friends. Patricia is a great-grandmother already, though she is only about a year and four months old in the Lord.

We see this all the time. I know a sailor who, when he was only four months old in the Lord, was a great-grandfather. He had led some sailors to the Lord who in turn led other sailors to the Lord, and these last led still other sailors to the Lord – yet he was only four months old.

How was this done? God used the pure channel of these young Christians’ lives in their exuberance and first love for Christ, and out of their hearts the incorruptible seed of the Word of God was sown in the hearts of other people. It took hold. Faith came by the hearing of the Word. They were born again by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They observed those Christians who led them to Christ and shared in the joy, the peace and the thrill of it all. And in their joy, they wanted someone else to know.

In all our Christian audiences, I am sure there are men and women who have been Christians for five, ten or twenty years but who do not know of one person who is living for Jesus Christ today because of them. I am not talking now about merely working for Christ, but about producing for Christ. Someone may say, “I gave out a hundred thousand tracts.” That is good, but how many sheep did you bring in?”

Some time ago I talked to 29 missionary candidates. They were graduates of universities or Bible schools or seminaries. As a member of the board I interviewed each one over a period of five days, giving each candidate from half an hour to an hour. Among the questions I asked were two, which are very important. The first one had to do with their devotional life. “How is your devotional life?” I asked them. “How is the time you spend with the Lord? Do you feel that your devotional life is what the Lord would have it to be?”

Out of this particular group of 29 only one person said, “I believe my devotional life is what it ought to be.” To the others my question then was, “Why is your devotional life not what it should be?”

“Well, you see, I am here at this summer school,” was a common reply. “We have a concentrated course. We do a year’s work in only ten weeks. We are so busy.” I said, “All right. Let’s back up to when you were in college. Did you have victory in your devotional life then?” “Well, not exactly.”

We traced back and found that never since they came to know the Savior had they had a period set aside for daily devotions. That was one of the reasons for their sterility – lack of communion with Christ.

The other question I asked them was, “You are going out to the foreign field. You hope to be used by the Lord in winning men and women to Christ. Is that right?” “Yes.” “You want them to go on and live the victorious life, don’t you? You don’t want them just to make a decision and then go back into the world, do you?” “No.” “Then may I ask you something more? How many persons do you know by name today who were won to Christ by you and are living for Him?”

“The majority had to admit that they were ready to cross an ocean and learn a foreign language, but they had not won their first soul who was going on with Jesus Christ. A number of them said that they got many people to go to church; others said they had persuaded some to go forward when the invitation was given.

I asked, “Are they living for Christ now?” Their eyes dropped. I then continued, “How do you expect that by crossing an ocean and speaking in a foreign language with people who are suspicious of you, whose way of life is unfamiliar, you will be able to do there what you have not yet done here?”

This is not for missionaries and prospective missionaries only. It is for all of God’s people. Every one of His children ought to be a reproducer.

Are you producing? If not, why not? Is it because of a lack of communion with Christ, your Lord, that closeness of fellowship, which is part of the great plan? Or is it some sin in your life, an unconfessed something, that has stopped the flow? Or is it that you are still a babe? [1]

“For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again…” (Hebrews 5:12).

Endnotes [1] Born to Reproduce, booklet by Dawson Trotman