Spiritual Maturity

The Bible tells us what spiritual maturity is and demands that we seek it.

A Call to Spiritual Growth

NLT Heb 5;11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature , who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

Lets look at vs 14 again in the Amplified Bible

AMP Heb 5;14 But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.

The mature are those who are trained in discernment, recognizing what is good and noble and what is evil and contrary

NLT 1Cor 14;18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you. 19 But in a church meeting I would rather speak five understandable words to help others than ten thousand words in an unknown language. 20 Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind.

We are specifically told to be mature, to understand what is good and evil in relationship to believer gatherings and spiritual gifts.

NLT Eph 4;11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Maturity is marked by;

1. unity in our faith

2. knowledge of God’s Son

3. measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ

4. No longer blown about by every wind of new teaching. Unable to be tricked

The Spiritually Mature Agree That:

NLT Phil 3;10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! Pressing toward the Goal 12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. 15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made. 17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

Lets take another look at vs 17-19 in the Amplified Bible.

17 Brethren, together follow my example and observe those who live after the pattern we have set for you. 18 For there are many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, who walk (live) as enemies of the cross of Christ (the Anointed One). 19 They are doomed and their fate is eternal misery (perdition); their god is their stomach (their appetites, their sensuality) and they glory in their shame, siding with earthly things and being of their party.

Phil 3 Summary:

Those who are mature know Christ and the mighty power that raised him from the dead, suffer with him, sharing in his death so they will experience resurrection. Pressing toward the Goal, Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, pressing on to receive the heavenly prize. All who are spiritually mature agree on these things [the preceding and the things below]

1. to hold on to the progress we have already made [the things listed above]

2. to pattern our lives after Paul’s,

3. to learn only from those who follow his example. Those not following Paul’s example are enemies of the cross of Christ and are headed for destruction.

Summary

The mature are those who are trained in discernment, recognizing what is good and noble and what is evil and contrary

We are specifically told to be mature, to understand what is good and what is evil in relationship to believer gatherings and spiritual gifts

Maturity is marked by;

1. unity in our faith

2. knowledge of God’s Son

3. measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

4. No longer blown about by every wind of new teaching. Unable to be tricked

We are to know Christ and the mighty power that raised him from the dead and to suffer with him, sharing in his death so we will experience resurrection. Pressing toward the Goal, the heavenly prize. All who are spiritually mature agree on these things [both those above and below]

1. hold on to the progress we have already made, the things listed above:

2. pattern our lives after Paul’s,

3. learn only from those who follow his example. Those not following Paul’s example are enemies of the cross of Christ and are headed for destruction.

When we honor the traditions of men above God’s word our Worship is useless to God. Wrong Teaching and Useless Worship

 

Dear God,

Please provide many true harvest hands, believers earnestly seek you, having developed the spiritual maturity to separate from today’s fallen levitical priesthood [been beheaded]. Help us to understand the how critical it is for Leaders to follow Paul’s examples, the tent maker preacher, the servant slave leader, and the participatory gathering examples. Help us to obey this call to reject all disobedient leaders. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.

Glenn

 

P.S.

Matthew also warns us not to follow disobedient leaders. He even calls them ravening wolves!

Ravening means preying on others or being eager to acquire and possess material possessions or ideas. Here’s the passage.

MKJV Matt 7;13 Go in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and constricted is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15 Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17 Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits, nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you shall know them. 21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord! Lord! shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works? 23 And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness!

Those people who do the will of the father, those who obey their Biblical call are approved. Church leaders are repeatedly charged with following Paul’s examples [passages below], yet none in our established Priesthood do. That simple fact doesn’t allow us to come to any other conclusion, Our Assignment – To Ignore Todays Blind Leaders

The Amplified Bible [AMP] explains this passage even more clearly. Lets take a look.

16 You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [ worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit. 18 A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration]. A disobedient tree can not produce good fruit!

The follow Paul verses:

NLT 1 Cor 3;10-13 Because of God’s Grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder….

NLT 1 Cor 9;1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

NLT 1 Cor 10;33 I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. 11:1 And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.

NLT Phil 3;17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you(YLT use us as a pattern).

NIV 2 Thess 3;7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example . We were not idle when we were with you 8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

 

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