Monday, June 23, 2014

P2 Growing up into spiritual maturity - The Bible's teaching on spiritual maturity

Colossians 1:3-4 "We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints."
Review from yesterday:
In yesterday's post we considered introductory thoughts to the subject of growing up into spiritual maturity. We noted the following point of application: Your calling as a Christian is to grow up into spiritual maturity. Today we consider briefly what the Bible in general and the Book of Colossians in particular has to say about spiritual maturity.

How the Bible and Colossians define spiritual maturity
When you begin surveying Bible passages on spiritual maturity in both the Old and New Testaments, you discover certain principles that aid in understanding spiritual maturity. Key scriptures such as Deuteronomy 7:22; 1 Corinthians 9:25-27, Ephesians 4:11-12, 2 Timothy 3:12 & Hebrews 5:13-14 reveal that spiritual maturity happens in progression, entails discipline, requires the ministry of the local church, thrives under difficulty and entails the Christian's cooperation with the Holy Spirit.

When we trace the theme of spiritual maturity in the Book of Colossians, we find it flows right along with the main theme of Colossians: “Jesus is Enough”.

1. Colossians 2:6-7 "Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude."

This text here continues on the theme of Colossians 1:1-12. The book of Colossians, along with the book of Hebrews, are two books in the New Testament that deal specifically with finding one's fulfillment and maturity in the supremacy of Jesus Christ.

2. Colossians 3:16 "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God."

This particular passage is significant in that the word "word" could be taken to either refer to the written word - the Bible, or the living word - Jesus Christ. One of the hallmarks of spiritual maturity is in making one's life a palatial dwelling place for the Lord and His word. The more central the Bible becomes to our everyday thoughts and lives, the more likely we are growing in spiritual maturity.

3. Colossians 4:5 “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.”

Spiritual maturity not only has to do with how we relate to the Lord and how we take care of ourselves but also in how we relate to other people. "Making the most of every opportunity” means that even in the most extreme circumstances, we take what we have and use it for the glory of God. Over time we discover that if anyone wants to be Godly in Christ Jesus, they should expect to suffer. (see 2 Timothy 3:12) 

Whenever you come to our target text of Colossians 1:1-12, we get the specifics on the Biblical emphasis of spiritual maturity. Again the point of application is: Your calling as a Christian is to grow up into spiritual maturity.

More tomorrow....

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