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Thursday, June 26, 2014

P5 Growing up into spiritual maturity - Target areas for 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:
The past several days have been dedicated to understanding the Biblical teaching on spiritual maturity. The main point of application for this whole series of posts has been: Your calling as a Christian is to grow up into spiritual maturity. Today's post will take the principles we have been working through and spell out particular areas to target in our pursuit of spiritual growth in Jesus Christ. We will then close out this series with a final thought from Dr. Adrian Rogers on the importance of spiritual Christian growth. My hope and prayer is that these series of posts have proven beneficial to your walk with the Lord.

Particular areas to target in spiritual growth.
We have thus considered the patterns for spiritual maturity in understanding our main point of application in this message: your calling as a Christian is to grow up into spiritual maturity. Paul’s excitement over hearing about the Colossians pursuit of spiritual maturity leads him to write these words in Colossians 1:9a “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that….”. What is the “that” that Paul is praying for? He is alerting both his readers and us to particular areas to target in spiritual growth. I will list them in short order:

a. Doctrinal = Colossians 1:9b …”you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”

b. Testimony = Colossians 1:10a “so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects….”

c. Morality = Colossians 1:10b “bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God”

d. Godward focus = Colossians 1:11-12 “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.”

Those four target areas of spiritual maturity are not only areas we ought to strive for, but pray through and aim for in reliance upon the Lord. 

Closing thoughts:
Today we have considered the main point of application in today’s post: Your calling as a Christian is to grow up into spiritual maturity. We have also looked at the patterns for spiritual growth and four specific target areas: doctrinal, testimony, morality and Godward focus. I close out this post with an observation from Dr. Adrian Rogers. Dr. Rogers in his book: "What every Christian ought to know", writes these words on pages 245-246 - "We need love that comes with Christian growth and maturity. There need be no division between truth and love. Some have made that division. Truth without love may be a form of brutality. Love without truth may be empty sentimentality. May God deliver us from the immature pronouncements of those who have loveless truth and the immature emotionalism of those who have truthless love. With truth and no love one may swell up. With love and no truth one may blow up. But truth and love cause the Christian to grow up."




4 comments:

  1. I just came back here to reread an earlier post apparently you took down. I wish you hadn't it was wonderful. I loved the hymn at the end. (Fri. a.m.) I don't remember the name of it.

    I'm just now catching up on my reading since helping out with an exhausting but very fun VBS at my daughter's church for the last 2 weeks. I want to reread more carefully this series of "Growing up into spiritual maturity" as well as the series just before this one. I started reading a book called "Grace Upon Grace" by Dr. John Kleinig which is so rich I can't stop highlighting and marking it up -- and I'm barely into it! It is very complimentary to both of these series and I've been comparing the them and Dr. Kleinig's book, though I want to do it more carefully now that I have more quiet time.

    Anyway, I love coming here each day now. It is like a Bible study online which I've been wishing for -- and Pastor led! -- even better.

    Thank you for all you do.

    Peace,
    Abby

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  2. Pastor, I don't know if you're familiar with Dr. Kleinig or not. But in case not, you may be interested. Here are some links about him and about what he has written. He wrote an excellent commentary on Leviticus and I am glad to know that he is now working on one for Hebrews. His area of expertise was in the Old Testament. He was a seminary professor, now retired. A wonderful, wonderful man.

    Here are the links:

    http://www.johnkleinig.com/index.php/biography/

    http://www.mzlc.org/audio.asp Kleinig lectures on The Foundation of Israel as a Liturgical Community in Exodus

    http://www.amazon.com/Grace-Upon-Spirituality-Today/dp/0758613040/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403657695&sr=8-1&keywords=Dr.+John+Kleinig

    http://www.cph.org/p-681-leviticus-concordia-commentary.aspx?SearchTerm=Dr.

    http://www.hopelbc.com/spiritual%20warfare-Kleinig.pdf

    http://www.johnkleinig.com/ (Many of his classroom lectures are available here)

    Peace,
    Abby

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  3. To Abby:

    I praise God that you find this blog site to be edifying to your faith. If you want to review the whole series, you can do so by noting the labels that goes with each post. Those labels are the categories under which all the posts are placed. The series was placed under two such labels: "spiritual maturity" and "the Book of Colossians". You can find those labels on the right side of the main blog page, click on either one and then scroll down the posts until you find the series.

    Blessings
    Pastor Mahlon

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  4. Pastor, That is a really nice feature -- thank you for showing me!

    Abby

    ReplyDelete