Tag Archives: spiritual maturity
PAYING ATTENTION TO THE WARNING SIGNS THAT GOD GIVES
Intro.1. Our daily purpose is to grow to spiritual maturity in Christ, 2 Pet. 3:18 (Heb. 6:1). 2. Our adversary works to prevent this and devour us, 1 Pet. 5:8. 3. Personal faith and spiritual strength combines with the presence and power of God in Christ to protect us from falling away. a. God’s protection, Eph. 6:10-13 (Heb. 4:15-16; 13:5). b. Our faith, 2 Pet. 1:5-10; Eph. 6:13-18; Gal. 6:9. 4. We are in danger of falling if we do not examine our spiritual strength (faith) and devote ourselves to growth! 2 Cor. 13:5; 1 Cor. 10:12-13 5. Danger signs of falling away from God. I. ISOLATION. (“I don’t need/want anybody’s help.”) A. God’s Word Says this is Selfishness, Prov. 18:1. 1. The separatist follows his own desire, will and pleasure: foolish! Prov. 14:12; 28:26 2. He separates himself from the congregation where strength, encouragement, comfort, guidance and protection are found. a. From fellow Christians, Eccl. 4:9-12 (Gal. 6:2). b. From the guidance of God’s truth (Bible). 3. Easy pickings for the devil! Deut. 25:17-18 B. Review and Resolve (2 Cor. 13:5): 1. Review: Where are you now? (Isolated or Involved) 2. Resolve (action): Connect with right people. How? Rom. 12:9-16 II. WORLDLY COUNSELORS. A. The Counselors We Turn to Says a Good Deal about Us (who we are, what we value and where we are going in life). 1. Foolish (evil) counselors, Prov. 1:10-19. a. Rehoboam, 1 Kgs. 12:6-8, 12-14 (appealed to his pride). b. Ahaziah, 2 Chrn. 22:2-4 (exploited by evil). c. False doctrine, 1 Tim. 4:1-2. 2. Wise counselors, Prov. 11:14 (15:22; 24:5-6). a. The counsel of God’s word, Psa. 119:24 (17-24). b. Fellow Christians (elders, etc.). B. Review and Resolve (2 Cor. 13:5): 1. Review: Where are you now? Psa. 1:1-2 2. Resolve (action): Seek out and follow godly counsel, Prov. 3:1-4. III. FRIENDSHIPS. A. Our Friends Will Either Hurt Us or Help Us. -Companions affect character! 1 Cor. 15:33 1. Superficial and worldly? a. Fair-weathered and self-serving, Prov. 19:6. b. Birds of a feather flock together (Matt. 5:46-47). c. Entice you to sin? Prov. 1:10 2. Genuine and godly? a. Do you share a common faith, values and goals? Titus 1:4 b. Tells you what you need to hear! Prov. 27:6, 9 c. You become better and stronger spiritually because of them, Prov. 17:17. B. Review and Resolve (2 Cor. 13:5): 1. Review: Are my friends hindering or helping me grow in Christ? 2. Resolve (action): Be Christ’s friend and choose your friends wisely! Jno. 15:14 IV. FAILURE TO PRAY. Lk. 18:1, 8 A. Prayer Suggests a Healthy Relationship with God, Heb. 4:16. -Of course, people pray who have no relationship with God, Lk. 18:11 1. Christian: Did you think to pray? Lk. 11:1-4; 1 Ths. 5:17 2. Christian: Have you stopped praying? a. Not depending on God. b. Not being thankful to God. c. Not trusting in God. d. You are exposed to the devil, sin and death! B. Review and Resolve (2 Cor. 13:5): 1. Review: What place does prayer have in your life? 2. Resolve (action): Repent and start praying, Mk. 1:35-37. a. Give prayer priority and consistency (Lk. 5:16). b. Pray for others (not just yourself), and be thankful, Phil. 4:6.
Conclusion1. We must see the danger signs that warn of spiritual catastrophe! 2. Be steadfast by abounding in the work of the Lord, 1 Cor. 15:58.
OUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH HAPPENS WHEN WE DO CERTAIN THINGS; “MAKE EVERY EFFORT”
1. Spiritual maturity is desired by all conscientious Christians, Matt. 5:48; Phil. 3:12; Eph. 4:13.
2. “Spiritual maturity” has taken on some unscriptural definitions:
a. “Open-mindedness” (i.e., tolerance/ compromise), 1 Tim. 6:20-21.
b. Always questioning but never being definite, 2 Tim. 3:7.
c. Free-thinking (atheists / agnostics), Rom. 1:21-22.
d. Emotionalism (regardless of revealed truth), Jer. 10:23.
e. Bible knowledge (worthless without obedient faith), 2 Pet. 3:18.
3. teleios: “brought to its end, finished; wanting nothing necessary to completeness; perfect; that which is perfect; consummate human integrity and virtue; of men — full grown, adult, of full age, mature” (Online Bible, #5046).
4. The preaching of the gospel is intended to perfect us in Christ, Col. 1:28. How do we reach and secure our own spiritual maturity?
I. BY PUTTING AWAY CARNAL THINGS.
A. Put Away Sin, 1 Cor. 3:1-3 (Col. 3:5-9).
1. Immaturity / undeveloped spirituality (3:1) will soon give way to anti-spiritual conduct (3:3). Flesh controls rather than the spirit.
2. This causes contentions, strife and sin in our lives (cf. 1:11).
3. With these present we are not maturing; not spiritual mature.
II. BY CULTIVATING YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF TRUTH, 1 Cor. 14:20; Eph. 5:17; Jno. 8:31-32.
A. Word of Christ must be in Our Heart, Col. 3:16; Jas. 1:21.
1. The instrument of our obedience, Jas. 1:22-25 (3:2).
2. Able to answer others, 1 Pet. 3:15.
B. The Mature Wisely Use their Understanding, Jas. 3:13-18.
III. BY BEING MORE AND MORE LIKE CHRIST, Eph. 4:13, 15.
A. The Maturing Christian Measures Himself by Christ.
1. By the stature of His character and conduct, 1 Jno. 2:5-6 (1 Pet. 2:21).
a. Is faith in Christ present? Jno. 8:24
b. Does the humble mind of Christ define you? Phil. 2:5
B. Christ must be Formed in You, Gal. 4.19 (2:20).
IV. BY PROGRESSING BEYOND FIRST PRINCIPLES, Heb 5:12- 6:1 (press beyond first principles to fully develop, 6:1-3).
A. In Your Understanding and Use of God’s Word, 5:11, 13.
-The mature devote themselves to comprehending and using truth.
B. In Your Willingness and Ability to Teach the Truth, 5:12.
-The mature devote themselves to teaching what they have learned.
C. In Your Ability to Discern Right and Wrong, Truth and Error, 5:14; Phil. 1:9-11 (Lk. 12:57; Jno. 7:24).
-The mature are able and willing to discern (judge, separate) sin and error from righteousness and truth.
V. BY OVERCOMING TEMPTATION, 1 Jno. 2:14 (1 Pet. 5:8-9).
A. The Word of God Abides in the Strong, Psa. 119:11.
-This is not merely quoting scripture — It is walking in the truth.
B. By Diligently Increasing in every Fruit of Righteousness, 2 Pet. 1:5-11.
-You can do it! (cf. 1 Cor. 10:12-13)
1. You have a mandate to mature (2 Pet. 3:18).
2. How are you doing?