Maturity-Growing up in Christ
I am working on a series of posts that will go together, and this post is the first one in that series.
Once we have accepted Jesus Christ as our savior, according to scripture, we are born again.(this is the beginning of our spiritual story) At this point, by God's grace, we are right with God (righteous). It is accomplished by God's gift (grace) and our believing it (faith.) So we are reconciled with God based on our believing Him. Philippians 3:9 tells us our righteousness doesn't come from us keeping the law, but it comes through faith in Christ. Romans 6:1 asks us "should we sin more so that grace may increase?" Since we are right with God by our faith, shall we live contrary to His word? Why should we live in keeping with the law if it doesn't produce righteousness? I hope to address some of these questions through this series. I hope to establish that although we are right and reconciled, we must begin to grow up into what we were "born again" to become.
For today, let's start by looking at some scripture regarding maturity, purity and obedience.
- 1 Peter 1:22-23 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, … through the living and enduring word of God.
- 1 Peter 2:1-2 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation
- John 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
- Ps 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.
- Phil 3:13-15 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it (to know Christ - see also Phil 3:7-12). But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize … 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things
We are cleansed and purified by obeying the truth. God's word is truth, and we will remain pure if we live according to it. It will produce sincere love of your brothers and sister deeply. Pure spiritual milk will cause you to grow up spiritually.
I believe based on these verses that we will grow and mature in our faith by living up to whatever truth we attain, and by being doers of the word/truth as we become aware of it. We know that an infant doesn't stay satisfied by only milk for very long. Eventually the infant must start eating solid food to grow up and be healthy physically. Likewise in spirit, if we are going to grow up into a mature Christian, we must take a look at what things will nourish us. Let's consider it to be a steady diet of the truth, the word of God so we may live according to it. (please do not forget that it is by the Holy Spirit that dwells in us that we are enabled to partake of this diet -- the pursuit of the Word of God is intended to be part of our conversation that takes place in our relationship with God our Father.) Let's not pursue the Word of God just for the sake of study, head knowledge or a list of things we can do to be better. Let's agree to allow this pursuit to lead us into a vibrant relationship with our Creator so we may know Him more, so we may believe Him and what He says, so we may glorify Him to the world, so that we will be satisfied, peace-filled and so we may enjoy His Presence.
This wraps up the introduction. Go munch on the scriptures and take time to digest. There will be more probing into this as we progress through the material.
See you back soon!