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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A vision of spiritual maturity

I think most Christian persons, including me, have a fuzzy idea in their minds of what spiritual maturity actually looks like. Any person taking Christianity seriously would likely say that they want to be spiritually mature. However, if we don't have much of an idea of what that looks like, how would we know if we are moving in that direction.

An analysis of Hebrews 5:11-6:4 provides a idea of what such maturity looks like. I'm not saying its the whole picture, you can probably think of another point or two. But this is a great start.

Hebrews 5:11-6:3 11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. 6 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. 

From this text, I see this vision of spiritual maturity.

  • Hungry for and sensitive to the word of God. (5:11) That leads to . . . 
  • Serving as a conduit of God’s word to other people. (5:12) Becoming a teacher, a spiritual mentor, a guide, an evangelist. David Platt challenges that all need to be not just receivers but reproducers.
  • Developing a confidence and facility with the word of God. (5:13) 
  • Developed discernment from constantly applying the word of God to current situations. (5:14) This implies the consistent application of the word of God to a person’s own life resulting in the development of godly character.
  • Constantly seeking to make spiritual progress (6:1)
  • Never forgetting that we are dependent on God for all of this. (6:3)

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