A Call to Spiritual Maturity
If someone were to ask you if you were spiritually mature, what would your answer be? 1 Corinthians 3:1-4, along with several other passages below, address the topic of spiritual maturity and wow! I keep reminding myself that the truth stings and sometimes hurts, but it also brings freedom. So although this might not be the most cheery post, I hope it opens up your eyes and heart to what God’s Word says.
1 Corinthians 3:1-4 says, “Brothers and sisters, when I was with you I found it impossible to speak to you as those who are spiritually mature people, for you are still dominated by the mind-set of the flesh. And because you are immature infants in Christ, I had to nurse you and feed you with “milk,” not with the solid food of more advanced teachings, because you weren’t ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready to be fed solid food, for you are living your lives dominated by the mind-set of the flesh. Ask yourselves: Is there jealousy among you? Do you compare yourselves with others? Do you quarrel like children and end up taking sides? If so, this proves that you are living your lives centered on yourselves, dominated by the mind-set of the flesh, and behaving like unbelievers.”
Let’s just point out a few questions that arise from this passage of what it is to be spiritually immature:
Is your life dominated by the flesh? In other words are you living a life dominated by yourself or by the Spirit of Christ in you?
Is there jealousy among you?
Do you compare yourself with others?
Do you quarrel like children?
The last part of the verse says, “If so, this proves that you are living your lives centered on yourselves, dominated by the mind-set of the flesh, and behaving like unbelievers.” Wow! Again, the truth hurts, but it also is what will set you and I free. Clearly someone who is spiritual immature is living for themselves and actually acting like an unbeliever. Once again it brings me back to my question from last year, “What about you as a Christian is different than everyone else around you?” If your answer is nothing then it’s probably because you are still acting as an infant.
In addition to 1 Corinthians 3, I also want to share Romans 8:5-8 which says, “Those who are motivated by the flesh only pursue what benefits themselves. But those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities. For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set controlled by the Spirit finds life and peace. In fact, the mind-set focused on the flesh fights God’s plan and refuses to submit to his direction, because it cannot! For no matter how hard they try, God finds no pleasure with those who are controlled by the flesh.”
This is a verse that I have read over and over the past few months. What is your mind and life motivated by? What it is motivated by will dictate your level of maturity. And as I already said you will never become spiritually mature if you are focused on yourself and living by you flesh and feelings instead of by the Holy Spirit and Word of God.
I have one more passage I want to share on the topic. 1 Peter 2:2-3 says, “So abandon every form of evil, deceit, hypocrisy, feelings of jealousy and slander. In the same way that nursing infants cry for milk, you must intensely crave the pure spiritual milk of God’s Word. For this “milk” will cause you to grow into maturity, fully nourished and strong for life — especially now that you have had a taste of the goodness of the Lord Jehovah and have experienced his kindness.”
The spiritual milk talked about in these verses is the Word of God and if you want to move from a baby or toddler Christian into a mature Christian you are going to have to nourish yourself on the Word. You will never grow in faith or intimacy with the Father if you don’t spend time with him and in his Word. You can call yourself a Christian all day long but if you don’t open up his Word you will remain a baby who is malnourished. No human wants to remain in an infant state forever, so why would we be okay with remaining in a spiritual infant state forever?
There is a call on your life to become a mature Christian. The only way you will step into this calling is by nourishing yourself with the truth of God’s Word, which is solid food, and getting rid of the baby food. Are you ready for the solid teaching or are you still being fed milk with a bottle and acting as an infant?
“You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.” 2 Timothy 4:3-5
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