The Spiritual Maturity Structure
subject this evening is the spiritual maturity
It is a fact of
the spiritual life that God desires every believer to grow from spiritual childhood
to spiritual adult maturity.
In the book of
1 Peter chapter 2, verse 2, we read, “As newborn babes desire
the pure milk of the Word that ye may grow by it.” Growth
into spiritual maturity is structured upon feeding upon the doctrines
of the Word of God—learning the principals of Scripture.
John 2:12-14 expand this concept in this way: John
says, “I write unto you little children
(those of you mature in the Christian faith) because your sins are
for His name’s sake.
I write unto you
fathers (you who are adults in spiritual maturity) because you have
that is from the beginning.
And I write
unto you young men (you who are adolescents in the Christian life
because ye have overcome the wicked one.
I write unto you
little children because you have known the Father.
write unto you fathers because you have
known Him, that is, from the beginning.
I write unto you
young men because you are strong and the Word of God
abideth in you and you have overcome the wicked one.”
is progression in the Christian life from babyhood to
That is the plan
objective of God for every believer. The
apostle Paul adds to this idea in the book of Colossians chapter 1,
at verse 9 when he says, “For this cause we also since the
day we heard it do
not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with
knowledge (the Greek word there is
“epignosis”—full knowledge) of His will,
all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you might walk worthy of
unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in
knowledge of God; strengthened with all might according to His glorious
unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto
Father who has made us fit to be partakers in the inheritance of the
moving on to spiritual maturity is related to what we
have been studying on Sunday mornings, the Christian’s
inheritance, and our
part in expanding that inheritance. So
it is clear from the Word of God that any Christian at any age can
make progress toward becoming a giant in the faith in terms of the
knowledge of the Word of God, and in functioning in the power of God.
individual believer, for that reason, is called to erect
in his soul a structure of spiritual maturity.
The apostle Paul
points this out in Colossians chapter 2, verses 6 and
have therefore received Christ
Jesus the Lord, so walk ye; rooted and built up in Him; and established
faith as ye have been taught abounding with Thanksgiving.” The
concept of being built up there is to
build a structure of maturity in the soul.
the spiritual maturity structure is the believer’s means
of defense in the angelic conflict. It
is also the base of His attack in the angelic conflict.
this spiritual maturity structure,
you can neither defend yourself in the angelic warfare nor can you
successful attack upon the forces of darkness.
foundation of the spiritual maturity structure, of
course, is salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, and then the intake
Bible doctrine which is stored in the human spirit.
is truths which you have learned toward
which you have a positive acceptance.
the Bible calls the knowledge that you have there by the
Greek word “gnosis,” and that simply means
just spiritual phenomena which is just
lying there waiting for you to do something with it.
at that point when you as a Christian go
positive to that under the filling of the Holy Spirit, then that
transferred down here to your human spirit where it is stored in
knowledge here now the Bible calls “epignosis,”
means full knowledge.
the foundation upon which the spiritual maturity structure is built in
foundation, you can
never go anywhere spiritually.
why most Christians are wimps in the spiritual life.
are within church context where they are
never taught the Word of God beyond some of the stories of the Bible
of the challenging and inspirational passages.
They are never
given the hardcore information which is necessary upon
which to build the foundation of a structure of spiritual maturity.
are plenty of people running around in churches who
think they are mature Christians, who can talk to you about what is
and un-Christ-like, what is the mind of Christ, what is not the mind of
and they don’t have a fig newton notion about those realities
understanding (of) how God puts
this together, you’re not going to get to base one.
here’s a tremendously important piece of
information that you need to get solidly (and) clearly in your
goal of the Christian life then is to build a spiritual
maturity structure in the soul via this system which we call the grace
for the perception of spiritual things—the grace system of
It is a grace
system because it works for everybody. The
dumb ones here and the smart ones here on
equal ground when it comes to learning the Word of God and on
It is not
your human capacity.
If it were, it
would not be grace.
This is a
non-meritorious system that God has provided through the local church
for every believer no matter what his age is, to become a spiritual
God wants of all of us is to build spiritual maturity
in our souls because that glorifies Him.
puts it this way:
we should be to the praise of His glory who first trusted in
That we should
come to where
God will be praised.
His glory will be
His essence will
Because of what? Because
of something that we have
What God wants us
to do then is
to build spiritual maturity in our soul using the grace system of
may envision that spiritual maturity structure in the
form of a pentagon—a pentagon which becomes the basis of our
Satan in the angelic conflict; a pentagon which becomes the basis of
offense in our attacks against the citadel of Satan in the angelic
five-sided concept comes from 2 Corinthians 12:10.
The context here is the apostle Paul
talking about the fact that he personally has been suffering a physical
which he was told that God gave him. It
was a source of sufficient irritation that Paul said, “I
prayed three times
that this should be removed from me,” and God said,
“No” every time. Instead
He said, “I’m going to give you a
grace capacity to carry this, because,” the Lord says,
“… while you have this
infirmity, while you suffer from this particular weakness, it is under
condition that I can maximize my power through you.
is when you have backed off from all of
your self-confidence, I will be able to make you a tremendous Christian
says, “In that case, I will gladly bear this
glory in my infirmity
that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
So then in verse
10 he says, “Therefore I take pleasure
And here he names
the five basic facets that
compose the spiritual maturity structure of the soul.
he says, “I glory in infirmities.” Now
early in the Philippian series you may
refer back to this particular subject, and it goes in detail. Now
I’m just going to touch upon it now. I’m
not going to go through all the analysis
of the words.
But here in 2
he uses the word “infirmities.” The
“infirmities” in the Greek language is actually a
word that basically is
referring to the concept of grace orientation.
is a basic factor, a base facet of being a spiritually
So we find in the
of God that we are called upon to develop this facet.
Peter 3, for example, verse 18 says, “But grow in grace
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Growing
in grace is a requirement of the
“Being not carried about with various and strange doctrines,
for it is a good
thing that the heart (that is, the mind) be established with grace, not
foods which have not profit,” and so on.
So the Word of
God calls us first of all to be oriented to grace.
orientation is an element that we
develop as spiritually mature Christians through the grace system of
second word that Paul uses in describing what he
rejoices in is the word “reproaches.”
Reproaches has to
do with a relaxed mental attitude. A
relaxed mental attitude has to do with the
concept of love in the Greek sense of “agape” love. “Agape”
love is non-emotional.
the other kind of live is
emotional—personal emotional rapport. “Agape”
love is all up here in the head. It’s
mental attitude free of antagonism or bitterness toward other people.
Ephesians 4:31-32 we have this described. “Let
all bitterness and wrath and anger and
bitter speaking be put away from you with all malice, and be kind one
another; tender-hearted, forgiving one another even as God for
hath forgiven you.”
expression of a relaxed mental attitude toward other people.
Colossians 3:15 we read, “Let the peace of God rule in
your hearts to which also ye are called in one body, and be ye
That is, instead
of antagonism, there should
be peace toward other people.
So when a
person becomes a mature Christian, one of the things he discovers (is)
will be developing a relaxed mental attitude—an
“agape” capacity of being free
of mental bitterness in the midst of the most outrageous personal
Mastery of the
Details of Life
the apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12:10 adds the word
we would call
mastery of the details of life.
do need money.
Yes, you do need
But they must not
They must not be
That must not be
where your treasure is, or
your heart will be here on earth instead of where the real treasures
are to be
stored in heaven.
But we do have to
therefore have a capacity for dealing with material things without
enslaved to them.
Luke 12:15 we have this statement: “And
He said unto them, ‘Take heed and beware
of covetousness for man’s life consisteth not in the
abundance of the things
which he possesseth.”
In 1 Timothy 6:6,
we have this strong statement concerning material things:
godliness with contentment is great
things is great
gain, but godliness and being satisfied with what God legitimately has
you, that is enormous great gain.
we’re talking about here is mastery of the details of
life—a Christian who knows how to experience prosperity
without letting it
Capacity to Love
the next word that the apostle uses in 2 Corinthians
12:10 is “persecutions.” Persecutions
the capacity to love.
persecutions bring out from us bitterness, antagonisms, (and) hatreds. The
Word of God says, “No, you develop the
spiritual maturity that that is not the response you give.
do not respond with evil for evil.
13:34 says, “A new commandment I give unto you:
you love one another as I have loved
you, that ye also love one another.”
statement of the capacity to love, a capacity which you do not
naturally possess, the capacity which only growth in spiritual maturity
This capacity of
capacity first of all to love God; secondly to love the person
to; and, thirdly to love other people.
puts it this way:
above all things put on love which is the bond of
the capacity to love is something which is not natural to
us but the person who develops a spiritual maturity structure based
intake of the Word of God is the person who develops the capacity to
why Jesus said, “If you love me, keep
talk to me about
loving me if you’re stupid, backward, and dumb about
can’t even begin to take the first step
you’re going to do is
substitute a lot of emotional talk, a lot of rolling of your eyes
lot of pie in the sky, a lot of sitting on the mountaintop in your
and meditating, but none of that is love for me, God says.
you learn the Word of God and you are
obedient to Me, that is love.”
finally, the apostle Paul uses the last word in 2
Corinthians 12:10 of the things that he chooses to have, and that is
is an expression
of inner happiness.
It is being able
be surrounded by turmoil.
It is to have
the world apart all around you, collapsing.
Yet you have a
millennium in your soul.
John 15:11 says,
“These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might
remain in you and that your joy might be full.”
is the purpose, it is the objective of God for each of us
to develop the capacity of inner happiness.
This is not
happiness which is structured on people, circumstances, or
the kind of happiness that
the world knows.
circumstances, and things come apart, then out the window goes
This is an inner
happiness that is based upon
the Word of God.
in the Lord always,
and again I say rejoice.”
this is what we mean by a spiritual maturity structure—a
pentagon for attack; a pentagon for defense.
maturity in the soul is called edification. The
word “edification” comes from two Greek
One of them is
this word “oikos.” “oikos”
means “house.” Then
the other word is “domeo,” which means
“edification” means “to
build a structure, to build a house.”
For that reason
we talk about spiritual maturity as a structure. That
is how the Bible describes it, as building
a structure in your soul.
there are actually three basic Greek words for
edification that give us the complete picture on this concept of
spiritual maturity—this concept of edification which is
another word for
First is this
refers to the act of
It is the process
which is what you do to make yourself spiritually mature.
4:12 puts it this way:
the perfecting of the saints, for the
work of the ministry, for the edifying (the building up) of the body of
Verse 16 uses the
whom the whole body fitly
joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth
the effectual working in the measure of every part, making increase of
and to the edifying of itself in love.”
may add verse 29:
corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth but that which
is good to the use of edifying that it may minister grace unto the
use bad language around
It degrades them
and it debases
Use the kind of
language that will
build them up.
putting the structure together.
putting the block together.
And this word
gives you the first concept of
the process of becoming spiritually mature.
It is something
that you put together; something that you build.
a second noun, and that is “oikodomia.”
is the result of your
It refers to the
which you have constructed.
1:4 uses this word:
to fables and endless genealogies which minister questions rather than
edifying which is in faith so do.”
is godly edifying” or “godly
administration,” or “the administration
of God” is a better translation there.
give heed to foolishness but give heed to a structure of
the building itself.
This is the
process—laying one brick upon
This is the
structure, all built.
there’s a third word, and that is
refers to the builder, the person who is
We have this word
(illustrated) in Acts 4:11:
stone which was setteth not of you builders (there is it) which has
head of the corner.”
with these three words we have the basis of
understanding of what is involved in going to spiritual maturity. Again,
I remind you, that that is the
requirement of the living God.
20 we have that specifically told us:
ye, beloved, build thee up yourselves on your most holy faith
praying in the Holy Spirit.
Here we have
another Greek word.
means to build up yourself.
So this procedure
here of building spiritual
maturity is a personal responsibility to execute. We’ve
indicated that you do this with the
grace system of spiritual perception by the study of the Word of God,
intake of doctrine.
You do it by
actually putting together, the structure of building.
do it by yourself.
Here you are
doing the building, the person
who is the builder.
And you end up
a structure that is the spiritual maturity structure in your soul. And
God says this is what you are to
this is the process of building resulting in the
spiritual maturity structure in your soul, and it is built by means of
of God through the capacity of the Holy Spirit by you the individual
One, two, three.
the purpose of all of this:
We begin with the
nature of an edified
The purpose of
this first of all
is obviously to become a mature Christian; that is to have all the
the pentagon of spiritual maturity well-developed in your soul. The
Lord Jesus himself was the pattern for
this kind of maturity.
In Ephesians 4:13
we’re told, “Till we all come in the unity of the
faith and of the knowledge of
the Son of God unto a perfect man and to the measure of the stature of
fullness of Christ.
we pursue spiritual maturity, we want to pursue the
character and the spiritual stability and the maturity of Jesus Christ. Incidentally,
I want you to notice that verse
13 is preceded by verse 12.
Verse 12 is
the key to all of this.
explains what the pastor-teacher and the spiritual communicative gifts
in verse 11 are supposed to do.
result is that when this process is functioning in the local church
will have verse 13 coming into reality.
People will be
transformed into the character of Christ.
the Lord Jesus himself followed this exact pattern in
In the gospel of
chapter 2, verse 40, we read, “And the child (Jesus) grew and
filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him.” He
grew to physical maturity and He became
He was filled
wisdom because He had put doctrine into His human spirit.
the time he was twelve years old He could
“wow” the doctors of the Law of Moses because of
His knowledge, because of the
doctrine He had stored in His human spirit; that is, summaries of
He was under divine grace because He had grown in
edification to spiritual maturity. In
verse 52 we’re told also that He not only developed
He not only
He not only
developed in favor with God
spiritually, but He also developed favor with man.
developed godly social relationships.
you may just count on it that (at) the teen age, the
junior age, the primary age, the Lord Jesus was not the kind of a wimp
subject to the opinions and the pressures of His peers.
stood head and shoulders above them. He
developed social relationships that (were
in line with) authority toward His elders.
This was clearly
But (He) also
knew the lines of authority to God.
John 1:14, we have another reference to the spiritual
maturity example of Jesus Christ. “And
the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the
as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. The
glory that the disciples beheld here was
not the essence of His deity.
that that was hidden.
It was revealed
the Mount of Transfiguration but the rest of the time it was hidden. What
the disciples see here in glory that
they said we saw is the spiritual maturity of His soul which is the
of the glory of God.
That is the
The Purpose of
first of all, the purpose of edification in the soul is
to become a mature Christian; and, secondly to become a stable
consistent—to have a control system in your life.
Christians are spiritual and emotional
They go up and
always chasing someplace else, always
trying to find something new, and they do not have controls in their
The Lord Jesus
Christ, under a
variety of tremendous pressures, demonstrated that He had stability in
For that reason,
Hebrews 13:8 says
that He’s immutable.
yesterday, today, and forever.
Christian is the prime target for satanic attack—not the
Lord Jesus Christ.
Christian must have stability if the Lord’s work is to be set
else in his life.
Christian can enjoy even material things without it bringing him misery.
third thing that is the purpose of edification is to
become a Christian who reflects the glory of God to the world. In
the Bible we have as a synonym for
spiritual maturity the word “light.” For
this reason the Lord Jesus as a God-man was described in the terms of
light which meant He had spiritual maturity.
John 8:12 says,
“Then spoke Jesus again saying unto them, ‘I am the
light of the world.
He that followeth
shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of
in 1 John this same concept again: 1
John 1:5 says, “This then is the message
which we have heard of Him and declare unto you that God is light and
in Him is
no darkness at all.
If we say that we
have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness we lie and do not the
But if we walk in
the light as He is in the
light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus
Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
a synonym for spiritual maturity is light. As
such, Jesus Christ therefore is described
in John 1:14 as the glory of God. We
Christians, for the same reason then, are called to glorify God with a
spiritual maturity structure built into our souls.
Corinthians 6:20 says, “For we are bought
with a price.
your body and in your spirit which are God’s.”
Now how do you
glorify God in your body?
How do you
glorify God in your human spirit? By
putting the Word of God in that human
spirit so that your body can function according to the guidance of
Then you glorify
Matthew 5:14 and 16 call upon us to be lights
in the world, not to hide our light under a bushel.
completed spiritual maturity structure is
the image and the glory of God in the Christian. 1
Corinthians 11:7 says, “For a man indeed
ought not to cover his head inasmuch as he is the image and the glory
but the woman is the glory of the man.”
It is the
spiritual maturity structure that is the divine quality within
us that is being reflected as light, and that’s the glory of
The edified soul
is reflecting the glory of
are other synonyms for spiritual maturity in the soul
which we will not touch upon tonight.
just mention them as we go by.
One of the
synonyms as we have indicated is light (Psalm 119:130,
Another one is
of God that we find for example in Romans 3:23.
“Christ formed in you” (Galatians 4:19).
may dwell in your hearts (Ephesians
fullness of God” (Ephesians
3:19), that is, all the facets of the maturity structure.
new man” (Ephesians 4:24, Colossians
3:10); that is, the man in Christ as over against the old man in Adam. “The
perfect work” (James 1:4). “Followers
(or imitators) of God” (Ephesians
All those are
for talking about spiritual maturity structure built to maximum level
our testimony as believers, as ambassadors, is to have a
basis that we have built within our souls by which we can speak to God,
which the pressures and the sufferings of the world will only show
magnificence of the glory of God that is functioning through us. With
spiritual maturity in our soul, we have
stability, and we reflect indeed the glory of God.
if this has been built into your soul, it is also
necessary that at this point we warn you that you can tear it back down. That’s
why the Bible uses, I think, in part
this image of spiritual maturity as a building you can put together. You
can build a structure, and you can tear
the thing right back down.
Christian is not building the spiritual maturity structure in his soul,
tearing it down.
And when he is
it down, he is building hardness on the facets of his soul toward God;
hardness in his thinking, in his emotions, and in his will, toward the
We refer to that
as callouses upon
the facets of the soul.
2 Corinthians 13:10 we read, “Therefore I write these
things being absent, less being present I should use sharpness
according to the
power which the Lord hath given me to edification and not to
The apostle Paul
is rebuking these people,
and he is rebuking them because they have begun to tear down their
And he is
indicating that he is using sharpness in what he has said to them in
letters because he wants to keep them from destroying their spiritual
pressures of the world about us will very quickly tear
that down, but if you keep going, if you keep on a daily basis working
structure, feeding upon the Word of God, you will find that you will
the point where you are described in James 4:6 as moving to the more
what the Greek says (is) a “super grace” level.
giveth more grace (super grace) wherefore He hath said, ‘God
resisteth the proud but giveth grace unto the
that you actually bring that spiritual maturity structure
where you really do come to a mountaintop.
You really are
walking with God.
You really have
the fantastic capacity to stop being a dumbbell in your
Your thoughts are
the mind of God.
You stop being an
emotional yoyo that’s a sucker bait for anybody that comes
along that can
manipulate those emotions.
You will not
find that your will is making all those decisions that you regret, so
look back and say, “Why didn’t I do it this
didn’t have divine information in
the first place, and you could have had it.
That is super
there are so many arrogant Christians among us who think
that they have come to this automatically that they never really on the
basis grab the Word of God and feed upon its great realities. So
they’re little puny Christians. They
all think that Matthew 4:4 applies to
everyone else except them.
answered and said, ‘It is written (speaking to Satan), man
shall not live by
bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of
As you live on
bread on a daily basis to
sustain your life, you live on the Word of God on a daily basis to
turn to Ephesians chapter 4:17 through 21. Ephesians
chapter 4, verse 17:
say therefore and testify in the Lord
that ye henceforth walk not as other gentiles in the vanity of their
The first thing
we are warned of
in verse 17 is that we do not walk in the vanity, that is the
emptiness, of the
minds that characterizes the gentile.
This is the word
refers to the lack of Bible doctrine understanding in that
perceptive side of the mind.
empty nothing in the perceptive mind.
“mataiotes” means that you have been negative
toward the Word of
you could have
learned and could have been stored in your human spirit is gone. It
just sits there.
There is an
emptiness, and you know that when
an emptiness is created, it’s a low pressure area.
a low pressure area exists in the
atmosphere, there is only one thing that’s going to happen,
and that is that a
high pressure is going to come and kill it.
A low pressure
sucks in a high pressure.
In science, the
phrase is that nature abhors a vacuum. If
there is a vacuum, it’s going to be
what you’ve created here in that perceptive side of your
mind, Paul says, is a spiritual vacuum. Into
this vacuum you will suck in false doctrine, human viewpoint, religion,
attitude sins, guilt complexes, and negative disposition toward what is
have false values.
come to false conclusions.
you’ll become rebellious against
leads to building up hardness in your soul.
to build up here on the mind.
to build up here on the emotions. Callouses
begin to build up here on the
become hard toward
here is an emptiness in the soul that brings destructive
Verse 18 says,
understanding darkened.” This
Greek word “skotizo.” “skotizo”
blackout of the mentality toward spiritual thinking because of the
you’ve drawn into it from the world—no vision of
God and no leading from
This is perfect
in its tense which
means it happened to you in the past when you have gone negative to the
God and you’ve been careless about the Word of God.
the perfect tense then means that the
condition continues on.
which means it happens to you.
cannot keep this from happening to you when you ignore feeding from the
the thing that is darkened, he says, is your
means your capacity to think through; your thinking through ability;
the perceptive side of your mind—this whole side of your
mentality is blanked
out and hardened.
You have no
for being able to understand spiritual things, and furthermore, it
says, we are
then alienated (“apallotrioo”), which again is
perfect—it happened in the past
and the effects continue.
It happens to you. You
can’t keep it from being done to you once
you get off on this ignoring of the Word.
participle, a spiritual principal, and what it means is you are
You are estranged
the callouses from the light of God.
That is, you are
estranged from walking by means of the Holy Spirit’s
control which Galatians 5:16 commands us that we walk in the Spirit and
shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
is this condition existing?
has been darkened because
of the vacuum we created, the things we drew into the mind from the
We have now
become alienated from everything
that has to do with the life of God and God’s thinking. We
are devoid of spiritual guidance through
the ignorance (the “agnoia”), which expresses the
cause of our spiritual
in this condition
because of the ignorance of blindness of the heart.
your understanding darkened; being
alienated from the life of God, the leading of God, through the
is in them because of the blindness of the heart.
is a bad translation.
It is not
“blindness of the heart.”
This word is
“porosis” means hardening or callous.
Because of the
callouses of the heart, and you know the word
means the “mind.” Callouses
When you have
callouses of the
mind then it affects and produces callouses on the emotions and
here’s the summary:
How do you get
from being a spiritually mature Christian to where you
tear the whole thing down, to where you are back to zero in
It begins with
negative volition of the soul
to the doctrine which is available to you.
don’t come to church.
come in late.
You come in
don’t pay attention.
And day by day
you don’t feed upon the Word
emptiness in the soul which acts as a spiritual vacuum.
spiritual vacuum sucks in all the false
doctrine and human viewpoint into the mentality of your soul so that
perceptive side or your mind is completely blanked out from reality. That’s
what the whole world of liberalism is
blanked out mentality
cause a blackout of godly expression from the facets of your soul. Your
mind cannot think God’s thoughts. Your
emotions cannot follow God’s lead. Your
will cannot follow God’s decisions. The
soul becomes alienated from God’s way of
life because of spiritual ignorance and the buildup of callouses of the
then what happens?
19 this is what you become.
condition a terrible thing—and this is what you as a
Christian once were, and
what you as a child Christian can again become.
being past feeling…” Past
feeling means you’re spiritually insensitive toward God in
and given themselves over” means that you
have betrayed yourself over to lasciviousness—illicit
sex—neutralizing true love toward the right person.
to work all uncleanness…” All
uncleanness means making a business of
to work all
uncleanness (and to do it) with greediness.”
This means that
you are driven by an insatiable lust to try more and
more evil things for satisfaction.
sensuality is more than sex.
Sensuality is all
of the things that are
destructive to us physically, emotionally, and mentally.
not going to get into that tonight but it
is a grievous sin to fall into—this kind of sensuality, and
it very quickly
begins to show on us in one way or another.
we can’t close this evening without telling you what to
do when the callouses have been built up on the soul.
first thing I’ll tell you is that the
callouses on the soul, like the callouses on your hand or some part of
body, are not something you can go down to the local drugstore to get
solution to rub on them and they’re gone.
You do not remove
spiritual callouses overnight any more than you can
remove physical callouses.
That is a
very important thing for you to realize, and give second thought when
ready to be careless about these things that produce the callouses on
and destroy this spiritual maturity structure.
4:20 says, “But ye have no so learned
“You people in Ephesus
are not characterized by this kind of negative attitude toward the Word
if so be…”
And the word
“if” here is first class
It really is,
“… since you have heard
That is, you
You went positive
when you were taught the
Word of God.
and have been taught by
him, as the truth is in Jesus.
put off the former manner of life.” This
is “the old man.” You
have been taught.
You have learned
the Word of God.
You have taken
“gnosis” knowledge and
transformed it into “epignosis” knowledge.
established yourself on the basis of truth.
you begin peeling off the callouses in this way: “You
put off concerning the former manner of
life,” the old man.
that was represented in Adam, the place of death. You
begin that by repenting and confessing of
your known sin.
carelessness, all that indifference, all that violation of the Word of
that sloppiness in your Christian service.
Boy do we have
that to account for.
You have put off
that old man “which is corrupt according to the
And be renewed in
spirit of your mind.”
have confessed the sin.
Now you forget
It has been
You take in the
Word of God.
As you return to
the study of doctrine day by
day, the callouses on your soul begin to peel off bit by bit, just as
12:2 tells you the same thing—to renew your mind.
renew it with the Word of God.
The result is
that positive volition to
doctrine prevents that vacuum from developing in your perceptive mind
it keeps the mind from sucking in the things of the world.
verse 24 says, “And that ye put on the new man which
after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” That
new man which is in Christ functioning
on the spiritual maturity structure from “righteousness and
holiness of the
truth” is the translation that should be there.
is created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” It
all begins and ends with the intake of
doctrine into your soul.
that you have the basis for not only building
You have the
Why be a loser in
Christian life now, and pay for it at the Judgment Seat of Christ?
John E. Danish, 1971
to the Basic Bible Doctrine index
the Bible Questions index