What is Spiritual Maturity?
Christianity is not a religion, where man tries to earn God's favor
with his works. Rather, it is a relationship with Jesus
Christ (1 John 5:11-12). Christians live under the grace and truth that
Jesus Christ brought us (John 1:17). Our task is to glorify
and please God, and we learn how to do that by studying the Bible (John
14:15). We are to serve God by renewing our minds with God's
way of thinking (Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 4:14). Unfortunately, our sin
nature stays with us after salvation, complicating our journey to
spiritual maturity (Romans 5:12). Our job is to learn and
apply Bible doctrine, or teaching, and God will reward us in eternity
on this basis (1 Corinthians 3:8, Revelation 22:12).
We can neither learn spiritual things through our senses (1 Corinthians
2:9), nor through reasoning (1 Corinthians 2:11). We only
gain spiritual maturity through faith in Christ (Hebrews 11:1) by God's
grace. God's system of learning through faith is by learning
Bible doctrine through Bible study, so that doctrine will control our
mind, will, and emotions. This perfecting of the saints in the grace
way of life is sanctioned by the local church and expository preaching
by the pastor (Ephesians 4:11), and our goal is spiritual maturity of the soul (Jude 20).
Spiritual maturity includes the following components:
- Grace Orientation - We must understand grace, and how it counters legalism.
- A Mastery of the Details of Life - We must not be enslaved to life's details, even those that are necessary to sustain us.
- A Relaxed Mental Attitude - We must maintain a mental
attitude that enables us to deal with people in love and on a forgiving
basis, without harboring worrisome thoughts.
- A Capacity to Love - We must be able to love God
and man, without any bitterness.
- Inner Happiness - We should experience continual joy in the Lord, regardless of our circumstances.
For more details, please see "How to Be Happy."
Owen Weber 2009