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