The Marks Of A Mature Christian - An Overview of James
Sermon shared by Tom Shepard
Summary: This is the first sermon in this series. It covers six points of what a Mature Christian looks like.
Audience: General adults
Let’s look and see what James tells us in chapter one:
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4 (NKJV)
Do you seek spiritual maturity? Do you seek to be complete in Christ? If you do – James tells us to have a positive attitude when it comes to pressure. He tells us to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”
All of us have problems – all of us have trials – all of have situations that are not good. How do you handle them? How do you deal with being dealt a dead hand? Do your problems blow you out of the water? Do you get up-tight? Do you grumble and gripe? Do you get negative or nervous? The first test of spiritual maturity is – how do you act positive under pressure? Remember the Bible says: “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”
Folks here is a fact. Life is full of problems and a big part of life is – problem solving. The question to ask is, “Do I have the right attitude as I approach the problems of life?” Remember the Bible tells you to, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”
You can know the Bible backward and forward – but you can also be rude and obnoxious as well. What is your attitude toward life? A spiritual mature person is positive under pressure.
Point two is:
2. A spiritual mature person is sensitive to the needs of PEOPLE.
Follow along with me as I read from James chapter two:
”If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well.” James 2:8 (NKJV)
A spiritually mature person is sensitive to the needs of those who are around them. A spiritually mature person doesn’t just see their own needs, they are also aware of the needs of others. They understand that there are many around them that are hurting and have needs. When children are young they say, “I want this or I want that. I don’t care about what you want – I want … I want … I want … and I should get my way.” (Some people are still children in their thinking.) Spiritually immaturity says, “It’s my way or the highway. I want it all – give it to me.”
God tells us that love – being concerned about other people – is a sign of spiritual maturity. James tells us not to show favoritism, don’t be a snob, don’t be rude, don’t look down on other people, don’t judge by appearances, don’t insult people, and don’t exploit people. You see the second test of spirituality maturity is how I treat other people.
Paul said – “I can build churches, I can write theological articles, I can put out Christian CDs, I can give all my money for international mission work – but if I don’t have love – all I’m doing to tooting my own horn. It really doesn’t amount to much – in fact it is worth nothing.” You see the second test of spirituality maturity is how I treat other people.
The third mark is:
3. A spiritual mature person is master of his MOUTH.
Follow alone with me as I read a verse from James chapter three:
“For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.” James 3:2 (NKJV)
In World War II there was a saying that went – ‘Loose
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