Summary: There are milestones of growth which occur in the life of every child. These markers of advancement are mirrored in the lives of Christians as they making progress. Are you progressing?
7 MEASURES OF MATURITY
A. HUMOR: 10 Things You’ll Never Hear in Church:
10) So many people want to share their testimony at church that you have to assign numbers to them;
9) When the pastor closes the sermon, the chant of “We want more! We want more!” erupts.
8) The ushers have to empty the collection plates halfway through the offering because they are too full.
7) The congregation refuses to stop singing during worship.
6) Members begin buying new Bibles because they wore out their older ones.
5) There’s an influx of people asking, “Is there something I can do?”
4) The Sunday School Director has a nervous breakdown because so many people want to teach.
3) People offer their seats to newcomers
2) New carpet has to be installed around the altars because the people have worn it out.
1) The congregation douses the pastor with a cooler of water at the end of the service.
“Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand…” 2 Cor. 10:15.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ” Eph. 4:15.
“…So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” Col. 1:10.
“We…thank God for you…because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing” 2 Thess. 1:3.
“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” 1 Pet. 2:2.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” 2 Pet. 3:18.
1. One of the greatest jobs that parents have is to help their kids grow up into intelligent, Christ-loving, law-abiding and successful adults who make a positive contribution to other people's lives.
2. To this end, as parents raising kids, we observe key stages in their growth -- milestones -- and secretly celebrate. When we see these key achievements, we are encouraged that maybe we’re doing something right!
3. It's similar in the spiritual realm. As the Scriptures point out, WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE GROWING! If we are not growing, there is something drastically wrong, as there would be with any of us whose children stopped growing before maturation.
4. There are milestones of growth that each of us need to achieve. These are markers of advancement that encourage us that we are making progress.
5. Today I'm going to touch on “Seven Measures of Maturity" that each of us need to strive for and grow in during our Christian lives.
I. ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
A. LEARNING FAMILY IDENTITY
1. It's sweet to have a newborn baby. They’re so cute, but can't do very much.
2. It's a big deal the day they learned to say "Momma" or "Dada." This is the sign that they have identified who their parent is.
3. Next they learn to say their own name. So there is established a family identity. The child knows who they are and who their parents are. God wants us to learn this too!
B. KNOWING THIS EXPERIENTIALLY
2. We are to have a "know-so" salvation; that is, we ought to have the certainty that we are NOW children of God.
3. Many Christians struggle with their assurance of salvation. They have frequent doubts about whether they are saved and on their way to heaven.
4. An important milestone for the Christian is to get to the place where they are settled & confidence of their salvation and their future destiny.
5. The terms for being saved are spelled out in Romans 10:8-10. If we’ve confessed Jesus as our Lord and believe in his resurrection, then were saved. Faith doesn't follow feeling, but feeling follows faith.
6. A young man once doubted his salvation and went to his pastor.
a. His pastor said, "Let's get a hammer, stake, and an indelible marker and go out behind your barn." They went behind the barn and the pastor prayed with him the “sinner's prayer.”
b. The pastor said, "Write today’s date and the time on the stake and pound it into the ground. The next time the devil tells you you're not saved, bring him out here and say,
c. ‘Devil, look at this stake. Here on it is the day and the time I asked Christ to save me, and according to His Word, I am saved! Now get out of here in Jesus name!’"