Summary: We will consider maturity in terms of various aspects of our Christian lives (Jesus, Cross, The Word, Suffering, Eternity) and how we contrast these from immature and mature points of view.
The year of increase will happen as the church grows both qualitatively and quantitatively. The existing members are called to mature so that they can take care of the new members. We consider maturity today in terms of various aspects of our Christian lives (Jesus, Cross, The Word, Suffering, Eternity) and how we contrast these from immature and mature points of view.
i) Friend and Saviour: Jesus is our friend and Saviour. When we are saved it’s so wonderful to know him like that. He died to give us the priceless gift of salvation. His death, burial and resurrection are a source of unlimited blessings to us.
ii) Lord and Master: As we mature we realize that Jesus is not only that but he is our Lord to be obeyed and our Master to we waited on. He becomes the center of our lives and not us. He has some demands on us.
i) A place of blessing: The place where Jesus died and from which we have received one blessing after another (Joh 1:16).
ii) A place of our death: On maturity we realize that not only is the cross a place of blessing but also an altar where we must offer ourselves as living sacrifices (Rom 12:1). It is us carrying it daily: dying to self and the world (Luk 9:23, Gal 6:24)
III The Word
i) Milk to drink: As babies we crave the milk of the Word of God and someone feeds it to us (1Pe 2:2).
Breast milk is the ideal food for infants (has over 200 ingredients and cannot be duplicated).
ii) Meat to chew: As we mature the Word becomes more challenging and becomes a source of training for us to grow into maturity.
i) Of the devil and to be avoided: Is perceived as ‘cannot be the will of God’. If God allows suffering in their lives they run away from God (Phi 3:17-20).
ii) Part of the Christian life: Jesus himself suffered leaving us an example (Heb 5:7-9). Kinds of suffering: not paying bribes lose money by telling the truth on taxes, etc., refusing to marry unbeliever, etc.
i) A destination to escape to: Life is too hard; we are waiting for the Lord to rescue us out of this mess. This is true (Phi 3:20).
ii) Already in our hearts: We are being transformed daily into His likeness (2Co 3:18). Eternity is already in our hearts and we are being continuously changed – eternity will be seamless.
Summing up the Call to Maturity:
1. Let us go on to maturity
2. Maturity has a price but yields a reward
3. Don’t be afraid of the process of maturity
4. God is calling us to step up to maturity