Sermons

Summary: Life is a one step at a time process to maturity.

Climbing The Ladder of Maturity

[Ephesian 4:12] … prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up [13] until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. [14] Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. [15] Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. [NIV]

Spiritual Maturity is Essential for My LIfe

Cultural, personal, or circumstantial obstacles are bound to stand in the way of anyone who wants to become mature in Christ.

Without maturity we cannot:

Become all that God wants us to be.

Neither can we know all that the Lord wants us to understand.

Furthermore, we cannot do all that our heavenly Father wants us to accomplish

It is essential that we ascend the ladders of Biblical maturity.

Once certain people attain a level of proficiency in areas like teaching, relationship building, or preaching they assume that they qualify for being a mature Christian. However, the Bible commands us to grow up into ALL aspects of Christ or the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Spiritual Maturity is Essential for Lives I Touch

As water never rises above its level so what we do never rises above what we are...We shall never take people one hair’s breadth beyond our own spiritual attainment. We may point to higher things, but we shall only take them as far as we ourselves have gone. -- W.H. Griffith Thomas

The Ladder is Climbed One Rung at a Time

Leonard Ravenhill tells about a group of tourists visiting a picturesque village who walked by an old man sitting beside a fence. In a rather patronizing way, one tourist asked, "Were any great men born in this village?"

The old man replied, "Nope, only babies."

A frothy question brought a profound answer. There are no instant heroes--whether in this world or in the kingdom of God. Growth takes time, and as I Timothy 3:6 and 5:22 point out, even spiritual leadership must be earned.

[1Timothy 3:6] He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. [NIV]

[1Timothy 5:22] Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure. [NKJ]

The Four Rungs of Maturity

We are identifying four levels of maturity for Christians. They are given in progressive order with the least mature viewpoint listed first:

(1) I’m going to do what I want, regardless of any thought for God

"If you stop and ask yourself why you are not so devoted as the (early) Christians, your own heart will tell you that it is neither through ignorance nor inability, but purely because you never thoroughly intended it." -- William Law, Courage - You Can Stand Strong in the Face of Fear, Jon Johnston, 1990, SP Publications, p. 34.

(2) If God gives me what I want, then I will give him what he wants

Ingratitude denotes spiritual immaturity. Infants do not always appreciate what parents do for them. They have short memories. Their concern is not what you did for me yesterday, but what are you doing for me today. The past is meaningless and so is the future. They live for the present. Those who are mature are deeply appreciative of those who labored in the past. They recognize those who labor during the present and provide for those who will be laboring in the future. -- Homemade, December, 1984.

(3) I will give God what he wants, with faith that he will give me what I want

At this level, the Christian is still expecting God to meet self centered dreams. The Christian has yet to learn about living beyond themselves.

Sometimes when we read the words of those who have been more than conquerors, we feel almost despondent. I feel that I shall never be like that. But they won through step by step by little bits of wills, little denials of self, little inward victories by faithfulness in very little things. They became what they are. No one sees these little hidden steps. They only see the accomplishment, but even so, those small steps were taken. There is no sudden triumph, no spiritual maturity that is the work of the moment.

A while back on “The Merv Griffin Show,” the guest was a body builder. During the interview, Merv asked “Why do you develop those particular muscles?” The body builder simply stepped forward and flexed a series of well-defined muscles from chest to calf. The audience applauded. “What do you use all those muscles for?” Merv asked. Again, the muscular specimen flexed, and biceps and triceps sprouted to impressive proportions. “But what do you USE those muscles for?” Merv persisted. The body builder was bewildered. He didn’t have an answer other than to display his well-developed frame.

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