Summary: We all want the “perfect” church, BUT far too often, we do not want to become the “perfect” church. It’s strange, trying to find or have a perfect church becomes a problem because WE are the church.
Psychology (personal) = The emotional and behavioral characteristics of an individual, a group, or an activity; Subtle tactical actions or arguments used to manipulate or influence another.
Our minds, do not have
of their own.
The personal psychology of each individual or group must be developed!! This is accomplished though events, information, opinions and actions of others, a deliberate plan, etc.., OR a combination of all those. That psychology then becomes the controlling factor of our minds.
We have been looking at "Mind Control" from the perspective of personal holiness, our function within the Body of Christ and in particular our inter-reaction within the local body. As we have examined this subject of "Mind Control", our concentration has been on the vast subject of "Spiritual Maturity".
If we are "Spiritually Mature", our minds will be controlled by Holy Spirit as He directs our thoughts through the truths of the Word of God. THEN instead of events, opinions of others, etc. being the dominate factors in our personal psychology, we will see and respond to these factors as directed by the Word of God, administered in our lives by the Holy Spirit and our personal psychology will be developed through the "mind of Christ".
For this study, I picked 5 areas that are needed if we are to move into the realm of "Spiritual Maturity":
(1) Spiritual Understanding and Comprehension
(2) Spiritual Discernment
(3) Spiritual Perseverance
(4) Spiritual Humility
(5) Spiritual Responsibility and Commitment
We can’t take the time to review the first four. If these areas are a little fuzzy in your thinking or you missed a lesson or two, may I urge you to get the first 8 lessons and go over them again (www.oori.org). As a matter of fact, it would be good to have and review those lesson even if you do remember hearing them.
This 5th trait of "Spiritual Maturity"
be a reality unless the first 4 traits are active in your life
There are some who are very "responsible" and are extremely "committed" to their job, marriage, etc. That’s GOOD and should be!!! HOWEVER, an unsaved person can be "responsible" and "committed", but such actions would in no way constitute "Spiritual Responsibility and Commitment".
Over the next few lessons, I trust we can clearly see the distinction between the human and the Spiritual concept of responsibility and commitment. Knowing that difference and living in that difference will make the difference whether this church, or any church exists as a Spiritual entity or just another religious club. That is a lot of "differences", BUT what a difference it will make when we know the reality of those differences.
Number 5 is not a trait of maturity which is more important than the other four, BUT number 5 is more visible than the other four. We could even say that the first four are a preparation for and a prerequisite to properly experiencing the fifth.
During our study, we have "pigeonholed" or segmented the subject of "Spiritual Maturity". In reality, maturity is not segments but instead a whole.
You can’t be "Spiritually Mature" without possessing the total package. There is no such thing as arriving at partial maturity, even though maturity is a process.
Therefore we must remember, as we study "Spiritual Responsibility and Commitment" that to develop #5, #1 through #4 must be active and continually in a state of development.
Because Spiritual maturity is so different from that of physical or social maturity, the Holy Spirit uses several words to describe Spiritual maturity and several terms to describe the Church in which such maturity is to be demonstrated. We can’t understand Spiritual maturity without having some understanding of the Church of Jesus Christ, and the reverse is also true. With that in mind, let’s dive in and see if we are mature, and if so, how do we use that maturity in the local church and if we are not mature, what should we do or not do.
One of the physical illustrations the Holy Spirit uses to describe the Church of Jesus Christ is that of the physical body. As the Holy Spirit presents the teaching concerning the Church of Jesus Christ through the illustration of the body, we can clearly see what is involved in the practice of Spiritual Maturity.
As with any illustration, not every aspect and detail of the physical body parallels the Church. Therefore, we must be careful to only apply the illustration of the body to the aspects of the church so designated by the Holy Spirit. It is the habit of some, who want to bring out a "proper" point, to improperly use a portion of Scripture to illustrate that point. However, that does discredit to the entire Word of God.
Ephesians 4:11 And He (Christ) Himself gave (to the Church) some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ -- 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.