Summary: Part of a series in Philippians, we’re encouraged to mature in our faith.
Here are the Top 10 ways to know you’re growing older:
10. Everything hurts and what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work.
9. The gleam in your eye is from the sun hitting your bifocals.
8. You know all the answers, but nobody asks you the questions.
7. You look forward to a dull evening.
6. You sit in a rocking chair and can’t get it going.
5. Your knees buckle but your belt won’t.
4. Your back goes out more than you do.
3. You sink your teeth in a juicy steak and they stay there.
2. You see a pretty girl walk by and your pacemaker opens all the garage doors in town.
1. You bend over to tie your shoes and wonder if there’s anything else you should be doing while you’re down there. Can anybody relate?
We’re discovering how to be content in Christ. Turn to Phil. 3:15-16.
Today, we look at the idea of spiritual, rather than physical, maturity.
•It’s not about getting older, it’s about getting better – spiritually speaking.
Paul has already been speaking a lot about spiritual maturity/growing in Christ.
Phil. 1:9 AND THIS IS MY PRAYER: THAT YOUR LOVE MAY ABOUND MORE AND MORE IN KNOWLEDGE AND DEPTH OF INSIGHT, 10SO THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO DISCERN WHAT IS BEST AND MAY BE PURE AND BLAMELESS UNTIL THE DAY OF CHRIST, 11FILLED WITH THE FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT COMES THROUGH JESUS CHRIST—TO THE GLORY AND PRAISE OF GOD.
Phil. 2:14-16 DO EVERYTHING WITHOUT COMPLAINING OR ARGUING, 15SO THAT YOU MAY BECOME BLAMELESS AND PURE, CHILDREN OF GOD WITHOUT FAULT IN A CROOKED AND DEPRAVED GENERATION, IN WHICH YOU SHINE LIKE STARS IN THE UNIVERSE 16AS YOU HOLD OUT THE WORD OF LIFE…
Phil. 3:14 I PRESS ON TOWARD THE GOAL TO WIN THE PRIZE FOR WHICH GOD HAS CALLED ME HEAVENWARD IN CHRIST JESUS.
Now, he continues with this same idea of maturity.
15ALL OF US WHO ARE MATURE SHOULD TAKE SUCH A VIEW OF THINGS.
Lit. “Those of us who are perfect, let us have this attitude, think this way.”
Hold it. Paul just said he hadn’t been made perfect yet, he was still striving for it.
•Now he seems to say he is perfect. Which is it?
Actually, Paul is using a play on words here to emphasize his point.
•In fact, he uses the same word in 1 Cor. 14:20 and Col. 1:28.
1 Cor. 14:20 BROTHERS, STOP THINKING LIKE CHILDREN. IN REGARD TO EVIL BE INFANTS, BUT IN YOUR THINKING BE ADULTS (perfect).
Col. 1:28 WE PROCLAIM HIM, ADMONISHING AND TEACHING EVERYONE WITH ALL WISDOM, SO THAT WE MAY PRESENT EVERYONE PERFECT IN CHRIST.
The perfection he speaks about isn’t absolute; it’s a process of becoming fully mature.
So what does it mean to be mature?
1. Realizing that we’re not complete yet.
I use the word “complete” here rather than perfect because it hits us harder.
•Most people would freely admit they’re not perfect.
•But there are some who say “I’m not perfect, but I’m good enough, I’m mature enough. I don’t need to really grow any more.”
•That’s simply a clear sign that they are in fact immature.
Illus. After a year of intense Bible training, I thought I had a good handle on the Word.
•So I took my knowledge and went out and did some door-to-door evangelism.
•I came across a Jehovah’s Witness who used my Bible to make his point.
•I knew he was wrong, but I didn’t know how to answer him. It was very humbling.
•I didn’t really know as much as I thought I did.
Later, after 4 years of Bible study, I thought I had a good handle on Bible doctrine.
•Once again, when I entered Seminary, I quickly learned how little I really knew.
Illus. Have you ever met a know-it-all? How about a Christian know-it-all?
•They know all the verses/doctrines; everything fits into their perfect black/white box.
Paul was a renowned theologian. If anyone knew the Word, it was him.
•And yet he realized he didn’t know it all yet. He hadn’t attained real perfection.
The first mark of maturity is realizing that we’re not there yet. We don’t know it all.
•We’re still immature and incomplete in our Christian journey.
How can someone be perfect and yet not yet perfect?
The irony of spiritual maturity is that those who think they’ve reached it, in fact haven’t, while those who are reaching for it, may have already achieved it.
The second mark of maturity is…
2. Pressing on in our pursuit of Christ.
15ALL OF US WHO ARE MATURE SHOULD TAKE SUCH A VIEW OF THINGS. What things?
•The things of vv. 7-14; pressing on/pursuing Christ with all our hearts.