Summary: Paul’s prayer for spiritual maturity in the church
Intro: do you remember a time in your life where you matured past something that was childish? I remember it well. My parents would take us to the park and I would swing, slide down the slide, do the merry-go-round and have a great time. But there came a time when it became childish, and I moved onto other things. In our Christian life there are stages, and the childlike stage is a wonderful time, but God calls us higher, and we move on. Tonight, I would like to look at a few verses Paul wrote to the Colossians about moving into Spiritual Maturity.
Moving into Spiritual Maturity
The great Charles Finney had an estimated 2 million converts through his revival meetings. At the end of his life he realized that many of those professing Christ in a service would come forward for salvation many times throughout the years. So he wrote many books on how to mature in Christ because he realized the importance of teaching on Spiritual growth.
Paul gives this prayer for Spiritual Maturity
v.9- Paul prayed that people would come to the knowledge of God’s will for their lives. As a child you never think past the moment, and that is true in spiritual infancy. But Paul prays that his readers would begin to grow in God. He prayed they would begin to seek out God’s will, purpose and plan for their lives. That they would grow in spiritual understanding.
God doesn’t save us to exist, He saves us so that we might grow His kingdom. Any tree that bears no fruit is cut down. He prunes us through teaching and instructs us in righteousness.
v.10-walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing him. God may smile on our childish mistakes, but He doesn’t want us to live our lives up and down. He wants to establish us in the faith. A life that pleases God is the goal of every believer. Good works for the Lord, growing in the knowledge of Him. God desires us to grow in our relationship with Him. We grow as we spend time in prayer, worship and the Word.
v.11-Empowered by Him–God wants us to mature into a strong spiritual life. He wants us to walk in patience, and longsuffering, (willing to suffer for the sake of souls) and to live a fulfilling life–one filled with joy. That is Paul’s prayer. The other night Chad and Bradley’s skit on Paul and Silas was a classic. It probably was hard to sing, but if you can only sing when you are giving good things, what is your reward?
V.12- Rejoicing that we are qualified to be partakers of the inheritance. The next step in spiritual maturity is seeing the inheritance. Not looking at present situations as much as eternal investments. Paul never let the now cloud his view of forever. His message is that Spiritual maturity takes place when everything is compared to the eternal weight of glory.
V.13- spiritual maturity is a life in the light that overpowers the darkness. Putting away childish things is hard, but the life of Christ calls us to a greater destiny.
V.14-redeemed–spiritual maturity is walking in the realization of redemption. No longer walking in condemnation and fear. But walking in faith, that what He promised He is able to perform it.
We are forgiven, that means our sins are forgotten.
Close: I still remember the first time we took Bradley to a park in Bainbridge Georgia. It was amazing how small the slide was, and that at one time a slide seemed taller than the Empire State Building. A true sign of spiritual maturity, is when you pass a test easily and realize that was a test back at your spiritual birthing that you struggled to conquer.