Summary: There are several Character traits that we need to remember if we want to know whether we are in the right path towards Spiritual Maturity.
THE GOAL FOR FOR SPIRITUAL MATURITY
MATTHEW 5:43-48 (NIV) "Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
We will continue our series on the Sermon on the Mount.
We will talk about the goal for spiritual maturity.
One of the most important thing in life is to have a goal, a purpose, an aim, a target.
A goal is where you need to put all your energy and effort in life.
It is something you want to achieve and attempt to accomplish.
It is something that you exert and work hard to pursue in life.
But some of you have not yet determined your goal in life.
Let me suggest to you some goals that you must consider worth having.
For instance, if you are not yet a Christian, your primary goal should be to know Christ and His Word.
To commit your life to Christ, to be forgiven from sin and letting Him take control.
But if you are already a Christian, your goal should be to grow into spiritual maturity.
To develop your spiritual muscles.
To learn more about God.
To widen your spiritual perspective in life.
To crave and cultivate your love for others.
To devote your life to become more like Christ.
To yearn for more of God.
It is good to have such goals in life.
Everyone who calls himself a Christian should mature.
He must advance further, fully blossom, expand his understanding and produce more fruits.
There is no reason for a Christian to decline, to contract, to diminish and to compress.
If you belong to Christ, you have to grow in spiritual maturity.
That is our new Christian DNA, our new cell nature, our genetic make-up.
Spiritual growth is irresistible.
It is inevitable.
It is compelling.
It is unavoidable.
We have to grow or we die.
That is why this goal of spiritual maturity should be understood clearly and pursued further.
This spiritual maturity should be appreciated and fully realized.
We must not rest until we accomplish this aim.
We must not pause until we succeed in this endeavor.
We must not take a break until we produce results.
We must not become idle until we reach our goal.
And so, we must ask ourselves:
Why is spiritual maturity important?
What should we do in order to mature?
How can we know that we have already matured spiritually?
The apostle Peter admonishes us: 2 Peter 3:18 (NIV) "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen."
The word "grow" here is from the Gr "Auxano" which means to augment, to increase, to become greater as of plants, infants and people.
It also means the inward spiritual growth happening to a Christian.
Notice that this growth is two-fold: in the GRACE and in the KNOWLEDGE of God.
It is by grace that people turn to Christ.
It is by grace that people's faith are strengthened because of Christ.
It is by grace that we grow in Christian character and virtues.
We need the grace of God to grow.
Yet, we must also grow in the knowledge of Christ.
Knowledge refers to growth in intelligence and Christian understanding.
It refers to the development of moral wisdom.
Your spiritual faculties.
Your learning abilities.
These are the areas that we need to grow as Christians.
And if we pursue these further, we can accomplish this in due time.
And so, in our study for today in the book of Matthew 5, we will look at these aspects of growth.
Our ability to comprehend the truth.
Our ambition to obey God.
Our eagerness to know the character of God.
Our motivation to Grow in Love.
And our Christian Perfection.
CHARACTERISTICS OF CHRISTIAN MATURITY:
1. A MATURE PERSON HAS THE ABILITY TO FULLY COMPREHEND THE TRUTH.
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy."
The word "heard" is from the Gr "Akouo" which means a person endowed with the faculty of hearing.
It also refers to a person who is able to perceive, to comprehend and fully understand what is being said particularly from a teacher.