Summary: How can we tell if someone is spiritually mature or not? How can we tell if one is really spiritual or not? The bible gives us a simple, straightforward and overlooked way we can tell.
What is Christian Maturity?
As we grow and mature, there are four stages of growth and development
3. Adolescence and
We can look at someone and tell how physically mature they are
In the Christian life, there are two stages not four
They are: infancy and maturity
They have certain characteristics but the Scripture tells us there should be growth in between
We all should be growing, maturing, changing, becoming more Christ-like
More dead to ourselves, more alive to God.
How may of you today want to be mature as Christians?
I have noted about three things that characterize maturity in the Christian life but I just want to deal with one today
It will help us realize if we are still in spiritual infancy or spiritual maturity
Chronological age does not automatically mean maturity.
This is true in the natural as well as the spiritual
I have observed some 18 yr. olds that are as mature as 30 yr. olds, 30 yr. olds that are as mature as 16 yr. olds.Don’t assume that just because you have been a Christian for a number of years that you are automatically mature.
Let us turn our attention to: 1 Cor. 3:1-4
Here, Paul is writing to the Corinthian church and addressing several problems that they had.
Outwardly, the church seemed very spiritual
had great meetings, the charismatic gifts were flowing (prophecy, healing, faith, miracles)
They were growing and exciting things were happening
But Paul gives us indication here that they were not mature but infants in their faith in Christ
There was Jealousy & Strife among them.
A mature Christian lives in harmony with others
Let’s look at these two things that Paul brings our attention to as being spiritually immature.
Then I will give a way to work around them
Jealousy - - fearful, suspicious of being displaced by others.
Envy – feeling resentment or discontent over another’s attainments, endowments or possessions
“An envious man not only wishes to see the other deprived of his possession, but also wishes to obtain it for himself.”
Movie Clip – Amadeus - where Saleri is jealous of Mozart
Seems like there is much of this in Christian circles
Many in the church can weep with those who weep – but they are too jealous, too insecure, too prideful to rejoice with those who rejoice
They give weird looks and vibes – if someone in the church gets a new car, or a promotion or a season of good fortune. They don’t like it. They won’t say much maybe – but give subtle comments, put downs or give people the once over.
Do you and can you genuinely rejoice for others when the Lord blesses them in their life?
Are you genuinely happy for them or secretly, out of your insecurity feel threatened by them?
Being competitive, jealous, petty will grieve the Holy Spirit, damage your relationships with others and injure yourself.
God is the source for all things. The mature believer is secure in Him.
Jealousy, insecurity shows that you are still a spiritual infant. It reveals that some ego, pride, a self that has not been crucified or given over to Christ. It is more problematic than just that. Jealousy can and will destroy you.