What Is Spiritual Maturity?
This past Sunday, I gave a sermon on spiritual maturity being the goal of Christian discipleship. You can listen to it in its entirety here. In the message I broke down maturity into three key areas of Christian living: doctrine, devotion and duty, and then shared twenty five descriptions about what spiritual maturity is and what it isn’t. They aren’t comprehensive, but below are the descriptions that were shared if you're interested.
1) Spiritual maturity isn't the basis of your Christian life; it's the goal of your Christian life (Col.1:28, Heb. 6:1).
2) Spiritual maturity is more than head knowledge, but it's never less than head knowledge. It's knowing more than the basic doctrines of the faith and how they relate to the basics of everyday life. It’s knowing what you believe and why you believe it (Heb. 5:12-14, 2 Pet. 3:16-18).
3) Spiritual maturity is experiencing that God is good no matter what you happen to be experiencing (Ps. 145:9, Ps. 86:5, 1 Chron. 16:34).
4) Spiritual maturity is living with a childlike faith, not a childish faith (Matt. 18:3-4, 1 Cor. 14:20).
5) Spiritual maturity is knowing the difference between the law and the gospel, between justification and sanctification (Rom. 3:28; 1 Tim.1:8, Rom.5:1; 6:1-4).
6) Spiritual maturity isn't never falling; it's knowing how to get back up & keep going when you do (Heb.12:12-13, 1 John 1:9). It's walking in the assurance that nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:39), knowing that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion (Phil. 1:6).
7) Spiritual maturity isn't how fast you can recite a verse but how fast you repent of sin (Ps. 32:5, Prov. 28:13).
8) Spiritual maturity isn't exercising spiritual gifts but bearing spiritual fruit (1 Cor.13:1-13, Gal. 5:22-23).
9) Spiritual maturity is not just loving your friends, it's loving your enemies (Matt. 5:43-45, Rom.12:14-21).
10) Spiritual maturity isn't about how high you raise your hands but how often you bend your knees (1 Thess.5:17, Col.4:2).
11) Spiritual maturity isn't how well you can sing in the sun; it's how well you stand in the storm (Eph.6:10-14, 1 Pet. 1:6-9).
12) Spiritual maturity isn't just knowing about God; it's loving, treasuring, adoring and enjoying God (Ps. 18:1, Ps.8:1, 1 Tim.6:15, Ps.32:11).
13) Spiritual maturity isn't tied to your physical age and amount of grey hairs you happen to have but to your spiritual advancement and godliness in life (Ps.119:99-100, 1 Tim.3:12).
14) Spiritual maturity is moving from always needing to be fed Gods word to knowing how to feed yourself (Ps. 1:1-3, Heb.5:12-14).
15) Spiritual maturity is forgiving those who've hurt you the most and praying for those who persecute you (Col. 3:13, Matt. 18:21-22, Matt. 5:44).
16) Spiritual maturity is the courage to stand for the truth even when everyone else is falling for a lie (1 Cor.16:13, Eph. 5:11).
17) Spiritual maturity is praying God make me more like you instead of just God give me more things (Rom.8:29, Phil.2:10-14).
18) Spiritual maturity is not depending upon Christ less but depending upon Christ more (Ps. 18:2, John 15:5).
19) Spiritual maturity is loving the least of these and generously giving to meet others needs (Matt. 25:40, 2 Cor. 8:2-3).
20) Spiritual maturity is walking by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7), doing the right thing when it’s hard (Ps. 15:4), loving those who are difficult (Gal.6:2) and having a concern for the lost and the poor (2 Tim. 2:10, Gal.2:10).
21) Spiritual maturity is knowing who you are (Jn. 1:12), why you're here (1 Cor.10:31) and where you're going (Phil.1:21).
22) Spiritual maturity is the ability to discern truth from error, right from wrong, and good from evil (1 Jn. 4:6, Heb. 5:14).
23) Spiritual maturity is knowing that you wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces in this present evil age (Eph. 6:12, 1 Pet.5:7-9).
24) Spiritual maturity is knowing that you never graduate from the gospel (Rom.1:16-17, 1 Cor.15:1-4).
25) Spiritual maturity is being able to spiritually reproduce yourself in the lives of others (Heb.5:12, 2 Tim.2:2).