In Philippians 3, Paul encourages maturity and growth by focusing on gaining Christ and becoming like him, even in suffering. To do this, Christians must forget the things that hold them back and keep straining ahead towards life in Christ.
The writer of Hebrews interrupts his teaching in 5:11 to challenge and warn his hearers about their growth and maturity. He reminds them that they are not where they need to be because they have spent too much time focusing on the basics and have not converted their knowledge into practical application. To do this too long is to run the danger of sliding back, because there is no growth.
We ought always to focus on growth and maturity in the Lord.
Imitate God and walk in love.
Understanding the gospel is only the beginning. Proper understanding leads to proper action. In a church, this means always working on your relationships with one another.
After proclaiming the glory of the gospel of God, Paul reminds the Ephesians to walk in a manner worthy of their calling. This includes relating relationally to each other, growing in maturity, and building the body of Christ in love.
The new year is a good time to make resolutions. What better resolution to make than one involving greater maturity in faith? In Ephesians 4:1-16, Paul points out that the goal of faith is maturity. Churches and individuals ought to set maturity as a goal, using the example of a mature church in Acts 2:42-47 as a guide.
As Paul moves through his letter to the Philippians, he gives an example of "working out your own salvation" (2:12-13). It's an example of maturity. Believers are mature when they have the right focus, a focus on their heavenly citizenship that causes them to await the return of the Lord Jesus, when he will transform our lowly bodies into glorious bodies.
Sometimes we think God's will is so mysterious that we doubt we'll ever find or understand it. But the bible is clear that God's will is both findable and understandable. We understand God's will in the gospel that provides us hope and teaches us to live sacrificially like Jesus, we experience his will in prayer and in spiritual growth that provides knowledge of him, and we express God's will when we bear fruit by serving others in love.
How do you know if your faith is maturing?
According to Paul, we know with certainty our faith is maturing if we find ourselves trusting Jesus more than ourselves, becoming more attached to him, and pressing on towards our future with him.
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