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Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:12-16

Growing to Maturity


1.  Spiritual maturity is desired by all conscientious Christians, Matt. 5:48; Phil. 3:12; Eph. 4:13.
2.  "Spiritual maturity" has taken on some unscriptural definitions: 
  a.  "Open-mindedness" (i.e., tolerance/ compromise),
1 Tim. 6:20-21.
  b.  Always questioning but never being definite,
2 Tim. 3:7.
  c.  Free-thinking (atheists / agnostics),
Rom. 1:21-22.
  d.  Emotionalism (regardless of revealed truth),
Jer. 10:23.
  e.  Bible knowledge (worthless without obedient faith),
2 Pet. 3:18.
3.  teleios: "brought to its end, finished; wanting nothing necessary to completeness; perfect; that which is perfect; consummate human integrity and virtue; of men -- full grown, adult, of full age, mature"  (Online Bible, #5046).
4.  The preaching of the gospel is intended to perfect us in Christ,
Col. 1:28. How do we reach and secure our own spiritual maturity?


  A. Put Away Sin,
1 Cor. 3:1-3 (Col. 3:5-9).
    1.  Immaturity / undeveloped spirituality (
3:1) will soon give way to anti-spiritual conduct (3:3). Flesh controls rather than the spirit.
    2.  This causes contentions, strife and sin in our lives (cf.
    3.  With these present we are not maturing; not spiritual mature.


II. BY CULTIVATING YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF TRUTH, 1 Cor. 14:20; Eph. 5:17; Jno. 8:31-32.
  A.  Word of Christ must be in Our Heart,
Col. 3:16; Jas. 1:21.
    1.  The instrument of our obedience,
Jas. 1:22-25 (3:2).
    2. Able to answer others,
1 Pet. 3:15.
  B. The Mature Wisely Use their Understanding,
Jas. 3:13-18.


  A. The Maturing Christian Measures Himself by Christ.
    1. By the stature of His character and conduct,
1 Jno. 2:5-6 (1 Pet. 2:21).
      a.  Is faith in Christ present?
Jno. 8:24
      b.  Does the humble mind of Christ define you?
Phil. 2:5
  B. Christ must be Formed in You,
Gal. 4.19 (2:20).


IV. BY PROGRESSING BEYOND FIRST PRINCIPLES, Heb 5:12- 6:1 (press beyond first principles to fully develop, 6:1-3).
  A.  In Your Understanding and Use of God's Word,
5:11, 13.
       -The mature devote themselves to comprehending and using truth.
  B.  In Your Willingness and Ability to Teach the Truth,
      -The mature devote themselves to teaching what they have learned.
  C.  In Your Ability to Discern Right and Wrong, Truth and Error,
5:14; Phil. 1:9-11 (Lk. 12:57; Jno. 7:24).
      -The mature are able and willing to discern (judge, separate) sin and error from righteousness and truth.


V.  BY OVERCOMING TEMPTATION, 1 Jno. 2:14 (1 Pet. 5:8-9).
  A.  The Word of God Abides in the Strong,
Psa. 119:11.
      -This is not merely quoting scripture -- It is walking in the truth.
  B.  By Diligently Increasing in every Fruit of Righteousness,
2 Pet. 1:5-11.

      -You can do it! (cf. 1 Cor. 10:12-13)


1.  You have a mandate to mature (2 Pet. 3:18).

2.  How are you doing?