Maturity Based on Relationship
In His Presence: We are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Spiritual maturity is facilitated by spiritual relationship. Second Peter 3:17-18 discusses this factor in our growth: “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity.” Peter said we have two choices: to go forward or to go backward. But what we can’t do is stand still. Often people will try to define their Christian life in terms of what they are not doing wrong. But the Christian life is more than that—it is also what we are doing right.
Spiritual growth, just like human growth, is not a mechanical process. People think if they follow a five-step or twelve-step program, they will get where they want to be spiritually. But nothing could be further from the truth. Spiritual development is a relational process, not a legal one. The law shows us our sin and has the power to condemn. Only the grace of Christ has the power to enable us to overcome sin. We grow into Christ by the knowledge of Him as a person, not by the fulfillment of a program. To do that, we must focus on what God is doing in the midst of what we are doing.
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We must connect what is happening in our lives with how God is using it to transform us into the image of His Son.
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