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Maturity
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God’s plan for you is to grow in Christian maturity. Ephesians 4:13 puts it this way "till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." It's the sign of spiritual life and God’s presence. But, how do you measure spiritual growth and maturity? Although it's not tangible like length, volume, or weight, you can measure yourself. If you measure yourself to God's specifications for what a mature Christian is like, you can discover your level. God's specifications are found listed through out the Bible. You can find some lists in the New Testament. There are the 8 Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12. Also, there are the 22 life responses of Romans 12:9-21. 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of the 14 qualities of love. The 9 fruits of the Spirit are in Galatians 5:22-23. Another list is the 7 add-ons to faith in II Peter 1:5-9.

It can be challenging to grow sometimes. One could experience physical growth or mental growth, but still be unborn spiritually. Someone could experience forty years experience or one years' worth of experience forty times. It is key to really grow spiritually in life.  True maturity is when one grows in “the knowledge of the Son of God.” This is not just a knowledge "about," Jesus. Rather it is knowing the knowledge Jesus did. The Biblical sense of the word denotes exact or full knowledge, discernment, recognition and even influence.

When you really know Jesus, you begin to sense perfection as He sees it. Though perfection is not possible in the natural, we are told to "be perfect as God is (Matthew 5:43-48)." How can you be perfect? The (perfect) is having the end results that God has in His love. In that kind of love, maturity is again seen in positive action instead of reaction by emotion. It is true Godly love in action form.

The verse in Ephesians says ". . . to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." What kind of measure is this? In Greek, it means means a “measure,” and figuratively "to evaluate." Contrary to popular philosophy, Jesus is our absolute measure. We should keep in rhythm with Jesus as a musician would with a metronome. More on following Jesus can be found in the classic book "In His Steps." Such books can help us as we grow in maturity and truly imitate Jesus.

Furthermore, we must the “stature” of Christ. In the original language, stature means “mature” or “grown up.” When a person is said to be “of age,” meaning a point of maturity or actual physical height to indicate truly grown up, it is usually relating with one's special time in life or one's height. Some people grow old but never grow up. But with Christian maturity, there are signs of true maturity that we need in to show Christ's stature in our lives.

Finally, the aspect of "fullness" in Jesus. The context here in Ephesians 3:17-19, is as follows: "17that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." From this context, we see first that the fullness of God is to know the love of God, which passes knowledge. You can know God’s love for yourself when you then apply it to others. We should love others both in the body of Christ by edifying and in the world through spreading the good news. Real maturity is again seen in real love. The end result of for the world if Christian maturity truly takes root is an amazing God-type "unity of the faith." This unity comes with maturity demonstrated in love.

 

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