Spiritual Maturity

Today’s message summary from Melvin Gaines:

It is sensible for you to examine and evaluate your relationship with Jesus Christ.  Scripture indicates that there is a natural progression if you are growing in your relationship.

Hebrews 5:12-13

12 Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. 13 Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant.

1 Corinthians 3:2

I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready.

Here are questions that you should honestly ask yourself…

  • Can you honestly say to yourself that you are making progress in your relationship with Jesus Christ?
  • If others were to observe your behavior, or even comment on it, would they see a progression in your relationship with Christ?

If you have not reflected on either of these questions, then how do you know where you are?  Believers will indeed experience a number of hindrances in getting anything meaningful out of bible studies, or being an effective part of a fellowship if you are having a prolonged personal struggle with who you are in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

As our church is moving forward, our ministry is taking shape in different areas, and as change occurs, you must prepare yourself for what your defining role is as a member of the body of Christ.  In determining your defining role, it is not enough to ask yourself if you are merely a participant.  Some believers may go their entire lives trying to determine what their role is, and even what their spiritual gifts are.  If you do not know what your role is and what your gifts are, then how can you possibly know who you are in your relationship with a church, with other members in the body of Christ, and as to how much you have progressed as a believer?

It is time to start asking ourselves the questions that maybe we have avoided until now.  Fear of the unknown will sometimes keep us in a paralysis of not looking at where we are and how we can improve ourselves.  Perhaps we are fearful of what others will say about us…who knows?  I do know that Satan would prefer that each of us never reaches our full potential as believers.  I also know that Satan is the greatest liar of all time (John 8:44).  Is it easier for us to believe Satan’s lies, or to trust in the Lord?

If we are to accurately assess where we are in our fellowship with God through Jesus Christ, we need to be able to measure our progress in the quality of our Christian life.  It is not a difficult process to measure where we are, as there are basic tenets that we must use in determining where we are in this area.  You may add some points within these basic doctrines, but I have examined three particular areas that should be at the forefront of any measurement of our assessment.

  1.   Your level of obedience to God through His Word
  2.   Growing with the knowledge of God through His Word
  3.   Peaking with understanding of God and His Word

Notice that all of these points refer very specifically to God’s Word in your life.  How do we know about God, and how did we learn about God in the first place?  We had to have some sort of exposure to God’s Word.  How did we come to know Jesus Christ as personal savior?  We learned about the Good News through exposure and reflection upon God’s Word.  How do we learn more about what God’s Word has to say to us?  By reading and studying God’s Word on a regular basis.  This is how God communicates with us…through His Word.  We reciprocate to God by communicating with Him in prayer.

2 Chronicles 7:14

…and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.

How does this correlate with the quality of your Christian life, or as some would say, the abundant life?  The answer may seem overly simple to you, but think about this regarding point number 1…all that God wants from us is our obedience to His Word.  The only way that we can love God is to be obedient to His Word.

Exodus 20:6, Deuteronomy 5:10

but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.

Psalm 1:1-2

How happy is the man
who does not follow the advice of the wicked
or take the path of sinners
or join a group of mockers!
Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.

Psalm 25:10

All the Lord’s ways show faithful love and truth
to those who keep His covenant and decrees.

Psalm 112:1

Hallelujah!
Happy is the man who fears the Lord,
taking great delight in His commands.

If you are regularly practicing obedience to God’s Word, it stands to reason that God will respond to you with blessings as a result of your obedience.   The bottom line is that your obedience to His Word assures you that you are in fellowship with Him.  Your prayers are likely to be heard by him and answered by Him.  The residual effect of this obedience and the resulting ongoing fellowship with God is that God’s love for you, which has already been declared in his creation of you and His love for you in Jesus Christ in His plan of salvation for you will become more and more visible in your daily walk in faith.  You will, as a result of His love, love Him in return and have a greater desire to want to be obedient to Him.  It is a love relationship that can grow, as long as we do not inhibit it with sin or other forms of disobedience, beyond any sort of words or description that we can possibly come up with.

God’s desire for us is to be obedient to His Word.  That is where the process of beginning to measure your spiritual maturity.

Copyright © Melvin Gaines.

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About melvingaines

I am a communications professional, author and speaker with years of experience as a business owner and corporate supervisor. My philosophy is “excellence in leadership-by-example with integrity and without compromise.” I am a member of the National Association of Black Accountants and served as President of the National Association of Credit Management, Greater Akron (OH). I have also held memberships with the American Collectors Association International, Inc. and the Commercial Law League of America. I am Church Administrator and Sunday school instructor at Akron Alliance Fellowship Church in Akron, Ohio. I have taught adult Sunday school for over 25 years and facilitated numerous bible studies and church cell group sessions. Every now and then, I fill in for the pastor with a sermon. I am a longtime advocate of Christian-based elementary and high school education. I am a graduate of The University of Akron with a degree in Business and Organizational Communication, and recently earned a Master’s degree in Christian Studies at Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minnesota. I am also a member of the Chaplains Association of Ohio, and involved in Clinical Pastoral studies for possible full or part-time chaplaincy. I am a native of Cleveland, Ohio and I am married to my lovely childhood sweetheart, Lynn. View all posts by melvingaines

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