Bluewater Bay Community Church

Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen

Maturity

by Erik Momsen

Our task is to make the world a better place. We are to be agents of the coming Kingdom of God. To be salt and light and encourage each other toward good works. The world would be a very different place had it not been for Christians through the ages who worked for the "Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven".

One issue that stunts the effectiveness of the church and causes you misery is immaturity in Christ. "Brothers stop thinking like children. In regard evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults/mature (teleioi)." 1 Corinthians 14:20

TELEIOS - "bring to completion, fully developed, mature." We start as infants in Christ but we dare not stay that way. A gazelle that does not mature after birth will be eaten.


TROUBLE STOPS AND STARTS MATURITY

Many Christians accomplish little for God. The reasons are varied but all return to the issue of maturity. They have just not grown in maturity. They may have grown older, but not mature.

The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1) is a story about coming to Maturity.

  1. Satan steals the seed before it can start growing. 

  2. Trouble and persecution kills the seed with a shallow root. 

  3. Worries of the world, deceitfulness of wealth and the desire for other things destroys the fruitfulness.

The seed that survives the trouble produces a great harvest.

God can always take trouble and turn it around. Romans 8:28 says, "And in all things God works for the good for those who love him".

James 1:2-8 teaches that trouble is the testing ground for maturity.

1) Rejoice when you have trouble.

2) Testing of faith develops perseverance.
     - faith that has lasted the test grows stronger.
     - the ability to hold on is developed.

3) Perseverance develops maturity.
     - only those who have been through the mill are mature.
     - it's not about how fast you run but that you run to the end.
     - a mature tree can take harsh conditions.

Hard times - hanging in there - developing over time - results in you being "mature and complete, not lacking in anything." (James 1:4)


FOOD FOR MATURITY

Christ gave the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors.

"To prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the head."
(Ephesians 4:12-15)

NOTE: the whole is greater than the part. Paul starts with the Body and ends with babies tossed around. If the Body is strong and you are part of the Body you will be strong. But Satan’s task is to get you separated from the Body / herd.

1)  The Body is built up BY works of service = in-service training

2)  Aim of "the building up"
     + UNITY IN -- FAITH = share faith unites
     + UNITY IN -- KNOWLEDGE OF SON
     + MATURITY
     = ATTAINING TO THE WHOLE MEASURE OF THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST


PERSONAL SIGNS OF MATURITY

  1. Understanding God’s will & Scripture.

  2. Understanding people and how to deal with them.

  3. Signs of the Life and Love of the Spirit.

  4. Absence of fear - presence of Faith.  "The one who fears is not made perfect/mature (teteleiotai) in love." (1 John 4:18)

  5. Godly wisdom - "We do, however speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age. ... We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us ... For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ". (1 Corinthians 2:6,12,16)

Date Added: 2009-03-18

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