The need for Christians to mature and be accountable
The difference between "attendees" and "members" is to grow up and be Committed
The New Testament places a major emphasis on the need for Christians to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth. You cannot be accountable when you are not committed to any specific church family.
1. Discovering Spiritual Maturity
Acts 2:42: They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer
2. The purpose of Spiritual Maturity
Then we shall no longer be children, carried by the waves and blown about by every shifting wind of the teaching of deceitful men, who lead others into error by the tricks they invent. Instead, by speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow up in every way to Christ, Who is the head. (Ephesians 4:14-15)
v Misconceptions about Spiritual Growth
3. Growth is automatic: "In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again." Hebrews 5:12
"…Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." Philippians 2:12-13
Truth: Spiritual growth is intentional
4. Growth is mystical and intended for a few: “But keep away from those godless legends, which are not worth telling. Keep yourself in training for a Godly life.” 1 Timothy 4:
Truth: Spiritual maturity is available to all believers but there are no shortcuts!
5. Growth is instant
Truth: Spiritual growth is a process that takes time.
6. Growth is only knowledge: "Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." James 2:18
"For though once your heart was full of darkness, now it is full of light from the Lord, and your behaviour should show it" Ephesians 5:8; "You will know them by their fruits." Matt. 7:16
Truth: Spiritual maturity is demonstrated more by how you act than by what you know.
7. Growth is only personal: "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love
and good works. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another..." Hebrews 10:24-25; "For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen." I John 4:20
Truth: Spiritual maturity requires family-like relationships
8. Growth is through study only
Truth: Spiritual maturity requires all the purposes of God in your life. Spiritual growth begins with a commitment, is a gradual process, involves developing habits, and is stimulated by the relationships that you find in the church.
"…Your faith in God has become known everywhere." 1 Thessalonians 1:8
"Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:33
Disciples are known by what they are committed to
To grow up in every way to Christ takes commitment to the habits necessary for Spiritual Growth
“But continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, now and forever! Amen.” (2Peter 3:18)
What is “Spiritual Maturity”?
“And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God: we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature.” Ephesians 4:13
Spiritual maturity is being like Christ.
“Those whom God has already chosen He also set apart to become like His Son, so that the Son would be the first among many brothers. And so those whom God set apart, He called: and those He called, He put right with Himself, and He shared His glory with them.” Romans 8:29-30
Spiritual Maturity is not a gift.
“There has been enough time for you to be teachers- yet you still need someone to teach you the first lessons of God’s message. Instead of eating solid food, you still have to drink milk. Anyone who has to drink milk is still a child, without any experience in the matter of right and wrong.” Hebrews 5:12-13
Spiritual Growth is intentional
Spiritual Maturity takes DISCIPLINE: “But keep away from those godless legends, which are not worth telling. Keep yourself in training for a godly life.” 1Timothy 4:7
We become what we are committed to
THE four most important Spiritual Habits
James 1:22 & 25. Personal Bible reading and prayer each day. Mark 1:35, James 1:25 and
2. The habit of Fellowship: Hebrews 10:25.
Being a committed team for God. Fellowship with believers in a small group and church.
1. Know the Word of God
2. Have the mind of God
3. Have the heart of God
4. Do all to the glory of God
5. Have the character of God
Mature Believers are called Disciples. I cannot be a Disciple without being disciplined. The more disciplined I become the more God can use me. Jesus said, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:27
So Jesus said to those who believed in Him, “If you obey my teaching you are my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
Attitudes of Disciples
1. They confess their sin to be open daily to hear God's Word. “So get rid of every filthy habit and all wicked conduct. Submit to God and accept the Word that He plants in your hearts, which is able to save you.” James1:21
2. They do not get so preoccupied with life’s problems and distractions that they do not hear God Word. “That is why we must hold on all the more firmly to the truths we have heard, so that we will not be carried away.” Hebrews 2:1
3. They are serious and act on what they hear and learn. They are not superficial.
“Do not deceive yourself by just listening to His word; instead, put it into practice.” James 1:22
“Do what I say and you will live. Be as careful to follow My teaching as you are to protect your eyes. Keep My teaching with you all the time; write it on your heart.” Proverbs 7:2-3
Disciples read the Word and Hear the Word