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Read Introduction to Philippians

 

“Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.”

 

“as many as are mature”

Maturity does not come from logging in numerous years as a Christian. There are Christians who have known Christ for many years and they are still spiritual babies. It is possible to register substantial time in the Christian life without it meaning a thing except that person is getting old.

Many people offend easily. They wear their feelings on their sleeves—still obviously babies. They do not understand the principles of God’s Word or how to apply them. Maturity is maximum application of truth to experience. If we apply God’s truth regularly to our sin and failure, we will grow. If Christ becomes the center of our choices for living, we mature.

Maturity comes from two areas:

Growth in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (the truth of the Word).

Application of truth.

The application of what you know about God makes the difference. Two people can know the same amount of the Word. One applies 1% of what he knows and the other applies 90%. The one who applies 90% will grow; the other will lie dormant. The one who applies 1% remains in babyhood. Others who occasionally apply truth to experience may reach adolescence. The believer who regularly applies truth to experience will move rapidly toward maturity.

Another characteristic of maturity is the faith factor. This is the course whereby we chose to believe the principles of God’s Word. We believe that the Word can change our lives. We believe that the principle we learn from Scripture is relevant to the situation we face.

A maximum utilization of faith in God’s Word produces maximum growth. The conditions to that are:

We have a knowledge of the principles of the Word for that situation, and

We are exercising regular application of those principles to our life situations.

Faith relates to our confidence in God and His Word to alter our lives. Faith is the central issue in application. The reason we do not apply is that we do not believe God’s Word contains the answer for our problem. We believe we control the answer. We are of the opinion that by some system of operation bootstraps we can solve our problems.

A mature believer is also one who has mutually exclusive confidence in God’s provisions in His Word. Many hold a great deal of confidence in money. Others believe status symbols bestow happiness, such as a house or bank account. Security depends upon whether “I get my stipend every week from the government.” All these trifle with the maturity process.

PRINCIPLE: 

Faith in God’s Word is central to the maturity process.

APPLICATION: 

If we believe that God’s Word holds the power to change us, we will utilize it in our daily experience. Does your lack of appropriation of God’s principles to experience indicate lack of trust in the Word?

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