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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”

A mature person is a person who has grown up spiritually. He/she is no longer a baby (cf. 1 Cor 2:6; 14:20; Heb. 5:13-14).

We all know aged Christians who think like children and act like children. We have heard the expression “dumb but happy.” There are people who have been Christians for 25 years and they still think like children. Why? They are ignorant of how Christianity applies to their life situations. This characterizes Christianity at the end of the 20th century. So many Christians today think and act like children. The church is full of children attempting to think and act like adults. They are dumb but happy.

Every Christian should “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18) immediately from the point of conversion. Grace, simply put, is God’s provision for our spiritual needs. Grace also connotes that God gives with no strings attached. Grace means we orient to what God does for us, not what we do for Him.

Many people stay in the crib of the Christian life for nearly all their Christian experience. A person can live the Spirit-filled life and may persist in immaturity. Spirituality is not the same as maturity. Spirituality is an absolute–either we are in fellowship with God or we are not. Maturity is relative–it is a matter of degree to which we appropriate God’s truth. Growth in the Christian life is a process from babyhood to adolescence and to maturity. At maturity an orientation to the upward call takes effect.

A baby will not constantly and regularly orient to the upward call (v.14). Occasionally he may think of the upward call. The upward call is an isolated thought from time to time. An attitude is life orientation to the upward call. This is the challenge of the next phrase:” have this in mind [attitude].”

PRINCIPLE: 

Maturity is growth in God’s grace to the point where an orientation to the upward call takes place.

APPLICATION: 

A good indication whether we are mature in Christ is our orientation to the upward call. The upward call is the life orientation towards living for and meeting our Lord. Are you mature in your life orientation?

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