FIVE STEPS TO SPIRITUAL MATURITY (part 2)
In part 1 we discussed five Greek words that are used in the NT to describe the spiritual maturity of natural children. Then we compared them with how these stages of life might be seen to describe the steps of spiritual maturity in followers of Jesus. We all start out as "newborn babes" when we are converted to faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. As "infants" we all require constant care for the first few months, or even years. Then as we progress to the "toddler" stage we start doing things for ourselves, and gradually become more independent from our parents. Then when we enter the third stage we called "learning", from kindergarten through university we should be finding our place in society, and in the Christian community. We are expected to become "mature" believers by around 30 years of age, when a Jewish young man could become a member in the Sanhedrin, and the age that Jesus started His public ministry. Then our maturity level should progress to becoming an elder among the people, and eventually qualify for the position of "ambassador". This final stage of maturity gives us the right and responsibility of representing the Kingdom of God on earth! This is the way this process should work, but unfortunately for various reasons, it seldom does.
In part 1 we listed scripture passages that explain why people don't mature properly in their spiritual journey. There are really many reasons, and behind them all we have an evil adversary who hates God, and does everything in his power to prevent God's children from advancing in their spiritual lives. Satan has infiltrated the church and society in such a way, by the use of deception, that the church is more or less helpless to deliver people from their bondages. How can a church that has allowed the world system to influence its members into doing the same things they do, expect to see them advance spiritually, and extend the Kingdom of God? Somehow there needs to be a mighty move of the Holy Spirit, bringing people to repentance for their sinful life styles, like we read about in former days. People have to grow up, and become mature followers of Jesus, and not follow every exciting new teaching that comes along. Many of these teachings are false "Doctrines of demons" (1 Tim 4: 1-2), and (2 Tim 3:1-5). Remember the warnings given to us by Jesus in (Matt 24: 4, 5, 11, 24) and by Paul in
(2 Cor 11:12-15)! With warnings like these in the scriptures to guide us, we sure need spiritual maturity and discernment to survive these last days!