There are many characteristics that go along with maturity in the Christian faith. One that is very important is discernment. When Paul wrote the first of his Middle Letters from prison, he wanted to establish and unify believers in the eternal plan of God in Christ. The foundation of this unity is the pure gospel of grace. Maturity is the result of building on this foundation.
“Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:13–14).
The writer of Hebrews links maturity and discernment; “everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:13–14). If you link together all the ideas I have underlined, we see the proper path toward being able to discern. Why is this so important. From the beginning of the Church right up to our day, she has been plagued with false teachers and teaching contrary to Scripture. This will not happen if “we all attain to the unity of the faith…to mature manhood” and let solid food given by the Spirit empower us to discern, and then practice what we have learned from Him.
Can you imagine what the Church would accomplish if this was the united objective of every church? Divisions, gossip, and personal agendas would cease. In their place, the gospel would spread with lightning speed to every unreached people group. Programs would be replaced with the power of the Spirit, and the Church would make herself ready for the return her Bridegroom! What are you promoting in your church?
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