Spiritual maturity is something that should be a priority for every Christian. It’s important in our lives for how we serve God, interact with other people, and take care of our families.
As we get into our topic, I invite you to take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to open your understanding of His word and will. It is the Holy Spirit that reveals the word of God to us.
What Is Spiritual Maturity According to the Bible?
Many people claim to be Christians, but there is a difference between being a fan of Jesus and a follower of Jesus.
Our spiritual maturity can define what side of the fence we are on. To be a follower of Jesus is to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow him. “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’” (Mark 8:34).
Let’s take a moment to reflect on the past. Do you remember where the Lord met you? More than likely, he met you in your mess. God is so good that he pushes beyond the barriers of the world’s rejection to meet his lost sheep.
Here is one thing we must understand. Though God meets us in our mess and accepts us as we are, he does not want us to stay that way.
Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God (Hebrews 6:1).
God’s plan is for us to move beyond the elementary teachings and to grow more into the image of Jesus Christ. This is what spiritual maturity is — for all our characteristics to be more like Jesus in every way.
Why Is Spiritual Maturity Important?
The Bible describes new believers as feeding on “milk.” We need to come to a point where we are no longer “spiritual babies” but mature into “spiritual adults” (1 Corinthians 3:2).
We need to grow into eating “solid food” and not only feed ourselves but feed others as well. The most important reason to mature would be for our lives to reflect the nature of Jesus Christ.
There are also many other reasons for maturing such as:
- Being able to lead our families like Jesus
- Disciple other believers
- Being equipped for every good work
- To see the kingdom of God
Let’s look at what the Bible says.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:21-25).
Only a person who is constantly matured by God can effectively lead and serve the family in this way.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:16-20).
So that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17).
To be equipped for every good work and make disciples, we need to have knowledge of God’s Word, how to apply it and teach it. This is something that comes as a result of us growing in the Lord.
Spiritual maturity is an expected result when we are born again. It is important because we are not called to remain the same person we once were.
If we compare this scripture along with Mark 8:34 from earlier, we will see that in order for us to see the kingdom of God, we will need to do two things: Be born again and carry our cross and follow Jesus.
What this combination does is lead us into a new Christ-centered life. When you are born again, the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling in you and changes you to be more like Jesus.
It is a process known as regeneration. The Holy Spirit is removing the residue of the world and sin and making you new in Christ.
Carrying our cross to follow Jesus is putting away the old self with its sinful desires and being obedient to him. Spiritual maturity puts importance on living holy.
It is important to maintain this lifestyle because Jesus says without being born again, we will not see the kingdom of God. This is the beginning of spiritual maturity.
Our maturity is a reflection of our relationship with God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).
If we are not maturing in our relationship with God, we cannot bear fruit of the Spirit. Our maturity also helps us grow in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.
The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction (Proverbs 16:21).
How to Achieve Spiritual Maturity
I want to leave you with steps you can take to mature spiritually. These very steps will guarantee spiritual growth when applied.
First, we must build a life of prayer and worship. Intimacy is what God is looking for and this is how the Holy Spirit will fill you. “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always” (1 Chronicles 16:11).
We also must be reading our Bibles and applying it to our everyday lives.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it — not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do (James 1:22-25).
Last, we need to also congregate with a spirit-filled church family.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Growing spiritually requires growing in prayer, worship, and knowledge of the Bible. Most importantly, to mature spiritually means to grow in faith and repentance.
I want to make it a point that spiritual maturity is a process. The grace of the Lord Jesus allows us to grow in our faith and the more we do, the more we will look like Jesus.
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Justin Torres is the founder of unlockingscripture.com. He is a dedicated teacher of God's Word with a passion for spiritual growth in the body of Christ. His passion for Bible studies has led him to author his book Child Of The Most High and many online articles. Justin and his wife have one son, and both serve in King of Glory Ministries in South Florida where they live.