Building Spiritual Maturity
1 Corinthians 2:13-14
When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.
What does Paul mean by ‘Those who are Spiritual’?
He is talking about levels and degrees of spiritual maturity / mature discipleship
We can be saved and not be ‘Spiritual’, because we are immature
We all start out immature; physically, emotionally, socially, relationally…
We grow up and out of immaturity, we are made to become mature in every way, including spiritually.
But the key is that if you think you are mature you will be immature.
How do we become ‘Spiritually Mature’? We have to build it…it is a process
It is on the foundation of Christ that we build our ‘Spiritual Maturity’ (Discipleship)
The things that exemplify Christ; what we must intend to build in our hearts & lives
- Humility / Sacrifice / Obedience / Holiness / Selflessness
Did you think to follow Christ was about only doing stuff you liked doing?
Spiritual Maturity results in eternal impact, Mature disciples of Christ change things
What we do with our salvation is almost as important as our salvation itself.
Paul is encouraging The Corinthians to grow up so they can build kingdom things
There is no such things as ‘Microwave Maturity’ it takes time to grow in Christ
1 Corinthians 3:1-15
Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger.
- As he had just explained, only the ‘Spiritual’ understand God’s love in Christ
- Belonging to the world in areas of your life will keep you spiritually immature
- Being an infant is ok if you are 6 months old…
- Our quest to build ‘Spiritual Maturity’ needs to follow the natural order.
- If you haven’t had the milk (made it your reality) you wont understand solid food
- The process of discipleship is not on our terms (be sure to finish the milk)
- Paul had to feed them, spiritually mature people feed themselves (normal deal)
And you still aren’t ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?
- It is obvious that enough time has passed for them to be ready…
- They’re not ready because they are still being controlled by their flesh
- Big difference between being influenced by your flesh & being controlled by it
- He sites the agitation and side taking around different leaders (political focus)
After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.
- Who are leaders meant to be in Christ’s Kingdom? Last is first / first is last
- Leaders in Christs kingdom just do the work given to them by God
- Leaders aren’t our focus, if we want to be mature; Christ is to be our focus
- It is God working in our lives that makes us mature. Leaders are not the source
The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.
- Building Spiritual Maturity can only be done God’s way, by His power
- If we do it God’s way it has ‘Eternal Value’; God rewards us for building maturity
- This is God’s process, maturity comes for trusting Him & then giving Him credit
Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.
- God gives us leaders to lay foundations in our lives, we build on what they start
- He was an expert because he only built on the foundation of Christ Jesus
- We need to be as careful as He was, we use ‘Biblical Theology & ‘Christology’
- Spiritual Maturity doesn’t happen by mistake, be real about your commitment
Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.
- All who are trying to build their life on Christ are capable of variations of work
- Different materials represent what we form our life around: Eternal or Temporal
- We can love Christ , follow Christ and still build worthless things into our lives
- The Judgement Day Paul is talking about is what is known as the Bema
- The Judgement Seat of Christ / Judgement of the saved
2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
- 1st Judgement: Is your name in the book of Life (Rev 20)
- The Saved will be will be judged on what they built that was of eternal value
- Building Christ’s Kingdom is what is of eternal value, the by-product of maturity
If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
- If what you have done with your life since salvation is of eternal value: Reward
- Our post salvation lives are judged based on what we built (eternal or temporal)
- Discovering we wasted our lives on things will be painful
- You will still be in heaven (Saved) but will miss out on amazing rewards…
We can choose to be who God wants us to be and use our life in Christ to build eternal things from a growing spiritual maturity in Christ.
We can also choose to be captivated by and focused on this world, building worthless things that will pass aways.
I want to encourage you today to choose Spiritual Maturity as your goal as a disciple and building things of eternal value that you can invest your life in (people)
Can you identify areas in your life where you are an infant in Christ?
What personal practices or habits have helped you become more mature spiritually?
In what ways can you trust God with your maturity building?
How do you plan to faithfully build on the foundation of Christ?
What can you build that will have value / survive the judgment? (Bema Seat)