Spiritual maturity is mentioned by the Apostle Paul when he shares wisdom with the church of Corinth. He specified that he was only speaking to the mature (1 Corinthians 2:6). The word mature in Greek is ‘teleios’ (G5046) and means ‘completeness, of full age, man, and perfect’. The Lord, when speaking to His disciples, tells them that they shall be perfect, just as the Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48.) The word perfect is the same as the word mature, teleios, in Greek, thus being synonymous in meaning.
Spiritual maturity is achieved through becoming like Jesus Christ. Jesus was man and God in one, therefore, for us to become like Him we must have Christ within us. Christ is not simply Jesus’ last name; it is an office or title that He carries. Christ is translated to mean anointed or messiah.
Christ is translated to mean anointed or messiah.
The scriptures show us that one may be anointed by the Holy Spirit (1John 2:27). The Holy Spirit is the teacher and the counselor (John 14:26). He is sent to teach us and lead us to the Son and the Son to reveal the Father (Luke 10:21-22). According to the Apostle Paul, this is an ongoing process that will never end in this life. The Apostle Paul writes,
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).
Like Paul, we must press continually toward deeper knowledge of God, in Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:10 tells us God reveals deeper knowledge to us through His Spirit, who searches the deep things of God.
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
– 1 Corinthians 2:10
Spiritual maturity challenges a shift in the mind and everyday priorities, the change from pleasing self, to pleasing God. We must learn to obey and be transformed by the renewing of our mind. This is achieved through understanding the deep things of God with the help of the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:2). The Father in heaven is unchanging; He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He remains consistent, and we must embody this same type of consistency to change into who He is calling us to be.
The Apostle Paul writes that we should have the same mind that was also in Christ Jesus, who “did not consider it robbery to be equal with God” (Philippians 2:5-6). We must move onward to the path of perfection and godliness by persevering in the Word to draw near to God and become more like Him.
We must move onward to the path of perfection and godliness by persevering in the Word to draw near to God and become more like Him.
We are no longer to be made busy with the elementary things of this world (Hebrew 6:1). We are to be maturing and growing from babes in understanding to those who are mature. Paul writes, “Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature”. (1 Corinthians 14:20).
We do not lean upon our own understanding; it is only possible by the enabling of the Holy Spirit within us (Galatians 5:16). Being filled with the Spirit means we walk under the Spirit’s guidance, leading us to all truth (John 16:13). As we submit more and more to the Spirit, we will also see an increase in the 12 fruits of the Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:22; Hebrews 13:15; Ephesians 5:9). This is the characteristic of spiritual maturity, the fullness of the Father’s nature, otherwise known as the virtues of God. To conclude, I will present what the Apostle Peter writes about fruitfulness,
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (2 Peter 1:5-8).
1. Strong’s Bible Dictionary
2. All scripture references: New King James Version.
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Characteristics of Spiritual Maturity
Fruits of the Spirit
Mind of Christ