A growing Christian is a maturing Christian because spiritual maturity is becoming more like Jesus. Some Christians are saved but aren’t growing. We will never know true victory and joy unless we learn how to be growing Christians.
In 1 John 2, the Apostle John compares spiritual maturity to three stages in our physical lives.
“I write unto you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the Word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one” (1 John 2:14).
New Christians experience the thrilling wonders of spiritual childhood. They are “all tomorrows; no yesterdays.” However, children live in the realm of their feelings. They can be selfish and self-centered; uncooperative. We are only young once; but if we aren’t careful, we can be spiritually immature for a long time.
If we grow, we’ll experience the triumphant warfare of manhood. Abiding in the Word of God strengthens us for warfare. Obeying God and serving others transforms us into workers and warriors, equipped to combat the enemy.
Next comes the tested wisdom of fatherhood.
Adrian Rogers says, “When we spend time with someone, we become like that someone.”
Because we view God as our Father, the goal of spiritual maturity is to become spiritual fathers (and mothers). Mature Christians reproduce through soul-winning and discipleship.
What are the means of maturity?
- There must be the miracle of life; we must be saved.
- It takes time. There is no instant maturity; we experience growth through time spent with Jesus Christ.
- Growth requires nourishment; we have to feed on the Word of God.
- Growth demands discipline and exercise through serving God and others.
Remember: we don’t substitute fatherhood for young manhood, nor young manhood for childhood. In a father, there ought to be the vision and zeal of a young man. In a young man, there ought to be the wonder of childhood. All three stages are legitimate; a mature Christian is a composite of them all.
It takes life, time, nourishment, and exercise to grow.