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Christian Maturity

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

A believer has been given wisdom by God so that they may know the things of God and apply it to their lives (1 Cor. 2:10, 13). But even though they (believers who have been given God’s wisdom) are called to maturity, at times they act worldly, under the control of the world and the flesh (cf. the Corinthian believers whose actions were antithetical to those given God’s wisdom; 1 Cor. 3:3-4). Keep in mind, “while all believers are alive in the spirit, not all believers’ actions and attitudes conform to the status of being alive in the Spirit (Samra, p. 66). Seeing that believers are no longer slaves to sin and are now “sons” because “God sent his Spirit within our hearts” (Gal. 4:6), it is expected that they should live in freedom, to walk in their new status, not enslavement to the law, the world, nor the enemy.

With Christ as the standard for maturity, the apostle Paul defines maturity as “displaying attitudes and actions befitting the kingdom of God” (Samra, p.59). The range of meaning for Paul’s use of the word τελείοις/ teleiois/ mature includes “complete, blameless, righteous, fully developed, fully devoted to God, holy, and without defect” (Samra, p. 61). Essentially, to be mature means to be conformed to Christ’s image(Rom. 12:2. My personal favorite is the use of teleiois in 1 Cor. 14:20 – “Stop being children in your thinkingBe teleiois!” (paraphrased). Believers in community become teleiois when they gain a proper perspective of their standing and identity in the kingdom of God.

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