“Immature Or Maturing?”

Posted: February 27, 2014 in Christian Life, Death, Hell, Pride, Salvation

                From the time of our new birth from above (John 3:3, 6), when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, by believing that He died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4), each believer finds himself at a certain state/level of spiritual maturity.  Some Christians are new babes in Christ; many are carnal and walking according to their sinful nature (1 Corinthians 3:1; Romans 8:5-8).  Carnal Christians are in danger of dying prematurely (1 John 5:16).  Yes, there is such a thing as “the sin unto death.”  And then there are those who are maturing spiritually (1 Corinthians 2:15; Romans 8:14).  These people actually please God (2 Corinthians 5:9).

                Prayer.  “The immature Christian prays that God will withhold pain and suffering, seeing these things as evil. The mark of a mature Christian is that he can look back on his life and see that God can take the pains and pressures of life and cause them to work together for good in his life and ultimately draw one near to Himself through them. The immature shun suffering. While the mature do not seek it, they come to savor it in the light of how beautifully God uses it to bring us into intimacy with Himself. When knowing God is the ultimate good, suffering is not too high a price to pay to obtain it:  [The Apostle Paul wrote]: ‘… that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; …’ (Philippians 3:10).”  Bob Deffinbaugh  “The View From The Graveyard” Genesis 48 Commentary

                Trials.  How do you handle them?  Do you count it all joy when they come into your life (James 1:2)?  Do you ever think of your adverse circumstances and abrasive people as those whom God can use to help conform you into Christ’s image (Romans 8:29)?  Like hammers, chisels, saws, and sandpaper, our trials can be used by God for His glory and our advantage.  The Apostle Paul wrote: “For I consider the sufferings of this present time and not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).  “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10).  Would you like to be instrumental in the deliverance of someone from hell to heaven?  There is the “Crown of Rejoicing” awaiting those who lead others to Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).

                Beyond.  On the other side of the grave the believer has the happy anticipation of spending eternity with God in heaven (John 14:1-3).  “And God will wipe away every tear from [the believer’s] eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away…But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:4, 8).

                Questions.  In which group will you be found?  It’s all based on one act of faith.  “He who believes in Him [the Lord Jesus Christ] is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God…He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him” (John 3:18, 36).  Would you like to enter God’s family?  If you’re already in it, do you act like a child of God?  If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?  Are you yielding to temptations that come from the devil, your own sin nature, or the present world system?  To live victoriously, we must know how to react to each of these enemies. 

                Victory.  The devil’s 14 identifiable temptations must be overcome by putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17).  The temptations that come from our own sin nature must be overcome by walking by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25), and the temptations from the present world system must be overcome by our refusal to love the devil’s world system (1 John 2:15-17) but at the same time using it without abusing it (1 Corinthians 7:31). 

                Sinless Perfection?  Not in this life.  God doesn’t want Christians to sin and has made it possible for us not to sin (act lawlessly), but He knows that we will sin periodically (1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 John 2:1; 3:9, 10).  When we do, we must be quick to confess our sins to God (1 John 1:9) and to those whom we offend (James 5:16).  If the person forgives you, ask him/her not to hold it against you as a club.  Let our forgiveness of others follow the example of God (Ephesians 4:31).

                Pass It On.  If this article has helped you, will you pass it on to someone else?  To receive these articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  Visit our website: www.kelseypeach.com for additional help and/or information.

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