What does spiritual maturity look like?
Ephesians 4:11-15 It was He who “gave gifts to people”; He appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers. 12 He did this to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. 13 And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature. 14 Then we shall no longer be children, carried by the waves and blown about by every shifting wind of the teaching of deceitful people, who lead others into error by the tricks they invent. 15 Instead, by speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow up in every way to Christ, who is the head. (GNT)
1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, (NKJ)
Hebrews 5:11-14 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain, because you are dull of hearing. 12 Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to reteach you the basic principles of God’s Word. You need milk, not solid food! 13 For everyone who lives on milk is still an infant, inexperienced in the message of righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained their senses to distinguish good from evil. (Berean)
Inexperienced and unqualified; their spiritual diet deprives them of reaching further for more of God and His Word. Because of their limited spiritual diet, they lack the ability to know the difference between what is helpful or harmful to their souls. So, what is the difference between meat and milk?
John 4:32-34 But Jesus said to them, “I have meat to eat that you know not of.” 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, “Has any man brought Him ought to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.” (NKJ)
Milk is the Word. Meat is doing what it says.
1 Corinthians 3:1-3 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? (NKJ)
John 16:12-14 Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore, I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (NKJ)
John 15:1-16 Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. 2 He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. 5 I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers. Such branches are gathered up, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, proving yourselves to be My disciples. 9 As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Remain in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11 I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything I have learned from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will remain—so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. (Berean)
Isaiah 28:9-13 They complain about me. They say, “Who does that man think he’s teaching? Who needs his message? It’s only good for babies that have just stopped nursing! 10 He is trying to teach us letter by letter, line by line, lesson by lesson.” 11 If you won’t listen to me, then God will use foreigners speaking some strange-sounding language to teach you a lesson. 12 He offered rest and comfort to all of you, but you refused to listen to Him. 13 That is why the Lord is going to teach you letter by letter, line by line, lesson by lesson. Then you will stumble with every step you take. You will be wounded, trapped, and taken prisoner. (GNT)
Don’t remain on the same spiritual plateau – complacent and satisfied. Spiritual babes fail to realize that with advanced revelation and understanding of His Word and His Ways come more opportunities to be used by Him.