Spiritual maturity is God’s primary goal for our lives. It is the work of God as He actively and progressively transforms us into the image of Christ.
God is far more concerned about changing us than He is about changing our circumstances.
And God’s changes are thorough—affecting every aspect of our being—our thoughts, attitudes, values and actions. Spiritual growth involves a deep transformation of our character that is sometimes painful (Hebrews 12:1-11).
A maturing Christian is one who is continually pursuing God’s will. This is growth process that will involve his intellect (as he uses his mind to explore God’s truth), his will (as he increasingly yields to God’s authority), and his emotions (as he cultivates godly affections).
A Christian can only grow in Christlikeness by God’s grace (I Peter 5:6; II Peter 3:18); not by human strength disconnected from God’s work in us (Philippians 2:12-13).
This means that gospel-centered humility must always be the basis for spiritual transformation. The gospel reminds us that God’s love reaches us based on His mercy and grace (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7).
The process of spiritual maturity cultivates godly humility and the rejection of self-righteousness legalism.
“For the Christian, the path of connectedness to God involves the development of a Christlike mind, will, affections (or emotions), character, relationships and actions. When any of these capacities is undernourished, our spiritual growth will be stunted” (Bruce Demarest, Satisfy Your Soul: Restoring the Heart of Christian Spirituality).
Five resources for spiritual maturity
- God’s Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-21; Galatians 5:16-17, 22-23)
- God’s People (Hebrews 3:13-14;13:17; Ephesians 4:11-16)
- God’s Word (Hebrews 4:12; I Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:21-25; I Peter 1:23;2:1)
- God’s throne (Hebrews 4:16; Colossians 4:12; James 4:8; I Peter 5:7-8)
- God’s discipline (Hebrews 12:1-11; James 1:2-5; I Peter 1:6-8)