Wednesday, January 11, 2012

5 Signs You Are a Mature Christian

I received this list from episode 822 on All other commentary is mine. Hope this helps your walk in your faith!

1. A mature believer has an appetite for meat.
The mature Christian has stopped drinking milk as a source of nourishment. (Hebrews 5:13). He is never comfortable in his/her faith and always desires to grow more spiritually even if it is slowly. (2 Peter 3:18) The mature Christians enjoys dissecting a verse word by word and loves to hear and read the Word. The meat-eating Christian no longer harbors jealousy, quarrels or finds his identity in anything of this world, but he/she has put those things away and has an identity that is found in Christ (I Corinthians 3:2-3; Galatians 2:20) A mature Christian knows how to defend his faith not just by the way he/she lives, but because he/she has studied God's Word profoundly (2 Timothy 2:15) He also knows to rely on the Holy Spirit when preaching, interpreting and/or teaching. (I Corinthians 2:13)

2. It is seldom that a mature believer feels offended.

Mature Christians aren't easily offended. If you call them a sinner, they know it and would probably say "and some." When someone sins against a mature Christian, that Christian's first instinct is to figure out how they can respond to the person that is offensive in a way to communicate Jesus' love for them. Paul tells us that there is no more condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) and a mature Christian understands that, and doesn't worry about what man does to him or says about him. (Hebrews 13:6; Psalm 118:6; Luke 12:5) This Christian turns to prayer when they are emotionally or verbally hurt by another, not  resorting to the same behavior as the offender. (Psalm 109:4)  And most importantly a mature Christian understands that offenses can be used for the glory of God to expose their own weaknesses providing the Christian a way to rest in God's power (2 Corinthians 12:9) and turn something man used for evil and use it for good (Genesis 50:20)

3. A mature Christian has a conscience informed by scripture, not opinions.
The mature Christian bases his opinions and advice on scripture. He exhorts in love (I Thessalonians 5:11) and in order (I Corinthians 14:40), not ruled by his bias, feelings or emotions. When he/she needs to make a decision, they turn first to prayer or scripture. Decision-making prayer is usually lead to scripture by the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). This is why the mature Christian understands the importance of Scripture memorization. (2 Timothy 3:16; Psalm 119:11)

4. A mature Christian is humbly surprised when God uses him/her in ministry. 
A mature Christian understands that nothing they do or say is of themselves.(Jeremiah 9:23) They are honestly surprised if anything turns out right in their ministry. They know that they are faulty and sinful and dispensable and without the guidance of the Holy Spirit everything they would do, would be a "hot mess" (Isaiah 64:6). They draw their strength not from will power but from God who is their strength. (Isaiah 41:30) A mature Christian doesn't solely depend on odds, statistics, trends or numbers; but trusts that God will use even a broken man/woman for His glory. (Psalm 20:7) And the mature Christian understands that God loves using the underdog, the weak, the lowly, and the foolish things of this world in original and unique ways.( I Corinthians 1:27) (See also the life of Moses, Jesus, Gideon, Jacob, Hagar, children, the tiny mustard seed, the Samaritan woman, the leper, the tax-collector, fishermen, and the list goes on and on and praise the Lord it includes sinners like us!)

5. A tendency to give credit for spiritual growth to God, not people. 
This sign goes along with the previous sign.

You get it. You understand that you are holier now than you were a year ago not because of anything you did, but because of God working in you. You are less sinful, less agitated and more holy not because of some medicine your taking or some twelve step program, but because God is working in you.(I Thessalonians 4:1-12) And you understand that you are a work in progress. (Philippians 1:6) This makes you love the Gospel even more, because while you are still a sinner, Jesus still chose to die for you! (Romans 5:8) And because you understand the incredible show of love of God through Jesus' death on the cross, you never get tired of hearing the Gospel. (John 3:16) The mature Christian knows that without God in his/her life, they would be unrecognizable. (Romans 12:2, Galatians 2:20)