Growing up is a funny thing. Every time I think I have grown up, I realise there is more growing to do. That is the reality of Christian maturity. We are mature in Christ but there is always more maturing to do. And who wouldn’t want to be more mature when it is all about going deeper into Christ and becoming more like Him?
When I went to junior school, I thought I was really grown up. I would no longer have milk in a little bottle or throw my toys out of the pram. Now I would chew my food and sort out my quarrels and squabbles. Years later, when I went back to visit the school, I realised how small I was back then: I couldn’t even fit into the seats as they were so tiny. I had thought I was mature but I was only a child.
I wonder, are you mature? Spiritually mature?
The answer to that question may be a little more nuanced than you think. You see, the Bible says that all Christians are mature but that sometimes we can also be immature.
All Christians are mature
In 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 Paul explains how all Christians are mature in that they have all received a message of wisdom. What is that wisdom? The message of the gospel. It seems foolish and weak to the world, but to those who trust in it, it is the power of God for salvation. Paul is teaching the Corinthians that, whilst the message of the cross may seem inferior and lesser than the ‘wise’ philosophies of the day, it is actually true wisdom. Therefore, Christians, those who trust in the gospel, are mature compared to the most impressive minds in the world. For we have the mind of Christ.
This maturity is an incredibly humbling one as it is a revealed wisdom, a gift of God. We need to be clear, this maturity in the wisdom of the gospel ‘never means “intellectual.” It always means someone under the influence of the Holy Spirit’ (Charles Hodge). That is, the revelation of the Spirit in the Bible. Moreover, it is an awesomely inviting wisdom as ‘the Spirit opens up entire vistas of understanding that would otherwise remain opaque to us’ (Don Carson). The Spirit investigated the deep things of God, inspired the Bible writers to record them and now illuminates our hearts to receive them.
So, are you mature? If you are a Christian, compared to the world, yes.