To The Degree

maturity in our faith

To the Degree

15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule,[b] let us be of the same mind.

  1. Maturity is the expectation
  • Pauls expectation to the Philippian church is that they would “have this mind” and he prefaces this by saying “as many as are mature”
  • I’m sure Paul knew that within the Philippian church that some were mature and some not
  • The mind that he wanted them to have? All we’ve been talking about- Forgetting what is behind, pressing forward, Counting all things as loss, beware the dogs, the supremacy of Christ
  • “as many as are mature” Paul knew that in a church, everyone is growing- if there are new converts, the expectation isn’t as great as on those who are mature
  • Pauls expectation was that the mature in the church should lead the charge in the renewal of the mind
  • 1 Corinthians 14:20 Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.
  • In that verse Paul says you should be mature in your understanding but childish in your sin
  • 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
  • Throughout Pauls letters he always encouraged maturity in Faith- moving forward- growing
  • What does it mean to you?
To The Degree prayer
  • Grow up! Quit pretending that you haven’t been serving God longer than a weekend and grow
  • Sure, maybe you’ve only been serving God a short while, and that’s great- but your spiritual life should be progressing as you live longer in the Lord
  • READ Hebrews 6:1-3Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection
  • The Bible is constantly prodding us to move closer to Jesus and away from the basics
  • The problem that many people have is that they can’t ever move past the basics
  • Still going around the same mountains dealing with the same things
  • Still struggling with addiction, marital problems, money problems, relationship problems,
  • AND- They are Christians- followers of Christ- and still can’t move past basic doctrines of the Christian faith- Still wanting to split hairs about stuff that was decided long ago
  • I get it- You’ve got to study it out and be convinced by the word yourself
  • But there has to be a point where you settle it in your mind and MOVE ON
  • Why don’t most people mature?
  • They’re afraid of what maturity looks like
    Concerned that they may be ‘found out’ and someone may actually know them
  • Fearful of their inability to achieve
  • Maturity in the Christian life is possible through the WORD and the HOLY SPIRIT its not on YOU
  • But you’ve got to show up if you want to grow up!
  • Crystal and I go to the gym- I like to talk- she likes to sweat- but even a bad workout is still a workout
  • Ephesians 4:14-15 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
To The Degree marriage
  1. Listen to the Holy Spirit
  • Here’s the deal- as a follower of Christ- you never stop growing- ever
  • “ have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you”
  • Paul knew that people are people- even back then I’m sure there was a defiant young man who said “I’m not going along” so paul says “God will tell you, don’t worry”
  • Pauls confidence in God’s ability to reveal truth to his followers is a constant
  • This ability of God to change the mind of a believer is a gospel truth
  • John 16:13 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.
  • This is why I often wonder if someone even knows Jesus if they are not in the truth
  • Sure, we have small things that we may differ on, but there’s some big rocks that need to be in place if you are a Christian- and most of those convictions come from God
  • The Holy Spirit is a much better convincer than you and I could ever be
  • Let me say this though- You must be a Christian for this truth-
  • 1 John 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
  • An abiding relationship with Jesus Christ is the only sure plan to stay in the truth
  • The Holy Spirit will reveal truth but it will ALWAYS line up with GOD’S WORD
To The Degree preaching
  • What does it mean to you
  • IF you don’t feel like you’re where you need to be spiritually, trust that God is working in your life – get as close as possible to his word and the Holy Spirit and trust that God is working
  • I wasn’t raised to believe the Bible or to hold to Biblical convictions
  • But when I read the Bible, the Bible changed me and I am bound by its convictions that the HS has impressed on my life
  • your flesh is evil- its OK with Sexual immorality, drunkenness, murder, thievery, lust, anger, etc
  • But your MIND has been renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit and detests those things
  • Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
  • You must have your mind renewed if you’re going to mature in Christ- you can’t think like you did  “God will reveal even this to you”
  • This is why when people say “God told me” and its unscriptural, I’m like- no he didn’t
  • I’m not God- far from it- But I’m insufferable in some areas- Todd and I work together long enough- he knows what I like and what I don’t like- Spend time with someone you know
  • Run in the direction towards the will of God and you can’t go wrong
  • 2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
To The Degree Baby and Mom
  • Incremental growth
  • Earlier Paul said “not that have already attained all of this” and that’s important
  • The expectation of Paul is the expectation of Jesus- Coming to Jesus is a one-time all effective event The process of becoming like him is a lifelong endeavor that we will never end until death
  • “to the degree that we have already attained”
  • Some people aren’t where they need to be, but they aren’t where they used to be and know more than nothing
  • This idea that you can’t be used by God until you’re perfect doesn’t hold water
  • Walk out your faith where its at today- whatever level of faith that you may have walk it
  • BUT Be careful to try to influence and teach others if you’re not where you need to be
  • Witness what you DO know- and when you don’t know? Say I DON’T KNOW
  • Always take the side of the word even if your flesh doesn’t agree with it
  • 2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
  • If you’re growing in the grace of God- you’re growing and that’s a good thing
  • Spend more time in the presence of the Lord and allow him to grow you-
  • When Paul wrote to Timothy, he challenged him to grow in the Lord and then admonished him-
  • 1 tim 4:15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
maturity in our faith
  • We must give ourselves entirely to the things of God if we expect to grow in them
  • What does it mean to you-
  • You’re somewhere on your walk with God- walk it out- don’t think you can’t be used by God
  • There is a degree that you have already attained and you need to walk in it.
  • You may not be where you need to be, but praise God you’re not where you used to be
  • Often times people are afraid to step out in faith or to walk out their faith because they feel like they aren’t where they need to be
  • To the degree that you have attained
  • Can you serve people? Can you help people? Can you love people? Can you serve the church?
  • Don’t think about what you can’t do- think about what you CAN do
maturity in our faith
  1. Unity is the key
  • Unity is really big to Paul- Not just in this scripture- but in many scriptures- he encourages the unity of the Saints
  • He says here- “be of the same mind”
  • Paul knew what each of us know intrinsically- little disagreements can turn into big problems if you let them
  • When Paul says “Be of the same mind” its in light of
  • Those who are mature– The mature saints must display unity to the less mature
  • To the degree- Whatever you know at this point- know that unity is key
  • God will reveal– Trusting that we’ll all get there together- God may have worked on you faster
  • He said it before- Philippians 2:2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
  • 1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous
  • The Bible repeatedly calls for unity among the Brethren so that God may accomplish his work through us
  • God knows that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand- it will not work
  • So for the sake of the mission- the greater good must be more important than the individual
To The Degree Mom and Kids
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Have Unity with your Christian Brothers and Sisters!
  • When the opportunity for division arises- focus on UNITY and RECONCILIATION
  • 2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you
  • We can’t be of ‘one mind’ if we all are arguing and competing and fighting with each other
  • Let me say this- this isn’t really a problem in our church- I believe that we do have unity and that we do get along- People that come here with personal agendas don’t last long
  • But the time to talk about it is now because that’s the scripture where we’re at
  • It would be very easy to allow the evil one to creep in and misdirect our church and destroy us
  • Talking to NFL player this week “surprised at how little I get to know my team”
  • What we’re doing here is pretty simple
  • Get people saved- make disciples
  • Worship God- fellowship with the Saints
  • Serve God by serving and loving people
  • Protect the church and await his return!
  • Pretty simple stuff! Focus on the Big rocks- Jesus crucified, Bible only, Sin forgiven, lives changed
  • Romans 15:6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • That we could live out that verse!
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