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Text Sermons : Classic Christian Writings : Press On To Spiritual Maturity By Charles F. Woodard

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Why should a Christian strive for spiritual maturity or godliness? Believers need to grow in grace:

"But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen" (2 Peter 3:18).

It is time to stand firm in a shifting world. Members of the Body of Christ need to abound with the knowledge of how to please God:

"Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort [Greek --implore] you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more" (1 Thessalonians 4:1).

A Christian who walks or lives biblically pleases God. God’s call is to be holy and Christlike:

"But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written [in Leviticus 11:44] be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:15-16).

The word holy (Greek--hagios) refers to a condition of the believer. It means to be different or separated to God for His use. This condition of spiritual maturity or holiness is accomplished by the Holy Spirit:

"And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified [Greek--same word as holy], but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:11).

Sanctification, spiritual maturity, holiness, godliness, is an act of the Holy Spirit that becomes a lifelong process:

"And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self] which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remoulded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge, after the image [the likeness] of Him who created it" (Colossians 3:10 Amp.).

Spiritual maturity, holiness and godliness are the ultimate goal for a Christian. We as children of God have a part in this lifelong process:

"And every man that hath this hope [Greek--promise] in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure" (1 John 3:3).

Let us not depend on persons or means around us for growth to maturity, but let us as children of God take heed to ourselves as new persons in Christ, and continue to be renewed in spiritual knowledge. Let us see the awfulness of sin and its dreadful end.

Needed today is a personal holiness that results in a transformed life. Away with a synthetic gospel of noise, materialism, emphasis on feeling good, seeking prosperity, undue attention to healing of the physical body, (which will one day return to dust or join our Lord).

Spiritual maturity, holiness, sanctification and godliness are the evidence of resurrected and overcoming life:

"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess His name before My father, and before His angels" (Rev. 3:5).

"And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints" (Rev. 19:18).

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