Spiritual Maturity

Paul told the church at Ephesus that the pastor is for the perfecting or maturing of the saints, for the edifying or building up of the body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-12). I see at least three main things in Ephesians 4 that reveal that a church is growing in spiritual maturity. First, the church must be Christ-Centered. The pastor is to continually seek to set Christ before the people. His desire should be that they grow in their knowledge of the Son of God (v13). The immature pastor will get caught up in rules and legalism and omit the person and pursuit of Christ. Let all of us pastors seek to be more Christ-Centered in our teaching. Secondly, the church must be grounded in truth. If the pastor wants the church to be mature in the faith then he must diligently seek to have them know sound, biblical doctrine (v14). This spiritual maturity will protect the people of God from deceptive teachings. Thirdly, the church must encourage one another in love. Paul speaks of the body building itself up in love. For the church to grow, the pastor must seek to put Christ continually before the people, proclaim the truth of God’s word and love them. The church helps the spiritual growth of the body when they build one another up by loving one another like Christ loves them. May the Lord help us all to encourage spiritual maturity so that we may grow more into the image of Christ our Lord.