Christianity was supposed to be about becoming like Jesus. We went in the wrong direction.
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Chapter 22 - Christian Maturity

The bible describes those who have not grown in their faith and describes them as negligent.

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? - 1 Corinthians 3:1-3

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. - Hebrews 5:11-14

Paul tells the Corinthians that carnality (the influence of the flesh) is an indicator of their lack of maturity. We are supposed to take advantage of the life of Christ in us.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20

Paul was concerned about the Galatians who were being diverted to attempt to follow the law (the flesh) such that he considered the possibility that they had not even achieved Christian infancy.

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, - Galatians 4:19

We can see in the contrast between the Spirit and the flesh an indication of levels of Christian maturity.

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. - Galatians 5:16-17

One indicator of Christian maturity can be seen in whether a Christian is being fed the word of God through his church or if he is able to feed himself. The purpose of the Church was to prepare a Christian to reach maturity, not keep him in perpetual infancy.

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: - Ephesians 4:11-13

We can be driven to seek Christian relationships to satisfy a longing we have. This is more common among less mature Christians. The more mature Christian seeks relationships through which he can minister to others. This taking in versus giving out is also reflective of the difference between the flesh and the Spirit.

We can consider Jesus as the example and object of our of maturity. As we become more like Jesus, we mature and seek less and less for ourselves and increasingly more for the good of others.

And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. - 2 Corinthians 5:15


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