Thursday, January 22, 2015
Discernment and Maturity
"until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming" (Ephesians 4:13-14 NASB).
One of the distinguishing marks of Christian maturity is discernment. If you are a Christian you must grow in discernment. If you are not discerning at all then you are immature or worse. Consequently, it is an inexorable spiritual law for the Christian to move from infancy to childhood to adulthood (i.e. spiritually). Discernment comes from a person's commitment to sound doctrine from the Living Word of God. The mature man possess the ability to detect false doctrine, false brethren and whether or not another is trying to deceive them (cf. Eph 4:14 c-e). This is the path to maturity. What is more, the writer to the Hebrews explains how maturity is measured by a persons discernment and how discernment is developed in a person when he writes, "But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14).
Therefore, biblical maturity is not measured by how much life experience one has (i.e. 20 yrs of life experience or 50 yrs of life experience; everyone has life experiences). Likewise, biblical maturity is not measured by one's previous success (cf. Philippians 3:13-15 ESV), or how much education one has, or one's monetary- socioeconomic status etc etc. Rather the Word of God says that the discerning man is the mature man and the ultimate standard of maturity is Christ (i.e. the Living Word of God) revealed by the written word of God... "until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:13 NASB).
-(Eric Powers), BCRI