What is spiritual maturity?
Spiritual is our eternal nature. And maturity means being “fully grown,” or “having reached the most advanced stage in a process.”
So we can define spiritual maturity as becoming fully grown in our spirit.
That’s great—but how do we measure “fully grown”?
A great place to look is in today’s verse.
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
Colossians 1:28 ESV
Paul defines the measure of “fully grown” as Jesus himself.
He wrote this letter to a young church in Colosse. They were in the early stages of their spiritual maturity, so Paul packed Colossians with layers of profound truths. Scholar N.T. Wright describes Colossians as a blooming flower.
So, where does this blooming-flower of a book, focused on growing these young Christian’s spiritual maturity begin?
Paul begins their journey with prayer. His prayer for them in Colossians 1:9–10 reads like this:
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
The Path to Spiritual Maturity
Let’s look carefully at Paul’s prayer and apply to our lives today. I see at least five points we can draw out.
- They were prayed for continually.
- They were filled with the knowledge of God’s will.
- They received spiritual wisdom and understanding.
- They got this knowledge, wisdom, and understanding for their spiritual walk.
- The aim of their spiritual walk is to be pleasing to God, bear fruit, and know God more deeply.
To recap: spiritual maturity is how much we become like Jesus. And it puts us in three postures.
- Upward: Do we pray for others?
- Outward: Do we desire others to be filled with spiritual wisdom and live like Jesus?
- Inward: Do we bear fruit in good works and become more like Jesus every day?
Spiritual maturity is a lifelong process. No matter where we are—we can always become more fully like Jesus. Do you take an upward, outward, and inward posture of spiritual maturity?