Saturday, September 22, 2012

Christian maturity in 1 Corinthians

I'm thinking about what it means to be 'mature' in the faith. I've got my own ideas, but before I get too committed to them, I thought it might be worth... like... reading the bible to find out what Paul would say.

So tonight I've read the book of 1 Corinthians through the lens of 'What does a mature Christian look like?'

Here's my findings. In a list.

Mature Christians from 1 Corinthians - long form

1. Mature Christians work hard to maintain unity in the church. 

2. Mature Christians boast in the Lord. The things that the world values: education, intelligence, wealth, human competence, strength, appearance, attractiveness, body shape, personality... are held lightly by mature Christians. God chooses the things that the world disdains - the weak, the despised, a crucified saviour - to show that the things the world thinks are great, are nothing. Jesus Christ is what matters to mature Christians. He is their righteousness, their holiness and their redemption. They boast about him.

3. Mature Christians understand the mystery of the cross. It makes no sense to unbelievers. Immature Christians are embarrassed by it. Mature Christians glory in it.

4. Mature Christians will often be weak, dishonoured, hungry, thirsty, poor, in rags and homeless for the sake of Christ.

5. Mature Christians do not repay evil for evil. When cursed, they bless.  When persecuted, they endure. When slandered they speak kindly.

6. Mature Christians are filled with grief when sexual immorality is found in the church. They call the church member to repentance.

7. Mature Christians understands what he/she was without Christ - perhaps a drunkard or a swindler or greedy or an idolater or sexually immoral. She/He also understands what she/he is now - washed, sanctified, justified in the name of Jesus. Mature Christians flee the behaviour of the old life.

8. Mature Christians are thoughtful in exercising their freedom. They will forego a freedom in order to help a brother or sister avoid sin.

9. Mature Christians consistently seek the good of others instead of their own good.

10. Mature Christians do not take their salvation for granted. They are diligent in avoiding and resisting temptation.

11. Mature Christians do not elevate their own gifts above the gifts of others.

12. Mature Christians are loving.

13. Mature Christians seek the building up of the body as the priority of meetings. This determines how gifts are used.

14. Mature Christians women will not dishonour their husbands in public meetings of the church

15. Mature Christians eagerly await the resurrection and the final defeat of death.

16. Mature Christians gives themselves fully to the work of the Lord, knowing that it’s not in vain.

Mature Christians from 1 Corinthians - shortened form
1. Mature Christians are loving (1,5,8, 9,11,12)
2. Mature Christians glory in Christ (2,3,15)
3. Mature Christians give themselves fully to the work of the Lord, despite the hardships that it will bring (4,15)
4. Mature Christians take sin seriously (6,7,8,10)
5. Mature Christians seek the building of the body in their meetings (11,14,13)

1 comment:

  1. This is really helpful, Simone, thanks so much for sharing your hard work!