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Thoughts from Ephesians – # 28 A Healthy Church is Marked by Spiritual Maturity (Eph. 4:13-16)

by Larry Miles

The Apostle Paul wants the Ephesian Christians and us also to “grow up” spiritually.  Since Christians are united under the Gospel confession in verse 4-6 and are one in Christ, we must use our talents for the building up and edification of the Body of Christ. I believe that every Christian has at least one, if not more talents to use for his or her Lord. Now, this does not mean that we use that talent. If we are willing to be used of the Lord Jesus He will equip us for service (2 Timothy 3:16-18). In the passage we are discussing, Paul mentions three traits of a spiritually mature person.

Maturity involves Christlikeness (4:13)

The goal is to be like Jesus. We sing songs like “More About Jesus Would I Know.”  We should live our lives in ways that will draw us nearer to Jesus and seek to obey Him and keep His commandments. We should desire to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus,” (2 Peter 3:18) The more we do this, the more we will become spiritually mature and help ourselves grow spiritually and be able to help our fellow Christians enjoy the marvelous light of the Gospel.

Maturity Involves Doctrinal Stability (4:13-14)

In verse 14 Paul says that Christians should no longer be “little children” thrown around by every wind of doctrine. Children are gullible and easily deceived.  False teachers are out there preying on weak Christians and even are sometimes right together in the congregation. They say things like:

We become Christians as babe in Christ, having been baptized for the remission of our sins and receiving the Gift of the indwelt Holy Spirit. The Lord accepts us as we are, and if we are willing to grow, will equip us for service that we might grow spiritually. As we grow spiritually, we can help others learn more about the Lord Jesus and His Word.

Maturity Involves Truth Joined with Love (4:15-16)

          In 2 Timothy 2:2 we read these words, And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.  Christians have a responsibility, yea, privilege to share the Word of God with others.  Someone shared the Word with us and by God’s grace we accepted it and obeyed the Gospel. We should always teach the Word in love. Spiritual maturity involves a truth-telling, truth-maintaining, truth-doing love. Are you known for truth and love personally, and is your congregation known for truth and love corporately?


        Larry Miles is Co-Editor of Word & Work and attends Cherry St. Church of Christ, New Albany, IN.

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That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10