Series: Destinations on the Journey of Faith
13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (NRSV)
Intro: It has been a long journey in our faith but here we have reached the climax of it…it’s like driving for days and finally seeing the sign that says Welcome to whatever the town you are traveling to…but I want to warn you before going any farther that the journey doesn’t end here…in fact this journey should never stop…
Having given spiritual life to his people, God expects them to grow to maturity.
God desires the spiritual growth of his people
Hebrews 6:1 (NRSV) — 1 Therefore let us go on toward perfection, leaving behind the basic teaching about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: repentance from dead works and faith toward God,
Philippians 3:12 (NRSV) — 12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
At this destination we can look back at our previous destinations and see how much we have grown and learned from each experience…we treasure them as time periods that should never be forgotten, but now we have a new found faith that is stronger than we ever dreamed it could be…I mean we just broke through the wall and now we are no longer stuck in that dark lonely place of crisis…we finally begin to get it…it’s not about us personally or even about our family it’s about Jesus…and for that reason we begin to fully understand that
Christlikeness is the goal of spiritual growth
Romans 8:29 (NRSV) — 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family.
Ephesians 4:13–15 (NRSV) — 13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Philippians 2:5 (NRSV) — 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
At this destination we begin to grow in many different aspects…
(Aspects of spiritual growth)
Growth in grace
2 Peter 3:18 (NRSV) — 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
1 Peter 2:1–3 (NRSV) — 1 Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
As we grow in Christ shouldn’t we are selves become more full of grace towards others?
Growth in faith
2 Thessalonians 1:3 (NRSV) — 3 We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of everyone of you for one another is increasing.
Here in this destination there seems to be less worry as we finally have the faith to trust in God and not in our selves…
Trusting in my ways has led me into some rash choices that have cost me dearly and worse cost my family…the grass is not always greener on the other side!
Growth in love
We call ourselves the church that love is building, but are we truly being what the sign out front and our on the highways says?
In this destination our primary purpose or motivation in life is love honestly and live according to God’s purposes…we suddenly feel compelled to live and work differently…there is new sense of calling a desire to answer that call….
This calling comes from God from within by the Holy Spirit not from some person or friend…
1 Thessalonians 3:12 (NRSV) — 12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you.
Philippians 1:9 (NRSV) — 9 And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight
Growth in fruitfulness
John 15:16 (NRSV) — 16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.
At this destination the bearing of fruit is natural and becomes more important than anything else…all the hard work of gaining knowledge and rat race of the world mean nothing to you when you are in this place so close to paradise…all that matters is that we glorify God with our lives…
Philippians 1:11 (NRSV) — 11 having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.
This is where we find people at a new level of contentment…
Growth in contentment
Philippians 4:11–12 (NRSV) — 11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need.
1 Timothy 6:6 (NRSV) — 6 Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment;
This is the place where people look at you and think that you have lost your mind!!!!
All the things that used to upset you like traditions and truly trivial things like styles of worship no longer bother you…it’s a wonderful place to be when all that matters is that people are loved like Jesus loves them and the way we live our lives…we can look back at our spiritual failures and laugh at stumbles as realize how wrong we were to fight the way we did…
I have seen few people that have reached this destination and stayed there, but those that I remember the most in my spiritual life are the ones that I think of and say “I hope that one day I will be where they are”
Give the example of Bill Reames and his outlook on life…never in a hurry…never to excited…one time wiring a light outside my house…lived in a 350000 house retired as a veteran and traveled the world with his work as engineer…but considered himself a success because of his relationship with God through Jesus…