Fully Mature in Christ
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 109:1-15 | Jeremiah 4:19-6:16 | Colossians 1:21-2:7 | Proverbs 24:23-25
Today’s Scripture Focus: Colossians 1-2
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me (Colossians 1:27-29 NIV).
Why is Paul struggling and working so hard to teach and preach and plant churches? This passage makes his motivation clear. He wants the believers to grow up in their faith and become fully mature in Christ.
What would that look like? He tells us: “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
One of the signs they are reaching maturity is that they are encouraged in heart. They are not easily discouraged by the difficulties of life. They do not easily lose hope. They remain rooted in the joy and peace that are found in Christ. They also seek to encourage others along the path of suffering—they allow their encouragement to overflow.
Another sign of their maturity is that they are united in love. Dissension and conflict among believers is a sign of lack of maturity. Truly mature believers bring Christ-like attitudes (humility) and behavior (the fruit of the Spirit), which leads to peace.
Also, the mature live out of the full riches of complete understanding that are found in knowing Christ—knowing him deeply and intimately. This requires the discipline of spending time with him; spending time in his word—to know it and apply it and live it out (2:5). It also requires the strength that comes by the Spirit (1:29).
The whole of this process to maturity takes place through grace and by faith—just as the beginning of our life in Christ.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
Lord Jesus, live in me, live in your fullness that I might come into maturity. Help me to abide in your word, in your love, and in your presence today that I might continue to be transformed into your image. May my life, my behavior, my countenance, reflect the Christ who lives in me. Amen.