Matthew 5:48 Be ye there perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
- Christian Maturity
If we study the word perfection in the original languages of the Bible we find that “perfection” really means being mature, acting like an adult. In passages such as Hebrews 4:15, 9:28, and John 8:7 there is another concept very well defined which is sinless perfection, never sinning. God never exhorts, commands, or requires believers to be sinlessly perfect, because God Himself declares that this would be impossible for us to do. In 1 John 1:8-10, God declares that anyone who proclaims himself totally free of sin this side of heaven is deceiving himself, and is calling God (who says we all are sinners) a liar. That being the case, we cannot completely free ourselves of sin, but this is our direction, our goal, what we work incessantly towards.
But if Christian perfection means being like God, which is the same as acting mature and adult-like, how is that? This page will study how a mature and adult Christian just like any mature adult should act and be.
We begin our study with a clear understanding that God wants us to act like mature adults, people who are ideal of the human race (even though many adults are not anything like this).
1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
How are newborn babies? They are hungry. Newborn babes usually have an “hourly” feeding schedule because their stomachs are so small that they get hungry again in just a little while. As Christians, we should develop a continual unending, non abating thirst for the word of God. Every time you turn around, you should be seeking what more you can learn from the word of God.
1 Corinthians 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
The context here is a little difficult, but without getting bogged down in the context, Paul is exhorting the Corinthians to think in a certain way, like men. The idea here is that of children that are fascinated by insignificant and unimportant things. In the Corinthians case it was the novelty or brightness of someone speaking in a beautiful foreign language that they just happen not to understand a word. They teach the Corinthians to memorize rote prayers and saying in the other language that they don’t necessarily translate for them, and it is all so cute, but spiritually worthless.
As mature adults, we should limit our activities and thinking process to what is wise (good, right, and prudent use of knowledge), and we should be children (inexpert) when it comes to malice or evil doing.
We find very little about the life of Jesus between his birth and the beginning of his ministry. One of the few verses that speak of this is Luke 2:52.
Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
There are four areas of growth that the young Jesus experienced, and these are the passage of adulthood and maturity.
- Wisdom – The expert and prudent use of knowledge.
- Physical growth – Strength.
- Grace with God – Interest in the divine, dedication and commitment to lifelong pursuit and pleasing of God.
- Grace with men – Socially polite and courtesy, nobility.