Spiritual maturity is not instantaneous and final. If it were so, what would be the point of the exhortation in Hebrews 6:1, “Let us go on to maturity,” (or, catching the correct sense of the verb, “Let us continue progressing toward maturity”)? The whole tenor of Scripture is against the idea that one supreme act of decision permanently secures to us all the blessings of sanctification. No living thing comes to maturity instantaneously.

But in the same way Spiritual maturity is not the mere possession of spiritual gifts. The maturing Christian will have those spiritual gifts with which the Holy Spirit has sovereignly endowed him or her (see 1 Cor. 12:11), but these of themselves are not the measure of spiritual maturity.

We must recognise that spiritual gifts are given to every believer (1 Cor 12:7-11, 1 Peter 4:10). Even immature Christians receive spiritual gifts from the Lord – that was certainly evident in the case of the Corinthian church bears this out. Paul affirmed of them, “You do not lack any spiritual gift” (1 Cor. 1:7). Yet a little later he goes on to say to them,

“Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual, but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly” (1 Cor. 3:1-3a). These spiritual gifts are valuable, but only if they are exercised in love and only as they result in the unity and up-building of the church. The true index of Christian maturity is not the possession of gifts of the Spirit, but the production of the fruit of the Spirit (see Gal. 5:22- 23). It is sadly true that not all spiritually gifted believers act and react in a mature way. The activity of the Holy Spirit in the believer bringing about progressive and manifest growth will always be the unimpeachable evidence that he is God’s child.

It may be possible for the gifts of the Spirit to be imitated in the context of a local culture, but Godlike quality of moral life called “the fruit of the Spirit”—its Spirit-led direction, its victory over the flesh—is the only valid evidence that one is God’s child.

It is possible to have remarkable spiritual gifts in one area but still be quite immature in doctrinal understanding or in Christian conduct, as was the case in Corinth.

Indeed, on occasion even unbelievers are abloe to prophesy and cast out demons ad do miracles, just look what Jesus said in Matt 7:22-23. These are people who never knew him yet performed many remarkable works.

So we must not evaluate spiritual maturity on the basis of Spiritual gifting. Maturity comes through a close walk with Jesus and results in obedience to his commands in everyday life (1 John 2:6)

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