Become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:13
A recent survey asked respondents to identify the age at which they believed they became adults. Those who considered themselves adults pointed to specific behaviors as evidence of their status. Having a budget and buying a house topped the list as being marks of “adulting.” Other adult activities ranged from cooking dinner every weeknight and scheduling one’s own medical appointments, to the more humorous ability to choose to eat snacks for dinner or being excited to stay at home on a Saturday evening instead of going out.
The Bible says we should press on toward spiritual maturity as well. Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, urging the people to “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). While we’re “young” in our faith, we’re vulnerable to “every wind of teaching” (v. 14), which often results in division among us. Instead, as we mature in our understanding of the truth, we function as a unified body under “him who is the head, that is, Christ” (v. 15).
God gave us His Spirit to help us grow into a full understanding of who He is (John 14:26), and He equips pastors and teachers to instruct and lead us toward maturity in our faith (Ephesians 4:11–12). Just as certain characteristics are evidence of physical maturity, our unity as His body is evidence of our spiritual growth.
In what ways are you still vulnerable to “every wind of teaching”? How can you continue to grow spiritually?
Loving God, You’re the author of my growth and maturity. Please help me to see where my understanding of You is still immature and teach me more of Your wisdom.
To learn more about growing toward spiritual maturity, visit ChristianUniversity.org/SF212.
Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 contain the two main lists of what we call “spiritual gifts” (Spirit-empowered giftedness for serving God and fellow believers in Christ). While these lists are extensive, they’re not necessarily exhaustive. Though some consider Ephesians 4:11 as another list, it seems quite different. The gifts mentioned in Ephesians 4 represent the gifted leaders that God provides for the growth, encouragement, and strengthening of the body. This seems to be the point of verse 12, which reminds us that these leaders were appointed to equip believers in Jesus for spiritual service. As such, these two kinds of “gifts” are connected. The Spirit provides the spiritual enabling, and spiritual leaders are there to train and equip people to employ those gifts in ministry.