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19th May 2013
The freedom that Jesus won for us at the cross is not a one-off experience, but a way of life. The truth is that we have already been set free – from the moment you accepted Jesus, your position before God changed and you instantly gained access to everything you need in order to live a godly, free, faith-filled life.
However, we don't become mature in our faith the moment we become Christians: we mature as we increasingly understand all that Jesus accomplished for us on the cross and align ourselves with the truth of what God says about us.
The difference between freedom and maturity is that we take possession of the freedom that is rightfully ours in Christ, but maturity is a process of growth that continues throughout our lives. 'Growing' is the normal state of any healthy Christian. As Steve Goss puts it: "Any Christian can become an old Christian – all it takes is time! Any Christian can become a mature Christian – but many do not."
So, how do we grow as Christians? God has provided all we need – see 2 Peter 1:3-6 and 8-9, Ephesians 1:3 and Colossians 2:9-10, if you're in any doubt! We cannot mature if we don't take hold of our freedom: we need to deal with any footholds the enemy has in our lives first.
One of the keys to maturity is taking personal responsibility for our relationship with God. The apostle Paul didn’t offer to pray for the Corinthian church that their quarrelling would stop – what was required was their own confession, repentance, submission to Jesus and resisting the devil. Paul couldn't do this on their behalf. If you want to grow as a Christian, no one can do that for you. We need to know the power and authority we have in Christ, and then act on it.
Another key to maturity is renewing our minds – uncovering lies we have believed and connecting with what is really true. When we read 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, we see that it is our responsibility to fight, demolish false arguments and take our thoughts captive. When we regularly apply truth to the lies we have believed, over a relatively short period of time we find that our minds are renewed.
It's important to take a long-term view. In Hebrews, it says: "But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil" (5:14). Again, there's personal responsibility here – we need to immerse ourselves in God's Word and get to know what He says.
Take hold of the freedom that is already yours, and keep growing!
To download the 'life application' questions and sermon, click here.
Posted by Paul Mann