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Understanding the Basis of Spiritual Maturity and Good Works
Stats: 4,952 words / Reading Time: 24.76 mins

Published: Tuesday, 4th May 2021

By: Obayomi Abiola Benjamin

Understanding the Basis of Spiritual Maturity and Good Works is read 1.1K times on CentreNDL.org 1.1K
  

UNDERSTANDING THE BASIS OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY AND GOOD WORKS

How to Build Correctly on the Foundation of Salvation Through Christ Jesus


Listen To Podcast: Understanding The Basis of Spiritual Maturity And Good Works

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.

 

The phrase ‘spiritual people’ is also the same thing as spiritually immature people. If you read this same verse in the Passion Translation, it revealed it to us in plain language what the apostle Paul was talking about. It says: “Brothers and Sisters, when I was with you, I found it impossible to speak to you as those who are spiritually mature people, for you are still dominated by the mind-set of the flesh…” In other words, even though they are born again and have come to accept Christ Jesus, Paul said their mind-set have not fully come to terms with the fact that they are spiritual people and no longer in the flesh.

 

What is a mindset? Meriam-webster dictionary defines mindset as a particular way of thinking: a person’s attitude or set of opinion about something. These mindsets sometimes have become a stronghold in our lives and they are preventing the word of god from deeply penetrating into our hearts. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:4 that: “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in god for pulling down strongholds…” strongholds are fortified defensive structure.

 

So, Paul said because of this, certain revelation or spiritual realities could not be communicated unto them because they are babes in Christ. You know, it is like trying to explain to a 6-month-old baby that the earth is spherical in shape and not circular. It would only amount to a share waste of time because the baby wouldn’t understand and so, that information at that level for that child is as good as wasted.

 

So, what do you do or give to babes? You sing nursery rhymes to them, you give them things that they can easily relate with which most of the times, is breast milk.

 

So, Paul said in verse 2: I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal.For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?

 

Another thing we must not overlook from here is to examine why Paul referred to them as being carnal. Because we should not lose sight of the fact that this letter was written to people who were presumed to be Christians, but yet, still carnal. So, the basis upon which apostle Paul referred to them as babes and also being carnal is because there was envy, strife and divisions among them. They were believers, they were supposed to walk in the Spirit, but the moment they allowed envy and strife and division, they became carnal.

 

5Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? So, in this place, Paul was telling them that there should not have been division among them because of whom they chose to pitch their tent with. Paul was telling them that they (Paul and Apollos) were just ministers of God through whom the gospel of Christ was preached to them and they believed Christ.

 

He said further: 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. Still on the matter, Paul was now espousing to them that both him and Apollos are not the real deal in the scheme of things. and I love the fact that Paul didn’t try to make a ‘thin god’ out of themselves.

 

Because that is exactly what we have in many ministries today. Men of God have turned the attention of the people away from God and have turned it upon themselves. The people now worship them rather than worship God, this is how it starts. Paul and Apollos could have made the whole show all about themselves, but God did not allow them to do that.

 

9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field; you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. In other words, Paul was saying in the place that the foundation upon which their spiritual maturity would be built has been laid, however, what each and every one build on that foundation is their responsibility. If you jump to Philippians 2:12-13, it says: Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

 

Did we see that? God would always instill in you, through the Holy Spirit, to do things that are necessary for your spiritual maturity. If you read that verse 13 in the passion Translation, it says: “God will continually revitalize you, implanting within you the passion to do what pleases Him.” So, what does this means? It simply means that you have within you everything that you need to be able to please God. Pleasing God would not be a thing of struggle because God Himself is at work in you. NOW, ISN’T IT FUNNY THAT THE ALMIGHTY GOD IS HELPING US IN EVERY WAYS IN ORDER TO PLEASE HIM? I find that really interesting.

 

What Are Good Works?

 

When we talk about good works in the kingdom, it is different from the concept of good works in the world. Good works in the kingdom of God goes beyond doing good because there are many people in the world today who aren’t children of God but they are full of charitable activities. For example, there are morally upright people who are not born again but are full of good deeds, there are politicians today who would embezzle their nations national wealth and establish foundations here and there to help the needy, those are good deeds. So, good works in the sight of God is not the same thing as good deeds.

 

Many people in the world believed that they can give their way into being acceptable in the sight of God. This is the idea upon which many charitable works that we see in the world today are based. But this idea is not Scripturally correct. No matter the number of charitable deeds you do in the world, if you don’t accept Christ, those charitable deeds would not commend you to God.

 

In the kingdom of God, good works are works that are built on the foundation of our received salvation. Good works are not what you do to earn salvation. As a matter of fact, there is nothing anyone did to be saved other than believed in Christ Jesus and confessed Him as Lord and savior. Romans 10:8-10 says: But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.This Scripture simply revealed to us how we became born again, and we can see very clearly that it was not based upon any charitable deeds.

 

There are four Scriptures that would prove to us right now that good works in the kingdom are built upon the foundation of our already received salvation, and not something we do to earn salvation.

 

Scripture #1: 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 says:

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

 

Scripture #2: Ephesians 2:10 says:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

 

Scripture #3: Matthew 5:16 says:

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

Scripture #4: Titus 3:8 says

This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

 

So, we have been able to establish that good works in the kingdom of God are founded on the basis of our salvation.

 

What Then Is the Basis of Spiritual Maturity and Good Works?

 

The Answer is: SALVATION!!!

It is important to note that salvation is only an entrance into the fold, but the whole journey does not stop with salvation. One beautiful way you can picture salvation is to see it like a foundation, however, there are things to be built on that foundation. For example, you don’t lay the foundation of a building and go about jubilating and celebrating that you have built a house. It is until the whole block works, and everything come together to become an edifice that everyone can see, that is when jubilation and celebration can be meaningful. Therefore, the message of the gospel which you have received and that has changed your cause from eternal death, is supposed to be the pedestal upon which you build your spiritual life and do good works.

 

Let us read the book of Acts 10 to see the account of Cornelius in order for us to have a rounded understanding of what we are talking about.

 

There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.

 

A devout person talks about a person who is an adherent of a particular religion. They are loyal to that religion and they can do anything to defend their beliefs as propagated by that same religion. If the religion encourages killing another person that does not believe in that religion, they would gladly do it. Although, we know that Cornelius religion was Judaism because the Bible says he feared God and prayed to God always

 

Verse 3: About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” 4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So, he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.I thought God was going to pat Cornelius on the back and say something like… “Cornelius, you are doing well, you are a prayer warrior, I can see your many good deeds and many prayers. Just continue this way and you would fine.” Did you notice that God didn’t do that? Why? Because even though Cornelius had an inclination about a God who exists so to say, the basis upon which he is doing everything is not found in Christ. The man Cornelius was not saved.

 

The same way we have many people who are doing great and mighty things in one religion or the other in the world today but are not still saved. It is actually a waste of time and resources. See what God instructed Cornelius to do from verse 5: Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.” Did we see that? Despite all that Cornelius thinks he has been doing, praying and giving alms to people, God told him there is still something to be done and this I believe is the most important thing to be done.

 

See what Cornelius did concerning the word of the Lord from verse 7: And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually. 8 So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.Cornelius acted promptly on the word of the Lord; he didn’t delay any further. If God has been prompting you to give your heart and your life to Him, this is not the time to delay, it is time to do so. Don’t bribe God with your money or donations to charity, God is saying, “give me your life first.”

 

34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation, whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— 37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”

 

So, here the one thing that God told Cornelius was remaining was for him to hear the message of salvation and be saved officially. And this assignment was exactly what Peter came to do because God had revealed it to him earlier on.

 

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, 47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.

 

Action Plan

Be saved!!! Being a morally upright person isn’t enough. Doing good deeds is not enough. You need to accept Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior and from Him take your reference point.


Thanks for the gift of your time, We are Obayomi Abiola Benjamin and Lara Gboyega Adedeji!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.

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Obayomi Abiola Benjamin


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I am Abiola Benjamin Obayomi, a disciple of Jesus Christ, with a drive to mentor young believers into spiritual maturity. I am a student of God's word and a teacher as well, with passion in the areas of relationship & spiritual development. I am a worshipper, an ardent lover and follower of the Lord Christ.


Lara Gboyega Adedeji


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I am a Woman of God's Purpose in Nigeria. I Coach Women in Leadership for true National Emancipation. I am a Spiritual Identity Mentor & ED, Flickers of Hope Foundation, Abuja-Nigeria!



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