2 Timothy 3:15-17 (AMP)
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John 17:17 (NKJV)
"Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth."


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IMMATURITY

1 Pet. 4 (AMP)
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In Matthew 18:1-7, Jesus says to repent and become like little children. Through baptism, a person's old sinful self dies and is buried with Christ. He is then resurrected with Christ as an infant to a new spiritual life. The second, spiritual death will not hurt him as long as he lives a faithful Christian life, worshipping faithfully. In that new spiritual life, we must diligently pursue the good characteristics of a newborn infant, those being trusting, lowly, loving, and forgiving. The infant realizes that he is altogether dependent on his mother. Mankind is also completely dependent on God.

Matthew 18 AMP
"1AT THAT time the disciples came up and asked Jesus, Who then is [really] the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2And He called a little child to Himself and put him in the midst of them, 3And said, Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all]. 4Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. 5And whoever receives and accepts and welcomes one little child like this for My sake and in My name receives and accepts and welcomes Me. 6But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in and acknowledge and cleave to Me to stumble and sin [that is, who entices him or hinders him in right conduct or thought], it would be better more expedient and profitable or advantageous) for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be sunk in the depth of the sea. 7Woe to the world for such temptations to sin and influences to do wrong! It is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the person on whose account or by whom the temptation comes!"

There are many blessings to be enjoyed in Christ that only the mature Christian can truly understand.  If a person remains spiritually immature he does not come to fully appreciate his standing in Christ and the blessings that God gives His children. [1] When a person is deprived of the greater understanding, he is more susceptible of the deceit of the devil.  The risk and complications of spiritual immaturity can be extremely grave.  We read in James 1:4-8:

James 1 AMP
"4But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing. 5If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him. 6Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. 7For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, 8[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides]."

We, who have been added to the Lord's church through immersion into Christ must take heed for baptism alone, like faith alone, and will not save us if we do not live faithful Christian lives, worshipping in a manner pleasing to God. Jesus in Luke 6:46 asks,

Luke 6:46 AMP
"46Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice] what I tell you? 47For everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words [in order to heed their teaching] and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48He is like a man building a house, who dug and went down deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood arose, the torrent broke against that house and could not shake or move it, because it had been securely built or founded on a rock. 49But he who merely hears and does not practice doing My words is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation, against which the torrent burst, and immediately it collapsed and fell, and the breaking and ruin of that house was great."

Matthew 7:21-23 AMP
"21Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. 22Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? 23And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands]."

1 Timothy 6:20-21 AMP [2]
"20O Timothy, guard and keep the deposit entrusted [to you]! Turn away from the irreverent babble and godless chatter, with the vain and empty and worldly phrases, and the subtleties and the contradictions in what is falsely called knowledge and spiritual illumination. 21[For] by making such profession some have erred (missed the mark) as regards the faith. Grace (divine favor and blessing) be with you all! Amen (so be it)."

A child does not always obey his parents and we do not always obey God.

Not everyone who grows old grows up. Though most of us associate age with maturity, the two are not the same thing.

Being a Christian for many years does not make that person a mature Christian. Let me say that again.  Being a Christian for many years does not make that person a mature Christian.  Ideally, the older a person becomes, the more mature he becomes.  However, this is not always the case. For example, if a person hears the Word according to Romans 10:17, believes that Jesus is the Son of God (John 8:24), repents of his sins (Luke 13:3), confesses his faith (Romans 10:10) and is immersed for the remission of his sins (Acts 2:38), then comes to the worship services for 10 years, sits in a pew only on Sunday mornings, sleeps, thinks about where he is going to eat after services or talks to his neighbor during the lesson and never reads the Bible, he will doubtfully ever progress much in his spiritual maturity.  He will remain an infant in serious danger of falling away or being influenced by false doctrines.  Instead of being a Christian with 10 years of experience, the person is like someone who has had one year's experience with God's love and Word 10 times.  He hasn't grown at all.  It is a very sad situation for him.   That is why the Holy Spirit tells in Matthew 20:1-16

Matthew 20:1-16 AMP
"1FOR THE kingdom of heaven is like the owner of an estate who went out in the morning along with the dawn to hire workmen for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3And going out about the third hour (nine o'clock), he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; 4And he said to them, You go also into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will pay you. And they went. 5He went out again about the sixth hour noon), and the ninth (three o'clock) he did the same. 6And about the eleventh hour (five o'clock) he went out and found still others standing around, and said to them, Why do you stand here idle all day? 7They answered him, Because nobody has hired us. He told them, You go out into the vineyard also and you will get whatever is just and fair. 8When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, Call the workmen and pay them their wages, beginning with the last and ending with the first. 9And those who had been hired at the eleventh hour (five o'clock) came and received a denarius each. 10Now when the first came, they supposed they would get more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11And when they received it, they grumbled at the owner of the estate, 12Saying, These [men] who came last worked no more than an hour, and yet you have made them rank with us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day. 13But he answered one of them, Friend, I am doing you no injustice. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this man hired last the same as I give to you. 15Am I not permitted to do what I choose with what is mine? [Or do you begrudge my being generous?] Is your eye evil because I am good? 16So those who [now] are last will be first [then], and those who [now] are first will be last [then]. For many are called, but few chosen."

Matthew 7:13-14 AMP
"13Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. 14But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it."

What have we done with our lives after we were born again? Did we come to worship services and sit on the pew or did we study the Word of God as did the Bereans to discern good from evil, know what God wants from us and use our talents to serve God? The Jews in Berea studied the Scriptures daily even to make sure that what the Apostle Paul said was Truth. We need do at least that today. (Acts 17:11)

Acts 17:11 AMP
"11Now these [Jews] were better disposed and more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they were entirely ready and accepted and welcomed the message [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God] with inclination of mind and eagerness, searching and examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so."

Let us now observe some of the marks of immaturity and some of the people in the Bible who exhibited those traits.

Galatians 5:19-20 AMP
"19Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency, 20Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), 21Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

The Holy Spirit describes a number of undesirable characteristics that indicate immaturity in the book of James.

A person who talks the Truth, but does not live the Truth:

James 2:14 AMP
"14What is the use (profit), my brethren, for anyone to profess to have faith if he has no [good] works [to show for it]? Can [such] faith save [his soul]?"

Lack of control over the tongue:

James 3:4-6 AMP
"4Likewise, look at the ships: though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines. 5Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze! 6And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man's nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna)."

James 1:26 AMP
"26If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person's religious service is worthless (futile, barren)."

James 3:1 AMP
"1NOT MANY [of you] should become teachers (self-constituted censors and reprovers of others), my brethren, for you know that we [teachers] will be judged by a higher standard and with greater severity [than other people; thus we assume the greater accountability and the more condemnation]."

People who fight and covet

James 4:4 AMP
"1WHAT LEADS to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts (quarrels and fightings) originate among you? Do they not arise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members? 2You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask. [I John 3:15.] 3[Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures. 4You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world's friend is being God's enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God."

Compared to the rest of the world, most of us here in America, are indeed rich whether we realize it or not:

1 Timothy 6 AMP
"7For we brought nothing into the world, and obviously we cannot take anything out of the world; 8But if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content (satisfied). 9But those who crave to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish (useless, godless) and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction and miserable perishing. 10For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs."

Matthew 19:16-26 AMP
"16And behold, there came a man up to Him, saying, Teacher, what excellent and perfectly and essentially good deed must I do to possess eternal life? 17And He said to him, Why do you ask Me about the perfectly and essentially good? There is only One Who is good [perfectly and essentially]--God. If you would enter into the Life, you must continually keep the commandments. 18He said to Him, What sort of commandments? [Or, which ones?] And Jesus answered, You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19Honor your father and your mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. 20The young man said, I have observed all these from my youth; what still do I lack? 21Jesus answered him, If you would be perfect [that is, have that spiritual maturity which accompanies self-sacrificing character], go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; and come, be My disciple [side with My party and follow Me]. 22But when the young man heard this, he went away sad (grieved and in much distress), for he had great possessions. 23And Jesus said to His disciples, Truly I say to you, it will be difficult for a rich man to get into the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go into the kingdom of heaven. 25When the disciples heard this, they were utterly puzzled (astonished, bewildered), saying, Who then can be saved [from eternal death]? 26But Jesus looked at them and said, With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God."

James 5:1-4 AMP
"1COME NOW, you rich [people], weep aloud and lament over the miseries (the woes) that are surely coming upon you. 2Your abundant wealth has rotted and is ruined, and your [many] garments have become moth-eaten. 3Your gold and silver are completely rusted through, and their rust will be testimony against you and it will devour your flesh as if it were fire. You have heaped together treasure for the last days. 4[But] look! [Here are] the wages that you have withheld by fraud from the laborers who have reaped your fields, crying out [for vengeance]; and the cries of the harvesters have come to the ears of the Lord of hosts."

Complaining against brethren:

James 5:9 AMP
"9Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you [yourselves] may not be judged. Look! The Judge is [already] standing at the very door. The Holy Spirit warns us that selfishness, vainglory, self-conceit, being competitive, challenging, provoking, irritating, envying and jealous are not good qualities for a Christian to have or pursue."

Galatians 5:24 AMP
"12I wish those who unsettle and confuse you would [go all the way and] cut themselves off! 13For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another. 14For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is complied with in the one precept, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. 15But if you bite and devour one another [in partisan strife], be careful that you [and your whole fellowship] are not consumed by one another. 16But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled an guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). 17For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do. 18But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law. 19Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency, 20Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), 21Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires. 25If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.] 26Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another."

The older brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son became angry and pouted when his younger brother came home.

Luke 15:21-32 AMP
"21And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son [I no longer deserve to be recognized as a son of yours]! 22But the father said to his bond servants, Bring quickly the best robe (the festive robe of honor) and put it on him; and give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet. 23And bring out that [wheat-]fattened calf and kill it; and let us revel and feast and be happy and make merry, 24Because this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! And they began to revel and feast and make merry. 25But his older son was in the field; and as he returned and came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26And having called one of the servant [boys] to him, he began to ask what this meant. 27And he said to him, Your brother has come, and your father has killed that [wheat-]fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and well. 28But [the elder brother] was angry [with deep-seated wrath] and resolved not to go in. Then his father came out and began to plead with him, 29But he answered his father, Look! These many years I have served you, and I have never disobeyed your command. Yet you never gave me [so much as] a [little] kid, that I might revel and feast and be happy and make merry with my friends; 30But when this son of yours arrived, who has devoured your estate with immoral women, you have killed for him that [wheat-] fattened calf! 31And the father said to him, Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32But it was fitting to make merry, to revel and feast and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and is alive again! He was lost and is found! Anytime a person repents of his sins, no matter what they have done to us, we are called to forgive him and rejoice that a lost lamb has been found."

Jesus tells us about the Unmerciful servant who expects to be forgiven, yet refuses to forgive.  This is how God will treat us IF we are like that servant (Matthew 18:21-35).

Matthew 18:21-35 AMP
"21Then Peter came up to Him and said, Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? [As many as] up to seven times? 22Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven! 23Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a human king who wished to settle accounts with his attendants. 24When he began the accounting, one was brought to him who owed him 10,000 talents [probably about $10,000,000], 25And because he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and his children and everything that he possessed, and payment to be made. 26So the attendant fell on his knees, begging him, Have patience with me and I will pay you everything. 27And his master's heart was moved with compassion, and he released him and forgave him [cancelling] the debt. 28But that same attendant, as he went out, found one of his fellow attendants who owed him a hundred denarii [about twenty dollars]; and he caught him by the throat and said, Pay what you owe! 29So his fellow attendant fell down and begged him earnestly, Give me time, and I will pay you all! 30But he was unwilling, and he went out and had him put in prison till he should pay the debt. 31When his fellow attendants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and told everything that had taken place to their master. 32Then his master called him and said to him, You contemptible and wicked attendant! I forgave and cancelled all that [great] debt of yours because 33And should you not have had pity and mercy on your fellow attendant, as I had pity and mercy on you? 34And in wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (the jailers), till he should pay all that he owed. 35So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses. Jesus nicknamed James and John, sons of Zebedee, the Sons of Thunder (Mark 3:17) because of their impulsiveness."

Luke 9:51-56 AMP
"51Now when the time was almost come for Jesus to be received up [to heaven], He steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem. 52And He sent messengers before Him; and they reached and entered a Samaritan village to make [things] ready for Him; 53But [the people] would not welcome or receive or accept Him, because His face was [set as if He was] going to Jerusalem. 54And when His disciples James and John observed this, they said, Lord, do You wish us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did? [II Kings 1:9-16.] 55But He turned and rebuked and severely censured them. He said, You do not know of what sort of spirit you are, 56For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them [from the penalty of eternal death]?"

Many people blame God when things go wrong... ~when prayers are not answered in the way they want~. It is a dangerous exercise of ignorance, ingratitude and immaturity - to know what God says, do the opposite and then blame Him for what we've done!! What an unworthy thought - to pour scorn on God, when we have made the choice to reject His will. The Holy Spirit through James says let no one do this:

James 1:12-18 AMP
"12Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor's] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him. 13Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one. 14But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). 15Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death. 16Do not be misled, my beloved brethren. 17Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse]. 18And it was of His own [free] will that He gave us birth [as sons] by [His] Word of Truth, so that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures [a sample of what He created to be consecrated to Himself]."

Therefore, we are not tempted of God.

In 1 Samuel 30:6, when the men were talking about stoning David, he turned to God for his strength.

1 Samuel 30 AMP
"6David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God."

Isaiah 41:13 AMP
"13For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; I am the Lord, Who says to you, Fear not; I will help you!"

Today, under the Law of Christ, we can do all things through Him who gives us strength.

Philippians 4:13 AMP
"13I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency]."

Hosea 1:2 AMP
"2When the Lord first spoke with and through Hosea, the Lord said to him, Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of [her] harlotry, for the land commits great whoredom by departing from the Lord."

We in the church today are like Israel among the Gentiles.  Many in the church are unfaithful just as just as many in among the Jews were unfaithful. A big cause of this is lack of knowledge and understanding of God's Word or spiritual immaturity.

Nadab and Abihu were two priests who were Moses nephews.  From what God says about them, we see that it is extremely important that our worship is pleasing to God and according to His Will.

Leviticus 10:1-10 AMP
"1AND NADAB and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, and put incense on it, and offered strange and unholy fire before the Lord, as He had not commanded them. 2And there came forth fire from before the Lord and killed them, and they died before the Lord. 3Then Moses said to Aaron, This is what the Lord meant when He said, I [and My will, not their own] will be acknowledged as hallowed by those who come near Me, and before all the people I will be honored. And Aaron said nothing? 8And the Lord said to Aaron, 9Do not drink wine or strong drink, you or your sons, when you go into the Tent of Meeting, lest you die; it shall be a statute forever in all your generations. 10You shall make a distinction and recognize a difference between the holy and the common or unholy, and between the unclean and the clean;"

The Apostle Paul tells how he struggled with sin.  It is something that we all do and must work in order to overcome spiritual immaturity.

Romans 7:8-25 AMP
"8But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment [to express itself], got a hold on me and aroused and stimulated all kinds of forbidden desires (lust, covetousness). For without the Law sin is dead [the sense of it is inactive and a lifeless thing]. 9Once I was alive, but quite apart from and unconscious of the Law. But when the commandment came, sin lived again and I died (was sentenced by the Law to death). 10And the very legal ordinance which was designed and intended to bring life actually proved [to mean to me] death. 11For sin, seizing the opportunity and getting a hold on me [by taking its incentive] from the commandment, beguiled and entrapped and cheated me, and using it [as a weapon], killed me. 12The Law therefore is holy, and [each] commandment is holy and just and good. 13Did that which is good then prove fatal [bringing death] to me? Certainly not! It was sin, working death in me by using this good thing [as a weapon], in order that through the commandment sin might be shown up clearly to be sin, that the extreme malignity and immeasurable sinfulness of sin might plainly appear. 14We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am a creature of the flesh [carnal, unspiritual], having been sold into slavery under [the control of] sin. 15For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns]. 16Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it. 17However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.] 19For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing. 20Now if I do what I do not desire to do, it is no longer I doing it [it is not myself that acts], but the sin [principle] which dwells within me [fixed and operating in my soul]. 21So I find it to be a law (rule of action of my being) that when I want to do what is right and good, evil is ever present with me and I am subject to its insistent demands. 22For I endorse and delight in the Law of God in my inmost self [with my new nature]. 23But I discern in my bodily members [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh] a different law (rule of action) at war against the law of my mind (my reason) and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh]. 24O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death? 25O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin."

Paul goes on to say in Philippians 3:3,7-21?   Pay particular attention to what he says at the end of this.

Philippians 3:3,7-21 AMP
"3For we [Christians] are the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit and by the Spirit of God and exult and glory and pride ourselves in Jesus Christ, and put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the flesh and on outward privileges and physical advantages and external appearances--? 7But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ's sake. 8Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One), 9And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law's demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith. 10[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] 11That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]. 12Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. 13I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward. 15So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also. 16Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that. 17Brethren, together follow my example and observe those who live after the pattern we have set for you. 18For there are many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, who walk (live) as enemies of the cross of Christ (the Anointed One). 19They are doomed and their fate is eternal misery (perdition); their god is their stomach (their appetites, their sensuality) and they glory in their shame, siding with earthly things and being of their party. 20But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] Savior, 21Who will transform and fashion anew the body of our humiliation to conform to and be like the body of His glory and majesty, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself." ========================================================================

To be spiritually mature, we must realize that we are nothing without God. (Isaiah 6:5)

Isaiah 6 AMP
"5Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone and ruined, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!"

Being a servant is a mark of spiritual maturity. We are called to serve God, Jesus Christ, righteous and each other.

Being a servant implies absolute obedience.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 AMP
"19Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, 20You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body."

Being a servant means a Christian must be humble. Jesus says in Luke 17:10:

Luke 17:10 AMP
"10Even so on your part, when you have done everything that was assigned and commanded you, say, We are unworthy servants [possessing no merit, for we have not gone beyond our obligation]; we have [merely] done what was our duty to do."

As children of God, we ought to rejoice that if we remain faithful, we have the hope of being saved from the peril of spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God and His family.  IF we rejoice in the blessings that God gives us and in the hope of not spending eternity in the eternal flames the small trials and controversies that we face here on earth will not seem so great.  Let us put our trust in God. Philippians 4:4-9:

Philippians 4:4-9 AMP
"4Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice! 5Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon]. 6Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. 7And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 8For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. 9Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you."

Being a servant suggests unconditional loyalty.

Galatians 1:10 AMP
"10Now am I trying to win the favor of men, or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bond servant of Christ (the Messiah)."

Being a servant is also a great honor.  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, (Deut. 9:27), Joshua (Josh 24:29), Moses (1 Kings 8:53), Caleb (Num 14:24), Job (Job 1:8), Isaiah (Isa. 20:3), and the Prophets (Jer. 7:25), were all known as servants of God.

As servants, we should be steadfast. 

1 Corinthians 15:58 AMP
"58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose]."

Philippians 2:11-13 AMP
"11And every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ). 13[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight."

Job was a righteous man who did not sin when tested though he lost his riches, family and was stricken with illness.

Job 36:15 AMP
"15He delivers the afflicted in their affliction and opens their ears [to His voice] in adversity."

Paul says in

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 AMP
"7And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted. [Job. 2:6.] 8Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me; 9But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! 10So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength)."

When God forgives, He forgets.  Jesus took on the sins of the world and after Christ died for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of God, sins forgiven. [3]

Hebrews 10 AMP
"12Whereas this One [Christ], after He had offered a single sacrifice for our sins [that shall avail] for all time, sat down at the right hand of God..."

We must forgive each other in the same way.  When we forgive, though we still remember the incident, we must let the issue go.

Colossians 3:13 AMP
"13Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]."

1 Corinthians 16:13 AMP
"13Be alert and on your guard; stand firm in your faith (your conviction respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, keeping the trust and holy fervor born of faith and a part of it). Act like men and be courageous; grow in strength!"

Being spiritually mature means bearing the burdens of others. Galatians 6:1-3:

Galatians 6:1-3 AMP
"1BRETHREN, IF any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also. 2Bear (endure, carry) one another's burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete what is lacking [in your obedience to it]. 3For if any person thinks himself to be somebody [too important to condescend to shoulder another's load] when he is nobody [of superiority except in his own estimation], he deceives and deludes and cheats himself."

Not only are we to grow up in Christ and pattern ourselves after Him, but we are responsible for associating with other brothers who also pattern themselves after Christ.

1 Corinthians 5 AMP
"10Not [meaning of course that you must] altogether shun the immoral people of this world, or the greedy graspers and cheats and thieves or idolaters, since otherwise you would need to get out of the world and human society altogether! 11But now I write to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to any object that usurps the place of God], or is a person with a foul tongue [railing, abusing, reviling, slandering], or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber. [No] you must not so much as eat with such a person. 12What [business] of mine is it and what right have I to judge outsiders? Is it not those inside [the church] upon whom you are to pass disciplinary judgment [passing censuring sentence on them as the facts require]?"

Abraham believed God and did not waver in his belief.

Romans 4:18-25 AMP
"18[For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be. 19He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah's [deadened] womb. 20No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God, 21Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised. 22That is why his faith was credited to him as righteousness (right standing with God). 23But [the words], It was credited to him, were written not for his sake alone, 24But [they were written] for our sakes too. [Righteousness, standing acceptable to God] will be granted and credited to us also who believe in (trust in, adhere to, and rely on) God, Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25Who was betrayed and put to death because of our misdeeds and was raised to secure our justification (our acquittal), [making our account balance and absolving us from all guilt before God]."

We are to pattern ourselves after our Lord, Jesus.  In the Bible, we see Him being humble, serving others, washing the feet of the Apostles, He does God's Will, not His, and trusts our Father to resurrect Him. In the same way, when we trust God and are baptized, we are resurrected with Christ and the second death, the spiritual death, will not harm us IF we continue to be faithful throughout out lives.

John 14:23-24 AMP
"23Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me."

We see our Lord praying often.  He prayed before and during His trials.

Luke 22:44 AMP
"44And being in an agony [of mind], He prayed [all the] more earnestly and intently, and His sweat became like great clots of blood dropping down upon the ground."

Luke 23:34 AMP
"34And Jesus prayed, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. And they divided His garments and distributed them by casting lots for them."

He believed and trusted God that the outcome would be for good even when He knew that things were going to be real bad and painful for Him.

He forgave others even those who were putting Him to death. We must do the same, even if we are tested to to the point of death.

Colossians 3:13 AMP
"13Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]."

Revelation 2:10 AMP
"10Be loyally faithful unto death [even if you must die for it], and I will give you the crown of life."

IF we seek God with all our hearts, He will give us what we need.

Matthew 6:33 AMP
"33But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides."

Paul urges Timothy to be Christlike.

1 Timothy 6:11-16 AMP
"11But as for you, O man of God, flee from all these things; aim at and pursue righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness), godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christlike), faith, love, steadfastness (patience), and gentleness of heart?.12Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before many witnesses. 13In the presence of God, Who preserves alive all living things, and of Christ Jesus, Who in His testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I [solemnly] charge you 14To keep all His precepts unsullied and flawless, irreproachable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), 15Which [appearing] will be shown forth in His own proper time by the blessed, only Sovereign (Ruler), the King of kings and the Lord of lords, 16Who alone has immortality [in the sense of exemption from every kind of death] and lives in unapproachable light, Whom no man has ever seen or can see. Unto Him be honor and everlasting power and dominion. Amen (so be it)."

Christ is our example. He is who we are to strive to be like. Isaiah

Isaiah 11:1-5 AMP
"1AND THERE shall come forth a Shoot out of the stock of Jesse [David's father], and a Branch out of his roots shall grow and bear fruit.2And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him--the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord--3And shall make Him of quick understanding, and His delight shall be in the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord. And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, neither decide by the hearing of His ears; 4But with righteousness and justice shall He judge the poor and decide with fairness for the meek, the poor, and the downtrodden of the earth? 5And righteousness shall be the girdle of His waist and faithfulness the girdle of His loins."

Paul tells us that a Christian needs to examine himself before partaking of the Lord's Supper. If we have sin that we need to repent of, let us repent of it and pray to God that He will forgive us before we partake of the Lord's Supper.

Acts 8:22 AMP
"22So repent of this depravity and wickedness of yours and pray to the Lord that, if possible, this contriving thought and purpose of your heart may be removed and disregarded and forgiven you."

1 Corinthians 11:23-32 AMP
"23For I received from the Lord Himself that which I passed on to you [it was given to me personally], that the Lord Jesus on the night when He was treacherously delivered up and while His betrayal was in progress took bread, 24And when He had given thanks, He broke [it] and said, Take, eat. This is My body, which is broken for you. Do this to call Me [affectionately] to remembrance. 25Similarly when supper was ended, He took the cup also, saying, This cup is the new covenant [ratified and established] in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink [it], to call Me [affectionately] to remembrance. 26For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are representing and signifying and proclaiming the fact of the Lord's death until He comes [again]. 27So then whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a way that is unworthy [of Him] will be guilty of [profaning and sinning against] the body and blood of the Lord. 28Let a man [thoroughly] examine himself, and [only when he has done] so should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without discriminating and recognizing with due appreciation that [it is Christ's] body, eats and drinks a sentence (a verdict of judgment) upon himself. 30That [careless and unworthy participation] is the reason many of you are weak and sickly, and quite enough of you have fallen into the sleep of death. 31For if we searchingly examined ourselves [detecting our shortcomings and recognizing our own condition], we should not be judged and penalty decreed [by the divine judgment]. 32But when we [fall short and] are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined and chastened, so that we may not [finally] be condemned [to eternal punishment along] with the world."

When obey God, we have the hope of eternal life and a Home with God. Jesus says we are blessed.

Matthew 5:1-16 AMP
"1SEEING THE crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him. 2Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: 3Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous--with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven! 4Blessed and enviably happy [with a happiness produced by the experience of God's favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted! 5Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous--with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth! 6Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied! 7Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous--with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy! 8Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous--possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God's favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God! 9Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous--with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God! 10Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous (in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven! 11Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous--with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account. 12Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you. [II Chron. 36:16.] 13You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltiness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men. 14You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven."

[1]Galatians 5 AMP 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
[2]Masons, Illuminati, etc. claim to be ??illuminated??  The "claim does not make it so" does not make it so.
[3] This does not mean that those outside of Christ have their sins forgiven, but only those who obey Him, obey the Gospel (hear, believe, repent, confess, baptized, faithful).

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