Theme of the Week: Radical Discipleship
Bible Verses: “We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” Colossians 1:28 CSB
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, Colossians 1:1-20
The apostles whose letters we find in the New Testament rebuke their readers for their immaturity and urge them to grow up. There is a passage from the pen of Paul in which he writes about maturity, and it is on these verses that I propose to focus here – Colossians 1:28-29.
What is Christian maturity? Well, the apostle calls it maturity “in Christ,” that is, having a mature relationship with Christ. Paul’s most common way of defining Christians is to say that they are men and women “in Christ,” meaning not inside Christ as when our clothes are in a wardrobe and when tools are inside a chest, but rather as the branches are “in” the vine and our limbs are “in” the body, that is, united to Christ. So then, to be “in Christ” is to be personally, vitally, organically related to him. In this sense, to be mature is to have a mature relationship with Christ in which we worship, trust, love and obey him.
The next question to ask is how do Christians become mature? Our text gives us a plain answer. Consider the basic skeleton of verse 28: “We proclaim Christ…so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” It is only logical. If Christian maturity is maturity in our relationship to Christ, in which we worship, trust and obey him, then the clearer our vision of Christ, the more convinced we become that he is worthy of our commitment.
If only the blindfold could be taken away from our eyes! If only we could see Jesus in the fullness of who he is and what he has done! Why then surely we would see how worthy he is of our wholehearted allegiance, and faith, love and obedience would be drawn out from us and we would grow into maturity.
Nothing is more important for mature Christian discipleship than a fresh, clear, true vision of the authentic Jesus. Where then shall we find the authentic Jesus? The answer is that he is to be found in the Bible.
From The Radical Disciple: Some Neglected Aspects of Our Calling. Copyright ©2012 by John Stott. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL.
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