Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.Colossians 1:28
Many cultures have a coming of age ceremony. A rite of passage whereby a child becomes a mature adult. Did you know that each Christian must grow from spiritual childhood into spiritual maturity? The Apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 1:28 that he desires to present “everyone mature in Christ”. How does one accomplish maturity? Is there an initiation ceremony? A mysterious rite of passage? No, instead one develops by a four-step process of understanding truth.
First, truth must be understood completely. Paul says he made the “word of God fully known”. No bits and pieces of truth were left out. Simple truth was repeated. Hard truth was explained. All truth was preached. Most people enjoy the truth, “God is love” but do you also enjoy “God is holy”? We like to hear about God’s mercy but what about our sin? We like to hear about heaven but what about hell? We must embrace all truth if we want maturity in Christ.
Second, truth must be understood systematically. Paul says he preached “with all wisdom”. Your physical body is a scientific marvel! Think how wisely it has all been put together by God! Perfect proportion! Perfect balance! Each part functioning in unison with all the other parts. Truth operates the same way. In order to become mature, you must appreciate the whole system of truth. You must see how justification relates to sanctification and how God’s love perfectly matches his justice. You must recognise which truths are most essential. Have you studied truth systematically? The Westminster Shorter Catechism and the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith are good places to start and may be found for free online.
Third, truth must be centred on Jesus Christ. Paul says, “Him we proclaim”. If you haven’t placed all of your hope and trust in Christ for true joy and salvation then merely knowing certain facts will not save you. It is not enough to know that Jesus rose from the dead you must personally look to him to give you life and not some emotional buzz or certain set of circumstances. It isn’t enough to know Christ died on the cross for sinners you must ask him to forgive your sin.
Fourth, you must live out the truth. Truth must be lived in the home, at work, at church. We must apply the truth in a detailed way to every part of our life. At all times, Christ’s truth must govern our lives. That’s why Paul wrote his letters in the New Testament. To teach saints the truth and how to apply it daily.
Sometimes in exasperation parents tell teenagers to “grow up”! Do you want to grow up? Everyone must be mature in Christ. We do this by taking in God’s word completely and systematically. We do it by exercising faith in Christ daily. May God give you grace to become mature in Christ.