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06 The Characteristics of Childishness and the Marks of Maturity 1 Corinthians 3:1-23

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06 The Characteristics of Childishness and the Marks of Maturity 1 Corinthians 3:1-23

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The Characteristics of Childishness and the Marks of Maturity 1 Corinthians 3:1-23 Adapted from a Michael Luke sermon http://www.sermoncentral.com/print_friendly.asp?SermonID=86269

The Characteristics of Childishness and the Marks of Maturity 1 Corinthians 3:1-23 Adapted from a Michael Luke sermon http://www.sermoncentral.com/print_friendly.asp?SermonID=86269

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06 The Characteristics of Childishness and the Marks of Maturity 1 Corinthians 3:1-23

  1. 1. ESV
  2. 2. A young boy came to his father after church one Sunday. He said, “Dad, I want to ask you something.” The father said, “What is it son?” “Dad, I’m kind of confused. In Sunday school this morning, the teacher kept telling us about the children of Israel – how the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, the children of Israel built the Temple, and the children of Israel making sacrifices. Didn’t the grown-ups ever do anything?”
  3. 3. The apostle Paul has already explained in that there are two kinds of people in the world: unsaved and saved; non- Christian and the Christian. He points out to us in that there are two kinds of Christians: 1. Of the flesh, (carnal, worldly) immature 2. Spiritual, mature
  4. 4. Difference between being childlike and childish: 1. Childlike Trusting, Humble, Eager, Loving ESV
  5. 5. 2. Childish Immaturity is to lack the qualities of being fully developed – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The wife said to her husband, “Sometimes you can be so immature!” So he stuck his tongue out at her. Marked by irresponsibility. They can’t do important things without being reminded. Sometimes just don’t care whether they get done or not.
  6. 6. Also marked by instability Never consistent Sometimes you can depend on them and sometimes you can’t. You really don’t know what to expect. (No ladies, we’re not talking about husbands…but if the shoe fits???) Paul gives us four indicators that show whether Christians are immature or mature.
  7. 7. Paul says that spiritual maturity or immaturity is caused by one primary factor: our spiritual diet. The immature Christian should have left the milk bottle and moved on to solid food but their immaturity shows in that their still being nursed on milk.
  8. 8. The mature Christian eats a balanced diet from God’s Word. Word of God is called “spiritual food” several times in the scriptures: Bread – ESV
  9. 9. Solid food – ESV
  10. 10. The mature Christian eats a steady diet of . The traditional interpretation of this passage has usually been that “ ” represents the easy things in God’s Word and “ ” represents the difficult things.
  11. 11. Honey – ESV The immature Christian lacks proper nourishment. They like snacks and junk food instead of nutrient rich solid food & the sweet honey of God’s Word. A prime indicator of immaturity and maturity is shown through the kind of preaching and teaching they enjoy. Immature Christians like to be entertained and to feel good about themselves when they leave. Mature Christians want to be edified and enlightened.
  12. 12. ESV
  13. 13. Paul mentions several things that indicate immaturity. Jealousy and quarreling, They disagree and fuss a lot. Usually over things that aren’t important. An identification with heroes, “My hero can whip your hero!” “Cannot!” “Can too!” “Un huh!” “Uh huh!”
  14. 14. Several things that indicate maturity. Practices love and seeks to get along with others & will only take up a fight over the most important issues. Appreciates the leadership of others but recognizes that, “ .” Healthy respect for other mature Christians but also recognizes that we all struggle with the flesh.
  15. 15. Paul takes an image from Jesus’ Parable of the Sower. ESV
  16. 16. A parable that used one sower is now applied to the whole congregation of believers. What indicates immaturity or maturity in the field? Childish, carnal Christian just “play” at working in the field. They focus on the work of individuals. Forget the purpose of being in the field.
  17. 17. Mature, spiritual Christians are careful about how the work is accomplished. They focus on what God is doing through the laborers. They forget about who does what and they work together to build the kingdom of God.
  18. 18. These indicators are based on how we use our spiritual gifts. The Bible teaches that when we become Christians we receive the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. ESV At least one spiritual gift from the Holy Spirit is to do works of service in the name of Jesus Christ.
  19. 19. Paul deals with the subject of spiritual gifts in greater detail in but for right now we need to understand two things: Immature Christians use gifts as toys to play with and as trophies to brag about. Mature Christians use gifts as tools to work with and utilize their gifts to the glory of Jesus Christ.
  20. 20. Building and construction analogies are used several times in the New Testament to teach us about building the church of Christ. ESV
  21. 21. What are the indicators of immaturity and maturity in building the body of Christ? Immature Christians build something that will not last. They’re goal is to build something that will last only as long as they need it. They build it out of what is convenient. Mature Christians build something of quality, something that will last throughout eternity.
  22. 22. If we’re going to build the way God wants it built, we have to follow some guidelines. ESV
  23. 23. We have to build on the right foundation.
  24. 24. We have to build with the right materials.
  25. 25. Two completely divergent building materials: Those identified as wood, hay, and straw, represent things which are temporary, ordinary, cheap, easy to obtain. Those identified as gold, silver, and precious stones. They represent things that are permanent, beautiful, valuable, hard to obtain.
  26. 26. We have to build according to the right plan. Must build with the right motive, that motive is the glory of God.
  27. 27. Paul’s illustration of building points us back to Jesus’ teaching at the end of the Sermon on the Mount ESV
  28. 28. The difference in immaturity and maturity are determined by four things. I. What We Eat II. How We Relate To Each Other III. How We Work In The Field IV. How We Build The Building
  29. 29. You need to answer these questions: 1. What are you feeding yourself? --You are what you eat. 2. What are you sowing? --What you sow is what you reap. 3. On what are you building? --on sand or the solid foundation of Jesus Christ?

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