Emotional Maturity in Christ

(Rom 12:2 NKJV) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and
perfect will of God.

Perhaps the most diabolical deception of this or any century is the assumption that
"whatever is average is normal, and whatever is normal is right".

This completely denies the righteousness of God and His absolute authority to set
standards. It also denies by implication the need and ability for the individual person to be
conformed to any higher standard. Such pride filled premises as "follow your heart", "be
yourself" and "to thine own self be true" spring from such deceptions and lead the
individual into self righteousness, self deceit and self destruction.

It focuses attention outward causing the person to live in constant turmoil, always making
comparisons with others to determine "acceptable social behavior". Am I good enough?
Am I attractive enough? Am I dressing right? Am I smart enough? Am I physically
competitive enough? In short, am I a winner or a loser?

Even in our spiritual walk we find ourselves being constantly bombarded by dictates from
preachers to "be successful", "be achievers" and "work to win souls" for Christ. Many times
there are contests that reward an individual for the most people brought to Church, or
making the most witnessing contacts or home visits. Such things as this only serve to reduce
the living and sharing of the Gospel to mere human effort.

(Col 2:8 NKJV) Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit,
according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not
according to Christ.

What does Scripture say about such things?

(2 Cor 10:12 NKJV) For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who
commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing
themselves among themselves, are not wise.

(Eph 4:11- 13 NKJV) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some
evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of
ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and
of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of
the fullness of Christ;

The ONLY true measure is the measure of the fullness of the stature of Christ. The ONLY
standard is the standard of Jesus Christ! ANYTHING less than Him is just pathetic human
effort and completely unworthy of Him.

(Gal 5:24 NKJV) And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and
desires.

The one who is in Christ Jesus HAS crucified the flesh (carnal nature) with its controlling
emotional motivations. These obsessive passions should no longer be leading the attitudes
and actions of the Christian. The choice now is ours do we follow Christ or the dictates of
our attitudes and emotions?

(Eph 2:1-3 NKJV) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which
you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the
power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also
we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and
of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

(Titus 3:3 NKJV) For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving
various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

We all come from the same lustful, carnally minded background. Although our individual
life experiences differ, we are ALL cut from the same mold. All praise be to God Who HAS
delivered us from the tyranny of our souls and given us the spirit of perfection and
completeness in Christ.

(1 Cor 6:17 NKJV) But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

(Col 2:9-10 NKJV) For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are
complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

What are our options for behavior now?

Now that Jesus has made real choice possible what do we choose?

(Col 3:12-16 NKJV) Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender
mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and
forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave
you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of
perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in
one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing
with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

(Eph 4:31-32 NKJV) Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put
away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one
another, just as God in Christ forgave you.

(Col 3:8-10 NKJV) But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice,
blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have
put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in
knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

(1 Pet 2:1-3 NKJV) Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil
speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow
thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

These things should be accomplished while we are still "babes" in Christ before we have
reached the place where we are ready for strong meat in the deeper things of God.

This is the process of renewing the mind and being transformed or changed daily by
washing in the word of God. We do this to the end --- that we should no longer be
children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery
of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may
grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ; [Eph 4:14-15 NKJV]

This "growing up into Christ" is the process of renewing the mind, conquering the kingdom
within the soul and bringing every thought captive to the truth which is in Jesus.

(2 Cor 10:4-5 NKJV) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for
pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself
against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of
Christ,

(Rom 8:1-2 NKJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ
Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of
the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

(Gal 5:25 NKJV) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

(Rom 8:5-9 NKJV) For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things
of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be
carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal
mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So
then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the
Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of
Christ, he is not His.

(1 Cor 2:14-15 NKJV) But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God,
for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually
discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no
one.

ONLY the born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has the ability to make substantive
change leading to that daily walking (living) which is according to the spirit. It CAN NOT
be done by the flesh or through the means of the carnal mind. One can change a lifestyle
but that is NOT the same as being transformed by the word and work of the Holy Spirit
within.

(Gal 5:19-21 NKJV) Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,
fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies,
outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness,
revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past,
that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Those who practice such things...this indicates an habitual, conscious choosing to continue
in these things without concern or conscience. Such a person is not a believer and has not
the "Spirit of Christ".

Any believer may fail and fall into sin but eventually that one will be brought back to
repentance by the loving, relentless work of the Holy Spirit.

(Gal 5:16-18 NKJV) I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary
to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the
Spirit, you are not under the law.

(Gal 5:22 -24 NKJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

(Col 2:6-7 NKJV) As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught,
abounding in it with thanksgiving.



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