Today let's look at some signs of a mature Christian. These signs can be found in Hebrews chapter 13. Please take time to read this chapter.
Mature Christians are:
1) Loving toward their local church body.
"Keep on loving each other as brothers" Hebrews 13:1
A healthy church will be full of love for one another. You will never enter a healthy church and feel widespread animosity amongst those worshipping there. Mature Christians love one another.
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2
Mature Christians realize that their stuff is not their stuff. Mature Christians view their possessions as tools in the service of God and others. They will be hospitable, and hospitality is a high virtue in the Word from Genesis to Revelation.
"Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." Hebrews 13:3
Mature Christians feel the heartbreak of others and do something about it. Now, we can't all feel heartbreak for everyone, but if your heart isn't broke because of some sort of suffering I'll venture to say you need to grow in Christian maturity.
4) Honorers of marriage.
"Marriage should be honored by all," Hebrews 13:4
Marriage is to be kept pure. If you are sleeping around, before or after marriage, you have much room to grow in Christ. Also, singles are to honor marriage. This means to honor your spouse before you meet them, and to help married couples by honoring their marriage. Maybe you could offer to watch their children so they can have a date night, for example. All mature Christians honor marriage because it is a picture of Christ and the Church.
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
This one is tough. We are not to be like everyone else in the rat race for more and better stuff. We are to be content because mature Christians have the mature belief that God is more than enough to fulfill every need and want we have.
6) Rooted in sound doctrine.
"Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings." Hebrews 13:9
Mature Christians know the orthodox teachings of the Bible and can spot or sniff out things outside of that. Above that, they don't get carried away by strange ideas even if they take the time to hear them out.
7) Prone to think of the Kingdom of God.
"For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come." Hebrews 13:14
Mature Christians realize that the things of this world will pass away and only what's done in the name of Christ will last. Mature Christians think on an eternal time scale when they consider their priorities. They know what lasts forever and what is like dust in the wind.
8) Continually offering a sacrifice of praise.
"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise... the fruit of lips that confess His name." Hebrews 13:15
Mature Christians confess the name of Jesus without shame. Do you do this, or are you shy to confess that Jesus is your Lord and Savior? Until we are bold confessors of His name we have room to grow.
9) Good followers.
"Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you." Hebrews 13:17
Mature Christians realize that their leaders in the Church must give an account to God for their souls. This is serious business! Mature Christians are good followers. Do you follow the leaders in your church in a way that makes leading you a joy or a burden? Do you pray for them? Unless leading you is a joy you have not entered into complete Christian maturity.
10) Doers of good.
May the God of peace... equip you with everything good for doing His will," Hebrews 13:20-21
Mature Christians do good things in accordance with God's perfect will. Good things don't make you mature; rather, a mature Christian realizes he/she has been given the opportunity to do good by God and he/she chooses to do good.
Do these ten things describe you? I'm doubting any of you can say 'yes' perfectly. Find the one that you need to work on and grow in that aspect of your race toward Christ. But remember, Hebrews is first and foremost about the supremacy of God's grace through Christ Jesus.
Grace be with you all today.