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Faithlife

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The Marks of Mature Believers
Philippians 1:3–5 ESV
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
Philippians 1:3–5 ESV
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
What is not a mark of spiritual maturity?
Maturity is not an aging process
Maturity is not instantaneous or final
Maturity does not happen automatically
1. The mark of a thankful heart (verse 3)
If Paul thanked God for believers who were so far away from him, how much more should we thank God for each other?
Paul encourages believers to be thankful: ,
Paul encourages believers to be thankful: ,
Colossians 1:12 ESV
giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
Colossians 3:15 ESV
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
If Paul thanked God for believers who were so far away from him, how much more should we thank God for each other?
2. The mark of prayer (verse 4)
Moses prays to God: , ,
Exodus 33:15–18 ESV
And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” Moses said, “Please show me your glory.”
Jesus prays to God:
Luke 6:12 ESV
In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.
Paul urges believers to pray: ,
Colossians 4:2 ESV
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV
pray without ceasing,
“Brethren, we shall never see much change for the better in our churches in general till the prayer meeting occupies a higher place in the esteem of Christians” – C. H. Spurgeon
3. The mark of joy (verse 4)
Joy means an inner gladness, a deep-seated pleasure, a depth of assurance and confidence
Joy is divine: ,
John 15:11 ESV
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Galatians 5:22 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Joy does not depend on circumstances:
2 Corinthians 6:10 ESV
as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
Joy springs from faith: ,
Romans 15:13 ESV
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Matthew 2:10 ESV
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
Joy of future reward makes and keeps the believer faithful:
Hebrews 12:1–2 ESV
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
4. The mark of fellowship or partnership (verse 5)
The importance of fellowship:
1 John 1:3–4 ESV
that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
The fellowship of the Philippian church had continued from the very first day of its founding
“There was no conflict, no confusion, but continuance. A continuing fellowship is a prayer fellowship.” – Lehman Strauss
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