Listen:  100 Question 5

In the scriptures, we have the Greek word ‘teleios’.  This word means to be complete; to be of full age; to be mature.  To get an understanding of what spiritual maturity is let’s consider a few verses where this word is used.  Teleios is translated ‘be men’ in 1 Corinthians 14:20 which says, “Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.”  For better clarity, let’s read this verse from the NIV translation.  That says, “Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.”  The Lord wants us to be spiritually mature.  He wants us to think and act like Christian adults.  The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

Teleios is translated ‘perfect’ in Philippians 3:13-15 where we read, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”  One characteristic of spiritual maturity is the ability to let go of the things of the past and continue to live a life that is worthy of our calling in Christ Jesus.  Looking back often leads to going back, and we need to continue in a forward direction.  We cannot allow past mistakes, sins, or failures to keep us from continuing on in the things of the Lord.  We learn in Proverbs 24:16, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”  You may have fallen, but get back up.  Confess your sins and failures to the Lord and look to Him to continue on.  This is a sign of spiritual maturity.

We have the word ‘teleios’ translated as ‘full age’ in Hebrews 5:14, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”  Another characteristic of one who is spiritually mature is the ability to understand the deeper things of Christ and to live according to the truth of God’s Word.  1 Corinthians 2:9-10 says, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”  The Spirit of God longs to teach us the deep things of God.  1 Peter 2:2 tells us, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”  As we grow and mature by the Word and the Spirit, we are able to take in strong meat, or the deep things of God.

The Lord would have us all to be mature.  We read in Ephesians 4:14, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”  We all need to be grow in the things of the Lord.  According to Ephesians 4:15, the Lord wants us to, “…grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”  Using the Greek word ‘teleiotes’, which is a form of the word ‘teleios’, Hebrews 6:1 says, “…let us go on unto perfection.”  (100.5)