by John Barnett

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Blessing God (29 of 38)
John Barnett

If James could reduce the purpose of his letter down to only two words, they would be "Spiritual maturity". Personal spiritual growth among individuals is just about the greatest need in our church today. In our end of the 20 th century, we are seeing too many churches sink to a role of providing playpens for babies instead of workshops for adults. That is exactly what the writer of Hebrews warned us in 5:11-14
• We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. NIV
One look at the problems James covers in this short letter says it all. As a pastor he was dealing with childhood illnesses. He is writing and exhorting them about the five marks of childish and immature believers. Did you notice them?
1. Spiritual babes are Impatient with the troubles of life (1:1-4)
2. Spiritual babes are quick to talk but slow to live the truth (2:14ff)
3. Spiritual babes have an out of control tongue (3:1ff)
4. Spiritual babes are often bickering and jealous (4:1ff)
5. Spiritual babes are busy collecting material "toys" (5:1ff)
So what did James write as the first letter to the New Testament church? Simply this, he exhorts them to a clear and simple way of life reflecting a mature walk of faith .

As Christ was received by faith, so the way of life flowing from His presence in a life would be reflected in the walk of faith.
So James gives 12 clear indicators of how the walk of faith is going. You are headed toward Christian maturity when these areas are in line:
• A Mature Walk of Faith endures troub ...

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