When God uses us mightily through His gifts and the power of the Holy Spirit, we cannot use these works of service as a benchmark or a gauge for our spiritual maturity. In other words, the demonstration of the gifts through us is not a yardstick to guarantee access into His presence when Christ judges us (Matthew 7:21–23). Rather, Apostle Paul in defining maturity, pointed to action, to deeds, to “every good work” (Galatians 6:9). Our maturity is expressed in our spiritual acts of worship as opposed to the mere knowledge we possess. This is what God wants from us: to mature and maturing doers of good by preoccupying ourselves with His interests and in doing good for others not to be occupied with our egocentric tendencies (Philippians 2:4).
The laws governing the judgement of Christ in context of the passage in Matthew 25:34-40 hinges on the expression and the evidence of these deeds and not on the catalogue of miracles we performed during our lifetime. James 1:17 reinforced this position by describing this condition as pure and unblemished religion as opposed to mere talk or lip service. In summary, the danger to prioritise works of service such as the working of miracles, preaching of the gospel over “every good work” is a thinking in error and the lack of understanding. The moulding of the Christ-like character leading to spiritual growth begins in the secret place of the Most High (Psalm 91:1) will eventually express itself in acts of worship in public because it is a lifestyle rooted in Him (Proverbs 12:12; Ephesians 6:17)
“The miracles we do will not take us into Heaven but rather the demonstration of the fruit of the Spirit rooted in righteousness on a daily basis. In short, our primary vocation on earth should be our ardent desire to develop a Christ-like character”.
According to Apostle Paul, the church in Corinth did not lack spiritual gifts (I Corinthians 1:7). However, he subsequently addressed the believers as unspiritual people and ordinary men (v3). He further describes them as worldly (dominated and controlled by human nature and ordinary impulses instead of God’s divine nature), infants still drinking milk and lack the readiness to receive solid food. As a parent, you expect a higher level of responsibility and maturity from your teenager than you do from your baby. Similarly, our heavenly father expects the same from us as we walk with Him. As there are no neutral grounds, the absence of maturity will undoubtedly results in acts of spiritual immaturity. Immaturity will hamper the:
- Enrichment of our personal growth
- Promotion of Christian fellowship
- Awareness of our purpose in life
In the face of living with the risks and evidence of immaturity, Apostle Paul laid emphasis on the importance and his responsibility to present… “…everyone fully mature in Christ through admonishing, teaching, prayer and warnings. Col 1:18-19; 4:12.
Our ability to bear one another’s burden but not to add to it is a sign we are growing spiritually (Galatians 6:2). Consistent with this quality is our ability to give voluntarily and not to receive. Giving is an act of worship where you open yourself to reach others in love in different capacities. For example, the church in Corinth had the grace to give and do so beyond their ability. The church gave themselves first to the Lord and to the apostles for service by disregarding their personal interest. (2 Corinthians 8: 2-5). It is in the giving of our time, money, and material possession, just to name a few, that we begin to grow spiritually.