VFC Bible Study Worksheet 11-Jan-2015


Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – January 11, 2015
Theme: Christian Maturity

Topic: Christ-centred maturity.

Main Text: Hebrews 1:1-14

Key Verse: Hebrews 1:3 – “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being…”

Introduction

In the first century, there were a group of people who, though they adopted some Christian ideas, sought to find spiritual maturity by bypassing Christ. They were called “Gnostics” or “Knowing Ones”. They did not get very far in Church circles. Those who profess to believe in Christ and yet, in their quest for maturity, turn to something that seems more intellectual, more modern, more in keeping with the times, will end up where the Gnostics ended – in oblivion. Everything that is not centred in Jesus Christ is off centre – eccentric.

We recognise the spiritual descendants of the Gnostics today by how they talk of Jesus – as a Teacher, a Guide, and Example, an Illuminator, but never as Saviour. These people are cunning and subtle and are not always easy to identify. The Jesus they talk about is not the One whom our text today describes as the “image of God”. To them, Jesus is “a Forerunner and Example for the self-salvation of the human spirit.” If you do not subscribe to their view of Christ, they look down on you as immature, and would want to “educate” you to “understand” and “see the god in you”. They even take this concept to the corporate world where career advancement is partly determined by
whether or not an employee is deemed mature, by their definition.

However, the Jesus Christ of the Bible is both the starting and ending point of Christian maturity. In essence, spiritual maturity is the ability to respond to life and to any given situation in the same way that Jesus would.

Maturity is also not a matter of age, or even how long one has been a Christian. There are those who have known Christ for only a few years but who show greater maturity than some who have been Christians for decades. We must also be careful not to give the impression that maturity is a destination when it is really a direction – moving through life with godly intents and purposes.


Discussion Questions:

 1. Read 1 Timothy 6:20-21. Mention some modern-day knowledge-based organisations that claim to be compatible with the Christian faith but which deny the true Christ. What are the potential consequences of having members of such organisations in Church leadership?

2. Read Acts 22:3-5 and Galatians 1:13-14. With Paul so advanced and advancing in
knowledge, what was the issue with his maturity in this regard and how should this inform our approach to intellectualism in the Church?

3. Read Philippians 3:3-12. How did Paul’s conversion redefine his concept of maturity, and what goal did he set for himself as a result?


Prayer:

Father, alert us to the need to focus on Jesus Christ as the basis of assessing our maturity. I submit to His standard, and I commit to making Him – not intellectual knowledge – as my benchmark for maturity. Amen.

{Partly culled from January/February 1993 edition of Every Day With Jesus by Selwyn Hughes, used by permission of CWR}