In Christ We Become Mature



Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Ephesians 4:11–16

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


There is one thing that is true about every child who has ever been born. From the moment of conception, a child matures

Maturity is when one’s progress as a human being matches one’s reality. Maturity is connected to one’s age, perspective, character, relational patterns, and healthy, flourishing human growth. Immaturity is a term we use when someone who should be mature enough to act a certain way, live a certain way, speak a certain way, or make choices a certain way does not. An immature person is, in essence, stunted in their growth. And that makes them vulnerable—as well as everyone around them.

Ephesians 4:11–16 has much to say about maturing in Christ.

By Christ’s Spirit within us, we are designed to grow, dynamically, as a child grows. We are designed to grow in love, grow in wisdom, and grow in the character of Christ in every way. Maturity is coming into “all the fullness of God” in Christ, according to our Prayer for Union and Love in Ephesians 3:14–21.

Paul follows this prayer in Ephesians 3 with these strong words in Ephesians 4. He is eager for us to come into unity in the faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God so that we might attain the “whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (v. 13).

How does this happen?

First, we need to be filled with the Spirit of God so Jesus is within us, leading us (Eph. 5:18).

Second, we need some long-form discipleship with trusted guides and mentors. Both we and our guides need to go into lifelong training to become like Christ (1 Tim. 4:6–16). We are designed to learn from spiritually gifted guides who will help us mature in Christ (vv. 11–13) as they themselves continue to mature. A trusted guide is not someone who has arrived. A trusted guide is someone who is tender, in public and private, to Jesus’s work in their lives. They are becoming more whole as we are becoming more whole.

Those guides should evidence visible maturity in love, maturity in Christlikeness in heart, in mind, in action, in character, as they lead. Whether they are apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, preachers, or anything else, all are required to be mature in love.

All guides should evidence they are growing in a depth of union with Christ—the one who defined himself as being “gentle and humble in heart” (Matt. 11:29). The trusted guides you and I choose should be gentle and humble in heart, like their Lord before them, who lives in them.

Discipled by those who are maturing both ahead of us and along with us, our hearts, minds, and attitudes are slowly conformed to Christ (Rom. 8:29) by a process of Spirit-powered transformation.

Then, to put it bluntly, we will cease to be immature.

We won’t be gullible, tossed about by every spiritual perspective or idea that comes our way. We will have discernment, godly wisdom, and perspective. We will handle the Word of God correctly, avoiding godless chatter and losing our way in the spiritual noise that stirs in every generation (2 Tim. 2:15–16).

Our ears won’t be tickled by new and unusual doctrines, or by the latest teaching—teaching only peripherally rooted in a robust, holistic, biblical vision of Christlikness (2 Tim. 4:3).

Those living in union with Christ, inhabited by Christ, participating in Christ’s life, incarnating his love in the world, will be marked by love. We’ll speak the truth in love, as we, his body, become like him, the head of his body (v. 15), the church. We will love as Jesus loves.

We will grow and build one another up in love, the hallmark evidence of our union with God in Christ. We will become mature—true saints, holy ones—whose sole purpose in life is no longer to live for ourselves, but to have Christ living his life through us (Gal. 2:20).


Lord Jesus, I am in you and you are in me. Maturing in you, coming into the fullness of your life, your heart, and your love, is my great desire. Through trusted guides, and through learning to love and speak the truth in love, conform me completely to you. In Christ Jesus, I pray, amen.


How have you matured in Christ over the years? What aspects of your discipleship have grown stronger, and what trusted guides have supported you in that journey? Are there any areas of your life in which you would like to become more Christlike, and how can you partner with the Holy Spirit in God’s intention to make you like Jesus?

For the Awakening,
Dan Wilt 

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. The Holy Spirit wants to develop mature Christ followers, not religious spectators. When the body of Christ is mature every member does the work of the ministry in love and unity under the Headship of Jesus as each person is prompted by the Holy Spirit. A plurality of mature believers trains all the members of the body to listen to and obey God’s Spirit. They humbly oversee and lovingly monitor assemblies of the saints so they can gently redirect any member who speaks or acts contrary to the Spirit.

    Then the body of Christ can build itself up in love, unity, and “the knowledge of the Son of God” as “each part (member) does its work” so the whole body can grow under the direct and literal Headship and control of the living, resurrected Jesus Christ and demonstrate to one another and to the world “the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” God has provided gifts so that all the members of the body of Christ can be trained to do the ministry and fulfill the 50+ New Testament “one another commands” as they are prompted by the Headship of Jesus leading through the Holy Spirit.

    O for the day when contemporary Christians “will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” O that the body of Christ in our time would grow into such maturity that every believer would be trained, encouraged, empowered, and allowed to speak the truth in love as led by the Spirit when we gather in Christ’s name.

  2. This section of Scripture, Ephesians 4:11-16, along with the preceding verses 1-10, has played a major part of my understanding the nature of the Ekklesia. I believe that it is God’s own prescription to bring healing to a sick and dying institutionalized church. I see within it three primary actions, that if fulfilled would bring about a healthy and productive Body of Christ. Firstly, the acknowledgment that everyone who has been called to faith in Christ has also been called into a personal ministry in order to glorify His name. Secondly, that there is only one Church, and we have been given the sacred responsibility to preserve the unity of the body through the bond of peace. Thirdly, Jesus has blessed His Church with Spiritually gifted individuals, who’s sole function is to prepare God’s people for their personal ministries. This is to be done through mentoring of new believers by the more mature members, the elders. Obviously this type of preparation will require much more than a weekly lecture along with mere time in a classroom. I see it more like a master tradesman/apprentice type of arrangement, just like Jesus trained his disciples. Teach, demonstrate, initiate hands-on experience, then commission and release for service; actually facilitate the Priesthood of All Believers. This process, in my opinion, would bring about the fullness of Christ, displayed by His corporate body, a healthy Church.

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