The words “Christian” or “Church” have become words that are relative in our culture today. However, any educated student of the Bible knows that both words have “specific” meanings. We live in a culture today where many people think they can just redefine everything, but that isn’t an option when it comes to the word of God. It means what it means, and it says what it says yesterday, today, and forever.
Today the question I’d like to raise is “how do you measure if you are ‘really’ a mature Christian or a biblical mature church?” There are so many “different” measuring systems that Christians and churches in America today use to measure spiritual success, growth, and spiritual maturity! Some use measuring systems like, how many people are sitting in their seats. Others use measuring systems like how much money is donated each week. Many culturally driven churches are using a measuring system based on how much people “approve” of their current version of Christianity, and the style of worship or how they’re doing “church.”
Since Covid-19, social media has almost become a competition of which “Church” can make the coolest or best quality videos or even pictures online. There are so many reasons we could cover, but I personally believe that the church in America has lost track of the measuring system Jesus wanted for His church and for His followers. As one looks globally within “Christianity,” people now are struggling to figure out all of these ideas, and there are now over 32,000 denominations that exist which are using thousands of different measuring systems with more versions popping up all the time. However, when we read the New Testament, we clearly see that Jesus never used any of these “ideas” as His measuring system for spiritual success, growth, and spiritual maturity.
Which brings us to the question “what measuring system should we use to determine for spiritual success, growth, and spiritual maturity?” Throughout His ministry Jesus taught often about “spiritual fruit.” The apostles learned this spiritual measuring system from Jesus, and in Galatians 5:22-26 the Apostle Paul reveals what the “true” measuring system for Christians and Churches is when he wrote “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
Christianity is about becoming like Jesus in thought, word, and in deed. I want you to understand that when we look at the “fruit of the Spirit” it literally describes Jesus. Just like one star forms an even more majestic picture with other stars in a constellation, “the fruit of the spirit” forms a grand picture of being just like Christ.
Life is filled with measuring systems. We use measuring systems for driving, work, business, personal, relational, athletic, emotional, mental, spiritual, and much more! In this life we find that sometimes we have been waiting for others to change while God has been waiting for a change in us. I want you to know that God loves everyone, but He wants His people to radiate “the fruit of the spirit” and never to become religious nuts!
This Sunday at South Side we begin our new series entitled “Wholly Living” where we unpack the fruit of the spirit. Our on-site worship begins at 10:15, and our Children’s Ministry offers children’s classes for all ages. We are continuing to practice social distancing at our services. If you are unable to attend our online services will be available at 3 on Facebook and our website.
If you would like to give generously just text the word “help” to: 84321 and follow the simple instructions. We would love to have you and your family worship with us! For more information visit us on our website at: www.southsidewch.com or on Facebook.
South Side Church of Christ