“I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?”
Galatians 3: 2-3, NIV
How can I grow more mature in my faith? Every honest Christian asks this question. Is it only the passage of time that brings maturity? Not necessarily. Some people gain ten years experience, while others simply repeat one year ten times. Paul is answering the question of spiritual growth in these verses. Just as we are saved by grace through faith, so will we grow by grace through faith. It is foolish, says Paul, to expect spiritual growth to spring from the flesh, meaning your strength and ability.
Depend on yourself and the things you do for spiritual growth and you are doomed to failure. It is easy to get fooled in this area because we intuitively believe that if we can just discipline ourselves to attend church, study the Bible, and lose our bad habits, then we will be spiritually mature. Here is why that does not work. Whatever you do in your own strength, even good things like church and clean living, will inevitably make you proud. God resists the proud. The world is full of people who are devoutly religious, remarkably self-disciplined and spiritually infantile. It is because they are proud and self-righteous. Genuine spiritual maturity comes to those who live each day in humble dependence upon the merciful God who saved them. They also love to gather with the church, study the scriptures, and live for God’s glory. But these things are the result of their maturity, not the cause.
QUESTION: What about you? Are you frustrated that your faith is no deeper today than when you first believed? Stop your self-righteous striving and humble yourself before God today.