Every Christian has a story. Each story may look different and have varying elements and characters, but every story is essentially the same: God sent Jesus to die on the cross for sinners, and there came a moment in each Christian’s life where God opened their heart to believe the truth of the gospel, and He saved them.
From that moment of salvation, each Christian begins a path of sanctification. Sanctification is a big fancy word that basically means to become more like Jesus, or, as one of my favorite professors in college famously said, sanctification is the process of becoming who I already am.
God’s grace saves us, and his grace sanctifies us. How beautiful is that?! It is exciting to know as the longer I grow as a Christian, the less I will look like myself and the more I will begin to resemble Christ. As Christians grow in likeness of Christ, they are a mess, but over time, there are different marks that you can see to give evidence to God’s working in their lives. Here are a few of those marks of maturity:
Hatred of Sin
The more you see God and experience His goodness, the more the things of the world that used to fascinate and entangle grow strangely dim in comparison to the glory of God. What was enticing is no longer entertaining. You still sin, but you hate it instead of love it. The desire to know God surpasses all else.
Confession & Repentance
You begin to live a lifestyle of confession and repentance. Sin will still rage rampant in your life, but you deal with it in a way that honors God and purifies you. Confess = admit you have done wrong, repent = turn from it and walk in righteousness.
People actually know you
You refuse the temptation of living in isolation and force yourself to be brave enough to put yourself in real, authentic community. People know you, know you aren’t perfect, and love you anyway. You allow yourself to get involved in messy relationships and are better because of it.
You realize you don’t have much to be boasting about when you understand the depravity of your heart and the undeserving grace that God freely gives you. Walk in humility, and be empowered by knowing your weakness is an opportunity to make much of Christ.
Love for the Bible
You love God’s word. You cling to it as the guiding source of hope and truth. You can’t get enough of it. You let your life be examined by it and you allow God to convict and transform your heart.
Movement to Mission
A Christian who is content to keep the hope they have found all to themselves has no real understanding of the gospel. As God sanctifies you, nothing will be more fulfilling than to live your life on mission to reach more people with the gospel.
Praise God for the hope we Christians have through the cross of Jesus. God saves, redeems, gives life, and sanctifies. We are never “good” enough for His grace, but that’s why it is beautiful, because it is undeserved, yet freely given.
Let’s live our lives in the pursuit of growing in maturity in Christ. Nothing sounds like a better use of our time.