Spiritual Maturity: Not What You Might Think!


When I first came to faith 15 years ago, I felt so far behind when it came to my knowledge of God’s Word. I had a mentor wisely tell me early on that maturity is not defined by how familiar you are with Scripture, or how often you have attended church functions, or the extent of your theological vocabulary. In the following eleven verses Paul gives us a terrific glimpse into where true spiritual maturity comes from.

  • How do you think one gains spiritual maturity? 


Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.


  1. Reread verses 6-8. What are a few things you observe in this foundational section?
  2. In these verses, Paul was contrasting worldly wisdom, “wisdom of this age,” with Godly wisdom, “wisdom of God.” What do you believe are the results of following worldly wisdom? Of following Godly wisdom?
  3. Reread verses 10-13. What is the role of the Spirit as it relates to understanding God’s character and wisdom?
  4. Reflect on the last sentence in verse 16. As believers, what does it mean that we “have the mind of Christ”? How would your day change if you lived with confident expectation in this amazingly rich truth?


The process of maturity is always grounded in God’s Word. But to mature, we must take what God reveals to us through his Spirit and take steps of obedience in following our Savior. We do have a choice at any particular moment during our day: to lean on the Spirit and trust that we have the “mind of Christ” (vs. 16) secured through the Cross, or to lean on our own wisdom, which always leaves us completely empty and separate from God. Spiritual maturity has nothing to do with our own efforts and everything to do with the extent to which we lean on the power of the Holy Spirit in more and more moments of our day.

  • Take time to cry out to God, asking him to allow you to walk with him through the power of his Spirit, more and more throughout your day.