13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

If you’ve ever captained a canoe, kayak, sailboat, or other water vessel, you know that if you’re not moving forward you’re going to drift. To avoid aimless drifting you either need to be moving forward or anchored in place.

This is the picture Paul used to describe the process of spiritual maturity. In this particular passage, he was speaking directly about members in the body of Christ moving forward to maturity together. There is a role, level of activity, and commitment necessary for every person in Christ. We’re not called to simply get in the boat and work on a nice tan while other people do all the paddling! Each person plays an integral part in whether we move forward in our spiritual lives or drift without aim.

Encouraging spiritual growth is not just the part of God’s appointed leaders. As each member of the body of Christ puts to use the spiritual gift he or she has received from the Lord, it builds up the church and helps us all grow toward maturity together. As we mature, we become increasingly concerned with sharing God’s truth with one another and holding fast to that truth. This creates a spirit of unity within the church. We learn how to avoid false teachings and how to speak the truth in love. As a result, the body of Christ is built up and begins to measure up to “the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

• Consider these two verses conversely. What happens when believers do not depend on one another or have an expectation of spiritual growth?

• In what ways are you contributing to the spiritual growth of the body of Christ here at 121? Who are you allowing to contribute to your spiritual growth?

• Thank God for His church, specifically the body of Christ that gathers together as 121 Community Church. Ask Him to help you use your gifts, resources, and passions to build one another up into the image of Christ.