Faith and Science – Week 4
- Start this week by defining “cognitive dissonance” and share some examples that you see in the world.
Read: Colossians 1:28, Ephesians 4:11-15, and James 1:3-4
These three passages deal with different elements in our spiritual maturity with Christ– being told or telling (Colossians), being trained or training (Ephesians) and being tested (James). All are part of our spiritual maturity.
- Which element(s) are you actively engaged in?
- Which element(s) do you need help in? Which one(s) can you offer help in?
- How can you seek or offer help?
- Are you progressing to spiritual maturity (taking your faith seriously)?
- Who is your standard for spiritual maturity? (Our tendency is to have “comparative faith.” If our standard is Christ, we will always be striving to grow.)
- What does spiritual maturity look like?
- What scriptures would you use to describe spiritual maturity?
- What would spiritual immaturity look like?
Read 2 Timothy 3:1-5
This passage depicts spiritual immaturity. We looked at this section at the end of last week, and Pastor Doug referenced it in his sermon Sunday, so we’re going to really explore it now. A tendency with verses like these is to take them out of context and look at the world around us. Look in the world, and you’ll see greed, arrogance, disobedience, irreverence, hate and pure evil. These things are happening, so we must be in the “last days,” right? That’s what people fixate on. Think for a moment though; has there been any era in human history where these things didn’t happen? Six chapters into the Bible God decides to destroy the people of the earth for their utter depravity. The world has always had trouble with these things. It’s important to remember that New Testament letters were written to the churches, often to correct bad behavior. Paul’s charge in 2 Timothy is that Timothy would cling to right teaching and pursue Christ because the day will come when people (in the church) will pretend to know Jesus but live in complete contradiction to what he said or preach things he didn’t preach. That is spiritual immaturity- knowing what to do but not doing it. That is “cognitive dissonance.” Paul is warning Timothy and the reader against spiritual immaturity.
Read 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
We must avoid spiritual immaturity. Growing in spiritual maturity is essential for our faith, and we must hold each other accountable for it, and our standard must always be Jesus. Our standard isn’t to “not look like the world.” Our standard isn’t to “do better than everyone else.” The standard is Jesus, and we have to pursue him and grow in our spiritual maturity.
- Where are you spiritually immature, spiritually dissonant?
- How can you fight that?
- Will you fight that?
- Will you allow your Christian brothers and sisters to hold you to that?
- Are you going to fight to grow spiritually this week?
- Pray for the group to strive for the spiritual maturity of Christ.