"Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained."
The mature will think as Paul just taught in the previous verses (3:1-14). Paul taught we are righteous by faith in Christ not by something we do. When a person believes Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for sin, rose again on the third day and is Lord, then that person immediately is forgiven of his/her sin and made righteous in God’s sight even though no other changes have been made. This is called positional righteousness, redemption, justification or freedom from the penalty of sin which is eternal torment.
Paul realizes that even though in God’s sight he is righteous, he is aware that he hasn’t achieved a sinless life in his day to day living. He states he presses on towards living more and more righteously. The more his mind is renewed by the truth, the more he lives according to the truth, that is, righteously.
In Romans 12:2 Paul taught that we are being transformed continually as we practice truth we learn. Righteousness lived out in our day to day living is called experiential righteousness, sanctification or living free from slavery to sin and living as a slave to obedience which leads to righteousness (Romans 6:16). Paul lives more and more in obedience to the truth by faith in Jesus (Galatians 2:20).
So compare yourself to the scriptures and see if you are mature in your thinking. Do you know that you have been made righteous by faith in the death, burial, resurrection, and lordship of Jesus? Do you press on to obey the Lord Jesus by faith or do you go on sinning saying it will be forgiven anyway?
The mature thinking believer knows all his/her sins are forgiven because he/she was pardoned upon belief in the gospel. The mature believer also seeks to live obedient to the word of God no matter how difficult it may be.
The immature believer doubts his/her salvation. The immature believer does not press on to live obedient to Jesus by learning and practicing the word of God. The immature believer does not look forward to the reward of God saying, "Well done" upon completion of his/her earthly existence.
The job of the mature believer is to teach the truth. The job of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the truth as real to the person being taught. Each believer is to live according to the truth revealed by the Holy Spirit.
Three questions to reflect on:
1. What is God saying to you?
2. What are you going to do about it?
3. Who are you going to share this truth with?