Soul Share

"striving with the same soul" (Phil 1:27)

“He then who has observed with intelligence the administration of the world, and has learned that the greatest and supreme and the most comprehensive community is that which is composed of men and God -- for these only are by their nature formed to have communion with God, being by means of reason conjoined with God -- why should not such a man call himself a citizen of the world, why not a son of God, and why should he be afraid of anything which happens among men?"
Epictetus, Discourses, 1.9.3

Progress in Early Christian Texts

Romans 12:2

Do not pattern your values based on current popular ideas, but allow yourself to be changed by thinking in a new way, so that you can demonstrate how God wants you to live: a life that is good, appropriate, and mature.

Philippians 3:12-17

It’s not as though I have already reached this point or have been made spiritually mature. Instead, I make chase on the possibility I might overtake that for which I also have been overtaken by Christ Jesus. Friends, I do not consider myself to have crossed the finish line. Yet, I focus myself on one thing: by leaving in the dust the advantages I gained previously and stretching myself toward the benefits before me, I sprint toward the goal for the prize, the ascension invitation of God in participation with Christ Jesus. So then, those of you who are spiritually mature, let us be thinking along these lines (and if anyone takes a different point of view, God will show them this is the right way to think): In any case, whatever level we’ve achieved, let’s maintain the same standard of life. Imitate my example together, friends, and watch those who conduct themselves in this way, since you have an example in us.

1 Corinthians 14:20

Friends, do not be immature children when it comes to decision-making. Instead, be inexperienced infants regarding vice, but regarding decision-making be well-formed adults.

Hebrews 5:12-6:2

Though by now you should be advanced to the stage of being teachers, you need remedial teaching on the basic principles of the sayings of God. You need your mother’s milk and not solid food. Someone taking in milk is an infant and inexperienced with the moral code. The mature adult takes in solid food; they are people, who because of their condition of having had their perceptual faculties educated, they are able to discern between virtue and vice. So, then, moving on from the elementary teaching about Christ, we should be led toward maturity instead of repeating the entry-level of repenting of idolatry (“dead works”) and commitment to (the one) God, instruction in ablutions, laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.

James 1:2-4

Respond to circumstances with nothing but joy, my friends, whenever you encounter different kinds of trials. You recognize that the testing of your faithfulness produces the capability to endure future trials. Let endurance conduct its work of maturing you, so you might become a fully-matured and fully-formed person, completely self-sufficient.

1 Timothy 4:12-16

Don’t give anyone a reason to scorn your youthfulness, but be an example for the faithful by what you say, how you act, how you show love, how you remain constant, and how you stay pure. Until I arrive pay attention to your reading, to your giving of moral exhortation, and to your teaching. Do not neglect the assigned skill you received by divination with the application of hands by the elder council. Practice these things; spend time doing them, so that your progress might be evident to everyone. Be mindful of yourself and your teaching; pay attention to them. For by doing this you will bring about your moral and spiritual health and that for those who listen to you.

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