Just as we grow physically, we need to grow spiritually. How can we keep growing and maturing in Christ?
- ¨Types of growth
- Where are we heading?
- Which Spirit is in you?
- Test your stand
- Spiritual growth and its importance
- Immature and mature believers
- Steps to spiritual maturity
- Facts about spiritual maturity
- How can I become a disciple?
- Poem – I’m a common clay pot
- Growth Formula
Is Growth Automatic?
No – It is not automatic. It depends on nourishment and care. For physical and mental growth of child:
- If a mother feeds her baby with nutritious food, the baby will grow.
- But if the baby is not getting proper nutrition, the baby will suffer from malnourishment and could even die.
Similarly, are you growing spiritually? OR Are you heading towards a malnourished spiritual life?
Find out currently in which category you are
The Categories are –
- Before knowing or accepting Christ
- True believers in Christ
- Defeated Christians
- The living dead
The ideal state of course, is being Christ like.
According to 1 John 4 there are 4 spirits, we could have in our heart:
- Spirit of God : God’s seed living in the believer
- Spirit of Truth : Obedience to the word and teachings of the apostles
- Spirit of Antichrist: Satan in control of the spirit
- Spirit of Falsehood: Follow worldly principles
Why do we need to check our stand?
According to Matthew 15: 8,9, Jesus says:
8“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.”
Questions we can ask ourselves:
- Am I really following Him and His ways?
- Am I really a believer becoming more Christlike? Or am I a defeated Christian?
- Am I worshipping in vain?
- Have really overcome temptation? And many more ..
Let us deeply examine your hearts with the help of the Holy Spirit
What is spiritual growth?
Growth is development or improvement towards a goal called “maturity” i.e acc. to the Bible, “perfection”.
Why is growth important?
- 1. When one is “born again” as a child of God, he is spiritually immature.
- As time passes, she/he should develop the qualities or abilities which the Bible says characterize the mature.
- A congregation matures as individual members mature.
Biblical Scriptures on Growth
Ephesians 4:14,15 – Be no longer children, but grow up in Christ.
2 Peter 3:18 – but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 – The Thessalonians grew exceedingly in faith.
Philippians 1:9 – Paul prayed for their love to abound more and more.
Steps to Spiritual Maturity
1. A DESIRE TO GROW
A)We will never grow unless we want to grow.
B)We must maintain this desire to grow
A)We need spiritual food from God’s Word.
B)To get this, we must study the Bible in depth and meditate on it.
Steps to Spiritual Maturity (Cont'd)
3. EXERCISE AND PRACTICE
A) Essential to physical development.
B) Essential to spiritual development.
4. TIME AND PATIENCE
A) Don’t expect to reach your goal overnight.
B) Don’t become discouraged by mistakes and rebukes.
The Immature Believer
The Mature Believer
Dull of Hearing
Paying close attention to what God says
Not able to teach others. Needs to be taught.
Able to teach others
Still learning the ABC’s of God’s truth
Has learned the ABC’s of God’s truth and moved on to the deeper things of God(1Cor. 2:10)
Needs milk – Not ready for meat.
Feeding on strong meat
A spiritual baby
Spiritually advanced and discerning
Great difficulty in discerning between good and evil, & often makes wrong moral choices.
Able to discern between good and evil (compare 1 Cor. 2:15), guided by God’s Word (compare 1 Thess. 5:21)
Ignorant of God’s will and ways due to neglect of the Bible
1 John 2:14
Knowing God and living in His Word (compare 2 Pet. 3:18)
“Do as I say but not as I do”
“Follow me as I follow Christ.” Able to be a model for others (compare 1 Cor. 11:1)
|Still feeding on the baby bottle (milk) & not able to handle solid food||1 Corinthians 3:1-2||Feeding on milk and solid food|
|Carnality, walking in flesh, works of flesh (envy, strife, divisions, etc.)||1 Corinthians 3:3||Walking in the Spirit (compare Galatians 5:16)|
|Following men||1 Corinthians 3:4-5||Following Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1)|
|In need of personal help with faults||Galatians 6:1||Able to help a brother/ sister who is overcome by a fault|
|Children tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine||Ephesians 4:13-14||Rooted and grounded in the knowledge of Christ|
|Vulnerable to the enemy||Ephesians 6:10-17||Protected by God’s armour|
|Self absorbed, proud||Philippians 3:3-5||Absorbed with Christ and with the needs of others, humble|
|Satisfied and, content with sub-par spiritual state. [Remember, when swimming upstream, to do nothing is to actually go backwards].||Philippians 3:12-13||Regardless of the level of maturity reached, presses on to higher ground, never content with present level of attainment or spiritual accomplishment.|
It is no shame to be a baby, if you were born a few months ago. But if a person has been a child of God for several years and has not grown, there is a problem.
Everyone needs to grow as a Christian, and everyone can grow, if he/she simply applies the Bible principles of growth.
FACTS ABOUT SPIRITUAL MATURITY
- IT’S NOT AUTOMATIC
“you have been Christians for a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others, but instead … you need someone to teach you … When a person is still living on milk, it shows he isn’t very far along in the Christian life … He’s still a baby Christian!” Heb. 5:12-13
FACTS ABOUT SPIRITUAL MATURITY (Cont'd)
- IT IS A PROCESS
“Learn to be mature.” Prov. 8:5
“Continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our savior Jesus Christ.“ 2 Peter 3:18
- IT TAKES DISCIPLINE
“Take the time and the trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit.” 1Tim. 4:7b
“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.”
HOW CAN I BECOME A DISCIPLE?
“… You have put off the old self with its HABITS, and have put on the new self … which God is continually renewing in his own image, to bring you to a full knowledge of himself.” Col. 3:9-10
- TIME WITH GOD’S WORD – “If you continue in my Word, then you are my disciples indeed. And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.“John 8:31-32
- PRAYER –“If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it … in this way you become my disciples.“ John 15:7-8
HOW CAN I BECOME A DISCIPLE (Cont'd)?
3. TITHING -“The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God first in your lives.”Deut. 14:23
4. FELLOWSHIP -“Love each other just as much as I love you. Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35
Education wise we climb the ladder from 1st std till graduation and more.
Likewise climb the ladder from spiritually immature to spiritually mature.
I’m a Common Clay Pot
I’m a common clay pot and perfect I am not
But the Lord is moulding me.
In his perfect plan and under his mighty hand
He is changing me constantly
I used to tell the potter how to mold the clay
Now I’m resting on the wheel just to TRUST & OBEY.
I'm a common clay pot (Cont'd)
In this earthen vessel there’s a treasure better than gold,
It’s perfectly free for you & me & can’t be bought nor sold – Natalie Berglund
Powerpoint prepared by Swati Griffin Salins