Christianity 201

February 18, 2014

Spiritual Growth

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:43 pm
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Stages of Spiritual Growth

See below for information about today’s graphic.

This article is from a blog making a first time appearance here, Laced With Grace. There are several authors, this one is from Debbie and was titled Are You Growing Up?

Are you growing up?  Recently I gathered a few of my after school students and showed them photos from the previous year.  They laughed and pointed as they noticed how little they once looked.  They had grown in so many ways and it was obvious.

But how about spiritual growth?  It’s not measured the same way.  You can’t look at a photo to see the changes.

A Christian’s salvation is a work of God alone.  We are saved by grace alone.  There’s nothing we can do to earn it.  It is a gift of God.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works so that no one can boast.

Christian growth is a call to labor.  In Philippians 2:12 Paul is addressing the church at Philippi.

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed — not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence — continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

As I grow in my relationship with the Lord, spiritual maturity develops.  It is a life time pursuit and one I can participate in.  I study the Scriptures, pray, attend church and fellowship with other believers.  Often I gain insight from more mature believers by their example and experience.

As I grow in sanctification, my heart’s desires change.  People who knew me before begin to notice.  I attended a reunion for my nursing school a number of years ago.  I used to be a bit wild in my younger years.  Although I hadn’t yet mentioned anything about my faith, one of my old friends asked me when I became a Christian.  I told her and asked her how she knew.  She told me I was different and since she was also a Christian …she knew.

Your Christian maturity will reach a level that is in direct proportion to your willingness to labour in this great vocation.

R. C. Sproul, in What Does It Mean to Be Born Again

I love that I can be diligent and participate with the Holy Spirit as I grow in my faith.

Philippians 2:13 says:

It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

He gives me all I need to grow and mature.  The question is are you and I willing to participate?

  • Do you see growth in your spiritual life?
  • Do others notice a difference in your life since becoming a Christian?
  • Are you actively pursuing activities that stimulate and nurture your Christian maturity?

As I prepared to post today’s devotional/study, it occurred to me that part of the growth process God may be calling you (and me) to may be to step up in terms of your role in your local church. If there are any areas where you feel your church is lacking, maybe you are the answer its prayers. Reconsider this brief list of the fivefold ministry gifts and see if you might be one of the people so described.

Today’s graphic: Go deeper with this article on the Stages of Spiritual Growth from the blog The Total Man.

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