Spiritual growth

Published Jan 7, 2017 at 4:00pm

Spiritual growth is the development of the believer in Christ. It is not an option even though it is determined by the believer’s attitude towards God’s Word.

The Word is the KEY to spiritual growth. By the Word, what we mean here is the finished work of Christ.

A promissory note in the Law, Prophecy in the Prophets and the Fulfilment found ONLY in the Epistles. When we feed on this, we feed on Christ!

Grace is the foundation, building bricks, colour paintings, window frames of the Christian Faith.

It’s not for salvation only and then efforts and self-help concludes all others! We ought to have seen this before now. Peter’s instruction for growth goes thus:

2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

Having instructed earlier in his first letter that they desire the sincere milk of the word to grow (1 Peter 2: 2), here he is more explicit. Grace is the Word.

Paul’s closing remarks to the elders at Ephesus is equally instructive.

Acts 20: 32 “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”

This was what he taught them for three and a half years — The Word of His Grace, His finished work. He had earlier called it “The entire counsel of God”- Acts 20:27.

However in growing in Grace, we must take advantage of grace in its fullness. Grace bestowed gifts in men and as men and through men to bring us to maturity.

Many folks, mostly those named within church clichés as “word men” fall into the error of seeing Christian growth as competition. Because it’s a knowledge issue, they pursue to know “more than others”!

It seems academic to some, hence this error.This error is despising the role of pastors and ministers over our lives.

You can’t claim growth while being unruly, unstable, rebellious and unaccountable anywhere and to nobody! Let us see the scriptures.

Acts 20: 28 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

Elders are to be responsible for feeding (taking oversight of our lives) us. These aren’t itinerant teachers. They are found in the local church.

Ephesians 4: 11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive”

The word “perfecting” in verse 12 means to equip,this happens in maturity .

Ministry Gifts are the gifts of grace to us and for us to grow up in Christ.

Colossians 1: 27 “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”

Very Apt! Paul says we (ministry gifts) are the ones to present EVERY MAN mature in Christ Jesus. No further interpretation is needed.

This forms the basis of the instructions to the Thessalonian church.

1 Thessalonians 5: 12 “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.”

We are to KNOW AND RECOGNIZE our Spiritual leaders if we are to grow up spiritually. Besides, we are to esteem them highly. Regard them. Their work is to admonish us. Admonish means to nurture us.

Hebrews 13: 17 “Obey your spiritual leaders and submit to them [continually recognizing their authority over you], for they are constantly keeping watch over your souls and guarding your spiritual welfare, as men who will have to render an account [of their trust]. [Do your part to] let them do this with gladness and not with sighing and groaning, for that would not be profitable to you [either].” (Amplified bible)

Succinctly put: To grow up spiritually we MUST obey and continually recognize the ministry gifts over our lives.

This refers to those who are to GIVE ACCOUNT for/ of our lives.

They aren’t on Facebook. These aren’t from the books (Christian) we buy.  Neither the CDs/ mp3 formats we have nor the Television broadcast, which all have their places in our lives too.

This refers to actual men, to whom we are accountable.

Hence all of us must find sound and good local assemblies where we can effectively receive spiritual maturity.