Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spiritual Growth

Note: All Scripture quotations found in this article are from the text of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.

In past articles, I have talked about how salvation is by faith alone and that we are eternally secure in the Church Age. Although, all of that is Biblical truth, we should also have a desire to grow spiritually, stay close to God and stay away from sin.

Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast." 

Notice the verse after the verses above that show us that we are saved by faith alone.

10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." 

Although, works do not save us, we were saved to do good works. Not to stay saved, but to have a close relationship with God. Jesus Christ died for us, so we should live for Him.

Titus 2:14 "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." 

We are commanded to grow in grace, knowledge and bear other spiritual fruit.

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." 

2 Peter 1:5 "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 

Galatians 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith," 

The three points below can prevent us from growing spiritually.

1. No desire for the word of God.

1 Peter 2:2 "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:" 

2. Not believing God's word.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe." 

3. Carnality and Living in sin

1 Corinthians 3:1 "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" 

We are commanded to live holy.

1 Peter 1:16 "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 

There are three main things that can help us grow spiritually.

1. The word of God as stated in 1 Peter 2:2.

Also, notice how the word of God is likened unto food and drink that helps you grow physically.

Matthew 4:4 "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." 

Ephesians 5:26 "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word," 

Not only is the Bible likened unto bread and water, but also apples(Proverbs 25:11), honey(Psalms 19:10) and meat(Hebrews 5:12).

2. Prayer

James 5:16 "..The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." 

Philippians 4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." 

Romans 12:12 "Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;" 

1 Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray without ceasing." 

God talks to us with the Bible, we talk to God through prayer. To stay close to God we need to hear from Him and also talk to Him.

3. A local church

Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." 

We should go to a local church because we need to hear Bible preaching, teaching(Ephesians 4:11-12) and Gospel Hymns that exalt the Lord. A local church is also good for prayer and fellowship. Of course, the church should be a KJV Only Baptist church that preaches sound doctrine.