To Grow: increase, develop, mature, advance, enlarge
Are you growing spiritually?
Is your church growing spiritually?
Growth is God’s Intent:
Certain spiritual gifts have been given to the Body with the key purpose being “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” to “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:11-13). “Then we will no longer be infants” (Eph. 4:14).
Question: How intentional are you in lining up with God’s growth objective?
God Has an Ultimate Growth Objective:
Ephesians 4:15 —
“in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”
“in all things grow up” –
We grow in grace, knowledge, faith, love, etc. (2 Pet. 3:18; 2 Thess. 1:3; Col. 1:10) which will touch all areas of our lives wherever we are in whatever we do … our feelings, thoughts, words, attitudes, actions.
“grow up into Him … “
Growth has an objective, that of becoming Christ-like so that the fullness of Christ fills all in all of our lives so we are “conformed to the likeness of Christ” (Rom. 8:29) that “in everything he might have the supremacy” (Col. 1:18).
If you want a picture of what a mature believer should be like, look at Jesus.
Questions: How Christ-like are you personally? How Christ-like is your church?
Growth isn’t automatic but tends to happen developmentally:
1. We are commanded to grow (2 Pet. 3:18) and to make every effort to increase in faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. (2 Pet. 1:5-7)
2. God’s Word identifies people at varying stages in their spiritual growth: infants (Eph. 4:14; Heb. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:2), children, young men/adults, and parents/fathers (1 Jn. 2:13-14)
In the next five posts we are going to look at different levels of spiritual growth. Subscribe to receive e-mail notice of upcoming posts.
A teacher training resource published by Ministry Tools Resource Center with PowerPoint slides and worksheets, The Teacher’s Role in Discipling Students Toward Spiritual Growth, uses these same levels we will be looking at to help Bible teachers think through where students are in their walk with God in order to help them get to the next level.
Questions: At what level of spiritual growth are you? Are you growing, plateauing, regressing?
Growth must be facilitated:
We each have a part in one another’s growth.
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Eph. 4:16)
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up . . . warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (1 Thess. 5:11-14)
We merely facilitate growth. God actually brings the growth.
… the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. (Col. 2:19)
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. (1 Cor. 3:6-7)
If we remember God’s strategic role in the process, we will be less likely to get proud or self-righteous when growth comes. We will be more prone to be like the Apostle Paul who said, “We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.” Glory goes to God.
Questions: What is your part in helping others grow? Are you faithfully doing your part? Are you open to learning from others? Are you giving God the credit when growth occurs?