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"SPIRITUAL GROWTH" Spiritual Growth Is A Choice PowerPoint Presentation
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"SPIRITUAL GROWTH" Spiritual Growth Is A Choice

"SPIRITUAL GROWTH" Spiritual Growth Is A Choice

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"SPIRITUAL GROWTH" Spiritual Growth Is A Choice

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  1. "SPIRITUAL GROWTH" Spiritual Growth Is A Choice

  2. INTRODUCTION

  3. The blessings enjoyed in Christ include not only redemption, but renewal... In baptism, we undergo a "washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit" Titus 3:5 (BBE) 5 Not by works of righteousness which we did ourselves, but in the measure of his mercy, he gave us salvation, through the washing of the new birth and the giving of new life in the Holy Spirit,

  4. From baptism, we rise to "walk in newness of life" – Romans 6:4 (BBE) 4 We have been placed with him among the dead through baptism into death: so that as Christ came again from the dead by the glory of the Father, we, in the same way, might be living in new life. The renewal we find in Christ involves the concept of spiritual growth... a. Just as a healthy physical life is one of growth b. So a healthy spiritual life is a process of growth

  5. Sadly, not all Christians grow spiritually... a. Many have been Christians for years, with little change or improvement b. They are no more, often less, useful to the Lord than when they first became Christians c. Failing to grow, they become stagnant, like a pool of water

  6. That is because "Spiritual Growth Is A Choice"... a. It doesn't happen by default (unlike physical growth) b. Spiritual growth (like emotional maturity) occurs only when we choose to grow If we do not make that choice, and stick to it, there will be no spiritual growth!

  7. I - COMMANDED BY GOD A. IMPLICITLY STATED IN THE GREAT COMMISSION... The Great Commission is found in Mt 28:18-20 (BBE) 18 And Jesus came to them and said, All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go then, and make disciples of all the nations, giving them baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: 20 Teaching them to keep all the rules which I have given you: and see, I am ever with you, even to the end of the world.

  8. 2. Jesus commanded His apostles to make disciples a. Baptizing them b. Teaching them to observe all things He commanded -- Implicit in the command to teach, is that disciples would be obedient learners, i.e., constantly growing as they learned and obeyed their Lord

  9. B. EXPLICITLY STATED IN THE APOSTOLIC EPISTLES... 1. Peter ends his second epistle with a command to grow - 2 Peter 3:18 (BBE) 18 But be increased in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. May he have glory now and for ever. So be it. a. We are to grow in grace b. We are to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ

  10. 2. Peter begins his second epistle describing how we are to grow - 2Pe 1:5-8 (BBE)5 So, for this very cause, take every care; joining virtue to faith, and knowledge to virtue, 6 And self-control to knowledge, and a quiet mind to self-control, and fear of God to a quiet mind, 7 And love of the brothers to fear of God, and to love of the brothers, love itself. 8 For if you have these things in good measure, they will make you fertile and full of fruit in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. a. Adding to your faith such graces as virtue, knowledge, self-control, etc. b. Abounding in these graces, being fruitful, which implies growth -- Christians who did not grow, were sternly rebuked - e.g., He 5:12-6:1

  11. II - REQUIRES DILIGENT EFFORT A. UNLIKE PHYSICAL GROWTH... 1. People grow physically by default (unless there is some disorder) 2. No effort is required on our part; we mature physically whether we want to or not -- Don't think that just because you grow older, you are growing spiritually!

  12. B. SPIRITUAL GROWTH REQUIRES CONCENTRATED EFFORT... 1. Jesus said it requires labor-cf. Jn 6:27 (BBE) 27 Let your work not be for the food which comes to an end, but for the food which goes on for eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you, for on him has God the Father put his mark. 2. Paul wrote that it requires work, pressing on - cf. Php2:12;3:13-14 (BBE)12 So then, my loved ones, as you have at all times done what I say, not only when I am present, but now much more when I am not with you, give yourselves to working out your salvation with fear in your hearts;

  13. Philippians 3:13-14 (BBE) 13 Brothers, it is clear to me that I have not come to that knowledge; but one thing I do, letting go those things which are past, and stretching out to the things which are before, 14 I go forward of the mark, even the reward of the high purpose of God in Christ Jesus. 3. Peter wrote that it requires diligence – cf.2Pe 1:5,10--Like physical health, spiritual growth requires regular exercise - cf. 1Ti 4:7-8 (BBE) 7 But have nothing to do with unclean and foolish stories. Give yourself training in religion: 8 For the training of the body is of profit for a little, but religion is of profit in every way, giving hope for the life which now is, and for that which is to come.

  14. III - ASSISTED BY GOD A. WE ARE NOT ALONE IN OUR EFFORTS... 1. While we work out our salvation, God is at work in us - cf. Ph 2:12-13 12 So then, my loved ones, as you have at all times done what I say, not only when I am present, but now much more when I am not with you, give yourselves to working out your salvation with fear in your hearts; 13 For it is God who is the cause of your desires and of your acts, for his good pleasure.

  15. 2. Just as He was with us in producing our new birth - cf. Tit 3:5 -- God desires to complete the work He started when He saved us – Philippians 1:6 (BBE) 6 For I am certain of this very thing, that he by whom the good work was started in you will make it complete till the day of Jesus Christ:

  16. WE ARE STRENGTHENED BY GOD IN OUR EFFORTS He strengthens us by His Spirit in our inner man - cf. Ephesians 3:16 (BBE) 16 That in the wealth of his glory he would make you strong with power through his Spirit in your hearts; 2. He empowers us with unimaginable power that is in us - cf Ephesians 3:20 (BBE) 20 Now to him who is able to do in full measure more than all our desires or thoughts, through the power which is working in us,

  17. 3. He provides the armor to stand strong in the power of His might - cf. Ephesians 6:10-11 (BBE) 10 Lastly, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his power. 11 Take up God's instruments of war, so that you may be able to keep your position against all the deceits of the Evil One. There is no excuse not to grow, for Christ strengthens us! - cf. Philippians 4:13 (BBE) 13 I am able to do all things through him who gives me strength.

  18. IV - BLESSED BY GOD • A. THE BLESSINGS BEGIN IN THIS LIFE... • 1. As we grow in grace - cf. 2 Peter 3:18 (BBE) 18 But be increased in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May he have glory now and for ever. So be it. • a. We experience the blessings of the • grace in which we stand • b. Such as peace with God, rejoicing in • hope - cf. Romans 5:1-2 (BBE) • 1 For which reason, because we have righteousness through faith, let us be at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; 2 Through whom, in the same way, we have been able by faith to come to this grace in which we now are; and let us have joy in hope of the glory of God.

  19. 2. As we grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ - cf. 2Pe 3:18 (BBE) 18 But be increased in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May he have glory now and for ever. So be it. a. We experience the blessings of adding virtue, knowledge, self- control, etc. to our faith b. Such as a victorious life, in which we do not stumble so as to fall - cf. 2Pe 1:10 -- Indeed, it is spiritual growth that ensures the "abundant life" now that Jesus promised! - cf. Jn10:10 10 The thief comes only to take the sheep and to put them to death: he comes for their destruction: I have come so that they may have life and have it in greater measure.

  20. B. THE BLESSINGS CONTINUE INTO THE LIFE TO COME 1. We will experience an "abundant entrance" into the everlasting kingdom- 2Pe 1:11(BBE) 11 For so the way will be open to you into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2. In some way, our works do follow us – cf. Re 14:13 (BBE) 13 And a voice from heaven came to my ears, saying, Put in writing, There is a blessing on the dead who from now on come to their end in the Lord: yes, says the Spirit, that they may have rest from their troubles; for their works go with them.

  21. --- At the very least, we know that our labors will not be in vain! - cf. 1Co 15:58 (BBE) 58 For this cause, my dear brothers, be strong in purpose and unmoved, ever giving yourselves to the work of the Lord, because you are certain that your work is not without effect in the Lord.

  22. We have been talking about growth; but not just any growth, for not all growth is good... a. The hearts of some grow dull - cf. Mt 13:15 b. The love of many grow cold - cf. Mt 24:12 c. There is the danger of growing weary in doing good - cf. Ga 6:9; 2Th 3:13 d. There is possibility of growing corrupt according to deceitful lusts - cf. Ep 4:22 e. There is danger of growing wanton against Christ - cf. 1Ti 5:11 f. There are those who grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived - cf. 2Ti 3:13 -- Like the growth of cancerous cells, the wrong growth can be deadly!

  23. We have been talking about spiritual growth, the kind of growth that is... a. Commanded by God b. Requires diligent effort c. Assisted by God d. Blessed by God -- It is this kind of growth that Peter enjoined as he closed his epistle - 2Pe 3:18

  24. We have been talking about spiritual growth, the kind of growth that is... a. Commanded by God b. Requires diligent effort c. Assisted by God d. Blessed by God -- It is this kind of growth that Peter enjoined as he closed his epistle - 2Pe 3:18

  25. Matthew 11:27-30 (NKJV) 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."