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Spiritual Maturity Part 1
by M. J. Andre
4/11/2012 / Christian Living
2 Peter 3:17-18 says: "Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen"
Peter urges us to grow and we are told the only way that meets with Christ's standards is to grow in Grace. In 2 Peter 3, verse 18 builds onto the previous one and we are able to grow in grace when we grasp with our heart, the full weight of verse 17. - As we move forward in grace we remain steadfast in our walk with Him, which mean we are living committed and surrendered life where we take our cues from the Holy Spirit, we remain in Scriptures and grounded in the faith because we found something so precious in Him that we cannot afford to leave His sight and nothing else on earth catches our interests. We hinder our Spiritual growth in several ways and all comes down to the fact that most of us do not understand what we believe in simply because the idea of Salvation coming from the pulpit does not even begin to describe what God means by Salvation. - True Salvation is nothing short of finding the heart of God the father and when you do, you cannot help living in constant amazement of your found treasure. Sadly, our lack of commitment to the faith and our need to keep our options open instead of letting Christ take over our lives, says it all.
Commitment to the faith here does not imply what we do outwardly like regular Church attendance, pray, read our Bible, sing songs and try to act like Christians. While all these outward activities are good things, but there needs to be a commitment to the faith that stemmed from a repentant heart filled with gratitude for having been apprehended by Christ while we were yet sinners and totally ignorant of Him. What is the point of doing church things while we indulge in our sins like unbelievers? If you have not reached the point where the smallest sin is repulsive to you because of who you are inside, then you are wise to question what you have received so far and what are you building your Christians life on. - Repulsion of sin does not put you in a category above other Christians; it simply says that you have indeed been born again. Think about it, if sinning is natural to you, then what sets you apart from the unbelievers?
Another hindrance is that we do not have true faith. Remember faith is a gift from God and long before we decide to take Christ into our heart there was a work being done in the spiritual realm on our behalf. - Today's diluted Gospel has changed all that, we go on thinking that we can coerce Christ into accepting empty and meaningless rituals as if He is not able to see our hearts and what is truly taking place. So we go about getting people to say the sinner's prayer for various reasons, sometimes it falls under a well disguised intimidation, sometimes people respond to us and let us lead them to saying the sinner's prayer because they want to play it safe, so their motives are wrong to begin with; sometimes they get carried away by their own emotions and sometimes Christ moved them to say the sinner's prayer because He has been preparing their hearts for a long time. While it is not up to us to judge what is in people's heart, but any one with an ounce of spiritual discernment can see today's Christianity is in big trouble as the Church is walking away from the truth and we are left with empty words, rituals and religion. - If we cannot see that's true, then we are in much bigger trouble because the unbelievers can see beside our rituals we are no different from them so they are turned off.
We are forewarned to be careful of things like today's Gospel which underlines spiritual maturity as an option so people would not feel burden by Christianity. However, spiritual maturity is not an option; it is indeed the aftereffect of true Salvation through grace and the Gospel being worked in us through His grace which flows from us because of Christ and the Holy Spirit living within us. If we claim to have been saved, we claimed we have received Christ within, then why is it we have majority of so called Christians in the Pews with not an ounce of desire to go further spiritually? - No desire whatsoever to get to know Him? - If you have been in the Church for a while now, and you still feel you are not going forward spiritually speaking, do not despair and do not go to someone else either; I urge you to go directly to Him and BELIEVE that if truly you are seeking for Him, you will indeed find Him - This is His promise to us! - Let go of all doubts that encumber you and do not let yourself believe like an abstract idea floating in your head; take the time to be silent before Him and inform your mind what you want your heart to go with, and ask Him to bring Holy repentance into your heart and to help you leave behind that need to take on messages that tickle your ears, and to make you willing to be willing to do His will and walk with Him upwardly according to the whole truth of the Gospel in the righteousness of Christ.
M.J. Andre has written the newly released Christian book "Apprehended & Apprehending"
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