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Growing in the Grace of God
by Fenny West
8/11/2007 / Bible Studies
Growing in Grace means: moving from babyhood to adulthood in Christ. This takes time,
effort and commitment. It requires a teachable spirit- not, 'I know- it- all' attitude.
Paul writing Philemon said:
6 I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.(Phile1:6)
Writing to the Ephesians he prayed:
16..that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledgethat you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Eph3:16-19)
We all need to have a full understanding of everything that we have in Christ. it is a vast deep inexhaustible reservoir of God's goodness. Take some time and find all the scripture in Paul's letters where it says 'in whom .., in Him, through whom.., by whom..' and you will be amazed as to the unsearchable riches that we have in Christ.
A wise man grows in wisdom. Teach him and he will be wiser still.
Paul in spite all the revelation knowledge he received from the Lord still craved to know him better.."I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Pressing on Toward the Goal
12"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.".(Phil3:10-14)
That is the attitude for altitude we all need.
Without this attitude, there will be we will stagnate or even retrogress in our walk with God.
It is the will of God that our love for Him and His word grows in leaps and bounds. He desires that we increase in our craving for Him mind, His will for our lives, that we practise His presence and grow to be more like Him, shining our light in the darkness of this world, that men will see our Good works and glorify our father in heaven.(Matt3:15-17)
It is His deep desire that we refuse to be shaped into the mould of this world, adapting to our culture at the expense of His will for our lives.(Rom12:1-2) We are New Creatures in Christ called out of darkness into His marvellous light.( 2Cor5:17) We are a royal priesthood a people belonging t God. (1Pet2:9) We are His hands and feet here on earth. Creation is waiting for our manifestation- our unfolding, our revelation (Rom1), our flower will remain unfurled unless we take root in Him and let the Holy Spirit pollinate us. We will remain dry like a desert unless we continually drink of the Living Water.
We will continually be part of the problem unless we rob our minds with the Great Counsellor sent guide us into all truth. We will remain ignorant unless the Master -Teacher is allowed to teach us daily, precept upon precept.
Go forward, make progress, advance, increase and develop your spirituality. Drink deep of the unadulterated milk of God's goodness and graciousness (1Pet2:2,, 2Pet3:18)
Avoid famine in the midst of plenty. Feed your mind and your spirit, not just your body. Get your priorities right.
'Man shall not live by bread alone '
We can be changed from glory to glory, from fait to faith, love to love
Our love can grow and develop as we exercise it, so is our peace, joy, gentleness, goodness, kindness, self control, patience- every fruit of the spirit we have can abound. (Gal. 5:23-24), hence Paul encouraged them abound in their love. He commended others for their faith and love evidence in action
15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. (Ephe1:15-17).
We all need to grow in one area or another. You need to identify that area and feed deeply and consistently in that area. That was why he prays that God would give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. He knew that in spite of their growth in faith and love they had not arrived and needed to continue to grow in grace.
However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him(1Cor 2:9)
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jer:29:11)
Galatians were bewitched into thinking we are justified by our works.( Gal.3:1,-5:1) True, there should be a corresponding demonstration of our salvation by our conduct, our actions, our speech, our good deed, after all, we were created for good work. (Eph2:10)
James also contends: 'faith without works is dead'.
17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.(Jam2:17)
However, doing good things do not by themselves justify us. We are saved , rescued, reconciled to God, by grace through faith, not by our might, works, power or effort. It is the goodness of God that paves the way, opens our eyes to realise we need salvation.
God draws us with a cord of love towards the cross where we are led into repentance and forgiveness of sin. (Rom2:4)
Therefore all our righteousness are like filthy rags before God.(Isa64:6) This was why God tells us we should not boast in them, but in the fact that we know and understand Him.(Jer 9:23-24) And knowing God intimate does not come overnight. It takes time, experience, through trials and tribulation, through breakthroughs in our DAILY walk with Him. We are never done until we see Him face to face and are transformed to be like Him.
2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. 1John3:2-3
Before this John enjoined us not to love the world 1John2:15-17
We are to stand firm, immovable in the liberty that Christ purchased for us through his blood- not mixing it with yoga, new age teachings, eastern religions' meditation, humanist godless philosophies
Paul also rebuked the Corinthians for behaving like babes as they squabbled and quarrelled over their favourite preachers.
1Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldlymere infants in Christ. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?(1Cor3:1-3)
In Hebrews the writer encourages the believers to move from milk to the meat of God's word; from babyhood to adulthood. Obviously, there is a transitional period between those two stages of life as we know it. There is adolescence in Christ before adulthood. Again we can be adults in certain aspects of life and yet remain babes in other areas that we have not been exposed to or are reluctant to grow in. because of stubbornness or ignorance.
11We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
1Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3And God permitting, we will do so (Heb. 5:11-6:3)
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