GROWING UP

(II Peter 3:17-18)
May 3, 2009

 

   We as Christians are commanded by God to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. The reasons should be obvious why we must grow; to live right, to show forth His love and mercy to those around us, and to have a proper relationship and fellowship with God Himself.

 

I. IMMATURITY

 

   The New Testament is filled with examples of churches that were immature for too long. Paul often rebuked these churches and tried to spur them on to spiritual growth.

 

   I Corinthians 3:1-3 Here we see Paul rebuking the church for their carnality, their jealousies, and there divisions.

   Ephesians 4:14 Paul explains that immaturity leads to instability in what we believe and also allows us to be deceived more easily by those that would love to disrupt all believers.

   Hebrews 5:12-6:3 The writer here is rebuking these Christians for their lack of Bible knowledge. They have very little basic doctrinal understanding of the Word. . They have been Christians a long time and should be teaching others but need to be taught all over again.

 

II. BASIC TRAINING

 

   Romans 10:17; I Peter 2:2 The Christian life is much like our human childhood. As babies we need milk from a bottle in order to grow, as Christians we need the milk of the Word of God.

   II Peter 1:5-6 Through the accumulation of God’s Word we begin to add to our faith the characteristics that help identify us with Christ.

   Ephesians 4:15-16 As we increase in learning about Christ, our love will grow for Him and for our brothers and sisters in Christ and the church will benefit from our growth.

   Hebrews 6:1 After we have learned the fundamentals of the faith, we then can go on to the deeper things of God from His Word and begin to grow as Christians should.

 

III. MATURITY

 

   II Timothy 2:15 All Christians will be able to grow to maturity and be able to “rightly divide the Word” if they study God’s Word on a regular basis.

   I Corinthians 13:8-13 The mature Christian can look into the Word of God and see themselves as God sees them. Corrections can be made and God’s love and mercy helps us to grow into a mature believer with His love being the main characteristic of our faith.

   Hebrews 5:14 Through constant reading and study of the Word, the mature believer becomes one that can discern good from evil.

   James 1:2-4 God will use different avenues to help us grow spiritually. God will never allow us to be tempted or tried beyond our capacity to bear it as these trials help lead us to higher ground spiritually.

   James 2:22 As we become mature believers in Christ, our faith will show by our works.

   James 3:2 A mature Christian is able to keep their tongue under control from gossip and cursing.

   I John 2:5 As we get more mature in the Lord we find that doing what God wants us to do in His Word becomes more of a priority in our lives.