GROWTH IN CHRIST
Romans 8:28 “ We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. “
What does it mean to be called by God? Is it like when one of our children are down the road or at a neighbors house and we call them home? No it has more to do with our Spiritual nature doesn’t it. It is like when Peter was giving the first gospel call on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:37 “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
To be able to grow in Christ, we need to conform to a likeness of Christ and in order to do that we need to study God’s word, so we can see exactly what Jesus was like.
Does God make us grow in Christ?
1Thess:23 & 24 - May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
Or do we do it all ourselves?
Lev 11:44 & 45 - I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. 45 I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.
Phil 2:12 & 13 - Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
God works in us & we work out our own salvation with the help of the Holy Spirit God has given us, to help us. Notice that as we work out our salvation it is with fear & trembling. But notice that it is God who works in you to will and to act according to “His” good
Phil 3: 12 - 14 - 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. Brothers, 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Phil 1:27 & 28 - Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved--and that by God.
So what is our problem them, why aren’t we growing in Christ?
Phil 3:19 - Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.
It’s because we have our minds on earthly things, not on heavenly things.
Our basic problem is we don’t avail ourselves to God.