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Summary: Christians, by nature should have areas of common ground. ... Yet, there are areas, as believers, that should always be open and available for our growth.

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COMMON GROUND; CONTINUED GROWTH

Knowing God through Spiritual Growth

1 John 2:12-14

INTRODUCTION: Christians, by nature should have areas of common ground. Areas such as mutual love for people, especially believers in the faith, and a hatred for evil and sin come most quickly to mind. Yet, there are areas, as believers, that should always be open and available for our growth. We still need instruction, and we never get to the point where we “know it all”. In fact it is a dangerous thing to believe that we are beyond the point of learning, or growing!

I THE COMMON GROUND OF CHILDHOOD

A We are all children

1 Looking from the perspective of God

2 No one came into the family of God as an adult

B The first stage of spiritual growth is a common stage

1 Based on the forgiveness of sins

2 Based on the name of Christ

a Important for us to know, remember, and realize that we were for given for the sake of Christ

b Important for us to know, remember, and realize what Christ has done for us.

Romans 5:6-8 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

3 The first stage of spiritual growth is enjoyed by EVERY child of God

C Two mentions of “children”

1 First mention – verse 12

a The word is TEKNIA – meaning “little born ones”

1) Emphasis of the word is kinship

2) Speaks of our newness in the family of God

b A newborn knows very little

1) First perceptions are of parents.

2) Spiritual first perceptions – simple awareness of:

a) Not guilty of sin

b) Not judged for sin

c) Not condemned for sin

d) Not punished for sin

2 Second mention – verse 13

a The word is PAIDIA – meaning “children or a half grown child”

1) The emphasis of the word is subordination

b Subordination because of awareness (“known the Father”)

1) Aware of the person of God

2) Aware of what is expected – May not be able to accomplish it yet, but aware that you need to accomplish it

3) Aware of God’s intervention in your life

a) Beyond the aspect of forgiveness

b) Aspect of discipline and guidance

4) Awareness of your responsibility in the body of Christ

a) Conversion means to “convert over” or to “convert to”

b) True conversion is evident in our walk and our growth

c) The child (PAIDIA) of God has an awareness of his “conversion”

WHEN WE ARE SPEAKING OF CHILDREN IN THE SPIRITUAL SENSE, WE ARE SPEAKING ABOUT THOSE WHO HAVE KNOWN WHAT IT IS TO EXPERIENCE THE FORGIVENESS OF GOD, AND TO BE AWARE OF THEIR CONVERSION.

II THE CONTINUED GROWTH OF YOUTH – A Stage of Developing Faithfulness

A The word carries with it the meaning – “the second branch of a spiritual family” (Vines)

B Growth that comes from the Word of God

1 The Word of God lives in you

2 The Word of God is a source of strength

C Growth that comes from drawing near to God

1 Drawing near to the Word of God

2 Drawing near by understanding the purpose of temptation

3 Drawing near by understanding the purpose of sacrifice

4 Drawing near by appropriating the armor of God

5 Drawing near by a vigilance for Christ

D Growth that comes from Vigilance in conflict

1 “Overcome the evil one”

a Notice how there is no introduction, we are just hit with this …

b Evil needs no introduction

c The believer who is growing needs no introduction to evil

d Evil finds him!

2 The abiding result of the Word of God in our lives and the closeness of God in our lives is…..

a An abiding victory

b An internal strength

1) We know where our real strength comes from

2) We know what it can do

2 Cor. 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

God is waiting to unleash all He’s got, if we will just get out of the way!

WHEN WE SPEAK OF YOUNG MEN IN THE SPIRITUAL SENSE WE ARE SPEAKING OF THOSE WHO HAVE KNOWN WHAT IT IS TO EXPERIENCE THE VICTORY OF GOD

III THE CONTINUED GROWTH OF FATHERS – John’s final stage of developing faithfulness

A Marked by an abiding knowledge from the beginning

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