Summary: Christians must grow in their faith. It is not enough to just know about being a Christian, we must put the knowledge into action
“From Knowledge to Conviction:
Growing Up Without Growing Stale”
Intro: Food that expires or goes bad
Bread left out
Juice or Milk that has spoiled
Twinkies- do not have an endless shelf life- Go bad after 25 days
The key to spiritual maturity is to grow up in Christ, but not grow stale.
The longer we follow Christ, the easier it is to let our relationship with him grow to simply be a routine or ritual.
**What qualities on this list are marks of a true, mature believer?
Avoid evil Memorize scripture
Read Bible daily Be faithful to your wife
Tithe Believe every word of Bible is true
Attend church regularly Do good deeds
All of these things could describe a good Christian or a Pharisee, someone only interested in the outward behavior.
The key to spiritual maturity is an intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
I. The Danger of Knowledge
Knowledge about God is a dangerous thing. It leads us into a false sense of security and keeps us from experiencing intimacy with God.
Scripture warns us about a knowledge based faith.
“While knowledge may make us feel important, it is love that really builds the church.” I Corinthians 8:1(New Living Translation)
Knowledge is not valuable until it is transformed into action.
The trouble in the church today is we are content to rely on knowledge instead of action. What the church needs is less study and more application to become the loving example God has called us to be.
“Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22(NIV)
If you are a follower of Christ and you are in church to merely learn more, you are missing the point. If you believe church exists to simply satisfy your needs, then you need to investigate your heart.
It is easy to say the church should do this or that. But if you are not involved in rowing the boat you have no right to comment on the directions of the boat.
Knowledge of God and facts about the bible have never changed a human life.
**The Prince of Grenada-- The prince of Grenada, an heir to the Spanish crown, was sentenced to life in solitary confinement in Madrid’s ancient prison called “The Place of the Skull.” The fearful, dirty, and dreary nature of the place earned it the name. Everyone knew that once you were in, you would never come out alive. The prince was given one book to read the entire time—the Bible. With only one book to read, he read it over hundreds and hundreds of times. The book became his constant companion.
After thirty-three years of imprisonment, he died. When they came in to clean out his cell, they found some notes he had written using nails to mark the soft stone of the prison walls. The notations were of this sort: Psalm 118:8 is the middle verse of the Bible; Ezra 7:21 contains all the letter of the alphabet except the letter j; the ninth verse of the eighth chapter of Esther is the longest verse in the Bible; no word or name of more than six syllables can be found in the Bible.
When Scot Udell originally noted these facts in an article in Psychology Today, he noted the oddity of an individual who spent thirty-three years of his life studying what some have described as the greatest book of all time yet could only glean trivia. From all we know, he never made any religious or spiritual commitment to Christ, but he became an expert at Bible trivia.
**Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks- Wayne Rice, editor
Unfortunately most of become experts at bible trivia instead of people who apply the word of God.
God desires your knowledge to change your convictions.
“Knowing what to do, why to do it, and how to do it, is all worthless if you don’t have the convictions to motivate you to do it.”
The Purpose Driven Church
Is your spiritual life best defined as one of knowledge or conviction?
II. The Action of Conviction
One sign of a thriving life is motion. Have you ever noticed that a person who is moving is never mistaken for being dead?
God calls us to live a life of motion or action not to earn his love, but to reflect his love.
“If you love me, obey my commandments.”
John 14:15(New Living Translation)
“Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.” I John 2:6 (The Message)
“Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.”
I John 2:6(NIV)
Our love and commitment to Christ is demonstrated in the actions of our lives.
“Dear friends, do you think you will get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?” James 2:14 (The Message)