Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Third in the series on our church's Discipleship Path. Spiritual growth not about just getting me into the Bible; It is about getting the Bible into me


This morning I need some help from all of the kids that are here. What can you all tell me about Peter Pan? [Let kids answer].

Thanks for your help. All those things are true about peter Pan. But the one thing I want to focus on this morning is that Peter Pan never grows up. Now I suppose that is OK for a character in a book or a movie, but when it happens in real life it’s not a good thing, is it?

I can remember going to my 40th high school reunion a couple years ago. I was amazed at how old all of my classmates looked, but the one thing that surprised me even more than that is that a few of them, while they may have aged on the outside, really hadn’t grown up on the inside. In a lot of ways, they were exactly the same people they had been back in high school.


But what is even more troubling is that there seem to be a lot of people who call themselves Christians who never grow up spiritually. Even though they have matured physically, their relationship with Jesus really doesn’t look a whole lot different today than it did 5 years ago, or 10 years ago, or even 40 years ago, for that matter.

And frankly that is a potential danger for all of us, isn’t it? So this morning, we’re going to learn how to make sure that we don’t become one of those spiritual Peter Pans.


Today’s message is the third in a series of five messages about our church’s discipleship path.



We began Two weeks ago with the first step in the process – Come. We learned that our invitation to others to “come and see” Jesus ought to be the natural outflow of our own personal relationship with Jesus.

Last week we focused on the second step in the process – Commit. There we learned that being a genuine disciple of Jesus requires us to be “all in” and to relinquish control of our life to Jesus. And we talked about three important commitments that every disciple of Jesus needs to make:

1) A commitment to a personal relationship with Jesus in which we say “no” to self and “yes” to Jesus.

2) A commitment to baptism by immersion, and

3) A commitment to membership in a local church

Today, we come to the third step in the discipleship process – Grow. As I’ve mentioned before, there is no perfect way to diagram the discipleship process and that is especially true when it comes to this third step. As we saw the first week of this series, spiritual growth ought to be something that all of us engage in continually as long as we’re here on this earth. So while we’ve identified it as a separate step in this discipleship path, it is actually something that ought to characterize our relationship with Jesus from beginning to end.

For the last two weeks in this series, we answered a series of 4 questions about each of the steps in the discipleship process and that was originally my intention this morning. But as I worked on the message this week, it became pretty apparent that was going to be a lot more than I could possibly cover this morning. So today we’ll just focus on the most important of the four:

1. What concrete actions can I take right now to take this next step in my relationship with Jesus?

Today, we’ll let the apostle Paul guide us in answering that question. We’re going to be looking at one paragraph from his letter to the church in Colossae, which we all know better as the book of Colossians. As far as we know, Paul had never visited Colossae. But while he was imprisoned in Rome, he got word about some of the false teaching that was going on in the church there. So he wrote this letter to combat that false teaching. And near the beginning of that letter, he addresses the root cause that had allowed that false teaching to take root in that church – the presence of a lot of spiritual Peter Pans in that church who just hadn’t taken the steps that were necessary to grow in spiritual maturity and their relationship with Jesus.

So go ahead and turn with me to Colossians chapter 1 and follow along as I read beginning in verse 9:

[9] And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, [10] so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; [11] being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; [12] giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. [13] He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, [14] in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

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