Summary: Four necessary steps to Grow Spiritually
“How to Grow Spiritually”
June 3, 2007
The new couple in church went down to the second row and found a good seat to enjoy the sermon when old Mrs. Smith, who was a charter member of the church, in a demanding tone, said, “EXCUSE me! You are sitting in MY seat! You’ll just have to move.”
Tension was running high in the church board meeting. It was clear the pastor wanted to buy a new sign for the church. The cost was $5000.00 and Wayne was against it. Big and intimidating, he got red in the face and shouted at the pastor, “That’s a stupid idea. Just because you have a college education you think you are smarter than us and know everything. Well, if you want help on that idiotic idea you can just count me out!”
Suzy, stated in disbelief at old Mrs. Swenson and her daughter, in the ladies restroom. They were shouting at each other! Their voices were raised and they were red faced, and although they were not using the curse words of the world, they certainly weren’t displaying Christlikeness either. Suzy decided that she better find a church where the people were a little more mature.
Just because a person has been to church for 20 or 30 years, or all their lives, it doesn’t mean they are spiritually mature – anymore than just because you are 21 or 22 it means you have a high school and college education. Paul was a little discussed with some of the folks in the church. He says,
“There is much more I would like to say along these lines, but you don’t seem to listen, so it’s hard to make you understand. You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others, but instead you have dropped back to the place where you need someone to teach you all over again the very first principles in God’s Word. You are like babies who can drink only milk, not old enough for solid food. And when a person is still living on milk it shows he isn’t very far along in the Christian life, and doesn’t know much about the difference between right and wrong. He is still a baby Christian!” Heb 5:11-12 (Living)
Do you sense his impatience? He says, “You don’t seem to listen! You ought to be teachers by now – but you need someone to teach you! You are immature – like babies!”
Spiritual growth doesn’t just happen any more than education happens just because you go to school. It begins with desire. You need a desire to learn. When I graduated from High school I was carrying about a D average. I didn’t care. I wasn’t interested in learning. School was just something I HAD to go to. But a few years later when I got out of the army and invited Christ into my heart and realized He was calling me to preach, my attitude changed. I knew two things for sure. God was calling me to preach – and I didn’t know anything about it. I had a great desire to learn. So I studied. In my years in college I received two C’s. The rest were A’s and B’s. Why? Was I smarter? No. What changed was my desire to grow.
If you have no desire to grow – you won’t. You will be an immature Christian all your life. It will be displayed in the fruits you produce. You will be up and down spiritually. You will be negative and critical and selfish. If you make it to heaven – you will have little, if any, reward waiting for you. Life will be a difficult place with little hope or love or joy.
Part of my job, as your pastor, and our job as a church, is to help you grow. Part of our purpose is to teach Christlikeness. The Bible says,
“…grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18 (KJV)
You need to know that God wants you to grow. The most important thing you will ever do in life is to accept Jesus as your Savior – but that is just the beginning. Salvation is just the door that leads to a wonderful, new, abundant life. After experiencing that, the Holy Spirit will begin to teach you God’s will. Jesus said,
“When the Holy Spirit, who is truth, comes, he shall guide you into all truth…” John 16:13 (Living)
The problem is that you have to ‘want’ to grow. You have a will and you can will to grow or will to not grow. You have the power to be lazy and apathetic and remain immature – like those Hebrew folks. The Bible says,