Summary: Have you ever been told to grow in grace and knowledge of God but not given practical steps to do so? Seven signs or steps to spiritual growth
Intro: From Jeff Hana; the TOP TEN WAYS TO TELL IF A CHURCH IS SPIRIT-FILLED
10) You have to assign numbers to people who want to share their testimony in worship
9) As the pastor closes the sermon, the chant of “We want more! We want more!” erupts.
8) The ushers have to empty the collection plates halfway through the offering because they are too full.
7) The choir and or congregation begins to sing and can’t stop.
6) Members begin buying new Bibles because they wore out their other ones.
5) There is an influx of people asking, “Is there something I can do?”
4) New classes and small group s have to be formed because so many people want to teach
3) People offer their seats to newcomers
2) New carpet has to be installed at the altar to handle the crowd
1) The congregation douses the pastor with a cooler of water at the end of the service
These are funny and maybe a little foolish. However we as the church we are called to be spirit filled, spirit led, spirit grown.
Have you ever been told that you are to grow, to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior but never told how to grow? Well this morning we will examine Seven significant signs of spiritual growth. First you must understand as we look at this second Peter passage the call to spiritual growth is not a suggestion.
Grow – Present imperative in the Greek. This is a command for ongoing passionate pursuit of Christ. Spiritual growth is given as a lifestyle not a seminar. As you saw on the video many excuses are given for lack of spiritual growth but none are acceptable. We are commanded to grow and keep on growing. What does it mean to grow in grace and intimate knowledge of Jesus?
Romans 8.29 “For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to Him – and all along he knew who would – should become like His Son,” Living Bible
Philippians 2:12b-13 Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. It is God at work in you to grow you spiritually. However, that does not happen sitting on your spiritual sofa eating spiritual junk food! Cooperate with the energy God has placed in you.
The command to grow is an appeal to the will. It is not in sheer willpower that we grow spiritually but in bending our will to the will of God!
I. Radical transformation of your way of thinking
Romans 12.1,2 God gives us the new birth when we are born again of the Spirit but not a new brain. Why would Paul have to warn us to not be conformed or molded by the world’s way of thinking?
You actions will never change until your attitudes change. We are called and commanded to undergo transformation through God’s presence, power and promises in our life that will find demonstrations in character and conduct. The word transformed comes from a Greek word which gave us metamorphosis. When you hear this word you should think going from a caterpillar to a butterfly. This metamorphosis begins at the new birth and continues with a new brain (a new way of thinking).
You mindset will be determined on what you set your mind on.
Why is this so important? If there is not a reformation in your way of thinking any outward change will be superficial and short lived. How does this begin.
A) Set your mind on things above – Colossians 3:1-2 (read)
RP Van Yoder tells of an article in the San Francisco newspaper
It reported that a young man who once found a $5 bill on the street resolved that from that time on he would never lift his eyes while walking. The paper went on to say that over the years he accumulated, among other things, 29,516 buttons, 54,172 pins, 12 cents a bent back, and a miserly disposition. But he also lost something—the glory of sunlight, the radiance of the stars, the smiles of friends, and the freshness of blue skies.
I’m afraid that some Christians are like that man. While you may not walk around staring at the sidewalk, you are so engrossed with the things of this life that they give little attention to spiritual and eternal values. Perhaps you’ve gotten a taste of some fleeting pleasure offered by the world and you’ve been spending all your time pursuing it. But that is dangerous. When God’s children, who are “seated with Christ in the heavenlies,” give their affection and attention to a world that is passing away, we lose the upward look. Our perspective becomes distorted, and we fail to bask in heaven’s sunlight. Taken up with the baubles of this world, we become defeated, delinquent Christians. Buttons, pins, and pennies, but no treasures laid up in heaven.