Summary: spiritual development requires ongoing action, growth, and thankfulness.
Back To The Classroom Part Two:
“recognizing The Spiritual Development We Have Attained”
Dorn Ridge Sept. 13, 2009
I. SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT REQUIRES ONGOING ACTION.
1.) You received Christ – Past tense.
– Col. 2:6
A.) At some point we were led to faith in Jesus Christ.
aa.) For many of us we were blessed to be raised in Christian families that valued God, and the Church, and may have greatly whet our appetites for Christ.
ab.) Others may have come to a place in life where everything and everyone else had failed you, and there was no where else you could turn but to God.
ac.) For many it was just that empty longing within your heart that was not being satisfied, until you realized that what was missing was Christ.
ad.) Whatever it was that planted those seeds of faith in your heart, God took them, and brought within you a faith in Jesus Christ.
B.) That faith led to a conviction of sin, and a realization of our need for Christ.
C.) Your need and desire to receive Christ led you to obey the Gospel and pledge your allegiance to Christ in the waters of baptism.
ca.) The Gospel refers to the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
cb.) The Bible speaks of obeying the Gospel; that is reenacting the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in our own lives.
cb-1.) In baptism, we go down into the water and are completely immersed under the water.
cb-1i.) We have all been to graves and have seen bodies lowered into the ground, and the ground covering that person's remains over.
cb-1ii.) Thus we picture the same thing in the waters of baptism.
cb-2.) After the death, and burial Christ was raised to life.
cb-2i.) When a person comes back up from the water, he is role-playing the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
cb-2ii.) But more than role-playing that is the point when our faith in Christ has been made real and we have consciously pledged our faith to Jesus Christ, and have obeyed the Gospel.
D.) At that point you received Christ.
2.) Continue to live In Him – Linear (Present and ongoing).
A.) merely coming to Christ and doing nothing further with Christ is of little value.
B.) The Law of life is that life has to either grow or die.
C.) We must recognize that for spiritual growth to be effective it must be continual.
II. SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT REQUIRES AN ALL-DIRECTION GROWTH.
– Col. 2:7
• To explain this theme Paul uses the picture of a plant that is growing. (Right now, we are on the opposite end of the planting cycle where we are harvesting instead of planting our crops. – Just the same we can relate to Paul's picture.)
• When a plant first starts to grow it develops roots, to give a foundation and support for the rest of the plant.
• After the roots, there is a stem that begins to grow upward.
• Before the plant can withstand wind, or bear up under the weight of the crop it must be strengthened.
• Paul uses this analogy to show spiritual growth as well.
1.) Rooted in Christ.
A.) Just as a plant needs to grow roots for the growth to begin, Christians need to be strongly rooted in Jesus Christ.
aa.) Trials and temptations will come upon us.
aa-1.) If we are not firmly rooted we will not be able to withstand, and to continue to thrive and grow.
B.) The root structure of the plant will determine the potential growth, health, and strength of the plant.
C.) Anything other than Christ will not anchor us through life.
2.) Built up in Christ.
A.) Once a plant is well rooted, there must be an upward growth in order to reach upward to the potential that is awaiting it.
B.) Christians need not only to be well rooted, but also to be reaching heavenward in new spiritual growth.
ba.) We must daily grow in knowledge and the grace of God.
3.) Strengthened in the faith in Christ.
A.) Just as a plant must grow both downward and upward, it must also grow outward.
B.) When plants first come through the ground, some are often nothing more a small stem that can be blown in the wind.
ba.) A stem that would remain so thin would not tolerate even the slightest of breezes to come upon it without breaking off.
bb.) It certainly could not hold the weight of branches, and the idea of bearing fruit is unthinkable in that thin and fragile state.
bb-1.) As Christians, unless we grow and are strengthened, we likewise cannot grow or fully develop, or bear fruit.
bc.) Before the plant can be of any real value it must grow down, up, and out.