Summary: We are to develop as people of grace.
GROWING IN GRACE
S: Four Marks of the Church
Th: Spiritual Maturity
Pr: WE ARE TO DEVELOP AS PEOPLE OF GRACE.
TS: We will find in our study of Colossians 1:9-11, three
desires that we need to have in order to develop as people of grace.
The _____ desire that we need to have in order to develop as people of grace is…
I. KNOW THE WILL OF GOD
II. GROW IN KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
III. STRENGTHENED BY THE POWER OF GOD
RMBC 3/26/00 AM
ILL Notebook: Growth (Miracle Grow)
A father talking with his daughter and her five-year-old friend, Elizabeth, about birthdays. Elizabeth’s was March 30 and the father’s was March 27. "Our birthdays are three days apart," he said to her. She looked up at him and remarked, "Yeah, but you grew much faster than I did."
Well that brings us to a question…
How fast are you growing?
I know some of us are growing in places that we don’t want to.
We seem to be expanding at the wrong places.
And it is going so fast that it seems to be out of control.
But there is a kind of growing that we are considering this morning that we do want to be a part of our lives.
Our study today is the second in a four part series on the marks of the church.
Last week, we considered the priority of worship.
1. Today, we consider the priority of spiritual growth.
We have been having happy days here at the church recently, because we have had a new influx of babies.
I think babies are great, especially now that we don’t have anymore.
But there was one point in our lives when we had ages 0, 2, 4, and 6.
That was a stressful time.
And for years, we were washing diapers.
Someone with a lower opinion of babies once described them this way:
“A baby is a digestive apparatus with a loud noise at one end and no responsibility on the other.”
Well, it is true, for the baby, the world is centered on itself.
It has needs that it cannot meet on its own.
The baby is a completely dependent creature.
You know, when it comes down to it, we all love babies, but we don’t want them to stay that way.
If a baby doesn’t grow and develop and progress, we know there is a problem.
The same is true of the Christian.
We have been born again.
And as a new Christian, we need special care.
We have a great deal of promise and potential.
Yet, everybody waits and hopes that we will grow up.
But if we don’t, there is trouble.
Not just for us, but for the whole church as well.
2. The church that consists of Christians that remain babies flounders and turns people off.
Unfortunately, there is such a thing as Christians that have not gotten past the baby stage.
And not only do they hurt themselves by their lack of progress, they hurt the whole church.
For we are called to mature toward Christlikeness.
If we don’t move toward that goal, we are immature and petty, concerned only about our needs.
Nobody wants to be around that.
No one is attracted to that.
The truth is is that many folks become Christians because they realize their need of a Savior.
But then, they sit back on that and don’t go anywhere with it.
It is like they bought their “fire insurance.”
Their eternity is secure, but now life goes on pretty much as it always has.
They are like the dog that catches his own tail unexpectedly, or catches an unsuspecting squirrel to the surprise of both.
Now the dog faces a problem that he’s not trained for.
He doesn’t know what he should do next!
So the easiest and most sensible thing for him to do is simply to drop it, file the event away as a victory, and then continue with the day’s normal activities of sniffing, exploring, eating, and sleeping.
There are too many Christians just like this.
You may realize today that, like many others who don’t know where to turn next after coming to Christ, the best and easiest solution to that dilemma is simply not to take any more steps!
You are just going to settle down and never grow up.
But I want you to know today, that growing up is important!
It is important because it is a tough world out there.
3. In Colossians 1, Paul establishes the importance of spiritual growth by making it a matter of prayer.
For these believers, Paul did not consider spiritual growth as something that would be nice for them.