Summary: what god is doing for us in our spiritual growth
lesson 2: How does God help me grow spiritually?
“Think how good God is! He gives us the spiritual ability to work in His Kingdom and then He rewards us for doing it ….”
The Bible teaches that all spiritual growth begins with the work of God in our life.
God sovereignly works within us to live new lives which reflect the spiritual rebirth within us. God works first to bring us to Himself. He initiates the search. (John 6.44)
Spiritual growth is NOT mystical, sentimental, devotional, or psychological. It is NOT the result of some clever secret or formula. Spiritual growth is simply matching your practice with your position in Christ. Salvation, in its highest sense, is the process of becoming who you really are in God’s mind.
IN DEPTH STUDY
I God’s role in my spiritual life (Phil 2.13)
God works in our lives, from the inside out, to transform us into His image.
God gave us a new heart (Ezek 11.19)
Your position in Christ is perfect: you have righteousness from God (Rom 1:17).
You are complete in Christ (Col 2:10).
You have all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3).
You have all spiritual blessings in Christ (Eph 1:3).
a) God illuminates our minds to understand truth.
• We do not naturally receive or understand the spiritual truth revealed to us in the scriptures. (1Cor.2.10-14)
• The Spirit of God kindles the Word of God to enlighten us.
b) God gives us godly desires and character. (Phil 2.12-13)
• The desire to do the will of God comes from God.
• God gave us the desire but we have to act on it.
• In the process of changing our character, God convicts us of sin. (John16.8, Rom 8)
• When we live in obedience to the Holy Spirit and the Word, the indwelling God changes our character from our natural, unredeemed self to reflect the character of Christ. (Rom 8.29)
c) God gives us spiritual gifts with which to serve Him. (1 Pet 4.10)
d) The Spirit of God is at work within us. (2 Cor 3.18; Phil 2.13)
• Only the Holy Spirit has the power to make the changes God wants to make in our lives.
e) God uses His word, people and circumstances to mold us.
• God’s word provides the truth we need to grow.
• God’s people provides the support we need to grow.
• Circumstances provide the environment we need to practice Christ- likeness.
f) God gives us His grace.
• Saving grace (Eph 2.7.8)
• Sustaining grace (Rom 5.2)
• Sufficient grace (2 Cor 12.9)
II The balance in spiritual life (Phil 2.12)
• Conversion/being ‘born again’ is an event. It only happens once.
• It is an experience of moving from darkness to light, from death to life.
• Salvation, on the other hand, is a process. It begins at conversion and continues until you are fully transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.
a) We need to balance and understand what God will do and I must do.
• We must be active in the pursuit of our spiritual growth, but at the same time, we passively submit to God to bring spiritual growth in our lives. (Rom 6.6-11)
• We make all decisions in the light of our death and resurrection (dead in Christ and alive in Christ).
• We rest in the sovereignty of God – in His agenda and in His timetable.
b) Spiritual growth is a collaborative effort between you and the Holy Spirit.
(Phil 2.12 ,13)
• Work in and work out.
• Put into action God’s saving work.
• Put your salvation into practice.
c) We must maintain our balance not only in life but our perspective also.
• We must understand spiritual growth takes time. Be patient with yourself and God.
• God is patient with us (Ps 103.8-14).
a) Study God’s word
b) Connect regularly with other believers
c) Learn to trust God in all circumstances.
1. If it is true that all spiritual growth originates with God, what should be our response?
2. Do you have a harder time working for your spiritual growth, or waiting on God to grant it you? Explain.