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Summary: we are responsible for our growth

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Lesson 3: What must I Do to Grow Spiritually?

Introduction

Spiritual growth is a process. It does not happen automatically.

We must assume responsibilities. (Phil 2.12-13)

God works in us, but we must respond to that work.

In Depth Study

I We must pursue mature knowledge

We must read, study, memorize, meditate upon and obey the Word of God.

• Ignorance is darkness. Knowledge is light.

• Falsehood is darkness. Truth is light.

• Rebellion is darkness. Obedience is light.

• Ps119.9-16, James 1.5-6

• Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.(Ps 119:105)

II We must pursue mature character

a) To experience the will of God in our Christian character requires commitment on our part. (Rom 12.1-2)

“Do not act like the sinful people of the world" (New Life).

“Do not change yourselves to be like the people of this world.”(New Century Version).

“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even

thinking." (Amplified).

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world.” (New Living Translation).

“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould." (The Message)

b) Commitment requires ongoing attention. (1Cor.9.24-27)

c) We must pray.

• We pray not because God needs our prayer. Rather, He wants our hearts.

• God wants us to live in close fellowship and relationship with Him, and prayer encourages that fellowship.

• Relationship with God is the real motive for prayer

• We must resist the temptation to view God as merely a heavenly vending machine.

d) We must worship. (John.4.24)

e) Develop a rich community with others who are committed to the Lord.

• We are NOT designed to make it alone.

• We need a support group, a place we can belong.

• We need church and the church needs us.

f) We must exercise our spiritual gifts.

III Our motivation in spiritual growth

a) Our motivation to pursue spiritual growth is evident in our obedience .

b) Our motivation for obedience to God is our love for Him who first loved us.

c) Reasons to obey God:

• If we don’t obey God, we will pay a dreadful price. (Prov 6.24-29, Heb10.31; 12.5-11, 29)

• There is wisdom in His commands. ( John5.3; Ps 19.7-10)

• We obey Him because we love Him. (John15.10; 2 Cor 5.14)

• We obey Him because we honor Him so highly and want to please Him.

IV Our goal in spiritual growth

a) Our goal in spiritual growth is to become progressively more like Christ.

b)“Pride is the mother hen under which all other sins are hatched” (C.S.Lewis). To become ‘like Christ’ means we give up our right to self-determination, self- protection and self- gratification, and we give ourselves to God and others.

c) We must love God and our neighbors. (Matt 22. 37-40)

d) There is a link between willing obedience to God’s commandments and joy in our life.

(John 15.10-11)

e) Willing obedience truly demonstrates love (1Cor 13.4-7). Love gives. God is love and His love gives and gives and gives. When we become truly the partakers of the nature of Christ, we also become givers.

g) Through obedience, we take on the character of Christ.


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