Sermons

Summary: Explore the plan that God has for spiritual growth in the life of a believer; how we can mature in our relationship with God.

The A C B’s of Spiritual Growth

1 John 2:12-14

Who here would like to grow in their spiritual walk?

I have yet to hear a truly “born-again” person (one who had a genuine relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ) answer NO – I’M OK – NO NEED FOR GROWTH IN MY LIFE, THANKS.

We are all interested in growing closer to our God and Savior – that is why we are here today!

After we enter into a relationship with our God – He desires for us to grow and mature in our faith – yet that process can be so difficult and almost illusive for so many people.

Many young believers get stalled out in the process and often never reach spiritual maturity – never become what God desired them to grow into.

Today I would like to see what the Bible has to say about spiritual growth and how it can be a reality in our lives. We will be looking at a passage that defines three specific stages of spiritual growth in the life of a believer, and how it is that God will give us growth in this life.

1 John 2:12-14 12I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 13I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. 14I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

The epistle of 1 John was written with four primary intentions:

1) to show believers how their joy in this life may be full, {1:4} 2) to guard them against sin, {2:1}

3) to warn them about false teachers, {2:26} and 4) to give them an assurance of their salvation. {5:13}

It is very easy to see that the audience of this letter; though they were all believers, are in different stages of spiritual maturity.

He defines these believers as: 1) Children, 2) Young Men, and 3) Fathers.

So let’s take a look and see what God has to say about each of these stages, starting with:

A) LITTLE CHILDREN

1 John 2:12 12I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake

1 John 2:13 I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

John, inspired by the Holy Spirit of God really nails down exactly what it means to be a “child” of God right here – he points to two key essentials:

1) You have to have your sins forgiven, and

2) You have to have a relationship with God.

{Nothing More – Nothing Less!}

There are people who want to add to these two things – then, there are people who want to take away.

We need to Romans 3:4 let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Who here remembers their childhood? “Oh to be a kid again”

For many it is such an incredible time – often so carefree – children are often oblivious to what is going on around them – just taking in the moment!

Isn’t that how it was when we first came to Christ? We had just entered into this NEW relationship – the weight and burden of our sins were lifted – not a care in this world!

A time of such excitement and rejoicing!

Then it happens! We start to begin our walks with Christ – we start to grow in our understanding, and things get a little tougher!

We find out that – though God forgave our sins and brought us into His family – we still struggle with our flesh and find ourselves in falling to old habits and temptations.

We realize that there is more to this thing called being a Christian than we first understood – it is about making Jesus Christ the “LORD” of our lives – every part of our lives.

THIS IS TYPICALLY WHERE MANY BELIEVERS STALL OUT!

Though they may faithfully attend church every Sunday,

Though may help here and there with various projects,

They never really continue the growth process in their lives.

SO HOW DO WE CHANGE THIS? – HOW DO WE GROW IN CHRIST?

(GIVE ME A TWELVE STEP PLAN)

Really not quite that simple.

There is an incredible verse tucked away back in the Book of Colossians:

Colossians 2:4-7 4And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. 6As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

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