Summary: Many Christians hold misconceptions of what spiritual growth is. These misconceptions can hinder or stop them from actually growing. Five of these myths are identified and explained. They are powerful points!
THE FIVE MYTHS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH
A. HUMOR: IMPORTANCE OF VALUABLE WORDS
1. There was a wife who was very hard of hearing. Her husband had to repeat himself all the time. The husband tried, unsuccessfully to get her to get a hearing aid.
2. One day, after the man had pitched the idea to her again, she said, “So how much would a hearing aid cost?” He said, “About $3,000.”
3. She rolled her eyes and said, “Okay, when you say something worth $3,000 I’ll get one!”
B. UNDER CONSTRUCTION -- I-45
1. One time I was on the way to a funeral and ran into a long stretch of road construction. They had numerous slowdowns, detours, and stops along the way.
2. Finally I reached the end of all the difficulty and saw smooth pavement. A sign caught my attention: "End of construction. Thanks for your patience."
3. As a matter of fact, those words fit all of us as believers, because in this life we are all "under construction."
4. When we accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, we begin the lifelong process of spiritual growth. The Holy Spirit works in us to remove our selfishness (Philippians 2:4), to renew our thinking (Romans 12:2), and to develop qualities in us that are like Christ (Col. 3:5-14).
C. TEXT & TITLE
1. Paul described this process as a work of God. He said, " Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Phip. 1:6.
2. So the title of this message is, “The Five Myths of Spiritual Growth.” All of these points are NOT TRUE, and the reason why is explained after the point. The first is:
I. SPIRITUAL GROWTH IS AUTOMATIC ONCE YOU’RE BORN AGAIN
A. “OLDER DOESN’T MAKE YOU AN ELDER”
1. Just because a person has been a Christian a long time doesn’t mean they’re mature. Even in Full-Gospel circles, it’s easy to pick up the terminology and mannerisms and “look” Full-Gospel, yet not be Pentecostal at all.
2. The same is true of people who ‘sort-of’ become Christians, but who’ve never fully surrendered their lives to Christ. “They have a form of godliness, but deny its power over their lives.”
3. I heard a story once about a teacher who applied for a job as a principal and didn’t get the position and so he was lamenting to a friend and said, “I don’t understand it; after all, I have twenty years experience.” To which his friend replied, “Do you, or do you have one year of experience twenty times?”
4. Hello? Some people’s Christian experience has gotten stuck just after salvation. They’ve never gone on to experience Christian maturity. They think that they have twenty years experience, but what they really have is one year of experience twenty times.
5. They have the same habits, lack of self-control, priorities, don’t obey the commandments, and haven’t conformed to Christ’s image. Are you a “one-year” Christian, 20 times, or are you a 20 year old Christian?
B. DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING & BECOMING
1. Human babies automatically grow up into adult humans. But just because you’re “born again” doesn’t mean you automatically grow up into the image of Jesus! And being “born again” is not the end, but the beginning of the spiritual journey.
2. The “New Birth” is the BEING; growing in God’s grace is the BECOMING. [Not more saved!].
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power. 2 Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. 3 For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. 5 ¶ So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is
idolatry. 6 God’s terrible anger will come upon those who do such things. 7 You used to do them when your life was still part of this world. 8 ¶ But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you.” Col. 3:1-10 (NLT)