HOW ARE YOU GROWING?
It is said that where there is no growth there is no life. In a spiritual sense, though, growth may be so small that it cannot be seen by others or felt by us. Yet, growth takes place. Sometimes we have strange ideas about these matters. We don’t often stop to think about how we matured spiritually, or are maturing in that sense. Because we don’t understand how it happens to us, it becomes very hard for us to understand how growth takes place in the lives of those around us. Before we can teach with impact, we must first understand how people grow spiritually. This will help us understand what to expect of our students and of ourselves. It also makes it possible for us to monitor our progress in this mixed up world of ours. These facts of Scripture are part of the foundations of learning that better equip the teacher by helping him know what to teach to reach.
God tells us we can know whether or not we are growing.
Our spiritual growth is a matter that Peter said we should address with all diligence—speed, eagerness or haste. 2 Peter 1:5
“And beside all this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.” 2 Peter 1:5
If we listen with our spiritual ears and see with our spiritual eyes, we will also grow spiritually. These are the signs of this growth.
We will be fruitful. 2 Peter 1:8
We will be filled with the Spirit.
We will have special knowledge of the Lord Jesus.
We will make our calling and election sure. 2 Peter 1:10
We will never trip or fall in a spiritual sense. 2 Peter 1:10
We will have an abundant entry into the everlasting kingdom. 2 Peter 1:11
If we do not listen with our spiritual ears and see with our spiritual eyes, we will not grow spiritually. These are the signs of this failure to grow. We become spiritually barren—inactive and by implication lazy and useless.
We also become unfruitful, according to 2 Peter 1:8.
We will have only a little knowledge about Jesus—there will be no recognition of the Lordship of Christ and little or no spiritual discernment. 2 Peter 1:8
With only limited sight, our spiritual vision will be clouded and we’ll see no rhyme or reason in that which we see. 2 Peter 1:9
We will be shortsighted—we won’t see beyond our own problems in life, forgetting we were purged from our old sins. Sometimes we forget what God has done for us. 2 Peter 1:9
There may be just cause to doubt our salvation because where there is no growth there is no life.
God tells us we can know how we are growing.
There are progressive building blocks for healthy spiritual growth. When we get the steps out of order, problems result.When we “fall”, we may have to take some steps again.
Step one: the foundation stone of faith in Christ and reliance on Him for our salvation. This step also involves being consistent in our profession of Christ. 2 Peter 1:5
Step two: virtue—excellence, praise or the reputation we carry. This step involves our testimony. 2 Peter 1:5
Step three: knowledge—the act of knowing. This involves the fact that we know new things that we never knew before. Many times, however, we know less than we think we know. 2 Peter 1:5
Step four: temperance—self control. We learn there are some things we should not do that might be part of our former routine of life. It’s difficult, however, to control ourselves if we don’t know what God wants us to do in the first place. 2 Peter 1:6
Step five: patience—endurance, constancy and continuance. It is also difficult to have patience if you don’t know how to deal with certain situations when they come up. This is one reason why we are having this class. 2 Peter 1:6
Step six: godliness—piety or holiness. Caution: anyone who can say he or she is as godly as need be has no ears to hear.
Step seven: brotherly kindness—love of the brethren. 2 Peter 1:7
Step eight: charity—affection or benevolence. 2 Peter 1:7
We dare not think, “At last, I have finally arrived. Each of these
needful things can already be found in my life.” 1 Corinthians 13:3-4
Not only must these things be found in us if we are to be good teachers, but they must abound in us. They must increase. We dare not be satisfied with our current spiritual condition. 2 Peter 1:8
These things must always be remembered. 2 Peter 1:12
IF WE AREN’T LISTENING, WE AREN’T GROWING!